What proof is there a God? How do you know the Bible is the Word of God? (Information obtained from “As America has done to Israel” – J. P. McTernan)

The history of the Jewish people and the Prophecy that Israel would become a nation once again confirmed God’s commitment to Abraham that Israel would become a nation for the third time. And Israel became that nation once again when it was established on May 14, 1948 on land God had granted to Abraham. God made Abraham that promise over 4000 years ago. That covenant is the reason the Jewish people and the nation of Israel exist today.

Twice Israel was destroyed. In 586 the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar totally destroyed the nation, Jerusalem and the temple. After 70 years they returned to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. Some 650 years later in 70 AD the Romans totally destroyed Israel, Jerusalem and the temple. They were no longer a nation for 1,878 years. The Old Testament prophets predicted that the nation would again take place in the future, thus proving that God kept His word. June 1967, through another war, Jerusalem became the unified capital of Jerusalem. There is no other nation that was once totally destroyed and its people dispersed throughout the world and survived and Israel was driven out and twice destroyed. The Hebrew language was almost extinct. Today, the Israelis speak Hebrew their original language. One promise that is still to be fulfilled is the rebuilding of the Temple on the Temple Mount.

Beginning in 1880 Jews very slowing started coming back to Israel. Jews coming from Russia trickled in at first. Then came World War I and in 1917 many more Jews returned. After World War II and the Nazi Holocaust hundreds of thousands of Jews fled to Israel. Then came 1948 and Israel was attacked by surrounding nations. The war ended with Israel’s independence. For the next 23 years there was continual fighting. Next came the six day war of 1967 and Jerusalem was united with Israel. There has been continual fighting ever since. The problem has been over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. At one time 1/6 of Jerusalem included the Temple. The Bible states that the War of Armageddon will be in part over the possession of Jerusalem. God is in the process of fulfilling His promise.

Israel is the link to God. Many believe that if they destroy Israel they can prove that Israel has no God and the Bible is not true. Most nations of the world do not recognize God’s covenant with Israel. Some believe the Jews did have a covenant but it is no longer valid. God is using the birth of Israel to show that His Word is true. The Islamic religion does not believe the covenant was made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They believe it was made with Abraham and Ishmael. Whereas, the Christian Bible believes it was not with Ishmael but Isaac. (Genesis 17:19 – 21) – Therefore, they believe that what Allah promised was to Ishmael and it is their covenant.

Muslins controlled Palestine for most of the time since 638 yet could not prevent the restoration of Israel. For Muslins to recognize the nation of Israel would be an admission that their beliefs are wrong. Yet, our government believes that they can obtain a peaceful co-existence between the two. The rebirth of Israel shows the authority of the Bible as the Word of God and proof that the Koran and Mohammed are incorrect.

The 36th Chapter of Ezekiel makes it very clear that the property belongs to Israel. However, there are a number of Christian theologians who believe the covenant God had with Abraham was broken in Ad 70. They believe Christianity replaced Israel as God’s chosen people.

It was Zechariah who prophesied the restoration of Israel, but said that when the people returned it would be in unbelief toward God and the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. God also said He would judge any nation that tried to destroy Israel. Zechariah 12:9 – 10 – “On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” There will be a day when the Israelites will accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah.

If the restoration of Israel is not of God you would have to ignore all that has happened. We must not listen to the false teachers that teach differently. Christ warned to be careful and know your Bible because there will be many who will try to lead even the elite Christians astray.

Heaven or Hell?

I happened to turn to a talk radio program and the guest had just written a book. Apparently he had been diagnosed as being dead for more than an hour. He stated that he could personally confirm that there was no Hell. He said, in fact, that the Old or New Testament could not prove there was a Hell. I knew that was not true. He could believe whatever he wanted but the Bible could not be more clear in explaining what occurs once we die.

A recent survey stated that 10% of Americans did not believe there was life after death and 9% were not sure. It shouldn’t surprise us to know that there are thousands of false teachers who are continually trying to persuade those who have never studied the Bible that they are teaching the truth. But are they? The Bible states that when a person dies they will either go to Heaven or Hell. However, that has not always been the case.

We are told in I John 3:10 – “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.” We know that to go to heaven we must be a child of God. We are told the children of the devil will go to Hell. One of my favorite verses! I John 3:24 – “Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”

In the Hebrew text Hell was called Sheol. When Sheol is translated into English it describes Hell or Hades. Sheol, a place where the dead exist – Proverbs 9:19 KJV, Sheol, a place for the wicked and those who forgot God – Psalms 9:18 KJV, A godly Jacob expected to go to Sheol – Gen. 44:29 – Amplified O.T., All men will go to Sheol, the realm of the dead – Psalm 89:48 Amplified O.T.

Prior to the resurrection of Christ, when a person died under the Old Covenant, both believers and non-believers went to Sheol (Hell or Hades). It was a temporary dwelling place for the soul. Luke describes a story that Jesus told in Luke 16:19 -26. The story concerned a rich man and Lazarus a beggar. They both died and went to Sheol. However, one went to Abraham’s bosom or Paradise and the other went to a “place of torment”. The rich man who was in agony saw Lazarus standing beside Abraham. He called out to Abraham and asked that he have pity on him and have Lazarus dip the tip of his finger in water and cool the rich man’s tongue. Abraham stated there was a great chasm between them and that he could not get to the place of torment from Paradise. Meaning once you are in the place of torment you could not cross over. Many believe the chasm between them was the Abyss or the Bottomless Pit where the most evil spirits are housed until the Antichrist will come.

When Christ was crucified He went from the cross to Sheol or Hell. Matthew 12:40 – “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Those who died under the Old Covenant could not enter Heaven because the sacrificed blood of animals could not forgive their sins. Sinners, not having been forgiven, could not enter the presence of God. Christ, taking the thief on the cross beside Him went to Paradise where God’s people were being held. All those who had been waiting temporarily in Paradise were forgiven of their sins by Christ and then ascended to Heaven. Acts 2:34 – “For David did not ascend to heaven” John 3:13 – “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.” Ephesians4:8 & 9 – “This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men. (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?” Paradise is no longer in Hell and the Old Testament saints were sent to Heaven by Christ. We believe Scripture says that Jesus descended into Hell to release those saints who were waiting to enter God’s presence. He then gave the gift of salvation to those still alive by grace through faith. After Pentecost those having received the Holy Spirit, at death, go to join those Old Testament saints in Heaven where Christ remains until His second coming.