Welcome to Defender’s Voice. I am Paul Kattupalli. Thank you for joining us today. Please visit us www.doctorpaul.org.
Does the Israel-Hamas War have any prophetic relevance?
The whole world is now in the grip of the Israel-Hamas War that has unfolded in the Holy Land. Hundreds of Hamas terrorists from Gaza rampaged through southern Israel in a surprise attack that killed at least 1400 Israelis. They also kidnapped another 200 Israelis. This is the largest massacre of the Jews since the Holocaust. The terrorists showed no mercy. They shot young men and women with no second thoughts. They beheaded newborn babies. They stabbed a pregnant woman, ripped her womb and then stabbed the unborn baby. Even pharoah waited until the babies were born but these killers did not have much patience. They slit the throats of grandmas and grandpas playing with their grandchildren. They went to a music festival, which was organized for peace in the Middle East. They shot and killed over 260 young people in that festival. A mother was driving a car with her three children. They shot all of them to death.
I read about a couple raising eleven month old twin babies. The husband and wife could not imagine terrorists walking away with their babies. So, they took their weapons and fought with the terrorists. They killed 7 terrorists approaching their house. The Second Amendment was there for a reason. But sadly, they succumbed to the wounds. They were able to save their babies but left them orphans.
Terrorists killed one teenager and then took his phone and live streamed their barbarism to his mother. They killed over 200 babies by cutting off their heads and burning them. You can imagine the depth of their wretchedness and wickedness. Today, Israel has become the most dangerous nation for Jews. There are piles of dead bodies all over the place. The hospitals, blood banks, funeral homes and cemeteries are to the brink. Panic and chaos everywhere.
Hamas began firing thousands of rockets on the morning of October 7 . They hit targets as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. About an hour after the first rocket attacks, Hamas terrorists crossed into Israel by land, sea and air. The attackers infiltrated 22 Israeli towns and army bases. They took civilians and soldiers hostage.
The terrorists used sophisticated weapons. They fired advanced missiles into Israel. They landed in paragliders. Israel boasts about its Iron Dome. This defense system intercepts rockets fired into Israel. Yet, the terrorists were able to evade it.
Israel’s military has a great reputation for its intelligence and preparedness. Its sophisticated drones keep a constant eye on Gaza. Yet, it could not prevent these attacks. The Israeli leaders came to their senses. They deployed a 300,000 strong reserve force in the direction of Gaza. They ordered the evacuation of 28 towns near the Gaza border.
When I saw these horrible terrorist attacks on Israel, I thought of our blessed Savior – Lord Jesus Christ. When he visited Jerusalem, he shed tears for her children. He wept for Jerusalem. During His crucifixion, as he was carrying his cross to Calvary, he saw many women crying for him in sympathy. Jesus stopped and said to them, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me. Weep for yourselves and for your children’ (Luke 23:28). Being God in flesh, our Savior knew the future of Israel. That was the reason for his heartbreak over Jerusalem.
He also knew the depth of human wretchedness. He clearly diagnosed the human condition. For out of the heart come evil thoughts – murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft and slander (Matthew 15:19). The terrorists are murderous, adulterous, and rapacious thieves. They have no fear of God in their lives.
When we do not give our hearts and minds to God, Satan comes to live with us. Satan and his demons are known for only one thing – sin and destruction. That is why we need a Savior. That is why we should confess our sins and turn to Christ. Otherwise, Satan turns us into his slaves and instigates us to sin against God.
In Matthew chapter 24, we read the Olivet Discourse. In this great speech on prophecy, Lord Jesus described the future conditions in Israel and the world during the last days. Our Lord clearly told us that in the end times our world sinks deeper and deeper into antisemitism and debauchery. Yet, we should not lose heart.
What should we do now?
Psalm 122:6 says,
‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee’.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We should pray for the peace of Jerusalem and safety of the people of Israel. ‘They shall prosper that love thee’. God loves Jerusalem. Jesus loved Jerusalem. So, we should also love it. We call Israel ‘the chosen nation’. Why? Because God chose it to manifest to humanity. The patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the forefathers of Jews. All prophets were Jews. Entire Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament, was written by the Jews. All covenants of God with humanity were made with the Jews. Our Lord Jesus Christ was a Jew.
The incarnation of God happened only once, only in one form and only in one place. That was when Jesus was born in a Jewish family in Bethlehem, two thousand years ago. We are saved by His grace. We are saved when we put our faith in Jesus. Salvation is free. We don’t have to fight for our salvation. There is no jihad in Christianity.
A few days ago, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that Christianity promotes antisemitism. That is false. Jesus said, ‘Salvation is of the Jews’ (John 4:22). God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. And Christianity is the only religion in which the faithful worship a Jewish gentleman as their God Incarnate. While it is true that Christians committed the acts of Antisemitism, it is not true that Christian faith promotes antisemite. Quite the contrary. Christianity promotes Judeophilia, the love for Jewish people.
Because all people are created in the image of God, we are equally grieved when we see Palestinians getting killed during these days. All human life is precious in the sight of God. So, it is sickening to see terrorists firing rockets on hospitals and killing hundreds of people living inside.
Did Jews Occupy lands belonging to Palestinians?
Look at College campuses in America. We see young people shouting with placards in their hands – ‘Jews occupied Palestine’, or ‘Jews stole the lands which belong to Muslims’, ‘Israel is an apartheid state’ etc. Just take a look at the places where terrorists massacred people in Israel.
Beersheba: Abraham lived in that town around 2000 BC. God manifested to his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob in this town.
Ashkelon: Joshua conquered that town in 1400 BC. He allotted that town to the tribe of Judah. Joshua 13:3
Ashdod: The Ark of the Covenant stayed in that town for a while. 1 Samuel 5:5
Lachish: After the siege of Lachish in 701 BC, the Assyrians took Jewish prisoners from this town. Go to the British Museum in London. You can see archaeological findings which show wall reliefs displaying King Sennacherib reviewing Judean prisoners after the fall of Lachish.
Hebron: Abraham, the father of Jewish race lived in Hebron. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their wives Sarah, Rebecca and Leah were buried in Hebron. Israel’s most famous king, King David’s coronation took place in Hebron.
So, the Jews did not steal these lands. Israel is the ancestral homeland for Jewish people since time immemorial. They received that land by Divine appointment. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar often say that Jews stole these lands from Palestinians. History clearly shows us that the Jews lived here for thousands of years before a motley of Arab tribes started to call themselves ‘Palestinians’ in the modern times.
Look at the places in Israel which were rampaged by terrorists this week. Once upon a time, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Isaiah and Lord Jesus walked in those towns. It should break our hearts that the Holy Land became a murderous ground. Yet, we should not be discouraged.
Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides (1138 – 1204) penned a book entitled The Guide for the Perplexed. In this book, he wrote that everyone should remember two great truths from the Bible. One is from the Book of Genesis. God is our Creator. Another is from the Book of Ezekiel. God cares for his people.
Physics and Metaphysics. Genesis has Physics. How did the universe come into existence? How did the human race come into existence? You will find answers to those questions in Genesis.
Ezekiel has Metaphysics. The reality is God cares for His people. That is the story of the Bible. Look at Egypt. The Israelites were in bondage for over 400 years. God visited them. He appeared to Moses in a burning bush and summoned him to lead his people out of Egypt. Exodus 3:4-9
Look at Babylon. The Israelites were in bondage for 70 years. God visited them. He appeared to Ezekiel and told His great plans for His people.
The year was 597 BC. Nebuchadnezzar came down on Israel and took thousands of Jews into bondage and took them to Babylon as his captives. Ezekiel was one of them. After eleven years, he was informed that Jerusalem and the Temple of God were destroyed by Babylonian army. Humanly speaking it was the end for the nation of Israel. But not for God.
Ezekiel received a revelation from God. In this vision, the prophet saw God on this throne in a chariot. The chariot is on the wheels. The wheels are moving at full speed. The message of this vision is God is still on his throne. He is still sovereign. He is still in action. He moves and comes to the aid of his people.
Maimonides asked us to remember those two great truths. Physics and Metaphysics. The Book of Genesis is Physics. God is the Creator of everything and of everyone.
The Book of Ezekiel is Metaphysics. God is sovereign and still is active in the affairs of human beings. Our modern world is under the spell of secularism and atheism. It has lost sight of these great truths. But we shall remember that God is still active in our world and its affairs.
Ezekiel was dejected, dispirited and despondent. Yet God gave him a vision and strengthened him. In fact, the name Ezekiel means, ‘God gives strength’. God gave strength to Ezekiel. God gave him hope. God gave him a future. God gave him a mission.
As you read through the Book of Ezekiel, first God told him why He had to punish his people. The sins of Israel had reached a boiling point. They violated almost every commandment of God. And God had to let their enemies come and rampage their land. Ezekiel 4-24 chapters.
Then, God gave them good news. I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. Ezekiel 16:60.
God established an everlasting covenant with Israel and put things in motion. In chapters 33 – 48, God told Ezekiel how He would restore his people back to their land. He promised them a new shepherd. Ezekiel 34:11-31. He told them that He would bring them back to the Holy Land. Let us read Ezekiel 36:24
“For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.”
Ezekiel could not believe what he just heard from God. When God told this prophecy, there was nothing in Israel. The people of Israel were in Captivity in Babylon. They had no temple, no high priest and no king. Jerusalem was in dust and ashes. Their enemies were powerful world leaders.The state of their nation is displayed in a vision. We read about it in chapter 37. Ezekiel stood in the middle of the valley. It was full of bones. These bones were very dry and lifeless. Ezekiel wonders, ‘What is going on here?’. Then God breathes life into those bones and those bones come back to life. They get covered with flesh and muscles. They receive blood supply. They come together and form a new living body.
God promised a new body and a new life. He also promises them a new heart and a new spirit. Ezekiel 36:26
I will give you a new heart and a new spirit.
That is not everything. God promised them a new temple. Ezekiel 40-43. He promised them a new kingdom under a new king. Ezekiel 40-48. All these new things will come to fulfillment in the near future.
A New Life
A New Covenant
A New Shepherd
A New Nation
A New Temple
A New King
A New Kingdom
Praise God. That is the power of God. It is never ‘hopeless’ with God. All these new things are being fulfilled through our Lord Jesus Christ. He will give them a new life, He makes a new covenant with them, He will be their new shepherd, He will give them a new nation, He will build them a new temple, He will be their new King and He will give them a new kingdom.
The first steps were already laid down. What God told Ezekiel in 600 BC came to fruition 2600 years later, in 1948 when the State of Israel was founded. People with Jewish roots started to pour into the new nation. The Arabs pledged to ‘drive the Jews into the sea’. But they failed. The Chariot of God is in full motion. Noone can stop it. The non-Arab nations also would try to destroy Israel but they too would fail. That is the message of Ezekiel chapters 38-39.
The names of the nations that invade Israel were given. Gog, Magog, Rosh, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Cush and Put.
In the modern world, these nations are as follows:
Rosh is Russia
Gog and Magog are nations around the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan. These countries were once part of the former Soviet Union.
Persia is Iran.
Cush is Sudan
Put is Libya, Algeria and Tunisia.
If you notice today’s world news concerning Israel, most of the above nations are aiding and abetting terrorist organizations which are committed to the destruction of Israel. Ezekiel told us that the northern nation, which is Russia, will be the leader of these nations. Who is supplying modern weapons to Hamas? All their machine guns, missiles, grenades, and drones. It’s Russia.
Then Sunni Muslim nations. Many of the above nations follow Sunni Islam. Hamas is a Sunni terrorist organization which pledged complete destruction of Israel. Who is funding Al Jazeera TV channel, which is 24/7 Antisemitic propaganda around the world? It’s Qatar, a Salafist Sunni Muslim nation. All the Hamas leaders live in five star hotels in Qatar while they use ordinary Palestinians as fodder in their canons targeted at Israel.
Ezekiel also talked about Persia, which is today’s Iran. It used to be Sunni Arabs who hated Israel bitterly. Then the Shiite Iran joined the battle. Don’t think it is just a small-scale war between Israel and Hamas. This is war with Iran by proxy. Interestingly, Shiite Iran has been supplying weapons and money to Sunni Hamas. Sunnis and Shiites bomb each other almost every week somewhere around the world. But when it comes to Israel, they become close friends.
Iran has been waging war on Israel through Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south. Iran is now on the nuclear threshold. Biden went to Israel yesterday, hugged Netanyahu and also tied his hands behind his back from going deep into Gaza.
The United States came to Israel’s rescue many times in its history. Consider the 1967 Six Day War. The Soviet Union wanted to invade Israel. US President Lyndon Johnson moved the US Navy Sixth Fleet to prevent the Soviets in their plans. In the Yom Kippur War (1973) Egypt and Syria led a coalition of Arab states against Israel. The Soviet Union came to the aid of Arab states. A nuclear catastrophe was feared as the United States and Soviet Union confronted each other over Israel.
The future of US-Israel relations may not be like the past. The biblically ignorant foreign policy architects in today’s Washington do not lend their ears to the prophecies of Ezekiel or of the Bible. They pressure Israel into obedience as Iran and Russia encircle the Holy Land with encroaching power.
If you notice, Hamas attacked Israel exactly on the 50th anniversary of Yom Kippur War. They were given weapons and money by Russia and Iran. So, the coalition of nations predicted by Ezekiel 2600 years ago is already in full gear in their war on Israel. But God promises victory to Israel over its enemies. God gave hope to Ezekiel in the midst of a national chaos and collapse.
Significance of Mount Olives in Bible Prophecy
Let us read Ezekiel 11:23
And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.
The glory of the Lord left the city. That is tragic. But it stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city. That is Mount Olives. Beside the Temple Mount, there is Kidron Valley. Beside it is the Mount of Olives.
The glory of God stood upon the Mount of Olives. Six hundred years later, that is where Lord Jesus stood. He is the glory of God manifested to Israel in particular and to humanity in general.
The Mount of Olives has prophetic significance. Matthew chapter 24. Olivet Discourse. Lord Jesus Christ delivered his most important prophecies on this mountain.
He said, ‘You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come.’ Matthew 24:6
There is an end of the world. It is not going to be through climate change. God himself will take steps to bring human rebellion to a termination. Wars, rumors of wars, famines, persecutions, earthquakes will come upon Israel and the world.
It is all depressing. It is all bad news. But there is also good news. ‘The Son of Man comes on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory’. Matthew 24:30
The Son of Man comes on the clouds of heaven. What a blessed promise! Lord Jesus Christ gave us that promise while sitting on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24:3). His last days revolved around this mountain. At the foot of this mountain, in the Garden of Gethsemane, He experienced great distress as He prepared for the cross. He was crucified, buried and resurrected. After 40 days of miraculous appearances to his disciples, He went back to the Mount of Olives. From its top, He ascended into heaven. As prophet Zechariah predicted (Zechariah 14:4) and as the angels told the disciples (Acts 1:11), Lord Jesus will come back to this world via Mount Olives. So, we see his humiliation at the foot of Mount Olives and his glorification on its top. He will establish a new nation of Israel with an area much extended beyond its current borders. He will be its new king. He will be its Messiah. He will build a new temple. He will be their Savior and Lord.
So, when we see these barbaric terrorist acts committed on Israelis, it is natural that we lose heart. But we should look at Mount Olives. We should rejoice about the promises of God. We should pray, ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’