JAMES SUNDQUIST COMMENTARY
DAVE WILKERSONS VISION "RIVER OF LIFE"
When I read Dave Wilkerson's recent vision, published in his
January 2003 Newsletter entitled: "River of Life,"
it really grieved my spirit.
I have been a great admirer of Dave Wilkerson over the years,
receive his newsletter, and have attended his church in NYC.
But his recent prophecy is one more spin on the Church replacing
Israel and it sounds more like a Prophecy from the Kansas City
Prophets (Third Wave) and Toronto Blessing people, and Nicky
Gumbels ALPHA COURSE*, than it sounds like Dave Wilkerson.
This particular prophecy is indeed false. For Dave Wilkersons
vision interpretation of Ezekiel to apply to the Church, then
the Church would have to have been exiled from the land for their
sin by the Lord as precisely spelled out in Ezekiel 39:21-29.
But the Lord exiled the Israelites for their disobedience. He
did not exile the Church to bring them back to their land. This
is an impossible rendering!!
Just a few of Wilkerson's words in red, followed by my commentary
and Scripture in blue:
QUOTES FROM DAVE WILKERSONS VISION OF A RIVER:
"A time is coming when unprecedented numbers will be
revived from spiritual death."
"Hear ye therefore: a river of life is coming!"
JAMES SUNDQUIST COMMENTARY:
The title of this vision alone struck me as baffling because
the River of Life is what flows out of our innermost being simply
by being a Christian, as promised by the Lord himself. But this
is not the river that Ezekiel sees in his vision. Dave Wilkerson
misappropriates this river to apply to the Church. Ezekiels
vision of a river is a literal river which does not even presently
exist yet until the Lord creates this river in Israel in the
future when he returns. And even then, it is not the same river
as the river referred to in the familiar lyrics, "Ive
Got a River of Life Flowing out of Me." This river of life
is not coming, it is already here inside every Christian. It
has been here for two thousand years. The river Ezekiel refers
to will flow from Jerusalem west to the Mediterranean and east
to the Dead Sea which will become fresh water and contain real
fish (nothing lives in it now)! The description of this yet future
literal river is in both Ezekiel Chapter 47 and Zechariah Chapter
Now since the river that Ezekiel is referring to comes literally
out of Jerusalem, it would be appropriate to address the question
whether Jerusalem itself is the New Jerusalem or figurative reference
to the Church as Wilkersons vision would imply. If the
river of life that Dave Wilkerson is referring to which he quotes
from Ezekiel is the Church, then the City from which it flows
would also have to be figurative and refer to the Church. I just
read the post on a website on Israel that asserts that there
is only one Jerusalem....and it is the New Jerusalem, or the
Jerusalem from above. This is an astounding statement. If the
Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem are one and the same, it presents
colossal Biblical contradictions and insurmountable questions
and problems. Here they are:
We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We are not asked
to pray for the peace of the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem
is not at war...it is a city being prepared by the Lord himself
as a virgin bride, pure and undefiled (Rev 21). The New Jerusalem
doesn't need peace. It is already at peace!!
vJerusalem is a burdensome stone, but the New Jerusalem is
Zec 12:3 "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome
stone (NIV renders this "immovable rock") for all people:
all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though
all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."
Zec 12:6 ..."and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in
her own place, [even] in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is immovable. The New Jerusalem is movable. It is
seen coming in the future from Heaven to the earth (Revelation
Chapter 21). Whereas the Old Jerusalem is immovable!
Jesus wept for Jerusalem, not the New Jerusalem...why would
you weep for the New Jerusalem?
All of the cities of Israel are being restored from ruins,
including Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem was not nor ever will
be in ruins!
All of the armies of all of the nations of the world are going
to surround Jerusalem, not the New Jerusalem! Armies from surrounding
nations such as Edom which is literal will be surrounding a literal
The Antichrist is going to defile the temple. This temple
can only be in Jerusalem. If the Old Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem
are one and the same, then the AntiChrist can defile the New
Jerusalem. God forbid this! So how did the AntiChrist get in
to the Temple in the New Jerusalem to commit the Abomination
of Desolation, spoken of by the Prophet Daniel and confirmed
by Jesus Christ? The answer is he did not and he never will!
The New Jerusalem will not be trodden under the feet of Gentiles
until the fullness of Gentiles has come in. Something and someone
impure will and has already entered the Old Jerusalem as it has
been trodden under foot by the Gentiles. But nothing impure will
ever enter the New Jerusalem.
Zephaniah 3:14-15 "Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O
Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of
Jerusalem. The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast
out thine enemy: the king of Israel, [even] the LORD, [is] in
the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more."
Isa 62:1 For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for
Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof
go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp [that]
Isa 62:6 -7 "I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem,
[which] shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make
mention of the LORD, keep not silence,
And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make
Jerusalem a praise in the earth."
Again, this does not refer to the New Jerusalem. There is
no "until." The New Jerusalem was never UNRIGHTEOUS.
So the vigil continues for the present Terra Firma Jerusalem.
And this vigil certainly is more necessary than ever, since only
a small percentage of Jerusalem and Israel fear the Lord, and
in fact very few there believe Jesus is the Messiah....yet!
The Old Jerusalem cant be the New Jerusalem. How would
God take away punishment from the New Jerusalem? He would have
had to punish her in the first place. And if the New Jerusalem
is the Church then God would be turning back their punishment
on her enemies. And since when did the Church receive judgments
according to Scripture?
So it is impossible that Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem are
one and the same. Finally, the author of that message quotes
Paul in stating correctly that we seek the Jerusalem from above.
But by his own argument, then there must be a DIFFERENT Jerusalem
which is ABOVE. Then the one which is above must be distinct
from the one which is on the ground right next to the Mount of
Olives which Jesus Christ will descend to when he returns. SHALOM!
Now Wilkersons idea of Ezekiels river being the
spiritual revival in the Church in the Last Days is backwards...the
Scripture really states that unprecedented numbers will fall
away from the faith! The revival will take place with the Jews,
not the Church! There are massive problems with assigning Ezekials
vision of the dry bones to the Church rather than the whole house
of Israel coming back from the dead. Firstly, the bones in Ezekial
37 were very dry...that is LONG dead. Dave Wilkerson and Replacement
Theology followers would imply that Ezekiels vision has
the Church in the grave for two thousands years (totally dead
the entire time). They imply that the Church suddenly will be
revived in the Last Days. But the Church is not dead NOW (though
it might be small in number due to the Great Falling Away). Secondly,
the dry bones in Ezekiel would have already been buried in Ezekiels
time. But the Church did not yet even exist until Pentecost,
several hundred years later. This model of the Church being Israel
sets up a bizarre scenario of something dead coming back from
life that never existed (yet). When Lazarus came back to life,
at least there was a real physical body to revive!
QUOTE FROM DAVE WILKERSONS VISION OF A RIVER:
"False prophets will spread doctrines of death. Evil
men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being
deceived (2 Timothy 3:13). Even now, spiritual death has
spread throughout the apostate church."
"The truth is, he has planned something much better for
his people in these last days."
JAMES SUNDQUIST COMMENTARY:
Well, 2 Timothy 3:13 is a strange Scripture for Dave Wilkerson
to use, since his vision is itself an incorrect interpretation.
Wilkerson says that Jesus has something better for his people
in the Last Days. Something better than the Early Church and
the Apostles experienced? Actually, those who are Christians
will be killed and are already by the millions by Muslims thinking
they are honoring Allah. Now if you are a Jew, the Time of Jacobs
Trouble will be a time of great refining. In either case, I would
not call this good in the sense of what Dave Wilkerson is describing.
Now the good will certainly come AFTER the Last Days when the
Millenium is set up and when we have glorified bodies. But to
suggest good is coming like a flood on Christians is just another
spin on the Prosperity Doctrine. And to suggest that somehow
the early Church missed out on something "better" we
are going to get is a reproach to all of those Christian martyrs
and persecuted Church of the early church.
II Thessalonians 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away
first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"
QUOTE FROM DAVE WILKERSONS VISION OF A RIVER:
"In the Old Testament, salt is a symbol of rebellion
JAMES SUNDQUIST COMMENTARY:
Well that was true with Lot's wife...but it symbolized a lot
of other good things too. Here are some examples:
Lev 2:13 And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou
season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant
of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine
offerings thou shalt offer salt.
Num 18:19 All the heave offerings of the holy things, which
the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee,
and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever:
it [is] a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee
and to thy seed with thee.
Ki 2:20 And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein.
And they brought [it] to him.
2Ki 2:21 And he went forth unto the spring of the waters,
and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I
have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any
more death or barren [land].
2Ch 13:5 Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel
gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, [even] to him
and to his sons by a covenant of salt?
Ezr 6:9 And that which they have need of, both young bullocks,
and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven,
wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the
priests which [are] at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by
day without fail:
Eze 43:24 And thou shalt offer them before the LORD, and the
priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them
up [for] a burnt offering unto the LORD.
In the NT it could refer to something good or bad depending
on the context. We are the salt of the earth...that is good.
But in James it talks about a spring with fresh water mixed with
salt that you can't drink...this is bad.
Jam 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries?
either a vine, figs? so [can] no fountain both yield salt water
I don't know if anything breaks my heart more than great men
of God breaking ranks and professing false teaching or collosal
ignorance of Scriptures...particularly when multitudes now drink
in and repeat visions like this.
Dave Wilkersons vision is an attempt to virtually misappropriate
the land from the Jews and give it to the Church. His examples
taken from Ezekiel Chapters 40-47 are about Israel, NOT the Church.
It divides the land into portions for the Twelve Tribes of Israel
with duties broken down even to some of the Levite clans such
as the Levite clan of Zadok who will yet minister in a yet future
Temple in Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:12-14 also records how even
each clan of the Twelve Tribes of Israel will mourn for the one
they have pierced. Which clan is ANY Christian in? Answer: NONE!
These chapters are the continuity of Ezekiel 37-39 which also
is about Israel not the Church. The Manifest Sons of God and
the rest of the Replacement Theology followers think that the
Church is going to take over the world before the Lord returns
and won't be happy until they have all of Israel too, calling
themselves the true Jews. But Revelation has a great warning
to these people who call themselves Jews when they are not. It
is not an accident that Islam has the same replacement theology
as mainline Christianity with respect to Israel and her land.
Islam believes just like most of the Church that it has replaced
the Jews regarding who has title to the Land. This is one of
Satans biggest and most masterful lies and has enslaved
hundreds of millions of Muslims and Christians alike.
Rev 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but
thou art rich) and [I know] the blasphemy of them which say they
are Jews, and are not, but [are] the synagogue of Satan.
Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan,
which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will
make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that
I have loved thee.
One does not have to guess where the members of the synagogue
of Satan are destined!
The Lord does not appreciate anyone masquerading as Jews,
even Christians, thinking they can misappropriate blessings such
as the Land God promised to the Jews!
Quote from Dave Wilkersons Vision of a River:
"A time is coming when unprecedented numbers will be
revived from spiritual death"
JAMES SUNDQUIST COMMENTARY:
David Wilkerson's vision has also been the common mantra in
many major camps in BOTH Mainline Christian Denominations and
Charismatic Churches....it is not really new; it is also known
as Dominion Theology...they decided upon themselves to render
Ezekiel's dry bones vision as not being Israel at all, but the
Church. That is also where they get the idea of a great revival
going to happen and Joel's Army (the Church) will take over the
world for Jesus. I have spent years studying those passages and
read them over and over and over, imagining trying to replace
"Israel" with the "Church" in those passages
and a host of others in Joel 3:2, Isaiah, Psalm 83, Zechariah,
Daniel etc. Besides being a false prophecy, it is an abomination
to the Lord.
Eze 36:17 "Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt
in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their
doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed
The Church did not defile the land of Israel (prior the the
Crusades) when Ezekiel wrote this in reference to the Jews defiling
the Land of Israel prior to their eviction to Babylon.
Eze 36:19 "And I scattered them among the heathen, and
they were dispersed through the countries: according to their
way and according to their doings I judged them."
The Lord did not scatter the Church for defiling the Land.
The Church was indeed scattered during the destruction of the
Temple in 70 A.D. by the Roman Legions, but not because they
defiled the Land. If anything, the early Church was pure and
undefiled. Besides this, it is the wrong time frame that Ezekiel
was referring to....Ezekiel is referring to the defiling of the
Land that caused the Lord to bring in the Babylonians to scatter
and take the Jews captive (the Assyrians had already done it
to the Northern Kingdom).
Eze 36:24 "For I will take you from among the heathen,
and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into
your own land."
So since it was the real literal Jews who defiled the land
and were dispersed, it has to be them that are regathered. You
can't regather what you never scattered. The Church was not scattered
into all of the countries in the earth and regathered to their
own land. This is historically and Biblically impossible!!!
Eze 36:28 "And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave
to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your
The Lord did not give the land to the fathers of the Church.
Jer 50:19-20 "And I will bring Israel again to his habitation,
and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be
satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead.
In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity
of Israel shall be sought for, and [there shall be] none; and
the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon
them whom I reserve."
Micah7:14 "Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of
thine heritage, which dwell solitarily [in] the wood, in the
midst of Carmel: let them feed [in] Bashan and Gilead, as in
the days of old."
The Church did not dwell in Bashan, Mount Ephraim and Gilead
which are all on the East Bank of the Jordan AS IN THE DAYS OF
OLD. It is the sins of Judah that shall no longer be found. This
cannot refer to the Church. The Church did not even yet exist
at this time, so how could its guilt be removed? How could there
be remnant of something which had not existed yet (the Church)?
Speaking of the East Bank of the Jordan.....
Everyone is talking about Israel occupying the West Bank.
How do you occupy what already belongs to you? Why is no one
talking about who is occupying the East Bank of the Jordan which
was also given to Israel alone as a permanent possession? Are
we to exclude the Tribes of Manasseh, Gad, and Reuben from their
rightful inheritance? Don't both Ezekiel (Chapters 40-46) and
Revelation (Chapter 14) confirm ALL Twelve Tribes of Israel securing
their rightful inheritance of land? And yes it will be a greater
Israel than even today or even during the reign of King Solomon.
Greater Israel will include major tracts of land on the EAST
BANK (parts of present-day Jordan and Syria).
Isa 61:7 "For your shame [ye shall have] double; and
[for] confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore
in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy
shall be unto them."
The Church was not shamed nor did it receive a double shame.
The land belonging to these tribes has already been surrendered
to the enemies of the Lord. So we are now being asked to carve
up and trade the land belonging to the Tribes of Naphtali, Issachar,
Ephraim, Benjamin, and Judah for peace (Judea and Sumaria)? The
Biblical Year of Jubilee requires property to be given back to
its original owner. If the deeds to these properties are permanently
surrendered to the Palestinians, how will it be possible to ever
return property to their rightful owners? We have surrendered
Hebron, the birthplace of the Patriarchs, Shechem the burial
place of Joseph, and Bethlehem, the birthplace of King David,
and Jesus our Messiah? We are being asked to surrender to 1967
Borders, why don't we go all the way back to the borders promised
by God to Abraham, which is from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates?
In the end the Lord will secure his final borders, even if he
does not have one person on the earth who will be in his army
when he returns. But woe to them by whom it comes! We have the
privilege of being in the Armies of Heaven. But which ever nation
who supports a Palestinian State** is in direct support of the
Final Solution for the Jews. In the final analysis, there are
going to be two armies, those that surround Jerusalem who had
divided up the Lord's land (See Psalm 83, Zechariah 12:3, Joel
3:2), whom the Lord will cut to pieces, and the Lord's Army.
I invite you today to decide whose army you are going to be in.
Not to choose is to choose!!
Joel 3:1-2 "For, behold, in those days, and in that time,
when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into
the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for
my people and [for] my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered
among the nations, and parted my land."
Whose Land? Israels land that God gave them...he did
not give the land to the Church. And since when was the Church
led into captivity for its sins and defiling the land (of Israel)?
How do you restore someone from captivity who was never in captivity?
Amos 9:11-12 "In that day will I raise up the tabernacle
of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and
I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days
That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the
heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth
For the Church to be Israel it would have to also be Davids
tent that had fallen and would some day in the future be raised
up again. The Church was never in ruins in order to be built
again. The Church was never guilty as in the days of Old. Israel
is even going to possess Edom. Well guess where Edom is? It is
on the East Bank of the Jordan too! (see above paragraph on the
Eze 36:38 "As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem
in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with
flocks of men: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD."
Since when did the Church EVER have solemn feasts....only
Israel had them!
Zec 14:16 "And it shall come to pass, [that] every one
that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem
shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD
of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles."
And the Feast of Tabernacles is a Jewish Feast not a Christian
or Church Feast!
Eze 36:37 "Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet [for]
this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do [it] for them;
I will increase them with men like a flock." ( NIV renders
this: "Once again I will yield to their plea" as he
did in Egypt.)
The Church never issued a first plea for there to be a once
Eze 37:19 "Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold,
I will take the stick of Joseph, which [is] in the hand of Ephraim,
and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with
him, [even] with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick,
and they shall be one in mine hand."
The Church was never either the Kingdom of Ephraim or Judah
to have been one stick in the first place, let alone be rejoined
to be one stick again. The proper Hebrew rendering of "fellows"
is clans. Clans were subdivisions of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Example: Bethlehem Ephrathah was a clan in the Tribe of Judah
from which David and Jesus Christ descended. The Church never
belonged nor descended from a clan.
In another passage on clans referring to the Last Days:
Zechariah 12 (NIV)
"12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their
wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their
wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, 13 the
clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei
and their wives,"
Now imagine substituting the Church for clans in these passages,
that is if the Church is Israel, then its Tribes must be the
Church and its Clans must be the Church. This would render the
"12 The land will mourn, each CHURCH by itself, with their
wives by themselves: the CHURCH of the house of David and their
wives, the CHURCH of the house of Nathan and their wives, 13
the CHURCH of the house of Levi and their wives, the CHURCH of
Shimei and their wives,"
Of course this rendering and interpretation is impossible.
No, the clans of the Twelve Tribes of Israel really are the clans
of Israel...they are not the CHURCH.
Eze 37:22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon
the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all:
and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be
divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
Once again, when was the Church two nations? When was the
Church two Kingdoms? When was the Church divided into two kingdoms?
Eze 39:23 And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel
went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed
against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them
into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword.
The Church never went into captivity for their iniquity.
Amos 9:14-15 "And I will bring again the captivity of
my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and
inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the
wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit
of them and I will plant them upon their land, and they shall
no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them,
saith the LORD thy God."
So once again if the Church is Israel, when was the Church
uprooted from the land that the Lord gave the Church? Answer:
Eze 39:28 "Then shall they know that I [am] the LORD
their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the
heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have
left none of them any more there."
Zec 8:11-13 "But now I [will] not [be] unto the residue
of this people as in the former days, (NIV renders this "I
will NOT deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the
past") saith the LORD of hosts. For the seed [shall be]
prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall
give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and
I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these
[things]. And it shall come to pass, [that] as ye were a curse
among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so
will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, [but]
let your hands be strong."
So it is abundantly obvious that the Lord regathers back into
their own land the very same people he sent into captivity which
is the Whole House of Israel...NOT THE CHURCH!!! The Church was
not a curse among the heathen!
Even if you attempt to spiritualize Israel, you still have
to grapple with who is being regathered to a figurative land
that is resettled ruins. The Lord hid his face from a figurative
Israel. If he is going to resettled the towns as they were before,
then the previous towns were not literal either, but figurative!
Then the livestock, goods, and plunder would all have to be figurative
too! Men will be regularly employed to bury figurative human
bones to cleanse the land as described in Ezekiel Chapter 39?
Ezekiel 44:22 reads: "They must not marry widows or divorced
women; they may marry only virgins of Israelite descent or widows
of priests." Now imagine trying to make this passage figurative
rather than its plain and obvious literal meaning. To be a widow
to not marry, someone must have literally died. How do you have
descent figuratively? Yes we are spiritually married, but we
don't marry figurative virgins. These instructions are so precise!
And what about the priests in this passage. Yes the Church is
going to be priests and kings to rule and reign with Christ.
But the priests we as the Church are going to be will be non-mortal
priests of the Lord. We will be like angels not given to marriage
as Christ clearly explained to us. The priests in Ezekiels
vision of the future of Israel will be mortal Levite priests.
The Church is not a priesthood of Levite Priests.
Eze 44:15 says:
"But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that
kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went
astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me,
and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the
blood, saith the Lord GOD:"
Once again, which tribe is any individual Christian from (other
than a Jewish believer)? How is a gentile Christian a Levite?
How could any of the Church be the "sons of Zadok?"
To suggest that the Church is Israel would then require you to
render the Levite sons of Zadok as the Church or part of the
Church. But this passage specifically sets aside only LITERAL
descendants of Zadok who HAD NOT GONE ASTRAY to be able to minister
in the sanctuary.
Eze 45:8 "In the land shall be his possession in Israel:
and my princes shall no more oppress my people; and [the rest
of] the land shall they give to the house of Israel according
to their tribes."
So, the boundaries of the land is distributed according to
the tribes of Israel. So, if the Church is Israel, which of the
Twelve Tribes do each of us belong to in order to secure our
parcel of land? Is the land figurative too? Is each part of the
land measured out in cubits and allotted to each tribe figuratively?
Ezekiel 47 and 48 go into precise detail in describing the boundaries
of Greater Israel EXACTLY (including the East Bank of the Jordan)
in the manner that was laid out to Abraham in the first place
in Genesis! Is one description of the boundaries literal and
the other figurative? Is the Great Sea figurative? The Hethlon
road, Lebo Hamath, Zedad, Berothat, Sibraim, DAMASCUS (note that
Damascus would be utterly destroyed and cease to be a city)
Isa 17:1 "The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is
taken away from [being] a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap."),
eastern sea, Tamar, Wadi River, Meribah Kadesh, and Egypt
could not be figurative regarding the future division of the
land as to its boundaries. If you are going to state that Israel
is figurative for the Church, then the land must be figurative.
If Israel is figurative and is therefore the Church, then who
is Egypt? Who is Damascus? Who is Edom? Who are all of the nations
in Psalm 83 that SURROUND Israel? The Lord is going to destroy
a figurative Damascus from being a city? You can't pick and choose
which parts of these passages in Ezekiel are literal and figurative.
Eze 47:12 "And by the river upon the bank thereof, on
this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose
leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed:
it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because
their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit
thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine."
If the Church is Israel, then the leaves for medicine must
be for the Church. But the Church will not need leaves for healing
in glorified bodies that don't need healing! So, no Israel is
not the Church.
Eze 47:13 "Thus saith the Lord GOD; This [shall be] the
border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve
tribes of Israel: Joseph [shall have two] portions."
Joseph could not refer to the Church.
Eze 47:14 "And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another:
[concerning] the which I lifted up mine hand to give it unto
your fathers: and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance.
The Lord even compares the distribution of the Land in the
Future to Israel to the distribution he to Israel in the first
place to Abraham by an EVERLASTING Covenant. Same land, same
tribes! So, I hope you see the colossal problems with trying
to substitute the Church for Israel and trying to render Ezekiel's
vision of dry bones, the land of Israel, the River in Israel,
and Jerusalem, as referring to the Church. No, Israel is Israel,
the Land is the Land, The River is the River, Jerusalem is Jerusalem,
and the Church is the Church!
It is not beyond God's Providence to cause the United States
to lose a war in Iraq if our ultimate goal is to create a Palestinian
State. God will not be mocked. Our President's oath to defend
our country is very sincere. But his sincerity will ironically
put our nation in great peril, if he insists on taking even one
grain of sand or settlement from the Jews to give to anyone on
the earth other than the Jews. I fear for our country! "I
once believed the President Bush was a Christian, but was
admonished rightfully be a brother for stating this in this document,
who otherwise fully agreed with it. For if someone claims to
Christian, but publicly teaches that Islam is a religion of peace
promotes the dividing of the Land of Israel, we are to treat
though they are not a brother in Christ, in accordance with Scripture,
precisely what George Bush did during his Presidency. In so
has put himself and our country under a curse. So, it is I who
must repent for having believed and published that statement.
Warren is at least equally culpable for speaking at an Islamic
Conference and blessing and celebrating Obama's Presidency at
Inauguration, and believing that he should forge his Global Peace
I pray that the Lord does the same with Dave Wilkerson regarding
his vision of the river of life.
ISRAEL, THE BATTLE OF THE AGES
by James Sundquist
CHAPTER EIGHT (Excerpt Preview)
ISNT THE CHURCH ISRAEL...SHOULDNT IT GET THE LAND?
To give you an idea how personal this battle has become, I
would like to tell you a story. About a year ago I had lunch
with a very close colleague who had gone to seminary. He was
extremely upset with the policies of our government with respect
to Israel. Not wanting initially to agitate the situation any
more, I tried patiently to hear him out, as he heatedly tried
to defend his position that the solution to the Mideast conflict
was for the United States to stop supporting Israel and stop
helping Israel oppress the Palestinians. Further, he insisted
that Israel pull out of the "occupied" land and surrender
it back to its rightful owners, the Palestinians. Now if I did
not know any better, I would have thought I was hearing Yasser
Arafat or Islamic apologist and cleric Husseini, making their
biased case against Israel. But I was not talking to a Palestinian,
or an Arab, or a believer in Islam, but a devout Christian, who
had been schooled in seminary and knew Hebrew. So I realized
more than ever, that this conflict which is going on half way
around the world, which on face value should not have any dramatic
impact on our lives in the U.S., or any direct impact on two
Christian brothers, was in fact about to cause a tremendous strain
on our friendship. I then began to understand that even though
the subject of Israel and the Land of Israel may have divided
theologians for two thousand years, it was now coming to fullness
in splitting the Church into pieces. I could envision very easily
that if our country ever goes to war over Israel -- not to defend
Israel, but oppose it -- individual Christians and churches were
going to have to choose sides in the conflict, even if our nation
were to take an unbiblical stand.
My friend argued that God is geographically neutral regarding
the land of Israel, or for that matter any other land on the
earth. When I looked at him in dismay, he looked at me incredulously,
then said to me: "Certainly, you dont think that a
piece of land is the Kingdom of God do you?" I responded:
"No, the Land of Israel is Israel!" I thought to myself,
if he felt this way, knowing the Bible as well as he does, I
could not help but wonder what position many Christians who do
not know the Bible would take regarding the Land of Israel. Then
I asked him, "if God is geographically neutral, then why
are you (my friend speaking as a Christian) so passionate about
giving the land of the Israel to the Palestinians?" I further
pressed him about the passage in Zechariah which describes what
is going to happen to the nations and armies of the world which
surround Jerusalem when the armies of Heaven follow the Lord
who is Captain of the Hosts to fight against and destroy all
of these armies. I continued: "Arent you concerned
which army you are going to be in when this conflict breaks out?"
"Dont you know that the armies of the worlds
eyes will melt from their sockets who defy the armies of the
living God....and that all of this is going to take place in
the literal land of Israel?" He answered something like
"you people who take the Bible literally are all the same...you
think that Revelation and the Prophets visions are to read
like some sort of calendar." "Don't you know that the
Bible is Apocalyptic Literature, and you cant plug literal
meaning into these visions?"
I answered him: "Then why did the Prophet Daniel, whose
book is also apocalyptic and full of images, take Jeremiahs
prophecy regarding the prediction of seventy years of captivity
literally in his prayer to the Lord?" "Why did Daniel
take literally the explanations of the coming kingdoms of the
earth...their rise and fall, literally, particularly when the
Archangel Gabriel explain the meaning of these symbols and images?"
"And they all pertained to the LAND of Israel, right through
the end of time?" All he could say was, "that was the
By now the exchange was becoming very heated. We both realized
that we were not going to persuade each other, and our conversation
was about to disintegrate. We left peaceably. But I was completely
undone. I went home and talked to my wife. We prayed. Then the
Lord took me to the passage in I Peter 3:15 "But sanctify
the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give]
an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that
is in you with meekness and fear."
Then I realized how important it was to maintain self-control...one
of the oft-neglected fruit of the spirit, and that I was not
going to produce the fruit of righteousness with anger, though
I certainly believe there is a place for righteous indignation.
I feel that the Lord showed me that I should still keep my fervent
convictions and not waiver regarding my position on Israel, but
that the goal of our instruction is love and that I should still
contend for the faith, but rather than try to nuke my opponent,
recruit him (or her) by appeal, and never resort to attacking
them personally, but attack only their argument. Nevertheless,
I remained more convinced than ever that our country is in great
peril and the Church is in great peril if it abandons Israel
in their defense of their land. I remained convinced that the
blessing on our land (and our church) remains as long as we bless
Israel, but that a sure curse awaits any nation who does not
bless Israel, still is in effect. There is no expiration date
on this promise and covenant given to Abraham. God will revoke
it only when the sun ceases to rise.
Why is the entire world on the brink of Armageddon over a
piece of real estate about the size of New Jersey? Is there any
other city or country in the world, besides Jerusalem and the
State of Israel, that the whole world would go to war with in
order to possess this land? Is God geographically neutral, so
that we should not take sides in this "battle of the ages?"
When did the battle over this tract of land begin and when will
it end? Is the Bible clear on this subject? What will happen
to the U.S. and any other nation which participates in dividing
the land of Israel? What is the future for Palestinians, according
to the Scriptures? What difference does it make what position
a Christian takes on the Palestinian conflict? Does it even matter?
What consequences await our country, our economy if we do not
choose today whom we will follow and whose army we will serve
regarding the Land of Israel?
The War over the Land of Israel is primarily a spiritual battle
which began in Heaven, has continued throughout the ages, and
will continue until Christ returns triumphantly. The Bible gives
us a detailed description of the history of borders of the Land
of Israel. Islamic Scriptures give us the shocking blueprint
of the plans that Islam and the Islamic Jesus have for the Land
of Israel, the relevance of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount. The
Book of Ruth reveals how the Lord is both a Kinsman Redeemer
and Kinsman Avenger to the Land of Israel. Would the Lord hate
the theft of Nabaoths Vineyard by even a King of Israel
(Ahab), yet wink at or even delight in the theft of a parcel
of land much larger than a vineyard...that is the whole land
of Israel? Would the Lord want to bless any nation that took
this land even though he gave it to the Jews? Would the Lord
delight in permanently removing from being a nation the very
land he gave to them? The Lord did not give such a promise to
any other nation or people on the earth. God hates divorce and
he is the one who married (Beulah) the Jews to this land!
Isa 62:4 "Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither
shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be
called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth
in thee, and thy land shall be married."
Was God only a God of War in the Old Testament regarding His
Land, but now He is only the Prince of Peace? Or is He going
to also be a God of War once again regarding His Land, as described
in Revelation Chapter 19 and the Old Testament Prophets? Is He
still jealous for His land?
Christians rightfully want to bless Palestinians. But creating
a Palestinian State is tantamount to cursing the Palestinians.
"There is a way that seems right unto man but the end therein
is destruction"... it would seem that to give the Palestinians
a simple tract of land like the old Homestead Act in the U.S
is totally reasonable. But the Scripture is clear the Land of
Israel is married to the literal descendants of the Twelve Tribes
of Israel. No blessing can possibly be poured out upon the Palestinians
by giving them even one grain of sand, any more than God would
bless stealing another mans wife, so serious does God view
the relationship of the Land (the dirt) of Israel to the Israelites.
Scriptures teach on this very current and very relevant subject
which is always in the news, and reveal many insights which have
been unclear or unrevealed, as well as why it is so urgent for
every Christian to be a good Berean and study the Scriptures
to see if these things be true, then get ready to await your
orders from the Commander-in-Chief of the Lords Army. I
continued to wonder, does all of this furor over the Land of
Israel really matter? Is it really worth dividing the Body of
Christ? Am I really missing something? Certainly I must be mistaken
about believing what the Bible clearly teaches regarding the
Land of Israel and surely it will never touch us in this country!
After reading the Bible many times in the last forty years, and
after having read many great scholarly works on the history of
Israel, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Islam, and like most of us,
having been saturated with the media coverage over the Palestinian
conflict and the "peace" process, I am more compelled
than ever to alert our country and the Church of the pending
disaster awaiting our nation should we proceed with the creation
of a Palestinian State, and alert the Church to the true nature
of the conflict in the Middle East. It is the Battle of the Ages
as to who will sit on the Throne of David. Will it be Satan or
Is God geographically neutral regarding the Land of Israel,
or must we (Christians) choose sides in this Battle of the Ages?
"For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall
prepare himself to the battle?" I Corinthians 14:8.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness
of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]."
Isa 65:9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out
of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit
it, and my servants shall dwell there."
Isa 60:21 "Thy people also [shall be] all righteous:
they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting,
the work of my hands, that I may be glorified."
Isa 61:9 "And their seed (NIV descendants) shall be known
among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all
that see them shall acknowledge them, that they [are] the seed
[which] the LORD hath blessed."
Isa 61:4 "And they shall build the old wastes, they shall
raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste
cities, the desolations of many generations."
The Church never had "former desolations." Remember
these desolations of many generations is referring to and spoken
at the time of Isaiah and refers to the Jews not the Church that
did not yet exist for several hundred more years.
I believe it is imperative to alert the Church, pastors and
our nation to peril awaiting our country, should we participate
in helping the Palestinians create a State within the Ancient
Borders of the Land of Israel. We must recruit modern-day Gidians
to become active in blessing Israel (and ultimately blessing
Palestinians). We must reveal to the Body of Christ, in depth,
the Scriptural basis for the fact that this is a spiritual battle
in the heavenlies for the Land of Israel. Help make them aware
that this may be only a spiritual war as far as they are concerned
today, but that the day will come when it will also become a
real war, a global war, so that every Christian is going to need
to know Biblically where they stand and why regarding the Land
of Israel....something not necessarily needed for the last two
thousand years that the Lord had left the Land of Israel desolate.
I can think of no better Scripture than Psalm 83 to close
with to confirm whether or not the Lord is neutral regarding
geography and in particular, the Land of Israel, or whether Israel
if figuratively the Church.
"Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and
be not still, O God.
For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee
have lifted up the head.
They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted
against thy hidden ones.
They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from [being]
a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate
against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of
Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines
with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children
of Lot. Selah. Do unto them as [unto] the Midianites; as [to]
Sisera, as [to] Jabin, at the brook of Kison: [Which] perished
at Endor: they became [as] dung for the earth. Make their nobles
like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and
as Zalmunna: Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of
God in possession. O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble
before the wind. As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame
setteth the mountains on fire; So persecute them with thy tempest,
and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame;
that they may seek thy name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and
troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
That [men] may know that thou, whose name alone [is] JEHOVAH,
[art] the most high over all the earth."
* For a more comprehensive document and book expose on Nicky
Gumbel and his ALPHA COURSE, particularly with respect to his
theology on the Nation of Israel, I invite you to visit:
**Support for a Palestinian State within the present borders
of Israel and at the expense of Israel is also a common view
within the Church Growth Movement, as evidenced by a July 23,
2002 Letter to President Bush containing the following statement:
"We commend your stated support for a Palestinian state
with 1967 borders, and encourage you to move boldly forward so
that the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for
their own state may be realized."
This letter was signed by John Ortberg, Teaching Pastor at
Bill Hybels Willowcreek Church in Illinois.