God's Kingdom Ministries
Serious Bible Study



Chapter 1: The Great Dispute

Both “Israelis” and Palestinians generally believe that the ancient land of Canaan belongs to them. The average person today knows little (if anything at all) about the origin of this dispute, which surfaced again over a century ago. However, world leaders are well informed about the matter, and they choose sides accordingly.

Non-Christians, whose views are based largely on principles of justice, see the “Israeli” state as the perpetrator of a great injustice to the Palestinians, who were displaced from their homes where they had lived for centuries. Christians usually take a more simplistic view, interpreting Scripture to say that God gave the land to the Jews. Combined with their “Old Covenant” perspective, they are completely indifferent regarding the Palestinian people (even the Christian Palestinians) and thus display their catastrophic ignorance.

The issue really distils to who has the right to claim the land. This question is deeply complex because there are so many Scriptural and historical misunderstandings involved, not least of which, where does it all begin? With the Canaanites in the days of Joshua? With the Muslim conquest in the 7th century A.D.? With the Balfour Declaration in 1917? With the UN resolution in 1947? With the establishment of the “Israeli” state in 1948?

In 2023, the war in Gaza brought this question to a volcanic head. To understand the problem, we need to align with all relevant Scriptural prophecies, as well as the laws undergirding these prophecies. The law is not only a moral document but also prophetic.

It is not possible to resolve the Israel-Palestine dilemma today, without knowing the history of Esau-Edom. The true origin of the controversy began with Jacob and Esau, brothers who each claimed a birthright and thus the right to own the land of Canaan.

The Controversy of Zion

Isaiah 34 is a prophecy of judgment upon Edom. (Esau’s nickname was Edom, “Red,” as we see from Gen. 36:1). So, we read in Isaiah 34:8 & 9 (King James Version):

For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.

The NASB renders the last phrase, “the cause of Zion.” The Hebrew word is reeb, “strife, controversy, dispute.” The root word (a verb) means “to conduct a legal case or suit.” So, this is a prophecy about a legal case in the divine court, where God issues a formal ruling and we see the results thereof in earthly events. Isaiah 34:9 & 10 foretells the outcomes of His verdict:

Its streams will be turned into pitch, and its loose earth into brimstone [sulfur], and its land will become burning pitch. It will not be quenched night or day; its smoke will go up forever [olam, “indefinitely”], from generation to generation it will be desolate; none will pass through it forever and ever [netsakh, “continually”].

We learn from this that Edom was to be judged with fire and brimstone, reminiscent of the divine judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah. Isaiah lacked the technical terminology or insight to describe a nuclear explosion, but it appears that this is what he was relating. Obviously, such an event has yet to occur, showing that God’s judgment upon Edom is reserved for the end of the age.

When Judah conquered Edom in 126 B.C., nothing matching Isaiah’s pronouncement occurred. The conquered Edomites merely converted to Judaism and, as Josephus puts it, “they were hereafter no other than Jews” (Antiquities of the Jews, XIII, ix, 1). The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia (1970 edition) tells us:

“The Edomites were conquered by John Hyrcanus who forcibly converted them to Judaism, and from then on they constituted a part of the Jewish people” (p. 587).

The Jewish Encyclopedia (1903 edition) tells us:

“From this time the Idumeans ceased to be a separate people, though the name ‘Idumea’ still existed (in) the time of Jerome” (5th century).

The conquest and absorption of Edom/Idumea into Judah is beyond dispute. No credible historian has ever denied this history. Hence, the nation once known as Edom (or Idumea in Greek) ceased to exist forever, although the people themselves survived. For the next century, men still referred to them as the Idumean branch of Jewry, but after the Roman war, the name gradually died out, and people stopped distinguishing Idumeans from Jews.

The Jewish Encyclopedia, 1925 edition, tells us bluntly:

“Edom is in modern Jewry” (Vol. 5, p. 41).

The significance of this, from a Scriptural standpoint, is that this merger between Judah and Edom means that Jewry now has two sets of prophecies to fulfill. We should add that if the Edomites had been truly converted to God in their hearts by faith, they would have become citizens of the Kingdom. But forcible conversion only incarcerates people in a religion.

In this case, the Edomites received fleshly circumcision, but not heart circumcision. Heart circumcision is the only type of circumcision that has any value to God (Rom. 2:28, 29), and it raises people to a relationship that supersedes genealogy. For this reason, any Jew or Edomite who receives heart circumcision is no longer a Jew or an Edomite but is part of the “one new man” (Eph. 2:15) that God is creating in the earth. In God’s Kingdom, Paul says, “there is neither Jew nor Greek” (Gal. 3:28), nor is anyone known as an Edomite. All are given new identities and equal citizenship status.

Who is a Jew?

The carnal (physical) Edomites were absorbed into Jewry, which itself later rejected Jesus as the Christ (John 1:11), along with His New Covenant heart circumcision. Only a few accepted Jesus Christ as the King of Judah, and these, Paul says, are the real members of the tribe of Judah whom God recognizes (Rom. 2:29; Phil. 3:3).

For this reason, there was a division in Judah between followers of Christ and those who rejected Him. Each group claimed the Dominion Mandate given to Judah in Gen. 49:10. Each claimed to be the heir of the promise. The carnal side, claiming a genealogical connection to Judah, the patriarch, was by far the largest group, but the followers of Jesus were united with the rightful King of Judah, who alone could claim the Dominion Mandate. With the King went the tribe itself, regardless of numbers. One cannot claim to be of the tribe of Judah while rejecting the legitimate King of that tribe.

So, while the Judah-Edom nation in the first century and onward, which rejected King Jesus, continued to be recognized by men as “Jews,” God recognized only those with circumcision of the heart, and not in any sense of ethnicity. The church (ecclesia) did not replace the Jews; the church was, in fact, Judah from the start, because they are the only ones who “praise” God in an acceptable manner (Judah means “praise”). That is the point of Paul’s teaching in Rom. 2:29, saying:

his praise is not from men, but from God.”

In other words, a person’s status in the tribe of Judah is not based on recognition from men, but whom God recognizes.

Equality under the Law

To the tribe of Judah many from other ethnic groups were added as they were united to the King by faith. Their right to join the tribe by faith was established from the beginning (Isaiah 56:6-8). The carnal Jews themselves, who based their status on genealogy, built a dividing wall on the temple grounds to keep proselytes (and women) at a distance from God. This was unlawful, for we read in Num. 15:15, 16:

As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the Lord. There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.

Regarding observance of the Passover, Exodus 12:49 adds:

The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.

Likewise, the feasts of the Lord were to be kept by all, including foreigners. The Feast of Weeks (i.e., Pentecost) was to be observed by foreigners (Deut. 16:10, 11), as was the Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles (Deut. 16:13, 14). None were excluded.

There were many foreigners who left Egypt with the Israelites under Moses. For this reason, King Jesus “broke down the barrier of the dividing wall” (Eph. 2:14) to re-establish unity and equal justice in the Kingdom. The idea of a “chosen people” based on their genealogy is not Scriptural, for it creates two unequal classes of citizens and gives the flesh dominance over faith.

Hence, those who desire to establish the Kingdom will fall short of the glory of God if they do not recognize this law of God and the work of King Jesus in demolishing the dividing wall. God is working with “one new man”- not with two men who are unequal.

This was one of the major disputes that arose when Jesus Christ came to claim His throne rights in the first century. His rights were contested by the religious leaders of the day, and so for the past 2,000 years this issue has remained unresolved, awaiting a final verdict from heaven.

The argument was described in one of Jesus’ parables in Luke 19:12-27, where we see how “a nobleman [Christ] went to a distant country [heaven] to receive a kingdom for himself and then return.” We read in verse 14:

But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, “We do not want this man to reign over us.”

When the nobleman returned, He rewarded those who supported His claim to the throne. But as for those who opposed Him, we read in verse 27:

But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.

In other words, the dispute over the Messiah will be resolved at the time of Christ’s second coming. Those who rejected Christ were said to be brought back “here” (i.e., to Jerusalem), for judgment. This too has been fulfilled through Zionism.

We now live in the end time when this is being accomplished. Zionism has provided the motive to bring Christ’s enemies back to the old land to be judged for opposing His claim as the rightful King of Judah. So, while Zionism is a violation of God’s will (in that it treats people unequally), it is all part of God’s plan.

The “Israeli” state was given 76 years in which to repent and avoid divine judgment. As of November 29, 2023, it was 76 years since UN Resolution 181, which legally established the so called “two-state solution”. The importance of a 76-year cycle in prophecy is a detailed and complex subject of its own, beyond the scope of this document.

Suffice to say that the “Israeli” state, representing Esau-Edom, has been given its 76 years in which to prove itself worthy or not of the birthright and to hold the birthright name, Israel. However, only a few individuals have repented (and these, no doubt, will be spared), but the majority have been brought back to the old land to represent Edom in its divine judgment.

Make no mistake about this whatsoever – who men call Jews or Zionists (those who spurned and continue to spurn King Jesus, to the extent of arranging his very cruel murder), are actually God’s enemies. WAKE UP church! Your misguided support of “Israel” is nothing less than treason! What more does “Israel” have to do to prove that they are not worthy of the birthright? If nothing else, recent times have evidenced it unequivocally! Don’t presume the only place with rubble will be in Gaza – a greater quantity will lie in your mind and conscience in time to come.