Bible Study Discussions with Gary Panell
Question: 1. Where in the Bible does it say I [God speaking here] will destroy those who destroy my land [Israel]? I remember reading in the Old Testament about "a time of blessing." Where can I find this in the Bible? 2. The Bible says when the Gospel has been preached to every nation, then shall the end come. 3. Is it known which nations have yet to hear the Gospel? I have tried to look this up myself but have been unable to find it. 4. How does Eschatology impact the local Church?
Answer: To me these questions seem to have a common theme, and that is prophecy. We have written an article called A Summary of Prophecy, but I hope to start writing a detailed study on the book of Revelation soon.
In the mean time, though, let's get down to answering these questions that have been sent in. First, “Where in the Bible does it say I will destroy those who destroy My land? Where can I find in the Bible about a time of blessing?”
The Bible has many references to what will happen to those who try to destroy the land of Israel. It also has a lot to say about those who would bless Israel (the Jews) and those who would curse Jews. Here are some of those Scriptures:
Speaking of Abraham and his descendants God said: “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (Genesis 12:2,3)
“And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you." (Genesis 13:16, 17)
The Jews to this day have not seen a fulfillment of all of these promises, but they will! God does speak of Israel as if it were a lion or maybe this is a reference to Christ as He is called “The lion of the tribe of Judah.”
“God brings him out of Egypt; He has strength like a wild ox; He shall consume the nations, his enemies; He shall break their bones and pierce them with his arrows. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him? "Blessed is he who blesses you, and cursed is he who curses you." (Numbers 24:8,9)
We could go on and on with these verses. Also, there are many books of prophecy that talk about what will happen to those who think that they can destroy Israel. Let me warn leaders who try to destroy Israel, often in the past they ended up being hung or worse. Look throughout history and the Bible and tell me what you see as to where people ended up when they cursed Israel.
Daniel, in the book after his name, speaks of the last days and what will happen in Israel to the antichrist and those countries that attack Israel to try and destroy her. He will be allowed to go so far and then he will be destroyed, however, for a period of seven years he (the antichrist) will be allowed to rule the world. He will start out by pretending to be religious, but in the end, he will claim to be God himself. He will even go so far as to mock the God of Israel.
"Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.
"But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.
"At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon.
"He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.
Prophecy of the End Time [Here is where Christ comes back and takes over the world and rules it for a thousand years of peace.]
"At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time.
"And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.
"Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." [Notice that in the End Times, of which we are in, transportation will increase (planes, etc), and knowledge will increase, could this be a prophecy of the internet?] (Daniel 11 & 12)
Many other books of prophecy speak of the fate of those who would attack Israel and of her future blessing: “Again the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying, "Thus says the Lord of hosts:
"I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; with great fervor I am zealous for her. "Thus says the Lord: I will return to Zion [Zion is another name for Jerusalem] , and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the Lord of hosts, The Holy Mountain. "Thus says the Lord of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of great age. 5 The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.”
"Thus says the Lord of hosts: If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, will it also be marvelous in My eyes? Says the Lord hosts.
"Thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; I will bring them back, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness.” (Zechariah 8:1-8)
You could look at Ezekiel chapters 37 and 38 in this connection.
Most of all we need to look at the book of Revelation, in Chapter 19 and verses 11-21!
The second question asks, “Where does it have this verse about the gospel being preached in all the world?”
I will give the background to where the prophecy was made first. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:9-14)
Question number three asks, “Is it known which nations have yet to hear the Gospel?” I have tried to look this up myself but have been unable to find it.
This is a good question and I do not have a real good answer for this, but I would say that it may be tied to when the Bible is translated into every language of the world. That has not been accomplished yet. There is work going on in this area, you may want to check out our link to Wycliffe Bible Translators. I believe they have a goal of the year 2025, to have the Bible translated into every language.
However, this passage about the gospel being preached in all the world may be in reference to The Great Tribulation, after the Church is taken out. So we cannot know how to put a time exactly on when the Lord is coming back. We know it is soon and could happen anytime, but we are told that no one knows the day or the hour. I do not believe that everything will just change overnight, but that we will see these prophecies starting to take place even before the Church is taken out. Things are building up now toward what will take place in the Tribulation.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. (You may want to look at our article on what it was like before the Flood.)
“Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:36-44)
The fourth question states, “How does Eschatology impact the local Church?” Excellent question again. The word Eschatology, by the way, means the study of the end times. Some churches, of course, don't even want to try and study prophecy of the end times because they think it is too controversial. However, look what Jesus said: “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3)
I believe it is very important to study as a church the prophecies of Scripture concerning the End Times. Jesus said He would bless us for it. And too, we are to keep those things which are written in it. In other words we need to put into practice the commands Jesus gives us as we see His coming is near. Should we spend all our time on this, no, but we should balance it with a study of the rest of Scripture.
The problem comes in when people don't believe these things will come to pass literally. They just think of them as stories about God winning over evil. However, every prophecy that has been fulfilled in the past, and there are many, have all been fulfilled literally. Think of the prophecies of Jesus birth, death, burial and resurrection. All these things were fulfilled to the smallest detail. So, too, we believe all the prophecies of the future will be fulfilled in the same literal way.
Another problem is for people to misinterpret Scripture, and therefore draw wrong conclusions. For example, I know of a woman who divorced her Christian husband and went off to hide out, because she thinks we are living in the Tribulation. First, it was wrong of her to divorce her husband for this reason, and second we are not living in the Tribulation.
For me, I see Christ's coming as very important and therefore I want to be living a holy life as He will come for me at any moment. So, yes, I believe teaching Last Days Events or Eschatology does impact the local church in very important ways. In other words, the lives of individual believers are affected by what they believe is coming in the future!
Thanks for these questions,
Your brother in Christ,
Gary T. Panell
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Keywords: prophecy, blessing, curse, Israel, Gospel, all nations, tribulation, end times, Eschatology