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SERMON TITLE: Why I Love Israel SERMON REFERENCE: Revelation 12 LWF SERMON NUMBER: #2349 We are grateful for the opportunity to provide this transcript produced from a live sermon preached by Adrian Rogers
SERMON TITLE: Why I Love Israel SERMON REFERENCE: Revelation 12 LWF SERMON NUMBER: #2349 We are grateful for the opportunity to provide this transcript produced from a live sermon preached by Adrian Rogers while serving as pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. This transcript is intended for your personal, non-commercial use. Note: Though it has been transcribed from a version used for broadcast, it may contain stutters, stammers, and other authentic remarks as would be common in a live setting. In order to ensure our ability to be good stewards of Adrian Rogers messages, Love Worth Finding has reserved all rights to this content. Except for your personal, non-commercial use and except for brief quotations in printed reviews, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other without the prior permission of the publisher. PO Box Memphis TN (901) lwf.org Take God s Holy Word and open, please, to Revelation chapter 12. We re working our way through this period known in the Bible as, The Great Tribulation. Today, the subject, Why I Love Israel. May I tell you, these are dangerous days in which we live, and the storm clouds are gathering. And a storm is about to descend, the lightning is flashing, and the lighting rod is Israel! Now Israel is on the front page of every major newspaper in the world today. And Bible-believing Christians cannot deny or ignore the significance of the nation Israel. If you pick up your Bible and read Bible prophecy, you will find out that Israel is in 100% of all Bible prophecy concerning the future, if you read it carefully enough. I want to tell you that the eyes of the entire world are upon this tiny state of Israel, and your eyes need to be upon the land of Israel because the Jew and Israel are the people and the land of destiny. As the Jew goes, so goes the world. Israel is God s yardstick. Israel is God s measuring rod. Israel is God s blueprint. Israel is God s program for what He is doing in the world. Now we want to ask this question; Has God turned His back on Israel? Has God forgotten Israel? Has God somehow abrogated the promises that He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Indeed not, absolutely not. The passage that we have before us deals, therefore, with the nation Israel. And I want us to notice some things about Israel this morning from Revelation chapter 12; the first of which I want you to notice is Israel s special favor; Israel s special favor. Israel is specially favored of God. Begin now in Revelation chapter 12 verses 1 and 2, And there appeared a great wonder in Heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And she, being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. Who is this wonder woman, this great sign, this wonder in Heaven? Well, it is not the Virgin Mary. The things that are spoken of here in this passage of Scripture could not speak of the Virgin Mary. In the flesh, Mary gave birth to the Lord Jesus Christ, and she is to be honored among all women, but these two verses don t speak of the Virgin Mary. Somebody says, Well, perhaps this wonder woman is the church? The church is spoken of as the bride of Christ. No, this woman gives birth to Jesus. Jesus gave birth to the church. It is not the church. This wonder woman here is the nation Israel, and I want to show you that we re speaking here of Israel. For example, when God gave Joseph a prophecy back in Genesis chapter 37 and in verse 9, Israel is described with these elements: twelve stars, the sun and the moon. Let me read it to you. Genesis 37, verse 9. And it speaks of Joseph and it says, And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. Now he was the twelfth star, The sun, the moon, and twelve stars. All of this is Jewish in its significance. Now, in the Old Testament, Israel is spoken off as the wife of Jehovah. Put this verse down, Isaiah chapter 54 verses 5 and 6. God is speaking to Israel, and He says, For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of PAGE 2 hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall He be called. Now God says to Israel, I am married to you. Jesus came from the nation Israel. Here s the key verse, Romans chapter 9, write it down, verses 4 and 5. Paul is talking about his concern for the nation Israel, and he talks about the Jews, and here s how he describes them, Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and listen to this, and of whom, concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. What is Paul saying? Paul is saying that, Israel gave us the Messiah. I was talking to some Jewish friends and they said, You Christians ought not to try to proselyte Jews. I said, Friend, you proselyted me! I serve a Jewish Messiah! Israel gave Jesus to this world, and thank God for it. What I m talking about is Israel s special favor. Listen to me. Israel is a God-ordained, God-called, God-protected, and Godblessed nation. Now, why did God call and ordain Israel; to make them a blessing alone? No. That through Israel all the world would be blessed. Put this Scripture down, Genesis chapter 12 and verse 3. God is speaking to Abraham. God is saying, Abraham, I m going to make a great nation of you, and here s what God said, And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee, Abraham, shall all the nations of the world be blessed. I stand here today blessed because of Israel. I hold in my hand a Jewish book. I serve a Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. And God has made Abraham a blessing to all the nations of the world. And I want to tell you, my dear friend, you are very foolish and on shaky and dangerous ground if you pronounce a curse upon Israel. I ll tell you something else. When you bless what God has blessed, when you love what God has loved, then God is going to bless you. Now put this verse down, Deuteronomy chapter 7 and verse 6. We re talking about Israel s special favor. Here it is, listen. God said to Israel, For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. If you would be wise, you would learn to bless and not to curse Israel. Our evangelical, Biblebelieving Christians need to pray for and love the nation Israel. Do you hear me? And our Jewish friends need to learn that the best friends they have on the face of this earth are Bible-believing Christians. And may the devil not muddy the water. There, we speak here of Israel s special favor. Now here s the second thing I want you learn. Not only do I want you to see Israel s special favor, but I want you to see Israel s satanic foe. Now let s continue to read. Read now beginning in verse 3 on through verse 5 of Revelation 12, And there appeared another wonder in Heaven; and, behold, a great red dragon. So you have a wonder woman and a dreadful dragon. Now this is all symbolism, but listen to me now. And there appeared a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his head. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of PAGE 3 Heaven and didst cast them to the earth; and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. Who is this dreadful dragon? Who is this ferocious one who is so strong and so cruel? It is Satan himself. We can see this as we compare Scripture to Scripture. The dragon in the book of the Revelation is the devil himself. He is red because that speaks of his blood lust. He s a murderer. He has heads. He has horns. He has crowns. These are all symbolism. Look again if you will here, that he has seven heads. Seven, you know, is the number of fullness or perfection. It speaks of his diabolical power and his wisdom. He has ten horns. Horns in the Bible are a prophecy of power, so when you put seven, the perfect number, and ten, the complete number, this speaks of the power of this great red dragon. It speaks of his earthly power. And we find out here that Satan is the ultimate rebel. He has a tail so long that that tail sweeps a third of the stars from the Heaven. Now what are these stars? These are not, ah, literal stars. This is symbolism. Stars are spoken of in the book of the Revelation as persons or personages. These are the angels that rebelled with Satan and fell when Satan fell. Satan led a rebellion in Heaven, and he said, I m too wise, I m too strong, I m too glorious, I m too mighty to be anything less than God. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. And no sooner had he unsheathed his sword of rebellion than the thunders of Jehovah s wrath rolled through Heaven. And Satan was judged, and he fell from Heaven, and when he fell, one third of the angels fell with him. Does that bother you? Well, let me tell you two-thirds didn t fall, and we have two angels for every demon, Amen? But Satan is a rebel. Satan fell. And he took these fallen angels, who have now become demons, and is bringing them to Hell. That is their destiny. That s what Jesus taught. Put down Matthew 25 verse 41. Jesus speaks of those who are going to be judged in the final day, Then shall He say unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, listen to this, prepared for the devil and his angels. God did not make Hell for you. God made Hell for the devil and the devil s angels. One-third of the stars of Heaven that fell are going to be brought down to the lowest Hell. Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. That tells me if you go to Hell, and you may, if you go to Hell, friend, you will be an intruder. It was not made for you. But if you chose to follow Satan, that will be your destiny. Now these fallen angels have fallen and have gone down to the very pit. But now, I want you to notice, while Satan has a war with Israel, his ultimate war is with the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice again in Revelation 12 verse 4, And his tail, the dragon s tail, drew the third part of the stars of Heaven and didst cast them to the earth; and the dragon stood before the woman, the woman is Israel now, which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. Who is her child? The Lord Jesus Christ. What does Satan want to do? He wants to engulf the Lord Jesus Christ, to destroy the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan s ultimate war is with PAGE 4 Jesus Christ Himself. This is why he moved Herod to murder all the little baby boys who were two and under. Why? He s trying to devour the child as soon as the child is born. But he could not stop the plan of God. Look now in Revelation 12 verse 5, And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God, unto His throne. Jesus Christ came. He was born, lived a perfect life, a sinless life, died upon the cross, was buried, walked out of that grave a victorious Savior, has ascended the high hills of glory. Living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified, freely forever, and one day, bless God, He s coming again, the Lord Jesus Christ. And so we find Satan as a foe. Satan is a foe to Israel. Now there re two things I want you to learn about Satan. Listen to me carefully. He is anti-christ and he is anti-semitic. Satan is anti-christ and he is anti-semitic. Satan hates Jesus and he hates the Jew. I love Jesus and I love the Jew. If for no other reason than the fact that Satan hates them. If you were to study the history of God s chosen people, you would find out that they have endured satanically inspired persecution and atrocities: under Pharaoh, under Nebuchadnezzar, under Alexander the Great, under Nero, the Roman emperor, under the Turks and the Ottoman Empire, under Russia, as they have been persecuted, with Arab nations today, sadly, by Christians. One of the blackest days in Christian history is what we call the Crusades. How we ought to hang our head in shame. And in modern times, anti-semitism has reached epidemic proportions. Think of Hitler and the death camps and the gas ovens. If the Holocaust doesn t move you to have compassion for Israel, I don t know what would. And think of the little nation today, a few million Jews surrounded by a few hundred million Arabs, most of them wishing that Israel were not there, would be happy to see them driven into the sea, would be happy to see the land of Israel no more. In most of the maps of these Arab nations, you don t even find Israel on the map because they do not recognize Israel. How would you like to live, going into a supermarket wondering if a bomb is about to go off? How would you like to live, getting on a bus and wondering if the next second there s going to be a horrible explosion? A man named Stanley Fish wrote an article and he quotes a Muslim mother after she d learned of her son s success in killing himself, blowing himself up and ten Jews. Let me quote you something that s heartbreaking. This mother said, Because I love my son, I encouraged him to die a martyr s death for the sake of Allah. Jihad is a religious obligation encumbered upon us, and we must carry it out. I sacrificed Mohammad, that s her son s name, Mohammad, as a part of my obligation. I asked Allah to give me ten Israelis for Mohammad, and Allah granted my request, and Mohammad made his dream come true, killing ten Israelis settlers and soldiers. Our God honored him even more in that there were many Israelis wounded. Here s a mother saying, I m so proud that my son was able to kill ten Israelis and injure PAGE 5 more. My heart aches for that mother and her distorted reason. Who inspired all of that? Who is it that has this hatred? It is a diabolical, dreadful dragon, and his name is Satan. And you listen to me. Satan is anti-christ and he is anti-semitic. You read it right here in the Word of God. I love Israel because Satan hates Israel. That s one of the reasons I love Israel. Whatever Satan loves, I hate and whatever Satan hates, I love. Now here s a third thing I want you to see. I want you to see not only Israel s special favor and Israel s satanic foe, but I want you to see Israel s spiritual fight. Israel s real fight is not against flesh and blood. Begin now in Revelation chapter 12 verses 6 through 12, And the woman fled into the wilderness. Now, who is the woman? Israel. Where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. How long is that? Three and a half years. And there was war in Heaven; and Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. As you study the Bible, you re going to find out that Michael is the archangel and his special job is to watch over Israel. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not, neither was their found place any more, neither was their place found any more in Heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan. Remember I told you that we d just read and we d find out that the dragon is Satan. Here it is. It is very clear, very plain, That old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. That s the third of the stars we re talking about. And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him, that is, the dragon, by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye Heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe unto the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Now in these verses that I ve just read to you, verses 9 through 12, we see two battles: one in Heaven and one on earth. First of all, there is a war in Heaven. And this war in Heaven on one side is this dreadful dragon. On the other side is Michael and his angels. And we see here the dragon as he s described as a dragon because he s fierce. He s also called a serpent because he s so subtle. He s also called the devil. The word devil means accuser because he s the accuser of the brethren. He s also, in this passage, called Satan. The word Satan means adversary. And so, on this one side you have the dragon with all of these aliases. On the other side you have Michael and his angels. And there is a war, and the war is to cast Satan out of Heaven. Well, you say, I thought Satan was already cast out of Heaven. But he still has access to Heaven. Here s a key verse. Job chapter 1 verse 6, There was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came PAGE 6 also among them. That s the story of when Satan came before God to accuse Job, Doth Job fear God for naught? Now, in the mysteries of God and in the providences of God and in the plans of God, up until this point that we re studying in history, Satan has been allowed access to Heaven, though he has been abolished and disenfranchised, still God allows him to come and accuse you, accuse me, accuse all of the saints before God. He is the accuser of the brethren. Did you know that Satan is watching you today for anything that you do? He s even watching to see if you re listening to your pastor this morning so that he could accuse you of being indolent and careless in the worship service. He ll accuse you of a lustful thought. He will accuse you of a bad temper. He will accuse you of selfishness. And we re guilty of these things. And so he comes as a prosecuting attorney, and he says, Look at that Adrian Rogers. He s supposed to be a pastor of that church down there. He s supposed to be this. Did You see what he said? Do You see what he thought? God, how can You honor him? Why don t You cast him into Hell? You claim to be so righteous. You claim to be so just. And Satan is like a prosecuting attorney, accusing the saints. Night and day, day and night, he accuses us. But thank God we have an attorney also, don t we? His name is Jesus. And we have an advocate. That s just a fancy name for an attorney. First John 2 verse 1 says, We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And Jesus says, Father, yes, Adrian failed. Yes, he sinned. But Lord, You see My wounded hands. You see My pierced feet. You see My riven side. For those sins I died and the blood of Jesus Christ, Your Son, cleanses from all sin. Hallelujah! Thank God for that. So there s a war in Heaven. First of all, Satan was cast out of Heaven when he sinned. But he now has access to Heaven. But Michael and his angels are saying, No more are you going to have access. And now you re going to be cast out, and, and you re going to be cast down to the earth. No more will you have access to Heaven, even to accuse the saints. Now, when I was studying and preparing this message, I thought to myself, You know, Satan s on his way down. First of all, he is cast out of his lofty mountain where he was the anointed cherub, ministering praise to God, but still given access. And now that limited access is taken from Satan, and he
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