Jentezen Franklin - The Blessing of Israel
Welcome to a new edition of Kingdom Connection. We're so glad that you're here today. I'm joining you from the beautiful city of Jerusalem, and you can see behind me some of the most important real estate on planet Earth. So much of our Bible comes from this property right behind me that you can see so clearly, from Calvary to the Temple Mount, to the Mount of Olives, where Jesus is going to return someday according to the Book of Zechariah.
And, I believe today's message is one that is vital that you need to hear, and I really want to encourage you to lean in. The Bible said in Deuteronomy 7:6 that you and I have a connection to the Jewish people and to the land of Israel that we need to be aware of. This is what He said to Moses. He said, "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you," listen to these words, "to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the people of the earth".
And we know that that is natural Israel, but you and I, through Jesus Christ, have been engrafted in, and we are spiritual Israel, so hear these words through that filter also. Then He goes on to say a powerful, one of my favorite verses, actually. In Deuteronomy 7:7, He says, "For the Lord did not set His love on you or choose you because you were more in number," or you were the smartest, or you were the strongest, or you were the most talented. You know what He's saying? He said, "But He chose you, for you were the least of all the people".
God doesn't love us because we're valuable, we're valuable because God loves us, and that's what He said to Israel. He said you were the smallest, you were the least likely to succeed, but I set my love on you, I set my favor on you, I set my grace on you, and I have raised you. And, I want to talk to you today because we need to understand the importance of our connection to the nation of Israel. I'm so concerned when I watch the news. It's like a whole generation, in America particularly, is being disconnected from their Jewish roots, disconnected from the fact that our Bible is a Jewish Bible, a book that came from this culture and this part of the world. Our Messiah is a Jewish Messiah.
And I want to teach you some things today, and I pray that God'll make this real. A real simple teaching today, but listen, if you'll lean in and hear what I'm saying, there's a blessing connected to it concerning your life and your home. First of all, I want to say that Israel, meaning the people of Israel - not just the land of Israel, but the people of Israel, are special people. It's not just merely the land of Israel, but the people of Israel that God says, "I have chosen". God sovereignly chose Israel, and God sovereignly chose the Jewish people. Israel is a nation that is God-created, God-decreed, God-loved, God-called, God-elected, and listen, it's God-protected. And when you understand that, and He said in Genesis 12:3, "I will bless those that bless you, Israel. I will curse those that curse you, and all nations will be blessed by you".
That's a powerful thing. Israel is a special people, and God has chosen this nation for His glory. And He said, "I have chosen this nation and this people for My good". A special people, secondly, with a special purpose. God made one covenant with one man named Abraham, and then He said I'm going to make a better covenant, a new covenant, but it will be connected to that old covenant, and it'll come through one man, Jesus Christ. And Israel is a special people - the Jewish people are special people with a special purpose.
Thirdly, I want to say this, that Israel is under special protection according to the Word of God. The Jehovah of the armies of heaven guards this chosen nation and these chosen people. Jeremiah 31 says this, that God says, "To destroy the Jews and the nation of Israel, you will have to destroy the power that regulates the sun, the moon, and the stars". You could no more destroy Israel than you could destroy the entire universe. This is a special people, it's a special place, and it has a special protection on it. Michael, the Archangel, guards this nation. There's no real reason why they are existing, except the hand of God has protected this nation in a mighty way.
And why does that matter? Because the Lord spoke to me before I came on this trip here, and I wrote down what He said to me deep in my spirit. He said, "When you bless what God has blessed, God is going to bless you". That's what He told me in my soul, because I said, "Lord, I feel such a love for Israel, and I feel such a love for the Jewish people". And this really, I've always loved this. I've been coming for almost 30 years to Israel and I've always loved the nation, and loved the Holy Land, and loved the Jewish people. But, just in the last five years, something has shifted in my heart. Something has shifted into my spirit and I've tried to get my mind around it just coming over here on the airplane.
Why do I feel such a connection for such a time as this? And that's when the Lord gave me that little line. He said, listen, I want to say it again, and it's from Genesis 12:3, "I will bless those that bless you". And the Lord said, "When you bless what God has blessed, God is going to bless you". When you favor what God favors, God is going to favor you. Don't ever forget that. It's one of the most important lessons. If you want God's blessing and favor on your life, bless what God has blessed and God will bless you. Favor what God has favored, and God's favor will come on you.
So, Israel is a special people, it has a special purpose, it's operating and existing under a special protection. So are you. You are special to God. He didn't choose you because you were great. He didn't choose you because He didn't have others more talented, more gifted, more qualified. He chose you because He set his love on you. Not only are you special to God, He loves you so much. You don't feel important. If I were to come and put this microphone in your face and say, "Do you really feel like you're important, " many of you would say, "I don't feel very important at all".
But, God said I didn't choose you because you were the best, I chose you because I love you. And you don't have to qualify. He qualifies you. You're valuable because He loves you. You're not valuable because of what you've done, or what you achieve, or what you have. You're valuable because He set His love on you. You have a special purpose, just like Israel. You have a special purpose. God has His hand on your family. Your family is not like the other families in your neighborhood. You belong to God. That family belongs to God. That business that you own has a special purpose. That job that you work, that life that you have - it has purpose on it.
God's going to be glorified in your life. God's going to be glorified in your family, in your children, in your business. The work of your hands are going to bring glory to Jesus Christ, just like this nation is bringing glory to Jesus Christ. And I want to just proclaim it in a new year that's coming, in all that you may face, I've got news for you. You're under a divine protection, just like Israel. You have special protection. The Bible said in Isaiah that "No weapon formed will prosper," and you know, that's almost one of those verses that we hear so much that it just goes in one ear and out the other. But He said it will be formed, but I won't let it go but so far.
I promise you today that we serve a God who knows how to protect His own. He can protect your reputation. He can protect you and hold things back. He can cause things that should happen to not happen, because He's a God of protection. Angels are coming with help. Angels are protecting your babies, your family, your children, your marriage. Just believe it today, because what God's doing for natural Israel - special people, special purpose, special protection - He's doing for you.
Can I throw one more at you? This is a special place. I'm in Jerusalem and I'm standing here, and every time I come, I think, "Well, you know, it won't have the magic, so to speak. It won't affect me like it always affects me". And every time I come to this place, especially, you know, when I just turn my mind to Calvary and I remember what Jesus did, I say to myself, "This really is". Every time I set my eyes, and you know, it's one thing to see it through a TV screen, but when you come to the Holy Land, you will say these words: this is a special place. This is unlike...
I've been all over the world. I have preached in Sydney, Australia, and Mexico, and South America, and Europe, and anywhere you can imagine, Africa. I've been all over the world. I can truly say there is no place like this place that affects me spiritually, like Israel. It's a special place. Think about it. Why? Why do you say it's a special place, Pastor? God has put His people in a special place. God took the whole earth, and He found one land out of all, one piece of real estate out of all the big old planet. He found one spot and He said, I choose that land and I call that, listen, He uses these words, "My Holy Land". And then, He took one city out of that land and He said, "I call that My Holy City".
I'm standing in it, and it's overwhelming. Out of all of the places, God said I call that My Holy Land. That's My nation. I call that My Holy City. And then, God took one hill - you're looking at it. He said, I call that hill, and He uses these words scripturally, "My Holy Hill". Praise God! My Holy Land, My Holy City, My Holy Hill. And there, on that Holy Hill, is where Abraham offered Isaac, a beautiful picture of Calvary. The Bible said that the wood was laid on the son's back, Isaac, and Isaac carried the wood for the sacrifice up the mountain.
The father knew, for three days it took him to climb the mountain, and the Bible said the father in his mind knew for three days that his son, in his mind, he was as good as dead. What a picture of Jesus, carrying the cross. What a picture of the Father, seeing His Son in the grave, dead, for three days. The father then took that son and laid him on the altar. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever", you, me, "who would believe in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life".
Praise God, this is a special place. That's where it happened, the same hill that Abraham offered Isaac. And the Bible said when Abraham raised the knife, that an angel came and stopped him, but our heavenly Father, He didn't stay the hand. He watched His Son bleed and die on that cross for my sins and your sins. That hill is where the temple was built. That hill is where Jesus was crucified, and God said that is My Holy Hill. That's the most important spot on planet Earth, the Temple Mount behind me.
Now, I want to say three things about this Holy Land, this holy place. Number one, Israel will never give up Jerusalem. They're a special people with a special purpose. They have special protection, and this is a special land. And Israel, according to the Bible, will never give up the city of Jerusalem.
Secondly, Israel will be invaded by their enemies from the north, according to Ezekiel 38, and there is coming a world leader who will negotiate a deceitful peace treaty with Israel, according to Daniel 8 and Daniel 9. But ultimately, Jesus Christ will bring victory. He will bring revival to this nation unlike anything they have ever seen before. There's coming a revival to this nation and to the nations of the world, and I believe that we're living in one of the most incredible times in human history.
And just when it looks like this nation will be overran by its enemies, there will come the vindication of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the antichrist, upon the powers of darkness, the nations that turn their back against God. We must stand with Israel, because God will bless those who bless what He blesses. God will favor those who favor what He favors. And America must favor and bless Israel. We must have our people understand that in the body of Christ.
So today, I want to encourage you, that the Bible teaches that it's all gonna come down to the fact that God has a plan for Jerusalem and for the nation of Israel, and that plan is centered around - God's plan is centered around Jerusalem and it's centered around Jesus Christ being King over all the earth, and ruling and reigning from this spot called Jerusalem. What an amazing place! What an amazing day!
And listen, you're either going to follow the Lamb, which is Jesus Christ, that takes away our sins, or you're going to end up, according to Revelation 12, following the beast. Which one are you going to follow, the beast, the antichrist? All you've got to do is look around and see - Jesus is coming again. And I still believe it. I still believe the trumpet is going to sound. I still believe that God has a plan, and it's centered around Jerusalem and it's centered around Jesus, and He's coming back for His people. Are you ready? If you're not, then pray this prayer with me today in closing, right where you're sitting, right where you're watching this program. Say:
Lord Jesus, forgive me and cleanse me. I receive You as my Lord and Savior today. In Jesus' mighty name.
You know, I hear these prayer towers going off, but I want to proclaim right in the middle of it - "Every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess, Jesus Christ is Lord," and He's the Lamb of God that takes away your sins. You're a special person to God. You have a special purpose. You have special protection. And one day, He's going to take you to a special place called New Jerusalem, and you're going to spend eternity with Him. If you don't know Him as your Savior and you prayed that prayer with me, just say, "Jesus, be Lord of my life". Pick up the phone. Dial the number on the screen. We want to hear from you. Thank you.