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Why We Should Support Israel – Blessings And Curses With Stephen Briggs – Why should we support Israel? What happens to nations who refuse to support Israel? is the Abrahamic Covenant still relevant in our day? Stephen Briggs joins us to answer these questions and more on today’s program. Tune in today!

Air Date: 04/25/2022

Guest: Stephen Briggs

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

 

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live. We’re taking on those hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. That’s how you rebuild the walls.

If you’re wondering what WallBuilders stands for it comes out of that scripture in Nehemiah that says arise and rebuild the walls that we may no longer be of reproach. If you think about those biblical days, if you didn’t have those outer walls, your city was run over. You got to rebuild the walls in order to rebuild the culture. In America, it’s the foundation that we’re rebuilding, it’s the foundations of principles of liberty, it’s the idea that our rights don’t come from government, they don’t come from our neighbors. They come from God; that our freedom comes from God; that this system that we enjoy is because we did it the biblical way.

And we’ve lost those first principles. We’ve lost those basic ideas. We stopped teaching it in the education system. And so we have to start teaching that to ourselves, to our family, to the people in our church, to our neighbors. That’s what we do here at WallBuilders. All week long, whether it’s interviews like we’ll have today or its Foundations of Freedom Thursday, where we take your questions or Good News Friday, where we talk about the results of infusing the principles of liberty into the culture.

All week, it’s essentially about how to restore the culture, rebuild the walls, bring back the principles of liberty, so that we can get the results in the culture that I think all of us want to see: prosperity, liberty, abundance, all of those things. It happens when you follow the biblical commands on how to treat your neighbors and how to form your society. So thanks for joining us here on WallBuilders Live to talk about that.

I’m Rick Green, a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And I’m here with David Barton. He’s our founder of WallBuilders. He’s America’s premier historian. Tim Barton is with us. He’s a national speaker, and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And we’re glad that you’re with us as well. Check out our website today at wallbuilderslive.com. That’s the place where you can make a contribution.

If you want to come alongside us, it takes finances, of course, to do something like this and to reach more people. So your donations definitely make a difference. And that’s also where you can grab some of those links and share the program with your friends and family. Get it out there. Be a force multiplier. It’s great information being shared on this program. Don’t just listen to it. Make sure that other people are listening as well and you are educating the people in your circle.

Alright, guys, later in the program, Stephen Briggs will be with us from the Hatikvah Film Trust. And this would be a great topic today. I mean, we talk often about the importance of supporting Israel. But this group has done some great documentaries really showing what happens when a nation supports Israel and what happens when a nation opposes Israel. We’ve obviously supported that here on this program for a long time because the Bible tells us to.

David:

Well, and that’s a key because we start with the premise that everything God tells you is for your good. And we also have another premise that whatever God says He means. And so if God tells you He’s going to do something, or they’re if you do something, here’s what’s going to happen to you, or that you shouldn’t do this, and it end good for you. In other words, if you obey Him, it ends good for you. So you can’t go to the Bible and start picking and choosing what you disagree with on that. Well, I know he means that over here, but not in this area. And he’s very clear on what happens if you mistreat Israel.

Tim:

Well, and let me be more specific, dad as you’re saying that if you obey what God said, He actually says there were some conditional consequences that would come with that, that He would bless those who bless you, He curse those that curse you, and so it’s not that everything in your life goes well, but that you wouldn’t be blessed on some level or you would even avoid a curse on some level based on what you were doing in this situation.

And so right now not to go too far on one side of the bandwagon where if you do what God says, nothing bad happens in your life ever. Well, of course, none of us believe that because we know we live in a fallen, sinful, broken world where there’s fallen, sinful, broken people and sin and evil does exist. It’s one of the reasons we’re a big fan of the US military because we know evil exists. And sometimes you need really strong, courageous, brave, fierce warriors to go deal with evil.

So we’re not coming from a negative perspective or ignorant perspective in that regard. But we recognize that in so many scenarios, God put some very strong language and really even some strong consequences or outflows of a covenant. And one of the things, dad, you pointed out this verse to me several years ago, that as much as we read the Bible, it’s interesting that sometimes in reading a Bible, different verses can stand out to you differently. And one of the things that you pointed out when God’s made this covenant with Abraham, and it says that David wrote in Psalms that the Lord, his covenant is everlasting, was one thing it says, but it says he will keep his covenant for a thousand generations.

And if you started doing the math going back to Abraham, would you actually can’t do from genealogy, you can you can try the genealogy of Abraham, when there’s Abraham, a covenant was made, you can drag it forward to present time. It is shockingly not that long ago in generations, we’re talking just a little over 100 since Abraham, and if he keeps his covenant at least for thousands generations, there’s a whole lot of covenant left on that covenant is what that means.

And this is something that again, we’d have we believe it to be true. And there are some people today who fall into an ideology, what’s known as replacement theology where that Christians now have replaced Jews, they’ve replaced Israel. And we, as Christians, are now God’s chosen people. And Israel is not God’s chosen people. And the apostle Paul, actually, that with us in Romans where he says that the Jews were the root, the foundation of this tree and Christians have been grafted in and we didn’t replace it. And actually, there’s places in scripture where it even talks about that God has kept some Jews blinded for a time that more Christians might come to the fold.

All that to say, this notion of replacement theology is not really a good biblical perspective; it’s definitely true that God has extended his promise from Jesus to every single individual on the face of the earth. And there are Messianic Jews. And then there are Orthodox Jews. And there are secular Jews. And there’s all kinds of people in the world, not just in the Jew category as well. You have Christians and non-Christians. You have Muslims and Buddhists. But God has extended His love and promise in this opportunity of the forgiveness of sins and salvation through Jesus, that’s been extended to everybody.

But just because there’s now this idea of Christians and Christ followers, it doesn’t mean that Jews no longer exists, and it also doesn’t mean that God decides that he will now no longer keep his covenant that He swore and promise to uphold and fulfill. And that’s where some of our position comes from, that we recognize that there are some very significant consequences and opportunities to be blessed or to be in a different camp of not being blessed and actually do with curses based on the way we treat the Jewish people, and certainly the nation of Israel.

David:

And I think one of the things that hurts Christians in general today, Americans particularly, is we really don’t have a good demonstration of what a covenant is. You know, we have contracts, and if you break the contract, you can get an attorney and sue somebody. But you can also get an attorney to get out of a contract. Back in biblical days, when you created a covenant, that went for as you pointed out, thousand generations. This is not something you can walk away from and God’s not going to walk away from. He gave His Word. He’s going to keep his word forever. We’re told in Numbers 23, that God’s not a man, He doesn’t lie. If He gave His Word, He’s going to keep it.

And so when God made a covenant, there are seven covenants we can point to in the Bible. One of them is the one we’re going to talk about today with Stephen Briggs and it’s the covenant that God made with Abraham. And God made that covenant and that covenant just does not go away. And we come to a point in America where that our covenants or our contracts don’t last long.

Marriage is a great example. We didn’t have no fault divorce until 1968. So prior to 1968, you had to show cause or fault to get a divorce. It was a much more difficult process. You didn’t just turn around and walk away from marriage because you’re upset or decided to do something different. And in many cases, it was called a bill of divorcement because back in the early days of America, it took a bill of the legislature for you to get a divorce. It was that difficult to process for many decades. So we just don’t have that understanding of marriage, or even of keeping our own word or keeping a covenant ourselves much less what God’s covenant is for His people. Well, now we can get out of virtually anything with the right attorneys.

And so trying to get the biblical mentality of what a covenant is, and how serious it is and how much God is standing behind that covenant. And by the way, this is what the pilgrims and Puritans had them when they came over. And when you take a John Winthrop, he said, look, we’re in a covenant with God; if we break that covenant, we’re going to be reproach and byword down to future generations. God expects us to live up to that covenant.

And so Israel is part of that covenant. And God told Abraham very clearly, Genesis 12:3, he says, look, Abraham, I’m going to make a nation out of you. And here’s the deal. My covenant with you is whoever blesses you and your people and your descendants I’m going to bless; and whoever opposes them, I’m going to oppose. That’s the covenant I make. God hadn’t backed up on that. He still got that in place today. And so the way that anybody treats Israel and Jews is very, very significant.

Tim:

One of the great things about this too is as much as we can say that this is what the Word of God says, as much as we can make this argument and there’ll be people who would argue who disagree with us, who are Christians who disagree with us, that’s fine, one of the great things we can do is we actually can look and see examples of nations who have been a really good friend of Israel or people who’ve done a really good job being a friend of Israel. When you see nations who haven’t and you actually can see some of the seemingly very direct correlation to their actions and behavior. And actually, that’s part of what this interview hopefully will reveal.

Rick:

Alright, stay with us, folks, Stephen Briggs, our special guests. We’ll be right back WallBuilders Live.

AMERICAN HISTORY

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. The Reverend James Caldwell was a famous minister during the American war for independence. His sermons taught liberty and God’s opposition to tyranny. The British hated him and tried to kill them. So for his own protection, he would actually take loaded pistols with him into the pulpit and lay them beside his Bible as he preached.

In the 1780 Battle of Springfield, the Americans ran out of wadding for their guns, which was like having no ammunition. Pastor Caldwell ran inside a nearby church and returned with an arm load of Watts hymnals, the pages of which would provide the much needed wadding. He took this great Bible based hymnal, raised it in the air and shouted to the troops, “Now put watts into them, boys.” This pastors ingenuity saved the day for the Americans.

For more information on pastor James Caldwell and other colonial patriots, go to wallbuilders.com.

Rick:

Welcome back. to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. Stephen Briggs is with us from the Hatikvah Film Trust. They’ve got a fourth installment on their documentaries, “Blessing, Curse or Coincidence?”, this one specifically about America and the Israel effect. Stephen, thanks for coming on. I appreciate your time today.

Stephen:

Thanks for having me.

Rick:

I guess, actually, before we talk about the new installment, backup and tell us about the entire series?

Stephen:

Sure. Sure. So we have begun a journey a number of years ago now looking at the statement in Genesis 12:3 where it says I will bless those who bless you and him who curses you I will curse; and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed. It’s known as the Abrahamic Covenant. Now, in Galatians 3 in verse 8, it’s references that, it says for scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, as you and I, Rick, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham saying in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed, which is a direct quote from Genesis 12. And so we have a proclamation of the gospel found in Genesis 12:3 which means that both the blessings and the cursings are for the purposes of salvation. And so we looked at them, we said, well, okay, if this is real, if this is true, then how does it affect nations and empires as well as us individually?

Now, there’s an interesting thing in the Hebrew that that we don’t see in the English. The two words for blessing are the same, the two words for curse are difference. So it’s I’ll bless those who bless you. But those who say nasty things, belittle you, undermine you, and if they use you as a curse word, I will crush, oppose or destroy, two different Hebrew words. And that has quite an impact on how that has been how it works throughout history because it’s something obviously that we don’t necessarily see. So the Greek Empire is no more. The Roman Empire is no more. The Ottoman Empire is no more. The British Empire is no more. There’re just a few examples. Where is America going to end up in light of Genesis 12:3?

Rick:

Oh, man, that’s a huge question right now and, of course, a big debate in America over how we treat these issues in the Middle East. And we’ve always been such a good friend to Israel until really the last 10, 12, 15 years, it’s been waning. And it’s a huge question to ask. And you guys go into the history and even point out some of the stories and things that I had no idea some of these things happened with Woodrow Wilson and with FDR and with Truman. So, very interesting stuff that you bring to light in this latest installment, it’s called “America and the Israel Effect”.

And Stephen, if we can side trail just for a second here because I have always thought of that verse nationally and not individually and I should be thinking of both. So when I help causes and pray for and I’m involved as an individual, that scripture applies to me just as much as what I’ve always pushed for the nation to bless Israel. Is that right?

Stephen:

Yeah. Well, there’s a number of responsibilities for believers that were to be involved in. I mean, in Romans 15 verse 27, it says, you’ve received all of them spiritual things, therefore you owe it to them in carnal or material things. And that’s in the New Testament. It’s not the Old Testament. It’s the New Testament where it states that. And so there is a responsibility on believers who have received of the blessings of diligence, if I can put it that way, of the Jewish people recording the scriptures accurately in order for us to have the Word of God we have today.

It’s vital for us as an understanding. And so within Isaiah alone, let alone in the other passages you’ve got a call to prayer, a call to comfort, a call to give, a call to go, and a call to invest, if you like, in that reality. And that’s tremendously exciting because it’s part of the purpose of God being outworked. You and I have a privileged part to play in that story.

Rick:

Powerful. Powerful. Okay, the website again had Hatikvahfilms.com. That’s spelled Hatikvahfilms.com. And of course, for all our Wallbuilders Live listeners, we always make it easy. We’ll have that link at our website today at wallbuilderslive.com. And then you had mentioned to me off air, Stephen, is also airing on Salem, you said?

Stephen:

Yes, Salemnow.com. You search for “America and the Israel Effect” and you can search for the preceding film which is called “Cyrus Nations? UK”, and that looks at Britain’s role in Israel’s restoration. Britain is one of the best examples of a nation that has been blessed when she has been fulfilling what God’s Word says with regard to the Jewish people and the Gospel going into the uttermost parts of the earth. And then when she has gone into decline, when she has betrayed them, Joel 3:1&2 says in the latter days when, not if when I restored the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem I’ll bring the nations into [inaudible 15:15] which in Hebrew means the value added by judges, not because of sin specifically, it’s just because they divided my land and scattered my people. And guess who was the chief proponent of that? Winston Churchill. He divided the land that was allotted to Israel.

Rick:

Wow! Wow! And that’s not it Cyrus Nations?

Stephen:

Yes, it’s in “Cyrus Nations? UK”. That’s the one that’s precedes America. And these in fact, there are two longer films: the “Destiny of Britain” and The Forsaken Promise that go into that in far greater detail if people want to do a deep dive into the history surrounding the British mandate period, and what led to it and the resulting consequences of it. But yeah, it depends how interested people are in history.

Rick:

Our listeners are very interested because we know how much there is to learn from history. In fact, we always start off our program talking about we want to look at things from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. So for our American audience, you got to be studying the Constitution and know how to be a good citizen today, study the Bible for how these things work and study history to not make the mistakes but also learn what works, what doesn’t work. And you’re presenting for us a very simple hey, God made it clear; if you do this, if you bless Israel, look at all these blessings that come to you. If you curse Israel, and you harm Israel, look at all these curses that they come upon you. This is one of those easy ones if we’ll pay attention and love history enough to study it.

Stephen:

Absolutely. And there’s a whole number of examples within scripture where it happens. So I’ll give one. Exodus 1, Pharaoh orders the Hebrew male babies to be drowned. They weren’t. But isn’t it interesting that Pharaoh’s men were drowned chasing the Israelites through the sea?

Rick:

That’s good.

Stephen:

There’s another one, Haman and Mordecai. Now I’m of the conviction that if Haman had set out, just to kill, Mordecai God would have allowed it. This is the book of Esther. But because he set out to destroy all the Jews across the 127 provinces of Shushan of Babylon, God had to step in because that was the seed bearer to the future restoration of Israel and obviously, the combination of Messiah coming as well.

And so, because he overstepped his reach, he was the one who ended up on the gallows. And an interesting observation that Haman, look at the Monday Ayatollahs name, Khomeini and Hamani are the two most recent ones, Haman, same route, there’s nothing new under the sun. What we see as an expression in Iranian law today actually stems right back to the book of Esther. Because Iranian Law never raises a law, it always overlays a law in their constitution.

Rick:

Oh, wow! Well, that then also takes us to a whole another issue of not just supporting or opposing Israel directly but supporting or opposing those who are so committed to the destruction of Israel, obviously, Iran in this case. When the United States turns around and releases money of Iran or does these ridiculous deals, gives them how many billions in cash, all the things that the Obama administration did and now Biden wants to do as well, I mean, how does that work? That’s sort of the same thing, right? I mean, you’re helping a nation that wants to destroy Israel?

Stephen:

Absolutely. Well, I find it absolutely astonishing that on the one side of the mouth, you’ve got the American administration condemning Russia and yet with the other side of the mouth, they’re allowing Russia to be the broker in the agreement between Iran and the US.

Rick:

Insane!

Stephen:

It doesn’t add up. It’s not consistent. So this film, “American and Israel Effect” coming back to, it really raises question, is the political and cultural shift in America today related sort of her rejection of typical values and principles? And what is the hope for her future? And I would say it comes firmly down to this question, which side of history will America be on when it comes to America’s relationship with Israel? Well, it’s come on the side of the Genesis 12:3 blessing or Genesis 12:3 curse?

Rick:

Exactly that’s the simple question, man and should weigh in to the way that we vote as citizens because we are responsible for who the leaders of America and therefore we are responsible for what they do with regard to Israel. Hatikvahfilms.com, we’re going to have a link today and WallBuilders Live to make it easy for you to get over there. Stephen Briggs. God bless you, man. Thank you so much for your time today in coming on WallBuilders Live.

Stephen:

Thank you for having me. God bless you,

Rick:

Alright, folks, stay with us. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

AMERICAN HISTORY

Hi, friends, this is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. And I know oftentimes we, parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.

And if you remember back to the Bible, to the book of Hebrews, it has the faith Hall of Fame where they outline the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans, we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity in our faith as well.

I want to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called The Courageous Leaders collection. And this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers. And there’s a second collection called Heroes of History. In this collection, you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman; friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at www.wallbuilders.com. That’s www.wallbuilders.com.

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. We’ll have a link to the website for Stephen Briggs and the organization. It’s a Hatikvahfilms.com. We’ll do a link because that is kind of hard to spell, right, if your country boy from Dripping Springs like me. Anyway, that link will be at WallBuilders Live today. You can get copies of the videos and watch them and get educated further on this issue.

David And Tim, so important for us to support politicians that will support Israel because that’s how we do it as a nation, a lot harder for us to do that as individuals. But first, we got to understand the principle itself and why this is a blessing or a curse depending on what we do.

David:

And that is a big thing. One of the things we did WallBuilders with American history is we keep going back to original intent. When we do a court case, we want to establish original intent. When we look at the Founding Fathers, meaning of Constitution, we want original intent. And this is one of the things that not only Stephen talked about, but we’ve learned this from Rabbi Lapin is that English is one of the worst languages in the world to understand the Hebrew language.

So as Stephen pointed out, he said, okay, when you hear Genesis 12:3, said that the two word for blessings are the same in Hebrew, but the two words curses are not the same in Hebrew. And so it’s not going to bless those you bless and curse those you curse. It’s if you curse, which means speak against Israel, then I will curse you, which means I will crush you.

And so getting that perspective that if you even speak against Israel and that doesn’t mean that you never say Israel does nothing wrong. Now, if you curse Israel, like Balaam tried to curse Israel in the Old Testament, like he tried to take Israel down, he encouraged them to do things that God would destroy him for, if you do that God’s going to crush you.

And so at that point, Genesis 12:3 needs to be seen as a literal verse, not a figurative verse. It’s not hypothetical. It’s real. And there’s actually a book that was done in the Bush administration, Bush 43, it’s called Eye to Eye. And it goes through and documents here’s where the recent presidents have done something against Israel and here’s the natural disaster that happened almost immediately afterwards. It’s a very interesting correlation book. And there’s dozens of examples of when America had bad policy toward Israel, something not good happened in America.

Tim:

Well, it’s interesting to if we look back thinking about some economic repercussions, recently, we did a program where we talked about tithe, and actually, there was this mega church in Dallas, and they had this kind of money back guarantee, so to speak, where they said, hey, try tithing; if it doesn’t work, we will turn all your money because we know God’s ways work if you do God’s ways.

Well, along the notion of doing God’s ways, and this idea that God would bless those that bless Israel, there was a church who I recently spoke with one of their leaders and financially, they were just doing incredibly well. And this was in the middle of COVID. And so I asked one of the leaders like, man, you guys are growing and God’s blessing. It’s so incredible. What are you doing? And one of the things the leader said is, well, as we look financially, we made a decision several years ago and this is where a lot of things actually change. We can financially document this. They said, “We’ve decided that we were going to take the first fruits of everything that came in, and we were going to give that to Israel. And so there’s ministries in Israel we support. There’s evangelical outreach, salvation-based ministries in Israel. There’s poor and needy ministries in Israel. There’s health care ministries in Israel.

But we take a portion of everything we get and the first thing we do is we send a check to Israel. And he said, literally, it’s kind of symbolic. But it’s the very first check of everything we do every month as we send a check to Israel. And he said this is where we started seeing a difference. And it’s very significant that so much of what God has called us to do actually is definable and measurable and the outcome and kind of the fruit it produces that you can look and go man, this is actually real stuff. When you can actually tangibly see when you’re doing things that God says to do, things go better in ways that sometimes we didn’t even understand it could have gone so much better in the certain ways.

But this is something that was interesting to the church said, man, one of the first things we did was we decided we want to give our first fruits Israel because we know it’s important for us as a church. And as Christians to support Israel, this is certainly something I think that would fall in line with what was highlighted in this interview, is that there’s so many good examples of not just from scripture, but from actual life and more present day, that we can look and see actual examples from our lifetime of nations that have supported Israel and had some positive outcome, blessings, consequences; and nations that have opposed Israel that dealt with those negative consequences and repercussions. These are real deal things.

And when the Word of God says something, dad, you mentioned from the beginning, we believe what the Word of God says to be true and we believe that God keeps His promises. And so these were things as Christians, we want to make sure that then we see what the Word of God says and we do what the Word of God says, knowing that God is a faithful God to keep His promises even to 1000 generations.

Rick:

Alright, folks, thanks for listening today. Be sure to visit the website wallbuilderslive.com, lots more great information for you there. A little tongue tied today. Anyway, check out wallbuilderslive.com and be sure and listen to those programs for yourself, but also share them with your friends and family. I just think being a force multiplier, as we said, at the top of the program is such an important piece in terms of turning the nation around. We’re not going to be able to do this on our own. We’ve got to rally people.

And I’m telling you, I promise you, I hear the testimonials every day, if you will raise the banner, people will rally. I see this with our Constitution coaches all the time. We now have 11,000 Constitution coaches around the country that are teaching these principles by simply sharing the videos, going through one of our Constitution courses, and then letting people share together, sharpen each other’s countenance, it’s a great way to be involved. If you want to be a part of that and host a biblical citizenship class, you can go to wallbuilders.com today and get the DVDs and the workbooks. You can go to biblicalcitizens.com today and sign up for some of the digital tools that we make available to you. But just get engaged. Start looking for ways to make a difference and impact the world around you.

God bless you and thanks for listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.