America, Be Warned!
God's word warns that the Jewish nation of Isreal and the true Christian church are His anointed. In the Bible God's word says: "Touch Not My Anointed"
by David Wilkerson, Pastof of Times Square Church in New York City
Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm" (Psalm 105:15). This brief verse contains a powerful warning from our Lord. And he means every word of it: woe to any nation or individual who lays a hand on those who are chosen of God. And woe to anyone who does harm to his prophets.
This severe warning has a dual application. First, the "anointed" and "prophets" here refer to natural Israel, God's people of the Old Testament. Yet God's warning not to harm his chosen continues to apply today. It also covers his spiritual Israel, that is, His church.
We mainly think of this warning in reference to Old Testament prophets or present-day ministers who stand for truth. It appears to be a declaration of God's protection over his servants. But the context of the warning reveals a further meaning. It also has to do with a covenant God made with Abraham. In the covenant, God promised to give Abraham title to the land of Canaan:
"He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham?and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: when they were but a few men in number ? when they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; he suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm" (Psalm 105:8-15).
Psalm 78 also refers to this land covenant God made with Abraham: "He brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased" (78:54). We're told God bought Canaan with his own hand. Then "he cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents" (78:55).
The Lord himself marked the boundaries for His people's land. He established "an inheritance by line," setting the borders "from Jordan to the sea." In other words, God drew the map. It was as if He stood on a mountain and measured out Canaan's boundaries by His Spirit, saying, "So many miles north, so many miles south, so many east and west."
In short, the Lord gave his people a permanent land grant, through his covenant with Abraham. And the Israelites were led into this inheritance by Moses. By God's command, they drove out all the wicked nations occupying the land. And as they settled into their land of promise, God made a distinction between them and other nations. They became known as his "chosen," a consecrated, anointed people. The Lord allowed "no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm" (105:14-15).
Moses, God's prophet, stated, "The Most High?set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel" (Deuteronomy 32:8). This meant the boundaries God set for his people were to be the seat of his church. And out of this Old Testament nation would come his New Testament church.
When God issued his warning, he put humankind on notice: "I chose these people to be my portion. And I anointed them to be separated unto me. From that time forward, I have never allowed any person or nation to do them harm."
You may object, "But the Jews have suffered horribly throughout history. What about Hitler and the Holocaust?" Yes, Israel has suffered great harm. But those who harmed them always suffered dire consequences. God's warning tells us, "When you touch my anointed, you do so at great peril. It will cost you everything."
Germany paid a terrible price for its evil. Not only was that nation bombed and its cities razed, but the people suffered hardship for decades. From Germany's history, I hear God's Word ring loudly: "Touch not mine anointed."
Indeed, since the time of Abraham, the whole world has been subject to God's warning: "Don't harm my people, Israel. And don't touch or remove their borders, which I myself measured out for them." It doesn't matter what the United States politics may be, or what we may think of Israel. God will judge any people who touch that nation or its borders. If any country dares to, it does so at the cost of its own future.
America has been Israel's best friend and protector since it became a nation again in 1948. Like every other country, we have to heed God's warning not to harm his people. Yet our President's declaration regarding Israel frightens me.
Since the September 11 attacks, America has led the effort to build a coalition of nations against the terrorists. The coalition wants to include Arab nations, but many are sworn enemies of Israel. Now, as a concession for Arab support, the U.S. President is seeking the establishment of a Palestinian state.
The proposed Palestinian state would be carved out of territory that God assigned to Israel by covenant. Also, the Palestinians are demanding that a portion of Jerusalem be given to them for their capitol. Such a move would go directly against God's warning. It would harm his chosen by altering their borders. And it would mock Moses, God's prophet, who stated, "The Most High gave us this land."
Please don't think I am delving into politics. As a watchman of God, I am called to preach his Word. Moreover, I'm not against a Palestinian state. Yet I believe if there is such a state, it should be carved out of Jordan rather than Israel. Scripture makes it clear: Israel's borders are a spiritual matter, not just a political one.
Right now, a grudge against Israel is developing worldwide. The Palestinian cause is gaining greater support. Israel's leaders are feeling abandoned. The Prime Minister spoke for most Israelis when he said, "We've been betrayed. If we have to, we'll stand alone against our neighbors. But we know God will be with us."
Clearly, our President's staff includes Arab sympathizers. They may not realize it, but they're giving him dangerous advice. Such a move can only bring a curse upon America. For years, our nation has been greatly blessed in part because of God's promise to Abraham: "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee" (Genesis 12:3). But Scripture makes it clear: "They shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake" (Isaiah 54:15). God is telling us, "If any nations gather together in a cause that brings harm to Israel, it won't be by my direction." The Lord will have nothing to do with any such cause.
Suppose our President seeks advice about Israel's borders from certain Christian leaders or theologians. I believe they would tell him, "The Lord gave up on Israel in the Old Testament. Since then, the Jews have no longer been His chosen people. They rejected the covenant, so God gave them over to a curse. The only Israel today is the spiritual Zion, the church of Jesus Christ. Christians are His anointed ones now."
These scholars base their theology on several Bible passages. At one point, God said Israel's sin was beyond cure: "Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous" (Jeremiah 30:12). He also declared, "For the wickedness of their doing I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more?my God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto Him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations: (Hosea 9:15-17). "The Lord?will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel ? ye are not my people, and I will not be your God" (1:4,9).
According to these passages, God apparently disowned His chosen people. Yet, later in Hosea we read, "My people are bent on backsliding from me ? how shall I give thee up, Ephraim? ?mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together. I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee?I will heal their backsliding, I will love him: I am like a green fir tree. From Me is their fruit found" (11:7-9, 14:4,8).
This passage makes it clear God kept His covenant with natural Israel. And that includes His land contract with them. The Lord also said He would reserve Israel until His return, when He sets His feet on the Mount of Olives (see Zechariah 14:4). When He does so, Israel will be in control of that land.
If you still think God has given up on Israel, consider the apostle Paul's words: "Hath God cast away His people?" God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away His people which he foreknew""(Romans 11:1-2). Paul is clearly speaking of natural Israel.
If America harms Israel in any way, even by moving its borders, God will become our enemy. And our nation will end up in utter confusion. I pray not a single inch of Israel's ground is given away. Zechariah predicted Jerusalem will be split in half. But when that happens, "Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations" (Zechariah 14:3).
Isaiah calls God's church "the Zion of the Holy One." By using this phrase, the prophet links Zion to Christ, the redeemer. In short, Zion represents the body of Christ, the heavenly Jerusalem, the called-out, separated church in these last days.
I ask you, what is God's main concern in the world today? What is he focused on in these times? Our Lord's one great concern and focus is Zion, his church. I'm not referring to the backslidden, institutional church. I'm speaking of the invisible body of Christ, made up of anointed, consecrated believers.
You may wonder, "But isn't God concerned with the war on terrorism? Doesn't He care about America's economy and future?" Yes, He's concerned, but only as these things affect His church. He focuses on such matters only as they influence His eternal plans for His people.
"The nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing...all nations before Him are as nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity" (Isaiah 40:15, 17). Think of it; England is an island. Manhattan is an island. According to Isaiah, both are small things in God's sight. In fact, all nations, including America, are less than nothing in the Lord's eyes. God is telling us, in essence, "My eternal concern is for a lost world. And my focus is how my church will reach the lost."
Balaam prophesied, "(God's) people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations" (Numbers 23:9). This tells us God's children comprise a different kind of nation, a separated people. We aren't numbered among the nations of the world. In fact, the various members of Christ's body make up a spiritual nation within each nation. God is emphasizing to us, "Your concern isn't to be merely what's going on in the world. It should be to know my eternal purposes, and to fulfill them on earth."
The fact is, God also blesses a nation or brings it down according to how it deals with his church. Think about it: his only concern with Egypt under Pharaoh was how that nation treated his chosen. God devastated the Egyptians and drowned their army because they harmed his people. Likewise, God's only concern with Babylon had to do with its threat to Israel's extinction during Esther's time. When Haman plotted against the Jews, God exposed him and removed him from the scene.
Note also that when God destroyed Babylon, it wasn't because of their idolatry, sensuality or violence alone. It was because the Babylonians had touched his chosen. They had taken Israel's consecrated vessels of worship and drunk from them. As a result, the world's mightiest empire was wiped out. The moment the Babylonians encroached on God's interests, he destroyed them.
Our Lord will maintain a quarrel with every nation of the world in order to save and prosper his holy Zion. He'll bring down whole empires just by stretching out his hand of judgement. He cast down the Roman Empire because it tried to annihilate his church through ten vicious persecutions. Possibly the worst campaign was under the Emperor Diocletian. This evil man pursued and killed Christians ferociously. Yet, even as he did, their numbers grew larger. It eventually drove Diocletian insane. He ended up abdicating leadership over Rome because he went mad trying to wipe out Christ's cause.
In Genesis 20, God judged the pagan king Abimelech because he poised himself to touch God's anointed. Abimelech had taken Sarah, Abraham's wife, into his harem. But God came to him in a dream, telling him, "You're a dead man." God's sole interest with Abimelech was to preserve His chosen, Sarah. He commanded the king, "Restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet?and if thou restore not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine" (Genesis 20:7).
All of these examples provide a clear picture of God's concern over his chosen. He will oppose anyone who harms Israel or touches his church.
Our nation has been traumatized by terrorists. The Twin Towers have been obliterated, the Pentagon attacked. And we wonder, "What is God's concern in all of this?" Our Lord grieves over the death of the innocent. His heart is set on comforting and aiding widows and the fatherless. Scripture says he has destroyed kingdoms for neglecting such helpless ones.
Yet God's ultimate concern over these calamities is how they touch his church. He won't allow anything to sidetrack his eternal purposes for his people. He determined his plan for his chosen from the foundation of the world, and nothing can interfere with it. No terrorist, religion or nation can hinder a single iota of God's purposes for his people. Everything continues on his divine schedule.
Jesus was born right on time. He arrived at the exact hour God had set in eternity, and no king, government or religious leader could stop it. Jesus was also crucified and resurrected according to God's divine schedule. Nothing could hinder the Lord's eternal plan to save the world through the sacrifice of his son.
Finally, just before he ascended to the Father, Jesus gave his church marching orders. He told us to go into all the world to preach, evangelize, make disciples, heal, cast out demons. After 2,000 years, his truth is still marching on. God's anointed are moving ever forward. And all who touch or harm them are being removed.
When the Twin Towers fell, Osama bin Laden's terrorists danced and rejoiced. And as bombs fell on Afghanistan, bin Laden warned America: "The terror you witnessed is only the beginning. Now is the time for Muslims around the world to prove their faith." With that declaration, the jihad, or holy war, on America began.
Meanwhile, officials from around the world - prime ministers, premiers, ambassadors - gathered with America's leaders at Ground Zero, at the Twin Towers. They could only shake their heads in disbelief at the devastation and carnage. Soon messages were pouring in from all over the globe, asking, "What will the impact on America be? How long will it last? Will New York ever be what it once was?"
A strikingly similar scene occurs in Isaiah 14. Judah had just been attacked by the Assyrians, shaking the capital city, Jerusalem: "The Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the Lord" (2 Chronicles 28:19). At the same time, Palestina (or Palestine) had attacked south Judah, capturing at least five cities and wreaking destruction.
As Judah was brought low, the Palestinians began to shout and sing. But God sent Isaiah to tell them, "Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent. And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety. Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times" (Isaiah 14:29-31).
God was foretelling the end of those who rejoiced over the chastening of his people. He warned, "You'd better stop shouting. Very soon, I'll cause Judah to dwell in safety. And I will totally obliterate you. I'm going to pull up your roots and kill off your kind with a famine."
Jerusalem was a crown city at this time. Its devastation startled the surrounding nations. Messengers were sent with questions concerning Judah's health and future: "How will this change your country? And why would your God permit the destruction of his own city? Will Jerusalem ever rise from the ashes to recover?"
Soon Isaiah was visited by Judah's officials and religious leaders. They pleaded, "What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation?" (14:32). Isaiah answered, "that the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of His people shall trust in it". In other words, "Tell the messengers: Almighty God founded this church, his chosen. And the gates of hell have not prevailed against it."
I hear the Lord speaking this same message today. He's saying, "Tell all terrorists that the church founded on Christ the Rock is alive and well. All they've done is arouse a sleeping giant. This giant isn't just the army of America. It is my church, my chosen. My army of servants is taking up arms right now. And they're coming against the enemy with weapons he knows nothing of."
What are these weapons? They're not bombs, missiles, chemicals, guns. The weapons we've been given are mightier than all of these. And they're guaranteed to pull down every stronghold. We knew Osama bin Laden and his terrorists couldn't hide from our special arms.
Of course, I'm speaking of the power of prayer and faith. I don't mean the superficial prayers of some who turned to God in the weeks following the attacks. They've gone back to their prayerless, ineffective lives. Nor do I mean the prayers of ministers who deny Christ's divinity and mock his resurrection. Their prayers aren't even heard.
No, God has set aside a holy remnant for himself. And they recognized the attacks on September 11 as a wake-up call. They're wise virgins, devoted believers who have been trimming their lamps and pumping oil. And right now, they're bombarding heaven with prayer.
If those terrorists only knew what they've awakened. The church of Jesus Christ is praying as it never has. Zion had taken out its heavy artillery and is waging war on its knees. And all across America, Christian teens are signing up for battle. They're telling their parents and pastors, "I want to offer myself as a missionary to a Muslim country, to preach Jesus."
Right now, many evangelical ministers are wondering. "What can we tell our people when they ask what will happen to our nation? What if there are more terrorist attacks?" Make no mistake, our country has been sorely shaken. And there will be more terrorism ahead. But at our very core, God has given us something unshakable to stand on: Jesus Christ had founded his church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
God anointed his Son, Jesus. And those who are in Christ are also anointed. The word anointed means "consecrated to Christ." In short, we are the peculiar, separated ones who make up his body. We've already read that Jesus instructed his anointed ones to take the gospel to every nation. That is God's determined counsel. And no person or nation dare attempt to hinder his eternal purposes.
Yet we know the Koran teaches Muslims to kill Christians if they try to win them to Christ. Therefore, I have a sincere question for the mullahs and ayatollahs of the Taliban: Why haven't you trained missionaries instead of terrorist, and sent them to America and other nations with Christian populations? If your religion is superior, why haven't you tried to convert us? What are you so afraid of that you have to blow us up? Is your message so empty and weak that you have to terrorize people to accept it?
Let Islam learn from Communism. The mighty Soviet Union made war against the church of Jesus Christ. It declared the U.S.S.R. a godless nation and taught atheism in its schools. It burned down churches and outlawed Bibles. And it terrorized God's chosen, jailing ministers and torturing believers.
How did God respond? He smashed the Iron Curtain, not only in Russia but throughout Europe. God declared, "I founded this church. And I won't allow you to touch my chosen. You're finished. I'm going to bring you down." The Lord tramped down Communism completely, breaking up the mighty Soviet empire. He divided its states, tossed its rulers aside and bankrupted the economy. Russia was humbled, because it touched God's anointed seed and harmed his prophets.
What was the ultimate result? God has now poured countless ministries and missionaries into Russia. And I believe the same thing will happen in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Lord is going to open doors that no man could open before. Nothing can hinder his eternal purposes.
But America must also take a lesson from the Soviet Union. We can't continue to push God out of our society. Already Bibles have been outlawed in classrooms and Christian symbols removed from public places. Indeed, the time may be coming when it's no longer lawful to proselytize or convert people.
However, we're not to fret or be concerned. Almighty God founded his church. And any nation that outlaws Him is less than nothing in his eyes. The Lord may bring chaos to that nation, but in such times a society will reopen its doors to the gospel. Schools will cry for help, and even government officials will ask for spiritual aid. Once again, God's servants will be able to preach his truth, anywhere and anytime.
"Cry and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee?the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it" (Isaiah 12:6, 14:32). God's church may appear poor and insignificant. There seems to be so few genuine saints scattered over the earth. And as Paul says, there aren't' many rich or noble. But the little flock of Christ will abide, trusting in his Word: "I founded this church. And my church will prevail."
No terrorist, religion or nation can stand up against the cross of Jesus. He has warned the whole world, "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm" (Psalm 105:15).
Reprinted by permission, World Challenge, Inc. Publications by David Wilkerson