The 2013 Pre-Trib Study Group Conference
Dr. Thomas Ice
The 2013 Pre-Trib Study Group Conference was our 22nd conference, which focused primarily on the modern state of Israel. Our meeting took place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel near the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. This year’s banquet featured international lawyer Dr. Jacques Gauthier of Toronto, Canada. This year we were pleased that both Dr. Tim and Beverly LaHaye were able to attend. The Lord blessed us with a good turnout and a splendid time of fellowship. Here is an overview of what took place at the conference.
Dr. Thomas Ice opened the conference by welcoming all to the conference and had the members introduce themselves, their ministry and where they were from. Dr. David Hocking of Hope for Today Ministry, which focuses upon God’s plan for Israel, gave a presentation entitled: “Why the Modern State of Israel is Related to End-Time Bible Prophecy.” Hocking passionately made his point by demonstrating that the Bible teaches an end-time restoration of the Jewish people to their land and that is what is taking place in our day.
Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, director of Ariel Ministries was our second presenter Monday morning. His paper was on “The Prophetic Promise of the Land of Israel in the Abrahamic Covenant.” Fruchtenbaum dealt with the clear promises of the Abrahamic Covenant given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants concerning the Promised Land—Israel. Fruchtenbaum demonstrated that the Abrahamic Covenant will not be fulfilled without the land component for the Jewish people.
Monday afternoon’s papers started with Charles Clough of Bible Framework Ministries who spoke about “The Prophetic Promise of the Land in the Land Covenant of Deuteronomy.” Clough noted that Deuteronomy 29 contains a reiteration of the land promises of the Abrahamic Covenant in a separate covenant given to Israel called “The Land of Israel Covenant.” This is significant because instead of reigning in the land promise from the Abrahamic Covenant, the Lord expands them through the Land of Israel Covenant as an important aspect of the Mosaic Law. Clough emphasized the unbreakable nature of God and His covenants.
Monday’s final paper was delivered by Dr. Randall Price on “The Prophetic Promise of the Land in the New Covenant.” Price’s lecture on the New Covenant completes the survey of the three major Old Testament covenants that deal with the land of Israel and the Jewish people. He demonstrated that when the nation comes to believe that Jesus is their Messiah during the tribulation, then the Lord will restore them to their Land and dwell with them under the provision of the New Covenant during Christ’s millennial reign from Jerusalem, never to be uprooted again. This has not yet taken place, thus, it is a future event, which makes today’s modern state of Israel prophetically significant. The modern state of Israel is being restored to their land as preparation for future events that are prophesied to unfold in the Lord’s timing.
The Monday evening banquet was an exciting and entertaining time for all attending. Music for the evening was provided by Dennis Agajanian a singer and guitarist from San Diego, California. Dr. Ice served as the master of ceremonies and Dr. Tim LaHaye spoke briefly concerning his love for the Jewish people and the land of Israel.
Dr. Jacques Paul Gauthier was our keynote speaker for the evening. His lecture was based upon research he performed for over 20 years at the University of Geneva, Switzerland in the area of international law for his PhD thesis on “Sovereignty Over the Old City of Jerusalem: A Study of the Historical, Religious, Political and Legal Aspects of the Question of the Old City” (2007). Dr. Gauthier amazed the crowd with a captivating presentation that demonstrated that the Jerusalem and all of the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people based upon international law. While the Arabs have human rights, they have no legal claim at all to the land based upon international law. While the Paris Peace Conference in 1920 divided up the defeated Ottoman Empire, they were not able to complete the task during that convocation. Later a conference was called by the League of Nations that meet in San Remo, Italy and the 52-member League issued the San Remo Resolution on April 24, 1920 in which the Jews were given the legal right to the land of Israel. This law was carried over to the United Nations in 1947. Thus, the Jews have been given legal right to their land within the international law arena.
Tuesday morning began with a devotional message from Dr. Stanley Toussaint, retired Dallas Seminary professor, as he spoke of the importance of hope in the life of a Christian. This hope is centered around our Lord’s return to take believers to live with Him for eternity.
The first presenter on Tuesday morning was Dr. David Reagan, who spoke on “The Evil of Replacement Theology: Its Origin, History and Contemporary Relevance.” This was an amazing lecture that was greatly appreciated by all who heard it. Reagan spoke of growing up in a Replacement Theology Church. He traced the rise of Replacement Theology in the Early Church, through the Middle Ages, and its impact on Protestantism. Reagan noted that it still has a great impact today throughout the world and often leads the church to oppose the modern nation of Israel.
Dr. William Watson is a history professor at Colorado Christian University. Watson, who has a PhD in British history has been studying the prophetic writings of the 1600’s and 1700’s and has found many who believed in a future for Israel and their restoration to their land. He documented the rise of restorationist views beginning in the post-Reformation era, especially among both British and American Puritans. The development of such views helped to prepare the way for the founding of the modern state of Israel.
Dr. Paul Wilkinson, a British scholar from the Manchester, England area who spoke about “The Palestinian Case for the Land of Israel.” Wilkinson documented what Palestinians believe is their case for possessing the land of Israel. In short, they have no legal right whatsoever to any part of the land of Israel, in spite of their boisterous claims to the contrary. Also, there are no biblical basis for any of their claims as well.
Dr. Robert Dean, pastor of West Houston Bible Church, presented a paper on “God’s Sovereign Use of Both Christians and Jews in the Rise and Success of Zionism.” In his presentation, he demonstrated from history how God coordinated the movement of the Jews returning to their land called Zionism among Gentile Christians and the Jews. He noted that while both generally worked independently of one another, each contributed to various aspects that when taken as a whole were necessary to achieve the outcome of the modern founding of the nation of Israel. Dean noted that only a Sovereign God in heaven could have coordinated these events in order to bring about the founding of modern Israel.
We had our traditional Tuesday evening session dealing with current events and Bible prophecy. The two presenters were Yoram Ettinger, a retired Israeli diplomat from Jerusalem and editor of “The Ettinger Report” (www.theettingerreport.com) and Bill Koenig a White House correspondent and head of World Watch International news agency (www.watch.org). Both speakers spoke about Israel, Koenig from the perspective of the Obama Administration and Ettinger from the Israeli perspective. Ettinger spoke of the growing capabilities of the Israeli nation and their increasing self-sufficiency. Koenig spoke about the growing abandonment of Israel by the Obama administration. It appears that Israel’s historic “best friend”, the United States is abandoning her and is preparing the way for all nations standing against Israel in the coming tribulation.
On Wednesday morning, Dr. Michael Rydelnik, professor of Jewish Studies at the Moody Bible Institute, spoke on the topic of “God’s Faithful Promise: The New Testament and the Land of Israel.” Rydelnik spoke about how the New Testament does not change or adjust the land promises to Israel in any way in the New Testament. In fact, he demonstrated that the New Testament expects Israel to be converted and to possess the land as demonstrated throughout the Book of Revelation. He showed that the New Testament does not teach any form of replacement theology as some insist.
Dr. Andy Woods,  pastor at Sugar Land Bible Church and professor at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston, Texas spoke on “Israel and the Kingdom of God.” Woods surveyed the entire biblical teaching on the kingdom and showed that the church is not the kingdom. Today believers are living in the church age, which is not a spiritual form of the kingdom of God. The kingdom has been postponed and will be implemented when Israel comes to faith in Christ during the tribulation leading up to the second coming and then Jesus will be personally present in Jerusalem reigning over the entire earth. The restored nation of Israel will be the instrument through which our Lord will rule over the entire earth in the millennial kingdom.
One can download a form to purchase a MP3 audio CD or DVD videos of the entire conference on the front page of our Pre-Trib website (www.pre-trib.org). Next year’s conference is scheduled for the Dallas/Fort Worth area, December 8–10, 2014, unless the rapture occurs first. Next year’s topic will focus on how God is setting the stage for the post rapture world known as the tribulation. We expect this to be an outstanding conference. Why don’t you start making plans now to join us? Maranatha!
 Fruchtenbaum’s website: www.ariel.org. His paper is at http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/the-prophetic-promise-of-the-land-of-israel-in-the-abrahamic-covenant.
 Clough’s website: http://www.bibleframework.com. His paper is at http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/the-prophetic-promise-of-the-land-in-the-land-covenant-of-deuteronomy.
 Agajanian’s website: www.dennisagajanian.com.
 Gauthier does not have a website. A similar lecture can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH5pD3yVH64&feature=youtu.be.
 Watson’s paper is at http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/a-history-of-christian-zionism-philo-semitism-and-the-expectation-of-israels-restoration.
 Wilkinson does not have a website. His presentation is at http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/the-palestinian-case-for-the-land-of-israel.
 Rydelnik’s website: www.michaelrydelnik.org. His paper is at http://www.pre-trib.org/data/pdf/Rydelnik-GodsFaithfulPromiseT.pdf.
 Wood’s website: www.spiritandtruth.org. Wood’s paper is at http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/israel-and-the-kingdom-of-god.