Pastor Cornelius Olive stands strongly with Israel in war with Hamas

Pastor Cornelius Olive plays the Q-Cord, in March 2020, as the United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn hosts a very successful Prayer Breakfast to aid SVG health institutions.
Photo by Nelson A. King

Stating that God referred to Israel as “His people” (Deut. 7:6), His “treasured possession” (Psalm 135:4) and even the “apple of His eye” (Zech. 2:8), Pastor Cornelius Olive says that he stands strongly with Israel in the six-month-old war with Hamas.

“From Deut. 7:6-10, we know that God did not chose Israel because they were strong or mighty,” Pastor Olive, the Vincentian-born pastor of Trinity Apostolic Church, Inc. on Pacific Street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life exclusively.

“In fact, God chose Israel when they were small and weak, a people without land,” added the founder of Trinity Apostolic Church, Inc. “Israel belongs to God Himself. As creator of Heaven and earth (Gen. 1:1), God had the right of ownership to give the land to whomever He chose. God gave the title deed for the land of Israel to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their descendants ‘forever’ (Gen.15:18; 17:2-8).”

Pastor Olive said Ishmael, the father of Arabs, was excluded from the land in Gen. 17:19-21.

Therefore, he said, modern-day Palestinians have “no biblical mandate to own the land.”

Pastor Olive said the boundaries of the state of Israel are recorded in scripture (Num. 34: 2-15; Josh.11:16-23; 13: 1-22), and are further described in Ezek. 47:13-28 and all of chapter 48.

“When God established the nations of the world, He began with Israel,” Pastor Olive said. “Now, in the wake of Hamas and Israel war, some within the church disregard Israel’s crisis in favor of the Palestinian plight.

“Sadly, the conflict will continue until Jesus comes back to judge the nations and set up His 1,000-year reign of peace on earth,” he added. “As the pastor and overseer of Trinity Apostolic Church, I stand with Israel.”

Pastor Olive said his stance is not politically-driven but concerns the word of God.

“I hope believers in Christ understand the reasons why we should stand with Israel today,” he said. “To stand with Israel is God’s divine order. Remember, God first selected a people through a man called Abraham. The Lord said that, through Abraham’s seed, all nations would be blessed.

“Through this people, every one of us would have access to the divine blessing of Almighty God (Gen. 12:3),” he added. “As believers in Christ, we are forever linked with the promises of God, because we have been grafted in, and Jesus has brought us to Israel, for His name’s sake.”

Pastor Olive noted what while some media attention and others have charged Israel as the aggressor in the war against Hamas, they have “ignored the fact that Hamas’ rocket-fire provoked the hostilities.”

“Many regard the Palestinians as the victim, but Israel defends the land and its citizens covenanted to her,” he said. “Standing with Israel does not require hateful opposition and lovelessness toward other people. Remember, this is not about politics. God has no disposition against any of His creation, and, certainly, not the Arabs.

“The world may not understand this, but we can, as believers in Christ,” he added. “As Jesus said, ‘by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:35)’”.

Pastor Olive said he believes that strikes against Israel and the “relentless animosities are driven by spiritual powers.”

“As believers, we are right in the middle of a force that cannot be overthrown politically or by peace talks,” he said. “These forces can only be broken by spiritual warfare. Do not be deceived in thinking that Israelis are the only ones in this conflict. The same spirit equally opposes Christians and Jews.

“The bible declares that there will come a time when all nations of the world will come against Israel (Zech. 12:1-14),” he added. “Obviously, we are right in the end time, which is why these things are happening.”

Pastor Olive noted many Christians’ belief that the Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus Christ, “to which I agree.”

“As the pastor of Trinity Apostolic Church, I can boldly say that we stand against religious antisemitism,” he said. “God knew aforetime that this will happen, as prophesied in Gen. 3:15: ‘And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.’”

He said Isaiah 53: 1-5 further emphasizes this prophecy: “Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not,” added Pastor Olive about Isaiah 53. “Surely, he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. Yet, we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and, with his stripes, we are healed.”

He declared that the word of God “cannot lie”, asking that “if we honestly believe the word of God, how can we hate God’s people?”

Pastor Olive noted that Ezek. 25 demonstrates that “God will punish the sins of antisemitism.”

“Not only will God punish those who attack Israel, but He will punish those who rejoice that Israel suffers,” he said. “Eventually, God destroyed one nation because it attacked Israel. Another was destroyed because it rejoiced when Israel was attacked by another nation.”

In addition, he said another nation was destroyed “because it sought vengeance on Israel.”

“One nation was punished because they claimed that Israel did not have a special relationship with God,” Pastor Olive added. “God is not finished with Isrrael, as many claimed. The truth is that Jerusalem is the focus of the world.

“I will reiterate that I will stand with Israel, because it is God’s divine order,” he stressed. “This is the teaching I give to the church body. We believe the Abrahamic Covenant. God promised that Jesus Christ would come through Abraham’s descendants. Jesus Christ was born for the purpose of dying so that our sins can be forgiven. The bible teaches that God loves both Jews and Gentiles (John 3:16).”

Pastor Olive urged believers in Christ to stand with Israel today.

“We must look at the ‘big picture’ with a biblical worldview,” he said. “We do not have to support everything Israel does as a nation, but we should support Israel’s right to exist.

“God will fulfil His promises and covenants with Israel,” he added. “Woe to anyone who seeks to destroy that plan.”

In alluding to Gen. 12:3, he quoted: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that cursed thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”

“Take a stand with Israel,” Pastor Olive further urged. “Pray with passion, intercede and minister according to the words of Jesus Christ, who said, it is not our task to speculate when the end will be. It is our responsibility to do kingdom business until He comes (Luke 19:13).

“Scripture tells us to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem’ (Psalm 122:6),” he added. “Let us do it together. Amen.”