How does the nationalization of Israel fit into Bible prophecy, and how does it affect Christians today?
Answers from our Messianic friends:
Why I Chose the Path of Aliyah to Israel
Many people ask why I live in Israel. It was difficult enough for some to understand why I made this choice in 1994 when things were relatively calm and quiet, but given the last three years of almost daily terror attacks, I am constantly asked the question why I continue to choose to live here.
While I always saw living in the land which God had granted to the Jewish people in His Word as both fulfilling Biblical prophecy and also being in the place where the culmination of history, redemption and salvation would take place in a dramatic way, for me it was much more than that. At an early age, I became fascinated with the study of the Holocaust, and I remember reading about Theodore Herzl, the father of Zionism who saw the pressing and urgent need to create a Jewish homeland as a result of the extreme climate of intolerance and disdain towards the Jewish people that had always been prevalent throughout Europe but particularly the shocking events of the Dreyfuss trial in France which became the impetus for Herzl’s push to create a Jewish State in Eretz Israel as soon as possible in order to protect world Jewry from further persecution.
I also remember watching the mini-series, “The Holocaust” many years ago and being struck by a particular scene where the main character was telling his wife, “You don’t have to look at this,” referring to a gruesome mass execution of Jews in a courtyard of the Warsaw Ghetto. Her response was, “No, we owe it to them, and we must be their witnesses.” Likewise, I remember being impressed by a scene from Leon Uris’ movie, “QB VII” where a victim of heinous medical experiments was testifying in a British courtroom about what he suffered, and when stating his name, the barrister asked if that had been his given name from birth. He replied no, and related that he had chosen to take on the name of another man who perished in the camp. These two fictional accounts, although based on many factual similar incidents made a great impression on me concerning the fact that those of us who had the privilege of continuing the Jewish race were not just living for ourselves but were also carrying with us the legacy and memory of all those who had no such privilege and whose lives were cut short because they lived in the wrong place at the wrong time in history. It was for them, and for the words which many of them undoubtedly uttered in the last moments of their lives, “Eretz Israel” that I knew that Israel would be my ultimate destiny.
This was, once again, brought home to me on my most recent trip to the States just a month ago when I visited, for the first time, the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The exhibit took us on a journey of a once thriving and bustling Jewish culture in Europe which ended in the ashes of Auschwitz and the heroic accounts of those who bravely gave their lives without revealing secrets or their counterparts who fought alongside them in the resistance. It was at that moment, utterly reduced to tears, that I remembered why my dream of living in Israel had been so important to me and why I continue to live here despite the danger.
While these reasons may all be subjective and personal, it is also clear that God’s promises of blessing in the land are still valid and relevant for those who take the challenge. And so there is clearly a Biblical case for aliyah as well. In fact, a thorough study from scripture on this topic would probably fill a book, and while it is not possible to enumerate the many Biblical references, here are just a few to consider: Psalm 105:8-10, Deut. 30:5, Ezekiel 36:22-28, Jeremiah 16:14,15, Ezekiel 37:1-14. Two other favorites of mine are: “And I will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul and I am going to bring on them all the good that I am promising them.” (32: 41, 42) …And I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel and I will rebuild them as they were at first.” (33:7) There is no question that God went to great lengths to preserve us as a people throughout 2000 years of dispersion to the four corners of the earth, and His Word reminds us that there would, once again, be a regathering from those four corners to Eretz Israel. In fact, in Zechariah 10:8 it says: ” I will whistle for them to gather them together, For I have redeemed them; And they will be as numerous as they were before.” Many of us have heard that whistle, and we have come from all over the world to be part of God’s great endtime plan for world redemption through a small sliver of land called Israel.
For me, Israel is the culmination of the hopes and dreams of Jewish generations, and the fact that I am able to realize that dream daily is nothing less than a miracle.
As we begin to see a foretaste of the revival spoken of in the Prophets, right in our own Tel Aviv congregation, I have a sense of being a integral part of Biblical history in a unique way as I get the chance to do something others only dreamed of. There are simply no words to express the inner satisfaction that comes with being able to share the good news of Yeshua with Israelis in their own native language and literally watching the dry bones come to life as they embrace their Messiah who was hidden from them and made unrecognizable through centuries of careful, calculated extraction of all Jewish identification to the faith.
If for no other reason, this is why aliyah is a divine call with a divine purpose. The Messiah will return to Jerusalem to a Jewish people living in its promised land, who say: Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! And we will have had a stake in that.
By Cookie Schwaeber-Issan
Assistant to Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram, Maoz Israel
“Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such a thing? Is a country born in one day?” Isaiah 66:8 That day was May 14th, 1948 , the day Israel reemerged as a nation! God’s word concerning Israel will be fulfilled. Jews, Christians, Muslims, and the world must know the truth of God’s plan for the Jewish homeland and the reestablishment of Israel’s biblical boarders that He Himself established. Please take a moment and read on as we look at numerous scriptures from the Tanach/Bible that outline God’s plans and intentions regarding Israel and her land! Deuteronomy 9:1-6 “Hear, O Israel! Today you are about to cross the Jordan River to occupy the land belonging to nations much greater and more powerful than you. They live in cities with walls that reach to the sky! They are strong and tall – descendants of the famous Anakite giants. You’ve heard the saying, ‘Who can stand up to the Anakites?’ But the LORD your God will cross over ahead of you like a devouring fire to destroy them. He will subdue them so that you will quickly conquer them and drive them out, just as the LORD has promised. 4 “After the LORD your God has done this for you, don’t say to yourselves, ‘The LORD has given us this land because we are so righteous!’ No, it is because of the wickedness of the other nations that he is doing it. It is not at all because you are such righteous, upright people that you are about to occupy their land. The LORD your God will drive these nations out ahead of you only because of their wickedness, and to fulfill the oath he had sworn to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
We see that the Land was given to the Children of Israel by the Lord Himself, because of His oath and the wickedness of those nations living there at the time. Note: There has never physically been a people group called “Palestinians”, nor is there one today! The people living in the land at the time Israel entered it from Egypt were Philistines who were completely absorbed by other cultures and no longer exist. The term “Palestine” came from Rome after the Bar Koba revolt in 164 C.E. The term “Palestine” was employed by an angry Rome as a humiliating insult against Israel. To degrade Israel, the term Palestine was used in reference to her historical arch enemy the Philistines, as a punishment for Israel’s rebellion against Rome (this is historical fact recorded in the writings of Roman historian Flavius Josephus and others!) Most “Palestinians” are physically of Jordanian ancestry, Yasar Arafat was born in Egypt!
Psalms 105: 7-11 ” He is the LORD our God. His rule is seen throughout the land. He always stands by His covenant – the commitment He made to a thousand generations. This is the covenant He made with Abraham and the oath He swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to the people of Israel as a never-ending treaty: “I will give you the land of Canaan as your special possession.” Psalms 135:12-14 “He gave their land as an inheritance, a special possession to His people Israel. Your name, O LORD, endures forever; your fame, O LORD, is known to every generation. For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.” God’s decree of giving Canaan to Israel is a “never ending treaty”, for all generations, forever! Psalm 147:1-2 “Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how right! The LORD is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel.”
God Himself is rebuilding Jerusalem and returning the Children of Israel from Diaspora (dispersion among the nations) back home to Israel and Jerusalem! This is happening world-wide, right now as you read this article!
Isaiah 11:10-16 ” In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, for the land where he lives will be a glorious place. In that day the Lord will bring back a remnant of his people for the second time, returning them to the land of Israel from Assyria, Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt, Ethiopia, Elam, Babylonia, Hamath, and all the distant coastlands. He will raise a flag among the nations for Israel to rally around. He will gather the scattered people of Judah from the ends of the earth. Then at last the jealousy between Israel and Judah will end. They will not fight against each other anymore. They will join forces to swoop down on Philistia to the west. Together they will attack and plunder the nations to the east. They will occupy all the lands of Edom, Moab, and Ammon. The LORD will make a dry path through the Red Sea. He will wave his hand over the Euphrates River, sending a mighty wind to divide it into seven streams that can easily be crossed. He will make a highway from Assyria for the remnant there, just as he did for Israel long ago when they returned from Egypt.”
Isaiah 14:1 “For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.”
Jeremiah 23:7-8 “In that day,” says the LORD, “when people are taking an oath, they will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.’ Instead, they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.’ Then they will live in their own land.”
Amos 9:14-15 “And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.” Not only will the Jews return home, but those who help them shall cleave unto them and live there also as Isaiah 14:1 states. This is important to believers, they will live in the land the Jesus will return to! How glorious to live in the same neighborhood as Jesus!
The Children of Israel will return a second and last time to re-inhabit the entire land that God gave them, as the bible explicitly states! There is no confusion in this matter. No nation, religion, or people group has replaced Israel and any political agenda, doxology, or theology that claims to have replaced Israel is a lie and not of God! God states in Jeremiah 31:35-36 that as long as the sun, moon, and stars are in the sky, a remnant of Israel will inhabit the earth. The Lord states that if the sun or moon no longer shines or rises, then the offspring of Israel will cease to be a nation! Look towards the heavens and you will see God’s heart and the truth concerning Israel every day! Israel is God’s time clock!
Why is the nation of Israel (slightly larger then the state of Rhode Island) on the front page of the worlds newspapers every day? Because God’s word prophecies that this would be the case and Satan attempts to destroy God’s Holy Word and agenda, read on! Zechariah 2:10-13 “The LORD says, “Shout and rejoice, O Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you. Many nations will join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they, too, will be my people. I will live among you, and you will know that the LORD Almighty sent me to you. The Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, Jesus, will not reutrn until Israel proclaims Him as Lord and savior! Thats is Yeshua’s promise in Matthew 23:39. His return is hinged upon Israel and the Jewish people!
By Rabbi Eric Carlson
Congregation Zion’s Sake
The question is indeed a good one and unfortunately I do not have the time to give an answer that is either complete or does it justice. I will, however, offer the following opinion:
The existence of the state of Israel is indeed fulfilled prophecy. It is not, however, at this point, completely fulfilled prophecy since Israel is still a secular state and not wholly responsive to the will of God. That is coming.
There is a belief among some Christians that the Church has replaced Israel as God’s “chosen” witness people.” This is sometimes referred to as “replacement theology.” Romans makes it plain, however, that Israel is the olive tree into which non-Jewish believers are grafted and into which Jewish believers (broken-off branches) must be re-grafted. Connected to that, Romans also says that eventually all Israel will be saved.
The existence of Israel is clearly one step toward that part of the prophecy being fulfilled. It is also a necessary step to prepare the way for Yeshua’s return since He said: “for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! (Matthew 23:39).” He was talking to Jews.
It would be well for Christians to think of themselves, not as Israelites, but not separate from Israel either. I think of Christians as being members of a commonwealth of Israel that consists of all believers — both Jews and non-Jews. That is what is meant by the wall of partition having been torn down. I am of the opinion that any movement among either Jews or Christians that teaches exclusivity, separatism or replacement is not of God. The witness is in the unity of Jew and Gentile. Christian concern for, and participation in, the affairs of the State of Israel, is one way Christians can help establish that unity.
Shalom, Michael Rudolph Pastor, Ahavat Yeshua, Washington, D.C.
It is when the Church recognizes Israel that the true distinctiveness and glory of the Body of Messiah becomes evident. This called-out body, composed of believing Jews and Gentiles during this Age has a high calling and challenge. This is our destiny! Indeed, the Church’s finest and most distinctive hour will be when Israel is fully restored nationally and spiritually to the Lord at the Second Coming of Messiah. We will return from Heaven with Him as His glorious Bride to rule Israel and the world.
Not only has God preserved the Jewish nation, but He has also kept His promise to save a remnant of Israel in every generation. The remnant of Israel in this age are the Jewish believers in Messiah who have joined the non Jewish believers, and form the Church, the Body of Christ (Rom. 11:5). So then, a part of Israel (the believing remnant) joins with the Church during this Age. But this does not make Israel the Church, or vice versa. As the stumbling of Israel brought blessing to the world at Messiah’s First Coming, the reception of Israel to Messiah at His Second Coming will be like “life from the dead” (Rom. 11:15).
The remnant of Israel which survives the Tribulation (some one- third of the Jewish people who enter the Tribulation), will be saved, and the Lord will establish His kingdom on the same earth and the same capital city, Jerusalem, that rejected Him centuries before. Israel will be the head of the nations, and no longer the tail, and all nations will send representatives to Jerusalem to honor and worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Isa. 2:2-3; Micah 4:1). The Bride will return with Messiah, and will rule with Him for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-5). He Himself told His disciples that they would rule over the 12 tribes of Israel in the restoration (Matt. 19:28). Thus, Israel has not been forgotten in God’s plan. While the Jewish nation still has a dark period facing it, there is a glorious finale to Israel’s long history.
We must recognize what the Lord is doing with Israel, not shrinking from it as though our own interests will be overshadowed. Rather, we rejoice in these developments, with full assurance that our own redemption draws ever closer.
In the midst of endless reports of strife in the Middle East, usually connected in one way or the other with Israel, it is good to remember the broader significance of the Jewish return to the land of Israel and the founding of the Jewish state in 1948.
Jerusalem and the holy temple were destroyed a generation after Jesus of Nazareth taught and worshiped there. Ever since, the Jewish people have been praying for their restoration. One ancient prayer still recited today says, “And to Jerusalem Your city may You return in compassion, and dwell within her just as You have said. And rebuild her soon, in our days, as a building forever, and establish speedily within her the throne of David.”
Are such hopes founded on stubborn Jewish nationalism, or something greater? In the Hebrew Scriptures we read numerous promises of the very restoration of which this prayer speaks, and which we are seeing—at least in its initial stages—in our own day. Indeed, it may be that the tensions in Israel today reflect God’s promise of restoration and the opposition to that promise.
Moses predicted the exile and restoration of Israel in the final chapters of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Later, the prophet Ezekiel wrote of God’s promise to restore Israel from its millennia-long exile:
Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went…. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.”‘ (Ezekiel 36:22, 24).
This restoration seems to be in process in our own day. There was an earlier return from the Babylonian exile, but Ezekiel speaks of a return “out of all countries.” Likewise, in Jeremiah, who wrote during the same era as Ezekiel, the Lord promises to restore Israel from the north, and “from all the lands” in which they are scattered (Jeremiah 16:15, 23:8). Earlier, through Isaiah, the Lord had also promised a universal return:
Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the west;
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’
Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth. (Isaiah 43:5-6)
Only in our time are we seeing such a return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. Furthermore, Ezekiel goes on to predict a great spiritual renewal after this return, which did not happen after Israel’s earlier return from exile. There must be another return, perhaps the very one in process today, to fulfill this prophecy.
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:25-26)
God’s ultimate purpose in this restoration is to display his power and faithfulness to all the earth. The promise says more about God’s faithfulness than it does about Israel’s worthiness. “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake…” (36:22). God’s faithfulness to Israel displays his Name to all the earth…and is a guarantee of his faithfulness to all believers as well. If God fails in His covenant promises to Israel, then he also fails in his promises to those who have faith in his son Jesus the Messiah. But since God is faithful to restore Israel, Christians can be confident that He will be faithful to His covenant with them as well.
We must recognize, however, that Israel’s claim to legitimacy as a Jewish state is based not only on the words of the prophets, but also on standards of human rights and international law.
Jews have maintained a presence in the Land of Israel throughout history, and have constituted the majority population in Jerusalem since the mid-nineteenth century. In the late nineteenth century, the Jewish community throughout the land of Israel began to expand, largely because of increased anti-Semitism in the Russian Empire, which had the largest Jewish population in the world at that time. This wave of immigration only grew larger in the twentieth century with the rise of Hitler. For hundreds of thousands of Jews, Israel was the only place on earth where they could survive.
During this period, the land of Israel was called Palestine and was administered by Great Britain under the authority of the League of Nations, and later the United Nations. At the end of World War II, in November 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state, with Jerusalem maintained as an international city. The Jews accepted this settlement and the Arabs rejected it. Six months later, when the British withdrew, the independent state of Israel was declared in the land granted to it by the United Nations. Immediately the armies of five Arab neighbors attacked, joined by some of the Arabs within the new state of Israel.
Israel emerged victorious from this struggle and established an expanded border that included West Jerusalem. Jordan occupied most of the remaining land within the former Palestine, and Egypt took a small tract along the Mediterranean coast, called the Gaza Strip. The conclusion of this war, however, was not a peace treaty, but a ceasefire that eventually resulted in the Six-Day War of 1967. Israel again defeated its Arab neighbors, and now took all of Jerusalem, along with all the land west of the Jordan (the original biblical border of Israel) and the Gaza Strip.
Still, no Arab powers were willing to sign a peace treaty with Israel. The Arab position was that there should be no Jewish state anywhere in today’s Israel. In 1964, before the Israeli conquest of the lands held by Jordan and Egypt, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO, headed by Yassir Arafat) was formed with the goal of driving the Jews into the Mediterranean. This goal remains in the minds of Arafat and many of his followers to this day.
Shortly after the outbreak of the latest round of violence, which began in September 2000, an Israeli friend wrote to me,
The Arabs never changed their views about a Jewish state in their midst. For them it is a religious insult that cannot be tolerated. It is little wonder that many Israelis woke up to a nightmare. They refused to believe that the Palestinians are serious when they say that they will stop at nothing less than return to their homeland, i.e., Israel. Israelis thought that Arafat’s dream to return to Jaffa was the rhetoric of tough negotiator. Now, maybe for the first time, they realize that he really means what he says, hence the nightmare.
So, in human terms, I am not optimistic. Israel’s history teaches us that we have to come to our knees before we will be ready to admit there is a God who is mighty to save. Yet when we do He will save us, from our sins and from our enemies. I have no doubts, none whatsoever that the words of the prophets will come true. I think that in the last events Israelis have been drawn nearer to the time when they will look upon him whom they have pierced [Zechariah 12:10]. This is my faith. This is my hope and here lies my optimism for a better future, for Israel and for the whole world.
Christians can certainly share such a hope. Indeed, if God has been working throughout these centuries to accomplish His promises for Israel, He can be counted on to accomplish His promises in the Messiah as well.
Two weeks ago, the renowned Bible teacher and Christian author Derek Prince died in Jerusalem at the age of 88. Dr. Prince had been a life-long supporter of Israel, and a resident of Jerusalem for many years.
In “The Destiny of Israel and the Church” he wrote: “Christians from Gentile backgrounds owe their entire spiritual inheritance to Israel. One appropriate way for them to acknowledge their indebtedness is to stand by Israel in the midst of their present pressures, and to uphold them with faithful intercession.”
Dr. Prince believed that the restored nation of Israel was a watershed, a line of separation between nations, and that God would judge nations on whether they stood with His restoration purposes for Israel, or opposed them. “Rulers and nations will determine their own destiny by how they respond to what God does for Israel,” he wrote. “God has revealed clearly in His Word that He intends to restore Israel, and that He requires all other nations to cooperate with His purpose. Any nation that rejects the revelation of God’s Word has, in effect, rejected God Himself, and must suffer the consequences.” (Jerusalem Newswire, 9/26/03)
Christians must recognize that the same God, who is faithful to His promises to them in Jesus the Messiah, is the One working faithfully to restore Israel. And God calls Christians to respond to His faithfulness by supporting and praying for the land and people of Israel. This mandate goes all the way back to the call of Abraham.
Now the LORD had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3).
One of the most important ways of blessing Abraham’s seed is to stand with Israel and pray for peace and the full restoration promised in the Scriptures.
Russ Resnik, General Secretary
Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations
1948 was certainly a pivotal year in the history of Israel and one which showed us a Bible prophecy fulfilled. We’re reminded of the words of the prophet in Jeremiah 30:3, “The days are coming,’ declares the LORD , ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their forefathers to possess,’ says the LORD”. While this prophecy pertained in its time to the Babylonian captivity, I can’t help but note that these events occurred in a similar fashion, particularly following WWII and the Holocaust of the Nazis aganst the Jewish people. As for how the nationalization affects Christians, the short answer is, in a very significant way: Christians need to be united in their support that Israel not give away anymore of its land to the Palestinians, for one. Let us remember in Numbers Chapter 34, that God specified what the borders of Israel were supposed to be. Where the Palestinians currently reside is not “Palestine” according to God, but “Israel”.
We must also remember that Israel is the place where Jesus will return. And the place, as we’re told in Ezekiel, that one day Jew and non-Jew will walk hand in hand up to Mount Zion, and later in the Scripures it says that on that day all will bow down and say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”.
To my fellow Christians: God has given you a wonderful assignment. In Romans 1 through the Apostle Paul, he exhorts you to provoke the Jewish people to enviousness of their Messiah. To facilitate this, you must understand that God has a plan for Israel, his hand is on that land. He tells us, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”. As we watch God’s plan unfold, let us keep our prayer and support continuing on this country and its people.
Messianic Rabbi Jack Zimmerman
Psalm 102:13-18 instructs us that G-d has an appointed time to have compassion on Zion, and be gracious to her. The signs that this set time has come are as follows:
1. G-d’s servants will find pleasure in her stones and feel pity for her dust.
2. When the L-RD builds up Zion (in the last 55 years he has, big time), He shall appear in His glory.
3. This shall be written for the generation to come (or an alternate translation from the Hebrew), This shall be written for the last generation.
Matthew 24:32-35 instructs us concerning the fig tree (which happens to be the symbol on the national seal of Israel, Mark 11:12-14 reveals Y’shua [Jesus] cursing a fig tree before He cleanses the temple, and Jeremiah 24 compares Israel to good and bad figs). We see that the generation witnesses the blossoming of Israel will also see the second coming of HaMashiach (the Messiah)!
Luke 21:24 gives us further insight as Y’shua prophecies the dispersion of the Jewish people (they are to be led away captive into all nations) and the regathering of the Jewish people accompanied by the restoration of Jerusalem as their capital at the time of the fulness of the Gentiles. Romans 11:25 echoes this very sentiment reminding us that the Church has been ignorant of this mystery, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
Earlier in the same chapter, Romans 11:11-15 the apostle teaches us that one of the primary purposes of salvation coming to the Gentiles is to provoke Israel to jealousy which results in how much more greater blessing for the Church, even life from the dead! If only Christians understood that by blessing, praying for, reaching out and loving the Jewish people they would be seeing a greater outpouring of G-d’s power and favor.
Ezekiel 36:24-28 reveals how G-d will bring the Jews back to Israel from all the countries where He has scattered them and when He does He will give them a new heart and a new spirit, give them back their land and they will be His people and He will be their G-d.
Joel 2:18-27 the prophet describes how G-d is going to restore the land and His people to it and then in vs. 28-32 he describes how after that G-d will pour out His Spirit upon His people, young and old, male and female, with signs and wonders and revival in Mount Zion and Jerusalem, all before the great and terrible day of the L-RD.
In Genesis 12:3 G-d covenanted to bless all who bless Abram and his descendants and to curse all those who curse them. In Gensis 15 G-d alone cut a sovereign unconditional covenant of grace with Abram, then in chapter 17 made an everlasting covenant with Abraham concerning the land of Israel. G-d is a covenant keeping G-d, not a covenant breaking G-d.
Just after revealing the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-33, in Jeremiah 31:35-37 declares to us that G-d will not break covenant with Israel as long as the sun, moon, and stars are running their G-d appointed circuits. G-d is tipping His hand for us in that if He will not break His covenant with Israel, after all her wrongdoing, we can be sure that He will keep His covenant with us through the blood of Y’shua!
If G-d could break His covenant with Israel and the Jews, than He could break His covenant with anyone and would cease to be G-d. Then guess who would be able to waltz right in and take over like he’s be conniving to for around 6 thousand + years?
One of hasatan’s greatest and most effective weapons against G-d and His people was to get the 2 covenant peoples of G-d fighting with, hating, fearing and misunderstanding each other. What a mess we make of things, and yet G-d is able to work all things according to the counsel of His own will and ultimately for our good!
Remember Romans 1:16 and 2:9-11 which teach us G-d’s divine order of ministry and evangelism, To the Jew first and also to the Nations. G-d loves all people alike, but He honors the order of His covenants with His people. Psalm 122:6 encourages us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love her. Study the history of those nations that have blessed Israel and those that have cursed her and you will have learned a valuable lesson from history.
In the late 1800s, a number of zealous, not necessarily religious, Jews envisioned the need for a “Jewish State,” specifically in response to growing threats of anti-Semitism they had witnessed. Thousands of Jewish people began immigrating to the land God had promised to their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Even though, each year at the end of the Passover Seder, all Jews say, “L’shanah ha-ba’ah, bey Yerushalayim,” “Next Year in Jerusalem,” it was these settlers, these brave and bold pioneers, who actually began to actually live this hope.
By the time the Nazis began to rise to power in the 1930s, more and more Jews began to settle in their God-given homeland. After the horror of the Holocaust, because of world sentiment and for political expedience, in 1948, the United Nations sanctioned the land where many Jews were already living for a nation to be known as Israel. This dream had been in the minds of Jews for nearly two millennia, ever since the chosen people of God had been dispersed.
Now, the United Nations interceded in the Middle East conflict by partitioning what they called Palestine, creating a Jewish and an Arab State. The very next day, the new country called Israel was invaded by all the Arab nations surrounding her, yet, outnumbered 100-to-1, the people of God prevailed, recapturing the Land for all Jewish people everywhere. The Bible predicts a time when God will gather all the dispersed Jews “from the four corners of the earth” and bring them back to the Land. This has been happening ever since the Nation was miraculously born and sustained.
What started as a trickle has become something of a flood, as more and more Jews “make aliyah,” literally, “go up” to Jerusalem, or, return to the Land. In this return, one can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah, for he will only come back to his Land after the people say, “Barukh ha-ba’ah, b’shem adonai,” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” It was these words that Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah uttered when asked when he would return. They are the same words that were said when he made his “triumphal entry,” shortly before his last Passover Seder (supper). This expression was used to herald the coming of someone special, as it is today when the bride and groom see each other at their wedding ceremony. Yeshua was telling his followers that they would not see him again until the Nation recognized who he was and cried for his return.
Zechariah 12 and 14 state that this would take place when the Nation is surrounded by all the nations. Then Messiah will return and fight for his people. As anti-Semitism, once again, troubles the Jewish people, this day seems even closer. So, here in this season of the Fall holidays, when we hear the sound of the Shofar, the ram’s horn blown in every synagogue around the world, we might pause to reflect on the fact that this “trump” of God will soon sound. As we witness the return of the Jews to the homeland, see the rise of anti-Semitism, and hear the sound of the Shofar, we should “look up, because our redemption is drawing near.” The King is coming soon.
Barry Rubin Rabbi of Emmanuel Messianic Jewish Congregation, www.godwithus.org President of Messianic Jewish Communications, www.messianicjewish.net .
c. 2003. Used by permission
Ezek 37:15-22 15 The word of the LORD came to me: 16 “Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, `Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, `Ephraim’s stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ 17 Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.
18 “When your countrymen ask you, `Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’ 19 say to them, `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph-which is in Ephraim’s hand-and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’ 20 Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on 21 and say to them, `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. NIV
So many times the scripture speaks of the nation of Israel being dispersed among the other nations of the world. There are two of these events mentioned. One was the Babylonian captivity. The other one is being acted out right now. The dispersed are being drawn back into their land. This same prophecy continues by saying:
Ezek 37:24-28 24 “`My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. 25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.'” NIV
Through this, we can tell that it has not yet happened. We know that Israel as a nation has not accepted the Messiah and there is no peace in the land. As well, they do not occupy the whole land that was given to Jacob. Looking at this closer, one can tell that this is an end times prophecy.
So, with that under our belt, let us look again at the question. Before Messiah comes back, Israel must 1) have the whole land, and 2) must accept Messiah. For this to happen, Israel must be a nation, and must occupy the whole land.
It affects us as believers greatly. For one thing, the dividing of the land goes against numerous biblical prophesy, include a curse that is set forth upon anyone who dares to divide the land (See Joel 3). We must not let that happen. Each time our nation promotes this division of the land, a major disaster happens. (See http://www.bethelaish.com/info/joel3.html ) Second, we must pray for the peace of Jerusalem as instructed by G-d in the Psalms and in Genesis. This is to promote the will of G-d and to give a blessing to this who do. Third, we are part of this prophesy. We are the house of Ephraim. We will one day be standing on mount Zion praising the one true living G-d side by side with believing Jews, under the banner of Messiah.
Vann Lantz Morreh
Beth El Aish Messianic Community
Beth El Aish.Com
Answers from our staff and subscribers:
It is interesting to note that the Israelites underwent three captivities
· Egyptian captivity
· Babylonian captivity – Jer 25
· Roman dispersion – De 28:64 – “from one end of the earth to the other”
The third dispersion, as well as all other captivities, were prophesied in advance in the Bible. Here are a few examples;
* Deut 4:27
The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you.
* Deut 28:64-65, 68
Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods–gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot.
The LORD will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.
* Jer 9:16
I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will pursue them with the sword until I have destroyed them.”
Only during the Roman Empire were the Israelites dispersed throughout the world. So, prophecies foretelling that the Jews would return to their homeland from throughout the nations of the world, should refer to the Israelites who were dispersed since around 70 A.D.
Here are some of them, indicating clearly that the Israelites would return back to their home after the third dispersion, which happened on May 15th, 1948 in a miraculous way:
* Deut 30:3
Then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.
* Jer 16:14-15
However, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when men will no longer say, `As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but they will say, `As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their forefathers.
* Jer 23:3
“I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.
* Ezek 34:13-15
I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.
* Ezek 36:24
“`For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.”
* Zeph 3:20
At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the LORD.
Wars were declared to Israel since then, but none were successful to drive them out of their country. What reassurance does this give us? Simply, that we can trust in the promises God gives us. He loves us!
If you don’t know Jesus personally, may I encourage you to accept Him in your life right now. He will make such a difference in your life! All His promises are true! One of them He said just for you is: Matt 11:28
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” NIV Aren’t you tired of this hectic life? Come and have true rest in Him. Come and answer His call at http://www.answers2prayer.org/saviours_call.html.
Nationalization is an act of making into a nation. From this understanding there is no doubt to the truth of the fact that Israel has been made a nation since about 1914. This is after the desolation of Jerusalem in AD 70.
Going into the biblical record and prophecy, one will discover how Israel became a national when God told Abraham of how they (his descendants – children of Israel) will be in bondage and how they will eventually escape.
Israel became a nation then but because of sin and disobedience they were scattered again but under Nehemiah, Ezra, Zerubabel and others they came back to their land. The temple at Jerusalem was built again but when Jesus came he talked (prophesy) of desolation of the temple and the land as a confirmation of what Daniel had already declared (Dan. 12:11; Matt. 24:15-22).
What is the conscious effort that you are making to fit into the Kingdom of God? This is crucial. If you name is not found the book of life, one is likely to be thrown into the lake of fire which burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death – Rev. 21:8
Again when Jesus was speaking concerning his Second Coming in Lk. 21, he talked of the fig tree or other trees shooting forth. One can read Lk. 21:25-33. From verses 29-31 he said “And he spake to them a parable, Behold the fig tree, and all that the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand so likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. The fig tree bearing a new shoot is a parable of the children of Israel scattering into nations and this is very fit into the scriptural prophecy that has goes before.
On the other hand, this nationalization has a very great effect over Christians today, for this happening is a pointer to the coming of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God which every Christian should really be waiting for. In that vs.33 Jesus aid “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away. If Jesus said this and it has come to effect, we should be sure that that which he spoke about will as well come to pass.
Should Jesus come today, are you ready to meet him? Is your garment as white as snow? Is your heart void of offence towards God and man? – Hebrews 12:14
To conclude, for us we should be ready any time from now for the fig tree had shooted out, Israel as a nation now and that from some centuries ago. Why don’t you nationalize into the Kingdom of God by forsaking your sins?
There is a Kingdom that cannot accommodate just anybody except the repentant sinner. Read this: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But shall is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few finds it” Matthew 7:13-14 – NIV. Nationalize today by entering into the Kingdom of God by forsaking your sins and confess Jesus as your Lord and personal Saviour. You can also nationalize into the Kingdom of God. That Kingdom that will never perish.
Rev Debo Adeyemo
Ezekiel 38:17-23 says: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel? At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. 18 This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD . 19 In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. 21 I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign LORD . Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. 23 And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD .’
Ezekiel 39:21-29 says: “I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay upon them. 22 From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God. 23 And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them. 25 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will now bring Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD .”
1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 says: for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
Scriptures make it evident that religious deception will flourish throughout the earth during the end times. There will be a false feeling of peace and prosperity. People will have to watch carefully for being deceived. Daniel predicted there would be numerous attempts to reunite into a new and improved Roman Empire, but each time “they would not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” (Dan. 2:43). History has proven this biblical prophecy correct. To sum it up, the Bible teaches that in the end times, right before Christ returns, the greatest political leader in the history of Mankind will come out of Europe known as the Antichrist. After taking over that area by diplomatic deceit, he will start a campaign that will result in his acquiring “authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation” (Revelation 13:7). I believe that we are standing on the verge of the Tribulation, the main signs being the regathering of the Jews to their land (Isaiah 11:10-12) and their re-occupation of the city of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24).