Israel celebrates her 69th Day of Independence this Monday and Tuesday. Most of Israel’s Arab population knows it as their Day of Catastrophe (nakba). Neither one yet fears YHVH. The one, true, living God of Heaven and Earth is fulfilling His Word and plan for His holy name’s sake, and against all opposition to Him — including unbelief. He cannot, and will not, be stopped! Praise be to His name!
The Israeli Jewish people celebrate their military strength and prowess; the Arab Palestinian people refuse to accept that the land was covenanted to Jacob for an everlasting possession, yet to be realized. The Holy Spirit is working to turn away ungodliness from Jacob so that all Israel (the full remnant from all the tribes) will be saved. The Arabs hope is to be found in Israel’s hope: Yeshua/Yasua/Jesus, the Lord and Messiah, Son of David.
Israel’s leadership and people feel that the lesson of the Holocaust is that the Jewish people must protect themselves by themselves. The Arab world feel that the lesson of the Holocaust is unjust and not fair. Neither fear the LORD.
Most of the Jewish people are relying on “a god of fortresses” — self-determined that they must be masters of their own destiny — rather than trust in the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, who alone can guarantee them life that is really life. Most of the Arab peoples are relying on a god of vengeance, nurtured by a bitter root and an ancient hatred towards their brothers and cousins. Neither line of Abraham’s family fears the God of their father in truth.
The Jewish people have only recently celebrated the Passover, glorying in their deliverance by YHVH from Egyptian slavery. On the heels of that joyful celebration and hope, we solemnly and gravely remembered the worst calamity yet to come upon our people — the Holocaust. The night preceding Independence Day we again remember all those Jewish people [in particular] who have sacrificed their lives in the many wars and conflicts connected with being a sovereign people in our own land. There is the constant reminder to abide in the faith, for through much suffering and tribulation we enter the Kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22) Yet our people still have not repented and believed the gospel, confessing their unfaithfulness to our God, that they would know their sins are forgiven through the sacrifice and shed blood of Yeshua, whom God raised from the dead. (Lev 26:40-45) For the Father was well-pleased with His beloved Son!
For us who have received our peace with God through saving faith in His Son, our Savior, our battle is not waged against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies. Our weapons are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Messiah.
Today’s Israel is a miracle/banner (nes) for the nations/Gentiles. God has intervened in history again to repossess HIS land for His people. The return of the Jewish people back to the land of promise is a proof that YHVH is the true God. It is a huge sign of the end-times of the last days — not unlike the ark in Noah’s days. Against all odds, the LORD is doing a greater thing than what He did to bring us out of Egypt, or out of Babylon. (Is 11:12; Jer 16:14-15; 23:7-8). Jacob’s Trouble is coming, but Israel will be saved out of it. (Jer 30:7) The Lord’s return cannot be far behind! Even so, Come, Lord Jesus! Then Jerusalem will have God’s peace.
Alex, I came upon this article (book chapter) today, written back in the early 20th century, which gives a multitude of verses to show Israel’s restoration to the land prior to the coming again of Jesus. I would only disagree with the author regarding the timing of the rapture.
Bernard, it is like when Yeshua asked the religious leaders if the baptism of John was from Heaven, or from men. It is a valley of decision!
What is the word of the world about Israel …. what does the church say about Israel …. What is the word religion about Israel … surely God is never wrong about Israel
Thanks for some of your clarifications, Alex. All I know is that the Father has set a time for the Lord to return, and that time is unchangeable. Yeshua told us that the generation that sees the things of which He spoke leading up to His coming would see it.
For me, that gives me real expectation that He will return in my generation, whether I personally have died or am still alive: I believe that my generation will see it. If not, then we’ll see it when it does actually happen, since the blessed hope is the resurrection of the righteous (the believers) at the appointed time.
Thank you Howard for the reply. Yes, cautiously, I agree with most of you words. I cannot agree that we can compel Jesus to return by our own strength of repenting- it is not mechanistic but personal and loving. It would be a sin to try and compel God. The timing is in The Father’s hand. This is another point I forgot to mention regarding your initial post.
Also, of course when I used the word “hate” I mean in the sense of obedience and acceptance. I have been a Pre-Millennial Christian for 45 years and attest most of what you say. However, as a Christian, I am an ambassador and citizen of The Kingdom now in heaven. Every day I pray for His Kingdom to come to earth that His will be accomplished the same here on earth as in heaven.
How do you know that it is His time now to return? Because Israel is in the land? I am not saying you are definitely wrong, but neither hold to the fact this makes it definitive. Let us not engage in wishful thing to the exclusion of the whole counsel of God. Again, just as with the Jewish faith, Christians are deeply divided. Not all who say “Lord,Lord” are really His children.
Alex, it seems to me that you do not believe that Jesus is coming again to rule the world for 1000 years. That would explain why you do not see any proofs in the Bible for the great prophetic significance of present-day Israel. Yet all of the prophets and apostles look to that day and time. Yeshua answered His disciples question about His coming again as an actual event for which we are to anticipate with watching and prayer. The holy name of YHVH is at stake in the matter. Our return here is a testimony of the character of the one true living God. (Ezek 36:16-38; Mt 6:9-10)
The last verse in Lk 13 that you bring up is a “proof text” of His coming to His people Israel IN Israel: “You will not see me again UNTIL [you bless Me].” And this they will do. Zech 12:10-14 is showing us that day of Israel’s/the Jewish people’s repentance and faith in Jesus, and they realize how mistaken they have been concerning Him, and the triune God who is forever covenanted to them. (Is 53:3-6; Rev 15:1-4)
There are so many verses and passages of Scriptures connected with all this, including all those I have already referred to in the article and in the comments. Plus many more: The Jewish people must again be in the land of Israel prior to the Lord’s return. I do not say that ALL of the Jewish people must be here by then, for I do not believe that will be the case. The Jewish people in their own land (even if only a part of the ultimate promised borders, and even if only a remnant of the people are here) is a sign of the end-times leading up to God’s judgment upon His people and upon the Gentile nations as the Messiah acts in COVENANT FAITHFULNESS to protect His people, even those who now hate Him. (Lev 26:40-45)
Doesn’t the apostle Paul write that when we were enemies, Christ died for us? If we can honestly confess to the truth of that statement, I would say that we hated Him before we knew Him and His love for us. God knew what He was going to do before He began doing it, and the Father gave the Lamb to be slaughtered before any man had sinned, or any nation. We are saved by grace through faith — whether personally, or nationally. All the glory to God, and to the Lamb upon the throne!
Thank you Howard for explaining this idea. Again, I cannot see fulfillment to any scripture. Several exiles and returns are found in the bible but where is the confirmation that the texts you use really find fulfillment? Is it possible for you to construct a coherent account and give all the texts? I have never seen it done (it would be very interesting).
How do you know the Christians that are gushing about Israel now are not the same ones who are going to fall away? Many superficial people will join Daniel tells us. The NT also speaks of a great falling away.
What do you do with the last verses of Malachi? Did the nation return to the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, Israel) or become like children in regard to evil? You know the resultant warning. What do you do with the last verse in Luke 13?
Why and how would Jesus empower those who hate Him? I cannot see it.
Alex, Israel’s very existence in this land of our fathers — and even after the Holocaust — is a banner for the Gentiles (and, I dare say, for the Jewish people as well). That Israel is a thriving nation amidst the constant instability all around her is a banner of God’s involvement. HE wants people to notice that they might repent and believe in Him, at the very least to fear Him and cause no harm to His people, who are the apple of His eye! Israel’s success is arousing admiration and appreciation by some, the ire and the envy of others — especially of Muslims and those Christians who have historically claimed that God is finished with blessing Israel and the Jewish people.
Most Arab Christians, including evangelical and born-again believers that I know, see no prophetic significance in today’s Israel, despite all the Scriptures to the contrary, and despite their hope being connected with Israel’s repentance leading to the return of the Lord.
Perhaps you could develop how Israel is a banner for the Gentiles. I fail to see it during this time present.
Why not say the Arabs are bitter instead of using a biblical metaphor that speaks about hypocrisy. The bitter root was a person who hides their poisonous beliefs (the root is not seen since it is in the heart.) See Dt. 29 and Heb. 12. It seems the judgment which will eventually arrive affects the whole community.
On one hand the angels were not to uproot the tares but let them grow together, on the other hand and we are to see that no one misses the grace of God (Heb. 12) to my understanding. However, the poisonous (bitter) root is idolatry which a person keeps hidden.