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Rebirth of Israel

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Prophecy Seminar 2015 Speaker: Don McGee Topic:  Rebirth of Israel

Delivered on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

 

DonMcGeeGood evening to you. I greet you in the name of the Lord and once again, I want to thank you for spending your Wednesday evening here with us at Portland School. If you have your Bibles, I would encourage you to go to the book of Ezekiel and just kind of hang around Ezekiel chapter 36, that is where we are going to be going this evening.

People ask about fulfillment of Bible prophecy and you have some of the strangest ideas that are floated by you when you are in this kind of work. Last week I got a letter from a guy who really straightened me out on things. I really, really appreciate it when they don’t sign their letters. You know sometimes they send things and they have no return address and they do not sign their letters, but they get me told pretty good. They know what 666 means, they know who is the antichrist, they have it all put down really pat and sure in their own little package.  This guy last week went to the book of Ezekiel and he showed me the Ayatollah and he showed me Vladimir Putin, and he showed me all kinds of things in the book of Ezekiel that I didn’t know were there. There are people out there who are interested in what we are studying this week. Some of them almost have a morbid interest while others have a genuine interest and others are influenced by what I would call a fanatical worldview where there is an antichrist behind every bush and where all kinds of terrible things are going to happen.

They know exactly who is going to be involved, they know when it’s going to happen, and they really enjoy setting people straight on it. Well, I appreciate a lot of things that come across my desk because, Valerie will be the first to tell you, I don’t near about know it all. There are people out there who have a better understanding of things than I do and I appreciate their input. Like you, I will take what is said and if it legitimate, especially if it’s a signed letter, I will weigh it, look at it, and I have been corrected on some things in the past and probably will in the future.

What we are going to do, regarding this particular message, is we are going to go straight to the book. We are going to see what God has said about the nation of Israel and then we are going to look back in the last several decades and see how God has fulfilled prophecy regarding the nation of Israel. We will also project into the future a little bit what this means for the church and for Israel.

The rebirth of Israel. I find it somewhat difficult to fully address this topic.  I fully appreciate it, but I see myself as being really limited in evaluating the impact of the fulfillment of that particular kind of prophecy. If you stop and think about it, for those people who lived 100 years ago and who said that Israel would be brought out from the nations and brought back to their homeland, that took a lot of courage because they were ridiculed. They were told you don’t know what you are talking about, it is a dead issue, it’s not going to happen, and yet it did happen. My hat is off to those guys. They had a lot more courage than I probably would have had. There is a theme associated with this, because I believe no event in modern history is buried so deeply in the mountain of discarded occurrences on the time line of history by the secular world and so ignored by the church as the May 14, 1948, rebirth of the eternal God-ordained nation of Israel.

There are people I know, people I love, who hate that nation. If you really got down to the bottom line, they despise Jews. When you talk about these things, they are quick to point out all kinds of bad things that are happening in Israel. When you really push them hard though, they are kind of at a deficit to really give us supporting evidence. They talk about Israel’s subduing of the Palestinian people and Palestine is for Palestinians.  When you ask them when was there ever really a nation of Palestine, they can’t tell you. When was there a government of Palestine. When was there a culture, a coinage, a constitution of Palestine.  For some folks, that’s the first time they have really thought about that. What happened in 1948 has set the template for interpreting Bible prophecy in my opinion.

I don’t think that any event in modern history is so crucial to the understanding of whatever aspect you want to talk about, past, present, or future of history than the rebirth of the nation. For those of us who are Christians, I can think of no event that brings us closer to an appreciation of the eminent return of Jesus, than the rebirth of that nation.  Let’s take a look at some of these things.

I want to consider the necessity of Israel, Israel’s national death, I want to talk about the two returns, the purpose of the second return, and the rebirth in 1948. In Ezekiel chapter 36, I am going to read just a few verses, beginning in verse 22 going through 24.

“Therefore, say to the house of Israel, thus says the Lord God, it is not for your sake, oh house of Israel that I am about to act, but for my holy name which you have profaned among the nations where you went.”

I like that because God is saying I am not going to do what I’m going to do because you deserve it. I am going to do what I’m going to do because of my holy name that is associated with my promises.

Verse 23: “And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord and I prove myself holy among you in their sites.

For I will take you (I, the personal pronoun I, referring to God), God is going to take you from all the nations, He says, and He is going to gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then, I will sprinkle clean water on you and I will give you a new heart.

Up through verse 24, we find what God is doing. From 25 onto the end of the thought, we find what God is going to do once they are there. Folks, Jews are not always nice people. Sometimes they are like us, they are not nice, they are abrasive, they can be arrogant like us. They can be all of those things that we do not like in other people and sometimes in ourselves. God never said it was going to be easy to love them, He just said you better love them. We have a problem with that. God, himself, has reason to dislike those people because look what they have done. You remember the accusations by the Nazis in 1933. Do you remember what Hitler said? They were the what? The Christ killers! That sole accusation he used publicly as the basis for the extermination of over 6 million of them.

So, what about this thing? This place called Israel? This is a satellite view that you can clearly understand.  This is the Dead Sea.  This is the Sea of Galilee with the Jordan River right here.  This is the border, Israel’s southern border. To the north is Israel, to the south is the peninsula belonging to Egypt. This little part of land right here and, in particular, the city of Jerusalem that is about right there, is the most hotly contested piece of real estate on the face of this planet. In particular, there are several acres of land just to the west of the Kidron Valley that is the most hotly contested place on the face of this planet. It is called the Temple Mount. Yet, God loves this place. Not only does He love that place, but He loves the people to whom it was given. He said to Abraham, I’m going to give this land to you. You can’t earn it, you can’t deserve it, but I’m going to give it to you. We will see how that pans out in just a few minutes.  The necessity of Israel.  If you look in your history, you see that the human race was in a collective shambles for the second time when Abram was called.  The first time was in Genesis 6 with Noah, you remember that.  The second time was in Genesis 11, the Tower of Babel.

God saved 8 people in a boat and when they got out of the boat, He said Noah I want you and your

family to scatter around the earth. I want you to go everywhere. What He said essentially is that Noah,  I want you and your family and your descendents to be stewards of my creation and they didn’t do that. What they did is they followed the alluvial plane from the mountains of Ararat right back to where it started, the Plain of Shinar. They built a city there, they built a tower and that was a demonstration of their estrangement from God. We don’t need you! God had to do something so He scattered them and that didn’t solve the problem either.  Actually, the scattering from Babel wasn’t meant to.  It was meant to give way to the solution that came in Genesis 12 with the call of Abraham.  God could have destroyed the world by water again, but what good would that have done.  He could have chosen another means of destruction since He had promised that He would never destroy it by water again. If

God had destroyed the nations of the world time after time, after time, after time, it would not have accomplished what needed to be done. Man’s problem was not in his environment, it was in his heart and no matter how many Noahs He might have called forth, it would not have solved the problem.

There was only one other means and that was the implementation of Genesis 3:15. A messiah, a savior must do what man could not do. A messiah could not come from the Gentile nations because they were incestuously inbred with rebellion. He had to come from the seed of a woman. I never did really get a handle on that. Everybody that goes through a middle school biology class knows that women don’t have seed. Men have seed. What is this seed of the woman thing all about.  Why did God say, in the very first prophecy in the Bible, that Messiah would come from the seed of woman. The reason is because we inherit our Adamic nature from our forefather, Adam. He had to have a human body, that is Mary, and He had to be conceived of the Holy Spirit, so from his father, if I can use that term loosely, He would not inherit the Adamic nature.  That is why He is called the seed of woman.  He had to be free from what you and I possess inherently. At the same time, He had to be susceptible to everything that you and I are susceptible to.  When Jesus was a little boy, when He fell and He scratched his knee, it hurt, it bled, just like it does to everyone. When it came to temptation, He was able, because He was the God man. He had divinity within Him. He was able to overcome it. Now let me be clear on that, I said, “because He had divinity in Him.”  I’m not a gnostic, let me be very clear on that.  He was God.

He did not have God in Him in some surreal dimension, He was God in human flesh. I want to be very clear about that.  Thus, the call of Abraham.

Abram would produce the nation, the tribe, the family, and the house from which would come Messiah. No nation, no tribe, no family, or house in the Gentile world qualified. It had to be through this man, Abram. Israel was God’s tool in dealing with inherit human sin. It wasn’t another flood, it wasn’t fire from heaven, it wasn’t anything like that.  It had to come through a man called Abram because he would produce the entity wherein would produce the Messiah.

In my mind’s eye, God gazed upon His creation. Before creation, He could see what He was going to do. The way I put it together in my limited mind, is that I see God looking out upon all that He was going to do.  The billions of galaxies.  He sees them all and He chooses ours, the Milky Way.  Inside this phenomenally large galaxy, compared to our solar system, He sees a little bitty, bitty star, we call it the sun, with the planets going around it. He sees this one ball of earth that we call our planet earth and He says that’s where I’m going to deal with sin. That is one of the reasons I believe that the attack upon God’s authority by Satan happened in pre creation eternity. Dave Hunt disagreed with that and Dave Hunt knows more about that stuff than I do I’m sure or he did.  I believe that it had something to do with the event that happened in pre creation eternity. He sees this earth and He says this is where I’m going to finish this thing that Satan started. Not only does He see the earth, but He sees this place that we call, today, Iraq, which was called Chaldea back then. One guy, himself an idolater, Abram, and He says it’s going to be through him that I’m going to do that which could not be done with Noah. Without Israel God is still God. Without Israel, without Abram, there is no mercy, no grace, and no salvation. There is no vindication and there is no purpose in life and no reason for living, and there is no hope.

Without Israel our eternal destiny would be no different from that of Satan and the myriads of hellish demons. One day I want to get the full story from the Lord. I want Him to explain some things that I don’t know and fill in some of those gaps about how He chose Abram and how He chose, of all places, Israel to be the navel of the earth.

Our Lord did not make a mistake in creating a new nation and I believe that we, as Christians, would be spot on Biblically to not make the mistake of thinking Israel no longer has any kind of place of importance for the human race.  I believe it does.

Secondly, Israel’s national death.  The rebirth of national Israel presupposes a previous death of  national Israel.  Actually, if you look at it carefully, you might conclude that the rebirth of Israel in 1948 could be called a resurrection, not a resuscitation, a resurrection. As Jesus commanded Lazarus to come out not only from the tomb itself, but from the cold, dark regions of death so also He said for Israel to come out from her centuries old grave in the hostile Gentile world and from a singular or similar cold, dark region of national death.

A lot of confusion reigns at this point in the church. One of the things I believe can help us to set that straight in our own minds is an understanding of Deuteronomy 28. I believe that is an importance key because if you look at Deuteronomy 28, you have two dispositions there. You have the first one while Israel had a king when they went into Assyria and went into Babylon, that’s in the 15th through the 57th verses and then the second dispositions which mentions no king and it is a world-wide scattering and that is in verses 58-68.  On your own, take a look at that and that might help you just a little bit.

Understanding Ezekiel 37 clears up a lot of confusion about the national death of Israel. We have in Ezekiel 37 the dry bones rebirth and it is also connected to a world-wide dispersion that happened in

A.D. 70 actually. Not the first dispersion under the leadership of kings to Assyria and Babylon, but to a time when they had no king and in A.D. 70, they had no king. More importantly, perhaps, to our really getting a handle on this, is to understand that the return is from the entire world.  The return is to the land of Israel, your own land, that’s verses 12-14 of Ezekiel 37. Ezekiel records that God said to him, “Prophecy to the breath, son of man, and say to it, this is what the Lord God says. Breathe and come from four winds and breathe into these slain so that they may be alive.” He didn’t say breathe into them and tell them to come from Assyria or come from Babylon.  He said that they would come from the four winds, that’s every direction on the compass. Come from the whole earth. Something else to understand here is that this resurrection is not of all dead, not even the dead of Israel.  The resurrection is of the nationally dead nation of Israel. If you read Ezekiel 37, the valley is full of dry bones, they are dead. God said, “What is this you see Ezekiel?” He said, “Lord, I don’t know. I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.” He said this is Israel, deader than a hammer and they are scattered all over the world as dry, dry bones.

Next, I believe we need to understand the covenant distinctions. I believe that brings further clarification in the rebirth of Israel. There are two kinds of covenants: Conditional and Unconditional. Conditional covenant is like the Mosaic covenant or the Law. God said through Moses, in the Sinaitic Covenant, He said if you will do this, then I will do that. If you look at Deuteronomy, you see that Moses warned them in the second giving of the Law. If you do not obey God, He is going to scatter you. See, that is a conditional covenant. You can have the land, you can possess it, you can do well in it, you can live high on the hog, but in order for me to bless you so that you can do that, you are going to have to obey me. That is a conditional thing. Any of you ever raise children, you know what conditional covenants are like. If you do this, then I will do that. No different between God and the nation of Israel.

Then, there is another kind of covenant, it is the unconditional covenant. This is a covenant where only one party is associated with the promise. God, when He told Noah that He would not destroy the world again, that was an unconditional covenant. He did not say, “Noah, now if you and your bunch behave, I’m not going to do this again. But, the moment you step out of line, I’m going to wash you all away again!” He didn’t do that. He said, “I will never, ever destroy the world again with water.” That is unconditional. It doesn’t matter what mankind does, it didn’t matter what Noah did. He raised some grapes and got drunk, and God still did not destroy the world with water again.  That is unconditional.

In Genesis 15, God made another unconditional covenant and He made it with Abraham. He said I am going to do this and the covenant was sealed with God alone walking between the pieces of the sacrifices. Abraham didn’t walk through them, it wasn’t a two-party covenant, it was a single-party covenant, unconditional, just like the Noahic covenant. God said I am not going to destroy the world again no matter what. He said to Abraham, I am going to do this and that and the other for your descendents, no matter what!

Centuries later, when Moses was bringing them out of Egypt, bringing them back to the promised land, so to speak, they were given another covenant, it was called the Sinaitic Law.  It was called the law, that was conditional. See the difference? There is some discussion of Joshua 21:43, very valid discussion about God saying to Joshua that He has given to them all the land that He had promised and that’s a fact, He did. What you have to understand is what Dr. Olford used to tell us all the time. In his British brogue he would say, “Gentlemen, expound the scriptures. Be an exegeses, not an eisegesis.” What he simply meant was when you go to the text do not impose a preconceived idea upon it. Dig it out and let it speak for itself. If you go to Joshua chapter 21 and verse 43, you see that the land-grant promise that God made to Abraham in Genesis 15 describes the borders of the land as being from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates River. In Joshua 21, where the context, the context, the context is Numbers 34, you see it refers to the land given to the 12 tribal fathers and their descendents in the conquest of Canaan under Joshua and gives the borders which are not the same as those of Genesis 15. What is described in Numbers 34 and referred to in Joshua 21, is not the land promised to the patriarch Abraham, it’s the land promised to the elders of the people. Deuteronomy 28 has both kinds of covenants found in that text. Israel’s rebellion in verses 15-57, there She is being punished under the Mosaic covenant, being dispersed to Assyrian Babylon, then we find Israel’s rebellion in verses 58-68 connected with a world-wide dispersion and the rebirth of Israel in return to their land.

Think about this. This is the way it helps me to keep it straight. The sign of the unconditional Noahic covenant is, present tense, the rainbow. Every little child, if they are raised in a Christian home, dad or mom points out their very first rainbow when they can see it and they can really distinguish it and that kind of thing. What does dad and mom teach them? God promised that He would never destroy the world with water again. That’s what that rainbow means. The sign of the unconditional Abrahamic covenant is, present tense, the rebirth of that nation. If Israel was not reborn, then God was not straight up with Abraham. Perish the thought. For God to have voided the Abrahamic covenant and to have gone back in dealing with humanity through the Gentile world, it would have made Him an impulsive God whose word, whose promises, and whose covenants would be worthless because they could not be counted upon. It would make prophetic scriptures, one-third of the whole Bible was prophetic when it was written. Incomprehensible. It wouldn’t make any sense. It wouldn’t mean anything and then it would make the Noahic flood and the scattering of humanity from Babel nothing more than a sole act of anger without purpose.  God does not get angry without purpose.

You can go to the book of Romans, that I’m not going to do tonight, chapters 9, 10, and 11, and you can see that Gentiles, I’m a Gentile, I’m not a Jew, Gentiles are grafted into the root stock of Israel, not vice versa.  Every kid in middle school understands that grafting requires a living root stock.

Preservation of the Jews until the rebirth. Preservation of the Jews from A.D. 70 until 1948, or if you want to, you can go to A.D. 134 until 1948, but I go to A.D. 70 because that is when the temple was destroyed. The Jewish people had been preserved until the time of Israel’s rebirth. I believe that that preservation was directly by the hand of God, something we will get into in a little more detail in a moment. I believe it is important to say, at this point, that the preservation of Israel until the rebirth is similar to the preservation of the root of the Hebrew language.  The new state of Israel would have to be distinctive in every aspect of her rebirth and character.  The rebirth of the Hebrew language would be a part of that distinction. I knew that academically. I mean, I had heard it and studied it, but I didn’t really get a handle on it until I read the biography of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda.  You all might remember that, Tongue of the Prophets, where his life was recounted and revival of the Hebrew language. An amazing story!

Let’s consider for a minute the fact that God preserved them until the rebirth by not allowing them to be annihilated.  Any ancient peoples are gone.  Canaanites, Amalekites, Jebusites, and many more.  My first trip to Israel many years ago, the group I was with, it was an archeological group, and I’m not an archeologist, I was a volunteer handling dirt, getting dirty, packing, picking, and doing all that kind of stuff, but you had to have a guide with you. Any time you are over there, you have to have a guide.

This guide was an Arab. He said, in the bus one day, “You know, I’m a Canaanite.”  I said, “Really?”. He said, “I’m a descendent of the Canaanites.” He said, “This land is our land.” I’m afraid he is wrong, there are no Canaanites today. Just like there are no Amalekites and Jebusites. They have been annihilated or assimilated. They are gone. A lot of attempts have been made to do the same to Jews, pogroms even attempted genocide. All those attempts have failed. Why? I believe that the reason the Jew cannot be annihilated is for the same reason that the bush was not destroyed in Exodus 3.

Remember? Moses out there in the desert and he sees the bush on fire. He turns around to look at it because it wasn’t consumed and then a voice comes out saying, “Take your boots off Moses, this is holy ground.” God was in the bush, it could not be destroyed. Likewise, God is in the nation and He cannot be destroyed.

Remember the words in Genesis 22, “And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, ‘By myself I have sworn because you have done this thing and have not withheld your only son, I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand of the seashore.’”  That simply means that they cannot be destroyed, they cannot be annihilated.

That from Abraham on there would always be the presence of Jews. If the Jews can be destroyed, then God again deceived Abraham. Once again, perish the thought. He preserved them from another means also and that is by the fact that Jews cannot be assimilated into their host cultures. This was God’s plan from the time of the call of Abram. The intent is clear in the story of finding wives for Isaac and Jacob. Everybody is familiar with the law of assimilation, that by the third generation a host culture absorbs the grandchildren of the original immigrant family. That works for everyone but the Jews.  That was true from the start with their 400 years in Egypt in Goshen. Why do you think God made them shepherds? Why do you think God made it so that the Egyptians would detest shepherds.  When Joseph’s family got to Egypt, Pharaoh said, “What does your dad do for a living?”

“He’s a shepherd.”  “Ah!” Okay, they are welcome, they can be here, but send them to Goshen.  Goshen was where they had lots of grass and water. Egyptians couldn’t stand shepherds. God prevented assimilation, even with the Egyptians.

The Jews have a mistaken belief system because they are secular. That belief system says that if they could just blend in some kind of way with everybody else, they would be accepted and all their troubles would be over. This is an ancient desire. Do you remember what the people said to Samuel in 1 Kings 8? Give us a king (like what) like all the nations. They wanted to be like all the nations and even today Jews believe if they could just get rid of this Jewish tag on their names, then they could move into the populations of the world and then at the United Nations and everywhere else, they would accepted because they would be like everybody else and God says, “No! It’s not going to happen! You will remain distinct.”  Even today there is really no cultural assimilation collectively of the Jewish people.

The Jews see their distinction as a plague, as a liability. God sees it in a totally different way. In the future, God is going to make it very clear that being a Jew is a blessing and the world will see it as a blessing. Zechariah said, “The Lord of hosts says this (what do you say, God, about this), ‘Many peoples and strong nations will come to see the Lord of Host in Jerusalem and plead for the Lord’s favor. In those days, ten men from nations of every language will grab the robe of a Jewish man tightly, arguing let us go with you for we have heard that God is with you.’ ”

God’s message to the world is this: The fact is, the Jews are not going anywhere, you might as well get used to it.  They cannot be annihilated, nor can they be assimilated.

Consider the rebirth itself. There has always been a continued Jewish presence in Israel. There have always been Jews there in the land since Joshua’s conquest.  If you go back to the Ottoman Empire, even on into the early 20th century, you see that the Arabs who were there, declared themselves Syrians. They did not call themselves Palestinians. If you read Chaim Herzog’s book on the Arab-Israeli Wars, you see that the Palestinian Brigade of World War II consisted completely of Jewish soldiers, not Arabs.

Throughout the eight periods of Jewish history between the return from the Babylonian exile until the 20th century, Jews have lived in the land. If you go just a little bit farther in that thinking, you it to be a fact that the re-establishment of their ancient homeland has always been in the collective heart of the Jewish people.

Lets look at some factors having to do with the rebirth. The first factor is what is often called modern Zionism.  You might remember from history the treason trial of French Army Captain Alfred Dreyfus in Paris. Dreyfus and some other Jews were at the War College in France. The War College is like a post-graduate school for officers in the military. Dreyfus was there and he and the other Jews, in 1892 particularly, were not desired for staff positions in the War College in France at the time. Dreyfus and the other Jews were deliberately singled out for low grades. Everything must have been an objective examination.  I don’t know, but they were all not wanted.  In 1894, something happened.  Someone at the French War College passed artillery secrets to Germany. That was a very important thing. I used to be an artillery officer and you can take artillery shells, you can do stuff with them that you wouldn’t even believe. Even back then artillery was a very important part of the combined arms triad in the military.  This was a very serious offense.  At a secret court martial, Dreyfus was quickly convicted.

He was re-instated later, but this treason trial was a turning point for Zionism. The reason is because of this guy, Theodor Herzl.  He was an Austrian Jew newspaper reported who covered the trial.  He saw

antisemitism first hand in Paris. When he got to Paris to cover the trial, all he heard all around the city was, “Death to the Jews, death to the Jews,” from the predominantly Roman Catholic anti-Dreyfusoids.

Did a little research on that and this is what I found out. Interestingly, a guy named John Preston wrote a book, in fact a review of the Dreyfus affair. He recorded in his review a book by Piers Paul Read that said, “Almost one-third of all antisemitic books published in France between 1870 and 1895, were written by Catholic priests. Antisemitism was very strong in the late 19th  century in France, as it is today.

In 1896, Herzl published a book entitled, The Jewish State. Because of what he saw around the Dreyfus trial, he knew that there had to be something to be done by the Jewish people because they couldn’t live among the Gentiles. He outlined, in his book, some reasons for the Jews to leave Europe. The number one reason was persecution in the Gentile world. He suggested Palestine should be the objective.  Palestine was a common term for the ancient land of Israel at that time.

This is what Herzl said, “Palestine is our unforgettable historic homeland. Let me repeat once more my opening words.”  This was in a speech, it was recorded.  “The Jews who will it, shall achieve their state. We shall live, at last, as free men on our own soil and in our own homes we will peacefully die. The world will be liberated by our freedom.” Can you imagine that? He said, “The world will be liberated by our freedom. It will be enriched by our wealth and it will be magnified by our greatness.” He is talking about Jewish people. He said, “And whatever we attempt there in our homeland for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind.” Can you imagine this guy saying this! That is exactly what God said to Abraham in Genesis 12. The whole world will be blessed by you guys Abraham, you and your descends.  I’m telling you, you are going to be a blessing to everybody.

Over 800 Nobel prizes have been awarded. At least one out of five have been Jewish recipients. Jews, however, make up less than 0.2 of 1% of the world’s population. Do you think that Herzl nailed it? I’d say he did.  God said to Abraham, “In you all families of the earth will be blessed.”

The second factor in the rebirth is the inexplicable allurement of the land. Gentiles, including the church, cannot understand the connection between Jews and Israel. I don’t know why they want to go over there. I like south Louisiana. They leave good jobs, money, established careers, family roots, and everything to immigrate to Israel. Life in that land demands a lot. There are physical and emotional demands made daily. They are surrounded by millions of Arab Muslims, most of whom hate them, the overwhelming majority.  The first thought each morning and the final thought each night by Jews are all in context of base-level survival from enemy attacks. When asked why, some say, “I don’t know. I just had this strong urge, this land is my home.” Sounds strange to most everyone, unless one is a student of Bible prophecy, then it makes absolutely perfect sense.

Since 1948, over 3.1 million people, are Jews from around the world, have returned. At one point, when they started leaving the Soviet Union and Russia, a little over 20 years ago, there were pediatricians arriving in Israel with no work. They actually put ads in newspapers saying, “I am a pediatrician and I will babysit your children.” Why did they not come to America? Why did they not go to Western Europe. They could have made lots of money, had a very high standard of living. They chose Israel and most of them do not know why.

The third factor in the rebirth is the condition of the land under the Arabs. God, I believe, never intended for His land, and He calls it my land, go to Joel and you see that, I don’t think He ever intended His land to be a wasteland. Histories occupiers abused the land and left it desolate, but the returning Jews loved it as only a rightful owner can love a land. It was a viper and scorpion-infested region. No significant numbers of trees or agricultural efforts because the Ottoman Empire taxed trees, so everybody cut their trees down. There were very low degrees of healthcare systems there. Mark Twain visited and he wrote a book about it, The Innocents Abroad, in 1867. He said, “Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered it’s fields and fettered it’s energies. Palestine is desolate and unlovely. It is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land. That is not the way God intended His land to be.”

Under Arab control, the land could never be what God said it would be. Our first there was with an Arab tourist agency. I was going with a school program so they used an Arab agency because it was cheaper. We stayed in Arab motels, I guess that is what you might call them. You wouldn’t believe it. Its funny we all didn’t die with dysentery.

The fourth factor in the rebirth is the condition of the land under the Israelis. The Jews went back and they bought worthless land from Arabs at highly inflated prices.  They drained malaria-infested swamps and planted eucalyptus trees around them. They dug canals for irrigation. They built desalination plants. They planted millions of trees.  They increased the living standard for everyone, Jew and Arab alike. You can see a marked difference between Jewish and Arab towns. You can see a marked difference in Old Jerusalem between the Jewish quarter and the Arab quarter and everything is under one roof there. You walk through these narrow streets, you walk through and you can see immediately when you step into the Arab quarter. It smells differently, it looks differently, it even has a sense of feeling and foreboding that is different from just 20 feet back when you were in the Jewish quarter.  Go there and see, you will know what I am talking about.

The same kind of contrast is there for medical care, both disease and trauma. And, by the way, Arabs injured, Arabs with congenital birth defects are all treated with the finest Israeli medical care that can be had if they are Israeli citizens. Many who are enemies in times of conflict, are brought into Israeli hospitals and whose lives have been saved because of such excellent care. By the way, Israel is substantially ahead of us in the area of medicine, in many ways.They develop forests and farmland. Their annual AG exports are about, a year ago it was 1.3 billion, I believe.

The fifth factor in the rebirth has to do with the world wars. World War I lead to the land being made ready for the Jews. You remember the Balfour Declaration? That’s a copy of it.  We are not going to have time to read that, you can look it up on the internet. World War II lead to the Jewish people being made ready for the land.  Naziism’s death camps did several things.  They brought the plight of the Jews into international spotlight. You remember General Eisenhower and what he did.  It clearly showed the Jews that they could not rely on the Gentiles to direct their destiny. That is probably one of the most important things that came out of World War II.  The Jews had indelibly burned into their minds that no matter what country issued their passport, a Jew is still only a Jew. I’ve told groups this before and I’m going to mention it tonight. Maybe you have heard it. One of my teachers was a man named John Phillips, Dr. Phillips. He worked on the Haifa docks in 1948. He met a guy there whose name was Cohen. He was a Jew and he survived the death camp. One day Cohen told Dr. Phillips, he said, “I was a German.” He said he had gone to a German university, spoke the German language. He was all German in every way you could.  He said, “I was a German,” then Dr. Phillips said he raised his hands and he clenched his fists and he said, “But Hitler taught me I was a Jew!” What a pronouncement.   They are teaching them over there today that they are only Jews.

Sixth factor in the rebirth. Rebirth is the cause of the allurement. My family is from Drogheda, Ireland and I would like to go there some day.  I would like to see it, but I don’t want to go live there.  I’m not an Irishman, I’m an American.  That allurement for the land is found in a Jew’s spiritual genetic code and is unknown is most other groups.  I don’t believe any other people have such a strong inclination and a predisposition toward their ancient homeland as Jews do. The reason is because God put it there. It is similar, in my opinion, to the hooks that God will put into the jaws of Gog and Magog and draw them into His land in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

A seventh factor, moving quickly. Something that I find somewhat unusual and it has to do with birth pangs.  I don’t know anything about birth pangs, thank God.  In Isaiah 66:7, God said, “Before Zion was in labor, she gave birth. Before she was in pain, she delivered a boy.” May 14, 1948. Well, what does this mean? Birth pangs coming after the birth? That doesn’t make sense.  If you look at history, you see that May 14 was the day that David Ben-Gurion stood up in Independence Hall there on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv and he declared the new State of Israel. The very next day that same little tiny nation was invaded by the armies of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Every day for 67 years Israel has, in some way, fought for survival against Arab Muslim enemies, UN sanctions, international boycotts and now even against US demands and impositions that, if implemented, would be nothing less than suicidal. Obama is wanting borders back to the 1967 time which means that Israel is absolutely, completely, and totally indefensible. There is not a man in his right mind that would go for that.

If they went back, it would take a Jordanian jet seconds to cross the frontier. Why the continuous birth pains, because Satan hates Israel’s existence.  He wants to be worshiped as a god and he wants this earth as his own. His goal consists of two major things, in my opinion, you remove any reason for Jesus to return to this earth a second time. That means getting rid of the Jews, then you make God a liar. If God is a liar, then He has no moral standard by which He might judge Satan. Again, perish the thought.

The future. What about for Christians? What does it mean for us? First, removal of the church, that would be nice. I am looking forward to that as you are.  I often wondered how that is going to be.  I don’t know how it’s going to be. People talk about what’s the rapture going to be like or what is the taking out of the church going to be like or whatever name or title you want to apply to the event.  I don’t care, doesn’t make me any difference, I just know it’s going to happen. What’s it going to feel like to suddenly be standing here and gone. I don’t know, I don’t know what it’s going to be like, but I’d rather go that way than through my friend in Amite who has a funeral home. I’ve told him to his face, “Tommy,” I said, “you’re a good friend of mine, but I don’t want to give you my business.” With the church, we can see an increasing persecution in both the world and in the United States. As the US grows more antisemitic, it will also become more hostile toward those who literally believe the blessing and curse of Genesis 12:3. It also presents for us increasing opportunities for encouragement and evangelism.  What does it mean?  What does the future have for Israel?

In my opinion, this is my opinion, I believe they are going to fight another war of survival against the Islamic nations in close proximity to their borders. Personally, I believe that is going to be Psalm 83. Someone was asking me about that tonight. Will Psalm 83 happen before Ezekiel 38.  My answer, at this moment, is yes. I could change my mind tomorrow if something happens or if I see something else in scripture.  That’s the good thing about believing in the prophetic word like this.  I reserve the right, I  don’t care what my brotherhood says, I reserve the right to change my mind as I see things differently.

I don’t care what my mentors taught me or my parents believe. I don’t care! I don’t want to disrespect anybody, but this is the way I see it based upon my study. I can change my mind if the Lord so leads. I believe that they are going to fight another war. I believe it’s going to be the fulfillment of Psalm 83. I believe that eventually they are going to come to an agreement with a western political and economic military power that is brokered through antichrist. Possibly associated with maneuverings to become a part of the European Union. I don’t know, that could happen, I don’t know. I see, in my opinion, a miraculous defeat of God and Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39. I see an unprecedented persecution from antichrist. I see continuous miraculous preservation from God. I see national recognition and acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah.  If you go down a little farther into Ezekiel 36, you see that.  I see an inauguration of Israel as preeminent nation in the world under the reign of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. That is my opinion.

Let me close with this. Whatever happens to Israel and the Jewish people in the future, it is going to be directly related to what I would call the flagship day of her modern history and that was May 14, 1948. The day the most important prophecy was fulfilled literally, in a small room, in Independence Hall, on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv.

I am going to give you Samuel Katz’s words here and this is going to be my last thing.  He wrote a book called Battleground: Fact & Fantasy in Palestine. He said this, “The consciousness of the Jew that Palestine was his country was not a theoretical exercise or an article of theology, or a sophisticated political outlook. It was, in a sense, all of these and yet it was a pervasive and inextricable element in the very warp and woof of his daily life. Jewish prayers, Jewish literature are saturated with the love and the longing for, and the sense of belonging to Palestine. Except for religion and the love between the sexes, there is no thing so pervasive in the literature of any other nation, no thing has yielded so much thought and feeling and expression as the relationship of the Jew to Palestine in Jewish literature and philosophy.” I thought, yeh, this guy’s got a handle on this thing. “And in his home, that is, in a Jewish home on family occasions, in his daily customs on weekdays and Shabbat, when he said grace over meals, when he got married, when he built his house and he said words of comfort to mourners, the context was always his exile, his hope, and his belief in the return to Zion.”  Now get this.  “And the reconstruction of his homeland. So intense was this sense of affinity that in the vicissitude of exile, he could not envision that restoration during his lifetime. It was a matter of faith that with the coming of the Messiah and the resurrection, he would be brought back to the land after his death.”

This kind of thing is unparalleled in the annals of human history.  You all remember the old Yul Brynner movie, Ten Commandments? Watched it as a kid and there was a line that Yul Brynner had in that, that I’ll never forget. There was a line in that movie, funny how things hang onto the mind of a kid sometimes. You remember Yul Brynner and he had just issued a decree and there was some discussion of it and he said these words, “So let it be written, so let it be done.” Amen.

 

Don McGee is founder of Crown & Sickle Ministries.

                                                                                                         www.crownandsickle.org

 




One Response to “Rebirth of Israel”

  1. angie says:

    ……miraculous defeat of ‘God and Magog’.?.. meant Gog and Magog…..



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Romans 14:8