The theme of a return of Jews, who were scattered throughout the world, has been consistently and dramatically preached throughout the Bible. It is our intention to inform our readers of this greatest of all historical events in a bevy of historical reviews of how and when this took place. In God’s time, and according to His perfect plan, God has made it happen. It took persecutions, World War II and an awful holocaust for the Jews to migrate back. Only such catastrophic things could have ever moved an entire people to leave the security and convenience of the lives they had built for themselves in every nation of the world to converge on a tiny desert wilderness barren from centuries of neglect.
The Christian Spirit Fellowship (now we call ourselves Elisha’s Outcast Eagles for reasons of being remote from the Laodicean orthodoxy of all the denominations of Christianity), in the early nineties, felt an urgency to invite loved ones and friends to a meeting about Bible Prophecy. We did not then pretend to fully understand all the reasons behind this insistence, but we now know for certain that we are living in the last moments of the end times; living in the midst of a time of great prophetic manifestations and judgments of God wherein we wait for the Will of God to move upon the earth concerning the coming of His Son, Jesus. We have always been aware that the return to their homeland of the Jews, after being dispersed throughout the world for the better part of two thousand years, is a powerfully certain sign that our current era is rapidly winding down. This prophecy – the return of the Jews to Israel – is a certain sign of the end and the return of Christ.
Our urgency about the preparation for the return of Christ has only increased with time. The role of the Jews and their place in world history has always been misunderstood by the Gentiles. Even the Jews themselves are not only perplexed but often outraged at the treatment they have received at the hand of their fellow humans. Genocide attempts in Persia, the Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, Roman massacres, the horrors of the Holy and Spanish Inquisitions, the creation of Ghettos in Europe, Pogroms in Russia, Holocaust in Europe, British betrayal, sneak attacks from combined Arab nations, and ongoing harassment from Palestinian and radical Muslim elements to this day are just among some of the major persecutions perpetrated by the world upon the Jews during the Age
An Amazing Sign That Jesus is Soon Returning
The key to understanding the position and plight of God’s Chosen People – a nation He created to be a living sign, a shining example and an ultimate blessing to the other peoples and nations of the world – is found only in the Bible. God’s word refers to the Jews as The Chosen Nation. Any other analysis, identification or explanation of who and what “THE JEW” is produced maudlin, humanistic pity on the one hand, or vicious hatred, fanatical prejudice and anti-Semitic persecution on the other.
The modern State of Israel is geographically positioned in what has been called the navel of the world. Whether we like it or not, the Jews have, more frequently than not, been right in the center of world controversies, historically, culturally, religiously, economically and socially. Even today much of the world is waiting with bated breath to see if the Palestinian “peace process” succeeds (with hopes of securing world peace) or fails (with fears that we will all be plunged into a fateful, perhaps final, world conflagration). Hamas lobs rockets at their airport. The Jews seek to destroy their tunnels that like mole holes burst open to destroy and kill from beneath the earth.
The return of the Jews is a most important, highly significant and broadly illuminating piece in the overall puzzle of prophetic fulfillment. If it is important to ask ourselves where we personally fit into God’s picture, it is also essential to understand where the Jews fit in.
JEWS MIRACULOUSLY RETURN TO ISRAEL
AFTER 2,500 YEARS
Against impossible odds, six hundred thousand Jews managed to survive the Holocaust, escape war-torn Europe and make their way to Palestine in the early years following the end of World War II. In 1948, despite British opposition and fierce Arab hostility, the State of Israel was reborn into reality. Within the next twenty years, two million Jews from 105 different nations emigrated to Palestine in the most amazing exodus and repatriation process since their return from the Babylonian Captivity 2500 years earlier.
At the close of the Six Day War in 1967 Jerusalem became the capital of a sovereign Jewish State for the first time since 597 B.C.! When events as stupendous as these began to take place in Palestine 30 – 50 years ago, students of Bible prophecy and all the Christian world sat up and took notice.
Why all the fuss about the Jews? For many scriptural reasons, but mainly because of what is referred to as the sign of THE
Israel Is the Fig Tree
In three of the four Gospels, the Lord Jesus gives a teaching on the end times known as THE OLIVET DISCOURSE. In this most important talk to His disciples, Jesus told them of the signs that would run the course of the Age, those which would signal the end of the age, and happenings that would immediately precede His Second Coming. These “signs of His Return”, referred to in Matthew, chapter 24; Mark, chapter 13; and Luke, chapter 21 – events like wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, false Christs and false prophets as well as other deceptions – are all indicative of the nearness of a special time of pressure, trouble and tribulation that will come upon the whole world. Toward the close of this tremendous teaching, Jesus gives us a parable that is a powerful sign of when these earth-shaking, disastrous judgments, which must precede His personal return, will occur. In Matthew 24:32-36 our Lord says:
|“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh.
So likewise ye, when ye see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but only my Father.”
In the Bible, trees are frequently used as symbols of nations. A classic example is the famed “cedars of Lebanon” which stand for that country. At other times the cedar tree symbolizes any proud and lofty country whose fortunes are currently on the rise. A fig tree represents Israel. A lively hymn proclaims:
|“The King is coming, Hallelujah; He’s coming in the air.
The Fig Tree is budding; The signs are everywhere!”
As the last line of the above parable clearly indicates, these signs were not given to us to pinpoint exact times of the complete return of the Jews, nor should we think that we can accurately predict the time of our Lord’s Second Coming. Although many might like to speculate about the timing of these awesome events, true believers know that only false prophets set times and dates and leave no room for people to either receive or exercise faith in God’s prophetic Word.
Seven Things God Says About His
People and the Land
1.) God calls Palestine His land: Hosea 9:3 refers to it as “the Lord’s land”; II Chronicles 7:20 as “My land”; both Jeremiah 2:7 and 16:18 mention those who have “defiled My land.”
2.) Numerous times in the Bible God says this land is given to Israel and is to be theirs forever: in Genesis 13:15 God gives the land to Abraham and “to his seed forever”; in 17:8 it is referred to as “an everlasting possession”; Deuteronomy 4:10 says this earth is “given forever”; and Isaiah 60:21 says Israel will “inherit the land forever.”
3.) God predicts a final return of the Jews to Palestine: in Deuteronomy 4:27-30 God promises He will not forget His covenant; in Isaiah 11:11-12 He predicts a “recovery of a remnant”; in Jeremiah 24:6 God assures His people that He will “bring them again to this land”; and in Ezekiel 20:37-41 and 37:2-18 He solemnly assures them that He will “bring them into their own land.”
4.) God Himself prophesies about certain ‘Arabs’ (called Edom or Mount Seir in the Bible): Genesis 25:27-34 describes the origins of the ongoing enmity between Jacob (whose very name God changed to Israel) and Esau (who represents the Arabs); in Exodus 15:15-16 God promises Israel protection against the Arabs; in Numbers 20:14-21 is recorded one of the many confrontations between Arabs and Jews. Psalm 83 speaks of an Arab confederacy. Ezekiel 35:1-12 goes into detail about the hatred of Mount Seir for Israel. Through the prophet Obadiah, the Holy Ghost foretells the ultimate judgment that will come upon the Arabs.
5.) Although the Jews are now back in Palestine a period of great suffering is prophesied before the end: Jeremiah describes it as “the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble.” In chapters 38-39 of Ezekiel we have a fascinating description of a future northern invasion of Israel that reads like urgent battle reports from the front lines and goes on to describe the aftermath, including God’s “mopping up” operation!
6.) The Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem and the Antichrist will demand to be worshipped there: Succinct, but awesome, references to “the day of Christ,” a great “falling away,” the “man of sin” and the “temple of God” in II Thessalonians 2:3-4 give us the “feel” of this horrendous, blasphemous incursion into God’s domain.
7.) God’s ultimate salvation for the Jewish nation will come to pass: Isaiah 32:18 predicts that they will dwell in “a peaceable habitation.” In 33:12-17 the same prophet describes their earthly home and the promise that they will “see the King in His beauty.” The beautiful promise to Israel in Isaiah 66:12 is that they will experience and enjoy “peace like a river.” In Ezekiel 34:25 and again in 37:26 God promises His people an “everlasting covenant.” Zechariah 9:10 speaks of the battle bow being cut off and Israel’s King having dominion from “sea to sea.” Jerusalem will be established as “the throne of the Lord” according to Jeremiah 3:17, and in chapter 16:19-21 the prophet foresees the Gentiles coming there to pay homage. The prophet Zechariah again sees that coming day when the Jews will at last fulfill their original commission – to teach the other nations about God. Finally, Psalm 122:6-8 exhorts all true believers to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”
Dispersed and Brought Back
If you look at the biblical record you will see that if the Jews were obedient to God and kept His commands, He promised to live among them, grant them prosperity and make them a blessing to the whole world. If they refused to obey Him, especially if they provoked Him to anger by worshipping false gods, then He would make them a stumbling block to the world and severely punish them (see Leviticus 26:14-39). The ultimate sanction for the rebellious nation would be decades or even centuries of exile in foreign lands. Over the centuries God scattered the Jews.
611 B.C. – Northern Palestinian Jews deported to Assyria.
497 B.C. – Southern Palestinian Jews deported to Babylon.
426 B.C.– Partial return of the Jews from Babylon.
70 A.D. – Jerusalem and Temple Destroyed. The worldwide scattering of the Jews.
1880’s A.D – Zionist Movement – attempts to establish Jewish homeland and relocate Jews to Palestine.
1948 A.D. – The establishment of the modern State of Israel.
1967 A.D. – Israeli forces capture and establish Jerusalem as
The historical record of the trials and tribulations of Israel lend understanding to God’s command in Psalm 122 to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” it being chiseled into the unbreakable rock of God’s Word.
Since its capture from the Jebusites by King David about 1000 B.C. to its siege and partial destruction by Herod and Sosius in 37 A.D., Jerusalem has been plundered, sacked, laid siege to, captured or destroyed no less than twenty times. From the fulfillment of the prophecy given by Our Lord Jesus Christ when the city and Temple were destroyed by the Roman general Titus in 70 A.D. to the recapturing of Jerusalem in June, 1967 A.D., God’s most special place in all the world has been laid siege to, occupied, captured, bombarded or partially destroyed by Romans, rebellious Jews, Arabs and Muslim rebels, Crusaders, Turks and the British a total of 24 times! It has been ruled by Christians and Muslims during this time but never by Jews. Until 1948, when the prophecies of more than 2,000 years old were miraculously fulfilled.
Other Ancient ‘Trees’ Have Also Been Revived
The “signs of the times” are not limited to just what is happening to the Jews, what is going on in Israel, or what preparations are being made for the rebuilding of the Temple (and there are many now in progress). In that same parable in the Olivet Discourse, the Lord Jesus said: “Behold the fig tree, and All The Trees” Luke 21:29. If we are correct in symbolically linking trees with nations, then the emergence of ancient nations and cities, some long forgotten, should be factored into the other elements of prophetic fulfillment. Places like Libya, Ethiopia, Iran (ancient Persia), Iraq (site of infamous Babylon) Turkey, and of course, Egypt and now China, India and Pakistan have ascended to positions of immense international importance, revived as Israel has been after so many years of irrelevance.
There is still more to come…
A number of prophecies regarding the Jews and some that pertain to the Arabs and other nations of the world await further fulfillment. What is most exciting to us it that the prophecies regarding the Churches are right up to date and only await God’s perfect timing for their completion. Meanwhile, we know for certain that the re-establishment of the Jews in Palestine more than a half century ago signaled the beginning of a process of prophetic fulfillment that may be briefly extended or quickly accelerated for God’s own reasons, so that they may be brought