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    B"H  Iyyar 1

Am Yisrael Chai

The Prophetic Significance of Israel...

by John J. Parsons

Isaiah 66:8

"Shall a land be born in a day? Shall a nation be brought forth in a moment?"
- Isaiah 66:8

ARE WE LIVING IN THE END TIMES? Are we among the "terminal generation" before the return of the Lord? The Torah predicted that the "end of days" would commence only after the return of the Jewish people from worldwide dispersion to the land of Israel (Deut. 30:1-3), and indeed the theme of exile and return is repeatedly stated in the prophets (Jer. 23:3; 32:37-38; Ezek. 37:21, etc.). Therefore it is surely extraordinary that Israel was reborn as a nation in their ancient homeland on May 14, 1948 (Iyyar 5, 5708), after nearly 2,000 years of exile among the nations of the world... The existence of the modern State of Israel is entirely consonant with the various New Testament prophecies regarding the advent of the Messiah, since Jesus taught that the Jewish people would reside in the promised land at the time of his second coming, and that the city of Jerusalem would be surrounded by enemies of the Jewish state (see Matt. 24-25; Mark 13, Luke 21).

If we understand a "generation" to mean 70-80 years in duration (as stated in Psalm 90:10), then when Jesus said, "this generation (ἡ γενεὰ αὕτη) shall not pass until all these things take place" (Matt. 24:34), he was referring to the generation that would originate with the restoration of the modern State of Israel, which further implies that Daniel's 70th Week (i.e., the Great Tribulation) could begin very soon indeed, perhaps within as few as 5-15 years (add another 19 years if the generation begins with the annex of Jerusalem in 1967). And while it is certainly true that the rapture could occur at any time, and that "no one knows the day or hour" of Yom Adonai haGadol (וֹם־יְהוָה הַגָּדוֹל), the prophesied "great day of the LORD," Jesus faulted the Pharisees for failing to discern "the signs of the seasons" (Matt. 16:3) and for missing the "time of their visitation" (Luke 19:44).

"Shall a land be born in a day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?" Like other prophecies given in the Jewish Scriptures, this one is "dual aspect," since it was both partially fulfilled when the Jewish people reestablished the State of Israel in 1948, but it will be entirely fulfilled at the outset of the Millennial Kingdom after the return of Messiah (see Isa. 66:7-16; Rom. 11:26). Meanwhile we behold the miraculous restoration of the "Fig Tree" and understand that the great harvest draws near, friends... May God help each one of us prepare our hearts to be awake, ready, and full of confidence for that coming day (1 John 3:2-3; Titus 2:11-14; Matt. 24:32). עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל חַי - Am Yisrael Chai! The people of Israel live! Soon and very soon we are going to see our King!

Hebrew-English Transliteration:

Hebrew Transliteration

hayuchal eretz beyom echad? im yivaled goy pa'am echat?

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Dry Bones Shall Live....

Israel's Independence Day is called Yom Ha'atzma'ut (יוֹם הָעַצְמָאוּת), the "day of independence." In Hebrew, the word independence (atzma'ut) comes from atzmi - "my bones" (i.e., etzem: עֶצֶם), so the name itself alludes to God's glorious promise to revive the "dry bones" (עֲצָמוֹת) of Israel by bringing the Jewish people back from their long exile during the End of Days (Ezek. 37:1-6). Son of man, can these bones live?

But why should Christians care about ethnic Israel?  After all, many Christian denominations advocate some version of "Replacement Theology" and regard the promises God made to the Jewish people as belonging exclusively to their church...  The existence of the modern State of Israel therefore evokes little thanks to God from these groups, and some of their ranks even regard Israel's revived presence on the world stage as an embarrassment to their typically "liberal" theology.  Hence we see the (remarkably bad) phenomena of so-called "Christian" church denominations that express anti-Israel sentiment, even asking their followers to divest investments in Israel on behalf of the "Palestinians," etc.

Briefly, we should care about Israel because the existence of Jewish people - and of the nation of Israel in particular - demonstrates that God is faithful to the covenant promises He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (e.g., Gen. 15:9-21). The perpetuity of the Jewish people - despite so much worldwide and satanic hatred over the millennia - is an awesome testimony of God's faithful love (Jer. 31:35-37). עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל חַי / am Yisrael chai: "The people of Israel live!" Israel is a sign of the "sure mercies of David" (חַסְדֵי דָוִד הַנֶּאֱמָנִים) that are revealed in Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah (Isa. 55:1-6). Moreover, the New Covenant itself, as foretold by the prophet Jeremiah, explicitly promises the perpetuity of the Jewish people thoughout the ages (Jer. 31:31-37):
 

    Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD (יהוה), when I will make a new covenant (בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה) with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law (תּוֹרָה) within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

    Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar– the LORD of hosts is his Name: "If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel (זֶרַע יִשְׂרָאֵל) cease from being a nation before me forever." Thus says the LORD: "If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israelfor all that they have done, declares the LORD. – Jer. 31:35-36
     

According to this theologically critical passage, if you saw the sun shine today or the stars in the night sky, you can be assured that God's promise to preserve the "offspring of Israel" -- (i.e., zera Yisrael: זֶרַע יִשְׂרָאֵל) -- is in effect. Indeed, in the world to come, heavenly Jerusalem will have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel engraved upon its gates (Rev. 21:12). Note well that this is the only occurrence in the entire Tanakh (i.e., "Old Testament") that the New Covenant (בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה) is explicitly mentioned... It is a foundational passage of Scripture for those who claim to be followers of the Jewish Messiah.

All the blessings Christians enjoy ultimately come from the root of God's covenants with Israel... Yeshua our Savior was born the King of the Jews, and plainly said salvation is "from the Jews" (Matt. 2:2; 27:11; John 4:22). The Apostle Paul clearly warned those who think the church has "replaced" Israel: "Remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you" (Rom. 11:18). This doctine is so foundational that it may be righly said that how you think about Israel will affect every other area of your theology. For more on this subject, see the article, "Is Christianity Anti-Jewish?"



 

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