David Reagan - The End Times Focus on Israel, Part 1
Do the Jewish people have any right to the land of Israel? Did they steal that land from the Palestinians? Did they create the modern day state of Israel in violation of international law? Is there any hope for real peace in the Middle East between the Jews and the Arabs? And what does the Bible have to say about these questions? Stay tuned.
David Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. The focus of world politics today is the nation of Israel in the Middle East. And that focus is one of many signs that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return because all of end time Bible prophecy focuses on Israel, just like today’s newspaper headlines. The world condemns Israel for stealing the land of the Palestinians. But is that true? I can tell you without hesitation that it is not true. The Bible says that God has given the Jewish people an eternal title to that land. The Bible also says that in the end times, God will regather the Jewish people to that land and re-establish their state. So, the bottom line is that the presence of the state of Israel in the Middle East today is in accordance with God’s will. Stay tuned for a presentation of the biblical evidence.
The controlling passage for everything I have to share with you this evening is found in Genesis chapter 12 beginning with verse 1. And it reads as follows, “The Lord,” and in your Bibles whenever that is capitalized it always means Yahweh, the name of God. “Yahweh said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country to the land which I will show you. And I will make you a great nation and will bless you, and make your name great. And to your descendants I will give this land.'” The land of Canaan. This promise was reconfirmed to Abraham six more times. In Genesis 17:7 God declared the promise of the land to be an everlasting covenant, not a temporary one, everlasting. And the promise was reconfirmed to Isaac and to Jacob. And it was reconfirmed through King David in Psalm 105 which reads as follows, “Oh, give thanks to Yahweh, for He has remembered His covenant forever. The covenant which He made with Abraham. His oath to Isaac. And then He confirmed it to Jacob, and to Israel as an everlasting covenant. Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance.”
Now there were actually two covenants related to the land of Israel. The first one is the one we just discussed, the Land Title Covenant. This was given through Abraham and it was an unconditional covenant; I’m giving you the land no conditions attached. It’s yours. It’s yours forever. The second was the Land Use Covenant. This was given by God through Moses right before the children of Israel entered the land of Canaan after 40 years of wandering, in the wilderness just before they entered the land God spoke through Moses. And in Deuteronomy 28-30 He gives the Land Use Covenant. This is a covenant in which God makes it very clear to them that when they go into the land they are to abide by certain rules.
One of the most important being not intermarrying with the women of the land because he said that would lead to idolatry. But there were many rules and regulations He gave them. And He told them that the enjoyment of the land would depend upon their faithfulness to God. If they were faithful He would give them blessings. If they were unfaithful He would put curses upon them. And there is a whole chapter of different kinds of curses: such as bad weather, such as loss in wars, such as domination by foreign governments, such as rebellion by teenagers, divorce epidemics, crop failures, cattle dying, it goes on and on. All of the curses that God would put upon them if they were unfaithful to Him. And then it warned them that if they refused to repent, if they continued to sin against God that it would ultimately lead to the greatest curse of all.
And the greatest curse would be this: Deuteronomy 28:64, “Yahweh will scatter you among all peoples from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth. And there you will serve other gods. And among those nations you shall find no rest, and there shall be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there Yahweh will give you a trembling heart and failing of eyes, and despair of soul.” What would be the ultimate curse? Their dispersion to the four corners of the earth. Now, the crucial point to keep in mind is this: the gift of the land was irrevocable, unconditional, the Jewish people were given an eternal title. But their use and enjoyment of the land was conditional, it depended upon their obedience to God.
Let me illustrate it this way, let’s suppose that you buy a car for your teenage son. And you put the car in his name, it belongs to him. But you sit down with him and you say, “Ok, now as long as you live in my house you are going to be under my rules and my regulations. The car is yours but here are the rules: there is going to be no spinning of the tires, no racing, no speeding.” And you go through all the rules. And you say to him, “If you violate those rules depending upon the severity of the violation I am going to take your car, and I am going to lock it up in the garage and you are not going to be able to drive it for a week, or two weeks, or for a month.” The car is his. It belongs to him, but his use of it depends upon his obedience to his father’s commands and he can lose use of it for a period of time.
Now that is the situation with the children of Israel in the land. They were given an eternal title to the land but their possession of the land was conditional upon their obedience to God. They were there for 750 years; 400 under the judges, and 350 under the kings. But, they were falling into idolatry. They began to intermarry with the Canaanite wives. They began to violate all the rules of God. God put remedial judgement, after remedial judgment, after remedial judgment and they would not repent. And so the time came when God began to raise up prophetic voices like Elijah who called them to repentance. And again they refused to repent.
Until finally the time came when God decided that He had to eject them from the land. The Northern nation of Israel was ejected from the land by the Assyrians in 722 BC. And the Babylonians captured Judah 136 years later in 586 BC. But in His grace and His mercy God allowed the Jews to return after 70 years in Babylonian captivity. And they rebuilt their temple in Jerusalem but they continued in their rebellion against God. They continued to reject God. And when they rejected the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ God allowed the Romans to come in, conquer the city, burn their temple, and begin to put them all over the world. They were exiled to the four corners of the earth.
By the beginning of the 20th Century there were Australian Jews. There were African Jews. There were Latin American Jews. There were Jews in every country of the world just as God said He would do if they persisted in their rebellion. But again the crucial point to keep in mind is they were dispersed from their land in discipline but they were not disposed of their land. It was still their land, they still had the title to that land. And that is a very important thing to keep in mind. The title remained in their name and it remains in their name to this day. And God gave them a promise one day, He gave them a promise that one day they would be regathered to that land. He said, “One day even though you are dispersed to the four corners of the earth I am going to bring you back to your land.” This incidentally is the most prolific prophecy in the Hebrew Scriptures. This prophecy is made more times than any other one in the Hebrew Scriptures over, and over, like a broken record you hear this prophecy.
Let me give you one example of it. Here it is in Isaiah chapter 11 beginning with verse 11, “Then it will happen in that day.” Now in the book of Isaiah every time he says in that day, or on that day, every time without exception he is talking about the end times. And he says here, “It will happen on that day that Yahweh will again recover the second time. The first time He brought them back was from Babylon. This is going to be a second regathering. A second time His hand will bring the remnant of His people who remain from Assyria, and Egypt, and Pathros and Cush, and Elam, and Shinar, and Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. That is a Jewish colloquialism for the whole world. And he makes that clear in the next verse look what he says, “And He will lift up a standard for the nations and will assemble the banished ones of Israel and will gather the dispersed of Judah.” From where? “From the four corners of the earth.” Over, and over, and over that promise is made.
Actually the Bible mentions two future gatherings of the Jewish people. The first one will be their gathering in unbelief before the Lord returns. That’s going on right now. That is what is happening in Israel today. And what has been happening ever since the beginning of the 20th Century, the gathering in unbelief. Then the Bible prophesies for example there are many prophecies of this but one of them is Deuteronomy 30:1-2, there is going to be a second, another regathering a gathering of believing Jews when Jesus comes back at the end of the Tribulation. At the end of the Tribulation at His Second Coming He is going to gather every believing Jew on planet earth who has put their faith in Him during the Tribulation. Bring them back to the land of Israel, and establish Israel as the prime nation of the earth. And Jesus is going to reign from there as King of kings, and Lord of lords. So two regatherings, one in unbelief going on now, and one in belief after the Lord returns.
Now, regarding the regathering in unbelief that has been going on all through the 20th Century and continuing now. That particular regathering began, really was set in motion in the last 1800’s when God began to raise up prophetic voices in Europe calling the Jews to return to their homeland.
I don’t know how familiar you are with that. But in my book, my latest book called, The Jewish People: Rejected or Beloved? I have a whole chapter about the Holocaust. And I point out in that chapter that God raised up many, many prophetic voices in Europe and I name them. Who went all over Europe telling the Jewish people a Holocaust is coming, you must get back home to Israel. You must do it now. And the people laughed and they said, “No, it’s not going to happen.” They thought they had been assimilated. They thought they had been accepted.
And one of those prophetic voices was Theodore Herzl who spoke out strongly. And what caused him to become the leader of the movement the Zionist Movement was this little booklet, a very short booklet, this was published in German and the title of it is, The Jewish State. And in that he said, “Folks, the time has come. A holocaust is coming. We need to go back home. We need to establish a state of our own in our homeland. You must pull up your roots and start going back. Make Aliyah to Israel he ordered.” That particular booklet was anointed and it captured the imagination of Jews all over the world. And it led in 1897 to the very first Zionist conference in Basel, Switzerland where Herzl wrote in his diary, “I believe that the Jewish State will exist within 50 years.” He said, “People may think I’m crazy but I believe it.” And guess what? Fifty years later in November of 1947 the United Nations voted to create the State of Israel. He was prophetic in his vision.
In 1900 there were only 40,000 Jews in all of Israel. Forty thousand in 1900. By the end of World War II 600,000. Today for the first time ever in just the past few months there are now more Jews in Israel than were killed in the Holocaust. There are now more than 6 million Jews in Israel. They have been coming from every country in the world, speaking over 120 different languages. There has never been anything like it in all of history. Just stop and think about that for a moment. In the Bible you read about all these nations against Israel the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Hittites, the Amorites, and it goes on and on and on. One guy said, “Everything but the chigger bites they are all against Israel.” Where are they today? They are all in the dustbin of history. Where is Israel? Regathered to their homeland. God is in control. God knows what’s going to happen. And His will is being performed in history.
Now, there were two key events, two key events that lead to the regathering of the Jewish people. That was World War I, and World War II. World War I prepared the land for the people. World War II prepared the people for the land.
How did World War I prepare the land for the people? Well most Americans are not aware of the fact that in World War I the Germans whom we fought and everybody knows we fought the Germans in World War I but most do not realize we fought somebody else. The Germans had an ally and their ally was the Ottoman Empire. Their ally was the Turks. When the Germans lost, the Turks lost. We not only divided up the German Empire but we proceeded to divide up the Ottoman Empire, which was a great empire at that time as you can see on this map. This was the last of the Muslim caliphates. And we divided it up after World War I the British and the French in particular. The American’s were not so much involved in this, but they divided it up.
And right in the middle of that Ottoman Empire was a tiny speck of land called Palestine, and that was given to the British. And as soon as it was given to the British the British issued a document in November of 1917 which I believe is the first tangible sign in history that we were moving into the end times. And that was the Balfour Declaration. And in that declaration the British denounced that they were going to turn Palestine into a homeland for the Jewish people. Precisely Lord Balfour wrote, “His Majesty’s government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
I tell you Jews were electrified all over the world at the issuance of this particular document. And they rejoiced in the streets, at long last they are going to have the homeland for the Jewish people. Not only them but evangelicals as well all over the world who knew God’s prophetic Word realized the importance of this. That we were finally moving into the end of the end times when the Jewish people were going to go back home and have their own land.
Well, let me tell you something in that time Palestine looked like this. This was Palestine. Palestine was modern day Israel plus modern day Jordan. That’s what was given to the British. That’s what the British promised to the Jewish people; 45,000 square miles of territory. But, in 1922 the British double crossed the Jewish people. In 1922 they stabbed them in the back because they realized that the Arabs were beginning to discover oil, and they needed to curry favor with the Arab peoples. So, in 1922 they decided to divide Palestine into two parts and to give the majority of it, two-thirds of it to the Arab peoples leaving the Jewish people a very small sliver of land that was only 10,000 square miles. Once again the Jews felt like they had been doubled crossed, that they had been stabbed in the back. But they still wanted that little sliver of land. And so, they prayed and they looked forward to the day when that little sliver of land would become their piece of land.
Well, the second step was World War II prepared the people for the land. Even when they were given this land they did not go back in large numbers. They had to have a motivation to go back. And the horror of World War II, the horror of the Holocaust provided the motivation. When World War II was over and the Jews were released from the Holocaust they came out of the Holocaust saying, “Never again. Never again. Never again will we live under a Hitler. We are going to have our own nation. Our own government. We are going to rule ourselves.” And they began to flood back into the land of Israel. World War I prepared the land for the people. World War II prepared the people for the land.
And then in November of 1947 when the United Nations voted to create Israel once again the Jewish people felt like that they had been betrayed, because the United Nations voted to take that little sliver of land only 10,000 square miles and divide it equally between the Jews and the Arabs. As you look at that map the light tan area, those three light tan areas were to be given to the Jews. The dark grey areas were to be given to the Arabs. And Jerusalem was to be an internationalized area. The Jews were despondent, they were very upset, they felt like they had been betrayed, but they said, “We want a state nonetheless that has been our dream.” And so they accepted the United Nations Resolution very reluctantly, but accepted it. And on May the 14th, in 1948 in a tiny little room in Tel Aviv, David Ben Gurion stood up and read the Declaration of Independence and the state of Israel came into existence.
Now, I want to tell you something at this point that I hope you will never forget. It is something that no one ever mentions. On that very same day the Arabs could of meet in Ramallah and declared a Palestinian State, because the United Nations voted to create two states; a state for the Jews, a state of the Arabs. The Jews accepted and created their state. The Arabs said, “No, we want it all.” They could of have a Palestinian State ever since 1948 but they said, “No, we want it all.” And so the next morning five Arab States attacked Israel simultaneously from all directions determined to annihilate. They announced to the world, “We will make the Mediterranean Sea run red with the blood of the Jews.” And so they attacked. There was no hope for Israel, a tiny little nation only 600,000 people. All they had were the primitive guns they had brought from the Warsaw Ghetto. There seemed to be no hope whatsoever. But they survived. Because the Arab’s rejected and have done so over and over. There have been three of four times when they could have had a Palestinian State and they turned it down because they want it all. And because of that the greatest diplomate in the history of Israel Abba Eban made this statement, “The Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Their worst enemies have always been their leaders. Their leaders who are determined that they will settle for nothing less than the destruction of Israel.
Incidentally the attack by the Arab Nations the next morning after the Declaration of Independence was the fulfillment of a fascinating prophecy. There are many prophecies about the re-establishment of Israel in the end times but my favorite is a symbolic prophecy. Look at this, Isaiah chapter 66:7-8, “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy.” How many of you women have ever given birth before the birth pains? They come before the birth. This says, no, it is going to be after the birth. “Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? And then the birth pains came. That is exactly what happened. On May the 14th, 1948 the nation of Israel was declared. The next morning five Arab nations attacked. And since that time there have been constant birth pains, constant wars.
There was the war of 1948 and ’49 the War of Independence. There was the Suez War in 1956. There was the Six Day War in 1967. There was the Yom Kippur War in 1963. The Lebanese War in 1982. The First Intifada, the first Arab uprising in Israel from ’87-’93. There was the First Gulf War from ’90-’91. There was the second Arab uprising from 2000-2005. There was the Hezbollah War in 2006. The Gaza War in 2009. The Second Gaza War in 2014. The Israeli’s from the moment they were given birth have lived in a constant state of war. One war, after another, after another, the birth pains have continued. But Israel surrounded today by 350 million Arabs has continued to exist. It is a miracle of God. And let me tell you something they will continue to exist. The end time prophecies make that very clear. Look at this from Zechariah 12:6, “In that day,” again Zechariah when he uses that term he is talking about the end times. “In that day I will make the plans of Judah like a firepot among pieces of wood, and a flaming torch among sheaves so that they will consume on the right hand, on the left all the surrounding peoples.” There is going to be a miraculous revival of military power among the Israeli’s in the end times and that is exactly what has happened.
Ok. Let’s shift gears for a moment and talk about the Arabs and where they fit in to all of this. Just as God made a covenant with the Jews, He made one with the Arab people. Most people are not aware of this. He made a covenant with the Arab peoples. And you can find that covenant in Genesis 16 and 17. What was the promises that God made to the descendants of Ishmael. Very interesting look what He told him. “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly.” Today there are 350 million Arabs. He said, “I will make them a great nation.” And they are. He said, “I will give them all the land east of Canaan.” And He has. Number four, “I will give them a personality like a wild donkey.” Very interesting. Number five, “They will have a warlike spirit; their hand will be against everyone.” Those are the promises God made about the descendants of Ishmael.
And let’s looks at their fulfillment. Today here is the Arab world. Where you see that patch of land in gold that is the Arab world. God said, “I am going to give you a lot of land.” And He gave them a lot of land. There are now more than 350 million Arabs. And there are 22 Arab nations. The Arab’s have 5.3 million square miles of oil rich land. They are characterized by an inability to get along with anyone including themselves. I mean if Israel would to disappear tomorrow there would still be wars in the Middle East. There was a war in which over one million people were killed, a war between Iran and Iraq. And then Iraq invades Kuwait and wants to take over all the Middle East. They don’t even get along with each other much less the rest of the world. By comparison there is only one Jewish state. With a population of 6 million. Squeezed into an area of only 8,000 square miles. You would think the Arabs would be satisfied, but no, they want that territory. They want to destroy Israel. Folks that is a population ratio of 60 to 1, and a land ratio of 662 to 1.
And regarding the Palestinians it is very interesting from 70 AD until 1948 when Israel was established Jerusalem was never the capital of any Arab State. It has never been the capital of any Arab state, only of Jerusalem.
Number two there was never a Palestinian State. You know they tell you today that the problem in the Middle East is that Israel the Jews came in and they ran all the Palestinians out and took over their state. There was no Palestinian State. Never a Palestinian State. The Arabs who lived in that area considered themselves to be Syrians. And let me tell you very few lived there. Most of the people were absentee landlords; the area was a wasteland. When the Jews left the area of Israel became a wasteland. About the 20th Century there were only 17,000 trees left in all of Israel, only 17,000. There was not a single tree south of the Sea of Galilee. You know why? The Turks taxed trees. Don’t let Obama hear that. But the Turks taxed trees. So you know what these poor people did? They cut down their trees so they wouldn’t have to pay taxes. There were only 17,000 trees left in the land. Do you know what a treeless land becomes? Erosion, malaria infested swamplands, it was an absolute wasteland.
And you know what? God had that happen on purpose because He didn’t want anybody moving into that land, He wanted to reserve it for the Jewish people. Sometime get the book the first book that Mark Twain ever wrote called, Innocence Abroad. It tells about him going to the Holy Land in 1866 and he just talks about how barren it is. He said that he rode a horse for three almost four days from the Sea of Galilee to Jerusalem and he never saw one human being the entire time. He never saw a tree. He never saw an animal. He said all he saw was rock, after rock, after rock. There were hardly any people living in this land when the Jews began to come back.
And you know what the Jews did? They bought the land that God had already given them. They paid exorbitant prices to the Arabs who laughed all the way to the bank over these stupid Jews who were buying this land. But what they didn’t realize is that God had prophesied that when the Jews come back it will become like the land like the Garden of Eden. Today you go to Israel it’s like the Garden of Eden. You drive down the Valley of Sharon you look out the bus on one side there are strawberry fields, here’s a cotton field, here’s a banana plantation, here are it is just everything you can imagine is growing, everything you can imagine because God has made it once again a place like the Garden of Eden. There was never any Palestinian identity. There was never any culture. There was never any Palestinian language it just simply didn’t exist. The idea of a Palestinian State that was displaced by the Jews is an idea of propaganda that was developed by the Arabs after the Six Day War in 1967. And furthermore I think that it is very important for you to keep in mind that the Palestinians already have a state. They already have a state; it’s called Jordan, 75% of all the people who live in that location are Palestinians. So, when they say they need a state, they already have a state.
David Reagan: I hope the presentation you have just witnessed has helped you to better understand that the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the reestablishment of their state is all in accordance with God’s will and is a sure sign that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return. Next week, the Lord willing, I am going to continue with this presentation, and I will be focusing on three issues. First, where does ISIS fit into the picture? Second, why has God regathered the Jewish people to their homeland? And third, what does all this mean for you and me, for Christians living in the United States at the beginning of the Twenty First Century? Well, that’s our program for this week. Until next week, the Lord willing, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near.”