David Reagan - Mount Herzl
There is a mountain in Jerusalem that is dedicated to honoring the dead both those who died in the Holocaust and those who have died defending the nation of Israel. For a fascinating visit to this mountain, stay tuned.
Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. This is the fourth in a series of programs we have produced about the mountains of Jerusalem. We began with an exploration of the Mount of Olives from which Jesus ascended into Heaven and to which He is prophesied to return.
In our second program, we took an in-depth look at Mount Moriah which today is known as the Temple Mount. To me, it is the most important mountain in all the world because it is where the future Jewish temples will stand; the Tribulation Temple and the Millennial Temple. It is, in fact, the place from where Jesus will reign over all the world for a thousand years.
Last week, we took a look at Mount Zion where the Last Supper took place and where the first church in Jerusalem was located. All three of our past programs about the mountains of Jerusalem are posted on our website at lamblion.com. You can easily access them there and view them there.
This week we are going to take a look at a fourth mountain in Jerusalem. It is different from the other three that we have explored because it has no significance in biblical history, but it has a lot of modern day importance and it is also prophetically significant. I am speaking of Mount Herzl.
The other three mountains we have explored were located in or near the Old City of Jerusalem. Mount Herzl is not. It is located in what is called New Jerusalem. I will give you an orientation as to where it is located, and then we will go there.
Let me show you where Mount Herzl can be found. I have here a modern day map of the City of Jerusalem. The Old City the old wall city is located here. The Kidron Valley a very deep ravine runs north and south, separating the Old City from the Mount of Olives over here on the East.
The Temple Mount is located here inside the Old City. Mount Zion is down here at the southwest corner outside the walls of the Old City. As we move west through New Jerusalem we come to the Knesset Building, which is the parliament of Israel. And across from it is the Israel Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are stored. Continuing west to the very out skirts of Jerusalem we come to Mount Herzl. I call Mount Herzl the mountain that is dedicated to the dead. To understand what I mean by that statement, let's go to Jerusalem.
Welcome to Israel and the city of Jerusalem. The hill you see in the background here is called Mount Herzl. We are going to be exploring it in this program looking at two sites in particular. First Yad Vashem which you can see there, which is the Israeli Holocaust Museum. And the other is Mount Herzl cemetery the national cemetery of Israel.
Behind me here you can see the entrance to the grounds of Yad Vahsem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum. The white building is the visitor's center where people check-in before visiting the museum. No one is allowed to photograph inside the museum, but I want to take you on a tour of the grounds to show you several very interesting things. I'm sorry to report that for the first time ever in all the years that we have been shooting video in Israel, the officials at the Holocaust Museum refused to allow us to videotape on their campus unless we used one of their spokesmen, which was a condition that was unacceptable to me. So, what we did instead was to take high-definition photos of the sites we want to share with you, and we will present them to you in animated form.
But first, let me give you an overview of this marvelous facility. I am standing here in front of the visitor's center which is located here. The administrative buildings are located up here. The actual museum is this long building that runs across the property underground, with each end sticking out. The buildings to the left of it are conference halls and special exhibit halls. I would like to start our tour at what is called "The Avenue of the Gentiles."
This is the Avenue of the Righteous Gentiles, and it is dedicated to the memory of non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazi Holocaust. A tree has been planted in memory of each person and there is a sign at the base of each tree that identifies who that tree honors.
For example, this tree here is in honor of Oskar Schindler who saved the lives of over 1200 Jews who worked for him in his factories. He is the only person honored here who was a member of the Nazi Party.
This tree was planted in memory of the renowned Christian lady from the Netherlands named Corrie ten Boom. Her family saved many Jewish lives before they were all arrested and sent to concentration camps. Corrie was selected to be honored as a Righteous Gentile in 1967 and a tree was planted in her honor at that time. The interesting thing is that the tree died in 1983 when she died and was replaced at that time. That's why this tree is so small compared to the others around it.
Our next stop is right across the sidewalk from Corrie's tree. This is the Warsaw Ghetto Plaza where many governmental events are held. And this is the Wall of Remembrance. This sculpture honors the Warsaw Ghetto uprising that occurred in August of 1944. The Polish Jews fought against the Germans for 63 days before they were subdued. During that time, 16,000 members of the Polish resistance were killed and 6,000 were badly wounded. In addition, over 150,000 civilians died, mostly from mass murders conducted by the Germans. In the process, over 85% of Warsaw was destroyed.
There is a sculpture on this Wall of Remembrance that depicts the mass deportation of Jews to the death camps. Most Jews were taken to the death camps in railroad cattle cars like this one. They were crammed into these cars so tightly that many died in the cars en route to the concentration camps.
Inside this massive building is one of the most gut-wrenching memorials here at Yad Vahsem. This is called the Hall of Remembrance. The Hall contains an eternal flame where heads of State place memorial wreaths. Around the flame on the floor are the names of the death camps where Jews were taken for extermination.
The tall tower in the distance is called the Pillar of Heroism. It reminds me of the smoke stacks at the death camps. But it is actually a memorial to the Jews who resisted the Holocaust. The inscription on the monument reads: "Now and forever in memory of those who rebelled in the camps and ghettos, fought in the woods, fought in the underground and with the Allied forces, and died sanctifying the name of God."
This is the entrance to the most heart breaking of all the memorials here at Yad Vashem. It is the children's memorial which was built in remembrance of the one and a half million children who were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. You walk through it in darkness, holding on to a railing. The only light is supplied by a couple of candles that are reflected in many mirrors, supplying hundreds of points of light. As you walk, names of the children who were murdered are read aloud and pictures of them appear.
This striking monument is to the memory of the one and a half million Jews who fought against the Nazis as Allied soldiers, as partisans in the resistance movements, and in the ghettos.
This very gruesome statue seems to sum up best the horror of the Holocaust. It illustrates the despair of the concentration camp victims who committed suicide by jumping onto the electrified barb wire fences that surrounded the camps.
Well, that's our brief tour of the grounds at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Museum. But before we leave here and go to the Mt. Herzl Cemetery, I'd like to share an experience with you that I had here in 1984. That year I took a group to Israel that included my oldest daughter, Ruth, who was 23 years old at the time. When we visited Yad Vashem, my daughter disappeared. I started searching for her, but I just couldn't find her anywhere in the museum or outside. I went through the museum a second time but still did not see her. As I was about to exit, I noticed a stairway that was open that I had rarely seen open during regular tourist hours. I knew where it led because I had been there several times. It led to a long, narrow, dark room where individual records are stored concerning each person who perished in the Holocaust. It is an archive facility that is rarely visited by tourists. Well I went bounding up the stairs and peered into the dark room. At the far end I could make out the form of a person in the shadowy darkness. Now no one is ever allowed to speak above a whisper in this room, so I could not call out to see if it was my daughter Ruth.
I walked to the other end. It was Ruth. She was standing there holding onto a display stand with both hands. The stand had a dim light on it. The light illuminated a sample document under glass. The document showed the photograph of a little girl ten years old. The document contained her vital statistics, you know place of birth, home address, place of arrest, place of imprisonment, date and place of execution. It read in a very matter-of-fact style. Ruth was weeping. I put my arm around her and hugged her. "Daddy," she whispered, "how could this happen?" I couldn't speak. We just stood there, arm in arm, weeping together, staring at a picture of a child who represented six million of God's Chosen People. Let's go now to the other key site on Mount Herzl Israel's National Cemetery.
This is the entrance to the National Cemetery of Israel. And the first grave we are going to visit is that of the man for whom both the mountain and the cemetery is named Theodor Herzl.
This is the grave of Theodor Herzl, considered to be the father of modern day Israel. Herzl was born in Hungary in 1860 where he grew up in a secular Jewish family. After earning a law degree, he became a journalist and went to work for a newspaper in Vienna.
In 1895 he went to Paris to cover the trial of a French Army officer named Alfred Dreyfus. France at that time was in the grip of a wave of Anti-Semitism. Dreyfus was a Jew who had been framed with the charge of treason. When Herzl arrived in Paris, he was shocked to find the streets full of erudite, sophisticated Parisians yelling, "Death to the Jews! Death to the Jews!" He suddenly realized that the Jews were simply not going to be assimilated into European culture, and so he had sort of an epiphany, he decided that the time had come to call for the Jewish people to return home.
The experience inspired Herzl to write a brief pamphlet called "The Jewish State" in which he called for Jews worldwide to return to their homeland and reestablish the nation of Israel. Herzl's call electrified Jews literally all over the world and led to the convening of the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland in 1897.
It is interesting that at that Congress, Herzl wrote in his diary that he believed with all of his heart that the state of Israel would exist within 50 years. And sure enough, 50 years later, in November of 1947, the United Nations voted to establish the state of Israel. Herzl did not live to see his dream come true. He died in 1904 at the age of 44. His body was transferred here in 1949. I want to place a stone of remembrance on this great man's tomb.
The next grave I want to show you is that of Yitzhak Rabin. Like the grave of John F. Kennedy in Arlington National Cemetery, the grave of Rabin features an eternal flame. Yitzhak Rabin was born in 1922 and became the first native-born prime minister of Israel in 1974. He was chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces during the Six Day War in 1967.
Rabin was selected as Prime Minister for a second time in 1992, and three years later in 1995, he was assassinated. He was killed by an Orthodox Jew who was upset over the concessions he had made in the Oslo Accords. The irony of the situation is that the very concessions he made that led to his assassination were also the ones that produced for him the Nobel Peace Prize. The black stone marks his grave. The white stone marks the grave of his wife, Lea.
This is the grave of the only Prime Minister of Israel to be raised in the United States, Golda Meir. She was born in 1898 in Kiev, Russia. In 1906, when she was 8 years old, her family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she grew up and attended public school and college. In 1921, at the age of 23, Golda and her husband moved here to this land, which at that time was called Palestine and it was under the control of the British. She immediately became politically involved with groups that were determined to drive the British out of this land.
Golda was selected as Prime Minister in 1969 and was serving in that capacity when the Yom Kippur War broke out in 1973. She died a year later. Although many Israeli political dignitaries are buried here at the Mount Herzl Cemetery, the vast majority of all the graves in this cemetery are those of soldiers who were killed in action. In just a moment I'm going to ask our guide, Shai-Shalom Matter, to join me and to read a couple of the headstones to give you an idea of who is buried here.
Dr. Reagan: Okay Shai how about telling us what this says here.
Shai-Shalom Matter: This is Corporal Rivka Hadar.
Dr. Reagan: A lady?
Shai-Shalom Matter: A woman, yes.
Dr. Reagan: A woman.
Shai-Shalom Matter: A woman soldier right. She was born in Jerusalem and died fulfilling in her command, on the sixth of June 1990, she was 19 years old.
Dr. Reagan: What about this one over here?
Shai-Shalom Matter: And we will go right now. Here's an interesting one this is Jonathan Yoni Iole born in the United States.
Dr. Reagan: Oh.
Shai-Shalom Matter: He also fell in fulfilling his duties in the army, and he passed on the 5th of June 1990, he was but 23 years old when he fell.
Dr. Reagan: What was his rank?
Shai-Shalom Matter: Captian.
Dr. Reagan: And hers?
Shai-Shalom Matter: Corporal.
Dr. Reagan: Now isn't it true that regardless of what your rank is this might be a corporal that might be a General?
Shai-Shalom Matter: Right, this is a Sergeant, Captain, Corporal.
Dr. Reagan: I will put a stone of remembrance on these two; these young people who gave their lives in defense of the nation of Israel.
There are two military tombs in particular that I want you to see here in Mount Herzl Cemetery. This first one is this very impressive one that is a memorial to the 69 crew members of a submarine called the Dakar, which means in Hebrew Swordfish. The submarine was purchased from the British government, and on its maiden voyage from England to Israel it mysteriously disappeared, that was in 1968. The submarine was discovered in 1999 on the ocean floor about 300 miles west of Haifa. What caused it to sink is still a mystery.
Dr. Reagan: This is the second special military tomb that I wanted to show you at Mount Herzl. It is one of Israel's greatest heroes. And once again I am going to ask our guide Shai Shalom-Matter to step into the picture here and read what is on this stone.
Shai-Shalom Matter: This is Jonathan Netanyahu the son of Cela and Benzion, was born in the middle of August and it says that he fell in Operation Yonatan, named after him.
Dr. Reagan: What year?
Shai-Shalom Matter: In 1976.
Dr. Reagan: And what was his rank?
Shai-Shalom Matter: Colonel.
Dr. Reagan: Colonel. So we have a Colonel buried next to a list of people.
Shai-Shalom Matter: A Corporal, and over here is a General.
Dr. Reagan: A General right next to him. Okay, thank you Shai.
Jonathan, or Yoni, as he was called, was the leader of the famous Israeli raid on Entebbe, Uganda in 1976. The raid was prompted by the hijacking of an Air France flight that originated in Tel Aviv and landed in Athens. Shortly after it took off for Athens in route to Paris it was hijacked by several Palestinian terrorists. They diverted it to Libya, where it was refueled and then it proceeded on to Entebbe, Uganda where it landed and the people were taken off the plane and put in the old abandoned airport facility there. A couple of days later everyone was released except for 105 Jews on the plane and the crew members. In what must be considered one of the most daring military raids in all of history Jonathan Netanyahu planned and executed the raid on the Entebbe airport, it was a commando raid. And that airport was located folks more than 2,000 miles from Tel Aviv.
The raid was incredibly successful. It lasted only 30 minutes. All 7 of the hijackers were killed and all but four of the hostages were rescued alive. The only Israeli soldier killed in the raid was Yoni. He was 40 years old. I put a stone of remembrance on his grave.
The many tombs and memorials that we have been visiting here on Mount Herzl are a testimony to how much the world hates the Jewish people. The world hates the Jewish people with a passion, and that passion is so vehement, the hatred is so intense that it has to be supernatural in nature. I believe Satan hates the Jewish people with a passion and has put that hatred in the hearts of people all over the world, even people who have never met a Jew. And there are some reasons for it. Satan hates the Jewish people because they are the Chosen People of God, the people He choose to be a witness to the world. Second he hates them because it is through the Jewish people He gave the world the Scriptures. Third he hates them because it was through the Jewish people that He gave the world a Messiah. And the fourth reason he hates them is because God has promised that in the end times, He's going to bring a great remnant of the Jewish people to salvation in their Messiah Yeshua.
Satan does not want to see a single Jew saved and therefore he is determined to annihilate them from the face of this earth. That's what the Holocaust is all about. And that is what is going to happen during the Great Tribulation when working through the Antichrist he will once again try to annihilate the Jewish people, but he will fail. Stay tuned now for a brief summary of the Jewish people in Bible prophecy, past, present and future.
Mt. Herzl is a testimony to the world's determination to annihilate the Jews. But what the world does not realize is that the Jewish people are here to stay. God's Word testifies to that fact over and over again. For example, in Isaiah 49 God says that He will never forget the Jewish people because He has them inscribed on the palms of His hands. In Jeremiah 31 God proclaims that the Jewish people will continue to exist as a nation as long as the fixed order of the universe continues. In 2 Samuel we are told that God has established the nation of Israel to exist forever.
And in Amos 9 God promises that when the Jews are re-established in their land, they will never be uprooted again. In Psalm 121 we are told that He who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. And in Zechariah 12 we are told that Israel will devour all her enemies "like a flaming torch among sheaves." Further, the passage states that the most feeble among the Jews will be as strong as David, and the nation will be as strong as "the angel of the Lord." The passage concludes with the promise, "It will come about in that day that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against
This promise is repeated in Joel 3:2 where God promises that He will judge all the nations that attempt to divide the land of Israel in the end times. And we can be assured that God will keep these promises because He has faithfully kept many other promises He has made to Israel.
For example, before the 20th Century began, God had already kept four promises He had made through the Hebrew prophets. Those promises were: Number 1 that if the Jewish people were unfaithful to Him, He would scatter them; scatter them out of their homeland to the four corners of the earth. And this began in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. The second promise: that wherever they were scattered, they would be persecuted, and history attests to the grim fulfillment of that promise. Third He promised that their homeland would become a desolate wasteland. And that's exactly what happened when they were scattered. And finally God said that He would preserve them, and their preservation, despite their scattering and their persecution, is one of the greatest miracles of history.
The 20th Century witnessed the fulfillment of one prophecy after another regarding the Jewish people. First was God's promise that He would regather the Jewish people in unbelief from the four corners of the world. The fulfillment of that prophecy began in the 1890's and continues to this day. In 1900 there were only 40,000 Jews in Israel. Today there are 6 million.
The second fulfillment of prophecy was a natural outgrowth of the regathering of the people. It was the re-establishment of the State of Israel which occurred on May 14, 1948.
The third prophecy fulfilled in the 20th Century was the reclamation of the land. God promised that when the Jews were re-gathered to their homeland, it would once again become like the Garden of Eden. And that has occurred.
The fourth prophecy fulfilled in the 20th Century was the revival of the Hebrew language. You see, when the Jews were scattered all over the world, they stopped speaking Hebrew. But in the 20th Century a man by the name of Eliezar ben Yehuda revived the Hebrew language from the dead, and today the people of Israel speak biblical Hebrew.
Fifth the re-occupation of the city of Jerusalem fulfilled in the 20th Century. It was fulfilled on June 7, 1967 when the Jews won the Six Day War and took control of the city of Jerusalem for the first time in 1,897 years.
The sixth prophecy fulfilled in the 20th Century is the resurgence of Jewish military power. Although Israel is one of the smallest countries in the world, the size of the state of New Jersey, it is considered to be one of the world's strongest military powers.
The seventh fulfillment of end time prophecy regarding the Jewish people is the re-focusing of world politics upon the nation of Israel. Just as prophesied in the book of Zechariah, all the world is coming together against Israel over the control of the city of Jerusalem. And so you have it 4 prophecies fulfilled before the beginning of the 20th Century, and 7 fulfilled during the 20th Century.
The four before the 20th Century began were: The Dispersion of the Jewish people, their Persecution wherever they went, the Desolation of their homeland, their preservation throughout the world. The seven prophecies fulfilled in the 20th Century were: their Regathering to their homeland, the Re-establishment of their state, the Reclamation of their land, the Revival of their language, the Re-occupation of the city of Jerusalem, the Resurgence of their military strength, the Re-focusing of world politics upon them.
There are four future prophecies yet to be fulfilled. The first I'm sorry to say is a Second Holocaust. The prophet Zechariah says that in the end times, during the period of the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist will kill two-thirds of the Jewish people. God will allow this not because He hates the Jews, but because He loves them. His purpose is to bring them to the end of themselves so that they will turn their hearts to Him and receive His Son as their Messiah.
The second prophecy yet to be fulfilled is the salvation of the Jewish remnant that survives to the end of the Tribulation. The prophet Zechariah says that at the end of the Tribulation the Jewish remnant that survives will "look upon Him whom they have pierced and they will mourn over Him" as one mourns over the death of an only son. Jesus prophesied that on that day the Jewish remnant will cry out, "Baruch Haba B'Shem Adonai," meaning, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." What a glorious day that will be!
The third end time prophecy yet to be fulfilled will occur after the salvation of the Jewish remnant. The Hebrew Scriptures say that God will then regather all believing Jews from all over the world back to their homeland of Israel.
The final prophecy to be fulfilled is the promise that after all believing Jews are re-gathered, their nation will be established as the prime nation of the world. Jesus will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords from Jerusalem. David, in his glorified body, will reign as King of Israel. And the blessings of God will flow forth from Jerusalem to all the nations of the world. During the Millennial reign of Jesus, the Jewish people will be held in high esteem, so much so that the prophet Zechariah says that when a Jew walks by, ten Gentiles will grasp his garment and say, "Let us walk with you, for we know that God is with you."
You know folks, God has also made some marvelous promises to those of us who are Christians, and every time I see Him fulfilling promises to the Jews, I know He is going to be faithful to fulfill every promise He has made to the Church. And that's enough to make me shout, "Maranatha! Come quickly Lord Jesus!"
Well, that's our program for this week. I hope it has been a blessing to you. 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."