David Reagan - On the Israeli Military
Did you know that there are very specific prophecies in the Bible concerning Israeli military strength in the end times, and did you know that those prophecies are being fulfilled today, indicating that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return? For the amazing details, stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy.
This is the last in a series of seven programs we have been presenting regarding the signs of the times that indicate we are living in the season of the Lord’s return.
All the programs have featured presentations that were made at our annual Bible conference whose theme was “Living on Borrowed Time.”
In this program we are going to show you some excerpts from the presentation I made about the prophetic significance of the resurgence of Israeli military power since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Here now is a portion of my presentation.
Dr. Reagan: The focus of end time Bible prophecy as all of you know is the nation of Israel, and that is the reason that the establishment of the nation of Israel on May 14th, 1948 is so important. It is the event that signal the fact that we are now living in the end times. Now during the 20th Century we have been privileged, Pastor Jeffress mentioned this, we are living in a very dark time, but we are privileged to be living in a time when we are seeing Bible prophecies fulfilled before our very eyes. And there are seven prophecies that I believe are in the process of being fulfilled in the Jewish nation right now that we are having the privilege of seeing.
The first is the re-gathering of the Jewish people from the four corners of the earth. This was prompted by Theodore Herzl’s book, The Jewish State which was published in 1896. There were 40,000 Jews in all of Israel in 1900; today there are slightly more than 6 million Jews in Israel.
The second is the re-establishment of the state of Israel which occurred in Tel Aviv in a small room there on May the 14th, 1948.
The third is the reclamation of the land of Israel when the Jews started returning to the land in the early 20th century it was a malaria infested swamp land. And the highlands were all completely denuded of the trees; there were only 15,000 trees left in all of Israel; this picture taken right outside of Jerusalem showed how barren the land was. Today Israel is the bread basket of the Middle East and its forests have been replanted.
The fourth prophecy being fulfilled is the Hebrew language, the revival of the Hebrew language. In Zephaniah 3 and Jeremiah 31 we are told that when the Jews are brought back into the land they will start speaking Biblical Hebrew once again. The language that God had given them, they stopped speaking for almost 2,000 years. I don’t know if you are aware of that, but wherever they went they took Hebrew and they mixed it with the language and they ended up speaking really two major languages; they mixed Hebrew with German and developed Yiddish, and they mixed Hebrew with Spanish and developed the language called Ladino. But when they came back to the land they are today speaking not just Hebrew but Biblical Hebrew. And the person who was responsible for that is this man Eliezer Ben Yehuda who was born in Lithuania and raised up by God to revive the Hebrew language; he did it almost single handedly he was a fanatic that’s all he focused on his entire life. And six months before he died, he was allowed to live long enough to see the British adopt three languages as the official languages of Israel in 1922; one was Biblical Hebrew, another Arabic, and the third English, that was in 1922.
Now the fifth of these is the reoccupation of the City of Jerusalem and this is prophesied over and over that in the end times the Jews will reoccupy the city. And that was accomplished on June 7th, 1967 when they reconquered the Old City and rushed to the Wailing Wall to praise God and thank Him for their victory. And as they were praying this man Rabbi Shlomo Goren came up to the wall and Rabbi Shlomo Goren blew his shofar and when everybody stopped praying and looked around he said, “I proclaim to you the beginning of the Messianic Age,” because he knew that the prophecies say that when the Jews are back in the land and back in the City of Jerusalem the Messiah will come.
The sixth is the resurgence of the Israeli military, the resurgence of the military. And let me tell you something this is a remarkable miracle. I got on the internet the other day to check this out to make sure, and all of the groups, the research groups that rank military power in the world all of them rank Israel as between number 10 and number 15 in the world right now. And we’re talking about a nation that is only 300 miles long and only 75 miles wide. It is one of the smallest nations in the world and yet it is one of the world’s great military powers. In fact they not only rank it that high but most of them rank it #1 in the effective use of its power.
And then number seven would be the refocusing of world politics upon the nation of Israel and the City of Jerusalem. The Bible says that in the end times this will be the last of the prophecies fulfilled about Israel that all the nations of the world will come against Israel for the purpose of forcing them to give up the city of Jerusalem. And today the whole world is in the process of doing that.
Now what I want to do is I want to take a look in depth at just one of these seven prophecies and the one you would least likely expect me take a look at. I want to take a look at this prophecy being fulfilled today, and that is the resurgence of the Israeli military. And when I say resurgence I have in mind the fact that the Jewish people were a formidable military force in Bible times as long as they were operating in the center of God’s will. Just think about it for a moment, they established a reputation for military power the very moment that they entered the Promised Land when they overthrew the city of Jerusalem. That sent terror throughout the land; the Canaanites began to fear them. They continued to conquer the whole land in victory, after victory including the Jebusite city of Jerusalem which they made their capital.
Many of their military victories were very miraculous, for example this victory this is looking into the Valley of Jezreel or we call it the Valley of Armageddon. The mountain back there is Mount Tabor this is a scene shoot from Nazareth up on the high elevation right out of Nazareth into the Valley of Jezreel. Deborah and Baruch defeated the Canaanites in the Valley of Jezreel at the base of Mount Tabor one of the most miraculous victories in all of Old Testament history.
Or consider this one when Gideon with only 300 men was able to defeat the combined armies of the Midianites and the Amalekites by attacking them in the middle of the night and scaring them half to death. Then how about this? When David and Solomon united the kingdom they built up great military power. But then the day came when the kingdom was divided the Northern Kingdom was always in rebellion against God but the Southern Kingdom was in His will. And because of that He greatly blessed the Southern Kingdom, including miraculous victories one after another in the history of the Southern Kingdom. The most miraculous to me was the time that Jehoshaphat, King Jehoshaphat a very righteous king defeated the combined armies of the Moabites and the Ammonites by sending forth an army of praise worshippers. Can you imagine that? They are already for battle, they look up here comes the army of the Israelites and it is all praise worshippers, they’re dancing, they’re praising, they’re singing, they are playing musical instruments. And it says that it threw them, the enemy into such disarray they were so befuddled that they were in total confusion and then they ambushed them and completely routed them. So it’s amazing the victories that they had back in those days.
Now the prophet Ezekiel prophesied that the revival of Israel in the last days would produce an exceedingly great army. Zechariah was more specific he prophesied that God would make the clans of Judah like a firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves enabling them to consume on the right hand and on the left all their enemies. He proceeded to state that in the end times that the nation would be so strong that the feeble among them and that they would be like David, like David against Goliath. And the house of David would be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them. Those are the prophecies about the resurgence of the Israeli military in the end times.
Now what I’d like to do is look at the evidence of the fulfillment of these prophecies and let’s begin with the War of Independence that really started in November of 1947 and continued until March of 1949. On November the 29th, 1947, fifty years after Herzl said within fifty years there will be a state of Israel. Fifty years later on this date the United Nations adopted a resolution providing for the end of the League of Nations Mandate in Palestine, replacing British rule with a partition of the land between the Arabs and the Jews. The Jews worldwide began to celebrate even though the piece of territory they were provided was miniscule compared to what they had been promised by the British in the Balfour Declaration in 1917. There was rejoicing in Israel. There was rejoicing all of the world. This picture was taken in New York City. But the Arabs were outraged, because they wanted all of it, they didn’t want a part of it, they wanted all of it and they certainly did not want a Jewish state.
The result was the immediate launching of a Civil War as the Arabs began to attack Jewish communities. This bloody conflict continued right up to the very day that the Jews issued their Declaration of Independence on May 14th, 1948. As that epic day approached the Arabs issued repeated warnings that they would launch an all-out war if the Jews tried to establish a nation. For example this man was the Secretary General of the Arab League a man by the name of Azzam Pasha and he declared, “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusaders.” On the Jewish side there was considerable concern that such boasting could become a reality. In fact on the eve of the war Yigael Yadin the Chief of Staff of the Israeli forces told David Ben-Gurion the Jewish leader, “The best we can tell you is that we have a 50/50 chance.” Within hours of the Declaration of Independence on the afternoon of May 14th, 1948 five Arab armies began invading the new nation of Israel. They consisted of Egypt coming from the south, Transjordan from the east, Syria from the northeast, Lebanon from the North, and Iraq from the far north. The Israeli forces consisted at most of 30,000 rag-tag underground fighters who were ill trained and poorly equipped. I mean this picture here is almost laughable. This was the army of Israel. The Israeli defense force known as the IDF was not organized until after the invasion.
The Arab armies on the other hand, particularly the Jordanians were well equipped and trained. Egypt, Iraq and Syria had Air Forces. Egypt and Syria had tank forces. All of them had modern artillery. The troops of Transjordan were led by a British General by the name of John Glubb, better known as Glubb Pasha. Although the United States had recognized the state of Israel immediately and given them great hope by doing so, the Truman administration did not provide any aid whatsoever. Truman declared an arms embargo under the naive assumption that if they supplied arms there would be bloodshed, and he thought well if we don’t supply any arms and we just have an embargo there won’t be any bloodshed. Well there was going to be bloodshed there was no doubt about it.
Meanwhile the British gladly supplied the Arab forces and while Israel had to smuggle in arms from Czechoslovakia. But despite the overwhelming odds against them, the infant Jewish state prevailed. The cost was enormous there were 6,377 Israeli’s killed in this War of Independence, representing nearly 1% of the total population. There were only 650,000 people in Israeli at that time. This would be equivalent to the United States today losing 3 million people in a war. But the Israelis ended up not only with the territory that had been allotted them by the United Nations; they also ended up in control of 60% of the area that had been promised to the Arabs. And the Arabs suffered much greater casualties over 15,000 were killed during that war. They ended up with only 22% of the territory they had been promised by the United Nations. They would have been much better off to have accepted the United Nation division of the land. This is the reason that one of the greatest diplomats that Israel has ever produced, Abba Eban said once, “The Palestinians have never missed a chance to miss a chance.” They never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. They just over and over and over they’ve had many opportunities to establish a state and they just miss it every time. The most important area that the Israeli’s were not able to conquer in the War of Independence was the Old City of Jerusalem which is outlined there, the Ancient City, the Walled City they were not able to conquer. In fact all the Jews were expelled and they stayed expelled for a number of years thereafter.
Over all the war resulted in an incredible, unbelievable, marvelous, victory for Israel and during the war there were many miraculous events. I want to tell you about one that you will find hard to believe. It occurred at a kibbutz called Yad Mordecai which is located 36 miles south of Tel Aviv near the northern border of the Gaza strip. This kibbutz is located on the coastal road from Egypt to Tel Aviv. The Egyptian army consisting of 5,000 troops divided as it headed north. Half of the troops headed for Jerusalem, the other half of the troops went up the coastal highway toward Tel Aviv until they reached that spot there, the kibbutz of Yad Mordecai.
Now the kibbutz evacuated all of its children and most of its woman as they prepared for the Egyptian attack. The kibbutz was left with a handful, look at this boy on the left he’s probably not more than 13 or 14 years old. This man in the middle the leader was an intellectual, he was not a fighter, he was not a person who was a military person, he didn’t know what he was doing. I wouldn’t want to tangle with the guy behind him who has the stare, I don’t know what. But anyway the kibbutz was left with 130 defenders against the Egyptian army. There were 110 kibbutzniks and there were 20 fighters who came down from Tel Aviv. That’s all they could get because everyone knew this particular kibbutz was going to be slaughtered. Here is the frightening scene, or rather they dug trenches and reinforced them with sandbags. This is one of the most marvelous places I’ve ever visited in Israel. These are the actual remains of that battle. The kibbutzim’s they dug these trenches they reinforced them with sandbags their armament consisted of this: 37 rifles, 1 anti-tank gun, 2 light mortars, and 2 machine guns, that’s all they had. Here is the frightening scene they faced as the Egyptian Army and tanks approached.
What they’ve done today is they’ve left the vehicles that the Egyptians could not take with them and they put up metal figures to illustrate the army coming and here they were with these primitive weapons up here in the trenches against the Egyptian Army. There was no hope for the kibbutz. Everyone knew that. They knew that this was a suicide mission but they were willing to take a suicide stand. The Egyptians attacked furiously with ground troops, tank assaults, artillery barrages and air sorties. Incredibly, incredibly the Yad Mordecai defenders held out for five days, the Egyptians were not able to overrun the kibbutz until the defenders decided to retreat under the cover of darkness because more than one-half of them had been killed, and the other half had been wounded. Over 300 Egyptian soldiers died in the battle and the five days gave the defenders of Tel Aviv the time to prepare their defenses.
Also during that time four Messerschmitt airplanes had arrived from Czechoslovakia and had been hastily assembled they were used on May the 29th to stop the Egyptian army before it could reach Tel Aviv. How in the world could 130 untrained civilians with only rudimentary armament hold off the Egyptian army for five days? No one to this day has ever been able to explain it. It had to be a miracle of God.
Dr. Reagan:You are viewing a portion of a presentation that I made at our last Bible Conference whose theme was “Living on Borrowed Time.” I am in the process of showing how Israeli military might today is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy and is one of many signs that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return. I proceeded to review the miraculous Six Day War of 1967 and the even more miraculous Yom Kippur War of 1973. Next, I took a look at one of the greatest military maneuvers in modern history.
Dr. Reagan:This brings us to Operation Thunderbolt in June and July of 1976. On June 27th, 1976 an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris made a stopover in Athens, let off some passengers, picked up some passengers and in the passengers they picked up there were 4 terrorists; 2 Palestinians, and 2 Germans. They hijacked the plane as soon as it took off. The plane first went from Tel Aviv to Athens, then from Athens they took it to Benghazi, Libya where it was refueled. And then they flew it, this great distance to the southern part of Africa to the nation of Uganda, where President Idi Amin was waiting to welcome them. All of this had been pre-orchestrated he was part of the deal and he was delighted to have this attention from the world.
Upon landing four more terrorists joined the group and they preceded to separate the hostages. All the Jews who were identified were herded into this building a recently abandoned terminal building; they had just opened a brand new terminal building. They herded them into this building. The rest of the passengers were released and they were flown to Paris. The Air France crew decided to stay behind with the Jewish hostages. So the number of hostages including the crew was 106 people. The hijackers immediately issued an ultimatum, “Either release the 53 terrorists held in Israel and 4 other countries, or all the hostages will be killed on July the 1st.” The Israeli government launched negotiations immediately with the terrorists while considering a military alternative. As a result of negotiations the hijackers postponed the date, they postponed it to July the 4th of 1976, so they postponed it and a military alternative began to be considered by the Israelis. Now folks this is just unbelievable think of it, they are talking about a military operation 2,500 miles south of Tel Aviv. The hijackers, Idi Amin all the people in Uganda never even occurred to them, never once that there would be any kind of military action because the distance was just too far. As it turned out though the Israelis had two advantages for them; first they were able to interview all the passengers who had been released, that was a big mistake, they could tell them in detail about the building and where the people were being held. And second, this is unbelievable; they discovered that the abandoned terminal building had been built by an Israeli company. And so they were able to get all the blue prints of the building. Coincidence, coincidence.
Lieutenant Colonel Yoni Netanyahu, Jonathan Netanyahu that is his nickname Yoni was selected to lead the commando assault team. Now he was the older brother of the man who serves as Prime Minister of Israel today, Benjamin Netanyahu’s older brother. Although Yoni was only 30 years old at the time he had accumulated an outstanding record of military leadership and daring and advanced to the position of Lieutenant Colonel. To prepare the team for the attack he came up with an idea that has been followed by military forces around the world since that time, and police forces. He took bales of hay and he put them end to end and laid out the exact floor plan of the building to the exact size, with all the doors, and so forth. And then his team practiced mock assault, after mock assault on this mock building as they prepared in case the Israeli Cabinet said, “Go get them.” Well the Israeli Cabinet said, “Go get them.” And so on July 3rd they launched the attack. The attack came out of an air base in southern Israel. They used 4 Lockheed C-130 Hercules airplanes, 4 of those, and they used 2 Boeings 747 in the raid. More than 100 personnel were recruited; they were divided into five teams. Yoni’s assault team consisted of 29 elite commandos. A second group was assigned the job of encircling the new terminal building immobilizing it and killing all the Uganda soldiers. A third was given the task of destroying all the MiG fighters on the ground. That was very important they didn’t want those fighters coming after these big old slow airplanes. A fourth group was assigned the responsibility of refueling the Israeli airplanes. And a fifth squad was put in charge of rounding up and evacuating the hostages.
The mission was launched and set on the afternoon of July 3rd. The planes flew nearly all the way at an altitude of 100 feet to avoid radar detection. You try to fly a plane as big as a Boeing 747 or one of these Hercules at 100 feet it is not easy. The flight took 7 hours and 40 minutes they arrived 1 minute behind schedule, Uganda was on a different time, and they arrived 1 minute behind schedule at 12:01 AM the beginning of July the 4th, 1976. The surprise blitz attack proved successful beyond any expectation. All 7 of the hijackers who were present were killed, together with 33-45 Ugandan soldiers and all 8 MiG fighters on the ground were destroyed. Three hostages died in the crossfire as they went in they began to yell, “Get on the floor, get on the floor.” Some of the people didn’t understand Hebrew, they stood up they were shot. So 3 hostages died in the crossfire, 10 were wounded, 1 was left behind because she had been taken to the hospital. A total of 102 hostages were taken back to Israel alive, 5 Israeli commandos were wounded, only 1 commando was killed and that was Yoni Netanyahu the leader of the raid. Here is his grave at Israel’s National Cemetery a place that we always visit when we go to Israel. The entire raid including the refueling of the planes and the evacuation of the hostages took a total of only 1 hour and 39 minutes. To this day this amazing raid is considered to be one of the most outstanding examples of military planning, coordination, and execution in the entire annuals of history.
Dr. Reagan: In the remainder of my presentation, I proceeded to review the incredible Israeli attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, and I presented a review of all the scriptural promises that God will protect Israel in the end times. I concluded by talking about how all this applies to the Church today.
So what does all this mean to Christians at the beginning of the 21st Century? What does it mean to you and me? What message should we take home? Well I can assure you it means a lot, think about it God is fulfilling promises He made to Israel over 2,000 years ago and He is fulfilling them in precise detail. That should get you excited for two reasons. First it is a definite sign that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return. Second it should assure you that God is going to precisely fulfill every promise He has made to you and to me, to His Church.
I get so excited every time I see God fulfilling promises for the Jews because I know that is an absolute guarantee He is going to fulfill every promise He has made to you and me. He has promised that one day very soon Jesus will appear in the heavens to rapture the Church out of this world. The dead in Christ will be resurrected first, then those of us who are alive will be taken, not even experiencing death. We will be translated from mortal to immortal in the blinking of an eye. We’ll be taken back to Heaven where we will be judged of our works to determine not our salvation but our degrees of reward. And then we will celebrate our union with Jesus at a great Wedding Feast and at the end of that Wedding Feast He is going to stand up and say, “OK, let’s go.” And He will return to this earth. And we will come with Him. We will be there in Jerusalem to witness His arrival on the Mount of Olives. We will be there to witness the salvation of the remnant of the Jews. We will hear Him speak that supernatural word which will result in the instantaneous destruction of the Antichrist and his armies. And we will then shout, “Hosanna, hosanna,” as He descends into the Kidron Valley on His white horse and rides up to that Eastern Gate.
Dr. Reagan: Well folks, that’s our program for this week. I hope it has been a blessing to you, and I hope you will be back with us again next week. Until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near!”