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The Super Sign of the End-Times, Part 3

Posted by Peter Helmut Voigt Labels:

(Written by Dr. Todd Baker)
The scattering of the Jewish people from the land of Israel throughout the nations of the world was a result of their disobedience to God’s law and their rejection of the Messiah. The first dispersion as mentioned in a prior article was the Assyrian and Babylonian captivity (721 and 586 B.C., respectively). The reason for this as unanimously witnessed by both the pre-exilic and exilic prophets was Israel’s gross idolatry and apostasy from the Lord (Jeremiah 7, 9; Isaiah 1-6; Ezekiel 8-11, et al.). The second dispersion occurred for Israel rejection and mistreatment of the Messiah who came to redeem them and offer the Messianic kingdom (Luke 19:41-44). But in the beginning of their national history God foretold all these things would happen as a warning to the nation through Moses right before the people of Israel were to enter the Promised Land. In Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28-32 Israel’s covenantal obligations as the Chosen Nation of God are spelled out by the Lord. The blessings that would accrue to their obedience are given and conversely the curses that would fall on them if they chose to walk contrary to the Lord and not obey him were clearly spelled out to the nation. A cursory reading of these pivotal chapters at once reveals a precise and accurate prophetic portrait of the history of the Jewish people that has been fulfilled to the letter for the last 3,500 years! “I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you” (Leviticus 26:33-39; Deuteronomy 28:64-67). This scattering of Israel to all the Gentile nations of the world would serve as a sign for all to see God’s reproach and displeasure for their disobedience to Him. “And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your descendants forever” (Deut. 28:46).

Lest the reader think this too harsh the Kiddush (the standard daily prayer book used by religious Jews in synagogues all over the world) offers the following penitential prayer: “Cause us to return with perfect repentance to Thy presence. Pardon and forgive all our iniquities. Blot out and remove our transgressions and sins from Thy sight. Nullify the evil of the sentence decreed against us.” Now in our day with the recent partial restoration and regathering of the Jewish people back to Israel God is in the process of answering this very prayer. Throughout the long Diaspora God promised that He would preserve the Jewish people as a distinct people among the Gentile nations so that by and large they would not be assimilated or be expunged by them. “For I am with you says the Lord, to save you. Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, and will not let you go altogether unpunished. Yet I will leave a remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries” (Jeremiah 30:11; Ezekiel 6:8). The Assyrians, Babylonians, and the Romans all invaded Israel and conquered the Jews and subsequently led them captive away from the land to be scattered throughout the nations. After the dispersion of 70 A.D. the Jewish people were to live without a homeland for almost 2,000 years. All throughout that time they only survived in small numbers in isolated scattered communities. Their numbers greatly dwindled when they were hunted down and killed by the scores during the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Russian Pogroms, and the greatest of all numbers killed in the horrific Holocaust. This is precisely why most Jewish people do not accept Jesus as the Messiah because those very people who claimed to follow Him instigated and carried out these violent campaigns and atrocities against the Chosen People. Sadly the tragic prophecy of Jesus in John 16:2 has been fulfilled in one way through the form of ‘Christian’ anti-Semitism when He foretold to His Jewish disciples: “The time is coming that whoever kills you will think he offers God’s service.” The enemies of the Jews slanderously did so in the name of Jesus Christ—a sin the Christian Church has all been too guilty of throughout the centuries. On this point Messianic Jewish author Barry Rubin explains what the Gentile name “Jesus Christ” means to the average Jew. “To a Jewish person, Christ conducted the Crusades, invoked the Inquisition, and prompted persecution of Jews over the last twenty centuries. To a Jewish person, Christ is the first part of the term used by those who accuse Jews of deicide: “Christ-killers” (“You Bring the Bagels, I’ll Bring the Gospel,” p. 94). This brings us to our next point that we will take up in the next issue: Universal Anti-Semitism as one of the signs of the End-Times and for the return of Jesus the Messiah.

The Super Sign of the End-Times (Part 2)

Posted by Peter Helmut Voigt Labels:

(Written by Dr. Todd Baker)
Secular historians generally write history from an anthropocentric view; that is, how it relates and centers on Man and his development and various achievements in a closed universe. But the Bible concentrates on the historical fulfillment of God's covenantal relationship with the nation of Israel leading up to the first coming of the Messiah and His second coming to Israel in a supernatural fashion whereby God freely and arbitrarily intervenes in the affairs of man. In fact, the Bible says God determines the national boundaries and demographic habitations of humanity with the intent that the children of Israel could live in the land of Canaan in an area that would perfectly accommodate their numbers and allow for this. For Deuteronomy 32:8 says: "When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel." And all that the Bible has predicted about Israel's divine history thus far has literally come to pass.

So then it is only reasonable and natural to conclude that the prophecies about Israel's future will also literally be fulfilled. Bible Prophecy predicted as a super sign and precondition for the return of Christ the regathering of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland as the nation of Israel. That took place on May 14, 1948. The rest of this article will explore and explain how the modern nation of Israel is fulfilling this role as the super-sign to indicate the coming of Christ is close at hand and could very well happen in our generation.

The Bible predicts in Deuteronomy 30:1-3 that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ will occur sometime after the regathering and return of the Jews from world wide dispersion into the land of Israel. God gave this prophecy through Moses and the Jews just before God brought them into the land of Canaan. The Authorized Version of these verses is most telling:

"And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey His voice. According to all that I commanded thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee."

Notice the chronology or sequence of prophetic events here:

(1) God will bring the Jews back to the land of Israel from the nations of the world where they were scattered abroad by Him for their disobedience.

(2) During this regathering the Lord Himself "will return" and complete the restoration of all Israel back into the land.

The Super Sign of the End-Times (Part 1)

Posted by Peter Helmut Voigt Labels:

(Written by Dr. Todd Baker)
Preachers and theologians are often fond of saying that History is “His story,” meaning that God plans and determines the details and events that make up human history ruling over the process from beginning to end to fulfill His great purpose for Mankind. Nothing could be truer of Israel. The history of the Jewish people is “His story” played out within human history, which has been revealed, foretold, and written in the Bible. Israel’s history is supernatural from beginning to end. It began with the Patriarch Abraham some 4,000 years ago when God called this nomadic wanderer from Ur of the Chaldeans (Modern day Iraq) to leave his homeland and go into the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:1-3). Abraham obeyed that call and became the father of the nation Israel and the Jewish people. Though Abraham, and Sarah his wife, were well beyond the age of having children (Genesis 18:11), God miraculously rejuvenated the ninety-year old body of Sarah to bear them a son; Isaac through whom God would raise up the people and nation the Messiah would come through (Genesis 21:12). With the promised child came the Promised Land — the land that is called Israel - where Abraham and his descendants would live. In Genesis 13:15 and 17:7-8, God promised to give the land to Abraham and his descendants (the Jews) for an “everlasting possession” under the unconditional terms of an “everlasting covenant”:

“For all the land which you see I have given it to you and your descendants forever. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.”

Here we observe from Israel’s inception that the history of the Jewish people and their divine destiny is inextricably bound up with the land God promised them. The covenant referred to in Genesis 17:7-8 is formally called the Abrahamic Covenant. It is an eternal covenant made between God to Abraham and his descendants forever. God essentially established through this Covenant with Abraham a people from him (the Jewish people), a place for them (the land of Israel), so that the purpose of blessing all the nations of the world could occur in perpetuity, that is forever. Thus God gave the land of Israel to the Jews forever and to no other ethnic group or nation, protestations from the Arabs, Palestinians, and international community notwithstanding. One of the basic laws of Bible interpretation is the law of first mention. The law of first mention states that when a thing is mentioned for the first time in the Bible it carries the same meaning all throughout the Scriptures. It establishes the Bible as consistent in its meaning from beginning to end as it applies to persons, places, events, and things.

In Genesis 13:15 we have the first mention in Scripture stating that God gave the land of Israel to Abraham and the Jewish people forever. This truth is reiterated throughout the rest of Scripture and establishes the rightful owners of the land to be the Jews granted by divine right. There is no deviation or alteration by God from this covenant. It stands for all time. The ongoing struggle for Israel’s right to live in the Land of Promise has already been settled once and for all by the eternal counsel of God as codified and enacted in the Abrahamic Covenant. God has spoken and His Word on this matter is settled forever (Psalm 119:89); thus all the political wrangling about who the land belongs to is quite simply moot and in the end irrelevant and inconsequential. The current Middle East crisis centers around who owns the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. But unbelief coming from the world disputes and dismisses the whole issue being settled by the inerrant Word of God. One cannot begin to understand the current Middle East crisis and how it relates to Israel’s past, present and future without knowing and understanding the fundamental importance of this divine covenant. Author Richard Booker wisely wrote: “Indeed the key to understanding today’s headlines and tomorrow’s news lies in the past within the sacred covenant God made with Abraham.” (Richard Booker, Blow the Trumpet in Zion, p.17). In the series of articles to come, we will explore how this is true throughout the divine panoramic plan God has for Israel in the past, present, and future as revealed through Bible prophecy.