Monday, September 22, 2014

Sermons From the Holy Land: Anti-Semitism (Part 1 of 2)

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

I have been to Israel 45 times, and every time my spiritual life has been enriched. I recently took a video cameraman with me and had him shoot on the fly as I led a pilgrimage group to the land. We began in Tel Aviv, and went from there to Tiberias in the north, and then back to Jerusalem.

I hope to share some of the sermons I presented from that trip with you. As I do so, I think you'll come to understand why a person once wrote, "A pilgrimage to the Holy Land converts the Bible from black and white into Technicolor."

My second message was presented in the massive Crusader fortress of Akko, located on Israel's northern border with Lebanon.


Supernatural Reasons Behind Anti-Semitism

What I have to share with you here is something that is not very pleasant, but I think that it should be shared because most Christians are not aware of it. The reason I'm sharing it with you at a Crusader fortress is because it directly relates to what I'm going to talk about. I want to talk to you about Anti-Semitism

Satan hates the Jews with a passion. He hates the Jews because it was through them that God gave us the Bible and through the them God gave us the Messiah.

The Jews are the chosen people of God, and are still to this day, in the sense that they're witnesses of God. God made a promise that in the end times He would bring a great remnant of the Jews to salvation. Satan knows this promise and he hates it. Satan is determined to kill every Jew on planet earth so that not one could ever respond to the Messiah. That's what the Holocaust was all about, and there's a greater holocaust coming.

The Hebrew Scriptures themselves say in the book of Zechariah that during the Great Tribulation two-thirds of all Jews will die by the hand of the Antichrist.

Anti-Semitism has been around throughout history, most noticeably coming from the Arabs and Atheists. I think Anti-Semitism is supernatural. Satan puts it in people's hearts to hate the Jews. I remember a few years back reading a poll of the top ten best-selling books in Japan and five of them were virulently Anti-Semitic. They blamed all the problems of Japan on the Jews. They're aren't even enough Jews in Japan to count on one hand, yet that's the nature of Anti-Semitism.


Anti-Semitic Church Leaders

I've done a lot of research on the subject of Anti-Semitism, so let me read to you something from an article I wrote concerning the Anti-Semitism that came from notable Church leaders.

What most Christians are unaware of is the fact that the greatest source of Anti-Semitism has always come from Christianity. In the year 100, only 70 years after the Church was established, there were already Church leaders speaking out vehemently against the Jews and forming the Anti-Semitism that soon came to represent Christianity. For example, Justin Martyr claimed that God's covenant with Israel was no longer valid and that the Gentiles had replaced the Jews. And folks, this happened in 100 AD.

Irenaeus in 130 declared Jews were disinherited from the grace of God. Tertullian in 155 blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus and argued they had been rejected by God.

The greatest orator of the Church in the early years was a man by the name of John Chrysostom — John the Golden Voice. This man was made a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and to this day is a saint. In 400 AD he preached a series of sermons against the Jews, a whole series in which he stated, now I'm quoting him, "The synagogue is not only a brothel and a theater, it is also a den of robbers and a lodging place for wild beasts. Jews are murderers possessed by the Devil. Their debauchery and drunkenness gives the manners of a pig." He denied that Jews could ever receive forgiveness. He claimed it was a Christian's duty to hate and persecute the Jews. He also claimed that Jews worshiped Satan. Most people don't know this, but this man was canonized as a saint.

Another little knows fact was that St. Augustine, who was the greatest theologian of the Roman Catholic Church, was also vehemently anti-Semitic.

In the Middle Ages this Anti-Semitism was continually fueled in many different ways. First, it was fueled by the Crusades themselves. When the Crusaders left Europe and marched toward the Holy Land, they decided that in the process they might as well kill every Jew along the way. That way when they arrived in the Holy Land, they would be good at killing and they'd have an easier time killing the "Mohammadines" as they put it. The Crusaders slaughtered Jews all across Europe as they made their way to the Holy Land.

One of the things the Crusaders would do is they would herd all the Jews into a synagogue, block all the doors so no one would escape, and they would set it on fire and burn the Jews alive. While they stood outside they would sing, "Fairest Lord Jesus," which was their favorite hymn, by the way. They would sing this as they crucified and martyred these people.

The only thing that I can say on behalf of the Crusaders is that the average Crusader could not read or write, so the only thing that he knew about the Bible was what the Church had told him. And, the Church had basically told him the story of Jesus death and how the Jews had killed Jesus and how and that it was his obligation and duty to hate Jewish people. But, nonetheless, the blood on their hands was unbelievable.

Anti-Semetism was also fueled during the Middle Ages by the Passion Plays. All throughout Europe, they would put on these plays every year at Easter time. They would have the Jews come out on the stage with big hook noses around their heads, and when they would come out on the stage, people would boo and hiss and throw things at them. The whole design of the Passion Play was not to glorify Jesus Christ, but to teach people to hate the Jews.

Another form of Anti-Semetism were terrible myths that were spread about the Jewish people. One of the greatest ones was called the Blood Libel. This myth came out every year at Passover. The Church would say to the people, "Do you know that the Jews are going to kidnap Christians, they are going to cut their throats for blood, and they are going to use that blood in the Passover feast?" And people believed this lie.

Another myth that was spread was that Jews would sneak into the Catholic churches and steal the wafers. It was said they'd take a knife and stab the wafers. The wafers represented the living body of Christ, so they were figuratively killing Christ again and again and again. And still, people believed this nonsense.

The Black Plague was also used against the Jews. What's interesting is the fact that during the Black Plague, millions and millions of Europeans died, yet hardly any Jews died. The reason the Jews didn't die was because they followed the sanitary regulations that had been given to them by the Law of Moses. But, the people looking at this not knowing that and not understanding it concluded, "We're dying and the Jews are not. Therefore, Jews must be poisoning our wells. Jews must be the cause of all of this." As a result, during the Black Plague the Jews were terribly persecuted, because Christians said, "They're the cause of the Black Plague."


In the second and last part of this sermon from the Holy Land given at the Crusader fortress of Akko, you'll be surprised to learn how much Martin Luther's teachings greatly influenced the Nazis.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Israel Regathered, Bible Prophecy Fulfilled: Dry Bones Back to Life

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Can a dead nation come back to life?

I was recently interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program "The Truth Will Set You Free" via TWave Radio. "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.

The Truth Will Set You Free

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, we'll marvel at how Israel being a nation again fulfills one of the most prolific prophecies in all the Old Testament. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.

Play MP3


The Valley of Dry Bones

Nathan: One of the greatest passages on this topic of the miracle of Israel becoming a nation again is Ezekiel 37. This is the story of the Valley of Dry Bones. Watch my one-minute computer animated video called "Dry Bones" which explains this story.

The idea of the Ezekiel 37 story is that Israel was a dead nation. They were just bones laying around a valley. Then the Lord takes these bones and puts them back together again. He puts the sinews and the muscle and the skin back on and brings Israel back to life. He then re-gathers the Jewish people into a great army. So, we see it was a prophecy of Israel being dead, but coming back to life again. The only thing that Israel is missing is a heart for the Son of God. They have their bodies, but the spirit isn't there yet because they haven't accepted Jesus as their Savior.

The coming seven-year Tribulation that's coming on the earth in part is for the purpose of making it so difficult for the Jews that they finally bend their knee and loosen their stiff necks. A third of the people will give their hearts to Jesus Christ.

Afterwards, when we get into that 1,000 year reign of Christ on this earth, Israel will be the capital nation of the world. Jesus will rule from Jerusalem and the people of Israel who have given their hearts to Him will become a priestly nation to the world.

All this hatred of Israel right now, Pastor Vic, that's all satanic, because Satan knows what's going to happen. He can read the Bible, and from the Bible he knows there's no stopping Jesus' return. Still, he's trying everything he can to stop it anyway, but will fail.

Vic: Dry Bones is an amazing prophecy! I love the way the Lord led you to tell in in a very simple little video. It really puts a beautiful picture behind what the Bible says.

Nathan: Thanks! With the Bible Prophecy Insights series, we really wanted to capture people who maybe don't know anything about Bible prophecy and tell them about it via a simple one-minute video. Then we bring them back to our website at lamblion.com so they can learn more about this amazing prophecy that is being fulfilled today.


Words of Encouragement

Vic: Nathan, how would you encourage that person out there who maybe does not have a relationship with the Lord, what would you say to them?

Nathan: I would say to them that the Lord is coming back very soon. He is coming back for two reasons. One reason is He's coming back to bring His people — those who have accepted Him as Savior — up to Heaven to be with Him before the second reason happens. The second is for judgment. This judgment upon the world will be like the Flood. It'll bring a remnant of the world back to accept Jesus as Savior.

The Tribulation is going to be the worse time in all of human history. The Lord doesn't want you to have to live through that, though. The Lord doesn't want you to be suffering in your sins. The Lord doesn't want you to go to Hell. So, Jesus died on the cross for you. He took your punishment. But, you have to accept that free gift. You have to accept in your heart by faith and pray something like, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." Jesus promises that He'll forgive you of your sins, heal you, and give you a new life. There is a great, new hope in the fulfillment of all the promises that God's offered those who have accepted Him as Savior.

Vic: Thank you, those are wonderful words of encouragement. To anyone tuning in here, you can always reach out to us to learn how to begin your life with Jesus Christ. The prophecy fulfillment of the return of the Jews to Israel is so important, and yet we've only covered just a few of the end times prophecies that the Bible teaches about. There's so much more to be revealed, so I hope we will be able to do discuss this topic with you.

People need to realize what is happening right before our very eyes. There are some who want to debunk some of these modern-day prophecies. Nathan, what would you say to them in close?

Nathan: I would say to them that with 31% of the Bible as prophecy, God wants us to know what the future is about. How will you respond to that knowledge? That's the important question you have to ask yourself. And, how will you respond to this knowledge?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Israel Regathered, Bible Prophecy Fulfilled: Importance of the Regathering

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Why is the regathering of the Jewish people important?

I was recently interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program "The Truth Will Set You Free" via TWave Radio. "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.

The Truth Will Set You Free

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, we'll marvel at how Israel being a nation again fulfills one of the most prolific prophecies in all the Old Testament. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.

Play MP3


Importance of the Jewish Regathering

Nathan: All of Bible prophecy points to the Jews going back to the land and making it their own again. That's how we can determine that we are living in the end times right now.

Vic: That's how we see that the most important prophetic development of the 20th Century was the regathering of the Jewish people back into the land of Israel, right?

Nathan: Exactly. Just read Isaiah 43:4-6, which is another prophetic passage about the Jews being regathered. It begins, "since you were precious in my sight." Isn't that awesome? God says to the Jewish people, "You are precious to me. You are important to me," He then says, "You have been honored and I have loved you." Jesus hasn't given up on the Jewish people. He loves them and He wants to bring a remnant of them to salvation. He's put them aside for awhile for the Church so that the Gentiles can come and accept Jesus as Savior, but He is not finished with the Jewish people. He brought them back into the land and the Bible tells us that a third of the Jews who survive the Tribulation will come to know Jesus as Savior by the time the Lord returns.

The rest of the passage then goes, "Therefore, I will give men for you and people for your life. Fear not for I am with you. I will bring your descendants from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, 'Give them up,' and to the south, 'do not keep them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth." That's what we are seeing happen right now!

As we see Antisemitism, that hatred of the Jews, continue to grow and grow and grow in the world, it will force the Jews to return back to Israel. We saw Antisemitism drive many of the Russian Jews back to Israel when Communism fell in Russia in the early 90's. The Jews were kept there for decades, nearly 600,000 of them weren't allowed to leave. But, when Communism fell, the Russians kicked all their Jews out, though they kept all the Jews stuff. Imagine one day when the government comes to you and says, "You, get out of here!" All 600,000 had to emigrate down into Israel. Israel had to absorb all those people all at once. Think of the United States absorbing all of Mexico. (Oh, wait, that's what we're doing now!)

Think of how the regathering of the Jews back to their land is happening. It's important. It means something. The Lord is protecting Israel. That's why I get so excited about this prophecy.

Vic: That's so true how God has protected His people. They have been scattered everywhere around the planet, and yet His hand has been with them, bringing them back. Like you said, now we have this incredible prophecy of the fig tree blossoming, right?

Nathan: Yes, Israel reborn is a modern-day miracle. As a matter of fact, it's such a miracle that Jeremiah 16:14-15 said that for Israel, "'Therefore, behold, the days are coming' says the Lord 'that shall no more be said the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, but the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands where He had driven them.' For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers."

So, when the Jews were taken out of Egypt in the Exodus, when Moses took them out of 400 years of slavery in Egypt, it was the defining moment for the Jewish people. They look back to that event and say, "That was the greatest miracle in all of our history!" But, the time is coming when all the Jews will be brought back to Israel and they will say, "We were brought out of the nations of the world and put back into our nation again." That will become the greatest miracle in their history, and that's happening this very day.

Vic: Wow, that's exciting! So, when we talk about this modern-day miracle, it really is something that the Church of Jesus Christ should be excited about, especially those of us who believe that the Lord is coming before that terrible period called the Tribulation, because we see the time is drawing near, right?

Nathan: Yes, the time is drawing near. As Jesus said in Matthew 24, He gave ten signs of the end times so we would know that He is coming back soon. The number one sign He gave is the fig tree reblossoming, which signifies the return of Israel. When the fig tree comes back to life, and when the nation of Israel comes back to life again, then the end times signs will begin.

When I say end time signs, I am talking about the end times signs of nature, like increased disasters increasing in frequency and intensity. I'm referring to wars and rumors of wars happening more frequently and more intensely. I'm talking about political upheavals and economic upheavals coming more intense and more often.

Jesus says the frequency and intensity of these end times signs would be like birth pains. True, I have never given birth, but my wife has, so I've watched it second-handed. As a woman goes through labor, she starts by having contractions and the pains are infrequent, but as it gets closer and closer to the baby being born, the birth pains come more frequently and more intensely until it is finally agony, and the baby comes. That's what it's like as we get closer and closer to the return of Jesus and to the seven year Tribulation that is coming upon the world. These pains — these end time signs — are coming more frequently and more intensely, and with Israel becoming a nation again, this tells us that we are in the end times.

Vic: Excellent point! Nathan, I'm so glad that God is not through with the Jewish people.


Satanic Attack Thru Hamas

Nathan: There are those, though, who don't want to see Israel remain a nation. Former President Jimmy Carter recently came out condemning Israel as a terrorist state and he recommended that we should recognize Hamas as a legitimate government. Really, Hamas?!? The people who kill their own children by putting them in front of missiles and then rejoice over it because it gives the world a bad opinion of Israel?

Vic: Don't even get me started! Hamas really upsets me. They're pure evil.

Nathan: Hamas is satanic. They're absolutely satanic. During Operation Protective Edge, we've seen pictures of Hamas goons rounding up their own people and locking them in buildings, knowing that Israel was targeting those buildings because it was either a weapons depot or a missile launching site. Then, after the people died, Hamas is like, "Look, look, the Israeli's are killing all our civilians!" Meanwhile, Hamas themselves are building bunkers and bombs underneath UN schools.

What Israel is doing in attempting to get rid of Hamas is a great thing, not just for Israel, but for the people of Gaza, because Hamas is just like a street gang that controls a neighborhood. Vic, you grew up in the inner city, so you know what it's like to have a street gang ruling the neighborhood. Hamas is a street gang ruling the Gaza Strip, and Israel needs to get that street gang out of there so the people can live there peacefully.

Vic: That's a great way to put it, because I and many other people can identify with that situation. I grew up in the Bronx, and everyone knows how bad life is there, and that's exactly what we're seeing in Gaza today.

Nathan: Hamas is a bunch of thugs who demonstrate that they hate their own people just as much as they hate everyone else. Any aid money that is supposed to go to help the people in Gaza, Hamas has taken to build weapons and tunnels in order to attack Israel. Someone needs to get them out of Gaza. They are a blight on the whole world.

We hear of many people today who say that if the Islamic world were to destroy Israel and take their land, then that would be the end of war in the Middle East. But, as I read to you in those prophecies concerning the second regathering of Israel, and I have many more prophesies I could read, they all say that Israel is in the land for good. Jesus is coming back and He is going to set up His kingdom in Israel.


In the third and last part of this discussion with Pastor Vic on the Jews regathering back into Israel, we'll see a valley of dry bones come back to life!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Israel Regathered, Bible Prophecy Fulfilled: Most Important Prophetic Development

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Did Moses actually prophesy the exile and regathering of the Jews?

I was recently interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program "The Truth Will Set You Free" via TWave Radio. "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.

The Truth Will Set You Free

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, we'll marvel at how Israel being a nation again fulfills one of the most prolific prophecies in all the Old Testament. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.

Play MP3


Israel Versus Hamas

Vic: The subject matter today is that of the prophetic fulfillment of the return of the Jews to Israel.

Nathan: I'm excited to get to talk about this Bible prophecy. It's so amazing and provides even more proof that the Bible is God's Word. Therefore, we can be sure of our understanding of God when we read the Bible so as to put our faith and trust in Him.

Vic: Amen! Bible prophecy is always exciting to talk about. Nathan, you have an incredible website full of resources about Bible prophecy. I always love to ask that you give us that information for the resources that Lamb & Lion Ministries provides. There are wonderful resources that people can take advantage of on your website. Could you give us the address to your website?

Nathan: Come and visit our website at www.lamblion.com. Our website is filled with articles on Bible prophecy. We have a television show called "Christ in Prophecy." You can also join our Facebook Group and discuss Bible prophecy with others. If you need a daily dose of God's prophetic Word, you can go to our blog about Bible prophecy at lamblion.us. I would like to invite folks to come and check us out.

Vic: Nathan, before we get started, let me ask you, how is your week going?

Nathan: My week has been good, but not so for Israel. There's been a lot of talk about Bible prophecy lately because of all that's been going on between Israel and Gaza with Operation Protective Edge. Israel over the last few weeks has been trying to get rid of the terrorist group in Gaza called Hamas. They've been firing thousands of missiles into Israel's country day after day.

The whole world is really divided over this issue between Israel and Hamas. Some are saying that Israel is the bad guy, while some say that Hamas in Gaza is the bad guy. And, people wonder, where's this all heading? What's this all leading up to? This has been a very sad and very dangerous time for Israel. There have been so many deaths on both sides lately, but it's also a very exciting time because we are seeing the Lord's prophetic word being fulfilled this very day.

Vic: It is exciting seeing God's word being fulfilled! That's why we air "The Truth Will Set You Free" to show our listeners how close we are to the soon return of Jesus Christ.


Most Important Prophetic Development

Vic: Nathan, what would you say has been one of the most important prophetic developments of the 20th Century?

Nathan: Well, clearly the 20th Century was a time of moving and shaking, of great technological strides, and great political strides. But, if you read Deuteronomy 30, which is Moses' last message to the Jews, you will realize that the greatest prophetic fulfillment in all of human history has been the regathering of the Jews back to Israel. The reason this is so because the regathering points to bigger events that are prophesied to be coming soon after.

Vic: I whole heartedly agree with you. We have seen some incredible things happen, but the regathering of the nation of Israel has been one of the most incredible events of all times. The 20th Century was full of momentous events that no one could have foreseen for 1,900 years, but Nathan, there have also been a number of other things that have transpired, right?

Nathan: Oh, certainly. In the 20th Century we made it to outer space when Buzz Armstrong and others landed on the moon. There was the terrible decades of Communism, though it fell in Russia. We made huge advancements with cars and technology and medicine. Wonderful things have happened, but terrible things as well.

But when it comes to the overall plan of God, from beginning to end, God has a plan for human history and it's not just happening randomly. The fact that Israel became a nation again back in May of 1948 points to the fulfillment of many prophecies. The Bible said that when Israel becomes a nation once more, the end times would be here. Therefore, we need to prepare for Jesus' soon return.


Moses' Prophecy

Vic: There are a lot of relevant prophecies in the Bible to discuss, but the one we'll address now is the regathering of the Jews in unbelief. Nathan, would you explain to us what that means?

Nathan: Sure. Let's go back to what I said about Moses' last message to the Jewish people in Deuteronomy 30. The Hebrews had been wandering the desert for 40 years in the Exodus. They were about to go into the Holy Land. There they'd have plenty and wouldn't have to worry about their enemies because it would be a time of peace and blessing.

But, Moses said if Children of Israel disobeyed God and chased after other gods, then God would send a number of punishments upon them in the hopes of chastising them, including exile, and then having to bring them back to their land again. Moses prophesied that the Jews would be exiled because they would turn their hearts away from the Lord. Moses knew that when the Hebrews went into the Land that eventually their descendants would give up on God. Because of their rebellion, they'd be exiled to the four corners of the earth. Moses relayed that the Lord promised that He would bring the exiled Hebrews back one day.

Moses said, "The Lord will make you abound in all the works of your hands and the fruit of your body and increase of your livestock and the produce for the land for good. Rejoice in the Lord for good, for He will rejoice over your father's. He said he will put curses on their enemies and that the Lord will bring you back into the land from where you were scattered." So, Moses knew ahead of time that the Jews would be scattered to the four corners of the earth because they gave up on God, but one day they would be regathered as a nation again.

Israel was dispersed not just once, but twice. This will blow your mind, Pastor Vic. First the Jews were exiled by Assyria and Babylon back in the 580s, then until about 500 BC, they were regarthered back into Israel. They lasted back in their land until the Romans came to conquer and the Jews rebelled against them in 70 AD. The Jews were then exiled a second time by Titus Vespasian, the Roman general who destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem. Then there was the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135 AD, but that was it — no more Israel.

When a nation is destroyed, that's it. It doesn't come back, at least not the same, ever again. But, the Bible said that God would bring the Jews back into the land not just once, but a second time, and that's why this prophecy is so significant. Not only did Isaiah 11:10-12 prophesy one exile, but it prophesied a second exile as well.

Vic: Amazing, Nathan! I do agree with you that this is incredible. I hope that everyone is just as amazed as we are at the accuracy of the Word of God prophetically. Please continue on, Nathan, because this is very exciting.

Nathan: Let's read from Isaiah 11. By this time in Israel's history the nation had pretty much degraded morally. They weren't following God, so the prophets were coming out and saying something like, "Alright, the Assyrians and the Babylonians are going to come and exile you and you are going to live in another land. You'll yearn to come back to Israel again. Then you'll finally give your heart to the Lord, but since you won't give it to God sincerely for very long, you will be exiled a second time."

Reading from Isaiah 11:10-12, it says, "On that day there shall be a root of Jessie who shall stand as a banner to the people. For the Gentiles shall seek Him and His resting place shall be glorious," That's talking about Jesus. "And it shall come to pass on that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left from Assyria, and Egypt, and Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamatha and the island of the seas." The "island of the seas" means all the nations of the world. "And He will set up a banner for the nations and will assemble the outcast of Israel and will gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."

Due to the first exile, the Jews were scattered to Babylon. They were sent up into the Babylonian area, which is today Iraq. When the exiled Jews returned from Babylon, they all returned from one nation, from what would became present-day Iraq. But, the second exile scattered the Jews to the four corners of the earth. A second regathering would bring the exiles back from the four corners of the earth. That second regathering started in the late 1890's and continues up to this day — just as the Bible prophesied.

Vic: Amazing! The four corners of the earth means everywhere, right?

Nathan: Exactly. The Bible says, "the island of the sea", which means all the nations out there beyond what Israel knew about at that time. The names of the nations the passage gives are the old names of the nations, but when we look at the names today, we see they literally mean the whole world.

You live in Aventura, Pastor Vic, and so I'm sure you are surrounded by many Jews. I used to live in Philadelphia, and it had a heavy Jewish population there. There are Jews from all over the world who have been homeless for nearly 2,000 years, that is until 1948 when the United Nations decided to give the land back to the Jews. In May of 1948, Israel became a nation again, just like the Bible prophesied.

Think back to other nations. Have we seen the Hittites become a nation again, or the Mayans, or the Aztecs? No. But Israel — God's choses people of the Bible — have become a nation once more.

Some people say that this resurrection of a nation is not important and that God has no purpose for modern Israel, but they are wrong. Just read Matthew 24 where Jesus talks about a fig tree. Jesus was really referring to Israel when He said that when the fig tree rebuds, the nation of Israel would become a country once more. That means the end times are here.

We are living in the end times because we are seeing Israel fighting for its life again. We know from prophecy that Jesus will one day set up His kingdom in Israel. Nothing is going to change that, not the United Nations or the Islamic forces or the United States. No one can force Israel to give up their land or cease to be a nation, because God has ordained it to now last forever. So, if anyone is betting against Israel in all these Middle East conflicts, they're betting on the wrong side.

Vic: Yes, when it comes to betting against Israel, those people are going to lose. They might as well play the lottery.


In the second part of this discussion with Pastor Vic on the Jews regathering back into Israel, we'll marvel at what a miracle this really is.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sermons From the Holy Land: Independence Hall (Part 2 of 2)

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

Let us continue on with my first message in the Holy Land, which was presented on a visit to Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. I was explaining in the first part how God was preparing President Harry Truman for the role of America supporting Israel becoming a nation.


General George C. Marshall Objects

So, God puts Truman in as Vice President when the subject of Israel's nationhood arose, but Truman and Clifford were the only two pro-Israel in his administration. Everybody else in the US Government was not only opposed, they were overwhelmingly opposed, to the establishment of the State of Israel.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff had a special meeting, and afterwards they came to the President and said, "Mr. President, we voted unanimously — no Jewish State." You know what their argument was? It was the same argument you hear today — "If you recognize a Jewish State, it will cut off our access to Arab oil. The most important thing in the Middle East is access to Arab oil. We must have access, so we must placate the Arabs. Don't worry about the Jews. The Arabs will destroy them overnight anyway."

Truman wouldn't make any commitment yet. He just listened to the Joint Chiefs.

More important than the Joint Chiefs of Staff were two other people. One was the Secretary of Defense, who was a very renowned man and was totally opposed to Israel becoming a nation. He said to the President, "Do not recognize Israel."

The other, and the most important person in this discussion, was General George C. Marshall. Truman worshiped at his feet. He idolized the man. General Marshall was the leader of the United States Forces in World War II. Most people think it was Eisenhower who was in charge, but no, he was only Field Commander. The person who was in charge of all US Military Forces and all US strategy in World War II was General George C. Marshall. He was so valuable to FDR that FDR would never allow him to go into the battle for fear he might be killed.

General Marshall later become Secretary of State. He gave a famous speech at Harvard University where he said to the effect, "We must rebuild Europe for it's lying it ruins. The Communists and all other kinds of radical groups will take over unless we go in and rebuild. We've got to provide them aid to rebuild."The Marshall Plan was born. That plan rebuilt Europe, and as a result of that plan, Marshall was given the Nobel Peace Prize and he was given the Man of the Year award in 1947 right on the front of Time magazine. This was the man whom Harry Truman idolized.

General Marshall, who was Secretary of State at the time, came to Truman and said, "Under no condition are you to recognize Israel." Now Truman hated the State Department. If you've ever read any of his writings, he always referred to them as "the guys in fancy stripped pants." He said of them, "They're a bunch of intellectuals who don't have any common sense." However, he did idolize General Marshall, and General Marshall told Truman, "You will not recognize the State of Israel."

So here's this tremendous debate going on, but all the while God was preparing Harry Truman's heart for this moment. Not only had God put Truman in this great position of power, and not only had he given him this ability to read and know the Scriptures, but something else happened which is truly amazing, and you can see God's hand in this.

When Harry Truman became a solider in World War I and went to Europe, guess who became his very best bosom buddy? It was a guy by the name of Eddie Jacobs who was a Jewish man from Independence, Missouri. This was a time when Jews were spit upon and hated in the United States just like blacks were. And yet, Eddie Jacobs became Harry Truman's best friend. They were best friends for the rest of their lives. In fact, when World War I was over, they came back and the two of them started a haberdashery shop and sold men's clothing. So, we see God orchestrating Eddie Jacobs and Harry Truman becoming friends.

Truman also chose Clark Clifford as his right-hand council. They were all men who believed in the Jewish destiny. God was surrounding Truman with all these people, like a hedge of protection, while the rest of the US Government was saying, "No Jewish State."


Eddie Jacobson Pleas

On May 12, 1948, there was a very significant meeting at the White House. General Marshall called the president and said to the effect, "I want to bring my staff and we want to meet with you, Mr. President. We're going to tell you all the reasons why you shouldn't recognize the State of Israel." And, Marshall came with a large staff, and one of them was appointed to present the argument to the President. This fellow got up and presented a long argument to the President about all the reasons why the President should not recognize the State of Israel.

After the General's man had finished speaking, the President asked, "Okay, Mr. Clifford, would you speak?" Clark Clifford got up and started speaking, but almost immediately General Marshall stood up and said, "Why is this political hack speaking at this meeting?" He considered Clark Clifford to be nothing more than a political hack. General Marshall said, "This is the State Department, and I want to ask you, Mr. President, why is this man even at this meeting?" President Truman simply responded, "Because I invited him." So, Marshall sat back down and Clark Clifford continued giving his entire speech on why he thought the State of Israel should be recognized. All the while George Marshall was sitting there just steaming.

When Clark Clifford had finished his speech, General Marshall said something that absolutely astounded everyone in the room. It's hard to even believe that he said this, but he said, "Mr. President, I won't argue about this anymore. I have only one thing to say." Now keep in mind he said this in front of a lot of witnesses, "If you recognize the State of Israel, I will vote for your opponent on Election Day." Everyone in the room was so astounded they just sat in absolute silence. Nobody could believe that Marshall spoke to the President that way. You see, the election was coming up soon in November of 1948, so you can see why that was a very threatening statement. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, President Truman replied, "You know, I think the best thing for all of us to do is to go home and get a good night's rest and think about this." So, they all left for the night.

The next morning, May 13, the Secretary of State called the President and he said, "Mr. President, I thought about it. Here's where I am. I'm still totally opposed to it, but if you recognize the State of Israel, I will not speak one contrary word. I will be silent and I will not speak out against your decision. The decision is yours." Still, nobody knew for sure what the President's decision would be.

While all that was going on, Eddie Jacobson called the President and he said, "Mr. President, you've been in office since 1945 and not once have I asked anything of you. But, I want to come to Washington, D.C. and meet with you personally." So, Eddie Jacobson came to Washington, D.C. and met with the President. He said, "Mr. President, I believe that when you were in your father's loins that God anointed you to recognize the State of Israel. I've never asked anything of you before, but I want to ask you to recognize the State of Israel. I think this is of God." Then he left. So, there was Truman, in the midst of all this controversy, with a huge decision to make.

Truman made his decision, and on May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion stood up in Independence Hall in Tel Aviv where I'm standing now and read the Declaration of Independence. Just 11 minutes later, Harry Truman signed a short document stating that he recognized the State of Israel. Right away armaments began to flow into Israel. That's the reason why Harry Truman is considered such a great man in the State of Israel. They have statues of him all over the place, because he was considered the savior of Israel on that day.

It wasn't but the next morning after Israel declared its nationhood that Israel was attacked by five Arab nations.


The Declaration of Independence of Israel

Let's pause for a moment. I want to ask Gary Fisher of Lion of Judah Ministries to read from the Declaration of Independence of Israel.

Gary Fisher

In the land of Israel the Jewish people came into being. In this land would shape their spiritual, religious, and national character. Here they lived in sovereign independence. Here they created a culture of national and universal import, and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books. Exiled by force, still the Jewish people kept faith with their land, in all the countries of their dispersion, steadfast in their prayer and hope to return and here revive their political freedom.
Fired by this attachment of history and tradition, the Jews in every generation strove to renew their roots in the ancient Homeland, and in recent generations they came home in their multitudes. Veteran pioneers and defenders, and new-comers braving blockade, they made the wilderness bloom, revived their Hebrew tongue, and built villages and towns. They founded a thriving society of its own economy and culture, pursuing peace, but able to defend itself, bringing the blessing of progress to all the inhabitants of the land, dedicated to the attainment of sovereign independence.
In 1897, the first Zionist Congress met the call of Theodore Herzl, seer of the vision of the Jewish State, gave public voice to the right of the Jewish people to national restoration of their land. The right was acknowledge in the Balfour Declaration on 2nd of November 1917, and confirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations, which accorded international validity to the historical connection between the Jewish people in the Land of Israel, and to their right to re-establish their national home.
The holocaust that in time destroyed millions of Jews in Europe again proved beyond doubt the compelling need to solve the problem of Jewish homelessness and dependence by the renewal of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel, which would open wide the gates of the homeland to every Jew and endow the Jewish people with the status of a nation with the equality of rights within the family of nations. It is the natural right of the Jewish people, like any other people, to control their own destiny in their sovereign state.
Accordingly, we, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish people in the land of Israel and the Zionist Movement, have assembled in the day of the termination of the British mandate for Palestine and, by virtue of our natural and historic right, and the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, do hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish State in the land of Israel — the State of Israel.


An Unprecedented Election

So, the State of Israel was established. Harry Truman recognized it. Arms began to flow. Then, five Arab nations attacked, and yet the Israelis have been able to survive to this day.

But, the story doesn't end here.

Following all that was the national election for the presidency which was coming up in November of 1948. Harry Truman had no chance of being re-elected. The Democrat Party had split three ways. Harry Truman received the nomination of the Democrats. Strom Thurmond pulled out of the party and formed what was called the Dixiecrat Party, which composed all the southern states. It was a party that was in favor of State's Rights and Segregation. And, Henry Wallace the Socialist formed the Progressive Party. All of the Socialist Democrats and Liberal Democrats pulled out and they supported him.

The Republicans united under the very handsome and charismatic Governor of New York, Tom Dewey. Truman had so little chance of being re-elected that many newspapers printed the headline in advance, "Dewey Defeats Truman." You've probably seen the famous picture of Truman holding up one of those papers.

At the astonishment of everyone, including Harry Truman, he was re-elected. It was the greatest upset in the history of American politics. There was no presidential election like it in history. How he won nobody knows. God says in His word, "To those who bless Israel I will bless them, and to those who curse Israel I will curse them." God greatly blessed Harry Truman for the decision he made to support Israel being its own nation.

Why should this be of any significance to us? Simply, because God fulfilled a promise that He made thousands of years ago. God has made a lot of promises to His Church, a lot of promises. Every time I see Him fulfilling a promise to the Jewish people such as: their regathering from the four corners of the earth, the re-establishment of their state, the revival of their language, and the re-occupation of the city of Jerusalem. When I see all these things happening, I know God is going to be faithful to fulfill every promise He has made to you and me and we can praise Him for that.

Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sermons From the Holy Land: Independence Hall (Part 1 of 2)

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

I have been to Israel 45 times, and every time my spiritual life has been enriched. I recently took a video cameraman with me and had him shoot on the fly as I led a pilgrimage group to the land. We began in Tel Aviv, and went from there to Tiberias in the north, and then back to Jerusalem.

I hope to share some of the sermons I presented from that trip with you. As I do so, I think you'll come to understand why a person once wrote, "A pilgrimage to the Holy Land converts the Bible from black and white into Technicolor."

My first message was presented on a visit to Independence Hall in Tel Aviv.


Birth Pains for a New Nation

Independence Hall in Tel Aviv was built in 1911 and was the home of the mayor at the time. When he died, he gave it to the city of Tel Aviv. It became an art museum and later was used for Israel's Declaration of Independence, but years later afterwards just fell into disrepair. Finally, the government took it over and restored it to look exactly the way it was on the day that the Independence Declaration was pronounced in this very spot. It's been open ever since the 1970's and Israel's government has been renovating it year after year.

I would like to begin by reading a verse from Isaiah 66 that has to do with what happened here in this room.

Independence Hall

There are many more prophecies in the Bible concerning the regathering of the Jewish people and the re-establishment of the State of Israel. In fact, there are more prophecies in the Old Testament about the regathering of the Jewish people and the reestablishment of the State of Israel than any other topic. It's the most prolific prophecy in the Old Testament. Just over and over and over God talks about how He is going to regather the Jewish people in the end times in unbelief, and how their state will be re-established.

The reason I'm going to read Isaiah 66 to you is because it's my favorite prophecy. It's a symbolic prophecy put in symbolic terms, but those terms are very, very descriptive.

Reading from Isaiah 66 beginning with verse 7, "Before she was in labor, she gave birth. Before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has ever heard of such a thing?" Have any of you ever heard of somebody giving birth to a child and then having the labor pains afterwards? "Who has seen such a thing? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Shall a nation be born all at once?"

That's exactly what happened. In one day the nation of Israel was reborn here in the city of Tel Aviv, in this place where I'm standing. The birth pains began the next day when five Arab nations attacked Israel, and the birth pains continue till this day.

The first birth pain was the War of Independence in '48 and '49. Second, the Suez War in 1956. Third, the Six Day War in 1967. Fourth, the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Then came the two Arab Intifadas and the first Gulf War. It's just been war after war after war. The most recent ones being the war with Hezbollah and then the war with Hamas.

Everything's building up for what's probably going to be the great war as the Arab nations close in and try to take Jerusalem. It's going to be the most destructive war for Israel.

Israel will become extremely dangerous, which is why I probably won't be making a trip here again anytime soon. In the past I would bring groups over to Israel during wars because it was very safe, but that won't be true in the future, because the future war that's coming is going to be a missile war. Thousands of missiles are going to launched from Iraq, Iran and from the north by Hezbollah and from the south by Hamas. They are just going to be pouring down like rain. It's going to be a very, very dangerous time. The people in Tel Aviv are the ones who are most subject to these attacks because they are the focal point. This is where the nations are going to aim their missiles because they are afraid if they shoot into Jerusalem they may end up hitting the Dome of the Rock; which by the way, I think would be very appropriate, but nonetheless they don't want that to happen.


The Founding Father

With Isaiah 66 I read earlier in mind, let's talk a moment about what happened here. When we arrive in Jerusalem we're going to go to Mt. Herzl Cemetery and we'll see that at the centerpiece of that cemetery is the tomb of the man, Theodore Herzl. We'll talk more about him when we get there.

Theodore Herzl

All I want to say right now about Herzl is that he was a Hungarian Jew who lived in Austria. He always wanted to be a playwright, but never made it. Theodore Herzl was a writer and a great intellectual, but he was an egomaniac. Nobody could get along with him. But, he was a man who had a vision for the Jewish people, and that vision was to bring them back to their homeland.

In 1896, Herzl wrote a book called The Jewish State. It wasn't really a book, but it was more of a booklet. In it he said it's time for the Jews to go back home. He had a premonition of the Holocaust coming, so he said it's time to go back home. The Jews must go back to their homeland.


Preparing the Right Man

There were only two people in the entire US government who favored the creation of the State of Israel. One was President Harry Truman and the other was his right-hand man, his counselor, his private lawyer – Clark Clifford. Clark Clifford favored the creation of the State of Israel because he was a Bible student and he believed that the Jewish people needed to go back to their homeland, as did Harry Truman who was also a Bible student.

I don't know how much you know about Harry Truman, but he was a remarkable person. You can look at his story and see God's hand orchestrating Harry Truman into this position. Prior to Truman, the Vice President of the United States had been Henry Wallace, who the president – FDR – just dropped summarily and said, "I want Harry Truman to be the next Vice President." As we'd learned, Henry Wallace turned out to be an extreme Socialist, a Communist sympathizer, and an extreme liberal. So, we know God orchestrated Truman to take Wallace's place.

Harry Truman comes into office even though FDR barely knows him, because they'd only met once before. During Harry Truman's vice presidency, he wasn't really kept in the loop. So, when he became President, he didn't even know there was an atomic bomb. They had to call him in and tell him about the project because FDR had never shared that with him.

Now here's an interesting thing about Harry. Just watch how God's hand is in Harry Truman's life.

First, He orchestrates for Harry Truman to become President. Second, Harry Truman was a child prodigy. He was reading at age three, and by the time he started school at age six, he'd already read the Bible twice. Third, his parents were devote Christians. They were Baptists. Truman knew the Bible backwards and forwards by the time he started school. Fourth, he was a guy with a photographic memory.

I used to teach a course on the presidency, and every year when the course was over my students and I would travel up to Independence, Missouri to meet with Harry Truman, which was after his presidency, by the way. You could ask Truman just about anything about any president of the United States. We'd ask him questions about different presidents like, "How many children did he have?" "What was his wife's name?" He was just unbelievable! Truman was a walking encyclopedia of history on the Presidents of the United States.


In the second and last part of this sermon from the Holy Land given at Independence Hall, the battle that went on behind the scenes over whether the United States would support Israel becoming a nation will be revealed.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Survey of the Great Tribulation: Judgments

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

What horrors will befall the world during the Great Tribulation?

On July 30, 2014, I was interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program "The Truth Will Set You Free" via TWave Radio. "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.

The Truth Will Set You Free

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, we'll survey the events within the Great Tribulation. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.

Play MP3


Trumpets and Bowls

Vic: In Revelation 8-9, we read about the different judgments that will afflict the world during the Tribulation, particularly the Seventh Seal Judgment and the seven Trumpet Judgments. Can you tell to us a little bit more about these judgments?

Nathan: The first half of the seven-year Tribulation contains the Seven Seal Judgments. They comprise of a global war, a terrible earthquake, famine, disease and death. The Fifth Seal Judgment includes a terrible persecution of Christians. Those people who will accept Jesus as Savior will likely be martyred for their faith during the Tribulation.

The Seven Trumpet Judgments portray various natural disasters happening all over the earth and demonic attacks.

When we get to the Seventh Trumpet Judgment, that's the trumpet that coincides with the death and resurrection of the Two Witnesses and the Antichrist declaring himself to be God. That seventh trumpet marks the beginning of what's called the Great Tribulation, which is that second 3.5 years of the Tribulation. The Seventh Trumpet Judgment of Revelation 11 says, "And the temple of God was opened in Heaven and the Ark of the Covenant was seen in its Temple. There was lightening, noises, thunder, and earthquakes and great hail." So, a series of natural disasters also coincide with the Seventh Trumpet Judgment.

The Seventh Trumpet Judgment also releases the Seven Bowl Judgments of Revelation 16. These final seven judgments are really, really awful. They makes World War III actually look appealing in comparison they're so terrible.

Vic: It's amazing that there's so much disaster the Bible tells us happening during the Great Tribulation. On top of those natural disasters will be supernatural disasters coming upon the earth. We're seeing small signs of these coming today, but they're just very minor signs in comparison.

Nathan: Jesus said in Matthew 24 that the signs of the end times would come like birth pains. In other words, the signs would come more frequently and more intensely the closer we came to Jesus' return. Pastor Vic, both of us have children and we've seen our wives go through birth pains. The contractions start small and happen wide apart, but the closer the baby comes the more intense the pains get, the more frequent they become until the baby finally arrives. We today are witnessing the signs of the end times happening in nature, politics, war, and technology. All of these different signs say that Jesus is coming soon. These signs are certainly getting more frequent and intense. But, during the seven-year Tribulation, that's when they climax. That's when the signs are at their worst. The world is rocked by these 21 judgments which basically level the planet and kill most of the world's population.

Vic: That's incredible! That's why as we look at this Great Tribulation and the Tribulation period overall, it can be something that's just so hard to comprehend. And yet, the Bible says these events must happen. Some people mock that these events will happen, and some people have different views on the Tribulation, but we stick to what the Bible says. Everything seems to line up in a proper order, a sequence, so we can know how the Great Tribulation is going to occur.

Nathan: Correct. As a matter of fact, the Bible says flat out that in the end times scoffers will come scoffing at the Bible and about the Lord's return. So, one of the signs of the end times is that people will be conclude, "Bible prophecy is ridiculous. This is never going to happen." They also will scoff at the idea of a Flood. In other words, the scoffers are Evolutionists and Atheists who will say, "This nonsense about the end times is ridiculous. We can't trust the Bible."

And yet, the Bible is 100% accurate in its prophecies coming true. When Jesus came the first time, He fulfilled 109 distinct prophecies. That's an amazing statistic. To have 109 distinct prophecies about the Messiah fulfilled in the life of one man is astronomical. Peter Stoner, a mathematician, calculated that just eight out of the 109 prophecies being fulfilled in the life of one man is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That number's so off-the-chart huge, and yet that's just eight of the 109 prophecies. Therefore, we can know with 100% assurance that when Bible prophecy foretold Jesus would come the first time, we can know for a fact that He will come a second time. There are 500 verse in the Old Testament and one in every 25 verses in the New Testament that promise Jesus will come back a second time. If we can trust 100% that Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies concerning His First Coming, then we can be assured that Jesus will fulfill all 500 prophecies concerning His Second Coming.


Escaping the Snare

Vic: Amen! Wow, what a wonderful word! That's why this study of the Great Tribulation is so important and is such a timely message, for now we know that time is running out.

God's Word is faithful. God's Word can be trusted. It begins with a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is faithful to the end.

As we get ready to wrap up survey of the Great Tribulation, I'd like to leave people with a word of encouragement and share how they can begin their relationship with the Lord. How would you encourage, Nathan, who are learning about these judgments and can sense that something really big is happening but they haven't fully given their lives fully over to the Lord? What would you say to them?

Nathan: I'd ask, "What are you waiting for? Whatever particular sin you enjoy, is it that important to you that it's worth destroying your life forever?"

Sin is tempting and fun at first, but it's like a snare. It catches you and it enslaves you and you become a prisoner to it. The fleeting fun quickly sours and you become miserable and unhappy. If you're honest with yourself, you know in your heart of hearts that because of your rebellion against God you are destined for punishment forever which is Hell. Why hold onto that? It's like holding onto a penny when there's a billion dollars sitting right next to you. Salvation is like that billion dollars, and it is the cure.

Jesus died for you. He loves you that much. He wants you to accept Him as Savior, to repent of your sins, and to give your life to Him. Jesus in turn will forgive you, He'll save you, He'll rapture you, He'll protect you, and you won't have to go through the Tribulation. You'll live with Him forever in heaven and you'll have a joyous and abundant life ahead of you. That true life at peace with God is what's worth grabbing hold of and taking.

Vic: That's what we want everyone to know. What a wonderful gift! Salvation is all by God's grace. He gives it to those who open their hearts and trust in Him. That's why the Bible says in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." We pray that you will reach out to Jesus Christ and have eternal life.