Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Israel Regathered, Bible Prophecy Fulfilled: Significant Times

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Are we really living in the most significant time in human history?

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.

Play MP3

Significance to Us Today

Vic: Our subject matter is that of the regathering of Israel. The Bible says in Jeremiah 31:8, "Behold, I am bringing them from the north country and I will gather them from the remote parts of the earth. Among them the blind and the lame, the women with child and she who is in labor with child together, a great company they will return here." This is an incredible miracle that God has performed.

Nathan, can you talk to us about the regathering of the nation of Israel and the significance that that has for us today?

Nathan: I'd be happy to, because the prophetic regathering of the Jews back into Israel is an exciting topic. It's what most Bible prophecy teachers call the "Super Sign."

Jesus gave us many end times signs to look out for, especially in Matthew 24 and its parallels in Luke 21 and Mark 13. In Luke 21, Jesus gives us ten signs to look out for that when they happen tells that Jesus is returning soon. One of those signs, and I believe the most important, is the "Super Sign" that Israel would become a nation again. The Jewish people were scattered across the face of the planet, and not just exiled one time, but twice.

The prophecy of the first regathering of the Jews was foretold hundreds of years before the first exile occurred in 722 BC for Israel and 582 BC for Judah. Israel was then exiled a second time across the world since 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem.

The Jewish people for centuries have since roamed the world as vagabonds basically. They've been without a homeland or nation of their own. They've been persecuted wherever they've went.

Jesus said that Israel would be a player in the end times, and so the people must be regathered again. They'd become a nation once more, and when that nation formed again, we'd knew that the end times were upon us and Jesus is coming back very soon.

Vic: Excellent point! Nathan, that you produced a Bible Prophecy Insight video about the regathering of Israel. I really love that video. You show the regathering of the nation of Israel as an end times sign, along with other end times signs.

Nathan: Nearly six to seven hundred years before Jesus came at His First Coming, God gave the prophet Ezekiel a vision. We can read about that vision in Ezekiel 37. Ezekiel was shown a valley of dry bones, the idea being that the nation of Israel was dead. This was a surprise to Ezekiel, because at that time period Judah was still a nation, though at some point during Ezekiel's life he'd see Judah destroyed as a nation.

The Romans destroyed Israel again in 70 AD. The Romans tired of the Jews rebelling against them, so they sent Titus Vespasian as the general to deal a final blow against Judea. He absolutely obliterated Jerusalem and he destroyed the Temple, just as Jesus said when he was crying at the Temple during the last week of His life here. Jesus in Matthew 24 said not one stone of the Temple would be left upon another. That's exactly as it happened. True, the Romans were so anxious to get the gold that had melted between the stones due to the fires that had broken out that they levered the stones apart. In the process, the Temple was utterly destroyed.

And so, the Jewish people were scattered to the four corners of the wind since 70 AD. For 19 hundred years, the Jews have been scattered across the nations But, in 1948 through a series of events, the Jews have regathered into a nation once more. That so many ancient prophecies concerning this have come true, it's really important that we take this seriously.

Vic: Here we see this event happening during our time, well, back in 1948. You and I are not that old, right?

Nathan: Yes, true, we weren't there in 1948. My father was though. When it comes to the word "generation" in Matthew 24:34, when you translate it from the original Greek, means the people the group that have seen Israel become a nation again. So, we may not have been alive in 1948, but we are living in that generation — that age, that people group — that has seen Israel become a nation again.

Vic: This is why we're so excited! Hopefully this good news will encourage those who understand the huge importance of this passage. We pray they'll recognize what an incredible miracle and privilege it is for us to be alive in this age right now.

Nathan: As a kid I used to think we lived in boring times, but then as I got older I realized the significant changes that have happened to the world in just the past hundred years. A hundred years ago people were mostly still riding on horses and buggies. Planes weren't available to just anybody, and they were basically just made out of wood. We hadn't gone to the moon. We didn't have cell phones and television and all the amazing technologies that we have today. For thousands of years, life was pretty much the same. There were some technological developments, but overall we've seen in the last couple of years an incredible skyrocket in technological advances by comparison. The Lord was with this super-rise in technology in part saying, "I'm making it possible for the end times to happen."

Besides Israel becoming a nation again in 1948, Jesus said that there'd be other signs that would come and increase in frequency and intensity the closer to Jesus' return. So, sure, there's always been earthquakes and storms, but they get more frequent and more intense the closer we get to Jesus' return. And so I realized, we're living in really exciting times. We could actually be living in the time when the Church will be raptured out of here and off this earth to meet Jesus in the clouds and be with the Lord forever, just as He promised in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15.

So, Pastor Vic, I agree with you. We are living in very exciting times!

Signs of Knowledge and Travel

Vic: We are seeing so many other prophesies besides the return of Israel being fulfilled right before our eyes, right, Nathan?

Nathan: Indeed. Go to Daniel 12:4, for instance, where he's told by an angel how in the end times knowledge and travel would increase exponentially. All the way up to about a hundred years ago, most people never left their town. They grew up, they lived, and they died in their own town.

But, now a days, we can hop on plane and go anywhere in the world within 24 hours. It takes 13 hours, or if the headwind is really good 11 hours, to get to the other side of the world, to Israel, to Tel Aviv. Think that Mark Twain in the 1800's took three months by boat just to get to Israel. If he could take a Concord jet over there, he'd be zipping across the pond so to speak in just a few hours.

Technology has just skyrocketed incredibly in the last few decades. It's all leading up to a point when the Antichrist, this one world ruler who's coming to the world, will control the world through commerce. He'll have this mark which he'll put on the people's forehead or right hand, and they can't buy or sell without it. It'll need a lot of technology to make the Beast commerce system happen.

Look at the number of events that will happen which the whole world will witness. For example, there will be these Two Witnesses who'll be in Jerusalem and for 3.5 years. They'll witness on God's behalf. Then the Antichrist will come and finally kill them off. Their bodies will sit in the streets for 3.5 days, but they'll be resurrected. Revelation 11 says the whole world watches their death and resurrection. Now how can the whole world watch the Two Witnesses being resurrected out of Jerusalem unless we have the technology like cellphones and TV's and satellites and the Internet and all in order to be able to see that happen?

There are certainly other technologies which Bible foretells, but an increase in knowledge and travel are just two of the many signs that say we're living in the end times. The "Super Sign" that's most important though is Israel becoming a nation again.

In the fifth part of this discussion with Pastor Vic on the Jews regathering back into Israel, we'll look at why this is called the "Super Sign."

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sermons From the Holy Land: Supernatural Healing

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 through the land. We began in Tel Aviv, and went from there to Tiberias in the north, and then back to Jerusalem.

I'll continue 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 third message was presented in the ruins of the biblical town of Korazim (biblical Chorazin), located just north of the Sea of Galilee.

Korazim Found

The geographical focus of Jesus' three-year ministry was in the northern part of Israel called the Galilee, where the beautiful Sea of Galilee is located.

While at Korazim, we turned in our Bibles to Mark 1. I love Korazim because it's one of the three cities where Jesus focused His ministry. Capernaum, which was Jesus' headquarters, and Korazim and Bethsaida all were where He focused His ministry.

When Jesus left the Galilee for the last time, He put a curse on these cities because they had rejected Him and His ministry, even though He performed His greatest miracles there (Matthew 11:20-24). Jesus said, "If Sodom and Gomorrah would have heard what I preached there, they would have repented, but you did not. So it's going to be worse for you on the Day of Judgment than Sodom and Gomorrah."

The interesting thing about this prophecy is that about 150 years later there were tremendous earthquakes in the Galilee area and those three cities were totally destroyed, all except Tiberius. By the 1800's, critics of the Bible were already writing entire books trying to prove that the Bible is full of myth, legend and superstition. Because the Bible says Jesus spent His ministry in these three towns, which the critics claimed never existed, they concluded the Bible must be fiction.

Two of the towns were later discovered by archaeologists in the 19th Century, and the third — Bethsaida — was discovered recently. Amazingly, there is still argument among archaeologists as to whether or not the discovery of the third is really the actual city. Korazim is legitimate, and it's the place where Jesus ministered and performed mighty works of healing.

Let's read about those healings in Mark chapter 1, beginning with verse 32:

"When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city had gathered at the door. And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was.

Go to verse 39: "And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons." So Jesus healed people and He cast out demons. Jesus had a very, very active healing ministry.

Growing Up a Cessationist

I grew up in a church that did not believe in healing. They held to what's called Cessationist Theology. Cessationist Theology is very common today among most churches. It's a theology that says when the last apostle died, all the supernatural gifts of the Spirit ceased, and that God's intervention in history ceased, too. It says we are left to cope with life with what God has given us — our minds and the Bible.

The extreme expression of Cessationist Theology is what's called Deism, which was the belief held by some of the Founding Fathers of America. They believed in God, but they believed He was an impersonal God. They did not believe in a God who was personal at all. If you were to tell a Deist you were praying for your wife to be healed of allergies or something, he would laugh at you and probably say, "God is concerned about much bigger things like presidents and kings, not your wife's sinus problems." That was the kind of God I grew up with.

Let me tell you, if you hold to Cessationist Theology, you'll never get excited about reading the Bible, because the Bible is full of stories of people who get into desperate situations. When they do, they reach out to God and God intervenes and does something. If you don't believe God does that anymore, the Bible is totally irrelevant.

Dawning Realization

I remember when I was about 25 years old. I went to eat lunch with a man and we got to talking about the Bible. Suddenly out of the blue, he asked me a question. He asked, "Do you believe in healing?" I replied, "What do you mean?" He said, "Do you believe that God could supernaturally heal somebody?" I replied, "Well, I don't know." He said, "Has anybody in your family or your church ever been supernaturally healed?" I answered, "Not that I know of." Then He said, "Well, do you think God can do that?" I replied, "No, I don't really think so." And he said, "Then don't ever expect it. God is a gentleman. He's not going to impose Himself upon you. He's not going to force something upon you that you don't believe."

Hearing that was like having some guy stick a knife in me and turn it. I remember one Sunday during a sermon, someone got up and handed the pastor a note which said, "We just got a phone call that sister so-and-so had a heart attack and they have rushed her to the hospital." The pastor then said, "Let's pray." And he prayed, "Lord, help the doctors remember what they learned in medical school. Help them to prescribe the right medicine." And so forth and so on. If he would have simply said, "Lord, have mercy on sister so-and-so and please heal her in the name of Jesus," we would have had five more heart attacks to deal with in the congregation that day! All because he had said the word "heal."

God Never Changes

Over the years since then, I've made two discoveries in the Scripture that I had never heard when I was growing up in the church. One of them was over in the book of Hebrews. In Hebrews 13:8 it says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." So, He didn't retire in the First Century. He is the same forever. He has not changed. He therefore still intervenes.

Jesus intervenes supernaturally in many ways. He intervenes, for example, by putting judgments upon nations through weather calamities and disastrous acts of nature.

He also intervenes in our life. He disciplines us. Have you ever been disciplined by the Lord? I have. I'll tell you what, He can get your attention. Sometimes He has to hit you over the head with a 2x4 to get it, but He'll get your attention one way or another. It's because He loves you. That's why He disciplines you. God intervenes because He is still alive and active.

God Cares For You

Another Scripture I discovered that really changed my life was over in 1 Peter 5. It's so important. I don't want you ever to forget it. I had been going to church for over 30 years and never once had I heard this Scripture read. 1 Peter 5:6 says, "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. Cast all your cares upon Him." Why? "Because He cares for you."

Christianity is the only religion in the world that has a personal God. In the Islamic world, they do not have a personal God. He's aloof. He's distant. He's arbitrary. Muslims never know whether they have salvation or not. The only ones who think they have salvation are those who die as martyrs. Mohammad himself said right before his death that he had no idea whether he was saved or not. That's because they serve an aloof god. Not once in the Koran does it say their god is a god of love.

But, our God is. Our God is a God who cares. He's concerned about every concern, every worry, and every decision you are trying to make. And, He's a gentleman. He doesn't force Himself on you. All you have to do is reach out like a little child, in faith and ask, "God, help me with this decision. God, please heal." His response might not be the exact response you are looking for, but He will respond in His own way and in His own timing and in a way that is for your best interest.

For example, about ten years ago we were in Korazim praying for people. We had a videographer named Don who was with us the whole trip and who was filming the healing service. After the service, when we had gotten back in the bus, he came running up and asked, "Could you wait just ten minutes?" I said yes because I thought he just needed to go to the bathroom. Ten minutes later he came back and said, "While I was filming earlier, God spoke to my heart and said to me, 'Don, I want to heal you right now.'"

Don hadn't been able to eat anything with wheat in it since he was about ten years old. If he did, he would become physically ill. Don said to me, "David, I went back and prayed, and I believe God healed me. So tonight, for the first time in 30 years, I'm going to eat all the wheat I can."

I told him, "Don, let's talk about this for a moment. I appreciate your faith, but you are the only guy who knows how to operate this camera, and we brought you all the way over here." But, he declared, "I'm sorry, God's healed me and I'm eating wheat tonight." So, I started praying hard! Anyway, he ate the wheat and he's been eating it until this day.

Folks, that healing happened right in Korazim where Jesus healed people. Jesus healed people then, and He's still healing them today.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Israel Regathered, Bible Prophecy Fulfilled: Future Migration

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

What will cause all the Jews of the world to return to Israel?

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.

Play MP3

Future Migration

Vic: Nathan, we believe this regathering of the Jews is going to just continue to keep on going, right?

Nathan: Yes, just after reading Ezekiel 37 you read chapters 38 and 39. These chapters talk about a tremendous battle. As a matter a fact, there's no prophetic battle in the Bible more explained in detail than this one. It's called the Gog and Magog Battle. Beforehand, though, Israel according to Psalm 83 will subjugate the nations around it. It's going to have to as Israel's endured been in so many wars since its creation in May of 1948 as the nations around it try to destroy them. Israel will have to put down the attacks and rebellions around them. Were talking about Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan — all those nations will have to be dealt with by Israel in a Psalm 83 War scenario.

We read in Ezekiel 38 and 39 how an outer ring of what are today Islamic nations along with Russia who leads the attack, makes a coalition with Iran and Turkey and Libya and all those "'Stan" nations like Kazakhstan and so forth. They all combine to get together to try to destroy Israel.

It's an amazing scenario when you think about it. We're talking about millions of soldiers marching on Israel just to destroy that tiny little nation which is only the size of New Jersey. Ezekiel says that God steps into history again and destroys those invading armies with fire and destruction. The armies also turn on each other and earthquakes swallow them and violent weather strikes them. Then God sends fire down on those countries to burn them up.

So, the fear that Iran is going to be a threat to the world anymore, well it won't be after the Gog-Magog Battle. Russia won't be a threat to the world anymore either. This war is going to totally change the political landscape of the world. But, the world will hate the Jews even more for their victory. Ezekiel 38 and 39 tell us that the rest of the Jews from around the world will finally go back to Israel.

Pastor Vic, I know your church, Calvary Chapel Aventura, is in a heavily Jewish populated area. But, after the Gog-Magog Battle, the Jews there will all clear out. They're going to leave. I'm serious. Ezekiel 39:25-29 says that all the Jews of the world will leave the countries that they're in where they've been scattered all over the world to and go back to Israel.

The second greatest gathering of Jews in the world dwell in the United States. I used to live in Philadelphia where every third person was Jewish. My wife lived in New York. Down in Florida is also very strongly Jewish-populated.

There is a time coming, though, after that Gog-Magog War when the Jews will be forced to pack up. They'll want to go to Israel. I think that the Anti-Semitism will get so bad in the world that the world's Jewish population will end up going back to Israel just to have a place of protection from world persecution.

Vic: Nathan, this is a really, really incredible subject. The regathering of the Jewish people is one of the greatest miracles in the world today. People cannot ignore it, right, Nathan? No matter what anybody tries to say or do, Israel is there. It's there in history. If you want to see Israel, it's all there to visit.

Nathan: Satan certainly is not ignoring it. As soon as Jews started returning to what was called Palestine, he's been trying everything he can to stop the regathering. War after war after war was waged against Israel. The Jews should have been annihilated by the Islamic armies that were united against them.

In 1948, Israel was comprised of just a bunch of kibbutz workers. They were farmers with cheap guns and a few borrowed planes, and yet, through them God stopped the advancing armies from destroying the new nation. Again in 1967 and in 1973 and to this day, Israel wins wars miraculously against all odds, against all their enemies' military strength. The Jewish people know by these victories that God's hand is in their successes.

Satan is trying to thwart Gods plan. Because we can see this giant spiritual war against the Jew that's going on today, we can know that we're getting close to the Lord's soon return. The regathering of the Jewish people is happening today, and that's just something we cannot ignore. Because this is happening today, I believe Jesus' return will be within our lifetime.

Vic: That's right. I agree with you, Nathan. I believe we could be that generation that's alive and here when the Lord comes back.

Nathan: In Matthew 24, Jesus said exactly that. He said that when the fig tree — another name for Israel — re-blossoms, which is when Israel becomes a nation again, that will be the generation that sees His return. When the text says "generation," people ask, "Is that 20 years? Is that 7 years? Is that 120 years?" Generation is not talking about years, per say. The original word is genea, meaning a race of people. They're going to see Israel reblossom. The people of this age are that group and live in that time period that has witnessed Israel coming back and continuing to come back.

Jews from Russia and Europe are not the only ones returning to Israel, but there are Jews coming back from Africa and now they're coming back from China. I was surprised to learn that there are Jews who are half Chinese. All these exiled Jews integrated into all the races. They will come back to Israel, and we're seeing that today.

Now is the Time

Nathan: The return of the Jew is an amazing miracle. People need to take that really seriously, because it means since Jesus is coming back, how will He find you when He returns? Will He find your heart ready to accept Him as Savior, or will you continue to reject Him? Without Christ's salvation, we'd have to continue to pay for our sins, which is Hell.

Vic: Absolutely, Nathan. I pray our conversation will encourage, educate, and also excite everyone about the Lord's return. We don't have a lot of time left. I especially want to encourage anyone who doesn't have a relationship with the Lord to realize that this is the opportunity for you. The Lord is calling you out. He has a plan for your life, and it starts with a relationship with Jesus Christ. We always like to encourage people to come to the Lord.

Nathan, I'm sure you know individuals who I'm sure are still on the sidelines, right? They're indecisive. What would you say to them?

Nathan: I would say that the signs of the times that the Bible gives us in Matthew 24 and other verses reveal that Jesus is returning. I'd say is the most important of these signs is that Israel is a nation once again. That means something. That's super important. You've got to take that fact seriously, because it means that the whole world is about to change.

The Bible in 2 Peter 3:3 says that in the end times there will be lots of people scoffing at the idea of Jesus returning. They'll say that everything's the same, but everything hasn't been the same. We've seen an increase in wars. We've seen an increase in false teachers. Many other signs as well reveal we're living in the last days. Jesus says that when these signs happen, He's coming back soon.

The question remains, "How will Jesus find you?" John 3:36 asks, "Do you remain under the grace of God, or do you remain under the wrath of God?" The grace of God means that you're forgiven, you've accepted Jesus as your Savior, your sins are forgiven, and you can hold on to that eternal promises that Jesus has of living with Him forever.

When Jesus comes back, He's not coming back as the cuddly teddy bear or the suffering lamb like He did in the First Coming. He's coming back as we read in Revelation like a wrathful lion, angry at sin, and ready to judge. Will you be there to be judged?

You don't want to live in the Tribulation. As Pastor Vic and I've talked before, there is a terrible, terrible time period coming. After the coming Tribulation it would be even worse for you, because if you're dead there's no chance of salvation. All that will be left is judgment and Hell. The Lake of Fire is the eternal punishment for rebellion against God.

So, now is the time. Now is the day to accept Jesus as your Savior.

Vic: That's right. The Bible clearly says in John 3:16 that God gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have eternal life. That includes you.

If you haven't turned to Christ, we would love to pray with you and also share with you resources regarding this relationship with Jesus Christ. One of the easiest way to come to Jesus is through a simple prayer that you can pray. Mean it from your heart. God will transform your life.

Nathan, can you lead someone in a very quick prayer in case they don't have a relationship with the Lord?

Nathan: Certainly. From your heart pray, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." You know with that heart transformation the Lord promises to change your life, to forgive you, to give you a new life, a new hope, and eternal life with Him.

Vic: Of course, it's all by faith. Right where you are, if you've prayed that prayer, you can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will transform your life. He comes to be inside of your heart. The Bible tells us that Jesus is with u. When we open up our heart He moves inside of us to guide our mind and direction. We pray that if you prayed that prayer, then know that God is going to do something awesome in your life.

In the fourth part of this discussion with Pastor Vic on the Jews regathering back into Israel, we'll look at how this is significant to us today.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Israel Regathered, Bible Prophecy Fulfilled: Historical Migration

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

How did the Jews begin returning to the land of Israel as prophesied?

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.

Play MP3

Historical Migration

Vic: Nathan, talk to us a little bit about the migration that's happening of the Jewish people back to their land. This is not by coincidence, right?

Nathan: Coincidence? No, no, no. Back in the late 1800's in France, they experienced a similar happening to what we're seeing today with Anti-Semitism. Turn on the news and you can see large Muslim populations rioting against the Jews. They're holding protests and boycotts. They want Israel destroyed and all the Jews massacred.

A similar reaction was happening in the late 1800's. There was a young Jewish police officer named Dreyfus. Dreyfus was falsely accused of a crime. Not only France, but all of Europe, immediately erupted into such Anti-Semitic hatred of the Jews.

That's when a young Austrian, also a Jew, was sent to France as a reporter on this story. His name was Theodore Herzl. Herzl was there and saw the hatred for the Jewish people. He realized there's no way that the Jews will ever be able to integrate into any society. He believed his people needed their own country again. Only then would they be safe.

That's why Herzl in the late 1800's started the First Zionist Congress where they'd talk about getting the Jews back into their own land. Over the years he got lots of people excited about moving back to the Holy Land, and that's what they did. The Jews began moving back.

It's a huge lie that the Jews took what was then called Palestine by force. They didn't take the land as the Islamic lie goes today. No, they bought the land. The land had been decimated by the Romans and for some two-thousand years left empty. Nobody was really living in it. The trees could be counted because the Ottomans taxed what people were there based on how many trees they owned. So, there were very few trees in the land. It was utterly a wasteland.

The people who were living in Palestine when the Jews began buying the land happened to be Syrians, not Palestinians. There's no such thing historically as a Palestinian. The Syrians alone were there.

When the Jews began buying the land, the Syrians were laughing their heads off. They were like, "Look at those crazy Jews. They're coming here and buying up desert and swamps."

The Jews are very ingenious people. After they came back to Palestine, they figured out ways to drain the swamps. They brought the deserts in the country back to life again. I've been there three times and I'm always amazed at what a bounty it is there with all the flowers and the fruits and the vegetables. The Jews took what was like going out into the Mojave dessert and by the breaking of their backs turned the land into New Jersey, the Garden State. That's what they did with the barren land.

Over the years since settling Palestine, the Jews were able to buy up a lot of the land, but there still wasn't a lot of Jews there. Then the Holocaust happened and six million Jews were killed throughout Europe by Hitler during World War II. After that atrocity, the United Nations agreed that the Jews needed a land for their people, so in 1947 the UN made a resolution about allowing the Jews to return to their homeland. Unfortunately, the UN cut out a lot of the land they'd originally promised the Jews. All of Israel encompassed what now is Jordan. The UN cut it back to less than half of what Israel is today. On May 16, 1948, Israel declared itself a nation, and instantly every Islamic country around them started attacking them.

Hatred of the Jews

Vic: We see this Anti-Semitic hatred permeating the world today. We see this spirit of the Antichrist suddenly growing again, right? There is great hatred being spread against God's people — both Christians and the Jews.

Nathan: That's how you can tell that Satan is in the world, because there's so much hatred of the Jewish people. It rages against unlike any other people group in the world. It's crazy!

For instance, the conflict Israel just had with Gaza, it revealed who Hamas really is. They take their own people and use them as human shields, and put them in buildings they know are going to be blown up. Even when Israel isn't attacking them in self-defense, Hamas still persecutes their own people. The world will instantly condemn Israel for defending itself against all the rockets Hamas has shot at them and side with Hamas. There's something supernatural there with the world's hatred of the Jewish people. I think it's because Satan knows that through the Jewish people God brought us the Bible, God brought us the Messiah, and God will bring us Jesus' Second Coming. If Satan can destroy the Jews, he thinks he can waylay God's plan. But, nobody can waylay God's plans!

Vic: That's right. And also, because of the Jewish people, we Gentiles have also come to know this incredible relationship that with Jesus.

Nathan: It's so sad what we take for granted when it comes to the Jewish people. God picked them out of all people to show His grace. Talk to any Jewish person and they'll tell you, God picked the most stiff-necked, stubborn group of people. They're always breaking covenants with God, He'd still show them love, but they'd just spit in His face in return. In return, they were exiled, but God brought them back. Still, they turned on Him again, and so they got exiled again, but God's still bringing them back a second time.

Jewish history is like God's giant object lesson. Our hearts are just like Israel. We're constantly rejecting God. We always want to do it our way, even though our way usually hurts ourselves. If we were to do things God's way, accepting His love and sacrifice, we can have eternal life. And so, God gave us the Jewish people as a giant object lesson.

Another part of the object lesson teaches us that only a remnant of the Jewish people will accept Jesus as Savior. We know that during the Tribulation there is a terrible "time of Jacob's trouble" when two-thirds of the Jews will be killed. There's about 9 million of them today throughout the world. If that was in today's numbers, and only a third of them turn to Jesus during the Tribulation, that's be about three million.

We see people today whom we give the Gospel — the good news of Jesus Christ — to, and we're telling someone "Jesus loves you and He died for you." But, they'll reply, "So what?" Or, "I don't care." Or, as admit as far as, "I hate Him." You have to wonder, "What?!?" But, it's typical of most people's responses. Very few — a remnant — accepts Jesus as Savior. We too as Gentiles are offered salvation through the work that Jesus did on the cross through the Jews, and like the Jews, only a remnant of us accept Jesus as Savior.

Vic: Yes, and that's a very good point. Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will continue to open up the eyes of more individuals to recognize what Jesus means to us. This is why we're so excited about His soon return, and also about this incredible miracle of the regathering of the nation of Israel.

In the third part of this discussion with Pastor Vic on the Jews regathering back into Israel, we'll look at what will finally cause all the Jews in the world to return to their own land again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Israel Regathered, Bible Prophecy Fulfilled: Just As God Promised

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Where in the Bible did God promise to return the Jews to their land?

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.

Play MP3

The Valley of Dry Bones

Vic: Our topic for today will be that of the regathering of the nation of Israel. We are so excited because we are talking about such an incredible topic. God has accomplished a very important miracle in regathering the Jewish people. I believe it's the most important prophetic development in the 20th Century.

Various passages in the Bible talk to us about the miracle of the regathering of the nation of Israel. One of the greatest of those passages would be Ezekiel chapters 37 and 38. Nathan, can you talk to us a little about that passage?

Nathan: Ezekiel 37 is about a valley of dry bones. The prophet Ezekiel was shown this image of dry bones. All was death, as if a mighty empire had once been there, but had since turned to dust.

Then, all the sudden, the bones rise up out of the valley. They join together so that the skin and the bones all combine. The people have life once more and are a people group again. The Bible prophesied that the nation of Israel would come out of death to come back to life again as a nation reborn.

Moses Knew

Nathan: Actually, Pastor Vic, the Ezekiel 37 prophecy goes all the way back to Deuteronomy 30. Before Israel was even a nation, they had been wandering around the desert for 40 years. Then God says to Moses basically, "I know the hearts of your people Israel. The Hebrew people over the centuries will have their love for me grow cold. We'll be distant. They'll follow other gods and they'll break the covenant I made with them. And so, I will not defend them anymore. They will be taken out of the land I promised them into exile and captivity among the Gentile nations."

God's prophecy given to Moses happened exactly that way. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was exiled in 722 BC and then later with Judah and Jerusalem in 586 BC. The Israelites were scattered up north. The Lord 70 or so years later regathered the Jews back into a nation once more. And, for a few hundred years, Israel was a nation again, although under occupation. First the Greeks and then the Romans ruled Israel. Finally the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD, and by about 130 with the Bar Kokhba Rebellion the Jews were totally scattered to the four corners of the world.

Amazing how that very scenario was prophesied well over a thousand years before it even happened! As a matter of fact, Deuteronomy 30:3 says, "The Lord your God will bring you back from captivity and have compassion on you and gather you again from the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you." So, even before Israel was a nation, God was telling them to the effect, "You're going to disobey me. You're gonna be exiled. But, I'm going to bring you back." God promised to bring Israel back into the Promised Land because He is always faithful to His covenant.

Pastor Vic, you and I weren't alive back in 1948 when Israel became a nation again, were we, Brother?

Vic: No, we're not that old.

Nathan: We're not that old, but we live in a generation that was alive back in 1948 and witnessed Israel became a nation again.

The Ottoman Empire will not arise again. The Mayans and Incas will not rise again. But, Israel as a nation is back in their land again after almost 1,900 years, just as God foretold in Deuteronomy 30 and Ezekiel 37 and many other verses. We can go through them if you want. There are many verses that prophesied that Israel would be exiled, and not just once but twice, and then a second time brought back back in their land. When Israel — God's covenant nation from the Bible — became a nation once again in our own modern era, well that signals the time to start looking for Jesus to return.

God Promises

Vic: What an amazing and beautiful picture of grace, right? People have a hard time understanding grace, but here is God's grace being poured out upon these people, much like us as believers in Christ. Sometimes we mess up. Then the Lord corrects us so that He can bring us back to Him. He always loves us. That's what you're saying to us when it comes to God's love for Israel, right?

Nathan: That's it. God is characterized by grace. He's also characterized by justice for He will always do what is right. He will always follow His own rules and laws, and when we disobey those laws, He sends punishment in the hopes that we will repent and turn back to Him. If we don't repent, then the final judgment of destruction come down upon us. But, when we repent and turn our lives over to Him, by God's grace He keeps His covenant. He keeps His promises. We are unfaithful, but He always remains faithful. God promises to restore us and bring us back to a right relationship with Him through the salvation which Jesus paid for by dying on the cross for our sins.

Vic: Excellent point! Lamb & Lion Ministries' founder, Dr. David Reagan, has a great love for the nation of Israel. He frequently communicates over your television program Christ in Prophecy to anyone tuned in that God is not through with Israel. God still has a plan for them. Nathan, you and I and other believers in Christ, we need to pray for Israel, right?

Nathan: Yes, we do. Dr. Reagan is the founder and director of our ministry. He started the ministry in 1980 and is our main host on our television program "Christ in Prophecy." I've never met a man who is so passionate about the Jewish people. Did you know he's been to Israel leading tours over 45 times? He has a great passion for the Jewish people, because he knows that even though the Valley of the Dry Bones prophecy from Ezekiel 37 has been fulfilled and the Jewish people are again back as a people group in their own land once more, their hearts are not yet with the Lord. They exist as a nation, but the spirit isn't there yet.

When we pray for the peace of Israel, what we're really praying for is the return of Jesus Christ. That'll be the time when a remnant of the Jewish people, a third actually, will give their hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ. Zechariah 12:10 says, "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and the supplications so they will look on me whom they have pierced..." This is Jesus talking in a prophecy written hundreds of years before the Crucifixion! "...And they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn."

When Jesus comes back, when He returns, the Jewish people will be like, "There's the Messiah! What did we do?" They'll turn back to the Lord. We can also read about that in Isaiah 10:20-23 and even in the New Testament in Romans 9:27. Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved."

The Jewish people are still waiting for the Messiah. Boy, are they going to be surprised when they see that the Messiah is Jesus Christ. It always gets me excited!

In the second part of this discussion with Pastor Vic on the Jews regathering back into Israel, we'll look at how the Jews came to own their own land again.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy

Let us continue on with my second message in the Holy Land, which was presented on a visit to the Crusader fortress of Akko. I was explaining in the first part how Anti-Semitic many of our historical Church leaders were.

Martin Luther and the Nazis

Finally, the Reformation came. The man responsible for it was Martin Luther. He had had enough of the Church selling salvation, so he nailed his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg and said to the effect, "Enough is enough! We've got to get back to the Word of God."

At that time the printing press was developed and the Bible was translated into the languages of the people. When the people began to read the Bible, they rose up and revolted against what they had been taught by the Catholic Church.

Martin Luther is a great hero of the Christian faith, and rightfully so, because he had the courage to stand up against the greatest institution of the Middle Ages — the Catholic Church. That took a lot of courage, because at that time if you stood against the Church you were burned alive at the stake. He knew that could happen to him.

Luther was a great hero of the Church, but unfortunately, he also turned out to be the greatest Anti-Semite in the history of Christianity, a fact most people are not aware of. Right before Martin Luther died, he published a pamphlet. You can find on the Internet today. Just type in "Martin Luther Jews." Martin Luther wrote this pamphlet right before he died. You'll be shocked at what he said. Martin Luther said.

  • The Jews are a miserable and accursed people.
  • They are stupid fools.
  • They are miserable, blind, and senseless.
  • They are thieves and robbers.
  • They are the great vermin of humanity.
  • They are lazy rogues.
  • They are blind and they are venomous.

After having dehumanized the Jews, Luther then proceeded to tell what people should do with the Jews. Here is what he said:

"Their synagogues and schools should be burned. Their houses should be destroyed. Their Talmudic writings should be confiscated. Their Rabbis should be forbidden to teach. Their money should be taken from them. They should all be compelled into forced labor."

Doesn't that sound familiar? That was the blueprint of the Holocaust.

Needless to say, the Nazi's gleefully quoted Luther as they rose to power. In Hitler's book, Mein Kampf, he wrote, "Martin Luther is the great warrior, a true statesman, and a great reformer."

Adolf Hitler

Did you know that Hitler professed to be a Christian? In fact, all the Nazi's professed to be Christians. In 1924, at a Christian gathering in Berlin, Hitler spoke to thousands and received a standing ovation when he made the following proclamation:

"I believe that today I am acting in accordance with the will of Almighty God as I announce the most important work that Christians can undertake, and that is to be against the Jews and to get rid of them all, once and for all."

Later on, Hitler proceeded to talk about the influence of Luther on his life. He said:

"Martin Luther has been the greatest encouragement of my life. Luther was a great man. He was a giant. With one blow he heralded the coming of the dawn of the new age, and he saw clearly that Jews needed to be destroyed. We are only beginning to see that we need to carry on this work."

Did you know that at the Nuremberg War Crime Trials the Nazi leaders presented two defenses? The first was that they were only following orders. And, secondly, that they were only doing what Martin Luther had told them to do. That was their defense at the Nuremberg War Crime Trials.

You must understand that in the Jewish mind the Holocaust was a Christian event. It was a Christian event by people who professed to be Christians. Therefore, when you try to witness the Lord Jesus Christ to a Jewish person, they consider it very offensive, because you have the blood of their ancestors on your hands.

If a Jew accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior, then he's considered to be a traitor to the Jewish people. For the Orthodox Jew, they will even hold a funeral and pronounce him dead. The Nazi people who persecuted the Jews claimed to be Christians and did what they did in the name of Jesus, but they were not Christians.

You have to understand where the Jewish people are coming from when you're trying to talk to them about Christianity.

The Evils of Replacement Theology

Sadly, Anti-Semetism is still going on in the Church today, but under a different name. It's called Replacement Theology.

Did you know that the majority of Christendom today, the majority of all Churches including the Roman Catholic Church and the majority of all Protestant Churches, teach Replacement Theology? They teach that God washed His hands of the Jewish people in the First Century because they killed the Lord Jesus Christ. They teach that God has absolutely no purpose left for the Jews whatsoever and that the Church has replaced Israel. Also, it teaches that the regathering of the Jews and the re-establishment of the State of Israel is all just an accident of history and that it has no biblical meaning whatsoever.

I want to end with two comments. First of all, Acts 4:27 tells us specifically about who killed Jesus. It says, "Both Herod, Pontius Pilot, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel." So who killed Jesus? The Jews, the Gentiles, Pontius Pilot, and Herod.


All of us, every one of us and myself included, killed Jesus Christ. We all have the blood of Jesus on our hands. He went to that Cross to die for us so as to make it possible for our sins to be forgiven and for us to be reconciled to Him. That's why the great painters of the Middle Ages, the really great painters who really understood the Word of God, always painted themselves in the picture at the foot of the Cross. They realized, that they too were guilty of the Crucifixion. But, the Church has always blamed Jesus' death on the Jews. But, in truth, all of us were responsible for it.

Psalm 129:5-8, says, "All who hate Zion shall be put to shame." It further says that God is so upset by those who would commit Anti-Semitism that it says in Psalm 129 to not even pronounce a blessing on anyone who is involved in Anti-Semitism.

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.

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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.