By Nathan Jones
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.
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.
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!