By Nathan Jones
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.
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.
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.