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Teachings

Aliyah, the Return of the Jewish People (Part 1-2)

editor - 4 July 2013
The desire for a better understanding of God’s Biblical purposes for Israel, the church and the nations is gaining strength in churches and among individual Christians. This article focusses on the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel and the signs of the end time.

In Matthew 24 Jesus is sitting on the Mount of Olives when the disciples came up to Him and asked Him “When will this happen and what will the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” He warns them (and us) by saying “Watch out that no one deceives you.” But there are also two positive signs.  Firstly, the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom to the ends of the world, as a testimony to all nations (that is, to the whole non-Jewish, Gentile world) (Matthew 24:14). Secondly, there will be the return of the Jews to the land of Israel, the restoration of the old ‘fig tree’ with new leaves, new life (Luke 21:29-31). Then the end will come. Then the Kingdom of God is near. Jerusalem will be on the world scene again, and there will be an ‘abomination that causes desolation’ in the ‘holy place’, and such oppression as has never been seen before.

Matthew 24:22-23 (NKJV): “…For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” But for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened, otherwise no one would survive. Are we ready for His coming? Are you?

Not only do the signs of the times indicate that His coming is rapidly approaching – the Jews are re-established in “…your own land” (Ezekiel 36:24), and Jerusalem and many other ruined cities in Israel are being rebuilt – but He may come for you or me at any time when He gives orders to His angels to bring you or me to Him. At any moment, He may take you, and you, and you, and me, to Himself! Then we will see Him, just as He is (1 John 3:2)! Whoever worships Him now, who kneels before His cross, and receives Him as his or her personal Savior and Lord, and confesses all sins, may receive cleansing through His shed blood and may know, “I too belong to Him. He is my Lord and Savior! Heaven is my home! Resurrection is on its way! And when He comes, I will be forever with Him and I will participate in His future that will last for all eternity.”

Who is bringing the Jews home?

But who is bringing the Jews home? Is it Zionism? The Jewish Agency? Is it the actions of organizations like Christians for Israel International and Ebenezer/Operation Exodus, or the political decisions of the United Nations? Or is it the anti-Semitism of people like Hitler and others in the nineteenth and twentieth century? Are they driving the Jews home? Yes, and no. First of all we must make it clear that it is the Lord who is bringing the Jews home. Through the prophet Isaiah, he tells Israel: “…Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bring your children from the east, and gather them from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who is called by My Name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made. Lead out those who have eyes but are blind who have ears but are deaf” (Isaiah 43:5-8).

The Lord is bringing the Jews home. His hand is behind all these human political and charitable and ideological acts, so that it is really by his power that the Jewish people are returning home to Israel. But how does He do it? The Eternal always acts through his Word. Through the Word – the eternal Torah, as the Jews say – creation came into being, and through the Word creation is upheld until this very day. All that the Lord does is mediated by the Word and by Ruach JHWH, the Spirit of God. The way of the Lord into the world runs via the Word and the Spirit. And so does the way back from this world to God the Father. It runs via the Word and through the Spirit. That Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us (John 1:14). After His crucifixion and resurrection, when He is about to go and sit at the right hand of God, Jesus says, “…All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me” (Matthew 28:18). He is the Lamb, who is allowed to take the scroll from the right hand of Him who sits upon the throne, to bring world history to a final close (Revelation 5:1-10) and to bring in the kingdom of God, even after and through final ordeals, plagues, judgments, and disasters, as the Book of Revelation explains.

Who is bringing the Jews home? The Lord God is bringing the Jews home. Through whom is He bringing them home? Through the Lord Jesus Christ, who sits all powerful on the throne, at the right hand of the Father. Jesus is bringing the Jews home, even though Israel does not (yet) realize it. Isaiah had prophesied this when he spoke of the Servant of the Lord, being a covenant for the people (Israel) to restore the land and rebuild its ruined cities (Isaiah 49:8). The Servant will be able to say to the prisoners (in the worldwide prisons, concentration camps, and ghettos, scattered among the nations): “…Come and appear! Come out! Go! Out of the deep darkness of the graves in which you were buried.” Who is this Servant of the Lord? Isaiah says that the Lord had formed Him as his Servant from His mother’s womb (Isaiah 49:1) (conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of His mother Mary). To do what? “…To bring Jacob back to Him and gather Israel to Himself.” Then he adds, “…It is too small a thing for you to be My servant to restore the tribes of Jacob [the servant is therefore not just Israel itself], and bring back those [the rest] of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles that You may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:5-6). These were the words that Simeon recalled in the Temple when he held the infant Jesus in his arms, but in a remarkable twist, Simeon reversed the order! Led by the Holy Spirit, he says, “…Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, now dismiss Your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to Your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).

How does the Lord bring the Jews home? Whom does Jesus use for that purpose? For He is in heaven and these things happen on earth. He uses people. He uses political acts in history. He uses Zionism. He uses the charitable actions of organizations such as Christians for Israel and Ebenezer/Operation Exodus. He uses and directs decisions made by the United Nations. He even uses anti-Semites like Hitler. Something remarkable is going on here: Gentiles, non-Jews, non-Jewish nations are bringing the Jews home. Isaiah prophesied: “…This is what the sovereign Lord says, ‘See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up My banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders. Kings will be your foster fathers and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground’” (Isaiah 49:22).

Israel is on the way to her glory, and is being brought home by the non-Jews, the Gentiles. By you and me!: By believing and non-believing Gentiles. So put an arm around a Jewish man, a Jewish woman, a Jewish child, and help them home! By the busload! The Lord is bringing the Jews home and he is using the Gentiles to do it. He has initiated the last phase of this age! Immediately after all the darkness and trials (which will certainly increase more and more in the future) His Kingdom will break in, and then the King of that Kingdom, Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel, will come. Bring the Jews home, because Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, is coming!

 

Christians for Israel, working in cooperation with the Jewish Agency and other Christian ministries, has helped more than 100,000 Jews home to Israel from the Ukraine, Ethiopia and recently from India. You can help us in this exciting fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Go to http://www.c4israel.org/c4i/projects/help_jews_come_home and read more. 

 

Group of Olim before their departure to Israel, December 2012

Group of Olim before their departure to Israel, December 2012


Signs of the end time

First there will be salvation to the Gentiles, followed by glory for the people of Israel. We are nearly there! Salvation, the preaching of the Gospel, is going out into all the nations, and Israel is beginning to return home. In his last great discourse on the Mount of Olives, the Lord Jesus named signs that would point to the time of His return (Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13). Many of these signs, such as earthquakes, wars, plagues, and hunger, have been around on a smaller scale for centuries. But in our day, there has been a spectacular increase in them. More people have died in wars in the twentieth century than in all the previous centuries put together. False prophets in our century have created more casualties than ever before. Hitler’s National Socialism cost six million Jews their lives in the Second World War, as well as the lives of tens of millions of others. Stalin’s communism took millions more lives of Christians and Jews, as did Mao-tse-Tung’s terror. Not even to mention what has happened in Cambodia, and Rwanda… The number of killer quakes (earthquakes that claim many lives and tsunamis) is rapidly increasing. AIDS, cancer, and other sicknesses are claiming ever more victims.

 

But besides these signs there are two others that point to the coming of the Messiah and which have not appeared in history – up to now. The first of these positive signs is the worldwide preaching of the Gospel to all nations (Matthew 24:14). That is taking place in our day. The nineteenth century was the great missionary century. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, modern means of communication are broadcasting the Gospel all over the world. Jesus did not predict that each and every individual would have heard the Gospel. What He did say was that every nation will be allowed to hear the gospel, and then the end would come. The second sign is the blossoming of the fig tree (Matthew 24:32-33) [Israel] (Joel 1:7). The example of a fig tree as a picture of Israel can be found in Joel 1:7 “…It has laid waste My vines and ruined My fig trees…” The personal pronouns here and elsewhere in Joel offer a hint of hope, since they indicate that the people belong to the Lord. When your eyes see this happening, you need to know that Christ’s Coming is very near, at your very door (Matthew 24:33). The Kingdom of God is near (Luke 21:31). And we are the generation that is seeing both of these signs happening in our day, as well as many others.

Israel is on the way to her rest. On the way to glory. The Servant of the Lord in Isaiah is Jesus. He brings the Jews home. Why? Because He wants to meet them there, in Israel, in Jerusalem, when He comes in glory. That is why He is bringing the Jews home. That is why the Lord God has given His Son the power to direct history in such a way that Israel returns home. Presently He will reveal Himself to His brothers by the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 12:10-14, 14:4), just as Joseph revealed himself to his brothers in Egypt (Genesis 45:1-3a). The day of the Coming of the Lord is rapidly approaching.

 

From: “Why Israel?” by Rev  Willem Glashouwer, ISBN 978-90-819695-0-5.

You can order this book in our webshop.

Part 2 of this article will focus on the Bible verses dealing with:

  1. God’s warnings to the nations
  2. God’s judgment over Israel
  3. God’s promise of eventual restoration

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