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The Nation of Israel and Zionism - The Sign of the Fig Tree

In 1948 the nation of Israel was established for the purpose of providing a homeland for the Jewish people. Since then Jews have been flocking to Israel, and in some cases many of them receive help from organizations that have been established for that purpose.

While on the surface this may all seem wonderful, when we carefully examine the scriptures, an ominous scenario begins to emerge.

In Jesus’ discourse on the Mount of Olives in Matthew 24, He prophesies of an attack on Jerusalem that will occur before His second coming. His prophecy is correlated with Zechariah 14:1-3, where we are told that the Jews will go through another captivity.

Behold, the day of the LORD comes, and your spoil shall be divided in the midst of you.
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. This prophecy in turn correlates with Ezekiel 38.

Jesus warns that those who are living in Judea at that time should flee.

When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever reads, let him understand:)
Then let them which are in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house:
Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
And woe to them that are with child, and to them that nurse in those days!
But you pray that your flight is not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened (Matthew 24:15-22).

He also made it very clear that people should not go there from other countries.

And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is near.
Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter into it (Luke 21:20,21).

This warning is obviously being ignored, even by many Christians who eagerly support the Jewish peoples’ return to the Holy land.

The prophecies in the Old Testament that many Christians use to support the Jews’ return to Israel are taken out of context. In the context recorded in the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, God tells the Jews that He will return them to the Holy Land after their 70 year captivity in Babylon is completed. He tells them that they will receive a new everlasting covenant (Jeremiah 31:31, 32:40), the temple will be rebuilt, the Messiah will come at that time (Malachi 3:1) and He will be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).

The purpose of God returning His people to Israel was to bring in the Messiah. They were also told in Daniel 9:26 that the Messiah would be killed and after that the city would be destroyed once again.

Jesus came, and was killed as prophesied 40 years before the city was destroyed by Titus in 70AD.

Jesus was rejected by His people resulting in His death because “They did not know the time of their visitation” (Luke 19:44). They did not recognize that Jesus was their Messiah even though the scriptures had painted such a precise and accurate map that detailed His coming. That rejection instigated the destruction of their city after a period of forty years during which the Jews had the opportunity to hear the gospel in their own land.

The prophecies show us that the Jews will again be in their land before Jesus’ return. Ezekiel shows us in verse eight in the 38th chapter of his prophecy that in the “latter years” Gog the invader from the north, “shall come into the land that is brought back from the sword (a reference to their return after the destruction in 70AD) and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have always been waste: but is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.”

The prophecy goes on to describe their invasion and God’s ultimate judgment upon their invaders.

While it is quite obvious that the Jews that have been gathered from many countries will be living in Israel in the “latter Days,” the phrase “I will gather them” is conspicuously absent from the latter years’ references.

Many orthodox Jews have refused to return to Israel because they have astutely recognized from the scriptures that it is the Messiah who will bring them back. Because they have rejected Jesus as the Messiah, they are still anticipating the coming of the Messiah, but that will be as the scriptures show after the second captivity.

Zechariah shows us that the Lord returns after the second captivity and it is then that He gathers His people the second time (Isaiah 11:11). There are no references that show the Lord gathering them a third time, only after the first captivity and the second, when Jesus will establish His millennial reign of peace (Isaiah 11:6-9, Revelation 20:1-3). It is interesting to note that one of the major reasons the Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah is that when He was on earth He did not instigate that prophesied time of peace. But they neglected to consider the details in Daniel’s prophecy. Daniel prophesied that the Anointed One (Messiah) is killed before the destruction of Jerusalem, then he gives a historically accurate history of events that happen up to the judgment in chapter twelve. There is absolutely no mention of that time of peace, or the messiah coming, only destruction from the antichrist. It is obvious that the time of peace has to occur after the judgment when Jesus returns.

This all prompts us to ask a couple of questions. Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD because the people rejected the Messiah Jesus. Why would God return them when they still refused to accept Jesus as their Messiah?

Secondly, after the captivity, God returned them to their land as a religious nation. When He returns and gathers them after the second captivity, He also establishes a religious nation. Then if God established the modern nation of Israel, why is it a secular nation?

If one does some research, it will be discovered that the nation of modern Israel was established with the help of individuals who also believe that the establishment of a one world government is also a good idea. This evil last world empire is also graphically prophesied in Revelation 13 and Daniel’s prophecies.

After the Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah, God permitted Jerusalem to be destroyed in 70AD and the Jews were banished from the land. Subsequently the holy land became home to the Arabs for hundreds of years. They lived in peace with the Jews who resided there who were only about 3% of the population. Then one of the members of the Rothschild family went to Palestine and began buying up land and started many businesses. He began importing Jews from Europe to work in those businesses. So many of them came they were running out of housing, and when the Arabs refused to sell their land, the Jews formed terrorist groups to drive them out. This was when Israel was under British control. The Jews then were violating God’s commands to live peaceably with the “strangers” Gentiles, in their land (Leviticus 19:34), or “Love one another.” Then another Rothschild was approached to help provide a homeland for the Jews which he was instrumental in accomplishing. It would be in the family’s best interest to do so as they had so many investments there.

Because the people behind zionism are basically opposed to God and His Messiah, God’s laws are not foundational and the acceptance of a certain sexual sin that God has labeled as “Abomination” (Leviticus 18:22), is celebrated with a yearly parade in Israel. We can also assume that possibly the “Abomination that makes desolate” mentioned in Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 24:15, that stands in the holy place, (“place” meaning a physical location in the Greek, and not necessarily the Holy of Holies) could be one of the sins that eventually triggers God’s judgment on that nation as prophesied in Ezekiel 38. Thus we can understand why Jerusalem is labeled as “Sodom and Egypt” in Revelation 11:8.

Israel is also referred to as “Egypt,” a Gentile nation, which is a reproach upon the Jews’ own bigotry against Gentiles. God’s commandments to treat the “strangers,” the Gentiles, in their land as equals is blatantly ignored, (Leviticus 19:34) which is evident by the Jews’ brutal treatment of the Palestinians over the years.

God has always used Israel’s enemies to be His chastening rod when His people consistently violated His commandments. Then when repentance has been achieved, God then deals with Israel’s enemies in like manner. No one can invade Israel until God allows it. In the meantime prayers for all nations to come to repentance should be made fervently because God has promised that when men repent, so He will also repent of the judgments He has proclaimed upon their sin.

While the founding of the modern nation of Israel coincides with the plans to establish a one world government with possibly Jerusalem as its capital, it is obvious that God has permitted the establishment of Israel by man for two reasons.

Israel is generally viewed as the fig tree in scripture. Jesus said, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree. When his branch is yet tender and puts forth leaves, you know summer is nigh. So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Truly I say to you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:32-34).

The establishment of the nation of Israel is quite possibly ordained to be the sign that we are living in the last generation before Jesus returns. Israel has just celebrated her 75th year as a nation and is nearing the time for her appointed judgment, as are the rest of the nations that have rebelled against God by rejecting God’s moral laws and His Messiah Jesus. We must not ignore the signs Jesus said would precede the great time of trouble, Jacob’s trouble, the great tribulation that will have repercussions for all of mankind. It is time to prepare spiritually as well as physically for this event.

Secondly, as Israel was given 40 years to hear the gospel in her own land before her destruction in 70AD, so God is also permitting her to hear the gospel before her second captivity. The evidence for this is contained in Micah’s “Bethlehem Prophecy” (Micah 5). After he tells us that the Messiah is to be born in Bethlehem, we are told that He will “give her up” until her travailing is finished. This is a reference to her destruction by Titus in 70AD. Her travailing continues until the latter days when she is returned to the Holy land. It is at this time when we are shown that that the remnant of His, (the Messiah’s) brethren return to minister to her. Once again the people of Israel are hearing the gospel on her own soil in the time allotted before God permits her enemies to attack. This man (the Messiah) will be the peace (verse 5) when the enemy invades. Those who have received the Messiah Jesus will have the peace that He gives, assuring them of their eternal life and their security in Him that lifts them above all the turmoil that will commence when the prophecies of this time begin to be fulfilled.

This is a crucial time in Israel’s history and the history of the world. God is a God of righteousness and justice. He will only permit sin to continue for so long before our sins cause Him to withdraw His protection.

God’s laws were always intended to separate His people from the practices of the lawless pagan nations around them. This principle still applies. God is calling His people, Jews and Christians alike out of Babylon, the compromise with secular ideologies that have polluted His people. He is calling us out of all apostate religious systems and into the arms of the Messiah who alone has been ordained by God to be our provision and safety. Someday Israel will hear His voice calling her out of the ashes of her second captivity when He returns as prophesied in absolute victory.

We cherish the Jewish people because God has chosen them out of all the nations to be the womb through which He would birth salvation for all of mankind through the Messiah Jesus. Let us continue to show her His love by warning her of the wrath to come and give her the opportunity to not only “flee to the Mountains,” (Matthew 24:16), for her physical protection, but also to the much higher ground of the salvation that is found only in their Messiah Jesus; the Messiah they have rejected, who is so willing to have them return to Him and His promised land of eternal life.

Copyright 2023 by H.D. Shively

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