The rebirth of Israel as a nation is a prophetic miracle! Learn more with Dr. David Reagan and Dennis Pollock on the show Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on May 15, 2011.
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Dr. Reagan: On May the 14th, 1948 the nation of Israel was re-established. Many Christians consider the re-establishment of Israel to be a great miracle of God and a sure sign that we are living in the end times. But most Christians see no spiritual significance whatsoever. To them, the re-establishment of Israel is nothing more than an accident of history. So, which is it, the greatest miracle of modern history or an accident of history? Stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our blessed hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. You know folks, each year at this time, either in April or May, depending upon the Jewish calendar the nation of Israel celebrates the anniversary of its independence. In 2008 I took a video crew to Israel and we filmed a very special program celebrating the 60th anniversary of that nation. In that program we told the story of the miracle of Israel’s rebirth. I was assisted in the program by two colleagues, Dennis Pollock and Don McGee. Here now is a replay of that program.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our blessed hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy.
I am delighted to have with my today my former associate, Dennis Pollock. After ministering with Lamb and Lion for 12 years Dennis felt called to the Lord in 2005 to form his own ministry called Spirit of Grace. It is a ministry that focuses on evangelism in countries like Africa, India, and the Philippines. Thanks for being with us Dennis!
Dennis Pollock: Well, Dave, It’s great to be with you again, always a pleasure.
Dr. Reagan: You know, I tell everybody Dennis that you are my all-time favorite preacher, and I really mean that. You are one of the most fantastic preachers I’ve ever heard in my life, and near the end of the program we’re gonna tell people how they can get in touch with you and arrange for you to come and bless their church with the Word of God, okay?
Dennis Pollock: Well thank you very much.
Dr. Reagan: Because you do minister inside the United States?
Dennis Pollock: I do.
Dr. Reagan: Okay. Well, folks as I said at the beginning of the program Israel is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The independence of the state was declared on May the 14th, 1948, which on the solar lunar calendar that the Jews use was the 5th of Iyar. This year, the 5th of Iyar will fall on May the 8th. Some Christians consider the reestablishment of Israel to be the greatest miracle of modern history and the surest sign that we are living in the end times. But the vast majority of Christians, both catholic and protestant, would argue that there was no spiritual significance to the event, and that in fact, it was just an accident of history. So, which is it, a miracle of God, or an accident of history? How about it Dennis? What do you think?
Dennis Pollock: Well, Dave, when you ask that question you make me think about monkeys.
Dr. Reagan: Hold on a minute.
Dennis Pollock: You heard the classic illustration, usually it has to do with the idea of how could life have come from nothing.
Dr. Reagan: Oh yes.
Dennis Pollock: And they use the illustration that if you had a certain number of monkeys typing randomly at type writers, what are the odds that they could eventually come up with the complete works of William Shakespeare? And of course, the odds are, zero…it’s just not gonna happen.
Dr. Reagan: But there are people who believe it!
Dennis Pollock: Yeah, if you give that monkey enough time, sooner or later he’ll hit it. One guy figured out that if you had 17 billion galaxies, each with 17 billion planets, each planet with 17 billion monkeys, given 17 billion years, they couldn’t even come up with, “To be or not to be that is the question,” let alone the complete works.
Dr. Reagan: How does this relate to Israel?
Dennis Pollock: The point is, it has taken so many miracles for Israel to come into existence, the odds are just surely it’s beyond comprehension that this could happen. Number one, it’s never happened before in the history of the planet, that a people has lost their nation, has been scattered over the earth and suddenly been restored and come back into their own homeland and created a new nation. So, it wasn’t just a miracle, it was miracle, after miracle, after miracle, after miracle.
Dr. Reagan: The mere preservation of the Jewish people!
Dennis Pollock: Exactly. When’s the last time you ran into a Girgashite.
Dr. Reagan: Or a Canaanite?
Dennis Pollock: Or a Perizzite? You know, these people have disappeared all Israel’s contemporary tribes that were in Canaan have disappeared.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, in the Bible you see all these are trying to destroy Israel. Today they’re all gone and who’s left?
Dennis Pollock: Who’s left? How is it that you can point to a specific individual and say, “That is a Jew?” Or he will say I am a Jew? Well, there’s no explanation except for God. God has promised He would preserve the Jewish people. He said they will not go out of existence. He declared the only way that could happen is if you would look out and see the sun is no longer in place, there’s no moon there’s no tidal waves, no waves. He said, “If all those things disappear then Israel will cease from being a nation before me forever.”
Dr. Reagan: And that’s in Jeremiah chapter 31 beginning with verse 35 and following, in case people want to see that for themselves.
Dennis Pollock: There you go.
Dr. Reagan: “Israel will cease to exist when the sun stops coming up, stops going down, when you’ve explored all the heavens…” in other words, Israel is going to continue. In fact, in Jeremiah chapter 30 I believe it is, he makes that statement. He says I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you, only I will not destroy you completely, speaking of Israel, but I will chasten you justly and I will by no means leave you unpunished. They will be chastened but they are going to be preserved.
Dennis Pollock: And the words that you’re reading, and we could give so many other prophecies like that, they’re just so plain. There’s no escaping it. The only way you could escape it would be to say, well, it doesn’t really mean what it says. And you look through history, one of the things that fascinates me Dave is that there have been people that have studied the prophecies for the last several hundred years particularly that have said, “You know what? There has to be an Israel in the last days.”
Dr. Reagan: The Puritans started doing that almost 500 years ago. They said it means what it says and Israel is gonna be re-gathered in the last days and you can go and read their books and see it and people laughed at him and thought they were absolutely insane.
Dennis Pollock: You can find all kinds of evidence.
Dr. Reagan: Or Blackstone’s book near the end of the 19th century where he said “Hey, they’re gonna be re-gathered, they’re gonna be put back in the land.”
Dennis Pollock: Yeah, 1878, he wrote that book, and at the time there was no Israel, there was no prospect of Israel. In fact, he was such a forerunner of really even of Zionism, that Louis Brandeis the Supreme Court Justice who was Jewish said, “You know, you’re really more the father of the Zionism that Herzl was because you were saying it before Herzl did.”
Dr. Reagan: And C.I. Scofield and his study Bible in 1909, first study Bible ever published. When he got to Ezekiel 37, 38, 39 he said, “I don’t understand this, I can’t explain it, but I believe it, and what it says is that in the end times Russia will invade Israel.” Well think of that, 1909, Israel did not exist, there was no prospect that Israel would ever exist and the Russians were a Christian orthodox nation.
Dennis Pollock: And they were a nation of peasant farmers that had no interest in the Middle East. Had there been an Israel, it wouldn’t have mattered they were just trying to eek out a living. So, another example is Corrie Ten Boom’s grandfather back in I think it was 1844, started a prayer group and the theme of their praying was, that they wanted to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the restoration of the nation of Israel. So, you say, well how do these guys come up with this? Well, they read the Bible and they believed that God means what He says, and these prophecies are so plain, the only way you could not accept that is to say, “It can’t mean what it says, it’s too outlandish. It’s too crazy.” And it gets back to what Henry Morris said about Revelation. He said, “It’s not really so much hard to understand, it’s just hard to believe.”
Dr. Reagan: That’s right.
Dennis Pollock: And back before 1900 the idea of Israel becoming a nation really, it was there in the Scriptures. It wasn’t really all that hard to understand, but it was tremendously hard to believe how that could ever happen.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right in fact; you can go back and see that right up to the day that Israel was declared on May the 14th, 1948, there were people who said it’ll never happen. And then after it happened, they said, “Well, but Israel won’t last a day. I mean, they’ll be just completely destroyed, the Mediterranean will be running red in the blood of the Jews.” And it’s still there.
Dennis Pollock: And they should have been right, if it weren’t for God that’s exactly how it would have turned out.
Dr. Reagan: Well, let’s just look at one of these prophecies. One that comes to mind is in Isaiah chapter 66 because I think we need to clearly establish the fact that the Bible clearly prophecies the Jews are gonna be regathered in the end times, put back in their land, in their city of Jerusalem, and the state is going to be reestablished. This is a symbolic prophecy, but I love the symbolism. Isaiah says in Isaiah 66, beginning with verse 7, “Before she travailed she brought forth, before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such a thing?” Who’s ever seen a woman give birth to a baby and then the birth pangs come after the baby is born? It says, “Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once?” Well, that’s exactly what happened. Israel was born in one day, the birth pangs began the next day when 5 Arab nations attacked them and there has been attack after attack. We’re 60 years and we’ve had the War of Independence, the Suez War of ‘56, we’ve had the Six Day of ‘67, we’ve had the Yom Kippur War of ‘73 and it just goes on and on and on. And it’s gonna continue until the Lord comes back. There’ll be no peace there.
Dennis Pollock: Yeah. One of the interesting things too is that it’s not just a rag-tag handful of Jews that came back and you know, grabbed a few square miles of land and said, “Okay, now we’re Israel.” I mean, Israel has become in the midst of all the poverty of the surrounding Arab nations until oil was discovered, but they’ve become a prosperous nation, they’ve become one of the military powers on the earth. They’ve produced incredible scientific discoveries and great and brilliant minds. They are one of the most powerful, and certainly one of the most efficient nations in the world. They are far from a third-world country. You know, I go to third world countries all the time, and I don’t wanna drink the water, and I don’t wanna eat the salads and there’s a lot of things I won’t do, but when you go to Israel you might as well be in the US.
Dr. Reagan: Well, your comments remind me of something Ezekiel said. He says in Ezekiel chapter 36 that God’s gonna bring them back, in verse 24, “I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, bring you to your own land. And the desolate land, which was totally desolate will become cultivated and instead of being a desolation, everyone who passes by will say this desolate land has become like the Garden of Eden and the waste, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.” That has been fulfilled in our day and time, before our very eyes. And yet, people shrug their shoulders and say, “Well, it’s all just a coincidence.”
Dennis Pollock: I think the one word that describes what has happened with the Jews and with Israel is the word restoration. God has done an incredible restoration, not only in re-creating Israel, but in making the land to flourish and blossom like the rose, and in restoring their military power, so many areas. Even the Hebrew language has been restored which is a miracle in itself.
Dr. Reagan: Well, Amos 9 verse 15 says, “That God’s gonna plant them back in their land and it says they will never again be rooted up from that land no matter how many nations come against them.” Folks, in addition to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, I would argue that the hand of God was at work with regard to the key decisions of world leaders miraculously orchestrating events and world politics to bring about the re-establishment of Israel. For that story, let’s go to Tel Aviv.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome to Tel Aviv, Israel. I’m walking down Rothschild Boulevard, which was one of the first streets to be built in this city when it was founded in 1909. Across the street behind me is a very historic building. It was the home of the first Mayor of Tel Aviv, Meir Dizengoff. In 1930, after he died, his wife donated the home to the city of Tel Aviv and it became an art museum. It was in this building that the provisional government of Israel met on May the 14th 1948 to proclaim the independence of the state of Israel. Here’s a photograph that was taken that historic day, showing a large crowd standing outside the building. In Proverbs 21:1, it says that the heart’s of the worlds political leaders are like channels of water in the hand of God, and that He can turn them in any direction He desires. The events leading up to the Israeli Declaration of Independence are a good example of this truth. That God has the wisdom and the power to orchestrate world events to the triumph of His will.
Let’s begin with the British. As a result of World War I, they were entrusted with Palestine as a League of Nations mandate. They immediately issued the Balfour Declaration in which they promised to prepare the way for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. That declaration alone was a momentous event and no one knows for sure why they issued it. Some historians believe it was because a Jewish scientist named Chaim Weizmann had developed a synthetic form of acetone during the war which was essential for the production of cordite explosives. Others believed it was because most of the British leaders were evangelical Christians who believed the Bible prophecies concerning the Jews.
Now after World War II the British got caught in the crossfire between the Jews and the Arabs as each tried to gain control of Palestine. As British troop casualties rose, public opinion began to demand a British withdrawal. The British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, finally decided to ask the United Nations to intervene, but he did so believing that they would not take him up on the offer. One reason Attlee was confident that the United Nations would not take action was because of the Russian attitude toward Palestine. You see, the Russians were staunch allies of the Arabs and they had made it clear that they would never stand for the creation of a Jewish state. But to everyone’s astonishment, the Russian Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko, suddenly announced that Russia was going to support the establishment of a Jewish state. To this day, no one knows why the Russians made this about face. Particularly when you consider the fact that it enraged their Arab allies. The best guess that I have run across so far is that the Russians decided it was a good way to force the British out of the Middle East, and although it would result in the establishment of a Jewish state, they believed the state would be quickly overthrown by the Arabs and they, the Russians, would be able to fill the power vacuum.
So, on November the 29th, 1947, the United Nations voted to allow the creation of a Jewish state. The United States supported that resolution. The British immediately announced that they would withdraw from Palestine on May 15th of the following year. You know, the rapid pace of these events had caught everyone off-guard, including officials within the Truman administration. In the winter of 1947-1948, those within the administration who opposed the creation of a Jewish state began to pressure the President. This included the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Department and most important of all, the State Department, all began to argue that it would be a diplomatic disaster for the United States to continue with its support of the creation of a Jewish state. They argued that it would jeopardize our access to Arab oil. The leader of this opposition was Secretary of State, General George C. Marshall, the man whom President Truman admired the most. Marshall started pushing for Palestine to be put under a United Nations trusteeship.
The man of course who would make the final decision was President Truman and he had been uniquely prepared for the decision by the Lord. First, he had always been a voluminous reader, and was thus thoroughly familiar with Jewish history and their rightful claim to this land. Second, he had been raised in the Baptist church, and was thoroughly familiar with the Bible, and the spiritual claim of the Jews that they have on this land. Third, his best friend throughout his lifetime had been a Jew by the name of Eddie Jacobson. The two of them owned a clothing store before Truman entered politics and throughout his political career the two remained the closest of friends. Fourth, Truman closest advisor as President was a man named Clark Clifford and Mr. Clifford was a strong supporter of Israeli independence, but folks the problem was, that Clifford was the only person in the Truman administration who favored the creation of the Jewish state.
On May the 12th, two days before the British deadline, Marshall and his staff met with the President and his staff. And when Clark Clifford presented a strong, historical, and biblical case for recognition of Israel, General Marshall became so enraged that he proclaimed, “Mr. President, if you recognize Israel, I will vote for your opponent in the November election.” Needless to say, every person present including the President was stunned. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the President’s old pal Eddie Jacobson decided to take action. He went to Washington D.C. and met with Truman and he told the President, “I have never asked anything of you since you became President but I’m going to do so now. I believe that when you were in your father’s loins, God ordained you for this moment.” He then strongly urged the President to recognize Israel when the Declaration of Independence was read. Well, as you can see, the pressure on Truman from all sides was overwhelming. At one point he wrote an aid, “I surely wish God almighty would give the children of Israel an Isaiah, the Christian’s a Saint Paul, and the sons of Ishmael a peek at the golden rule.” That was the situation in the United States when May 14, 1948 arrived. Let’s go inside the hall.
It was in this small room that the Declaration of Independence was read. The room could accommodate hardly two hundred people. The provisional government sat here, David Ben-Gurion stood up here in front of the central microphone underneath the picture of Theodore Herzl and read the Declaration of Independence. I’m going to ask one of my colleagues, Don McGee, to join us now, and to stand where David Ben-Gurion stood and read some section of the Declaration of Independence. Don, it’s all yours.
Don McGee: “The land of Israel was the birth place of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious, and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance, and gave to the world the eternal book of books. After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom. Impaled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to reestablish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses, as pioneers they made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language, built villages and towns, and created a thriving community, aspiring toward independent nationhood. It is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate like all other nations in their own sovereign state. Accordingly we, members of the peoples council, representatives of the Jewish community of the land of Israel and of the Zionist movement are here assembled on the day of the termination of the British mandate over the land of Israel and by virtue of our natural and historic right, and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations general assembly, hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in the land of Israel to be known as the state of Israel, placing our trust in the rock of Israel we affix our signatures to this proclamation at this session of the provisional council of state, on the soil of the homeland, in the city of Tel Aviv on this Sabbath eve, the 5th day of Iyar, 5708.”
Dr. Reagan: Thank you, Don. Well folks, 11 minutes after the Declaration of Independence became official at midnight that day, President Truman went against the council of all of his advisors and issued a statement recognizing the new state. The next morning, five Arab nations attacked Israel and the War of Independence began.
President Truman proceeded into the presidential election of 1948 with no hope of winning. His popularity rating was at an all time low and his opponent, Governor Dewey of New York, was an articulate candidate who was well organized and well financed, and the president’s party was split three ways! Strom Thurmond was heading up the racist element as the candidate of the Dixiecrats, and former Vice President Henry Wallace was heading up the socialist wing as the candidate of the progressive party. On Election Day many newspapers went ahead and printed headlines proclaiming Dewey’s victory, but incredibly, Truman was re-elected. How can that be explained? I can think of only one explanation. The Bible says that God will bless those who bless Israel, and He will curse those who curse Israel. President Truman had been a blessing to Israel and God returned the blessing to him.
Dr. Reagan: On this 60th anniversary, it appears in the natural that Israel has no hope of survival. Consider these facts: Israel is surrounded by 200 million hostile Arabs who are more determined than ever to annihilate the state. The whole world, the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, the Vatican, all are pressuring Israel to surrender its heartland to its enemy. And the Jewish people and their leaders have become war-weary to the point that they have adopted a policy of appeasement that serves only to wet the appetite of their enemies. So Dennis, what about it? Is there any hope whatsoever for the survival of Israel?
Dennis Pollock: Well Dave, you and I are both Bible teachers, right?
Dr. Reagan: I hope so.
Dennis Pollock: We teach the Bible, we teach about Israel as one of the signs of the last times, where do we get our information from?
Dr. Reagan: We get it right out of the word.
Dennis Pollock: Out of the Scriptures, right? We’re not just giving opinions, but we’re giving what God has said in His Word. If you just look at the natural scheme of things and just looked at how things look, you might easily say their future is very much limited, very much in doubt.
Dr. Reagan: In fact it reminds me of the attitude before the state was established. People said there was no hope whatsoever Israel would ever be established.
Dennis Pollock: Right.
Dr. Reagan: It just can’t happen. Now, they’re saying there’s no hope that this state will ever continue.
Dennis Pollock: Right, well, you know it comes down to what is it to be an evangelical? And what it is, is you believe the Bible, you believe it’s inspired of God, you believe God has spoken it. Jesus said, “You don’t live by bread alone, you live by words that come out of God’s mouth.” If you believe that and you go into the Scriptures and you read about Israel and you cannot help but see if you’ve got half of a brain, that God is going to preserve Israel. Now, it’s not to say they won’t go through some tough times, they will, but you know, a lot of people get away from that because they say, “Okay yeah, I can see where it sort of talks about God’s gonna restore His people, He’s gonna plant them in the land, but that’s all poetic language, that’s all symbolic language, don’t take that so literally.” Well, the one thing we have to base our beliefs on in terms of understanding prophecy is how were the First Coming prophecies fulfilled? And they were fulfilled literally. It is true for example that God does use poetic language, the Bible is not only God’s Word it’s incredibly literature, it’s well written, and so God uses poetic language at times, but not really in prophecy. If you go to Song of Solomon, you find Solomon talking about his beloved saying you have teeth like a flock of sheep. You know, I’m not so sure how much of a compliment that is, but that’s poetic language, it doesn’t mean there were sheep, or your lips drip with honey. I doubt that means she drooled, but that’s what the poet says, and it goes on with a lot of other things, some of which we better not mention because this is a PG show.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah.
Dennis Pollock: But he’s very poetic and he’s speaking symbolically. But when you get to prophecy and you find God saying, “This is what I will do, I will bring Israel back. I’m gonna scatter them, I’m gonna bring them back.” In fact, there was a German poet that said, “Well who can deny that God scattered the Jews across the world just like He said? He said the same Bible that says He would scatter them says he will re-gather them, says He will preserve them.” So the Scriptures plainly tell us there is a role for Israel in the last days. Jesus said you’re not gonna me anymore, until you say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” The clear declaration by our Lord was, when I come back, there are gonna be some Jews, well, there has to be a Jerusalem first of all, there are gonna have to be some Jews there and they’re gonna be saying by that point, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” So yes, there is definitely a future for Israel. Although, it’s going to be a very interesting season they’re gonna go through before it all winds up and Christ comes back.
Dr. Reagan: Well Dennis, all I can say is I praise God for your forcefulness in the way you have expressed this opinion because let me tell you, I have even run across some Bible prophecy experts in recent years, especially in the last year, who interpret Bible prophecy literally, who are now saying, “Well, you know, it could well be that Israel would be defeated, annihilated, the Jews scattered again, and then in the future sometime God will re-gather them and reestablish the state.” Because again, it looks so impossible that Israel can continue to exist, but we’ve got to believe what the Word says.
Dennis Pollock: Well, yeah, you know if you base it on how things appear or how things might work out, or what are the odds, what are the percentages? Well then it’s just wide open to anything. But we don’t do that, we base it on what God has said, and clearly he has declared Israel is here to say. He’s planted them in the land.
Dr. Reagan: Well, we began this program with a verse from Amos and I want to conclude this program with that verse again, that’s Amos 9:15. “I will plant them in their land and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them says the Lord.” There’s gonna be attack after attack, there’s gonna be one last great attack when there’s gonna be a war over Jerusalem and even we’re told during the Tribulation that one half of Jerusalem will fall to the Antichrist. The other half will be about to fall, but just as it’s about to fall, the Lord’s gonna return. The Jews are in the land to stay.
Dennis Pollock: A lot of people when they think of the Second Coming of Christ they think of Him coming with the Church but they don’t think much in terms of Israel, but Zechariah and certain other Scriptures tell us one of the major aspects of that Second Coming is to defend Jerusalem. He says, “I will fight against those who fought against Jerusalem.” He’s gonna defend them and he’s gonna make Jerusalem His capital city. But the greatest thing He’s gonna do, is somewhere in this whole scenario is, He says, “I’m gonna give them a new heart and I’m gonna put a new spirit within them and I will cause them to do my statutes and my judgments.”
Dr. Reagan: Praise the Lord, praise the Lord!
Dennis Pollock: He is going to draw them to Himself.
Dr. Reagan: Well, folks that are our program for this week, I hope it has been a blessing to you. And I want to thank my colleague here, Dennis Pollock for being with us this week. Dennis, you’ve been a great blessing. And I want to tell folks that the way to contact you is through the website address that they see there on the screen. This is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries saying, “Look up, be watchful for our redemption is drawing near.”
End of Program