Are Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel relevant to today? Speaker Evangelist Don McGee answers at the Living on Borrowed Time conference shown on television’s Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on November 3, 2013.
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Dr. Reagan: Why do Bible prophecy teachers give so much importance to the Old Testament prophecies regarding the nation of Israel? Are those prophecies really relevant to us today and to the signs of the times that we are told will signal the season of the Lord’s Return? Stay tuned for an expert’s opinion.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy.
This is the second in a series of seven programs we are presenting regarding the signs of the times that indicate that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return. All the programs are featuring presentations that were made at our annual Bible conference whose theme was “Living on Borrowed Time.”
I personally kicked off the conference with an overview of the signs of the times. My presentation was designed to lay the foundation for all the other speakers. We showed you a portion of that presentation last week. And if you missed it, you can find it on our website at lamblion.com.
The second presentation at the conference was delivered by Don McGee, the founder and director of Crown & Sickle Ministries, located in Amite, Louisiana. Don spoke on the importance of Israel as a vital sign that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return. Here now, is a portion of what he had to say.
Don McGee Presentation
Don McGee: I have been asked to speak about the rebirth of Israel. And I want to read just a couple of verses from the book of Ezekiel chapter 36. Ezekiel is one of the greatest prophets in the Bible. Great in that what he said, what he wrote has a direct application to what is going on in the world today. And these are some words that he penned by inspiration of the Holy Spirit regarding the nation of Israel. God said through Ezekiel, “It’s not for your sake,” and boy aren’t you glad of that, “it is not for your sake oh house of Israel that I am about to act, but for my Holy Name which you have profaned among the nations where you went, for I will take you from the nations.” He’s not talking about Babylon, and Assyria he says, “The nations. I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers so that you will be my people, and I will be your God.” And I see no suspense date on that.
The longer I study Bible prophecy and the longer I am involved in writing and speaking the more astounded I am at the body of meaning associated with the rebirth of Israel. The more I learn to appreciate what it means. And the more I learn to appreciate its fullness regarding the church, you and me and where we are today.
Folks I believe that as a theme we could say it this ways, no event in modern history is buried so deeply in the mountain of discarded occurrences on the timeline of human history by the secular world and so ignored so brazenly by the modern organized church as the May 14th, 1948 rebirth of the eternal, God-ordained nation of Israel. There are people in pulpits and people in pews across the land, across the world who wish that day had never happened. At the same time I also believe that there is no event in modern history that is so critical to the understanding of world history, whether you go back to the book of Genesis, or you go into eternity in the future. In the book of Revelation no event is so critical to the understanding of those things and the understanding of the nature and being of God Himself then the rebirth of the nation of Israel. And for those of us who are Christians I believe there is nothing that has happened in the last 2,000 years that is more encouraging to our faith, and more persuasive regarding our pre-millennial, pre-tribulational convictions as the rebirth of Israel. Take out the rebirth of Israel and I am going to question a whole lot of things. But God saw fit to bring those people back into their own land in May of 1948. And for those who centuries before that time said it is going to happen, I tip my hat of faith to them, I don’t know if I could have been that strong.
There are several ways this presentation could be presented. And I have chosen one that is a little bit different then the way it has been presented at least from my perspective in the past. I want to talk about the necessity of Israel. I see nothing in the Bible about the necessity of England, or America. But I see much in the Bible regarding the necessity of the nation of Israel. I want to talk about Israel’s national death, and when I say national death I’m not talking about the death of Jewish people, I’m talking about the death of the nation of Israel. I want to talk about the returns, two distinct kinds of returns to the land. Then I want to focus a little bit on the purpose of that second return and then I want to build it all with an exposition on those texts having to do with the rebirth of Israel in 1948.
First the necessities; when you get to Genesis 11 you find that the human race was in a shambles for the second time. The first time was in Genesis 6 with Noah. We don’t know a whole lot of details about what happened in those first 5 chapters but we know that the human race as we would say today was in the toilet. Things were just going from bad to worse. There were things happening that we today have difficulty understanding; having to do with the sons of God and the daughters of man and that kind of thing. But we know that everything was bad. In fact God looked around at this thing and He said, “This is so bad what I am going to do is I am going to wipe this thing out, except for 8 people.” And you know the story of Noah.
The exact same situation occurred in Genesis 11, in 5 chapters in a few short centuries of time the human race had gone from 8 people that survived the wrath of God, to a world that was about to face it once again. And God looks around and this thing the Tower of Babel and He says, “What’s the matter with you people?” When the Ark settled on the mountains of Ararat God told Noah, He said, “Look I want you to leave this thing. I want you to go around the world, I want you to populate the world. I want you to be the caretaker, I want you to be the steward of everything that I have created. And life is going to be good for you, you can even eat steak now.”
But what did they do? They want right back to where it all started in the land of Shinar. I mean they all got together and they went back in that fertile valley, this alluvial plain between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. And they went right back to where it began. And then when they got there they said, “I’ll tell you what God we don’t need you anymore. What we’re going to do is we are going to do this thing on our own and we are going to build a tower. You got that God? We are going to build a tower as a memorial to our intellectual and our mental prowess. We don’t need you anymore.”
Does that sound familiar? Have you ever heard anybody of late say, “We don’t need you anymore God? You need to get out of our courtrooms. And you need to get out of our classrooms. And you need to get out of our boardrooms. And you just need to disposes yourself God, we don’t need you.” And God looked down at this thing and He said, “Look at this, all over again.” So God had some choices, He could destroy what was left by water. And that wasn’t really a choice because He said earlier I’m not going to do that again. Or He could maybe destroy it by another means, you know maybe a plague or you know whatever. But He didn’t do that. As Genesis 11 ends and Genesis 12 begins you see that God comes up with something even better. He couldn’t go back and just destroy them and start over again like He did under Noah because the human race was incapable of sustaining any kind of righteousness. The human race because of the Adamic nature was in the toilet and it would stay there. God could have sent a 1,000 Noahs and all that kind of thing and it would have gone right back to the Tower of Babel. The human race can’t make it on its own.
And I don’t care what your kids are being taught in Sociology and Psychology classes even in some Christian Universities. The human race does not have the ability to sustain itself on any kind of moral level whatsoever. There was only one means and God had already talked about it in Genesis 3, He said, “I’m going to send somebody that is going to be born of the seed of woman.” Now right there you come to a full stop and you say, “Seed of woman? That isn’t what I learned in 8th grade Biology. That isn’t how it works.” The guy has the seed, you know what I mean. Kids learn that really early these days. God said, “It’s going to be the seed of a woman.” Why did He do that? Why did He say in Genesis 3 I am going to send what we would call today the Messiah or the Savior? He says I am going to send this person and He is going to be born of the seed of woman. And the reason is this: He could not be born of the seed man because it is through man that we normally have seed; and it is through man that we normally inherit the Adamic nature from our forefather Adam. The one that He would send had to be both God and man. He got His humanity from his momma, and He got his Godhood from the Holy Spirit. And we have the God man without coming from the seed of man, therefore without the Adamic nature. A Messiah, a Savior must do what no one else could do and that Messiah and that Savior could not come from the Gentile world, they were incestuously inbreed with rebellion.
A new nation had to be formed one free from man’s past and a special man of faith must be found to start that new nation and there is where God cast His eyes upon the world and He found this little area down here in a place called Ur, the area of Chaldea, modern Iraq. And He looked around at those people and He saw one guy named Abram and He said, “He’s the man.” You know in my fantasy I conjure up conversations with God, you know when we get there. I got lots of questions and I want to know because Abram to a degree was an idolater. God what did you see in Abram that you didn’t tell us through Moses? What is it about Abram? I don’t know I just have a lot of questions about that. But He saw somebody different in the person of Abram. And He choose Abram. He said “Abram I want you to leave your momma, and your daddy and all your friends, your partners and everything, I want you to go.” “Where am I going to go God?” “I’ll tell you later.” It takes a lot of faith.
Last time I did that was in 1968 when I raised my hand and enlisted in the US Army, they said, “We’re going to send you somewhere.” And I said, “Where?” And they said, “We’ll tell you later.” It wasn’t like that for Abram. God said, “I’m going to send you somewhere and I’m not telling you where it is. He didn’t even tell Abram what He was going to do. But it was through Abram that He founded this new nation. He produced a nation and a tribe and a family and a house from which would come Messiah, because there was no nation, and no tribe, and no family or no house in the Gentile world that qualified.
So when you look at it there was a tremendous necessity regarding Israel. Israel was God’s tool in dealing with inherent sin. A tool that He could not have in the Gentile world, it had to be through Abram. Problem of sin was foreknown in the mind of God. I mean boy He created this thing and He knew what was going to go down. There is no doubt about it because He is omniscient; He knows everything before it happens. So in my mind as He was putting this thing together He looks across this vastness of nothing and He sees creation. And He looks upon the billions of galaxies out there and He settles on a little galaxy called the Milky Way and inside that little galaxy called the Milky Way He sees this little solar system that we call our solar system kind of a little bitty, bitty sun and a bunch of little planets running around and that kind of thing. And of those planets He settles on one little speck of cosmic dust that we call earth, and He says, “That is where I am going to deal with the problem of sin, right there.” Folks, it is not the size of something that makes it important. Ask Napoleon about Waterloo. Before Waterloo nobody knew, before Napoleon’s defeat nobody knew where Waterloo was. It’s not the size of the town, it’s the fact that this emperor was defeated. It’s not the size of the speck of cosmic dust, it’s because of what happened here. This is where the great God of Heaven dealt with the problem of sin. And it was on that little speck of cosmic dust that He saw this place, and this man and He took that man from that place and put him in another place from there built this nation that we call Israel.
I want you to understand something, without Israel God is still God. But without Israel there is no mercy, and there is no grace, and there is no salvation and there is no coming vindication when God says, “Take that,” something that we look forward to also. And without Israel there is no purpose in life and no reason for living and no hope. All these people who says, “God is finished with Israel, finished with the Jews. We’ll just sweep them under the carpet of history and everything is going to be ok.” No, God blessed the Church. Jesus died for His Bride. I’m part of it, you’re part of it. And yes a 1,000 amens, but without Israel there would be no Church.
God made no mistake in creating this new nation Israel. And the Church would be spot on biblical to not make the mistake of thinking Israel no longer has a place in God’s plan for the human race. As a necessity let’s take a look at their national death. In order to have a re-birth, in order to have what I would call a resurrection you have to have a death. Jesus commanded Lazarus to come out, not only from the tomb itself but from the cold, dark regions of death. So He also said for Israel to come out from her centuries old grave in the hostile, Gentile world and from a similar cold, dark region of national death. Look at Ezekiel 37 and you see it clearly.
Now regarding the rebirth of Israel there is some confusion and error at this point that exists in the organized Church. I say organized and that’s not a slam or anything like that it is just I like to think of myself as a Christian, I don’t like to think of myself as an” ite”, or an “ist”, or something like that. Just call me Christian, that’s all I want to be known as. I want to be known as a disciple of Jesus Christ, that’s all I need. That’s all I need. So when I say organized Church I am talking about some of these things that have their own, you know if you want to be this particular “ist” or this particular, “ite” then this is the writ list of rules that you got to this you’ve got to believe this, and you’ve got to believe that, you’ve got to believe this other thing. I don’t buy into that kind of thing. Where I go to church I don’t agree with everything they say. And when I say they I am talking about either the preacher or the Sunday school teacher or the guy sitting in the next pew or something like that. I’m me. I am not responsible to some human tribunal. I am responsible to God. I live for an audience of one.
So when I say the organized Church I am talking about that kind of liturgical. Can you see me with a robe? I don’t do robes. It is hard enough to do a tie. But there is some confusion in the organized Church about this thing about Israel and if people had a real good understanding of Deuteronomy 28 it is a very important key. I mean a lot of this stuff would clear a room. There are two dispossessions of Israel in Deuteronomy 28. There is a first one that speaks of them going into exile under their Kings and that happened in Assyria, and Babylon. And then there is a second one, in the last part of Deuteronomy 28 that has reference to a worldwide dispersion, a worldwide dispossession from their land. And there is a no king associated with it.
Bill Salus points this out clearly in one of his books. If people could kind of get this thing kind of squared away you would begin to remove some of the cobwebs and the fog about this thing about Israel and their rebirth. Another thing that clears it up would be a real good understanding of Ezekiel 37 the dry bones resurrection or the dry bones rebirth of Israel is connected to a worldwide dispersion from AD 70 then AD 35 when the rest of them were kicked out of their land and scattered around the world. But Ezekiel 37 has nothing to do with Assyria and Babylon dispersion. It’s got nothing to do with it. People talk about the, “Well you know got the lost 10 tribes of Israel that went into Assyria.” They’re not lost. At the birth of Jesus a couple people were identified. Was it Anna that was from the tribe of Asher? And if you and I can’t figure it out, God’s got it I promise you.
The return that we see here, this rebirth that we see here the return from all the world. A return to the land of Israel, your own land in Ezekiel 37:12-14, verse 9, “He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath.'” Prophesy to the breath? To the breath? Back in another profession I had people had to prophesy to their breath and usually I put handcuffs on them afterwards. Where did that come from? “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy son of man say to it, ‘this is what the Lord God says, ‘breath’ come from the four winds.'” Not from Assyria and not from Babylon where they were sent. “Come from the four winds and breathe into these slain so that they may live.” Brethren when you go to Ezekiel 37 and look at this thing about the death of national Israel and the Valley of Dry Bones and that kind of thing, this is not the resurrection of all dead. This is not a general resurrection of any kind. I don’t know of a general resurrection except for the lost, and that is separate and apart from our resurrection. This is not a resurrection of all dead. It’s not even the dead, get this clearly, this is not even the dead of Israel, this is the resurrection of the nationally dead nation of Israel. These aren’t some Jews that are going to be resurrected, this is an entire nation.
Now what about the preservation of the Jews all during this time? They were scattered in AD 70 and AD 135 and all around the world and all that kind of thing. Well if Ezekiel 36 and some other Scriptures are going to be correct in that He was going to one day bring them back to their own land. Then in some kind of way God had to spare them for these 2,000 years. He scattered them and he said, “But I’m going to bring you back.” But in the mean time you’ve got to take care of them, how in the world did He do that? If there is going to be a resurrection there must be the conservation of some entity that can be resurrected. That preservation folks was directly by the hand of God. Very similar might I add to the preservation of the root of the Hebrew language. And the new state of Israel. And God foresaw this He knew that the new state of Israel would have to be distinctive in every aspect of her rebirth and her character. And the rebirth of the Hebrew language would be part of that distinction. Can you imagine Israel speaking Arabic or English or French? Cajun French? Minoshka. And He used a man, a man named Eliezer Ben Yehuda. Now if you just say, “Well yeah He used Ben Yehuda to do this.” You know against fierce opposition he rebirthed the Hebrew language we know something about that stuff. But if you just say that without looking at it carefully you are going to miss something so very, very important at least in my opinion. Ben Yehuda lived from 1858-1922 when was it that this modern Zionist movement began? Was it not in the later part of the 1800’s first part of the 1900? Do you believe that the rebirth of the Hebrew language might have had something to do with God and Theodore Herzl and those guys? I think it definitely did. I do not believe that was a coincidence.
How did He preserve them? Well first of all the Jews cannot be annihilated and boy they have tried to. I mean there are other ancient peoples that are gone. You don’t see any Canaanites and Amalekites and Jebusites running around do you? The first time I went to Israel years ago I was doing an archaeology kind of thing, you know and they were using an Arab guide. And he was on the bus and he was talking one day about he was a descendant of the Canaanites. I wanted to gag. No! And I don’t say that disrespectfully, that is a lie that is being perpetrated and not only is it being perpetrated in the Middle East but it has been bought into by members who are the body of Christ. Those people are gone in the dust bin of history, but not the Jew.
Dr. Reagan: What you have just seen is only a portion of the presentation that Don McGee made at our conference. The entire presentation is contained in this video album, Living on Borrowed Time.
Next week, the Lord willing, we will present a portion of the presentation made by my colleague Nathan Jones about the importance of technology in helping us to understand end time prophecies that no generation has ever understood before. I hope you will be back with us at that time. And now, as we bring this program to a close, let’s return to Don McGee for the final words of his presentation.
Don McGee’s Presentation
Don McGee: Samuel Katz said some things in his book, Battleground: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine, I’m not going to quote it all but I am going to give you this: “In the Jews home,” he is talking about Jewish people in general, “on family occasions, in his daily customs, on weekdays and on Shabbat when he said grace over meals, when he got married, when he built his house, when he said words of comfort to mourners, the context was always his exile; his hope and his belief in the return to Zion and the reconstruction of his homeland. So intense was this sense of affinity that in the vicissitudes of exile he could not envisage that restoration during his lifetime it was a matter of faith that with the coming of the Messiah and the Resurrection he would be brought back to the land after his death.”
The rebirth of Israel, let the Muslim world protest. Let the UN pass resolutions. Let the self-important modern demigods rant. None of it matters. To paraphrase Yul Brynner in the The Ten Commandments, “As God has caused it to be written, so has God caused it to be done.” Maranatha.
End of Program