What end times signs focusing on Israel point to the soon return of Jesus Christ? Find out with hosts Tim Moore and Nathan Jones on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!
Air Date: December 2, 2023
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Tim Moore: Welcome to Christ in Prophecy! Throughout 2023, our Lamplighter magazine has highlighted the Signs of the Times. Here on Christ in Prophecy we’ve already discussed the Signs of Nature, Signs of Society, Spiritual Signs, Signs of World Politics, and Signs of Technology.
Today we’re going to conclude this series by considering an exciting, historic, and timely prophetic topic: the Sign of Israel. I know, Israel has been prominent in the news lately, but we want to step back from the crisis of the moment to appreciate Israel as the greatest prophetic sign in the world today. We say the greatest sign because Israel stands as the key to God’s prophetic time clock.
Nathan Jones: Well, some people ignore Israel altogether. Many Gentile followers of Jesus, our Jewish Messiah, have been deceived to believe that God has washed His hands of the Jewish people. Or, they think He has no special provision for the Jews and has made no promises to them regarding the reestablishment of their own nation or their role in the End Times.
Their attitude seems to be let them embrace Jesus, He is the only way, truth, and life. They are not wrong in that central tenet of the Gospel, salvation through Yeshua, or Jesus, is indeed for the Jew and the Gentile alike. But the Bible is filled with prophetic promises to the Jewish people that just cannot be ignored or appropriated by Gentile believers.
Tim Moore: You know that is exactly right. It grieves our heart to witness so many people who claim to honor the Lord and revere His Word disregard what He says about Israel and the Jews. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. For a few moments today, let’s consider what God has promised to the Jews and how prophecies are being fulfilled right before our eyes. So, how about it, Nathan, what do we see today that has been missing from the world’s stage almost for the last 2,000 years, most of the Church history?
Nathan Jones: The fact that Israel, a nation that has been dead for 1,900 is back in the land. The nation of the Bible is no historic accident. It’s no modern phenomena created by politics and the sheer willpower of Christian Zionist. It is God Himself for the purpose of ushering in the fact that He’s returning to set up His kingdom. So we look at Israel as God’s prophetic time clock or the super sign, that we look to Israel we know that Jesus Christ is coming soon.
Tim Moore: We certainly do. You know, Rabbi Dov Greenberg, who is the director of Chabad at Stanford University, said, “Imagine if you could that you went back in time to speak to the ancient Egyptian Pharoah, and you said ‘Pharoah, one of the two peoples, either Egypt or Israel, will disappear from the world scene while the other will continue to linger throughout history and come back to great prominence in the end times.’” The Pharaoh would never have believed that the group of Hebrew slaves would be that nation that would survive through thousands of years of time. And yet that’s exactly what’s happened in our own lifetimes, virtually, we’ve seen Israel rise to prominence again.
We can talk about other prophetic voices who have recognized the same truth. Dr. Will Varner, an Old Testament professor at Master’s Seminary affiliated with Grace Church there in Los Angeles, said “No nation in the history of the world has ever been exiled from its land, lost its national existence and language, and then returned as a people to that identical homeland and even revived its ancient tongue. No nation, that is, except one–the nation of Israel.” So what’s the secret to this little group of people being able to sustain itself or be sustained through all those eons of time?
Nathan Jones: Well, because it is God. God made a covenant with Israel. He made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12 that they would be His people. And then He made it with his son, Isaac, so we knew it wasn’t Esau but Isaac. And then He made it with his son Jacob, so it wasn’t his brothers or his descendants, but it would be Jacob’s descendent, the 12 Tribes. And of course, we can go to Deuteronomy 7:6 where God says, “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.” So when we say that Israel, or the Jewish people are God’s chosen people, it’s not that we’re just saying that because they’re the people of the Bible, God chose them for a specific purpose. And unlike many Replacement theologians today, He’s not done with them.
Tim Moore: He’s not done with them. You know, folks, we often say go to the Word of God before you start looking around to try to interpret the signs, because if you look at the signs first you might get skewed in your understanding. But by starting with Scripture, you realize why things happen the way they do and how God has already ordained everything that we see. So if we turn to Deuteronomy chapter 28, we see that Moses advised the people of Israel, the Jewish people, that there would be a blessing for keeping the commandments of God, but curses for not keeping the commandments. Beginning in verse 15, he said, “If you do not listen to the Voice of Yahweh, your God to keep and do all His commandments, which I am commanding you, then all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.” In other words, the diaspora the scattering. And Moses was hearkening not just to what we saw when the Jews were taken into captivity, they’re end times manifestations of this where the Jews would be scattered. And yet, Moses said, even amidst these curses that would befall Israel, God would preserve them, even through that period of cursing and bring them back because His covenant is eternal. And He made that covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, and it still holds true today.
Nathan Jones: Oh, absolutely, because He’s got a purpose for them, they were meant to be His witnesses. If we go to Isaiah 43:10-12, it’s “You are my witnesses, says the Lord God.” And He goes on to reiterate that over and over again. They were meant to be a people holy and set apart to the Lord. The nations around would look at the Jewish people and say, hey, there’s something different, Yahweh God is a God of love, whereas our gods are trivial and they malign and they’re always tormenting us and they’re always expecting things from us, but this God has love. And the people would then be drawn to the Jewish people. But as like you said, the Jewish people are human, and they continually fell and they didn’t listen to God and they rebelled. And so, yes, Moses was a prophet because he prophesied the exile of the Jewish people, for the purpose of restoring them back to Him once they repented.
Tim Moore: Well, we’ve talked many times before, and I know some of you all have seen episodes where we’ve discussed the blessings that have flowed through the Jewish people, how the Lord gave us the Scriptures His Word through Jewish authors. So we have the Word of God because Jews were faithful to record it and very careful to transcribe it and pass it down through the many centuries. Through the Jews came the Messiah, and so the Jewish Messiah is one that, Nathan and I as Gentiles follow. Obviously, the Lord has poured blessing through the Jews to this day, even in our modern age. So many Jewish scholars and, and scientists have blessed the world through their innovations and their creativity and their artistry. And also, we see in the Jewish people a demonstration of what it means to be in a right relationship with God and what it means to be disciplined as a son, if we stray from the living God.
You know, Leo Tolstoy, over 100 years ago, Nathan said, “What is the Jew? . . . What kind of unique creature is this whom all the rulers of all the nations of the world have disgraced and crushed and expelled . . . they’ve been persecuted, burned and drowned, and who, despite anger and fury, directed at them, they continue to live and to flourish . . . The Jew is the symbol of eternity.” Because their God as Yul Brynner said in the “Ten Commandments,” when Moses demonstrated the power of God, “their God is God and He is the eternal God.”
Nathan Jones: Absolutely. Absolutely. And the Jews exist for as a priestly people. The time period in the past where they served the Lord was meant to point again people to Jesus Christ, because Israel hasn’t fulfilled that promise yet, they failed in it. But Ezekiel 43:7, tells us that, “And He (God) said to me, ‘Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever.’” So, we’ve got to remember when people say, well, Israel is an accident of history, the fact that that nation’s back it should be wiped out and the land given to the Islamic world. No, because God made a promise with Abraham that the Jewish people would be a priestly people. They failed in that role. He exiled them twice, but He brought them back. And we know from prophecy that when the Jewish people are back in the land again, Jesus Christ returns, He sets up His kingdom. And where is the capital? It’s Jerusalem. And the believing Jews who come out of the Tribulation will serve the Lord as a priestly people. So it’s weird to see this, this kind of bookends thing where we’re in the middle and Israel was disappeared for 2,000 years, but then it’s back. I mean, what a time period to live in.
Tim Moore: What a time period to live in. So you just gave a tremendous overview. And one of our favorite books of the Old Testament, Ezekiel most famous chapter perhaps is chapter 37, the vision of the dry bones, where God promises to take these bones that are dried up, dusty, and no one would think there could be any life, and God tells Ezekiel prophesy to the bones, because they will live again. And sure enough, they come together, flesh comes on them, and eventually God breathes life into those bones. So that becomes an overview. We’ve discussed before, just within the last number of years, 100 to 150 years, we’ve seen four great prophecies fulfilled: the regathering of the Jewish people, their re-establishment as a nation, their repossession of their ancient capital Jerusalem, and the refocusing of world attention on Israel. So let’s talk about each one of those briefly. The reestablishment, where did God proclaim that He would, or excuse me the regathering, how did God proclaim prophetically that He would regather the Jews in the end times?
Nathan Jones: Well you have to go to Isaiah 11:11-12, where we talk about the Jewish people being regathered from Babylon. We know that happened and it happened in about 500’s where they were exiled by Nebuchadnezzar into Babylon and a believing remnant returned. And under Haggai and Zechariah they rebuilt the temple, and the walls with Nehemiah and Ezra. But in 70 AD they were exiled again, which really threw a lot of people for a loop. They thought, well the Jewish people must not have a purpose anymore, even though Romans 9-11 Paul is very explicit that they do. So what happens to them? Well you go to Isaiah 11, and Isaiah 11 prophesies that the Jewish people would regather not just from Babylon, but from the four corners of the Earth, and they would all go back into the land and they’d be regathered in unbelief. So what a prophecy that we’ve got here that answers that question: Why are the Jewish people exiled twice? Well, because it was in unbelief. And they’re being gathered today. We had a guest Avi Mizrachi on our program a while ago, and he said that 60% of the Jewish people in Israel are secular humanists. Well, by the time the Tribulation time period is over it’ll be, who survive, 100% will believe in God and have accepted Jesus as their Messiah. So they’re being regathered in unbelief right now.
Tim Moore: Well, you know what, I love the fact, we’ve already spoken of Egypt as an example of a nation who is no more an empire. But the Lord was very specific even regarding Egypt, the contrast in Jeremiah 16:14-15, “Yahweh says, ‘The days are coming behold, when it will no longer be said as Yahweh lives, who brought up the Sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt.” In other words, to this day, the Jewish people celebrate the Passover as their great national identity of deliverance from captivity, and that’s a tremendous historical marker for them still. But God says there’s something coming that would be even greater than that deliverance in verse 15, they will say instead, “…but, ‘As Yahweh lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had banished them.’ For I will return them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.”
And folks, I’ve heard Replacement Theologians, even those who deny being as such, saying, well, all these promises really are pointing to the Church. I don’t know of any Gentile Christian who claims that they should possess the land of Israel. I mean, that’s not even a thought in their mind.
Nathan Jones: The Vatican.
Tim Moore: Well, maybe the Vatican, yeah. But the Lord said He would bring the Jewish people. And if you go to Isaiah 43, the Lord says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your seed from the east, and gather you 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.” And so when the Jewish people were in captivity in Babylon, that was to the east, not to the north and south or the west. And yet there would be a time coming when God would bring the Jews back from every quarter, or every direction on the compass to their own land. And indeed, the north and the south in particular would be reluctant to release the Jews, Russia and Ethiopia, a perfect example of that. But God declared that He would regather the Jewish people and He did that beginning in the late 1800s and continuing to this day.
Nathan Jones: And it’s kind of a blessing for us Gentiles when you think about it, because we read in Daniel 9:24-26 is about the time of the Gentiles. In other words, that, okay, the Jewish people had failed in being a priestly people during the Old Testament times. They were removed from the scene and then the Lord gave us His Son, died on the cross. He provides salvation. We didn’t need sacrifices. We didn’t need to go to Jerusalem in a temple anymore. And it was prophesied then that there would be a time of salvation for the Gentiles to come to know Yahweh, God. And the time of the Gentiles would go all the way up until the end of the tribulation. But the prophecy in Luke 21:24 tells us that that time will end, and that will end when the remnant of Jewish people who have survived the Tribulation will see Jesus Christ and they’ll call out to Him, “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” And in recognizing the fact that Jesus is coming back. That’s what Jesus said, I’m not coming back until you all say that. When they say that He’ll rescue them, and that is the end of that era. We can then move into the Millennial Kingdom. And again, the Jewish people are back to being to being a priestly people.
Tim Moore: And to be very clear, He won’t come back in the Second Coming until they say that, but He’s coming back in the Rapture for us, who are part of the Church, even before all the Jews turn to Him. So we’re waiting.
Nathan Jones: Yes, it is kind of weird because the Church Age ends at the Rapture.
Tim Moore: Yes.
Nathan Jones: Before the Tribulation. Then there’s this gap time period, Daniel’s 70th week of 7 years, plus, maybe a little time before the Rapture and the Tribulation, and then Jesus comes at the Second Coming. So people get that confused because they see the Rapture and they say, well, Jesus comes and takes us up to Heaven. Well, He doesn’t come to the earth, He calls us up to Him. So, the Second Coming is still the Second Coming, because that’s when He actually touches the earth.
Tim Moore: You know, one of the most mysterious episodes in the life of Jesus, one of the things that He did which seems uncharacteristic for our Lord, is when He was walking to Jerusalem and it says He was hungry and He looked for figs on a fig tree and there were no figs so He cursed the fig tree. But Mark makes a point in chapter 11 to point out that it was not the season for figs. And you think, well was Jesus confused? Did He not understand it wasn’t the season for figs?
Nathan Jones: I always wondered about that.
Tim Moore: But I think Jesus was making a demonstration because even the disciples were shocked when the fig tree was withered up and bare, and had died down. And yet in Matthew 24, that great passage where the Lord is talking about signs of His coming in verse 42 He says, or excuse me in verse 32, He says, “Now learn the parable from the fig tree.” All right, now this is important, it’s talking about a fig tree, but what fig tree? I think He’s hearkening back to that withered fig tree. But we also know from God’s prophetic Word, the fig tree is symbolic of the nation of Israel. And He says, “When its branches already become tender and put forth its leaves, you know summer is near. So you too, when you see all these things, recognize He is near right at the door.” I believe that when this withered fig tree that was set aside during the time of the Gentiles, when the Church Gospel message went to the Gentile peoples, we were recipients of that blessing, that there would come a time when this fig tree would again begin to spring forth leaves, put forth fruit, and that demonstrates we’re in the season of the Lord’s return. Well, not just the regathering, there was another promise made prophetically that God would reestablish the nation.
Nathan Jones: Oh, absolutely. I mean, you’ve got to have a land for the nations of the world to come against, and that’s Israel had to take the land back that was promised them. Now, we could go through all the politics, but let’s just say what Israel has now is just a sliver of what the Lord has promised them, from Egypt to the Euphrates. But we learned about the reestablishment of Israel in Isaiah 66:7-8, and Ezekiel chapter 37, and on May 14, 1948, Israel became a nation again. And what’s amazing about that prophecy is that Jesus said that the birth pains would begin after the baby is born, referring back to what Isaiah said. And so the birth pains began and the fact that Israel was immediately attacked by the nations surrounding them, and they’ve continued to attack even up to this day, those are the birth pains leading up to eventually the entire world coming against Israel. I just love this verse, I keep getting ahead of myself here, but if you go to Zechariah and we go to 8:23, he says, “Thus says the Lord of hosts,” I know you love this verse, Tim.
Tim Moore: I do love this verse.
Nathan Jones: “In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’” Now, I don’t know about you, but unless you’re a devout Christian who wants to go and do a pilgrimage to Israel, we’re not grabbing on the sleeve of a Jewish person and say take us to the land. But before 1948, you couldn’t because there was no nation of Israel to visit. So for this prophecy to be fulfilled, this future prophecy, Israel had to be back in the land again, and they have to be in control of Jerusalem. That happened at the Six Day War, June 7th, 1967. And folks, you can find it in Zechariah 8:4-8.
Tim Moore: You sure can, where God promises in that very passage that He would bring the people of Israel back to their ancient capital. Little boys and girls would play in the street, old men and women would be there in the city. And from 1948 to 1967, in spite of the fact that Jordan committed that Jerusalem would be an open city any could come and worship, Jewish people were not allowed in the Old City. They were not allowed to approach the Western Wall. They certainly were not allowed on the Temple Mount until within my lifetime, in 1967 they came back in possession of their ancient capital. And the world even today wants to say, well, it’s a capital of two peoples. No, according to the Word of God, it is the capital of Israel, and Israel has declared they will never again leave. That’s where the Knesset is, because they understood that once they were back in possession of their land, really an end times kind of time frame comes into play. The chief rabbi of the Israel, Shlomo Goren, his name is the same as Solomon in Hebrew, very wise guy, rushed to the Western Wall in 1967, then during the Six-Day War blew a shofar and said, “I proclaim to you the beginning of the Messianic age.” Because he understood that when the Jews are back in control of their ancient capital, the Messiah is at the very gates of heaven.
Nathan Jones: Right. And so this causes a little confusion because Jesus said that the generation that sees the fig tree re-bud would be the generation that sees the Lord’s return. And we’ve known since 1948 every Bible prophecy teacher out there is tried to define what a generation is. Is it 40 years? Is it 70 years? Is it 120 years? And some, a lot I should say, failed predictions have happened because of that.
Tim Moore: Yes, they have.
Nathan Jones: If you go to the Greek “genea” it means the era or time period. So, we’re not looking for an exact time like an age of a person, but we are in that generation. And that’s exciting because we are living to see that happen.
Tim Moore: You know, we are living in biblical times right now, if we have eyes to see, ears to hear. And yet we do turn to a more current event mentality when we say in this fourth sign that the whole world’s attention is refocused on Israel and on Jerusalem like never before. For almost 1,900 years, Jerusalem was a forgotten part of the world. Yes, Crusaders went to the Holy Land, but that has not been–yeah misguided. But it was not the prominent place in the world, even in the Muslim world, even in the Christian world of late until this past century and now all the world’s attention seems to be focused on Israel. We could talk about how the United Nations has made more resolutions condemning Israel than all the other malevolent countries combined. And so there’s this satanic focus on Israel because it exists once again, let alone the world’s attention.
Nathan Jones: And we know that God protects Israel. So we’re going to have the Arab world against Israel and they’re going to lose, according to prophecy. Then we are going to see the Russian, Islamic world, a bigger outer ring, try to destroy Israel and God steps in and destroys them. And all the Jewish people then, all of the 14 million will return to Israel. And then a larger circle, this is where we get to the entire world, and it’s really not against Israel, it’s against God. But Zechariah 12:1-3 says, “The entire world will come against Israel.” And that’s when Jesus comes in and He defeats them. And so again, and again, and again, any nation that tries to attack Israel is going to lose. So, Tim when people write into the ministry and they ask us, is Israel going to survive this attack by Hamas or the Psalm 83 War? The Bible says, yes, Israel will not be uprooted, that’s a promise from God.
Tim Moore: You know, if we would just start with the Word of God before we pick up the daily newspaper or watch the daily News, we would not be as anxious as some people tend to be these days because they see all the drama and trauma happening in the world. But if we understand God’s prophetic Word, then we realize that He is still in control, and He is still keeping all of His ancient promises. As a matter of fact, one of the promises that He is keeping right now is Amos 9:15 “The Lord said, ‘I will also plant them,” who is the them? It is the Jewish people, that is the context of what He is talking about, “on their land, and they will not again be uprooted from their land which I have given them,’ says Yahweh your God.” Once again, that is not a promise made to the Church, to Gentile followers of Christ, we have other promises that are ours, but that’s a promise to the Jewish people. They have been planted. They will not be uprooted. And in spite of all the satanic evil that Hamas and other terrorist groups and anti-Semites around the world are fomenting, they will not be displaced from their land again, because Yahweh, the Lord God, has spoken.
Well, Nathan, we have obviously a number of resources here at the ministry. We have a special offer today with a series of books and DVDs that we can offer our viewers that focuses on Israel in Bible prophecy. So if you would be interested in offer #834 just call the number on the screen and our operators would be glad to take your order so you can learn about the Feast of Israel, a series we did last year. The End Times Focus on Israel, The Jewish People Rejected or Beloved? You can tell where we land on that, they are most definitely beloved. And a large study on Israel in Bible prophecy, past, present and future.
Nathan Jones: Right, and this year we’ve spent the entire 2023 looking at the different signs of the times. So we have another special offer, don’t we, Tim? That would help people because we could barely scratch the surface on what we were talking about. Where can they go deeper?
Tim Moore: So if they would like to get the complete series of Lamplighter magazines from all of 2023, we’ve stepped through the signs of the times, the signs of nature, the signs of society, signs that are spiritual in nature, signs of world politics, signs of technology, and the final edition for 2023, The Signs of Israel. Nathan, many articles by you, a few by me and other writers who have contributed, Dr. Reagan, David Bowen, our teaching evangelist. And so that is special #836. And if you’re interested in that, just call again the number on the screen or go to our online store.
Well, Nathan, in just a few seconds we have left, share with our viewers, because it’s a time of the year when we have much to be thankful for as a ministry, as individuals. But in this time of Thanksgiving, what are some of the things you are thankful for?
Nathan Jones: Well, I go to Psalm 121 for that. This is what the Psalm says, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help?” The whole world seems a mess. The church is under attack. Israel is under attack. Where does it come? Verse two, “My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved. He keeps you will not slumber.” And listen to this, verse four “Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” When we think that Satan’s got a lead and he is winning the war, and it seems that way. We know that God is in control. He never slumbers or sleep. He’s taking care of Israel, He’s taking care of the Church, and He’s taking care of each Christian.
Tim Moore: That’s beautifully said. You know, I thought about this question as well, and I am very thankful for the sign of Israel. I’m thankful to be living in a day and age when we can see, and even understand through hindsight all that God has done to begin to fulfill His promises to the Jewish people, offering clear evidence that they are still here, proving that He is faithful to every promise and that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return.
I’m thankful that I have lived to see the Jews coming back into possession of Jerusalem during my lifetime, which I think means we are living in the season when the time of the Gentiles is quickly winding down. But I’m obviously eternally grateful for salvation through Jesus Christ, and I’m also grateful for the blessings He’s poured into my life here on this earth. And in an age when so many people are struggling with anxiety, and depression, and despair because they think that life has no meaning or purpose, I am very thankful that He has given my life both meaning and purpose. I get to serve along with you, Nathan, proclaiming the Gospel and the soon return of Jesus Christ and pointing people to my Blessed Hope, even as I wait for Him to break from the heavens.
Well, folks, that’s our show for today. We hope it has been a blessing and encouragement to you as we point to the sign of Israel as we express our thanksgiving to the true and living God. And until next week, we also join with that great statement, Baruch haba b’shem Adonai, blessed is He who comes and He who has already come in the name of the Lord, our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Godspeed.
End of Program