Visit Independence Hall in Tel Aviv as Dr. David Reagan takes you on a tour of Israel on the show Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on September 14, 2014.
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Dr. Reagan: I have been to Israel 45 times, and every time my spiritual life has been enriched. I recently took a video cameraman with me and had him shoot on the fly as I led a pilgrimage group to the land. We began in Tel Aviv, and went from there to Tiberias in the north, and then back to Jerusalem. I hope to share some highlights from that trip with you over the next few weeks. As I do so I think you will come to understand why a person once wrote, “A pilgrimage to the Holy Land converts the Bible from black and white into Technicolor.” Stay tuned for a visit to Independence Hall in Tel Aviv.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome to the Holy Land and to the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. I’m standing here on a beach that runs north and south beside the city of Tel Aviv. And to my right looking west is the Mediterranean Sea and to my left looking east toward Jerusalem is the modern city of Tel Aviv.
Today on our first day here in Israel we are going to start out at Independence Hall and where the Declaration of Independence was declared on May the 14th, 1948. Then we are going to go over to the Carmel Market a big outdoor market here in Tel Aviv and give people kind of feel of what all that it’s like. Then we’ll go to the old City of Jaffa the Port of Jaffa the port that served as a port of this nation for many, many years and where Jonah took off on his journey to Tarsus. We’ll conclude the day by eating lunch and then going to the Messianic congregation that is headed up by a wonderful Messianic Jew by the name of Avi Mizrachi. We’ll visit the site where Rabin was assassinated in November of 1995. And then we are going to give the folks a chance to come back here early and get their toes in the Mediterranean.
I’d like to introduce you at this time to my co-host and that is Gary Fisher. Gary, step on in here. This is Gary Fisher who is the Founder and Director of Lion of Judah Ministries in Franklin, Tennessee. And he has come along to be the co-host of this particular trip. You’ll be seeing him a lot along the way. Gary you know what our schedule is today, you know where we are going. Of all the sites we are going to visit today which one is your favorite and why?
Gary Fisher: It has to Independence Hall.
Dr. Reagan: Ok.
Gary Fisher: There’s lots of museums in Israel and it is probably per capita has the greatest amount of museums in the whole world. But this particular museum, Independence Hall there is something very, very special about it, it marks one of the greatest prophetic events recorded in Scripture. And that Scripture is found in Isaiah 66:8, Isaiah anticipating the electricity of that moment over 2,000 years ago, cried out in desperation, “Who has heard such a thing? Can a land be brought forth all at once? Can a nation be born in one day?” And the answer is yes, it was on May the 14th, 1948.
So I get very excited about what took place in that room. Incidentally because of the importance of the prophecy of that event we look back and we see that the world, the whole world, was limping along the economy and so forth and so on, we just came through the Great Depression, we just come through World War II. All the economies in the world were limping along. The President of the United States walked up to the microphone right after David Ben-Gurion declared the independence of Israel on 4:00 in the afternoon on May the 14th, 1948. And our President, Harry S. Truman, declared support for the State of Israel and the US economy took off.
And my point in bringing that up is because God was interested in what was happening in that little museum that day. He is still interested in what’s happening in that museum today. He is declared in that museum that the Jewish people would come back to the land of Israel and they would be no other time in history like the one that we are living in where we are seeing those Jewish people coming back. And it is a sign, that little museum is a sign that the Messiah is about to appear. The Jewish people are gathering back in the land. And I get this electricity every time I go there that soon Jesus is going to come to this country. He is going to come to Mt. Zion. He is going to rule and reign in peace, righteousness, and justice. And that little museum is a sign that we are living near that event.
Dr. Reagan: Well, thank you Gary. And all I can say is let’s go to the museum and see it, alright.
Gary Fisher: Amen.
Dr. Reagan: Alright, thank you.
Dr. Reagan: This building was built in 1911 and it was the home of the mayor. And then when he died he gave it to the city of Tel Aviv. Can you hear me ok? Gave it to the city of Tel Aviv and it became an art museum. And then it fell into–it was used for the Declaration of Independence and years later it just fell into disrepair. Finally the government took it over and restored it to look exactly the way it was on the day that the Independence Declaration was pronounced here. And so it has been open ever since the 70’s and they’ve just been renovating it and so far the only thing that I can tell is different is that glass wall that we came through there, everything else looks the same.
I would like to begin by looking at a Bible verse that is in Isaiah 66 that has to do with what happened here in this room. Isaiah chapter 66 there are many, many prophecies in the Bible concerning the re-gathering of the Jewish people and the reestablishment of the state. In fact there are more prophecies in the Old Testament about the regathering of the people and the reestablishment of the state than any other topic. It is the most prolific prophecies in the Old Testament. Just over, and over, and over, God is going to regather the Jewish people in the end times in unbelief and their state is will be reestablished. The reason I’m going to read you this one is because it’s really my favorite. It’s a symbolic prophecy, its put in symbolic terms but those terms are very, very descriptive. Isaiah 66 beginning with verse 7, “Before she was in labor, she gave birth. Before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has ever heard of such a thing?” You ever hear of somebody give birth to a child and then have the labor pains afterwards? “Who has seen such a thing? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Shall a nation be born all at once?” Well that’s what happened. In one day the nation was reborn here in the city of Tel Aviv in this place right her, and the birth pains began the next day when five Arab nations attacked. And the birth pains have continued to this day.
First was the War of Independence in ’48 and ’49. Then came the Suez War in 1956. Then came the Six Day War in 1967. Then came the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Then came the two Arab Intifadas, the first Gulf War. It’s just been war, after war, after war, the most recent one being the War with Hezbollah and then the War with Hamas. And now everything is gathering for the great war. The next one’s probably going to be the great one as the Arab nations close in and try to take Jerusalem. So, and it’s going to be the most destructive war for Israel because in the past I would even bring groups over here during wars because it was very safe. But that would not be true in the future because the future war is going to be a missile war. Thousands of missiles are going to come in here. They are going to come from Iraq, Iran, they are going to come from the north, Hezbollah, they are going to come from the south, from Hamas and there just going to be raining down like rain. And so it’s going to be a very, very serious time and the people here in Tel Aviv are the ones that are most subject. This is the focal point; this is where they’re going to focus the missiles because they are afraid if they shoot into Jerusalem they may end up with a missile hitting the Dome of the Rock. Which I think would be very appropriate, but nonetheless they don’t want that to happen.
So anyway with that Scripture in mind let’s talk a moment about what happened here. When we get to Jerusalem we’re going to go to Mt. Herzl Cemetery and we’re going to see the centerpiece of that cemetery is the tomb of this man Theodore Herzl. And we’ll talk more about him when we get there. All I want to say right now about him is that he was a Hungarian Jew who lived in Austria. He wanted to be a playwright but never made it, but he was a writer, and he was a great intellectual, he was an egomaniac in fact hardly anybody could get along with him. But he was a man who had a vision for the Jewish people to go back to their homeland. And in 1896 he wrote a book called, “The Jewish State.” It wasn’t really a book, it was a booklet in which he said, “It’s time to go back home.” He had a–I’ll talk about this more at his tomb it had premonition of the Holocaust coming. He said, “It’s time to go back home. We must go back to our homeland.”
There were only two people in the entire US government who favored the creation of the State of Israel. One was the President, Harry Truman, the other was his right-hand man, his counselor, his private lawyer rather his personal lawyer and that was Clark Clifford. Clark Clifford favored it because he was a Bible student and he believed that the Jewish people needed to come back to their homeland. Harry Truman favored it because he was a Bible student. I don’t know how much you know about Harry Truman he was a remarkable person. You can look at this and see God’s hand orchestrating Harry Truman into this position because prior to Harry Truman the Vice President of the United States had been Henry Wallace who FDR just dropped summarily and said I want Harry Truman to be the next Vice President. Henry Wallace turned out to be an extreme Socialist, a Communist sympathizer, an extreme liberal. So anyway God orchestrated that. Harry Truman comes in FDR doesn’t even know Harry Truman they met maybe one time. Harry Truman was not informed of anything when he became President, he didn’t even know there was an atomic bomb, they had to call him in and tell him that because FDR had never shared that with him. So Harry Truman is in the position.
Now here’s an interesting thing about Harry, watch how God orchestrates this, first He orchestrates for Harry Truman to be President. Second, Harry Truman was a child prodigy; he was reading at age three. By the time he started school at age six he had already read the Bible two times. He was a member of a family that was devote Christians they were Baptists. And he knew the Bible backwards and forwards by the time he started school. He was a guy who almost had a photographic memory. I used to teach a course on the presidency and every year when the course was over we would go to Independence, Missouri and we would meet with President Truman. We did this many times this was after he was President. And you could ask him about any President of the United States, any President anything, “How many children did he have?” “What was his wife’s name?” It was like a–it was just unbelievable he was a walking encyclopedia of the history of the Presidents of the United States. So God’s orchestrating this, He puts him in as Vice President, He has a man who knows the Bible. But they were the only two, everybody else in the US Government was not only opposed they were overwhelmingly opposed to the establishment of the State of Israel.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff had a special meeting they came to the President and said, “Mr. President, we voted unanimously, no Jewish State.” And you know what the argument was? It was the same argument you hear today, very same one, if you recognize a Jewish State it will cut off our access to Arab oil. The most important thing in the Middle East is access to Arab oil we must have access, we must placate the Arabs. Don’t worry about the Jews, the Arabs will destroy them overnight any way. But Truman wouldn’t make any commitment, he wouldn’t say one way or another he just listened.
Now more important than the Joint Chiefs of Staff were two other people, one was the Secretary of Defense who was a very renowned man and he was totally opposed and he was telling the President, “Do not recognize Israel.” But the most important person was General Marshall, George C. Marshall, Truman worshiped at his feet, He idolized the man. He was the leader of the United States Forces in World War II. Most people think it was Eisenhower. No, Eisenhower was a field commander. The person who was in charge of all US Military Forces and all US strategy in World War II was General George C. Marshall. So valuable to FDR that FDR would never allow him to go into the field for fear he might be killed. General Marshall had become Secretary of State and he gave a famous speech I believe it was at Harvard University right after he became Secretary of State and said, “We must rebuild Europe it’s lying it ruins. The Communist will take over, all kinds of radical groups unless we go in and rebuild. We’ve got to provide them aid to rebuild.” And the Marshall Plan was born. And that Marshall Plan rebuilt Europe. And as a result of that he was given the Noble Peace Prize. He was given the Man of the Year in 1947 on the front of “Time Magazine.” The Man of the Year, this was the man that Harry Truman idolized.
And General Marshall came to Truman and he said, “Under no condition are you to recognize Israel.” And he was Secretary of State at that time. Truman hated the State Department if you’ve ever read his writings he always referred to them as the “guys in fancy stripped pants.” “The guys in the fancy stripped pants,” that’s how he referred to the State Department, they’re a bunch of intellectuals who don’t have any common sense is the way he referred to them. But he really idolized General Marshall and General Marshall said, “You will not recognize the State of Israel.”
So there’s tremendous debate going on but God was preparing Harry Truman’s heart. Not only had he put him in that position. Not only had he given him this ability to read and he knew the Bible backwards and forwards. But something else happened, this is really amazing you can see God’s hand in this. When Harry Truman became a solider in World War I and went to Europe guess who became his very best bosom buddy? A guy by the name of Eddie Jacobs a Jewish man from Independence, Missouri. This was a time when Jews were spit upon and hated in the United States like blacks were. And yet he became Harry Truman’s best friend and was his best friend for the rest of his life. In fact when World War I was over they came back and the two of them opened a haberdashery shop and sold men’s clothing together. And for the rest of his life that was his best friend. So God puts as his best friend a Jewish man. He gives him as his right hand council Clark Clifford who believed in the Jewish destiny. So He is just surrounding him with these people like it’s a fence around him while the rest of the US Government is saying, “No, no, no, no.”
On May the 12th, 1948 the Jews were going to make their declaration on the 14th. On May the 12th there was a meeting at the White House, incredible meeting, George Marshall said I want to bring my staff and we want to meet with you Mr. President and we’re going to tell you all the reasons why you should not recognize the State of Israel. He came with a large staff and one of them was appointed to present the argument to the President. This fellow got up he presented this long argument to the President about all the reasons why the President should not recognize the State of Israel.
And then when he sat down the President said, “Ok, Mr. Clifford would you speak.” And Clark Clifford got up and started speaking and General Marshall stood up and said, “Why is this political hack speaking at this meeting?” Because that is what he considered Clark Clifford to be nothing but a political hack. He said, “This is the State Department I want to ask you Mr. President why is this man even at this meeting?” And the President said, “Because I invited him.” And Marshall sat down. Clark Clifford continued, he gave his entire talk why it should be recognized. George Marshall was sitting there steaming and when he finished his speech Marshall said something that absolutely astounded everyone in the room. I mean to this day it’s hard to believe that he said this. He said, “Mr. President I won’t argue about this anymore I have only one thing to say.” Now this is in front of a lot of witnesses, “If you recognize the State of Israel I will vote for your opponent on Election Day.” The people over there said they just were so astounded they just sat in absolute silence, nobody could believe that he spoke to the President that way. You see the election was coming up in November of 1948. Finally they said it seemed like an eternity and the President said, “You know I think the best thing for all of us to do is to go home and get a good night’s rest, and think about this,” and they all left.
The next morning May 13, the Secretary of State called the President he said, “Mr. President I thought about it.” And he said, “Here’s where I am. I am still totally opposed to it, but if you recognize the State of Israel I will not speak one contrary word. I will be silent and I will not speak out against your decision, the decision is yours.” Still nobody knew for sure how he was going to decide.
Meanwhile while all that was going on Eddie Jacobson called the President and he said, “Mr. President you’ve been in office since 1945 and I’ve never once asked anything of you. I want to come to Washington, D.C. and meet with you personally.” He had never done that. He came to Washington, D.C. he meet with the President he said, “Mr. President I believe that when you were in your father’s loins that God anointed you to recognize the State of Israel. I’ve never asked anything of you I want to ask you to recognize the State of Israel.” He said, “I think this is of God,” and he left. Well there was Truman in the midst of all this.
The next day on May the 14th, 1948, David Ben-Gurion stood up here and he read the Declaration of Independence and 11 minutes later Harry Truman signed the short document saying that he recognized the State of Israel, and armaments began to flow to Israel. And that is the reason that Harry Truman is considered such a great person here in the State of Israel, with statues of him all over the place, because he is considered to be the Savior or Israel on that day because the next morning they were attacked by five Arab nations. I want us to pause here for a moment and I’ll come back and I want to ask Gary Fisher to come up. And I want to ask Gary to read from the Declaration of Independence.
Gary Fisher: In the land of Israel the Jewish people came into being. In this Land would shape their spiritual, religious, and national character. Here they lived in sovereign independence. Here they created a culture of national and universal import, and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books. Exiled by force, still the Jewish people kept faith with their Land, in all the countries of their dispersion, steadfast in their prayer and hope to return and here revive their political freedom. Fired by this attachment of history and tradition, the Jews in every generation strove to renew their roots in the ancient Homeland, and in recent generations they came home in their multitudes. Veteran pioneers and defenders, and new comers braving blockade, they made the wilderness bloom, revived their Hebrew tongue, and built villages and towns. They founded a thriving society, of its own economy and culture, pursuing peace but able to defend itself, bringing the blessing of progress to all the inhabitants of the Land, dedicated to the attainment of sovereign independence.
In 1897 the first Zionist Congress met the call of Theodore Herzl, seer of the vision of the Jewish State gave public voice to the right of the Jewish people to national restoration of their land. The right was acknowledge in the Balfour Declaration on 2nd of November 1917, and confirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations, which accorded international validity to the historical connection between the Jewish people in the Land of Israel, and to their right to re-establish their National Home. The holocaust that in time destroyed millions of Jews in Europe again proved beyond doubt the compelling need to solve the problem of Jewish homelessness and dependence by the renewal of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel, which would happen wide the gates, open wide the gates of the Homeland to every Jew and endow the Jewish people with the status of a nation with the equality of rights within the family of nations. It is the natural right of the Jewish people, like any other people, to control their own destiny in their sovereign State. Accordingly, we, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish people in the land of Israel and the Zionist Movement, have assembled in the day of the termination of the British mandate for Palestine and, by virtue of our natural and historic right, and the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, do hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish State in the land of Israel- the State of Israel.
Dr. Reagan: So, the State was established, Harry Truman recognized it, arms began to flow. Five Arab nations attack and the Israeli’s were able to survive until this day. But that doesn’t end the story following that was a national election coming up in November of 1948. Harry Truman had no chance of winning the election, none whatsoever. The Democrat Party split three ways, Harry Truman received the nomination of the Democrats.
Strom Thurmond pulled out of the party and formed what was called the Dixiecrat Party which composed all the southern states; a party that was in charge of favor of state’s rights and segregation. And Henry Wallace the Socialist formed the Progressive Party and all of the Socialist Democrats and Liberal Democrats pulled out and they supported him. The Democrat Party split three ways. The Republicans united under the very handsome and charismatic Governor of New York, Tom Dewey. Truman had so little chance of being elected that many newspapers printed their headlines in advance, “Dewey Defeats Truman.” You’ve probably seen the famous picture of Truman holding up one of those papers. Through the astonishment of everyone including Harry Truman he was re-elected. It was the greatest upset in the history of American politics, no Presidential Election like it since then or before. And how he won nobody knows. But God says in His word, to those who bless Israel I will bless them and to those who curse Israel I will curse them. And He blessed Harry Truman for the decision he made.
Why should this be of any significance to us? Simply because God fulfilled a promise that He made thousands of years ago in this room. And He’s made a lot of promises to His Church, a lot of promises. And every time I see Him fulfilling a promise to the Jewish people; the regathering from the four corners of the earth, the re-establishment of their State, the revival of their language, the re-occupation of the City of Jerusalem. When I see all these things happening I know God is going to be faithful to fulfill every promise He has made to you and me, and we can praise Him for that.
Dr. Reagan: I’m sorry to say that we do not have the time to show you all the other things that we did on our first day in Tel Aviv. I will just summarize by saying that we visited the ancient port of Jaffa, which today is a southern suburb of Tel Aviv. Then we went to the outdoor Carmel Market that is located in the heart of Tel Aviv. We visited the site where Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin was assassinated in 1995. And we concluded our day with a visit to the Messianic Jewish Center called Dugit which is run by a remarkable Messianic Evangelist named Avi Mizrachi.
I hope you have enjoyed this visit to Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. Next week, the Lord willing, we will continue our pilgrimage through the Holy Land by traveling up the Mediterranean coast of Israel, from Tel Aviv to Haifa, and then on north to the Crusader capital of Akko, which is located on the border with Lebanon. At that Crusader site I will deliver a message about the terrible Christian legacy of anti-Semitism. Well, folks, that’s our program for this week. I hope it has been a blessing to you, and I hope you will be back with us next week. Until then this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.
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