Part 1 — the following portion first appeared in the May 1994 Levitt Letter.

Introduction

Biblical history is the history of Israel. It is different from all other histories. Secular scholars consider the movements of nations and armies to be the core of world history. Church historians, on the other hand, consider the great ecclesiastical conferences and development of denominations and institutions to be at the heart of human history.

It is remarkable, but the Bible alone views history from the vantage point of Israel, especially from Genesis 12 through Acts 8. The prophet Isaiah, for instance, envisioned Israel as occupying “the center of the
earth”:

In that day shall Israel be … a blessing in the midst of the earth
(Isa. 19:24).

From Acts 9 through Rev. 3, the focus of the Bible is more on the
church, local and world-wide. With Rev. 4, however, Israel resumes the
center stage position and continues as such until the end of the
Scriptures. Thus, the vast bulk of the Word of God revolves around
Israel, the Chosen nation of God.

The Centrality of Christ In The Background / Israel In The Foreground

One also can say that the Scriptures center in Christ as well, because
the entire Bible points toward the first and second comings of the
Messiah. In many ways, though, the message of Christ is in the
background, frequently apparent but often somewhat hidden in types,
shadows and cryptic prophecies. Sometimes these great truths were not
clear in their significance until the first coming of the Lord, when He
and the Apostles explained their meaning in the Gospels and the
Epistles.

Other Nations Mentioned In Bible Only As They Contact Israel

Israel, however, was always in the foreground, through the patriarchs,
the kings, the prophets, the movements of the nation in and out of the
Promised Land, and the various reactions of the Israelis to the first
coming of Christ. The nation Israel was always center stage, and the
Bible mentions Gentile nations only insofar as they had contact with the
Chosen Nation.

The Scriptures present Egypt in relation to Moses and the Exodus;
the Canaanites as the object of the Conquest; Babylon as it figured in
the destruction of the Temple and in the Captivity; Persia as it brought
about the restoration of Jerusalem; and Rome as it had an impact on the
New Testament scene. Through all these contacts with the Gentile
nations, Israel remains the nation around which scriptural history
revolves.

Israel Suppressed By The Dispersion for 19 Centuries

For 19 centuries, though, the Dispersion has suppressed Israel, as the
Jews have found themselves scattered throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and
the Americas. In reality, the religion of Judaism has reconfigured
Israel in such a way that it practically lost its national distinctive.
Israel is an anomaly, unlike any other people. It defies the common
definitions of religion, race and nationality.

Furthermore, Israel has been adrift from its own Messiah. The Messiah
who came first to Israel has become a stranger to most of His own Jewish
people. Peculiarly, it is mostly Gentiles who worship Him on all the
continents of the earth through a vast variety of congregations and
fellowships.

The Remarkable Restoration of Israel

So it has been for almost 2,000 years, but in our time things have
undergone a remarkable change. Jews by the millions have returned to
the Land of Canaan, and Israel is once again a nation on the face of the
earth. There is also a resurgence of faith in Jesus as the Messiah
among a minority of Israelis.

It is difficult to overestimate the importance of such a radical event.
This is precisely what the prophets foretold would occur at the time of
the Second Coming of Christ:

Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will take the
children of Israel from among the nations, to which they are gone, and
will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land
(Ezek. 37:21).

The New Testament also teaches that the Church Age would end with the
Rapture of the Church. Following that, the Lord would prepare Israel
and the world for the Return of Christ through the awesome days of the
Tribulation, the 70th Week of Daniel. All of this assumes that Israel
is a nation at the end of the age.

Israel Again The Center of The World As In The Bible

Once again the focus of history is back on Israel. If we are to look at
the world the way the Scriptures do, we must now view all actions of all
peoples from the vantage point of modern Israel.

If the Scriptures are the Word of God, and that we constantly affirm,
then we must conclude that this is precisely how God views the world.
It is not easy for us to do this because we normally view everything
from our own perspective: our family, our country, our church and our
culture. How can we lift ourselves out of our shell and our
circumscribed mold, and begin to view our world from the biblical point
of view?

It takes considerable effort, concentration and faith to go against the
grain and commit our minds to conforming to the scriptural perspective.
It is also somewhat humbling, as well. In America, for instance, we
tend to see everything in relationship to the power politics displayed
by our armed forces, and our ideas of democracy and constitutional
government. We must step down off this exalted cultural pedestal. We
must understand that much of what God will accomplish on the earth
between now and the Lord’s Second Coming is going to be done in
and through Israel.

How Did Israel Become a Nation Again?

How did the world get this way? How did Israel get back into the Land?
It didn’t just happen overnight. It has been a process, a lengthy
one stretching back over 100 years. Great movements and ideologies have
converged to bring all this about, and equally great movements have come
along to attempt to frustrate the return of Israel to the Land. From
this point on we must begin to view all modern history from the biblical
perspective. We have to realize that all things are happening in the
divine plan to bring about the restoration of Israel and the Second
Coming of Christ. Everything else must be considered secondary.

Part 2 — the following portion first appeared in the June 1994 Levitt Letter.

Zionism — The Primary Vehicle of Restoration Out of The Dispersion

The primary tool God has used to bring about the restoration of Israel
is the movement of Zionism. Zionism is the religious, sociological and
political movement that promotes the return of the Jewish people to the
Land of Israel. There is something in the breast of most, if not all,
Jewish people that is not complete outside the Promised Land:

How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth;
if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy
(Psalms 137:4–6).

This attraction has been intact since the Dispersion began with the
Destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in A.D. 70, shortly after
Christ’s first coming. The attraction, however, has been
suppressed all these centuries by the reality of Jerusalem’s
subjugation. As our Lord predicted, Jerusalem has been “trodden
under the feet of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) all during this time.

The Treading of Jerusalem by The Gentiles

First it was the Romans who trod down Jerusalem, then the Byzantines,
then the Moslems under the auspices of the Arabs, Mamelukes or the
Turks. There were also the European Crusaders, who controlled Jerusalem
for 100 years, and some other parts of the biblical lands for another
100 years. For most of this 19-century-long period, though, the Land
has been under some type of Moslem control. Furthermore, the Moslems
have firmly planted the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aksa Mosque on the
Temple Mount overlooking Jerusalem.

The Jewish Dream of a Restored Israel

Throughout the Dispersion, there have always been some Jewish people
living in the Land. Mostly they lived in Galilee, but sometimes they
were able to get to the remaining shrine of their revered Temple Mount,
the Western Wall in Jerusalem. There was always the religious conviction
that the Jews would ultimately return to the Land “en masse”
in the Days of the Messiah. Maimonides and other famous rabbis fostered
this teaching. They had the firm belief that when the Messiah comes,
there will be universal peace.

There were a few aborted and short-lived attempts at migration. For
instance, many Jews attempted to return to Jerusalem during the reign of
Emperor Julian the Apostate (4th century) and at the time of Sabbatai
Zvi (17th century). However, there was no serious movement back to
Israel until the Zionists began their organizing movements in the latter
half of the 19th century. In the 20th century, Zionism has resulted in
more than a million of the world’s 15 million Jews now living in
the Promised Land!

What Is Zionism?

As Israel is unique among the nations, so Zionism is unique among
movements. It has many facets and is complex. The encyclopedia defines
Zionism as “a movement aimed at establishing a national Jewish
state in Palestine, the ancient Jewish homeland” (World Book
Encyclopedia,
1969, Vol. 20, p. 499). It is even more complex than
that definition suggests. Zionism is a religious, sociological and
political movement that promotes the return of the Jewish people to the
Land of Israel.

It is religious, because it is based on biblical promises and rabbinic
interpretations about the restoration of Israel. In the beginning of
Zionism, the leaders actually considered the idea of bringing the Jewish
people of the world to one of the countries of Africa. The religious
leaders soon weighed in with objections that the only country that would
appeal universally to the Jewish people would be the ancient land of
Israel. Four thousand years of religious and historical associations
would attract them from all over the world to the Land of their
ancestors. There was also the appeal of the hope of the Messiah. The
biblical prophets had prophesied that the Messiah would one day come,
bless the Jewish people in the Land, and bring peace to the whole
world.

Zionism is sociological as well. The attraction of the ancient Land
alone probably would not be enough to motivate the Jewish people. They
would have to leave their homelands, businesses and professions to
undertake the rigors of pioneer life in a harsh environment. The
founder of Zionism, Theodore Herzl, realized in the Dreyfus trial in
Paris in 1894 that anti-Semitism was an active force even in the
enlightened country of France. It took ruthless and massive persecution
in Russia, Europe and the Arab nations for the Jews to leave and seek a
haven in a new land. Israel became a safe haven to which they could
escape from age-old Gentile persecution. The motivating persecutions of
the 19th century began with the pogroms of Russia and Eastern Europe and
came to a horrendous head in the death camps of the Nazis. Millions of
Jewish people became convinced that the only way they could survive was
if they had the safety valve of a land of their own.

Zionism is a political movement as well. Once the Jews returned to the
Land of Canaan, who would provide protection for them? Would the
nations who had persecuted the Jews for centuries now become their
defenders since they were back in the Land? Very unlikely! To be a
valid return, there would have to be a new state of Israel, with its own
government and army. This is political. Zionism could not be a
permanent reality without the political element. It took all the
organizational skills of the returned Jewish people to create an
economy, a democratic government and a dependable army. To the
astonishment of the world, the heretofore peaceful Jews forged a citizen
army that has become a military wonder. This small but powerfully
skilled army has waged four full-scale wars and many lesser conflicts in
a hostile Arab environment that the Russian Communist empire supported
for many years.

All three elements, religious, sociological and political, are important
parts of Zionism. It has taken all these to motivate millions of Jews
to return to the Land, build up the economy and protect Israel from its
many enemies.

Part 3 — the following portion first appeared in the July 1994 Levitt Letter.

Responses To Zionism

In physics, there is a law that every action has an equal and opposite
reaction. The phenomenon of Zionism has stirred enormous reactions in
the world, both positive and negative. If we are to think in the
biblical mold, we must change our thinking patterns. We must begin to
look at modern world history from the viewpoint of how Israel influences
everything, and how everything influences Israel.

Two main areas of reaction have been in religion and politics.
Christianity has been in the forefront of the debate about Israel in the
modern world. Christianity may be considered the daughter of Judaism,
and there has always been tension between the mother and the daughter
from the time of the birth of the daughter. Judaism has looked upon
Christianity as an unfortunate misinterpretation of the Hebrew
Scriptures, at best, and a dangerous and persecuting perversion of the
Messianic hope, at worst. Christianity, on the other hand, has looked
upon Judaism as a vestigial organ, like an appendix that has outlived
its usefulness. It not only has considered the fall of Israel, Jerusalem
and the Temple the fulfillment of prophecy, it also sees these as sure
signs that God has forever abandoned and judged the Jewish people, and
banished them into oblivion.

For many Christians, the idea of the Jewish people returning en
masse
to the Land as a restored nation of Israel is anathema. To
them, it would be tantamount to the repudiation of Christianity. This
view has been dominant in Christendom for at least fifteen centuries.
Something remarkable, though, was happening about the same time as
Zionism was stirring in the hearts and minds of the Jewish people in the
19th century. An increasingly large minority of Christians began to
re-discover the New Testament attitude of the early Christians toward
Israel, which is far different from the prevailing attitude today.

Pro-Zionist Christianity

Instead of having a strongly negative attitude about the position of
Israel, these Christians began to teach a very positive view about the
future of Israel in God’s plan. Rather than seeing the Jewish
people forever cut off from the Lord, they were expounding the
Scriptures that reveal a glorious future for both the Church and Israel.
They believed that Israel would have an intimate relationship with
Messiah, Christ Jesus, at His Second Coming.

These Christians came to be known as Pre-millennialists, which refers to
the belief that Christ will return to the earth before the
Millennium. This will be a period of a thousand years during which
Christ will reign on earth with Jerusalem, Israel, as His capital and
holy city.

They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years
… [in] … the beloved city.
(Rev. 20:4, 9)

They also call themselves Dispensationalists, because they interpret the
Scriptures as portraying God as having arranged several dispensations
throughout time, including Innocence, Conscience, Law, Grace and the
Millennium. People would always be saved by grace through faith in all
these dispensations. However, the way in which they live their lives
and show their faith would differ from one dispensation to another.

These views became incorporated in a considerable movement in
Evangelical Christianity in Europe and America, and became manifested in
various gatherings, publications and institutions. Among these were the
Keswick and Prophetic Conferences, the Scofield Reference Bible, Moody
Bible Institute, the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, and Dallas
Theological Seminary. Most of the mainline Christian Denominations did
not embrace the Premillennial/Dispensational position. Many pastors and
churches in most of the various Protestant denominations, though, began
to preach and teach these views. They did not think they were inventing
anything new, but were rather rediscovering what the Bible taught about
Israel, the Church and the Second Coming all along. The
Dispensationalists believed these great truths had been lost through
much of the Church age.

In the Reformation, Martin Luther had re-discovered the long-suppressed
doctrine of salvation by faith. In the same way, the Dispensationalists
believed they were re-discovering the long-suppressed biblical truth
about such doctrines as the Rapture of the Church and the Millennial
blessings of Israel.

Few, if any, have noted, though, that Zionism and Dispensationalist
Christianity both came on the scene at practically the same time, the
latter part of the 19th century!

How is it that this teaching about the restoration of Israel began to
flourish in both the Jewish and Christian cultures at the same point in
history? Was this some peculiar coincidence? Did this just happen? Is
it possible that the hand of the Lord was operating in both Israel and
the Church to bring about just such a development?

Let us suppose that the Dispensationalists are right. In the end time,
God intends to bring Israel back to the Land. He will prepare Israel
for judgment (the Tribulation) and final blessing (the Millennium at the
Second Coming of Christ). How would God do such a thing? After all, at
the beginning of the 19th century, very few, if any, Jews or Christians
were seriously thinking about a restoration of Israel. Nevertheless,
the prophet Ezekiel, among others, predicted that such a thing would
happen, and that it would be a process, perhaps a lengthy one:

Then He said unto me, “Son of man, these bones
are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are
dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off on our part.’
Therefore, prophesy and say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord God:
Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up
out of your graves, and bring you into the land of
Israel’”
(Ezek. 37:11–12).

In the vision, the upturned graveyard of bones came together into
skeletons, developed flesh, and then at the end had the breath of God
breathed into them. They became alive as a great army and nation. This
was a prophecy of the gradual restoration of the Jewish people back to
their ancient Land.

A vocal minority of Christians began to teach anew this doctrine from
the Bible just as Jewish pioneers began to trickle back into the Land.
Who influenced whom? Did Jews hear Christians talking about this,
decide it was a good idea, and start packing for Palestine? Or were
Jews beginning to head back to the Land, and Christians, observing this,
began to consult their Bibles to see if there was anything about it in
prophecy?

In reality, these seem to be very independent movements. There was
little direct communication between the two groups about the future of
the Jews. After centuries of persecution and hurling of accusations one
against the other, there was mostly mistrust between the rabbis and the
ministers. While the leaders of these movements were not pen pals,
however, it is likely that each group observed the publications and
actions of the other. They probably had a mutual impact on one
another.

While there was little direct communication between Zionism and
Dispensationalism, it appears that neither would have flourished well
without the other. If there had been no practical movement of the Jews
going back to the Land, Dispensationalism would have appeared to most
Christians as a highly unrealistic proposition. It probably would have
returned to its long position of obscurity. On the other hand, what
would have happened if the efforts of the Zionists had not met with the
approving encouragement of the Dispensationalist Christians? The return
of the Jewish people back to the Land, as we shall see, might have been
even more difficult than it turned out to be. We believe that God was
behind the development of both movements, and used both Zionism and
Dispensationalism to accomplish the beginning of the fulfillment of the
ancient scriptural prophecies.

Part 4 — the following portion first appeared in the September 1994 Levitt Letter.

Pro-Zionist Christianity, which developed in the latter part of the 19th
century along with Zionism, played a significant role in the beginnings
of Israel, as we shall see, at the time of World War I. They
accomplished this mainly through the politics of the time in England and
America. However, all Christian leaders did not espouse pro-Zionist
Christianity, which was based primarily on the newly revived
Premillennial/Dispensational theology. While they were energetic and
vocal, the Premillennial/Dispensational Christians were (and continue to
be) in the minority. Most professing Christians in Europe and in the
American hemisphere have long held the opposing view of
Amillennial/Postmillennial Christianity.

Anti-Zionist Christianity

While there are some subtle distinctions between Amillennialism and
Postmillennialism concerning any future for Israel, they are essentially
the same. They teach that any covenant relationship God had with Israel
was cancelled at the time of the first coming of Christ. Therefore, God
is through with the Jewish people as a nation, and there is to be no
State of Israel, now or in the future. In addition, there is to be no
Temple, and no Millennial Kingdom for Israel with Jerusalem as its
capital. Any blessings to the Jewish people must be along with all
other nationalities under the aegis of the Church. Furthermore, God
has transferred and transformed to the Church all the blessings and
promises He originally made to Israel. Thus, the Church is the New
Israel.

Scholars sometimes call this view Replacement Theology, as it views the
Church as replacing Israel in all aspects. In contrast, the
Premillennial/Dispensational view is that, while the Church is the new
creation of the Lord that proclaims the Gospel in this age, the Church
does not replace Israel in its national covenant relationship with God.
The covenant with Israel does not guarantee personal salvation for all
Jews. It does, though, guarantee personal salvation for the
“remnant” of Jewish people in all ages, including the Church
Age. Also, it guarantees the preservation and restoration of Israel to
the Land in preparation for the Tribulation and the Second Coming of
Christ.

Because of these theological convictions, then, the
Amillennial/Postmillennial Christians tend to look at any idea of a
future for Israel with alarm, as an affront to Christianity, as a denial
of the true position of the Church. The
Premillennial/Dispensationalists, on the other hand, view the idea of a
future for Israel with delight. Modern Israel is a welcome harbinger of
the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of Christ.

What does the New Testament teach — Premillennialism or
Replacement Theology? There is not as much disagreement about this as
one might suppose. Most of the Replacement Theologians and
Amillennialists agree with the Premillennialists that the New Testament
apostles believed in a future for Israel and the literal Second Coming
of Christ — but they say the apostles were just mistaken! It took
time for the Church to “mature” to the knowledge that Christ
was not returning to the earth, and that Israel was to be replaced by
the Church.

Part 5 — the following portion first appeared in the October 1994 Levitt Letter.

Augustine and Replacement Theology

It was Augustine around A.D. 400 who ultimately articulated the idea,
principally in his well-known work, The City of God. Augustine
admitted that at one time he had espoused the doctrine of
“Chiliasm,” the belief in a future millennium, in which the
Church and redeemed Israel will be blessed by the personal return and
reign of Christ on the earth. However, he had since come to the
“more satisfactory” view that the Church has replaced Israel
forever. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in fulfillment of
prophecy, and the Jews were dispersed throughout the Roman empire.
Judaism was branded in the New Testament as an imperfect religion that
has been superseded by the Gospel of Christianity. Rome was in its
ascendancy as the center of Christian thought and worship.

Rather than looking to some political renewal on this present earth,
Augustine taught that we should look to the New Jerusalem, the eternal
city of God. In effect, he “leapfrogged” over the
Millennium as a future event and saw the Millennial promises fulfilled
in the Church age. He further envisioned the Second Coming of Christ as
not ushering in the Millennium, but the Eternal State of the New Heaven,
the New Earth, and the New Jerusalem.

Christendom canonized Augustine as an official saint, and theologians
throughout the Roman Empire accepted his doctrines. The Chiliasts were
branded as holding aberrant views, if not heresy, and Augustinian
Replacement Theology became the cornerstone of Roman Catholic concepts.
In the later developments in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the European
Reformation and the Anglican split, Replacement Theology continued
essentially untouched. It was an important part of the standard
Christian view of Israel, the world, and prophecy.

The effect of all this on Christian attitudes about Israel was
devastating. In actuality, Replacement Theology disenfranchised Israel
from having a continuing covenant relationship with God. Instead of
looking at Jerusalem as the “City of the Great King,” in
which Christ will reign for a thousand years upon His return, they saw
Jerusalem’s perpetual desolation as much as a confirmation of
Christianity as the destruction of Pharaoh’s army in the Red Sea
was a confirmation of Moses.

Dominance of Replacement Theology in Church History

This anti-Israel view continued as dominant in Christianity until the
rise of Premillennial/Dispensationalism (along with Zionism) in the 19th
century. Replacement Theology is still the majority view among
professing Christian theologians, but Premillennialism is by and large
considered a legitimate and vocal minority, at least in Evangelical
Protestant circles.

Thus, in relation to the rise of Zionism and Modern Israel, Christianity
has brought a divided message. Some (the
Premillennial/Dispensationalists) have applauded the rise of the new
State of Israel as evidence of the near fulfillment of the Second Coming
of Christ. However, many representatives of official Christianity (the
Replacement Theologians) are either neutral or antagonistic.

Christianity Both Pro- and Anti-Israel

Such organizations as the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of
Churches have, for the last half-century, taken positions favoring the
Arab and Moslem enemies of Israel. They have defended this bias partly
by claiming representation in the various countries involved. But a
vital part of this bias is based on the theological convictions that
cannot abide the resurrection of Israel from the ashes of the
Dispersion.

It is with considerable reluctance that the Vatican has recognized
Israel, and the Church’s primary interest is in asserting its
influence in maintaining its Holy Places in Jerusalem. Similarly, the
World Council of Churches has consistently pled the cause of
Palestinians against the claims of Israel.

Thus, Christianity has, because of its differing theological views about
the future of Israel, had a divided attitude about Zionism and the
revived State of Israel. Part of Christianity has expressed delight with
the modern Israel, while part has been very negative toward
Israel’s very existence.

Part 6 — the following portion first appeared in the November 1994 Levitt Letter.

The Balfour Declaration & The Decree of Cyrus

Over 75 years have passed since the Balfour Declaration was announced by
the British Government in 1917, and its significance is fading into dim
history. However, it was a turning point in the development of
Zionism. There is no question in this author’s mind that God
used the Balfour Declaration in the modern restoration of Israel, much
the same way as He used the Declaration by the Persian King Cyrus in the
restoration of Israel after the Babylonian Captivity. Compare the two
documents:

Cyrus:

Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, so that the word of
the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred
up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, that he made a proclamation
throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

Thus saith Cyrus, king of Persia: The Lord God of heaven hath given
me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an
house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

Who is there among you of all his people? His God be with him, and
let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of
the Lord God of Israel (he is the God), which is in Jerusalem.

And whoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men
of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and
with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is
in Jerusalem
(Ezra 1:1–4).

Balfour:

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in
Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their
best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being
clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the
civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in
Palestine, or the right and political status enjoyed by Jews in any
other country.
November 2, 1917.

In both cases, the governments involved held political control over
Jerusalem and the Promised Land, and were favorably inclined to see the
Jewish people return to their homeland. In both cases also, there was
considerable opposition from local governments in the Promised Land and
in the countries surrounding it to the return of the Jews. In
Cyrus’ time, the opposition was led by the Samaritans; in our time
the opposition has been led by the Arab Palestinians.

Importance of The Balfour Declaration

Jews in Israel and the Dispersion are routinely taught about the Balfour
Declaration, much the same as Americans are taught about the Declaration
of Independence and the Constitution. Most American Gentiles
(including Evangelical Christians), though, know little about this
remarkable document that was set forth in the waning months of World War I.

The Friendship of Balfour & Weizmann

At the core of the Declaration was the unusual relationship between the
British Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour and an active Zionist scientist
named Chaim Weizmann, who later became the president of the World
Zionist Organization and the first president of the revived state of
Israel. Both of these men were powerful and effective in their own
right, and together they forged a working relationship that changed the
course of history, and resulted in the rebirth of Israel.

Balfour was a committed Evangelical Christian, and he wrote several
books, including Foundations of Belief, in which he set forth the
cardinal teachings of the Scriptures. He was a Dispensationalist, and
believed in the future restoration of the Jewish people to Israel in
connection with the Second Coming of Christ. He became British Prime
Minister from 1902 to 1905, and was later the Foreign Minister under
David Lloyd George during World War I. There were two reasons why
Balfour was so attracted to Weizmann; one was secular and official, the
other was religious and unofficial.

Acetone & World War I

The official reason for the friendship that developed between the two
men was the critical development of an improved method of making
acetone. This proved to be a quantum leap in producing
powerful explosives, and played almost as important a role in concluding
WW I as the atomic bomb did later in WW II. The German and Allied Forces
were locked in mortal stalemate in trench warfare on the Continent for
many months. Neither side could dislodge the other, and thousands were
dying with artillery shelling and mustard gas rolling between the armed
trenches.

It was the Jewish chemist Weizmann who labored in the laboratories and
developed the new process for acetone production. With this new process for
explosive production, the Allied Forces were able to tunnel under the German
trenches and blow them apart. This was the capability that ended the stalemate
and enabled the Allies to force Germany to sign the armistice agreement. The
British Government in general and Foreign Minister Balfour in particular were
very grateful to Weizmann for the part he played in the victory.

Weizmann & Daniel

While we are comparing Balfour to King Cyrus, we might also compare
Weizmann to the prophet Daniel. It is clear from Scripture that Daniel
prophesied the sudden capture of Babylon when he interpreted the
mysterious “handwriting on the wall” to the shaken King
Belshazzar and his guests at the blasphemous party described in Daniel
5. That night the army of the Persian King Cyrus captured mighty
Babylon in an almost bloodless takeover through the famous
under-the-wall strategy described by the Greek historian
Herodotus. The Bible does not say, but it may well be that King Cyrus
heard of this remarkable prophecy afterward, and credited Daniel with at
least part of the reason for the success of his strategy.

Furthermore, Jewish history informs us that the Jewish leaders in
Babylon approached King Cyrus after his victory and showed him the
scroll of the prophet Isaiah, which mentioned Cyrus by name
(Isaiah 44:28–45:1).
Isaiah had written the prophecy over 150 years before, so
the Jewish leaders and King Cyrus were amazed that the venerable
prophecy had been fulfilled so literally. All of this would explain
why King Cyrus was so willing, indeed eager, to issue the proclamation
urging the restoration of Israel and funding the rebuilding of the
Temple. His appreciation to the prophets Daniel and Isaiah for his
victory may well have played a major role in his favorable attitude
toward Israel.

Part 7 — the following portion first appeared in the December 1994 Levitt Letter.

Common Commitment to The Future of Israel

Now back to Balfour and Weizmann. It was not just high-powered
explosives and the Allied victory that drew them together, there was
also a common belief in the future of Israel. Weizmann was an ardent
Zionist, and was in constant communication with the Zionist leaders,
such as Theodore Herzl, in England and Europe. He was eager to further
Jewish settlement in Palestine, which had already begun by the turn of
the century as Jews escaped from the persecutions in Russia and Eastern
Europe. They found refuge in the agricultural kibbutzim around Galilee.

Balfour, on the other hand (as we noted before), was a devout Christian,
and had been exposed to the Premillennial and Dispensational teaching
that had been rediscovered in the Scriptures during the previous
century. He believed that the Jews must return to the Land as part of
the preparation for the Second Coming of Christ, and was thrilled to
think that he could have a part in it. Although Balfour accomplished
many significant achievements in the British government, it is reported
that, in his final days, he felt the most important thing he had
accomplished in his life was the Declaration encouraging the
resettlement of the Jewish people in their homeland.

Palestine as a British Mandate

Prior to WW I, Palestine had been ruled by Turkey for many years. During
the war, Turkey was aligned with Germany, so Britain attacked Turkey
from Egypt through Palestine. It was a dramatic time when the British
General Allenby captured Jerusalem from the Turks. As the war
concluded, Palestine was designated as a British protectorate. Thus,
England had to decide how it was to administer the protectorate, and the
Balfour Declaration promising a homeland to the Jewish people in
Palestine was the apparent solution to the problem.

The Contradictory Pro-Jewish & Pro-Arab British Policies

A very serious problem, however, was that not only was there a
pro-Jewish faction in England led by Foreign Minister Balfour, there was
also a pro-Arab faction heavily influenced by “Lawrence of
Arabia,” which was making contrary covert promises to the Arabs.
This duplicity in the British government led to much confusion and
ultimately bloodshed in later years. Nevertheless, the impact of the
Balfour Declaration on the restoration of the Jewish people to the Land
cannot be overestimated. It was brought about, in no small measure, by
the convergence of Jewish Zionism and British Christian
Dispensationalism in the persons of Weizmann and Balfour.

The Contribution of American Dispensationalism

American Christian Dispensationalism also appeared to be involved, to a
lesser extent, at the time. The Balfour Declaration was not just
drafted in one day by the Foreign Minister. It was carefully crafted
with many revisions over a period of several weeks. It went back and
forth between the British Cabinet and various Jewish groups. Some
Jewish leaders were concerned that British recognition of a Jewish
homeland in Palestine might negatively affect their status as citizens
in England and other countries. When they had the wording they
considered acceptable, it was sent to President Woodrow Wilson for
approval. He was the son of a Presbyterian minister, had been president
of Princeton University, and it might be assumed that he had been
exposed to the Christian Dispensational teaching that was moving across
America. At any rate, President Wilson readily agreed to the proposal,
and indicated to the British government that it met with the approval of
the American government.

The Hand of God Behind The Scenes

Thus, at the close of WW I it appears that a minority of Dispensational
Christians influenced the British government, and to a lesser extent the
American government, to accelerate the restoration of Israel during the
20th century in cooperation with the Zionist cause. In ancient times
God used political events in the transition of power from Babylon to
Persia in the time of Daniel to restore Israel to the Land. Biblical
prophecies state that Israel must return to the Land in the last days.
Can it be that He used similar political events at the end of WW I to
further the present restoration? At any rate, the Balfour Declaration
set in motion an exponential increase from a small trickle to a
veritable stream as Jewish people began their serious return to the
Promised Land. Dispensationalists believe that this was the beginning of
the fulfillment of biblical prophecies, and this meant that the time for
the judgment of Satan and the establishment of Christ’s kingdom on
earth was coming ever closer. It soon became clear that Satan and his
willing accomplices were not going to stand by and watch the restoration
of Israel and the ultimate Second Coming of Christ to occur without
determined opposition.

Part 8 — the following portion first appeared in the February 1995 Levitt Letter.

The Nazi Holocaust: Satan’s Counterplot Against Israel’s Restoration

God’s Plan of Restoration Begins

In the previous chapters of this series, we have seen how the Lord began
the long process of fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy of the Dry Bones
in the 19th century. He accomplished this both through the Jewish
movement of Zionism and the encouraging Christian movement of
Premillennial Dispensationalism, along with the cooperating governments
of the League of Nations.

By the end of WW I, Britain gained control of the ancient Promised Land,
which they called Palestine, and enunciated the Balfour Declaration.
This gave official sanction to the migration of Jews back to Israel,
which had already begun. The previous small trickle of migration then
became a steady stream of thousands of Jewish people returning to the
Land.

By the 1920s, a sizeable Jewish presence in Palestine had become an
accomplished fact. The long divine process of returning the Dry Bones
to the Land was actually under way.

The Satan Factor

Think, now, about how Satan would react to this process. Satan knows
the biblical prophecy that the restoration of Israel will set the stage
for the Second Coming of Christ. When Christ returns, Satan will be
incarcerated and then ultimately cast into the Lake of Fire. Thus, with
the restoration of Israel, Satan would realize that his days were
numbered.

How does the Enemy react when he realizes that his time is short? We get a
glimpse of this in Rev. 12:12 & 13:

Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is
come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath
but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the
earth, he persecuted the woman who brought forth the man child.

During the yet future Tribulation, Satan will be cast out of heaven and
realize that his time is short. He will then lash out against Israel,
portrayed as the woman who produced the Messiah. I believe we saw a
preview of this unreasoning hatred in the unfolding of the terrible Nazi
Holocaust.

We have already seen how the Lord used men like Herzl, Weizmann and
Balfour in promoting the Jewish return to the Land. Satan also had his
willing accomplices in men like Hitler and his henchmen to accomplish
the Devil’s counter purposes. The Balfour Declaration was issued
in 1917. Hitler did not publish his Mein Kampf until 1926. In
1919, though, he was already developing his ideas in which he blamed the
Jews for all the problems of Germany in particular, and also of the
entire world. His solution to what he perceived as this universal
problem was the total destruction of all Jews everywhere.

Hitler: Satan’s Agent to Stop The Restoration

It is doubtful that Hitler realized (as Satan undoubtedly did) the
prophetic implications of the early stages of the restoration of
Israel.

Nevertheless, Hitler eagerly (though perhaps unwittingly) cooperated in
Satan’s desperate effort to stop Israel from becoming a
nation.

How better to stop Israel from being established than to destroy as many
Jews in the world as possible? This would nip the work of the
restoration of Israel in the bud, delay indefinitely the return of
Christ, and protect Satan from the judgment of God. So might the
twisted Satanic reasoning go.

How Do You Explain The Holocaust?

The Holocaust in many ways defies explanation. There have been many
cruel purges and persecutions among human beings throughout the violent
history of our planet. Nevertheless, how do you account for the
diabolical and intensely systematic murder of almost three generations
of Jews in Nazi Germany?

Here was one of the most cultured, sophisticated, educated, scientific
nations on earth, with its rich (and generally benign) heritage of
Lutheran Protestantism. Germany was also noted for its cultural
tolerance. Jewish people, in particular, had attained high levels
within business, banking, and artistic spheres, and considered
themselves well assimilated in Germanic civilization.

How was it that such a country could become a literal hell on earth for
all Jews within its grasp? Was it the hypnotic powers of Hitler
(“the little corporal”) or the docile yearning of the German
people for strong leadership? Was it latent European anti-Semitism
suddenly unleashed? All these explanations seem to fall short of a
rational explanation for the Holocaust.

Hitler determined to destroy as many Jews as possible, even when the
Allied army had crushed the Nazi war machine. To the very end, the
Führer ordered the death camp personnel to keep on asphyxiating and
cremating Jews. Such fanaticism is irrational from the purely human
perspective.

The Holocaust only begins to make some kind of sense when we realize the
Satanic purposes behind the Nazi movement. People just do not
ordinarily mobilize so massively to destroy systematically those they
have identified as scapegoats.

When you realize, though, that Satan was terrified by the realities of
the early stages of a restored Israel, it makes some sense. With his
supernatural powers, Satan could mobilize an elite corps of fanatics to
gain political control. Once in power, they could proceed with their
enormous effort to stop Israel from being created at all costs!

Satan’s Plan Backfires

Satan’s plan went a long way toward succeeding. Of approximately
18 million Jews in the world, he was able to kill 6 million of them.
Hitler singled out the Jews for extinction, and they died along with
millions of other civilians and soldiers through the Nazi-inspired Axis
during WW II. Thus, the Nazis killed about one third of the Jewish
people in the world in the Holocaust. This is a bitter foretaste of
what the Antichrist (who makes Hitler look like a piker) will do to the
Jews in the future Tribulation.

Nevertheless, Satan failed in stopping the creation of Israel. In fact,
Satan’s plan backfired. Instead of keeping the Jews from
returning to the Land, the Holocaust convinced the Jews that there was
an urgent necessity for them to have a safety valve. They must have
their own sovereign state in a world in which anti-Semitism surrounded
them.

The earlier steady stream of Jewish migration into Palestine between the
two World Wars became a veritable flood after the Holocaust. Hundreds
of thousands of Jews were now desperately striving to escape from Europe
and other countries to get to their ancient homeland. The State of
Israel was becoming a reality again after 19 centuries of
dispersion.

Part 9 — the following portion first appeared in the April 1995 Levitt Letter.

The Re-Creation & Struggle of Modern Israel

Initial Broad Support for Israel

By the time World War II came to a close, the Evangelical/Dispensational
Christian support for the idea of a revived Israel had been strong for
over a century. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that this
movement, although quite vocal, has always been a small minority within
general Christianity. So the Jewish Zionists, together with their
longtime moral supporters among the Evangelical Christians, constituted
a relatively small movement of only a few million people, with virtually
no official cooperating organization. How could a sovereign nation be
brought into existence in a hostile environment with such a tiny support
base?

It should be remembered that those were heady days at the end of World
War II. The United Nations had been formed, and there was hope among the
leading world powers that a lasting peace could be developed out of the
ashes of the destruction of the Axis powers. Although there was some
foreboding concerning the coming conflict of the Cold War, at this stage
the U.S., Britain, France and the Soviet Union were cooperating in
forging a postwar world. When the critical votes in the U.N. and issues
of diplomatic recognition came in 1947–8, the major powers were prepared
to back the infant State of Israel.

Liberals Join Conservative Evangelicals In Support of the New Israel

There was an interesting convergence of the liberal political and
theological world together with the conservative Jewish and Christian
public. Liberal Christian theologians, who were not at all impressed
with biblical prophecy about the restoration of Israel, nevertheless
felt strongly about the impact of the horror of the Nazi Holocaust.
Their sense of social justice cried out against the inhumanity of
Hitler’s regime in singling out the Jewish community for
systematic extinction, with six million Jewish people murdered in the
most sadistic method imaginable. The liberals felt that the Jews must
have a safety valve in the form of their own country in a world that had
been so hostile to them.

The socialist groups also came to the defense of the creation of Israel.
They were excited about the Kibbutz organization of the early Jewish
pioneers, and felt that the new nation presented a working laboratory
for socialist concepts. Out of this milieu of general support came the
best selling book and popular film, Exodus. Herman Wouk deftly
describes the story of the struggle of the Jewish people coming from
Europe to the British mandate of Palestine, in the anxious years of
misplaced persons following the war.

British Opposition to Jewish Immigration to Palestine

The British government felt that it was caught between the two forces of
Jewish aspirations for restoration and the Arab interests in preserving
their control over Palestine. Islam had possessed the land for the
better part of thirteen hundred years, since the seventh century, except
for the relatively brief period of the European Crusade occupation in
the twelfth century. The Arab and Moslem nations were angry with the
British for allowing the Jews to come to Palestine in such great
numbers. Furthermore, the British were heavily dependent on petroleum
from the Middle Eastern countries. London was under great pressure from
the Arabs to limit the immigration of Jews into Palestine to only a few
thousand a year. They were interdicting boatloads of Jews and holding
them on the island of Cyprus. This dilemma was focused on the ship
Exodus, a bedraggled vessel that contained hundreds of Jewish
refugees struggling to escape post-war Europe and get to Palestine.
When they arrived in the harbor, the British government forced them to
turn around and forcibly escorted the ship to Cyprus. They were then
put into concentration camps where they were held until a determination
could be made. What tragic irony there was for the Jews to escape from
the death camps of the Nazis only to find themselves in British
detention camps in Cyprus!

The Jewish Resistance Movement

The Jewish forces in Palestine began an intensive campaign to remove the
British army from the area, and to declare an independent State of
Israel. This led to a situation in which they were waging a diplomatic
campaign, coupled with a guerrilla warfare campaign to dislodge the
British government from the region. After a period of time the British
agreed to withdraw, and in 1947 the U.N. voted to partition Palestine
into an Israeli section and an Arab section. Israel then declared
independence, and the British lowered their flag, departing from the
country. The new State of Israel was recognized by the United States
and the Soviet Union, and was admitted as a full member of the United
Nations. This age-old dream of a revived State of Israel was now a
reality among the family of nations.

The New Satanic Agenda Against the Revived Israel: Islam & Communism

We have already seen that earlier the Nazis were determined to destroy
the Jewish people, but that Satan had used the Nazis with the purpose of
keeping Israel from being restored as a nation. The Nazis went a long
way toward accomplishing their goal of genocide, and the reestablishment
of Israel certainly was delayed during the process, but eventually the
Nazi/Satanic plan was thwarted.

It was now 1947–8, in a different location and the Jews faced different
human enemies, but the issues were similar. Now that Israel had
actually become independent, Satan was fully determined that this new
nation was going to die at its very birth. He had two very willing
allies in the fanatical Muslim Arabs in the nations surrounding Israel,
and in the Communist world dominated by the Soviet Union.

Part 10 — the following portion first appeared in the August 1995 Levitt Letter.

The Jews Survive the Satanic Nazi Holocaust and Create Israel

By 1947, we believe God had organized the restoration of the Jewish
nation through Zionism, and its allies in Dispensational Christianity
and the British Mandate of Palestine. In full and desperate opposition,
Satan attempted to thwart the divine plan of the restoration of Israel.
He used the enormous disruptions of World War II, and the Nazi
Holocaust, which singled out the Jewish people as greatest enemy,
destined for total extermination. However, the Chosen People
miraculously survived all of this, were streaming into British Palestine
by the thousands from Europe, and had come to the dramatic moment of
declaring their independence before the world. Once again Israel would
become a living nation among the family of nations after a Diaspora of
nineteen centuries.

Arabic Islam Is The New Satanic Enemy of Revived Israel

The infant nation’s immediate attention first had to be given to
the Arab neighbors, and Arabic Islam became the next tool in the hands
of Satan to keep Israel from prospering, now that it had survived the
Holocaust to become a nation. The Arab nations did not recognize or
accept the U.N. partitioning of Palestine into Jewish and Arab sections.
As soon as Israel declared independence, the surrounding Arab neighbors
declared war on Israel, and in the first months of its existence the
Jewish people had to defend themselves with the meager weapons they had
against an onslaught of the combined armies arrayed against them.

The primary motivation behind the Arab objection to the fledgling Israel
was religious. This was not just a political matter, it was, in fact, a
“holy war” or “jihad.” The Jewish state was an
offense to the sanctity of the holy sites in Jerusalem and throughout
the land, according to their viewpoint. The only way this could be
rectified was by forcibly removing the Jews from the land and pushing
them out into the Mediterranean Sea. This was the battle cry in the
Arab nations, and a recurring theme for over forty years of discord.

The fanatical Muslims could not tolerate the idea of an official Jewish
presence in Palestine, especially in Jerusalem. Islam considers the
Temple Mount with its famous Dome of the Rock and Al Aksa Mosque as one
of the most sacred holy sites in the world, ranking behind only the
central sites of Mecca and Medina.

Islam Attacks Israel & The Gospel

The Arabs are the physical descendants of Ishmael, the first son of
Abraham, and the vast majority of Arabs have adopted Islam as their
official religion and have spread their religion to much of the
world’s population throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Islam expresses tolerance for Judaism and Christianity, but essentially
it attempts to refute the cardinal doctrines of both. It transfers to
Ishmael the blessings that came through Isaac and Jacob, and disputes
the deity and redemptive work of Christ. While the Muslims have
generally neglected the development of Palestine throughout the
centuries, with the exception of a few cities, they have jealously
guarded their rights over the land from the time of the Crusades. It
was one thing to dislodge the European Crusaders from the land, but the
Moslems have discovered it is entirely another matter to dislodge the
Jewish people who consider Israel as their religious and ancestral
homeland.

To understand the hostility between these descendants of the patriarchal
brothers, Isaac and Ishmael, it is necessary for the Jewish and
Christian readers to understand something about the nature and history
of Islam from our perspective. In some ways, the development of the
religion of Islam in the seventh century was one of the great master
strokes of Satan in the world. Before Islam, the vast Arab population,
and much of Africa and Asia, was essentially neutral toward passive
Judaism and evangelistic Christianity, although these areas had some
bias toward various forms of polytheism. But with the religion of
Mohammed came a conscious rejection of and negative attitude toward the
unvarnished truths of the Old and New Testaments.

While giving lip service to the various biblical prophets, including
Moses and Jesus, and claiming vehemently to be a religion of pure
monotheism, Islam challenged most of the history and doctrine of the
Scriptures. The Koran deliberately removes Israel from its historical
and theological position as the Chosen Nation, and replaces it with the
Arab peoples, the descendants of Ishmael. One of the major annual feasts
of Islam, called ISHMAEL, demonstrates this. They actually twist the
Scriptures and celebrate this feast as a commemoration of the
willingness of Abraham to offer Ishmael (not Isaac). Thus, according to
Islam, Ishmael (and the Arabs) displaces Isaac (and the Jews) as the
Promised Seed. From that point on, Islam continues to denigrate the
position of Israel, its historical possession of the Promised Land, the
glory of the worship in the Jerusalem Temple, and the Messianic destiny
of the Davidic dynasty.

At the same time, Islam undercuts the truths of the Gospel. The Koran
considers Jesus to be a prophet, but denies the deity of Christ.
Furthermore, it rejects the substitutionary atonement of the death of
the Lord, as well as the validity of His resurrection. On the contrary,
the Koran invents the theory that Jesus did not actually die on the
Cross, but rather only “swooned,” or fell unconscious, and
then later recovered and pretended to have risen from the dead.

Israel, Christianity & Islam Compete Over Jerusalem

Islam thus attempts to undermine most of the essentials of the
Scriptures, and, when it became widely accepted through proclamation and
conquest, the religion of Mohammed became a major problem for biblically
based Judaism and Christianity. This difficulty was exacerbated when
Islam occupied Jerusalem and made it one of its main holy places. Now
there were three religions competing over the territorial rights to
Jerusalem. Throughout fourteen hundred years, this has resulted in the
Moslems wresting Jerusalem from the Byzantine Christians, the short
Crusade period of European domination of Jerusalem for about 100 years,
and the twentieth century phenomenon of the return of the Jewish people
to the Land. Most of this time, Islam (in one form or another) has been
in control of Jerusalem. Until recently, the Arabs have persuaded
themselves that the Jews were no more permanent in Jerusalem than the
European Crusaders. Some aspects of the current peace movement indicate
that Moslem leaders, however reluctantly, may be coming to the
conclusion that they will have to come to terms with a permanent State
of Israel, at least for the time being.

In the next article, we will see how Satan used international Communism,
led by the Soviet Union, to supply arms during the Cold War period to
the Islamic Arabs. Thus, the father of lies appears never to give up in
his determined effort to frustrate God’s plan for the restoration
of Israel.

Part 11 — the following portion first appeared in the September 1995 Levitt Letter.

Soviet Communism, Ultimate Enemy of Israel During Cold War

The thesis of this series is that for over a hundred years God has been
laying the groundwork for the restoration of Israel in preparation for
the Second Coming of Christ, and Satan has been fighting that
restoration every step of the way. It is an amazing thing that at the
same time God was organizing the early stages of the restoration of
Israel in the first quarter of this century, Satan was organizing a
counter movement to try to stop the restoration and, once Israel was a
nation again, to destroy it. The Lord did His work of restoration
through Zionism, the British mandate over Palestine, the Balfour
Declaration, and Dispensational Christianity. Satan, on the other hand,
worked through the Nazi German Holocaust, Arab Moslem hostility and
Soviet (and international) Communism to thwart God’s restoration
plan for Israel.

In previous articles, we have seen the devastating impact of the Nazi
German Holocaust and the Arab Moslem hostility to the Jewish aspiration
of survival and the restoration of Israel. Now we turn to the other
major player in Satan’s grand scheme against Israel’s
restoration: Soviet Communism. Once Israel began its renewed statehood
in 1947–48, it was surrounded by its Arab enemies who were determined to
drive every Jew into the Mediterranean Sea, a boast often made among
themselves. In spite of Arab Moslem fanaticism, however, the Israelis
always felt they could work out an accommodation with the Arabs if they
were left alone. But the Arabs had a powerful benefactor: the Soviet
Union. When the Arab nations waged war against Israel, it was with
Russian planes, tanks and rifles. The Soviets were pouring billions of
dollars worth of armaments into the Arab world so that they could fight
three major wars against Israel in 1956, 1967 and 1973.

The Rise of Soviet Communism

How was it that Russia became such an inveterate enemy of Israel?
Communism was developed as a philosophy during the last century (as was
Zionism and Dispensational Christianity) by Marx and Engels, but it took
Lenin to bring it to power in Russia in 1917, during WWI. Thus, in the
decade following WWI, while the Jews were beginning their immigration to
Israel in earnest, and the Nazis were getting organized for their
conquest of the world and their execution of the “final
solution” against the Jewish people, the Communists consolidated
their control over Russia and what became the Soviet Union.

There was a great deal of controversy in Russia between the World Wars,
with much internal warfare and many purges under Stalin. During WWII,
Germany invaded the Soviet Union and came close to capturing Moscow
before the Russian winter finally stopped the Germans in their tracks.
Eventually, the Soviets were able to push the Germans back, as the U.S.
and Britain were attacking the German army from the west. Following the
“hot” war, the world found itself in the polarized situation
of what came to be known as the Cold War, with Capitalism and Communism
competing for power and territory. Europe was cut in half, with an iron
curtain in between, shutting out all cultural exchange by which the West
might influence the East. While all this was settling in, the nation
Israel was reborn in 1947–48.

Early Soviet Support for Israel

Remarkably, when the crucial votes were being taken in the fledgling
United Nations, the Soviet Union joined with the Allies in supporting
the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab sections. Many of the
leaders of the new independent state of Israel had come out of Russia
and Eastern Europe, and had a socialist political/economic view. The
kibbutz agricultural communities appeared to many Marxists as an ideal
socialist building block for society. Thus the Soviet leaders initially
found many areas of compatibility with the young Israel. This
friendship did not last very long, however. As Israel developed, it
became strongly attached to the West, politically, economically and
militarily.

The Strange Alignment Between The Soviets and The Moslems

By the time of the Israeli-Arab conflict in 1956, the Soviet Union had
become solidly aligned with Egypt and the other Arab nations. It is not
difficult to explain how Communism was opposed to Christianity, but how
is it that the atheistic Communists could cooperate so fully with the
monotheistic Moslems, and vice versa? They would appear to be so
antithetical that it would be impossible for them to work together.

The one thing that brought these two outwardly opposite geo-political
groups together was their mutual antipathy to Israel. Millions of Jews
live in Russia, and many of them wanted to emigrate to Israel. The
Soviet government turned down their applications, and thousands of Jews
came to be known as “refuseniks,” because of the denials
they were issued. Russia became the new Egypt, and the international
cry arose once again, “Let My people go!” Tensions between
Russia and Israel multiplied.

Soviet Military Support of the Arab Nations

The Arab nations thus became clients of the Soviet Union, who poured
thousands of tons of military supplies, planes, tanks, rifles and
support equipment into the Arab states surrounding Israel. These were
used for all the decades of the Cold War, in the major conflicts of
1956, 1967 and 1973, and in the numerous terrorist activities by the PLO
and other groups.

The PLO for many years was operating against Israel out of the
previously peaceful Lebanon. When Israel mounted an incursion into
Lebanon, they discovered huge caches of Soviet armaments in the PLO
enclaves. It was clear that the ultimate enemy of Israel was the Soviet
Union, working through the immediate Arab Moslem antagonists.

In the next article, we will observe how the Soviet/Arab warfare against
Israel reached its height in the Yom Kippur War in 1973. The parallels
between this war and the early stages of the conflict prophesied in
Ezekiel 38 and 39 are remarkable, and they may have been a prelude of
things to come. We will also explore how, after the collapse of the
Soviet Union, these great prophecies might be fulfilled by the power to
the extreme north.

Part 12 — the following portion first appeared in the October 1995 Levitt Letter.

Israel’s Four Modern Wars of Survival — A Biblical View of Modern World History

Throughout this series we have been promoting an unusual view of the
history of the last one and one-half centuries: a biblical view. A
secular view would emphasize the rise and fall of various powers
in the West and the East, resulting in the titanic struggles of two
World Wars and the Cold War. A biblical view, however, would put
the emphasis on the steps involved in the restoration and subsequent
survival of the relatively obscure, tiny, and apparently insignificant
nation of Israel. The Jewish nation has pitifully few battalions in
their citizen army in the geo-political scheme of world power, but
Israel’s influence in the 20th century has been far and away
greater than its small size and population would otherwise warrant.

Why do we call this a biblical approach? Because the Bible is
Israel-centered. Since the initial promise of the Land to Abraham, there
have been two restorations of the Hebrew people to Canaan: the Exodus
and Conquest under Moses and Joshua, and the return from the Babylonian
Captivity under Ezra, Zerubbabel and Nehemiah. Contrary to the
contemporary and current historical treatment, the Bible concentrates on
these events in Israel’s history. Now, after nineteen centuries
of dispersion, we have the remarkable privilege of observing firsthand
the beginnings of the predicted third restoration of Israel in
preparation for the Second Coming of Christ.

Secular history scarcely recognizes the Exodus or the return of the Jews
from Babylon. Egypt, Babylon and Persia tended to sweep unfavorable
information under the rug and ignore it, and the modern secular
historians have followed their lead. World histories of the period
concern themselves with the rise and fall of dynasties of Pharaohs and
Emperors, with their great wars and conquests. The comings and goings
of Jews in and out of their little land scarcely rate a mention in the
broad histories of the world.

But the Bible concentrates on Israel as the Chosen Nation, the
repository of the Covenants, the channel of the Messianic Hope, the
custodian of the divinely approved Temple, the keeper of the oracles of
God, and the capital nation of the returning crucified and risen King of
Kings. Thus page after page, book after book in the Old and New
Testaments deal with these issues that mean little or nothing to world
powers or historians. Israel is the central theme of the Bible.

The Church Age Inserted In The Israel-Centered Prophetic Plan

But the New Testament seems to leave Israel behind, and the Church is
the new center of God’s plan. Thus, some might say that the
Church has replaced Israel, and that Israel is no longer the center of
the biblical plan. It is true that the Holy Spirit is currently
concentrating on evangelism, church planting, pointing people to the
Lord Jesus Christ, and growing the overall body of Christ. The Church
age has lasted for almost two thousand years, and is very significant as
a previously unrevealed mystery in which God is calling out believing
Jews and Gentiles as a glorious bride for the Son of God. However, the
Church age is in some ways just a biblical parenthesis.

The Church age has actually interrupted the previously revealed
prophetic stream that has to do with the first and second comings of
Christ, and His relationship to Israel and the nations. After the Lord
has removed the Church through the promised Rapture, He will resume His
activities of judgment and intervention that have to do with the
Tribulation and the establishment of His kingdom in Jerusalem, Israel
and the world. What is amazing is that, even though the Church age has
not yet ended, we are already seeing the transition to the beginning of
the third restoration of Israel, and the preparation for the events of
the Tribulation.

The Four Wars

Therefore, in order to view modern world events in a biblical
perspective, we have to take off the glasses provided to us by secular
journalists and historians, and put on our biblical glasses that see the
movements of the nations from the microscopic vantage point of Israel.
Modern Israel has fought four major wars during the last fifty years,
and each one has played an important role in setting the stage for the
prophesied events of the Tribulation:

1. 1947-48 War of Independence: restoration of Israel
2. 1956 Suez Canal: assertion of national sovereignty
3. 1967 Six-Day War: recapture of the Temple Mount
4. 1973 Yom Kippur War: solidified West Bank occupation

Through all these wars, which were relatively minor in comparison with
the World Wars but major for Israel’s survival, the Satanic
strategy was to destroy Israel through the Arab armies, mostly armed by
the Soviet Bloc. But God protected His Chosen Nation through the
sacrificial dedication of the Jewish people, and the support of the
United States and a handful of other nations. If we do not recognize
this titanic supernatural background behind the observable struggle, we
are not looking at recent history from a biblical viewpoint.

The four wars each played a significant role in the great struggle
between the Lord and Satan over the preservation of Israel. The last
one, the Yom Kippur War, illustrates how deeply committed Russia and the
Soviet Union were to supporting the Arab nations against Israel.

Russia and the Yom Kippur War

Egypt and Syria completely surprised Israel when they attacked the
Jewish nation on the most holy day of the year, Yom Kippur. All the
reserve citizen-soldiers were in their synagogues fasting and praying.
During the first few weeks of the war, Israel was in dire straits, and
it looked for a while that the tiny nation might be destroyed by the
massive onslaught. The U.S. was having great difficulty in re-supplying
Israel with military equipment. None of the European nations would
allow American planes to refuel at their airports because of the threat
of an Arab oil embargo.

Gradually, the vaunted Israeli army began to turn the tide and repel the
Egyptian and Syrian forces. Eventually, they were able to push the
Egyptian army across the Suez Canal and surround them in the desert
south of Cairo. Egypt called on its patron, the Soviet Union, to assist
its beleaguered army. Amazingly, the Russian army declared a red alert
and made preparations to send paratroopers to Egypt with relief
supplies. The U.S. in the fall of 1973 was completely engulfed in the
Watergate scandal, but nevertheless was able to announce its own red
alert in response. It was a very tense time in Cold War politics.

The upshot was that Israel relaxed its stranglehold on the Egyptian
army, relief was allowed in, and a cease-fire was accomplished. This
was about as close as the world has come to a preview of the Gog and
Magog war predicted in Ezekiel 38 and 39. That war and Armageddon are
the two primary wars prophesied about restored Israel in the End Times
in the Scripture. In our next article, we will examine how events are
shaping up for these two devastating Israel-centered wars in the End
Times.

Part 13 — the following portion first appeared in the December 1995 Levitt Letter.

Israel is not only the center of past history, but also of biblical
prophecy, which is, after all, future history as revealed by God. The
final restoration of Israel is a central part of biblical prophecy about
the End Times, but it is only one of many parts. There are many good
and exciting things the Lord has promised, including the Rapture of the
Church, the return of Christ to the earth, the Millennial Kingdom, and
the eternal New Jerusalem. However, there are also some very
devastating events in the divine forecast, such as the War of Gog and
Magog, the Great Tribulation and the War of Armageddon.

Preparation for Ezekiel 38–39

The war described in
Ezekiel 38–39
is predicted as occurring in the last days, and there are some
similarities between it and the War of Armageddon. But there are enough
differences that we must conclude it is a different conflict altogether,
and there are indications that it must be seven years before Armageddon.
Such timing would place it at the beginning of the Tribulation. One
possible scenario is that this war, known as Gog and Magog, would occur
between the Rapture of the Church and the beginning of the Tribulation.

In the War of Gog and Magog, the nation to the extreme north of Israel
(Magog) organizes an invasion of Israel. Magog has traditionally been
interpreted as being what we know as Russia, which is to the extreme due
north of Israel. But Russia does not act alone. The Bear of the north
forms an alliance with several specific nations surrounding Israel at a
distance: Persia, Ethiopia and Libya.

The Russo-Islamic Alliance

These countries are predominantly Moslem nations, so the resulting
partnership might be called the Russo-Islamic Alliance, joined together
to destroy Israel. One peculiarity about the Russo-Islamic Alliance is
that it does not include the traditional enemies of Israel, the adjacent
neighbors of Syria, Moab, Edom and Egypt. The absence of these enemies
suggests that there is some kind of pacification between Israel and
these neighbors, perhaps a peace accord that is in place at the time of
the fulfillment of the prophecy. That may be why Israel considers
itself to be secure
(Ezek. 38:8)
before the invasion.

At any rate, the Russo-Islamic Alliance determines that it must invade
Israel to gain a spoil
(Ezek. 38:11–12).
What kind of spoil is the Alliance after? All that the text says is
that there are “cattle and goods” in Israel that attract
Magog, and that they dwell “in the midst of the land
(earth).” One thing is certain: the strategic importance of
Israel in the Middle East. Whoever controls Israel controls the land
bridge between Europe, Africa and Asia. Whatever the attraction, the
Russo-Islamic Alliance attacks Israel in an invasion with overwhelming
forces. The Alliance is convinced that it cannot lose in a conflict with
the relatively puny nation of Israel.

The Surprising Destruction of Gog and Magog

However, the Russo-Islamic forces have made a serious miscalculation.
They have not reckoned that the Lord God of the universe promised over
2,500 years ago to protect Israel and repel this very invasion. It will
not be the valiant citizen soldiers of Israel who will accomplish this
victory, though, but the supernatural power of the Almighty. There will
be earthquakes and fire from heaven, and the powerful invading armies
will “fall upon the mountains of Israel” and will
fall upon the open fields” (Ezek. 39:4–5). To the
astonishment of Israel and the world, the hostile invasion with
overwhelming numbers and resources is a total failure. The invaders of
Israel suffer an 85% casualty rate
(Ezek. 39:2).
Dead soldiers and military debris are spread out all over the country,
while the relatively tiny army of Israel comes through the contest
unscathed.

The Russo-Islamic effort to destroy Israel will collapse in a great
dispirited heap. In the aftermath of the war, the Jewish nation will
have to devote seven months to decontaminating the countryside of all
the dead invaders’ bodies
(Ezek. 39:11–12).
Special note is also made of the use of the military debris left behind.
Israel will use this accumulation of trash for fuel for a period of
seven years
(Ezek. 39:9–10).
The length of time is not incidental. The seven years mentioned by
Ezekiel is precisely the same amount of time indicated by his
contemporary, Daniel, in the famous Seventieth Week. It is apparent
that Ezekiel and Daniel are referring to the same period of future time,
which is the Tribulation.

The Stage Is Set for The Tribulation

In this prophetic scenario, with the disappearance of the Church through
the Rapture and the devastation of the Middle East in the collapse of
the Russo-Islamic invasion (Gog and Magog War), the stage is set for the
rise of the Antichrist and the dire developments of the Tribulation.

What we have witnessed over the past 150 years or so on the world scene
has led us inexorably toward this scenario portrayed in the Scriptures.
The nations have been pre-occupied with two world wars and numerous
smaller conflicts and an expanding marketplace. On the other hand, the
Lord and Satan have been engaged in a titanic struggle over the
restoration of the tiny nation of Israel in preparation for the
temporary reign of the Antichrist, and the glorious permanent return of
the true Messiah, Christ Jesus.

The Danger of Post Soviet Russia

In our present generation during the Cold War, the mighty Soviet Union
seemed to be the perfect vehicle for the fulfillment of Magog, with its
experience in supplying the Islamic enemies of Israel in their several
wars against the revived Jewish nation. In the Yom Kippur War, almost
all of the pieces of the prophetic puzzle seemed to be in place for the
fulfillment of Ezekiel’s predictions. But the event was delayed,
and the Rapture, Gog and Magog, and the Tribulation were postponed for a
later time.

The Soviet Union has collapsed in the ash heap of discredited
international communism. How, then, will Ezekiel’s prophecy about
Gog and Magog be fulfilled? As we have seen, the sinister Russian bear
is alive and well. In the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union,
the Russians show a disturbing political schizophrenia. Some desire the
blessings of freedom, democracy and even Christianity. But there are
many political and military leaders who miss the power and prestige of
the old system. Some Russian generals and military hardware have
actually found their way into such havens as Iran (Persia). Also, there
is a rise in Russia of anti-Semitism, and the pressure on the several
million Jewish people in Russia is growing at an alarming rate.

Thus, the new Russia could turn out to be just as dangerous to Israel as
the old Soviet Union. It would not be unthinkable for the upcoming
leaders in Russia to take their nation down the same path of cooperation
with the Islamic countries against Israel. Whatever the near term
developments, Ezekiel’s prophecy is still on track, and the war of
Gog and Magog will come to pass just as the Lord has predicted, in His
time and in His way.

Part 14 — the following portion first appeared in the January 1996 Levitt Letter.

As we have seen throughout this series of articles, for at least 100
years God has providentially arranged for the restoration of the nation
Israel. He has accomplished this using the energies of Zionism and
Premillennial Christianity, along with the aftermath of World Wars I and
II. Satan has fought this biblically-prophesied restoration every step
of the way, through the pogroms of Russia, the death camps of Nazi
Germany, and the fanatical wars and terrorism of Islamic Arabs backed by
international Communism. The fury of Satan to stop this third
restoration of the Jews to the Land matches all he did to keep the first
restoration (under Moses and Joshua) and the second restoration (under
Ezra and Nehemiah) from coming to pass. In all of this time, Israel has
been the center of the divine scheme of history, while nations have
risen and fallen, kings and presidents have come and gone, and the
church has both evangelized and apostatized throughout the world.

We have now come to the 1990s. The revived state of Israel has been in
existence for over forty years. The Iron Curtain and the Soviet Union
have been dismantled before our eyes with the swiftness with which they
arose on the scene of human history decades before. New conditions
exist, so much so that politicians are calling this the New World Order.
What of Israel now?

The Post Cold War Era

The U.S. has survived the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and stands
today as the only superpower left on the earth. This has led many to
believe the world is a much safer place. America is dismantling its
armies, closing its military bases, and destroying its weapons of mass
destruction. In some ways, though, the world has new and perhaps more
dangerous causes of instability and warfare.

Russia, having lost its Communist empire, is in a great national debate
over whether to join the western democratic societies in development, or
revert to some super-nationalistic, threatening power. There are signs
that the latter forces are winning out, and they are manifesting a
strong anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bias.

There are rumors, confirmed and unconfirmed, about Russian generals
chafing over their demotion in importance, bringing their nuclear
weapons experience and even complete submarines to such nations as Iran.
Leaders are coming to the fore who have a deep resentment against the
West and against the Jewish people.

Islam Becomes More Prominent

Islam is now filling the vacuum left by the Soviet Union in much of the
world. The southern republics, now independent from the Soviet Union,
are reasserting their Moslem heritage, and are fast aligning with the
Islamic nations of the Middle East. Iran (Persia), under its
Ayatollahs, is one of the most virulent of the anti-Israel Islamic
states and has a long history of cooperation with the Russians, even
during the time of the Soviet empire. Bible believers are particularly
interested in this cooperation between Iran and Russia since Persia is
of one the nations specifically mentioned by Ezekiel as joining Russia
in the war described in his
chapters 38–39.

Iraq, under Sadam Hussein, was the cause of the only mobilized warfare
since the beginning of the Post Cold War Era. That fanatic dictatorship
invaded Kuwait and was threatening eastern Saudi Arabia. If successful
in his schemes, Hussein would have gained control of half the known oil
reserves of the world. The nations of the earth would not tolerate Iraq
to have such a stranglehold on the international economy. They banded
under American leadership to oust the Iraqi army out of Kuwait. In an
effort to rally the Arab nations to his cause, Hussein aimed his feared
scud missiles mostly toward Israel, a non-participant in the war. Once
again, the Satanic hatred of Israel reared its ugly head in this
conflict, and Israeli citizens had to run to shelters and don gas masks,
not knowing what poisons the Butcher of Baghdad might be hurling at
them, as the scuds rained on their cities.

The Rise of The Intifada

In the aftermath of the Gulf War, the fanatic Islamic Arabs began and
intensified a new tactic against Israel. They had tried to defeat and
dislodge the Jewish state unsuccessfully in four wars. Those efforts
ended in humiliating failure. At this point they began a new tactic
called the Intifada. This was a public relations campaign for world
opinion, in which the Arabs who lived in Judea and Samaria (the
so-called West Bank) staged riots against Israel, coupled with terrorist
attacks against civilians in Israeli cities.

Ever since the Six Day War in 1967, the Israelis had been constructing
Jewish settlements in Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights for security
purposes. These settlements were not glorified trailer parks, but
beautiful suburban developments with lovely homes, schools and parks.
Israelis live in these settlements and commute to work in Jerusalem, Tel
Aviv or Tiberias. One of the primary goals of the Intifada was to stop
the spread of these Jewish settlements. Gradually, the Intifada gained
the sympathy and support of the world press and governments. Israel,
the classic underdog of world history, was transformed in the eyes of
the world into being the oppressor of the underdog Arabs, who assumed
the name “Palestinians.”

American Pressure on Israel

The United Nations and American Presidents Bush and Clinton all pushed
hard on Israel to cease and desist the building of settlements. I, for
one, am not at all proud of the part our government has had in forcing
Israel to relinquish to its sworn Islamic enemies control over strategic
parts of the Land that the Almighty has given to them. If the Jewish
people wish to negotiate away their security and portions of the Land
God has given to them, that is between them and the Almighty. Gentile
governments, however, should not be engaged in forcing such measures on
Israel. This comes dangerously close to cursing Israel, and God warns
that He will curse those who do so. We who belong to the One called the
Son of David should disassociate ourselves from the governmental
policies that impose these burdens on Israel in the name of peace.

In our next article, we shall observe how the current events are moving
the world ever closer to the prophetic events described in the
Scriptures: the war of Ezekiel 38–39, the Tribulation, Armageddon,
and the glorious return of Christ to redeem Israel and rule the earth.
We will also consider the role of the Church at this time in world
history, as we eagerly await our Blessed Hope, the imminent Rapture
return of the Lord Jesus Christ to take us to be with Himself.

Part 15 — the following portion first appeared in the February 1996 Levitt Letter.

Throughout this series, my purpose has been to concentrate on the
centrality of Israel in God’s plan, not only in the ancient past,
but in modern history — now. The modern state of Israel did not
just happen; it is not an accident of history; it is the result of the
creative power of the Almighty. Just as in ancient times, when the Lord
used human agencies and nations such as Egypt, Babylonia, Persia and
Rome to accomplish His will concerning Israel, so He has done in our
time. During the last couple of lifetimes, He has used Zionism, Britain,
the U.S., Europe and the United Nations to bring about a revived Israel.
And just as Satan used Pharaoh, Nebucadnezzar and Titus to attempt to
thwart God’s ancient plan for Israel, so he has been occupied in
using Hitler, Brezhnev, Nasser and Arafat to try to disrupt the modern
divine plan for Israel.

Our Myopia Hides The Forest from The Trees

The sad thing is we are mostly too preoccupied with our own myopic
concerns to realize what He has done. For most of us, our world
revolves so much around our own affairs that we fail to see the big
picture, especially the big picture from the divine standpoint. If we
are self-centered, the only things we notice are those things that
directly affect us — our jobs, our homes, our finances, etc. If we
are politically motivated, our world revolves around who wins and loses
on the political spectrum. If we are nationalistic, we are primarily
concerned with the history of our country and its struggles. If we are
spiritually oriented, our interests may spread no further than the
events of our local church.

None of these preoccupations are wrong in themselves, but do they keep
us from being cognizant of the great overall concerns of the Living God?
After all, what has the Lord been preoccupied with throughout history?
If the Scriptures are our guide, we observe that before the first coming
of Christ, He was concerned about the preparation of His chosen nation,
Israel, for that Advent.

The Primary Divine Activities for Two Thousand Years

Since His first coming, the Lord has been occupied now for almost 2,000
years with the development of His believing Church, the Body of Christ,
in every nation under Heaven. Along with that, though, God has been
involved in a parallel activity. There has been the careful
preservation of the Jewish people through the long Diaspora, during
which Satan and most nations have persecuted them relentlessly for every
possible cause and for no cause whatever. The professing Church (I
speak to our shame) has even been involved in this persecution, invoking
the name of the Redeemer of Israel, Christ Jesus, to attack His own
physical brethren.

The Diaspora, however, is coming to a close. In our time, even during
the Church Age, the restoration of Israel is beginning to happen before
our very eyes. It is something the world never expected or even dreamed
would happen. The Church, even though it has possessed the Bible for
all these centuries, has done much to suppress the oft-repeated biblical
concept that Israel has a future in the plan and purpose of God.
It’s almost as though the Church has been jealous of Israel, and
afraid that if it recognized Israel’s future promises, it would
somehow demean Christ and the Church. Nothing could be further from the
truth.

The Distinct Destinies of The Church and Israel

It is when the Church recognizes Israel that the true distinctiveness
and glory of the Body of Christ become evident. This called-out Body,
composed of believing Jews and Gentiles during the Church Age, is the
highest entity the Lord has created, superior to the universe, all the
angels, the nations, and Israel. Our Head, our Husband, our Friend, is
the Son of God Himself. We shall reign with Him when He rules the
earth, and our 12 Founding Apostles will rule over the 12 tribes of
Israel. The angels themselves will study us forever as the greatest
exhibit of God’s grace, and we will actually judge the angels.
This is our destiny and I, for one, would not trade my position in the
Body of Christ with any creature in the universe! Why, then, be
disturbed over what God has promised the Jewish people? Why be jealous
over the future destiny of Israel? How shortsighted of us! Indeed, the
Church’s finest and most distinctive hour will be when Israel is
restored nationally and spiritually to the Lord at the Second Coming of
Christ. We will return from Heaven with Him as His glorious Bride to
rule Israel and the world. What more could we ask?

So if we are not to suffer from spiritual myopia, we must recognize what
the Lord is doing with Israel, not shrinking from it as though our own
interests will be overshadowed. Rather, we rejoice in these
developments, with full assurance that our own redemption draws ever
closer. What, then, are we to expect in the future?

The Future Divine Schedule

The modern miracle of the restoration of Israel, although mostly in
unbelief, is but the prelude of even more climactic developments. A
brief outline of the events the Lord has revealed in the Bible is as
follows:

  • The Rapture of the true Church, our Blessed Hope
  • The War of Gog and Magog
  • Antichrist’s Contract with Israel (7-Year Tribulation)
  • The Abomination of Desolation
  • The War of Armageddon
  • The Salvation of Israel & Judgment of the Nations
  • The Millennial Reign of Christ
  • The Great White Throne Judgment
  • The New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem

It is beyond the scope of these articles to go into the above subjects
in great detail. May I suggest that you study the books that Zola and I
have written on the above topics, including
Raptured,
Satan in the Sanctuary, and
Coming: The End! Russia & Israel in Prophecy.
These will give you a good working knowledge about what the Scriptures
teach concerning the great future events.

Suffice it to say that we are eagerly looking forward to the imminent
return of Christ in the event called the Rapture, described in
I Thess. 4:16–18
and elsewhere. He could come at any moment and fulfill
the Feast of Trumpets, in which He will call the believing Church to be
with Him and give us (both the living and already-dead Church saints)
our glorified bodies. What a great day that will be!

Nevertheless, the world will continue on without the believing Church
inexorably toward its time of judgment and the wrath of God. The first
event on this timetable of judgment appears to be the war described in
Ezekiel 38–39,
known as Gog and Magog. As we have seen earlier,
the world is moving ever closer to the alignments there described. The
scenario of the nation to the extreme north joining with Persia,
Ethiopia and Libya, seems quite plausible with the Russo-Islamic
alliance that is currently shaping up against Israel. It is well within
the realm of reality that what Ezekiel described over 2,500 years ago
could be mobilized quickly in today’s world, and set the stage for
the Antichrist and the Tribulation.

Thus, Israel as the Center of Divine History in the distant and recent
past, prepares the way for Israel as the Center of Divine Prophecy in
the future. We who love Christ the Messiah and believe His Word should
be fully aware of the significance of these developments. It should
spur us on all the more to proclaim the blessings of His Gospel to a
lost world, as the days draw close to His return.