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Printed News Letter

June 2011 Issue

Messianic Signs - Part 4
Jun 1st, 2011
Art Sadlier

William Blackstone writes of Israel, “Their wonderful preservation as a distinct people through the persecutions, troubles and wanderings of the past 1,800 years down to the present moment is a standing miracle, attesting to the truth of God’s Word.

Fredrick the Great said to his chaplain, Doctor if your religion is a true one, it ought to be capable of a very brief and simple proof; will you give me an evidence of its truth in one word.” The Chaplin answered with one word, “Israel.”

Israel is proof beyond any possibility of a doubt that the Bible is God’s Word. The Old Testament prophets gave a number of signs that would precede the return of Messiah to Israel. These are not signs for the rapture; the rapture is a sign-less event that is and always has been imminent. These signs are events and situations that would precede the second coming of Messiah to the earth to set up the kingdom for Israel. These events cast a long shadow across the world; we know that the signs we see now beginning to be fulfilled will not be fully completed until the seven year tribulation period is over. If we see these signs now beginning to appear we know that the rapture is at least seven years nearer than the second coming of Christ. The rapture is certainly drawing near.

Luke 21:28, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (rapture) draweth nigh.”

Up to this point we have looked at 13 messianic signs.

Sign # 14 - Irrigation

Amos 9:11-13, “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.”

We see an interesting sight in verse 13, we see going on simultaneously in one field, ploughing, sowing and reaping. I had always thought that would take place during the millennium. The fact is that this is going on today in Israel, through the ingenuity of Israeli’s at irrigation. They now grow several crops each year in the same land.

They mix fertilizer with water and drip it right onto the roots of the plants with no waste of water. Israel now has a six month rainy season and six months which are hot and dry. Through irrigation and crop rotation you can see in the same field, on one side ploughing, in the middle harvesting and on the other side planting crops.

Amos prophesied that 2,800 years ago and today it is happening. I believe what we are now seeing is but a foretaste of what the future is for Israel.

Sign # 15 - Israel to be a Democracy

Israel does not have a king today, someday they will, but not until Christ returns.

Zechariah 12:5-6a, “And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors of Judah....”

Here in Zechariah 12 the subject is the last days and the Day of the Lord. The statement is that they would not have a king at that time, instead they will have governors.

Hosea 3:4 affirms the same thing, “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim.” Hosea proclaimed that 2,800 years ago. “No king” “No sacrifice” “No Temple” “No Priesthood.”

“Many days” = until now 2,800 years later, the next king will be Jesus Christ, Israel’s Messiah. But prior to Christ’s coming to the throne, Israel would have governors. Today Israel is a democratic republic with elected governors or M.K’s, (Members of the Knesset).

Does God know the end from the beginning? These signs are given to prove God’s sovereignty. Unbelieving hearts will not respond, no matter how much evidence God gives to them.

Sign # 16 –The Wars of Israel

Zechariah prophesied about some future wars Israel would fight. In those wars Israel would be totally and miraculously victorious.

Four things about these wars of Israel:

1. This prophecy was written about 600 BC. It cannot refer to Israel’s Old Testament wars.

2. From that date until 1948 Israel never fielded an army. Until May 1948 this prophecy had not been fulfilled.

3. Zechariah’s prophecy cannot refer to the millennial kingdom. All weapons of war will be destroyed before the kingdom begins. The final war at the end of the thousand years will be fought by the Lord Himself, (see Revelation 20:9).

4. Zechariah cannot be referring to the tribulation period. In the two attacks on Israel in the tribulation period it is clearly not Israel but the Lord Himself, who destroys Israel’s enemies, (Revelation 19:15; Ezekiel 38:18-22).

The question remains, when do these wars of Israel occur? The only time left for these wars to occur is between the time Israel became a nation in 1948 and the beginning of the tribulation period. During this time the prophecies of Zechariah have been fulfilled with one more major war yet to come, the war of Psalm 83, Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 35-36.

Since 1948 three major wars have taken place in which Israel has been utterly victorious just as Zechariah described. Zechariah 12:6 we have a description of the situation in which those wars would be fought, “In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.” That is exactly what happened in 1948, 1967 and 1973. In the 1967 war Israel actually regained the old historical part of the city of Jerusalem, “....and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.” This happened in a time when Israel does not have a king but is a democratic republic; that is the present hour.

Notice the description of the Israeli’s in these wars, “ an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and they shall devour all the people round about....” Those three colourful metaphors describe exactly what Israel did to the Arab armies during the three wars between them in the last 60 years. Zechariah’s prophesies have been fulfilled exactly in our lifetime. “On the right and on the left,” Israel was surrounded by attacking armies, yet they defeated them all.

Fulfilled prophecy proves that God is the sovereign Lord of the universe who knows the end from the beginning and that the Bible is His Word.

We drew your attention to the prophecy fulfilled in 1967, “Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place.” In each of these three wars Israel expanded their possession of the Promised Land.

Let us look briefly at those three wars.

The War of 1948

Shortly after Israel declared itself to be an independent state; the Egyptian air force bombed Tel Aviv. Then the combined armies of Syria, Lebanon and Iraq moved to take over the cities of the north and the Galilee area.

The battle tested, well armed army of Jordan moved against Jerusalem and Bethlehem. At the same time a large well armed Egyptian army moved to occupy Gaza and Tel Aviv.

Defeat seemed certain, there was no way a handful untrained, poorly equipped Jewish fighters could stand the might of five well equipped Arab armies.

US Secretary of State Gen. George Marshall warned that Israel would be annihilated in 72 hours. The war lasted six months and Israel trounced the Arabs and drove them out of Israel.

In a Kibbutz south of Tel Aviv a handful of Israeli farmers held off the whole Egyptian army. Sixteen Israeli’s were killed and 400 Egyptians died. Four days later reinforcements arrived and drove the Egyptians back to Egypt.

It was a miracle! It was the fulfilment of Zechariah’s prophecy.

It was a token of what was to follow in the wars of 1967 and 1973. I believe it is pattern for the war of Psalm 83 that lies on the immediate horizon.

The War of 1967

After the war of 1948 the Russians re-armed the Arabs with the finest military weapons. They planned a war to utterly destroy Israel. It would be 200 million Arabs against 2 million Jews.

On May 3, 1967 the combined armies of Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Algeria and Lebanon attacked. The tiny little nation of Israel responded and within six days they conquered the Sinai, Golan Heights, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It was an incredible, miraculous victory of biblical proportions.

Let us go back to Zechariah 12:6 again, “In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.” Again the Word of God was fulfilled to the letter.

The Bible is the Word, Every line, every jot and every tittle. Front and back and in the middle, The Bible is the Word of God.

Unsaved person you can trust the Word, both for its warnings and for its promised blessings. John 3:36 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 6:47 says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”

Believer you can also trust the Word of God. John 15:16 contains a wonderful promise to believers, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” You can be a fruit bearer, are you?

The War of 1973, Yom Kippur War

The Arabs re-armed again. October 16, 1973 was not only the Jewish Sabbath but it was also Yom Kippur, the most holy day in Israel. No Jew is to eat, work, travel or listen to the radio or TV on that day. A large part of the Jewish army was on leave.

On that day without warning the Arab armies launched their greatest assault on Israel. They attacked with 1,000 aircraft, 4,000 tanks and 800,000 men. Israel was totally caught by surprise! It took some time to mobilize. Israel should have been annihilated.

Again Zechariah 12:6 was fulfilled. Within two weeks the bulk of the Arab armies were driven back and destroyed, the rest fled for their lives.

Israel was poised to take Cairo and Damascus, which they voluntarily declined to do.

Those wars were like something out of the Old Testament, with Israel routing far superior armies. For 25 years after that 200 million Arabs with much of the world’s oil wealth were fearful of little Israel. They sent their children to throw stones at the Israeli army and to blow themselves up to kill few Jews. For 25 years they dared not attack Israel.

Is the Bible the Word of God? Does God know the end from the beginning? Can you trust God? Can you trust His Word?

These signs tell us that we have come down to the end of the age. They indicate that Israel’s Messiah is soon to come. If the second coming of Christ is indicated by these signs, the rapture is at least seven years nearer.

A shout! A trumpet note! A glorious presence in the assure sky! A gasp, A thrill of joy, And we are with Him in the twinkling of an eye.

The trump of God is soon to sound. The body of Christ is soon to go to heaven. The day of God`s vengeance is about to begin. If you are not saved you are in great peril!

“Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head, (Ezekiel 33:4).

The Proposition of These Messages

God has proven beyond any possibility of a doubt that He is the living, sovereign, all knowing, all powerful Lord of the universe, who controls all of history. He has done that through fulfilled prophecy. “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. (Isaiah 42:9).

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