Israel – The One To Watch
Now Think On This
"Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Matthew 24:32-35 NASU)
Jesus, the Messiah, spoke directly to His disciples when asked when the end of the age would come, along with His return. “As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3 NASU)
He then proceeded to tell them about the signs to be aware of - wars, rumors or wars, earthquakes, famines and other birth pangs.
But the one event that would be the determining factor in starting the countdown to the end of the age would be “the fig tree”. In our Scripture studies we have come to know that the fig tree represents the land of Israel, occupied by the Jewish nation. When the fig tree put forth its leaves, we would know that summer was near. Jesus said when this occurred He would then be right at the door, ready to come again.
In May of 1948, the historical, undeniable prophesy of Isaiah 66:8 was fulfilled. Israel became a nation in our time, with the newly declared Jewish nation taking its rightful place on the land.
"Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.”
So what’s the big deal about Israel, and the Jews, as the ones to watch? And why, as believers in the nations, should we Gentiles, part of the Church of Yeshua (Jesus) support and stand with this very small nation, having less than 15 million people?
In 1979 Laurie and I, still newlyweds after two years, were part of a church group in LaSalle/Peru, Illinois. The former Baptist pastors, Stan and Dixie Buren, had gathered a small group of charismatics around them. Many of the members were seeking to be more involved with a national Christian movement called discipleship. To better achieve that purpose, we were invited to a conference held by Shiloh Fellowship in East Lansing, MI. The gathering was at Mackinac Island, in the very north of the great state of Michigan. Laurie and I made the long trip, with our two boys, Josh and Ben in arms, along with a few other carloads.
As a young couple (24 and 20 years old) we were fervently seeking the Lord. We wanted, in our heart of hearts, to be right in the middle of what He was doing. We were going to do what it took to follow Him, trust Him, and see His will come, on earth as it is in heaven. We were strongly committed.
The name of one of the speakers, Derek Prince, was familiar to us. He was an author too. The magazine, New Wine, published in Fort Lauderdale, had regular articles featuring five Bible teachers on a monthly basis. They were Derek, Don Basham, Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson and Ern Baxter. Personally, I devoured the messages each month, appreciating everything that was written. Derek was one of my favorites of the five.
(To this day I have kept all the editions of the magazine’s publications since 1984. Dick Leggatt, an editor of the magazine over its life span, is now President of DPM-USA, Derek Prince Ministries. Thank you Dick. And eight years after that Mackinac Island conference, in 1987, I began my eight years of working for Derek Prince Ministries, with David Selby, International Director, as my boss. Thank you David!)
Derek spoke on the last night of the conference, Saturday, and shared a message based on a little pamphlet he had written. It was called “Our Debt To Israel.” The words, spoken straight forward, hit my heart. I knew there was something very special about what he was saying, and that I needed to understand it. For this I am eternally grateful, as he made the Bible’s words on the subject clear, as to why Israel.
Pointing out that the Bible itself was written and accurately kept over these several centuries, by God’s chosen people, the Jews, was the starting point. All of the writers - Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Nehemiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah and more – were all Jews. Because of this reason alone we have a huge debt to the Jewish people.
But the most important reason of all, in regards to our debt to Israel and the Jewish people, is the historical fact that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, was, is, and ever shall be a Jew. He came down from heaven, God becoming man, to the nation of Israel two centuries ago, to bring salvation to the world, both for Jew and Gentile alike.
In our daily reading of the Torah, the Scriptures, the Bible, as believers, we can know and understand the Lord’s heart for the Jewish people, through which He came, and His everlasting love for them now. We can see the fulfillment of His promises of restoration to them, how He has brought them back to their rightful Promised and Holy Land. It is now our part of our debt payment to them, to stand with them to the end of time.
Having been to Israel 11 times as of this writing in October 2015, my heart for Israel and the Jewish people continues to grow in love and appreciation, with a firm, long standing commitment. Our ministry, Love For His People, founded by Laurie and I in April of 2010, monthly send financial and prayer support to Jewish families in the Land. We are always looking to do more, as God the Father directs.
Why Israel? Because without the Jews, which remain as God’s eternal choice to reveal Himself to the nations, we would not have had a Bible. Nor would we have a living Messiah/Savior.
The Word says that in the last days all the nations will again rise up against these whom have continually been blamed for everything that has gone wrong. Really? Well, it is about time that someone like us, as believers, prove them all liars, and that His eternal Word is true.
Why Israel? Because God said so. And that is certainly enough for me and my house. May your heart and commitment be to do the same.
God the Father Himself promised that He would take the offspring of Abraham, born through the promised son Isaac, and not Ishmael, and give them the Land of Promise.
“Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?" And Abraham said to God, "Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!" Then God said: "No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.
And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year." Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.” (Genesis 17:17-22 NKJV)
God the Father again reaffirmed His promise, this time to both Jacob and Joseph, descendants of Abraham and Isaac.
As written in the Torah (Bible), Genesis 48:1-4, “Now it came about after these things that Joseph was told, "Behold, your father is sick." So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him. When it was told to Jacob, "Behold, your son Joseph has come to you," Israel collected his strength and sat up in the bed. Then Jacob said to Joseph, " God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and He said to me, 'Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous, and I will make you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your descendants after you for an everlasting possession.' (NASU)
An e-mail circulated in 2013, and because of the accurate statements given, I wanted to share it with you. (Sorry, I do not know the original source, to give due credit.)
Benjamin Netanyahu was asked by a reporter about Israel's occupation of Arab lands. His response was, "It's our land." The reporter was stunned.
Please read below "It's our land..." It has important information, since fair and accurate reporting from the media is sorely lacking, and facts are often lost, or even lied about, in the jumble.
"Crash Course on the Arab Israeli Conflict"--compiled by a Christian university professor:
1. Nationhood and Jerusalem: Israel became a nation in 1312 BCE, two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BCE, the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 CE lasted no more than 22 years.
5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: in 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.
11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.
12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own people's lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.
13. The Arab-Israeli Conflict: the Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.
14. The PLO's Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them.
15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.
16. The UN Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.
18. The UN was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.
19. The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
20. The UN was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
Many times in Scripture the Lord God of Israel has promised, and made good on it, that He would return the Jews to their land.
In Amos 9:11-15 it is written:
“On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name," says the Lord who does this thing.
"Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord, "When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up.” (NKJV)
And again in Acts 15:15-18 it is written:
“And the words of the Prophets are in complete harmony with this for it is written, ‘“After this, I will return; and I will rebuild the fallen tent of David. I will rebuild its ruins, I will restore it, so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, that is, all the Goyim who have been called by my name,” says Adonai, who is doing these things. All this has been known for ages.’ (Complete Jewish Bible)
He has done it, even as He spoke through the prophets centuries ago. The Jews have returned to the Promised Land.
These are incredible times. We have to ask what our role should be. What will we tell our grandchildren about what we did when there was a turning point in Jewish destiny, an opportunity to make a difference?
We stand for Israel, and continually watch what the God of Israel is doing in the Middle East.
The Jewish nation has been the one to keep our eyes on, even as the “apple of God’s eye” is surrounded by her enemies. The nation of Israel’s prophetic destiny is unfolding before our very eyes.
So keep your eyes open wide and your ears attuned to the Holy Spirit.
Now think on this,
Love For His People. Inc.
P.S. We sure could use your help to bless the families we do in Israel, India, Pakistan, Vietnam and the hurting ones here in the USA. Please give out of the abundance you have been given.
In May, 2106, my wife Laurie and I will be traveling to Israel to spend time we our friends. We support them in word and deed.
Love For His People, Inc. is a charitable, not-for-profit USA humanitarian organization started in 2010 to share the love of the Father in the nations.
If these messages minister to you, please consider sending a charitable gift of $5-$25 today, and maybe each month, to help us bless families we know in Israel, whom we consistently help through our humanitarian ministry. Your tax deductible contributions receive a receipt for each donation. Fed. ID #27-1633858.
Click here for safe ONLINE GIFT GIVING THROUGH OUR WEBSITE using major credit cards: Love For His People. If you don't have a PayPal account you can also use your credit card or bank account (where available).
Contribution checks can be sent to:
Love For His People, Inc. P.O. Box414 Pineville, NC 28134
Todah rabah! (Hebrew – Thank you very much.)
Please share Now Think On This with your friends.
Facebook pages: Steve Martin and Love For His People
Twitter: martinlighthous, LovingHisPeople
Full website: Love For His People
YouTube: Love For His People Inc.
Now Think On This #197 “Israel – The One To Watch” by Steve Martin
Date: In the year of our Lord 2015 (10.27.15) Tuesday at 6:30 pm in Charlotte, NC
All previous editions of Now Think On This can be found on this Blog, and on the website: Now Think On This
I would be most grateful if you'd share this encouraging word with your family and friends. You can easily use the social media icons below. Thanks! Steve
I would be most grateful if you'd share this encouraging word with your family and friends. You can easily use the social media icons below. Thanks! Steve