Israel is a tiny country with a population of about 9 million and a landmass comparable to the state of New Jersey—the fifth smallest state in the U.S. It is 290 miles in length and only 85 miles wide. Israel’s role on the world stage should seemingly be relatively minor, yet hardly a day goes by when events in or concerning Israel do not dominate international headlines. What many today seem to overlook is that Israel didn’t just rise from the rocky land of Palestine in 1948; it has been in existence for centuries, although known by various names.
At the end of World War II with all its horrors of the Holocaust, the devastated Jewish survivors in Europe longed to travel to Palestine, their biblical homeland. Their dreams were to be delayed when Britain was placed in control of Palestine by mandate of the United Nations and with a growing dilemma: How to walk the tightrope between world opinion and the Arabs. After the shock and revulsion of the Holocaust, much of the world increasingly demanded that the Jews be allowed to emigrate to Palestine, which was thought to be a place of safety for them.
Arabs in the region were adamantly opposed to the move. Greatly frustrated by the situation, the British announced in February 1947 that control of Palestine would be ceded to the United Nations, even then a hotbed of anti-Semitism. In November 1947, the UN offered a plan for partition that would divide the region into an Arab state and a Jewish state, calling for British troops to leave Palestine by August 1948.
The Jews welcomed the proposal; the Arabs scorned it. Some British leaders felt it would be impossible for a Jewish state to flourish in the face of such hostility from the Arabs. In the interim, Jewish leaders moved forward with plans for statehood. A provisional government was established under David Ben-Gurion in March 1948. Two months later, on May 14, as Egyptian fighter-bombers roared overhead and British troops readied for departure, Ben-Gurion and his political partners gathered at the museum in Tel Aviv. At 16:00 [4:00 PM], Ben-Gurion opened the ceremony by banging his gavel on the table, prompting a spontaneous rendition of Hatikvah, soon to be Israel’s national anthem, from the 250 guests.
The following day, Israel was attacked by the Arab nations that ring her borders. Only through the grace and protection of God was Israel able to survive. Again and again over the years, this tiny island of freedom has suffered assaults directed by evil men dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish people.
Today Israel is more isolated than ever. Security is a never-ending struggle as all of Israel’s neighbors either actively oppose her or at least harbor those who do. Terrorist groups thrive in Gaza, which shares Israel’s border with Egypt and harbors Hamas. Lebanon is home to Hezbollah, which, along with Hamas, is an Iranian proxy. The ongoing Syrian civil war has opened the door to an influx of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, an avowed enemy of Israel.
The Seven Feasts of Israel were moedim—appointed times—that God commanded His People to observe at certain points in the year. They gave a structure to the lives of the Jewish people, as well as reminders that God had cared for them in the past and would do so in the future. Just as we mark special days and events on our calendars, the Jewish people looked forward to these days of celebration, worship, repentance, and remembrance. Though many centuries have passed since God instructed Moses to detail His plans to Israel, His calendar is not yet complete.
There are no events that take God by surprise because He knows the end from the beginning. The spring feasts have been prophetically fulfilled, and the events they foretold have already come to pass. As we look ahead to the fall feasts and the future they portray, we can be just as confident that God will keep all of His promises, and these events will come to pass as well. He has a wonderful future in store for us that goes far beyond this life into a lasting and unbreakable fellowship and union with Him. The feasts of Israel are a time for us to look not just at the past, but also at the future with an eager anticipation for what God has in store.
There is no doubt that we are living in a crisis moment where history and destiny intersect. The signs are there for all those with eyes to see. God has called us to take a stand in defense of His Chosen People in these prophetic days, and as we celebrate the feasts we are reminded of this promise from the Lord: “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28).
It was common during Bible times for a young Jewish couple to be betrothed to be married, followed by the departure of the prospective husband. He would return to prepare a place for the new couple to live. When it was done, he would come back for a great wedding feast, and then they would begin their lives together in their new home. Jesus talked about this practice in the parable He told of the wise and foolish virgins—one group was prepared for the bridegroom to come, and the other was not.
There is a great feast being prepared for us…and God calls each of us to prepare ourselves well. That way when we see Him, we will not be ashamed.
The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!” Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!” Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God” (Revelation 19:4-9).
Almost 40 years ago, I wrote my first book. It was called Israel: America’s Key to Survival. It was true then, and it is true now. Israel is vital to America’s future. While this is true in the physical world, it is even more true in the spiritual world. God’s blessings and curses on nations, pronounced thousands of years ago and recorded in Genesis 12:3, are still in full effect. And it is crucial to our future that we continue to stand with and for Israel and the Jewish people.
The link between America and Israel began long before the rebirth of the Jewish state in 1948. Indeed, even before there was an independent nation of America, our forefathers were strong supporters of the Jewish people. To understand the importance of our support for Israel, and the ways in which God has blessed America for that support, we must understand our true history.
In the early 1900s, Palestine was a desert wasteland in the hands of the unfriendly Turks. America held much greater promise for the displaced Jews of the world. Many came to view the U.S. as their Promised Land; they were comfortable in the U.S. and felt no need to seek peace elsewhere. This sentiment was not without repercussions, however. As many of the indigent Jews of Europe flooded to the U.S., it not so much answered what some deemed to be “the Jewish problem” but brought it to America. U.S. leaders determined the influx was too great and another answer would have to be sought.
About a century before Israel’s rebirth, the groundwork had been laid within the American conscience for its support of and relationship with the descendants of Isaac. The call had begun for America to become an international ambassador to help the Jews re-establish a land and state. Over the next century, almost every American president would be faced with the issue of being part of or ignoring prophecy stating that the people of Isaac would again have their own homeland. And events came to a head in 1948 under one of our most unlikely “accidental” presidents, Harry S Truman.
At 6:11 PM, White House Press Secretary Charlie Ross read the following statement dated May 14, 1948, approved and signed by President Harry Truman: “This government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the [provisional] government thereof. The United States recognized the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new [State of Israel].”
Truman recorded his thoughts in his diary, writing: “One of the proudest days of my life occurred at [6:11] p.m. on Friday, May 14, when I was able to announce recognition of the new State of Israel by the government of the United States. In view of the long friendship of the American people for the Zionist ideal, it was particularly appropriate that our government should be the first to recognize the new state.”
A battle is being waged between darkness and light, Babylon and Jerusalem. This is a sure sign that Jesus is coming soon! The Bible says: “From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take” (1 Chronicles 12:32). God is calling today to those who understand the times. For more than four decades, I have seen this battle coming and have been crying out. The vast majority of Christians laughed in disbelief, but that laughter stopped on 9/11.
The battle has not been won. Like a tidal wave, judgment is heading toward America again. Only the remnant that hears what the Spirit of God is saying can stop this coming slaughter. America is cursing what God has blessed (Israel). Does the Bible reveal what will happen to a nation that does this? A thousand times, yes! Has America’s future been revealed? A thousand times, yes! Satan hates the Jews and must stop Israel before the Messiah returns to end his reign. Prophecy declares that Jerusalem will be united and in Jewish hands when Messiah comes, but Satan’s goal is to divide Jerusalem and stop the prophetic clock that will seal his doom.
We are living in onerous days when men’s hearts fail them for fear! The Bible tells us to be like the wise virgins, not the foolish ones, and to prepare for His coming. (See Matthew 25.) The Bible says we can know the season and times, even if we don’t know the day or the hour. We are in the Last Days. Look up, for our redemption draws near! Neither you nor I can remain silent. The Scriptures call upon us to speak out. (See Isaiah 62:1.) The battle being fought over Jerusalem is not political; it is prophetical. It’s not a foreign policy battle; it is a heavenly battle! The rebirth of Israel was not an unexpected gift from God Almighty; it was prophesied to happen. America’s very existence, however, is a gift from God Almighty!
America cannot win a battle of defiance against God—no one can! People of the world’s greatest superpower will wake up one day in total shock because of our pride and arrogance. We need, instead, to shake ourselves so that we are ready for that day rather than letting it catch us sleeping. The church in America, by and large, does not fear God. The Bible warns in Revelation, chapter 22, over and over: “Behold, I am coming quickly!” Too many pastors mock the message of the coming of the Lord and fail to preach it from their pulpits. They overlook the prophetic words of Revelation 22:16 that Jesus is the root and offspring of David. Polluted prophets in the pulpits of America are deceiving the sheep, leading them to the slaughter with their demon-inspired doctrines.
God’s eternal covenant with Israel is mocked. Too many of our religious leaders fill their Sundays with the unscriptural doctrines of man while rejecting Israel, yet they hold in their hands a Bible written by Jews who all understood the prophetic truths concerning Israel. These pastors, priests, and rabbis beheld with horror-filled eyes the events of 9/11, but weeks later went back to sleep, dumbing down their congregations with messages from mere mortals rather than from the Holy Word of God. Today’s New Age doctrine from hell feeds Jew-hatred and is robbing the church of its eternal purpose: the Great Commission of being a witness in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria; and of hearing God—instead of blindly cooperating with the powers of darkness intent on destroying America and Israel.
Jesus mentioned deception as one of the last signs before His return. The book of Revelation describes a day when countless billions of people will be deluded by the spirits of demons. (See Revelation 16:12–16.) They choose human favor over the favor of the Lord, wanting to sit next to “great men” in their nation’s capitols rather than sitting next to Jesus in the New Jerusalem; fearing that if they rock the boat by speaking the truth, their names will be erased from their earthly leaders’ list, rather than fearing that their name might be removed from the Lamb’s Book of Life.
God sent us the prosperity of the 1920s to show that He loves us, but we didn’t listen, so He sent us the Depression as an increasing attempt to inspire us to “call on His Name, humbling ourselves and praying, seeking His face, and turning from our wicked ways.” But we did not. Thus, the world turned its back on the Jews, and Hitler’s genocidal extermination machine closed in on them. Few acted to help until it was too late. A third of the world’s Jewish population—six million men, women, and children—were lost with little hope of salvation.
Look around: We are going through much the same cycle today. The prosperity of the 1990s made us even more selfish than we were in the decades before. September 11th and its aftermath hit us far worse than the stock market crash on Black Tuesday of 1929. What was one of the main causes of the Depression? A new concept that had been introduced at that time called “buying on credit.” The entire nation had borrowed to buy things. The economy soared because of increased consumer spending, and when the debts were called in, too few had the cash to pay. America lapsed into the Depression, and then World War II.
America had enjoyed prosperity in the 90s, but terrorists struck on September 11, 2001, and then a recession followed. Since that time, our country has been drawn into conflict after conflict—Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, with the looming prospect of another Cold War with Russia and possibly a confrontation of some sort with Iran. And again, the Jews hang on the edge of a precipice as anti-Zionism arises the world over. As the U.S. and Great Britain have been the only nations with enough moral backbone to confront terrorism, so we are also the only nations that can stand up and defend Israel and the Jewish people. We didn’t in the 1920s and 1930s. Will we do it now?
Isaiah 24:6 declares: “Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.” Does God fight nations? Yes, He does. Zechariah 14:2-3 states that He will fight all nations that come against Jerusalem. Why would we not allow the only democracy in the Middle East to join us in fighting Iraq? It was simply because we feared the anti-Semitic nations in the area, those who hate Israel, and are afraid they will withhold the oil that lubricates our economy.
Just as Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the Civil War was God’s judgment for the bigotry behind slavery, the Great Depression was surely God’s judgment for the bigotry of anti-Semitism that was buried in the souls of many Americans. Seeds of that same anti-Semitism that fed and fueled the Holocaust are alive and well in 21st century America, no matter how dormant they seem to recently have been.
Let no one mislead you about the times in which we live. If the parable of the fig tree and the signs of Matthew 24 are not enough, look at one last mile marker given by the prophet Daniel: the increase of travel and knowledge. Daniel accurately foretold the kingdoms and governments that would follow ancient Babylon’s disappearance from the world scene in Daniel 2:31–45. Many of his prophecies have been fulfilled, his writings constituting the cornerstone of biblical prophecy. Daniel described a key characteristic of the End Times, the period leading up to the return of Jesus Christ to earth, in terms of man’s pursuit of knowledge: “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:4).
While Daniel’s prediction of “many shall run to and fro” could easily be interpreted as the “rat race” of modern society, most Bible scholars interpret it as the rapid increase and the speed of travel. Comparing today’s world with that of even 200 years ago, when travel by train at speeds of 60 miles an hour was an incredible feat, now we fly in jumbo jets that can reach perhaps 600 miles an hour—or even the now-sidelined Concorde that reached speeds of a mind-boggling 1,350 miles per hour. What would Daniel have thought of these modern conveyances if we could transport him here in a time machine? I think he would definitely be looking at the skies for Christ’s return!
The rate of man’s knowledge has grown beyond our comprehension, as well. Years ago, scientists actually set out to measure the rate of expansion of man’s “knowledge database,” to put it in modern technological terms. They assumed that all scientific knowledge accumulated by the year AD 1 equaled one unit of information. They estimated that the amount of knowledge man acquired had doubled to two units over the next 1,500 years. But it only took 250 years for man’s knowledge to double to four units. From 1750 until 1900, a period of 150 years, knowledge doubled yet again. And throughout the 20th century, the rate continued to increase, with the result that it now takes only one to two years for our knowledge database to double once more. Think about that for a moment: Everything we know about the latest scientific developments will double in less than two years!
Encyclopedias and textbooks are out of date almost as soon as they’re in print. Doctors, engineers, physicists, and researchers are forced to specialize, limiting their concentration to a narrow area of knowledge. Even in our own daily lives, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the current flow of information. Is it any wonder we often feel that we need an advanced degree just to operate the latest gadget: iPhone, laptop, or iPad, or some yet-to-be-developed device?
Not only does this knowledge explosion indicate that we are living in the End Times, but the type of knowledge man has acquired is absolutely mind-boggling. Things that were in the realm of science fiction only a few years ago are now a reality (think of wristwatch communication or pocket-sized computers or self-driving vehicles). Our government, not to mention the average citizen, is caught woefully unprepared to deal with the moral and ethical implications of some of these scientific advances.
The “brave new world” that science fiction writers imagined just a decade or two ago is here. It’s a world in which man has decided to be his own creator via the practice of cloning. Ironic, isn’t it, that millions of unborn babies have been cavalierly aborted while at the same time scientists are cloning human life in a laboratory?
I can’t help but think that at some point—perhaps soon—God will intervene to stop mankind’s mad pursuit of attempting to create life on its own terms. We are building nothing less than a technological tower of Babel. In place of ancient Babylon’s worship of astrology and the heavens, modern man worships science and technology. The end result is the same: mankind seems bent on usurping God’s role as Creator. And at some point, the Creator will say, “Enough!” and put a stop to man’s folly.