September 17, 2012
Will Russia invade Israel? If so, under
what circumstances? Also, clarify the
importance of the Israeli capture of
Jerusalem in 1967.
One of the most significant prophecies about the Middle East and the Rapture of the Church concerns Russia’s imminent invasion of Israel. In the previous newsletter, we addressed the issue of Israel becoming a nation. Why is that reality so vital to our discussion? Because eighteen times in Ezekiel 38-39, the prophet states that Russia will wage war against Israel. For nearly nineteen hundred years, there was no nation called Israel-thus no government and no specific piece of Middle East real estate that the Jews of the diaspora could call their own. Now you and I have lived to see Israel become a mighty nation, a people to be reckoned with in the commonwealth of nations. Therefore, when God’s Word foretells a Russian invasion of Israel, and we know that such a nation now exists, we can only assume that the coming of the Lord must be near. Ezekiel 38:1-2 states, “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.” Since we will study these names in detail later, I will not spend time attempting to prove that this refers to Russia. I simply want you to see, for now, that this is a northern enemy, for they come from the north (see Ezekiel 38:15; 39:2). Remember, Russia is due north of Israel. If one draws a line northward from Israel, he passes directly through Moscow. As this great end-time invasion begins, they will come against the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 38:8). Verse 16 says, “Thou shalt come up against my people of Israel.” Verse 19: “Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel.” Ezekiel 39:2 says, “I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel.” Verse 4: “Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel. ” Verse 12: “And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them.”
Let me repeat that Russia’s invasion of Israel could not occur until Israel became a nation. There was no such nation, for two thousand years, until 1948. Thus, this event could not have occurred in times past. However, since Israel now exists as a viable, powerful nation (and has recaptured Jerusalem after twenty-five hundred years of dominance by Gentiles), and because Russia will move against Israel only when she is a nation, here is the thrilling scenario to follow-something that is already beginning to happen in front of our eyes today. Follow me closely. Ezekiel 36 and 37 describe the Jew returning to his own land and setting up his government. This occurred in 1948. In Ezekiel chapters 40-48, Messiah is back on earth-and that is when you and I have returned with Him to rule and reign for one thousand years (Revelation 20:4). Between Israel’s becoming a nation-which you and I have lived to see-and Messiah’s return to earth, a war with Russia takes place in the Middle East (read Ezekiel 38 and 39). The Jews are now home. Today Israel has its own government, monetary system, and well-fortified and -trained armed forces. Russia marches when Israel is a nation, followed by Messiah’s return. There is no doubt that we are living at the very edge of this hour when the sign concerning Russia’s march to the Middle East is about to be fulfilled. It could happen at any moment, followed by Christ’s return. This ancient Jewish teaching is found in Avoda Zara 3B. The clock is ticking toward midnight. Jesus is coming again, and the day of His return is at hand.
What Is the Importance of the Jews Finally Reclaiming Jerusalem?
Since 400 B.C. the city of Jerusalem has been handed over to one Gentile superpower after another. Here are a few of those ” transference” dates since A.D. 70 concerning Jerusalem: A.D. 70, the Romans; 614, the Persians; 637, Caliph Omar; 1099, the Crusaders; 1187, Saladin; 1250, the Egyptian Mamelukes; 1517, the Turks; 1917, the British; and finally, in 1967, the Jews captured Jerusalem. The event took place during the Six-Day War, from June 5 to 10 of that year, The Jewish control of Jerusalem is a most important sign because of Jesus’ statement in Luke 21:24. The disciples had asked Him, “When are you going to return to this earth?” Jesus replied, “[Jerusalem] shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” What was the Savior saying? Simply that the Jews would be scattered throughout the world and the city of Jerusalem controlled by Gentile powers until the time of His return. All the various Gentile groups-the Romans, the Persians, the Crusaders, the Egyptians, the Turks, and the English-controlled Jerusalem from A.D. 70 until May 1967.
Then, in June 1967 the Jews took control of Jerusalem for the first time in more than nineteen hundred years. When we tie this historical information to Ezekiels bones coming to life, the Jews returning from the Gentile nations, and the earlier prophecies already outlined, there can be only one conclusion: Christ must come to earth soon, primarily because during the third and final invasion of the Armageddon campaign, all nations come against Jerusalem to battle and to take it back from the Jews (Zechariah 14:2). This would have been impossible before 1967 since the Jewish people did not possess Jerusalem until that Six-Day War fought June 5-10,1967. Thus, when the final invasion during Armageddon occurs, Christ descends to the Mount of Olives to end the atrocities committed against Israel at Jerusalem and to then set up His kingdom (Zechariah 14:4).
What signs exist in Israel today that provide clues
to a rapidly approaching Tribulation period?
Of the hundreds of questions I am asked, issues related to the Great Tribulation always seem to top the list. To review, there is going to be a terrible period of tribulation. Jeremiah 30:7 says, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it. ” Daniel 12:1 warns, “There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation,” and Jesus Himself said in Matthew 24:21, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Although this event will not be the end of the world, it will bring death to one-half of our planet’s inhabitants: “By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone” (Revelation 9:18). When one combines the cumulative facts and figures from the Book of Revelation in 9:18 and 6:8, he discovers that nearly one-half of the earth’s population will be destroyed in the greatest fiery conflagration and pestilential judgment that have ever occurred in the history of mankind.
Again, however, let me remind you: This great war signals the coming of Jesus Christ to the earth, when He reveals Himself to the entire world and stops the carnage (Revelation 11:18). As we learned earlier, this event is called the Revelation, and it is the second phase of the Second Coming. We have also learned that prior to the Revelation, a Rapture-the evacuation of all saints, dead and living, from the earth-will occur (Revelation 4:1). Immediately following the Rapture, the Tribulation Hour, that period of seven years of unprecedented turmoil and trouble, begins. Then, at the end of the seven years, Jesus Christ comes back to the earth to set up His kingdom for a thousand years-called the Millennium.
Remember that all the signs of Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 17 and 21 point directly to the second phase of the Second Coming, and not to the Rapture. If there were not one sign in existence anywhere at this moment, we could still go home to be with our Lord, because all the signs could occur during the seven-year period described in chapters 6-18 of the Book of Revelation. However, since all the signs point to Christ’s return to the earth-not His coming in the clouds (Revelation 4:1) but His coming to the earth (Revelation 19:11), and since you and I as Christians return with Him to the earth-then every sign in Revelation 6-18 points to our coming back to the earth as well. This glorious event must occur soon since all signs are already in place.
Three Signs in Israel
For many decades Orthodox Jewish rabbis said: “When three signs appear in the Holy Land, it will be the hour for Messiah to return.” What are these three signs?
- Horseless carriages, or modern automobiles, running through the streets of Jerusalem.
- Jerusalem being defended by airplanes.
- The desert of Israel blossoming as a rose.
Have these things happened? I will leave the answers to you. When my wife, Rexella, and I last visited the Holy Land, we had an opportunity to preach, teach, and spend time with Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. So what I am about to share with you regarding the “signs in Israel” is not theoretical. As I began to observe them, I said, “Rexella, these are the signs that point to our return with Jesus Christ.” Since they are already in progress and are now being fulfilled, Jesus must be coming soon for His church in that glorious event called the Rapture. Let’s investigate these three signs that the rabbis have so long awaited.
Nahum 2:3-4 states, “The chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his [Messiah’s] preparation. . . . The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another [accidents] in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches [headlights and taillights], they shall run like the lightnings [the speed of these vehicles running through the streets of Jerusalem].” This phenomenon is presently occurring!
Isaiah 31:5 tells us, “As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem.” Since A.D. 70 the much beleaguered city of Jerusalem has passed from one Gentile power to another. In 1517, the Turks took control and maintained their authority for exactly four hundred years. Then, in 1917, General Allenby of England marched into Jerusalem with his troops. The British had just discovered airplanes, and as they flew overhead, the Turks, never having seen such machines, became frightened, dropped their guns, and fled the city. Britain’s conquest of Jerusalem was one of the few battles in history won without weapons. Why? Because the Turks saw men flying as birds over Jerusalem. This event was the beginning of the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Today, as one stands anywhere in the Holy Land, he sees jets flying overhead daily. There is no end to it. The prophecy is here. It is being fulfilled now!
Isaiah 35:1 promises, “The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” During our first visit to the Holy Land in the late 1950s, Rexella and I noticed that everywhere we looked the ground was dry, arid, barren, rocky, and mountainous. Today, however, when one visits the Holy Land, it is anything but arid. It has been wondrously transformed into hundreds of square miles of fertile, blooming, productive land. Truly, Isaiah’s promise has become a reality; the third major sign pointing to Messiah’s coming.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Listen to the Birds
My husband, Jack, and I have a special fondness for birds. We enjoy seeing them fly, darting from tree to tree, soaring and wheeling about, riding the wind in joyous freedom.
And it’s fun to watch them splash in a puddle or pool of water, bathing themselves and carefully preening their feathers.
We have two feeders and a drinking bowl in our backyard, and the birds have discovered this safe haven. Besides sparrows, cardinals, robins, blackbirds, and other small songbirds, we’ve seen crows, doves, mallard ducks, and even Canadian Geese in our yard. Sometimes there will be several different kinds of birds there all at the same time.
Jack and I love to watch them — and so does Finica, our cat. She sits by the sliding glass door and stares out at the birds. She gets so intense that her whiskers twitch! Now and then, a bird will land on the patio near the door, and Finica’s eyes get so big. But we don’t let her out for fear that her natural feline instincts might overpower her usually friendly disposition.
I especially enjoy listening to the birds. More than any other creature, it seems to me they have learned to serve the Lord with gladness: [and] come before his presence with singing (Psalm 100:2).
When God created the fowl of the air on the fifth day of creation, He gave them a song. And virtually all types of birds make some kind of joyful noise — it seems like they’re always praising the Lord. I’ve seen them after a winter snowstorm, sitting on top of the feeders, thankfully chirping and singing because the food is there.
Jesus once referred to the sparrows, which many consider an ordinary little bird with no apparent value. But He, who values all His creatures, said not one of them falls to the ground without God noticing (see Matthew 10:29).
Luke records what the Lord said about the common crow. Consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? (Luke 12:24).
Watching the birds and remembering what God has said about them has really been a blessing to Jack and me.
Lessons from the birds
There is much we can learn from our fine feathered friends. The Bible is filled with references to birds as symbols of what we humans ought to be or can do with God’s help.
On the top of the pole where our American flag flies there often is the image of an eagle, symbol of strength and majesty. The Bible tells us that if we wait upon the Lord, He will give us strength to overcome every difficulty and to mount up on wings, as the eagle (see Isaiah 40:31).
Genesis 8 tells us that when the ark landed on solid ground after the great flood, Noah sent out a dove to see if the land was habitable. The dove found no place to light and returned to the ark. A week later, Noah sent the dove out again and it returned in the evening with an olive branch in its beak. So Noah knew it would soon be safe to go out into the unknown.
Of course, it is no accident that the dove is symbolic of the Holy Spirit who wings His way over the abyss of man’s sinful past, bridged by the sacrificial ark of the cross of Christ, and leads all who will follow step by step into the Father’s new beginning.
God used a common barnyard rooster to deal with the heart of Peter during the last days of Jesus’ life. After Peter had boasted that he would stay close to the Lord no matter what happened or who turned against Him, Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him before the cock crowed the next morning.
The gospels tell the awful story of how Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane, then taken before Caiaphas the high priest to be sentenced to death. Warming himself by the fire at the edge of the angry mob, Peter was asked once, twice, three times if he knew or was a companion to this Jesus.
Once, twice, three times — with oaths — Peter denied knowing the Lord! And at that darkest hour, just before the dawn, a rooster crowed! Instantly Peter remembered his prideful boast and Jesus’ prophetic words… and he wept bitterly.
Of course, we know Peter repented and went on to become a leader in proclaiming the message of Christ’s death and Resurrection all across the known world.
Being fed by the birds
You may remember the story of how God used birds to answer the prayers of the Children of Israel. After wandering in the wilderness for many years and being fed on manna, the people cried out for meat. God caused coveys of quail to come near their camp until there was plenty to feed all the people.
The Old Testament tells of the Prophet Elijah being sent into the wilderness to wait beside the brook Cherith. Twice a day the Lord sent ravens to deliver his food. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening (1 Kings 17:6).
Imagine depending on crows to deliver your breakfast and supper! I’m not sure I’d want to trust them with my food. But Elijah did… and he never went hungry.
Are birds good parents?
I’m certainly not an ornithological expert, but I’ve been impressed about the strong parental instinct birds seem to have. It’s fascinating to watch them building a nest, gathering twigs, straw, string, and grass to fashion a fragile but sturdy place to lay their eggs.
In some species, both father and mother bird take turns sitting on the nest, keeping the eggs safe and warm. And once the little ones come out of the eggs, the parents feed the babies until they grow large enough to fly.
I’ve seen mother birds fiercely attack other birds, even animals that prowled too close to their nest. In many instances, the mother seems willing to give her own life to protect her young.
During the time the baby birds are being incubated, then fed and cared for until they can fly away, nothing is more important to the mother bird. Her babies are the center of her life and the sole reason for her existence.
In our day, necessity sometimes forces both parents to work outside the home. Still, I can’t help feeling there are lessons both fathers and mothers can learn about parenting from the example of the birds. Most of all, we must understand how precious the lives of our children really are, worth any sacrifice to protect and nurture in the fear and admonition of God.
Once for a lifetime
I’m impressed with the instinct of birds to be good, faithful partners. I’ve heard that some species, including the turtle dove, mate once for a lifetime. Once a male and female come together, they stay with their mate and remain faithful to each other until separated by death.
Oh, that these beautiful creatures could teach the men and women of America the lessons of fidelity and faithfulness. In a society where there are more divorces being granted than new marriages performed, surely we need to turn again to the example of these beautiful creatures for instruction in living as God intended.
Listen, my friend, to the voices of the little birds, and hear God speaking to you today. Observe the life-style and the joy of these beautiful creatures and learn anew of God’s plan for your life.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I Love your ministry I was in Oakland County jail for 1 year fighting my case and I lost. I just did 5 years in prison and I want you to know you helped me so much I didn’t get hurt at all and I was protected by God’s grace I saw several people get hurt real bad and some die the prisons are scary and bad and there is so much evil and sick things going on in that place. I would watch you every week sometimes 2 times a week I just want to say Thank You and I’m finally free I’m 25 and still have a lot of life to live. All for God and now I get to watch you at home with my parents.
I just wanted to say I totally enjoy your newsletter and wait in anticipation for the next one to arrive. Your newsletter has opened my eyes and my mine to better understanding of GOD’s love and sacrifice he did for me a sinner. I so love Revelation’s and now that you explain it so well in your newsletter I am getting more understanding of the book of Revelation’s.
Thank you both for this wonderful teaching. I love it and please continue doing GOD’s work because at least when we hear it from you both we know it is the truth revealed through GOD in the Bible the Book of the Lord. I also was touched by Rexella story about her loving father. This has touched my heart.
Thank you again and keep up the good work of preaching the Gospel throughout the world.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
The President of Change Shortchanges America
- Is America, under President Barack Obama’s leadership, moving toward socialism? Maybe even communism?
- What radical cadre of left-wing extremists is out to destroy the USA’s moral foundations?
- Who was the first ‘radical’ known to man, and where is his kingdom?
- How are demonic spirits controlling some of the most influential politicians, kings, and dictators of this world?
- What did noted pundit Peggy Noonan mean when she described President Obama as ‘devious’ and ‘dishonest’?
- Can President Obama (or anyone else) really be a Christian if they believe there are many ways to heaven?
- Who said Barack Obama could be America’s most biblically hostile president – and why?
Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe answer these and other critical questions about the administration of President Obama and where his leadership is taking America! Discover the moral and spiritual repercussions of the dubious ‘change’ President Obama promised, and is making to this nation.
Unprecedented blasphemy; apostasy; heresy; so-called Christian leaders utterly turning their backs on the Word of God.
What does it mean? What does the Bible say about this colossal falling-away from the faith? What does it signal about YOUR FUTURE?
Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe offer the astonishing answers to these and other riveting questions:
- What does the word apostasy actually mean? Where are we seeing it today?
- What is the “blasphemy law”? How have our U.S. leaders responded to it?
- How does the persecution of Christians around the world relate to the final signs pointing to the return of the Lord?
- How is it possible to determine whether someone is truly a Christian when they claim to be?
- And much more!