the current state of Israel a work of God as predicted in Bible prophecy or is
it merely an accident of history? I believe that modern Israel is a Divine
work and is in the process of fulfilling Bible prophecy. I believe that
Israel, as she is constituted today, is a work of God in progress preparing the
nation for the tribulation, which will lead to her national conversion, the
second coming of Christ and His millennial reign.
Christian Support for
the one hand, there is great support for Israel generally among the Evangelical
Christian Community. This is likely the main reason that opinion polls in the
United States show great support for the modern state of Israel, in contrast
with Europe, which tends to overwhelmingly support the Arabs. It is not the
Jewish lobby that is so effective in America, while they struggle across the
Atlantic. The reason there is such great support for Israel in the U. S. A. is
because biblical Christianity resonates more here than in the Old World. There
are not many Bible-believing Christians in Europe compared to this country.
Further, there is a greater number of Muslims in Europe than in North America.
Their influence is driving opinions in Europe in much the same way that
Evangelicals tip the scales in this country.
the larger majority of Evangelicals have always supported Israel, the Jewish
community is only recently becoming convinced of this support.
National Review' s Rod Dreher says evangelicals who hold a " divine
right" viewpoint support Israel with an " uncritical fervor that exceeds that of
even some American Jews." Orthodox Rabbi Daniel Lapin, in an article posted
May 7 on National Review Online,
says American Jews are " waking up" to Christian support.
many Evangelicals, the modern state of Israel is such an important item, that
it will be the central issue by which they will determine who to vote for in
this year' s election. For Christians like myself, we believe that it is still
a dictum of history that God will bless those who bless Israel and curse the
one who curses Israel (Gen. 12:3).
even within the Christian community in America, there are those who do not
believe that the modern state of Israel is related to God' s Sovereign plan for
history. Preterist Gary North has boasted that he has a book already in his
computer for when " Israel gets pushed into the sea, or converted to Christ." 
Lutheran Don Matzat has said,
The present-day nation of
Israel is no more involved in God' s plans for the future than is France,
England, Germany, the United States, etc. The teaching of the New Testament is
very clear- Jesus fulfilled everything pertaining to Israel and formed the New
a number of dispensationalists today say that there is a restored nation of
Israel in God' s plan for the future, but there is no reason to think that the
current nation of Israel is necessarily prophetically significant. Current
president of Dallas Theological Seminary, Dr. Mark Bailey said,
that what is happening today? I can' t say for sure. It is the first time in
2,500 years, though, that you have this kind of constitution of people in the
land, but I don' t know what
that means. This may be the prelude to end-time events, but I think we' re
presumptuous if we try to give it meaning beyond that. It may be, that' s all we can say.
is not surprising, in light of his view of the present state of Israel, that
Dr. Bailey recommends Christians not support Israel politically.
Modern Israel IS a Work of God
are many reasons why we can say that the modern state of Israel is
prophetically significant and of stage-setting significance for the
tribulation. I will list a few here, but will do a more thorough job in a
forthcoming book. First of all, Israel is not going to get pushed into the
sea. Second, France, England, Germany and the United States are not mentioned
hundreds of times throughout the Bible as is the case with Israel. The Bible
says many times that Israel is not done in history, but many Christians act as
if that were not true. Paul said in Romans, " I say
then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be!" (Rom. 11:1a).
are dozens of biblical passages that predict an end-time regathering of Israel
back to her land. However, it is a common mistake to lump all of these
passages into one fulfillment time frame, especially in relation to the modern
state of Israel. Modern Israel is prophetically significant and is fulfilling
Bible prophecy. But readers of God' s Word need to be careful to distinguish
which verses are being fulfilled in our day and which references await future
fulfillment. In short there will be two end-time regatherings: One before the
tribulation and one after the tribulation.
Christian scholar Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum- a graduate of Dallas
Seminary- explains the biblical basis for the current state of Israel as
re-establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 has not only thrown a wrench in
amillennial thinking, but it has also thrown a chink in much of premillennial
thinking. Amazingly, some premillennialists have concluded that the present
state of Israel has nothing to do with the fulfillment of prophecy. For some
reason the present state some how does not fit their scheme of things, and so
the present state becomes merely an accident of history. On what grounds is
the present state of Israel so dismissed? The issue that bothers so many
premillennialists is the fact that not only have the Jews returned in unbelief
with regard to the person of Jesus, but the majority of the ones who have
returned are not even Orthodox Jews. In fact the majority are atheists or
agnostics. Certainly, then, Israel does not fit in with all those biblical
passages dealing with the return. For it is a regenerated nation that the
Bible speaks of, and the present state of Israel hardly fits that picture. So
on these grounds, the present state is dismissed as not being a fulfillment of
the real problem is the failure to see that the prophets spoke of two
international returns. First, there was to be a regathering in unbelief in
preparation for judgment, namely the judgment of the tribulation. This was to
be followed by a second world-wide regathering in faith in preparation for
blessing, namely the blessings of the messianic age. Once it is recognized
that the Bible speaks of two such regatherings, it is easy to see how the
present state of Israel fits into prophecy.
World-Wide Gathering in Unbelief
1948 when the modern state of Israel was born, it not only became an important
stage setting development but began an actual fulfillment of specific Bible
prophecies about an international regathering of the Jews in unbelief before
the judgment of the tribulation. Such a prediction is found in the following
Old Testament passages: Ezek. 20:33-38; 22:17-22; 36:22-24; 37:1- 14; Isa.
11:11-12; Zeph. 2:1-2 and Ezek. 38- 39 presupposes such a setting.
1:14-18 is one of the most colorful descriptions of " The Day of the Lord," which we commonly call the
tribulation period. Zephaniah 2:1-2 says that there will be a world-wide
regathering of Israel before the day of the Lord.
" Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation without shame,
before the decree takes effect- the day passes like the chaff- before the burning
anger of the Lord comes upon you,
before the day of the Lord' s anger
comes upon you."
20:33- 38 speaks of a regathering, which must take place before the tribulation.
The passage speaks of bringing the nation of Israel back " from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you
are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath
poured out" (Ezek. 20:34). " With wrath poured out" is a descriptive reference
to the tribulation. Thus, in order this to occur in history, Israel must be
back in the land before the tribulation. This passage clearly says that it is
the Lord who is bringing them back. The current nation of Israel is in the
process of fulfilling this passage.
In a similar vein, two chapters
later, Ezekiel receives another revelation about a future regathering of
national Israel (Ezek. 22:17- 22). This time, the Lord is " going to gather you
into the midst of Jerusalem" (Ezek. 22:19). Like the metallurgist, the Lord
will use the fire of the tribulation to purge out the unfaithful. The Lord is
going to " gather you [Israel] and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and
you will be melted in the midst of it" (Ezek. 22:21). Once again, " My wrath"
depicts the time of the tribulation. It also follows here that the nation must
be regathered before that event can take place. The outcome of this event will
be that the nation " will know that I, the Lord,
have poured out My wrath on you" (Ezek. 22:22). For this to occur, there must
be a regathering by the Lord of Israel to the land, just like we see happening
with the modern state of Israel. God is at work through the current state of
Surely, anyone who claims to
believe in a national future for Israel would have to say that the valley of
dry bones prophecy in some way, shape, or form relates to modern Israel (Ezek.
37:1- 14). The prophet describes a future process through which the nation of
Israel will come to be reconstituted and (when the process is complete) enter
into a faithful spiritual relationship with the Lord. This multi stage process
must surely include the current nation of Israel, in unbelief, that is being
prepared to go through a time that will lead to her conversion to Jesus as
their Messiah. This is said by Ezekiel to be a work of the Lord (Ezek. 37:14).
Thus, the modern state of Israel is a work of God and biblically significant.
World-Wide Gathering in Belief
passages in the Bible speak of Israel' s regathering, in belief, at the end of
the tribulation, in conjunction with Christ' s second coming, in preparation for
commencement of the millennium. These references are not being fulfilled by
the modern state of Israel. Some of the citations include: Deut. 4:29-31;
30:1-10; Isa. 27:12-13; 43:5-7; Jer. 16:14-15; 31:7-10; Ezek. 11:14-18; Amos
9:14-15; Zech. 10:8-12; Matt. 24:31 and many more. I think that this
regathering will fulfill the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) for the nation of Israel.
24:31, records a future regathering of Israel, this time in belief. " And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and
they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the
sky to the other" (Matt. 24:31). This is said to take place after the
tribulation (Matt. 24:29), which would be the second coming.
fact that the last fifty years has seen a world-wide regathering and
reestablishment of the nation of Israel, which is now poised in just the
setting required for the revealing of the Antichrist and the start of the
tribulation, is God' s grand indicator that all of the other areas of world
development are prophetically significant. Dr. Walvoord says,
Of the many peculiar
phenomena which characterize the present generation, few events can claim equal
significance as far as Biblical prophecy is concerned with that of the return
of Israel to their land. It constitutes a preparation for the end of the age,
the setting for the coming of the Lord for His church, and the fulfillment of
Israel's prophetic destiny.
is true that the Bible predicts a future time when Israel will be regathered in
belief and will then enter into the kingdom for a thousand years. However, as
I have demonstrated above, the same Scriptures also tell us of a time when
Israel will be regathered in unbelief, before the tribulation in order that God
may complete His plan for national Israel. The current nation of Israel is the
beginning of fulfillment of just such prophecy. Modern Israel is the result of
God' s direct intervention in history. I believe that those who speak contrary
to this will be found to be fighting God. Maranatha!