Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News. There is a rise again this year in North American Jews making aliyah (immigration of Jews to Eretz Israel, the cornerstone of Zionist ideology.), the Jewish Agency estimates that 2009 will see an increase of 15% in the number of North Americans immigrating to Israel. A 12% increase has already been documented for the first third of 2009 (January through April) compared with the same period in 2008. The summer months generally see the largest numbers of Olim (new immigrants).
The first chartered aliyah flight of 2009 arrived at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 7th. 232 olim from the United States and Canada were aboard the flight.
The immigrants are the first of 3,000 olim from North America and the United Kingdom to arrive this summer, on the first of 15 chartered aliyah flights sponsored by the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization and the Jewish Agency.
Also for the first time, a special direct El Al flight from São Paulo, Brazil brought 150 new immigrants to the Jewish State on Wednesday as another reminder of the continuation of our God’s promise to return the Jews to their homeland today and a reminder of how scattered the Jewish people really are. The flight was a result of the opening of direct El Al flights from Brazil to Israel last month. It always seems that there is a new corner of the world opening for aliyah.
The number of Latin American immigrants to Israel is growing, according to the Jewish Agency, which said in a statement that it expects the numbers to rise by some 15 percent -- compared to the 2008 statistics -- by summer's end.
In the last few weeks there have also been Jews from South Africa and Yemen who have made aliyah.
It seems that we get dull to this, and maybe even take it for granted. I know that for all of my life Jews have lived in the land of Israel. But we cannot let ourselves forget the miracle of the returned Jew from all corners of the earth and what it means for us. Only a few years after the Jews were being shoveled into the ovens of Auschwitz, the Nation was born against all odds.
Let's just read a few of the prophecies together:
"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, `Give them up!' and to the south, `Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth…
“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.”
The prophecy continues “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean…” It is this that we are waiting for, a national washing of the word that will only come at the return of Christ.
But the truth is that the prophecies do not just need a return to any part of the land of Israel but the mountains of Israel, the west bank. You can see this from Ezekiel 37:22; 38:8; 34:13.
Now we know that the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would like to see an end to all Jewish presence in the west bank, and that for now even “natural growth” is not acceptable to Mr. Barak Hussein Obama. But then he also said that the United States and Russia are not destined to be antagonists! Can you believe that, after how many years of cold war, after last year's invasion of Georgia, selling the Iranians a nuclear reactor he sees good times ahead. Apparently he just doesn’t get into Ezekiel 38 too much!
Although interestingly in Ezekiel 38, your southern power, Tarshish and her young lions which includes the United States does seem to be taken by the surprise of the whirlwind southern push into the promised land of the Northern confederacy.
But getting back to natural growth on mountains, how we will fair from here has yet to be seen but in the 16 years since the Oslo peace accords were signed on the White House lawn, the number of Israelis living in West Bank settlements has increased to almost 300,000 from 110,000 – and that does not include the more than 200,000 Israelis living in east Jerusalem. And even in the last 3 years more than 5,500 new apartments have been completed in the West Bank. And don’t forget this was under, in part, the reign of Ehud Olmert who hated the settlers. I like it. Mr. Obama has some pretty determined folks on his hands, in fact The Israel Land Fund is searching for two families who want to move into large apartments in Arab eastern Jerusalem. Apparently the Israel Land Fund actively purchases and maintains Jewish property in largely Arab areas. The project is headed by Aryeh King who says “Living in Beit Hanina is not like living in a normal Jerusalem neighborhood, but people who live there feel a sense of Zionistic idealism.” The two apartments currently offered in Beit Hanina were purchased by Israelis who believe Jews should live in eastern Jerusalem, so for now it continues!
A gentleman by the name of John Thomas wrote over 160 years ago the following:
“The restoration of Israel is a most important feature in the divine economy. It is indispensable to the setting up of the Kingdom of God; for they are the kingdom, having been constituted such by the covenant of Sinai, as it is written, Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.” The apostles understood this well enough and so do all who understand the Gospel of the Kingdom.”
He later continues with a piece that has been quoted on this program before but never looses its beauty -- “There is, then, a partial and primary restoration of the Jews before the manifestation, which is to serve as the nucleus, or basis, of future operations in the restoration of the rest of the tribes after he has appeared in his kingdom.”
He then carries on to say how they will return as unbelievers and as agriculturists with the hope of ultimately establishing their commonwealth.
If we stop and really think about what John Thomas is saying here it is that the return of the Jew to their land will be the basis of God reestablishing the Kingdom, the Kingdom of David. This means that as we can now see the Jews clearly back in their land God has already started setting up his kingdom, as they are the kingdom, we are just waiting for the return of the king.
THE BUILDING UP OF THE IMAGE EMPIRE
The other major event that John Thomas saw as monumental to the return of Jesus Christ was the forming of the Northern Confederacy, in plain language the coming together of Europe and Russia. His words have been quoted many times but as with the return of the Jew it never loses its power. He put it this way:
"When Russia makes its grand move for the building up of its image-empire, then let the reader know that the end of all things as at present constituted, is at hand. The long expected, but stealthy advent of the King of Israel, will be on the eve of becoming a fact, and salvation will be to those, who not only looked for it, but have trimmed their lamps by believing the gospel of the kingdom unto the obedience of faith, and the perfection thereof in 'fruits meet for repentance.'"
Last year when Russia moved into Georgia we wondered if they were going to stop but things seemed to simmer down. But as Glenn Able showed a few weeks ago things are far from over. The events this week say the same thing. The following is from the Associated Press:
“A U.S. guided missile destroyer dropped anchor Tuesday in Georgia's Black Sea waters ahead of joint naval exercises seen as a show of American support for the former Soviet nation crushed in last year's war with Russia.
The exercises came one day after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's first visit to South Ossetia, a breakaway Georgian region that Russia recognized as independent in the conflict's aftermath.
Both events reflect how far apart Russia and the United States remain over Washington's support for the former Soviet nation of Georgia, despite last week's cordial Moscow summit between Medvedev and President Barack Obama.”
So even though Obama last week with his rose coloured glasses saw a bright future for US and Russian relations, the news and the Bible tell us otherwise.
This week has also seen Europeans trying to ease themselves of the Russian grip over their energy by signing a deal over a new pipeline that will bypass Russia and go though Georgia and Turkey to Eastern Europe. Well how long Russia will put up with that will have to be seen, but a pipeline heading though Georgia I would consider less than secure! If anything it is bait for the bear, and bait that goes though Turkey, a country that will be taken as Russia heads south for Israel – the country that just struck it rich on massive Natural gas reserves.
Well even at its height the pipeline would only supply 5% of Europe's gas and due to Europe's emmision goals they need much more of that gas. This gas Russia is more than happy to supply, so happy they themselves are building a pipeline called the Nord Stream that runs through the Baltic sea direct to Germany. Well John Thomas through his reading of the scriptures said that Europe would be chained with Russia triumphant. To look further into this subject look up Vol. 21 issue number 4 under the archive page of the Bible Magazine.
So this week we have seen Russia continuing to move her pieces on the giant chess board of Europe and the continuation of the scattered Jew returning.
It has been another week with the Bible in the News, and on behalf of the Bible Magazine studios, thanks for joining us! This week we are going to leave you with a little music from the Manitoulin Youth Conference 2008, enjoy.