Many theologians and Bible experts believe that the 1948 creation of the modern state of Israel was a fulfillment of prophecy — and it is the continued return of Jews to the land of their ancestors nearly 70 years later that many point to in advancing this eschatological view.
CBN News reporter Charlene Aaron wrote this week that the return of Jewish people "is literally watching Bible prophecy unfold," as she explained that the Old Testament books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel speak about a return to the holy land.
Her comments accompanied a story about a group called Operation Exodus, an organization that helps Jewish people in America move to resettle in Israel — a mission that the group believes has intensly biblical roots.
Making the pilgrimage to resettle in the Jewish state is called "making aliyah," according to the Operation Exodus.
"It says several times in Isaiah, 'I will lift up a banner to nations' — to the gentiles. They shall bring your sons and your daughters back," Operation Exodus president Debra Minotti told the outlet. "If I can just give glory to God, because this is His work."
Minotti, who said that there has been a 79 percent increase in requests for assistance with immigrating to Israel since 2014, told CBN News about the incredible growth of Israel from 800,000 people in 1948 to more than 6 million today.
"Last year, there were 27,000 [who] made aliyah [immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return]," she said. "And [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin [Netanyahu] said...this year he said to the Jews of the world, 'Israel is waiting for you with open arms.'"
Operation Exodus essentially sees itself as helping bring God's prophecies to pass — a responsibility that Minotti feels privileged to have.
Many evangelicals believe that the verses mentioned in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel were prophecies that spoke to the re-creation of the Jewish state that didn't unfold until 1948 — many, many centuries after those books were written. Here are some of the associated verses:
Isaiah 11:11-12: In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.
Ezekiel 11:17: “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’
Jeremiah 31:38-40: “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when this city will be rebuilt for me from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. The measuring line will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah. The whole valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown, and all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the corner of the Horse Gate, will be holy to the Lord. The city will never again be uprooted or demolished.”
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The role of modern-day Israel, though, is quite debated in Christian circles, with many theologians positing that these Old Testament verses are speaking of events that came to pass centuries ago when Jews returned from Babylonian captivity.
Some see modern-day Israel as a tool through which God will evangelize, but not necessarily a fulfillment of prophecy, while others — particularly those who do not adhere to the Christian or Jewish faiths — might view it as a political consequence of its times.
Either way, the debate and discussion — which has been heating up amid changes in the international landscape — is fascinating.
(H/T: CBN News)
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