24 MESSIANIC SIGNS IN ISRAEL
By: N.W. Hutchings
Recently at Southwest Radio Church, an inquiry was made regarding the scheduling of the ministry over a station in Dallas, Texas. The manager of the station responded that they did not carry prophetic programs. When pressed for a reason, he replied that no prophecy was being fulfilled today and the subject was not
relevant to the preaching of the Gospel. When further inquiry was made about prophetic evidences of the end-time in Israel, the manager offered his opinion that modern Israel had no connection with the Israel of the Old Testament, and the church had inherited all the promises made to Israel.
Such ignorance within the majority of churches today exceeds even the blindness that fell upon the Jews concerning the identity of Jesus Christ as the Messiah. God does not want Christians to be blind, or be in darkness, concerning the nearness of the return of Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 5:4). The greatest sign of the end of the Christian dispensation is Israel (Acts 15:14-16); therefore, we list just the most important signs in Israel today which indicate the end of the Church Age and the beginning of the Messianic Age (the Millennium) is near, even at the door.
SIGN NO. 1 – The Fig Tree: From Joel, Hosea and other prophets, Israel is declared to be God’s fig tree when producing good works. But Jeremiah prophesied of Israel, “…therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. I will surely consume them, saith the Lord: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade…” (Jer. 8:12-13). Jesus prophesied that Jerusalem would be leveled, even to the ground, because Israel “…knowest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:44). To literally fulfill the prophecy of Jeremiah, Jesus cursed the fig tree (Matt. 21:19-21), and leaves withered and faded away. Like the fig tree, Israel faded away as a nation, but Jesus said the fig tree would bud again as the most evident sign that His return was near. During Israel’s absence from the land, all vegetation, including the fig trees, died, became sparse and
scarce. Today in Israel the fig tree is growing again to heights of 50 feet and thicknesses of up to 2 feet. And like the fig tree, the nation is budding and putting on fruit. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall
see all these things, know that it (the Son of man coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory – v. 30) is near, even at the doors” (Matt. 24:32-33).
SIGN NO. 2 – The Return: “And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out” (Ezek. 20:34). There are dozens of prophecies relating to the regathering of Israel out of all nations. Jesus prophesied, “And they (Israel) 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… And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke
21:24,27). Jews have returned to Israel from more than 70 nations, and the context of prophecy is that when this occurs, the world is to know that the coming of Messiah (return of Jesus Christ) is at hand.
SIGN NO. 3 – Buying Back the Land: “Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I
will cause their captivity to return, saith the Lord” (Jer. 32:44). In 1903, Great Britain offered the World Zionist Organization the country of Uganda for the establishing of a Jewish state. The WZO rejected the offer, citing scripture that they must return to the land God gave Abraham. Wealthy Jews purchased land throughout Palestine for settlement, and in 1909 the first kibbutz was established on the Sea of Galilee. As
prophesied, this is how the return began.
SIGN NO. 4 – Israel Reborn In a Day: “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children” (Isa. 66:8). The rebirth of Israel as a nation in one day, May 14, 1948, was indeed the result of the travails of the World Zionist Organization in fighting both the English and the Arabs in returning the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Israel was reborn in a day, as prophesied.
SIGN NO. 5 – Order of Return: “For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba (Yemen) for thee… I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee… Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the (1) east, (2) and gather thee from the west; (3) I will say to the north, Give up; (4) and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth… Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen… This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel” (Isa. 43:3-6,10,21-22). Isaiah prophesied that though Israel would not believe, when the time for the Messiah was at hand, the Lord would regather them in their unbelief. Israel would first return from the east, and according to the Judaic Encyclopedia, in 1900 there were 300,000 Jews in Turkey; in 1939, there were only 30,000 in Turkey. The same percentages of Jewish immigration to Israel also applied to Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and other nations in the Middle East. The second stage of Jewish immigration came from the west, the nations of Europe. In 1939, the Jewish population of Europe was 9,480,000; in 1948, it had dropped to 3,780,000. After the Nazi holocaust in which almost 6 million Jews were killed, additional thousands fled to Israel seeking a place of peace and safety. The third phase of Jewish immigration, according to prophecy, was to come from the north. Until the glasnost policies of Gorbachev were initiated in Russia in 1988, the Jews were not allowed to emigrate. Then, a few began to return through Helsinki; but the prime minister of Finland closed the exit door because of Arab pressure. A constituent of our ministry, Siiki, and a friend
of the prime minister’s wife, informed him that unless he opened the door to Jewish emigration from Russia again, God would do to him what He did to the king of Edom. To date, over 400,000 Russian Jews have gone to Israel. The fourth and final phase of the return of a remnant to prepare for the coming of Messiah would be from the south, according to Israel. In 1990, approximately 14,000 Black Jews (Falasha) were flown out of Ethiopia to Israel in Operation Solomon. According to tradition, the Black Jews of
Ethiopia are descendants of a son born to the Queen of Sheba by Solomon (1 Kings 10). Thus, the order of the return of a Jewish remnant to await Messiah’s appearance is exactly as prophesied.
SIGN NO. 6 – A Pure Language: “Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my
jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my supplicants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering” (Zeph. 3:8-10). In 1982, under the leadership of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, it was decided that Hebrew should be the official language of the return. As the Jews came speaking many languages and dialects, they had to go to school to learn Hebrew. Today, even the
Ethiopian Jews and the Jews who have returned from Russia are going to school to learn pure Hebrew. According to the prophecy, this would take place at the time of the end, the time of Jacob’s Trouble and the Battle of Armageddon.
SIGN NO. 7 – The Shekel: “And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs…This is the oblation that ye shall offer… All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel” (Ezek. 45:12-13,16). The shekel as the unit of monetary exchange had to be restored in order for the Israelites to give the proper offering to the Messiah at the Temple in the Millennium. In 1980, the Knesset restored the shekel as the official unit of exchange in Israel; the present value of the shekel is approximately 50 cents.
SIGN NO. 8 – Cities of Israel: “And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates… For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land” (Ezek. 36:11,24). The cities of
Israel have been renamed after their old estates as the Jews have returned. Even the cities and villages associated with the ministry of Jesus bear their biblical identification: Cana, Nazareth, Jericho, Nain, Bethany, Bethlehem, etc.
SIGN NO. 9 – Cities Exception: “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes… And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day” (Matt. 11:20-21,23). The curses upon these three cities in association with cities that had been destroyed in the past indicated that they would be completely erased, never to be rebuilt again. Though the other cities of Israel have been restored and inhabited, Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum are nothing but ruins. They remain, even as the Jews return, as a testimony that Jesus Christ is the Messiah Who came and that He is coming again.
SIGN NO. 10 – From Desolation to Productivity: “Thou (Jerusalem) shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah (My delight), and they land Beulah (wife): for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married” (Isa. 62:4). “He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit” (Isa. 27:6). According to the Bible, as evidenced by history, when the Jew is absent from the land, it becomes barren and desolate. When the Jew returns, the land produces its full measure. When the Jews began to return, the land was desolate and barren with no trees and very little grass. Today, the land of Israel is the most productive in the world, providing not only for the needs of the people, but vegetables, fruits, cotton, and other farming products are shipped to Europe and other nations of the world. With the exception of the coconut and the pineapple, every kind of fruit, nut, and vegetable in the world is now grown in Israel.
SIGN NO. 11 – Irrigation: “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen… Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt… And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land…” (Amos 9:11,13,15). Israel has developed the most efficient irrigation system in the world. As Amos prophesied, today in Israel there is crop rotation, and on one side of a field the reapers will be at work, in the middle of the field tractors
will be plowing, and on the far side planters will be putting new seed in the soil. Nothing like this has ever occurred before in Israel’s history, and the prophecy of Amos states that this will be a sign of the coming of Messiah to rebuild the house of David.
SIGN NO. 12 – The Trees of Israel: “Fear not, thou worm of Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel… I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box
tree together: That they (the nations) may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it” (Isa. 41:14,19-20). When Israel returned and became a nation in 1948, the mountains of Israel were completely barren. Now, trees of
every kind from every nation cover these once naked hills. Southwest Radio Church planted a forest in the Valley of Elah, where David slew Goliath. God has declared when the nations of the world witness this miracle, they are to know that this is the Lord’s work, and that He is ready to come again to fulfill His
promises to that nation.
SIGN NO. 13 – Vultures of Israel: “Come near, ye nations, to hear… For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies… Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcasses… For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion… there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate” (Isa. 34:1-3,8,15). Revelation 19:17-21 affords a more graphic description of the slain at the Battle of Armageddon being consumed by the birds of Israel. During Spring and Fall migration, billions of birds fly over Israel making their way from Europe and Asia to Africa and back. However, for the first time in centuries, vultures are again nesting in Israel. The Israeli air force avoids vulture nesting areas during the mating and hatching seasons. Reports have indicated that vultures in Israel are laying two eggs now instead of the usual one egg; but such reports are in error. Vultures at Gamla are now actually laying four eggs at one nesting. This is circumstantial evidence that God is increasing the bird population of Israel for the coming Battle of Armageddon.
SIGN NO. 14 – Wild Animal Life: “And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying… The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt
not destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord” (Isa. 65:19,25). While the preceding messianic prophecy looks forward to the Millennium, even today as the forest and ecology of Israel are restored, wild animals that inhabit the land in Bible times are returning. Ibex (biblical wild goats) gather in herds at watering holes, coneys are increasing in number, and signs at Ein Gedi warn of leopards.
SIGN NO. 15 – Increasing Rainfall: “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand… Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month” (Joel 2:1,23). In Bible times, there were two seasons of rain in Israel – the Spring and Fall. During the Diaspora, the Fall rains ceased; but as Joel prophesied, with Israel’s return, the latter rains have returned also. The average rainfall between 1931 and 1960 in Israel was 21.1 inches. But in 1980, the average rainfall in Israel had increased to 29.1 inches, almost 40 percent. The percentage of rainfall increase has matched the increase in the Jewish population of Israel. Ninety percent of water used in Israel comes from the Sea of Galilee. Jerusalem usually gets a brief dusting of snow every three or four years. This past winter, Jerusalem received four blizzards with snow depths ranging from one to two feet. Yehuda Levy, published of the Jerusalem Post, reported to us that nothing like this had ever happened in the history of Israel. The Sea of Galilee is overflowing in spite of increased water usage. Joel prophesied that the restoration of the latter rains to Israel would be a sign to the world of coming catastrophic events to conclude with the coming of the Lord to dwell in Zion.
SIGN NO. 16 – Jerusalem, An International Problem: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem” (Zech. 12:2). Since 1967, East Jerusalem, the biblical Jerusalem where the Temple is located, has been a subject of controversy to all members of the United Nations. The Arabs classified East Jerusalem as occupied territory, but Israel contends that there is only one Jerusalem – and it belongs to
Israel. Israel names Jerusalem its capitol, yet the United Nations refuses to recognize it as the capitol city of lsrael. As Zechariah prophesied, Jerusalem is a problem to all nations, a sign that Israel will soon recognize the Messiah at His coming by the nail prints in His hands (v. 10).
SIGN NO. 17 – A Democracy: “And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God” (Zech. 12:5). Zechariah prophesied that Israel in the last days would be ruled not by a king or prince, but by governors. This statement by the prophet implies not a kingdom, not a dictatorship, not a theocracy, but a democracy. Israel was indeed refounded as a democracy; in fact, the only true democracy in the entire Middle East.
SIGN NO. 18 – Wars of Israel and Jerusalem Retaken: “In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left…” (Zech. 12:6). The overwhelming victories of tiny Israel
over vastly superior armies of Egypt (on the left hand) and Syria and Jordan (on the right hand), in 1948, 1967, and 1973, amazed the entire world. Zechariah in this prophecy is not referring to Armageddon, because only Israel is involved. At Armageddon, Israel will be hiding in a place of refuge. This prophecy can refer only to the recent victories of Israel, a prelude, according to Zechariah, of the coming of Messiah to stand upon the Mount of Olives (Zech. 12:4). “…And Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem” (Zech. 12:6). Zechariah prophesied that in one of the wars in which Israel would be
victorious, Jerusalem would be inhabited again, in its own place. After the establishing of Israel as a nation in 1948, there were two Jerusalems – the new city occupied by the Jews, and the old city where the Temple site is occupied by the Arabs. At the amazing 1967 Six-Day War, Israel occupied the old city of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem was inhabited again in its own rightful place.
SIGN NO. 19 – The Diaspora: “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice… After shall the children of Israel return… Hear the word of the Lord… I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hos. 3:4-5;4:1;5:15;6:1-2). As prophesied by Hosea, Israel was dispersed for many days without a nation, a government, or a place of worship. After two days, according to the prophecy, God would restore them to favor, and in the third day, glorify the nation and revive His people. One day counts as a thousand years with God (Ps. 90:4; 2 Pet. 3:8), and the dispersion of Israel lasted for approximately 2,000 years. As indicated in The Rise And Fall of the Roman Empire by Gibbons, the early church fathers taught that the Lord would return in 2,000 years. As the calendar looks forward to the year 2000 (the third day), Israel lives in expectation of the Messianic Age.
SIGN NO. 20 – Restoration of Temple Worship: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains” (Matt. 24:15-16). The Abomination of Desolation, referred to three times by Daniel and by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, entails the stopping of Temple worship by the Antichrist, meaning that Temple worship must be restored. Orthodox
Jews by the thousands pray at the Western Wall every day for the rebuilding of the Temple. A yeshiva adjacent to the Temple site is fashioning vessels and instruments used in sacrificial worship. Priests clothing is also woven according to biblical instructions. These preparations for the resumption of Jewish, sacrificial worship are a sure sign that the Day of the Lord is very near.
SIGN NO. 21 – Comprehensive Middle East Peace Treaty: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease…” (Dan. 9:27). A week on the Jewish calendar could be seven days, seven years, 7,000 years, etc. (Gen. 29:27-28). From
the context of Daniel 9, it is evident that the covenant will be seven years, and “he” means the Antichrist, because this deceitful act introduces the “time of Jacob’s Trouble.” The “covenant” refers to the everlasting covenant God made with Abraham, giving the patriarch’s seed the right to the land his feet would pass
over (Gen. 12:1-4). There must be a comprehensive peace treaty between Israel and the unilateral authority that will guarantee Israel’s right to the land and include an agreement where the Jews may resume Temple worship. A comprehensive Middle East peace treaty is now on the conference table for the first time in 2,000years, another sign of the coming Great Tribulation and associated end-time events.
SIGN NO. 22 – Remnant of Edom: “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that if fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom…” (Amos 9:11-12). Where is the remnant of Edom, the last descendants
of Esau, today? When Judah was weak as a result of the Babylonian captivity, the Edomites moved out of Petra en masse into Israel, and the Nabateans (descendants of Ishmael) moved up from Arabia into Edom. The Edomites never left Israel. The Herods were Edomites. The remnant of Esau today are the Palestinian Arabs, and the controversy between the descendants of Jacob and the descendants of Esau indicates the time for the raising up of the tabernacle of David is near.
SIGN NO. 23 – Jewish Unbelief: “…blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25). According to Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 23:39; Acts 15:13-l7; 28:26-28; Romans 25; and Revelation 1:7, Israel, except a relatively small number, will not believe that Jesus Christ is their Messiah until they see the nail prints – in His hands. If the Jewish nation today was converted to faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, then the Bible would not be true. In spite of the mighty witness evident to Israel today that Jesus Christ is the promised Redeemer (Isa. 28:10-12), their continued unbelief is a
sign in itself of the nearness of the Lord’s second coming.
SIGN NO. 24 – Church Unbelief: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming… For this they willingly are ignorant of…” (2 Pet.3:3-5). The greatest promise given in the Bible related to the return of Jesus Christ is the budding of the fig tree: the return of Israel to the land to precede the rebuilding of the tabernacle of David. The rejection of messianic signs in Israel by the vast majority of ministers and pastors is a sign, according to Peter, that the second coming of Jesus Christ, the Day of the Lord, in which He will come as a thief in the night, is at hand.
Surely, it is time for Christians to begin looking up, for the Rapture, the day of translation from this earth to heavenly places, must be on God’s immediate timetable.
(The above material appeared in the September 1992 issue of Gospel Truth.)
Christian Information Network