Israel and the End Times - Part 1 | Ezekiel 36-37 | Gary HamrickJun 13, 2021
because we're here today at Ezekiel chapter 36 and I'm going to give a little introduction to set the stage for these chapters that we're going to look at today and then I'll pray and then we'll go deeper into chapters 36 and 37, but now we begin to move into the last few sections of the Book of Ezekiel, dealing primarily with prophetic events. Ezequiel is writing in the middle of the year 60 a. but God is showing him distant things and some of the things that Ezekiel writes about have been fulfilled if you're old enough in some of your life
timesand there are some things that he writes about that haven't been fulfilled yet, in In other words, some of the things that Ezekiel prophesied about end time events 2500 years ago did not come to pass until relatively recently and some things that he writes about are still in our future now to understand end time prophetic events. that Ezekiel writes about, one must first understand the unique role that the nation of Israel has played in history. and will play into prophecy helpful to us is the fact that Ezekiel in these last few chapters here when he talks about end time events, he writes in chronological order so that we can see things that are going to unfold and have unfolded if you have old enough to in some of their life
timesand things that haven't played out yet, so starting at the end of the book, I'm going to lay out in three main sections the rest of the Book of Ezekiel, so Ezekiel's prophecies about the time of the end, the last
partof the chapters of his book.
From 40 to 48 he writes about the age of the kingdom, also known as the Millennial Kingdom, it is the thousand-year reign of Christ from Jerusalem after he returns to earth. How many of you know and look forward to the second coming of Christ? and the bible says that when he comes again and establishes his kingdom on earth it will be for a thousand years then there will be a new heaven and a new earth well Ezekiel details the millennial temple that will be built and also describes life during that thousand year when Christ reigns from Jerusalem on earth but before that happens Ezekiel writes in chapters 38 and 39 about the climactic battle of the nations against Israel better known as the Battle of Armageddon so we'll talk about that when we get to chapters 38 and 39 later but before that happens, the main topic of our study today has to do with the restoration of the nation of Israel because since the Babylonians besieged and destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC and this is the time that Ezekiel is writing from the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.
For the next 2,500 years for all intents and purposes, Israel as a nation no longer exists, they are dominated by some other foreign power, and the Jews have actually been dispersed throughout the world since 586 BC. C. until 1948 d. The Jewish people had no exclusive homeland, no government, not even a common language because when the Jews were taken captive to Babylon, they would adopt t The Aramaic language of their Babylonian captors when they returned from captivity, they spoke Aramaic, not Ebru. Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Hebrew. I'm going to talk about how the Hebrew language was revived as
partof the surface prophetic events that played out, but didn't. they don't even have a common language and so for 2,500 years what we read in Ezekiel starts a 2,500-year clock during which the Jewish people would be dispersed all over the world they would be oppressed all over the world they would be massacred all over the world and those who managed to live within the limits of ancient Israel they would be dominated by some other foreign power, the Babylonian Empire, followed by the Persian Empire, the Greek Empire, the Roman Empire and then there is the Byzantine Empire which surpassed it. land and then following them you had the Arab Islamic Empire and then you had the Catholic Crusaders and Mama Luke's and then following them you had the Ottoman Empire and finally the British Empire and all of that changed in the 20th century only relatively recently, since the course of the last 2500 years changed radically and miraculously for Israel and the Jewish people and it is the fulfillment of Ezekiel 36 and 37, which is what we are going to see today what is the reestablishment of the State of Israel that happened in 1948 this is what Ezekiel predicted in the sixth century B.C.
C. and it has happened in some of your lives if you were born before 1948, then we are going to close the Book of Ezekiel. I still have to test a bit, but when I'm here, we'll look at these three sections starting today with this first section in chapters 36 and 37, but basically it's going to end up being a three part series to close out the Book of Ezekiel looking at the prophecy and again you cannot understand the things of prophecy that are going to come to pass unless you first appreciate the unique role of Israel which is why the title of this three part series still and being part 1 is Israel and the end times Israel and the end times now this is going to be.
I'm going to be like asking you to drink from a fire hose today because I'm going to be you know full blast full speed. my pastor Chuck Smith, before he died, always said that sometimes a sermon is going to be inspiring and sometimes it's going to be informative, well today's information is fine, I'll give you a lot of information if you like history and if you like prophecy. you are in the right place if you don't take a nap as usual but let us pray father thank you for this time together in your home as we open your word we are excited about the things you present past present and future and lord give us eyes to see these things and ears to hear about these things and hearts that receive them we love you and praise you together in Jesus name and everyone said amen Ezekiel chapter 36 I am going to read the first seven verses that God says to Ezekiel and you son of man prophesy to the mountains of Israel and di o mountains of Israel listen to the word of the Lord so says the Lord God for the enemy has said of you aha the ancient heights have become our possession ok so notice the foreign invading armies are coming to take the land of Israel, verse 3 therefore prophesy and say thus says the Lord God because they devastated you and swallowed you on all sides to be a possession of the other nations s and you were carried away by the lips of the talkers and slandered by the people therefore O mountains of Israel hear the word of the Lord God thus says the Lord God to the mountains the hills the rivers the valleys the desolate are gone the cities that have been forsaken which became plunder and derision the rest of the nations around therefore thus says the Lord the Lord I have certainly spoken in my burning zeal against the rest of the nations and against all Edom who gave my land as a possession to themselves with joy with all your heart and spit wicked minds to plunder their open field, therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel and say to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, and the valleys, thus says the Lord God, behold, I have spoken in in my zeal and in my anger because you have borne the shame of the nations therefore thus says the Lord God I have raised my hand in an oath that surely the nations around you will bear their own shame let's stop there your attention please this is a rebuke of the nations around Israel who have come to take the land for themselves number one point for you who don't take as we talk about Israel in the times and specifically today about the reestablishment of the State of Israel number one God denounces the nations that take over the Land of Israel the Jewish people are the only people on earth to whom God has given title to certain real estate on the land and when other people try to confiscate that land, God will rise up in anger against those nations, that's why he calls Is my land there in verse five and says that those who take it will incur in verse six my jealousy and my wrath now just so we understand a little bit of history here related to Israel as a nation and the Jewish people as a people that God brought? about the Jewish race out of nowhere there were no Jews until God providentially decided that a Gentile named Abraham Abram as he was originally named would be the source would be the genesis of a people that did not yet exist and God chose him as this Gentile pagan cult or Abraham lived in the land of the Chaldeans, which is ancient Mesopotamia, which means the land between the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates. to him and God promises God makes a pact with him that from his seed will come a race of people that until now did not exist it was a providential thing of God and incidentally he selected someone who was far beyond his prime and his wife Sarah, who was way past her prime, they were past childbearing age so that when they had a child everyone would know that this has to be a miracle because God is about to set something straight for his own glory so that there would be no no mistake that these two people just got together, had a child, and many of them came from a race of people who know that God chose people whose bodies, according to the Bible, were dead, biologically speaking, unable to produce and them. came the son of a promise the child Isaac and God who gave birth to a nation the Jewish people through the line of Abraham through the seed of Abraham through Isaac through Jacob and then God determined that to provide a land for this race that he created from the seed of Abraham, then gave deed to the real estate of the area around the Mediterranean to Abraham and called on Abraham to leave his country in Iraq and make the thousand mile journey east land that I promised you with an oath and thus the Jewish people were born and the nation itself was established in terms of a boundary an area a geographic region now God gave title to this land to Abraham and the sons of his promised seed Isaac and Jacob I was having lunch with a Jewish rabbi in Washington DC about two years ago and he is very liberal in his theology and he believes that despite being a Jew he believes that Jews have no right to a homeland in Israel and I said with with the due respect to rabbi god gave the deed to the jewish people to his people he says he didn't do it at night he said it's nowhere in the bible i said it's in the bible and i had to open his own scriptures and read to him when i I'm going to read you this is Genesis 15 verse 18 on that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said to your descendants of Isaac I give this land from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates now just so we can get some perspective on what that God is giving the Jewish people title to the land this white shaded area is roughly the area between the Nile River of Egypt and the Euphrates River of Iraq now believed by some Biblical scholars to have probably also included all of Saudi Arabia but only for reduce it to a smaller region of the region between the Nile and the Euphrates, this is the territory that God originally transferred to Abraham Genesis 15:18, we are talking about the Sinai peninsula, all of Jordan , all of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, part of Iraq, part of Saudi Arabia, okay, at least about 300,000 square miles, that's God's original intention, the nation of Israel under the kings never got to claim that much territory under King David, the territory of Israel took this area a lot from Sinai. all of
israelmost of jordan syria lebanon a bit of iraq this is the furthest extent of
israel's borders under king david and then of course you have what we're reading here in t l book of
ezekiel586 bc. the Babylonians come the Jews have scattered their territory no longer exists and some of the land they lived on was now occupied until 1917 after WWI Great Britain defeated the Ottoman Empire. the ottoman turks were allies of nazi germany and in 1917 britain recaptured this territory from the ottoman turks and declared the balfour declaration of 1917 to establish a homeland for the jewish people which they had not had until that time for about 2400 years and when they wrote the Balfour Declaration here was the territory that was given as a Jewish homeland shaded there in yellow in 1922 the Hussein family opposed it the arabs said we want our homeland for ourselves and they are giving all this area to the jewish people who again by far , not at all the borders that God intended, but to appease the Hussein family, the British Parliament decided after Churchill took a map of the region and Churchill then, in deference to the Hussein family in the Arab village, they breached the Balfour Declaration and Churchill took a crayon and drew a line down the Jordan River and separated west from east and gave the Jewish people this territory Israel and this territory to the Arab people who called Transjordan the area across the Jordan River in 1946 the east side was officially renamed as it is today Jordan and is still controlled by the Hussein family King Abdullah of Jordan his official full name is king abdullah ii has been out of hussein and So therefore the Jewish people after all this renegotiation of borders and territories have basically been left with what you see shaded in orange there again compared to God's original intent with what Israel has today and even this that I have drawn everything. orange, some would say no, some of that is disputed territory, okay,this is what god intended in white this is where they are today in orange the state of israel i s smaller than the state of new jersey god intended 300,000 square miles at a minimum of 300,000 square miles for the jewish people today in day they live on 8130 square miles now it's important to get some perspective on all of this because anytime we have a peace plan that involves land for peace if Israel will just give up more land than we will give them peace I'm skeptical for two reasons number one land for peace it has never worked number two giving up more land than Israel already has is downright unbiblical because they don't have a tenth of what God originally intended them to have.
I'm just giving you the biblical perspective on all of this, in other words, God says that here is my land on loan to the Jewish people and anyone can live there. Palestinians included Arabs included any other person can live there work there play there but those who try to seize it says here in zekiel 36 verse 6 they will incur my jealousy and my fury point number two God defends Israel by his own name look more Further on in chapter 36 I am going to read verses 22 to 28 therefore say to the house of Israel thus says the Lord God I do not do this for you, oh house of Israel, but for my holy name which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone and I will sanctify my great na I who has been desecrated among the nations that you have desecrated in the midst of them and the nations will know that I am the Lord says the Lord God when I am sanctified in you before your eyes because now I will take them from among the nations note that he is speaking prophetically here I am going to gather all the exiles I will gather you from all the countries and bring you to your own land and then I will sprinkle you with clean water and you will be clean and I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your idols I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and I will give you a heart of flesh I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and you will keep my judgments and you will do them and then you will dwell in the land that I give to your fathers you will be my people and I will be your God in other words the reason why I think this is important to keep in mind is that God does not he is doing something for Israel for her sake he is doing something for Israel for her sake he is doing something for Israel not because of his name but because of his name the fact of the matter is that the Israelites had ruined their testimony that is why God it says here in verse 22 that his own holy name has been profaned among the nations why because the Israelites first took the living and true God and began to worship idols the pagans of the s neighboring nations around them and in this way God says you have desecrated me in front of them you have changed the worship of the living and true God for the worship of idols like their foreign neighbors even though God says I love you I am going to bring you back to this earth i am going to forgive you and i am going to restore you and this is an amazing thing that God does on a national scale for the nation of Israel because you know that in a micro sense God does the same thing for us we sin against him we rebel against him and what he does God is patient with us he is long-suf not wanting anyone to perish but all the kind of repentance and then he waits for us with patience and with open arms he receives us and forgives us and restores us that is the story of God that's the story of redemption God does it for us on a personal level, God is doing it here for the nation of Israel on a national scale and he's showing himself.
This is a testimony from God before the nations that he is a forgiving God and that he is a restoring God, which brings us to point number three: God. declares himself to all nations through the reestablishment of Israel still here in chapter 36 look at verses 34 to 36 the desolate land will be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who passed by to say that this The land that was desolate shall become like the Garden of Eden and the desolate and desolate ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited and then the nations that are left around them will know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate, I, the LORD, have said it and I will do it, in other words, this is what it tells us that in the 2500 years from the time Israel was scattered in 586 B.C. and the temple was destroyed and and after 2500 years the Land of Israel became desolate and barren now part of Israel is a desert unto itself but even the otherwise lush fields and vineyards and mountains would bear no fruit no vegetation, it would simply become a barren wasteland because it was uninhabited and the land itself was dominated by foreign empires who did not invest in it and when the Jews dispersed for 2500 years the land became desolate and barren in 1867 Mark Twain made a visit Israel and would later write a description of what he saw, listen to what he wrote. cite a desolate country whose soil is rich enough but totally given over to weeds a silent and dreary expanse a desolation is here that even imagination cannot adorn with the pomp of life in action we never saw a human being in all the world traversed there was hardly a tree or a bush anywhere even the olive tree and the cactus those speedy worthless friends of the earth had almost deserted the country quoting Mark Twain 1867 they would later write in their writings titled Innocence Abroad published in 1881 and yet God took this desolate wasteland and made it fruitful again when God brought the Jewish people back to this land in 1948 and ever since Israel has become one of the most prosperous and prolific nations on the planet in Isaiah chapter 27 verse 6 Isaiah prophesied that in the days to come Israel will sprout and flourish and fill the whole world with fruit.
Did you know that Israel is today the number one exporter of fruits to Europe? A nation smaller than the state of New Jersey could fit inside Orange County, California well, they are now the number one exporter of fruit in Europe. Citrus is currently Israel's main agricultural export. Israel is one of the world's leading exporters of greenhouse foods. port countries israel exports over $1.3 billion worth of agricultural products every year the jews developed drip irrigation in case you didn't know where it came from they developed it and turned the desert into fertile fields and when you look at jewish history the rise of this nation of a desolate wasteland where not only the land itself was desolate, but the people had been scattered, oppressed and slaughtered all over the world.
When you look at Jewish history, there is no other explanation for its preservation and the restoration of Judaism. people and the State of Israel as a nation except for the divine work of and of God consider the contributions and juice made to the world between 1901 and 2018 there have been just over 900 Nobel Prizes awarded in all fields known to science and medicine and literature and peace is worth a little more than 900 Nobel prizes awarded between 2001 and 2008 203 of those prizes have been won by Jews representing 23 percent of all Nobel Prizes awarded 23 percent have been awarded to Jews for their contributions to the world now look at this to put it into perspective the jewish population today around the world about 14.5 million that's because they have been massacred and they massacred 14.5 million jews in the world today they represent listening point one nine percent of the world population Jews point one nine percent of the world population but have received 23 percent of the Nobel Prizes yes praise God thats something God did Now for p To put it in perspective a bit, the Muslim population, which represents 23 percent of the world population, the Jewish population, 0.19 percent of the Muslim population, 23 percent of the world population in the same period from 1901 to As of 2018, Muslims have received 12 Nobel Prizes.
I'm just quoting the facts. I do not mean to disparage Muslims. I'm just saying you have to acknowledge that something of such support. The prayer where the Jews have been awarded so many Nobel prizes is a testimony of God at work and God raising up a people who otherwise had been nearly wiped off the face of the earth but who have been preserved by the providential hand of God all these years period ending number four God demonstrates his power and faithfulness through the reestablishment of Israel I'm going to read from chapter 37 the first 14 verses and chapter 37 here the fourth the first 14 verses that I'm about to read is really the heart and soul from the Book of Ezekiel because this passage talks about the dry bones in the valley and indeed our graphic team in designing the template for our Bible study through Ezekiel, you may have noticed that in the main graphic there are just a bunch of bones in the desert because it's taken here from Ezekiel 37 the dry bones you were about to read here refers to the fact that the nation of Israel was dead and lifeless and the Jewish people scattered throughout the world Ezekiel 37 verses 1 to 14 the hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and put me in the middle of the valley and it was full of bones and then he made me pass through all of them around and behold there were many in the open valley and indeed they were very dry and he said to me son of man these bones will live so I answered him Oh Lord God you know again he said to me he prophesied of these bones and tell them Oh dry bone listen to the word of the Lord so says the Lord God to these bones I will certainly breathe into you and you will live I will put sinews on you and bring flesh on you I will cover with skin and put breath on you and you will live and then you will know that I am the Lord then I prophesied as I was commanded and as he was prophesying there was a noise and suddenly a rattle and the bones came together bone to bone indeed as I looked at the sinews and the flesh came over them and the skin covered them but there was no breath in them I also felt said prophesy to the breath prophesy Son of man and breathed thus says the Lord God came from the four winds he breathed and breathed on these dead so that they might live then I prophesied as he commanded me and breath entered them and they lived and stood on their feet a very large army and then said to me son of man these bones are the whole house of Israel they certainly say that our bones are dry our hope is lost and we ourselves are cut prophesy therefore and tell them: Thus says the Lord God: Behold I will open your graves and bring you up from your graves, and I will bring you into the land of Israel, and you will know that I am the Lord when I open your graves, my people, and bring you up from your graves.
I will put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I will put you in your own land, and then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and done it, says the LORD, in other words, the zekiel sees these dry mouths. nes of the valley realizes that this is a picture of the nation of Israel the Jewish people are as dead as it were they have been scattered they have been massacred they have been oppressed the Land of Israel itself is no longer their homeland for 2500 years has been under the rule of a foreign empire but God showed Ezekiel something in the future that would end up being fulfilled in 1948 when God would once again gather the Jewish people from all over the world they would make what is called Aliyah in Hebrew they would make the pilgrimage back to their homeland the exiles in hebrew the O lien would end up returning to Israel God would begin to stir in their hearts that they needed to return to their original homeland and so there was this stirring up this thing that began to happen by the Spirit of God despite the fact that that country after country, one empire after another, tried to massacre the Jewish people, look at history, the Assyrians, the Babylonians.
The Greeks the Romans even in Spain under the Spanish Inquisition in Russia under the Czars all over Europe of course with Nazi Germany but towards the end of the 19th century when God began to move in the hearts of Jews around the world something began to arise called the Zionist movement there was a man in the 1800s his name was Theodore Herzl and he began to pioneer the Zionist movement he was reading passages from the Book of Jeremiah and passages from Ezekiel like what we are reading today and his heart began to move for their homeland and the Zionist movement was reborn with this idea that we need to gather the Jews that we need to begin to return to our homeland and once again live where we lived and God began to move in the hearts of the people will rise if you want to dry the dead bones from the valley floor and bring a nation of people who had been scattered oppressed and almost slaughtered and the people began to return making Aliyah a Israel b But they no longer had a common language and to have a common unity as a nation they needed a common language as a nation, so at the same time that God was moving in the heart of Theodor Herzl at the beginning of the 20th century, God began to move in the heart of Eliezer ben-yehuda Ben Yehuda Eliezer ben-yehuda began to be convinced that once again they needed to speak Hebrew because until then they spoke Aramaic or Yiddish Yiddish is like a European Hebrew dialect, so Eliezer ben-yehuda said yehudain my house we are going to learn the ancient hebrew language again and no one is going to speak but only hebrew in my house he began to teach his son that another jewish family said that we are going to jump on the bandwagon to do the same in their homes one by a little by God even to reborn the language in the hearts of the people was a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zephaniah 3 verse 9 4 then I will restore a pure language in the people so that everyone calls on the name of the Lord to serve him with an Agreement to the same Some time in the early 1900s, Britain became sympathetic and supported the Zionist movement and then, as I mentioned earlier, they defeated the Ottoman Empire, drove the Turks out of this area.
The British Mandate began to seize the territory.1917 Balfour Declaration allowing for the formation of a Jewish homeland In 1947 to the chagrin of the Arab League of Arab nations the UN announced a partition resolution allowing Jews a permanent homeland and thus Another Zionist Jew from Poland named David Ben-Gurion declared the independence of Israel on May 14, 1948 and when he did so when he declared that all neighboring nations launched an offensive attack against that territory of Israel Egypt Syria Jordan Iraq Saudi Arabia Yemen and Lebanon they attacked Israel Azam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League said quote that this will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre, boy, was he wrong? they supported it but not with military weaponry they were alone they did not have US support they did not have British support they were forced to smuggle in weapons the jews were mainly from czechoslovakia when israel declared independence in 1948 the israeli army did not have a single single cannon or tank their air force consisted of nine obsolete aircraft they only had 19,000 soldiers who were fully mobilized and prepared for war against all these neighboring nations and yet against all odds after the dust settled in 1948 this little incipient group of people with a dream and with the leadership of a powerful providential hand of God emerged as the Jewish state of Israel in fulfillment of Ezekiel 36 and 37 it is a remarkable story remarkable story friends listen God does the impossible and if nothing else today I want that they leave here with the confidence that God does what he says and God his faithful keep all his promises and does what otherwise way seems impossible to us 2 Corinthians 1:20 because all the promises of God in him or yes and amen and what God did for the nation of Israel is a harbinger of things that are yet to come and because in the time line of the events that Ezekiel writes about there is a Battle of Armageddon and the Millennial Kingdom, so in this three part series we will look at those other two events in parts two and three, but for today let's give thanks to the Lord who is faithful to all these promises Father, we thank you Lord because what you prophesied came true and for some people here who were born before 1948 in their lifetime they saw the fulfillment of Ezekiel 36 and 37 and here we are today. at this particular moment in this teaching, the 71st anniversary of the re-establishment of the State of Israel, it is nothing less than your providential hand Lord, no human ingenuity, skill or ability could have accomplished what you did and Lord, may it be a testimony to us of that the God who does what seems impossible to us is still the God who does what seems impossible to us and if some things have been fulfilled in terms of prophecy then we can be sure that other prophetic things that have not yet been fulfilled will come to pass. happen, that we are ready, Lord, that we raise our heads and look up because our redemption is near, that we take heart that as crazy as this world receives your coming again, we think even of yesterday's shootings. in El Paso, the shootings this morning in Daytona are sorry, Dayton, Ohio, and we stand again, shaking our heads at the darkness of our world, we will thank you, Jesus, that you are the light of the world and you will come from back to rescue us. us from this present evil century to take us home to be with you forever and ever to establish your kingdom so that where you are we can also be so that Lord encourage our hearts even on this day they may not get tired but always let us cling to you as our hope as our Lord as our Savior and it is in the name of Jesus that we pray and all the people of God said amen and amen may god bless you all
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