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Sunday, February 22, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

“’. . .in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations. . .’” (Ezekiel 38:8).

For End Times’ study, note the time frame in particular: “. . .’in the latter years. . .’”

Why did God create Israel in 1948?

He did so, not for the Jews’ sake primarily, but to vindicate His holy name.

Ezekiel 36-39 is the section that sets this forth.

God stated through the prophet Ezekiel that there would come the time when Jews would have their own land, grow their luscious crops and live in their own urban centers.

They would establish cities and rural areas for civil living. They would, in other words, enjoy the good life.

Many years after the prophet scribed this divine message, Israel came into being on May 14, 1948.

Then the logical question rises: Why did God allow this blessing to come upon the Jews?

God provides His own answer. He states emphatically that it is not because the Jews deserved their own land. It basically is not primarily for their good life delight. Further, it is not for them to boast about.

God brought back His people to their own land in order to vindicate His holy name. In other words, God did this in order to call the world’s attention to Himself, to God’s own persona.

God states via Ezekiel that the Jews’ new nation reality is to bring the world to recognize God’s holiness. With that, God calls the world to a holiness lifestyle.

Again, the reason for present-day Israel is two-fold: to vindicate God’s holy name and to present holiness as a daily commitment for a redeemed people.

It is significant to note all this in these End Times. It is proper for us to underline this two-fold divine message in order for our own consciences to turn to holiness under God.

We as New Testament believers must recognize God’s holy name by keeping His holiness within our own hearts. In that, we have come to honor the reason for Israel’s establishment as one of the primary End Times’ signs.

The more generic signs are given in Mathew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. These signs, as many have sited, have always occurred in one way or another.

However, that sign which is not generic and has not occurred in all ages in one dimension or another is the creation of Israel in 1948. Putting the Gospels’ signs and the Ezekiel sign as one we then have more reason to conclude that we are indeed living in the End Times.

We are nearing the Second Coming Rapture. We are in the “last generation,” the generation defined either as 40 or 100 years, depending on what biblical passages one uses. Hebrews 3:9-10 defines a generation as 40 years. Genesis 15:13-16 defines a generation as 100 years.

Jesus said: “This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34).

Bottom line: Israel was not created in 1948 as a land for the Jews’ delight. It was not brought into being because the Jews deserved it.

Israel was created (1) to vindicate God’s holy name and (2) to call humanity to live lives of holiness under God.

NOTE: Pastor Swank authored MOMENTS TO GO, A STUDY OF THE SECOND COMING, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1974, the book now out of print. However, a few copies are available via such venues as Amazon books.