Whenever something happens with Israel in the Middle East, questions arise about its relevance to the End Times. Such is the case with the Abraham Accords, the peace agreement signed by Israel with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and the United States. Is this a false peace? Is it a diplomatic breakthrough? What does it mean for region? What should we think about it considering the lessons of history and the promises of scripture?
But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:18 NASB)
Fishers of Men! How Many Fish Must We Catch?
By Angus Wootten – September 1998
Walking by the Sea of Galilee, Yeshua saw two brothers. Simon who was called Peter. and Andrew, his brother. casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them. “Follow Me. and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:18)
We who follow Yeshua. like Peter and Andrew, also must be fishers of men! We must gather the number of “fishes” needed to fill the “fullness” Paul establishes for the salvation of all Israel (Romans 11:25-26)!
How big is that job?
It’s really big! In this century alone we have seen the great effort required to return some five million Jews to their own soil – Jews who for two thousand years were, at best, second class citizens in the lands in which they were scattered. And now, having returned to their land. they are first class citizens of one of the most powerful nations on the planet.
So we ask, what would happen if thirteen million more Jews, and, one hundred and thirty million non-Jewish Israelites (Ephraimites), also were returned to their own soil? How big would that job be? Moreover, is one hundred and thirty million a realistic number for the Ephraimites?
John M. Stembridge. former Mayor of North Miami and current President of Aliyah and United Zionists International, in a recent letter to the Miami Herald, commented on a front page article by Martin Merzer. In it, Merzer said Zionism’s new mission is to unite the world’s Jews. But, Stembridge replied that Merzer did not go far enough, and that Zionism’s new mission is to educate and unite all Zionists: Jew and “Gentile” alike. Also, Stembridge defines a Zionist as anyone who believes God gave the land of Israel to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to their descendants, as an inheritance forever.
Interestingly, this man also says the world Jewish population outside Israel is thirteen million, with nine million being in the United States. And. as for “Gentile” Zionists [his name for Ephraimites], Stembridge gives a figure of one hundred thirty million, with forty million being in the United States.
He further believes the problem with Zionism today is, ignorance to the nearly 1000 Biblical prophecies in which God calls all these Zionists back from the nations – and to their promised land of Israel. Stembridge says, without this knowledge, it is impossible for secular leaders, whether political, industrial, labor, management, media, religious, etc., to understand the intricacies involved in healing the breach in Abraham’s family.
From now forward, world Peace and Economic stability is dependent upon Israel’s Peace and regathering. Israel will never be at peace until its neighbors can accept the regathering of the world’s Jewish and Gentiles Zionists as brothers rather than as enemies that they want to drive into the sea or whose blood they want to spill on its Holy soil. Therefore it behooves every government, industry, religious. and cultural leader, locally and worldwide, to become actively involved in establishing Justice with Peace in the Middle East and around the world. Failure in this mission will bring nothing less than a Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Holocaust as never experienced in human history. Mankind that survives this Holocaust will, at best, start from the dark ages once again.
John Stembridge surely has a vision. And, he closes his letter by asking that God grant us the knowledge, wisdom, and empowerment to succeed.
Likewise, each of us should have a God-given vision, one filled with the knowledge, wisdom and empowerment required to succeed. Further, a key ingredient to our success must be action. For, action is required to accomplish one’s vision!
A Vision of the regathering of Israel without action is but a dream. Yet, action without a vision can be a task of drudgery and futility. But, a vision coupled with action can result in the regathering of all Israel.
What is our task?
To insure that each of those thirteen million Jews and one hundred and thirty million “Gentile” Zionists (or whatever the true number) realize who they are. For, to get the job done, they need not only to love the God of Israel, the land of Israel, and the Jewish people, but they need to understand that they too are Israel. They also need to return to their own soil to complete fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy about the regathering of all Israel. For Yahveh has sworn:
I Myself shall gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and shall bring them back to their pasture; and they will be fruitful and multiply . . . they will no longer say, “As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,” but, “As the Lord lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.” Then they will live on their own soil. (Jeremiah 23: 1-8)
In that great day of regathering, Ezekiel’s two sticks will have been made one in the Father’s hand (Ezekiel 37:15-28). Predictions that Ephraim will once again “be a mighty man,” that he will “return to the lands promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in such numbers that there is no more room for him” will all be but history (Zechariah 10:10.17).
Fishermen arise! Prepare your nets! For a great and glorious fishing expedition lies before us!
How is it that a person could be in church all his life, serving the Lord with great enthusiasm, and not have read the Bible? Bryan Sanchez can tell us because that’s his story! It was only after years of hearing a family talk about Israel that he began to pay attention, and by investigating the scriptures for the first time learned of the place Israel and the Jewish people hold in God’s esteem. That is what brought him to his position as the representative of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) in his hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas – but that is only the beginning of Bryan’s story!
Along with Bryan Sanchez, our Elders Frank Houtz and Barry Phillips share the first of a two-part conversation about “Salvation and Righteousness,” and we enjoy the music of Solomon Lopez and Lenny and Varda.
Click here to listen to the podcast:
Do people share their most intimate thoughts and plans with anyone who asks? No; we prefer to share such things only with close companions who have proven themselves worthy of our trust. Why, then, should we expect our Creator to do differently? Perhaps, instead of asking God what will happen in the future, we should ask Him how we can be worthy of His confidence.
Isaiah 39:1-8; Jeremiah 29:10-14; Danial 5:31-6:12, 9:1-27; Matthew 24:15-22
Click here to listen to the podcast:
We could call 2020 “the year of disaster,” but I prefer to call it “the year of opportunity.” Yes, terrible things have happened and are continuing to happen, but in times of trouble the people of God have opportunity to walk out what James calls “pure and undefiled religion.”
Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27 TLV)
There are many ways to do this. Let me remind you of one more. Nearly six weeks ago, on August 4, 2020, a massive explosion rocked the city of Beirut. The devastation is still there. The people are still hurting. Those who are able to give aid are doing so, but their resources are stretched very thin. Please pray, and in praying ask if you can help in other ways.
The Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) has just released another video update that you will find both encouraging and challenging. Take a look, and consider how to help:
If you are moved to help, start right now by praying for the people of Beirut and all of Lebanon. Then go to the Middle East Bible Outreach (MEBO) website and give as you are able.