On Saturday afternoon, July 13, 2002, I watched Paul Crouch and his guest on Trinity Broadcasting, discussing the events of 1948. Crouch related the joy among the Assembly of God churches in 1948 when Israel was “restored.” He said1948 was “without a doubt” the fulfillment of prophecy. He then began a troubled discussion of what “this generation” means. The reason for that discussion of course, is that dispensationalists believe that the generation to see the re-establishment of Israel in 1948 has to be the terminal generation. Crouch noted that Lindsey’s prediction of 1988 failed, and that the differing calculations for the duration of a generation are all approaching the terminal point. Not much time can be left if 1948 was the fulfillment of prophecy.
The question is, was the “re-gathering” of Israel in 1948 the fulfillment of prophecy? No, it was not! Mr. Crouch, and his guest, kept emphasizing the significance of 1948, and yet, they never once mentioned some disturbing and problematic issues related to 1948.
In Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy28-30, Jehovah gave Israel a covenant, with the conditions for dwelling in the land, and maintaining control of it. The condition for living in the land was obedience to the Law of Moses. However, He threatened them with captivity when they violated that Covenant. What was the condition for returning to the land, after dispersion? It was obedience to the Law of Moses.
Three times in Deuteronomy 30, Moses said that when the time came that Israel was in bondage, that if they would repent, and obey the words he spoke to them that day, that Jehovah would return them to the land. The same is true in Leviticus. The Divine condition for restoration to the land after captivity was repentance and a return to the Mosaic Law.
In 1948, was Israel in a state of repentance and obedience to the Mosaic Law?
Anyone that knows their history, and the condition of Israel today, knows this is not true. Further, it is highly significant that premillennial writer Thomas Ice says that the Mosaic Law has been “forever fulfilled and removed in Christ.” Well, if God has removed the Law of Moses, obedience to which was the condition for restoration to the land, it would not matter if Israel tried to keep the Law or not, for Jehovah no longer recognizes that Law. But to return to our question: In 1948, was Israel in a state of repentance and obedience to the Mosaic Law?
As a matter of fact, noted dispensational writer Arnold Fruchtenbaum says that the majority of the Jews that returned in 1948, and that are there today are, “atheists and agnostics!” Are we to suppose that Jehovah violated the conditions of His own covenant, and blessed the nation with return, when the sin of unbelief was the reason for dispersion in the first place?
Remember, violation of the Law of Moses would be the reason for dispersion. Did God, in 1948, now make violation of the Law of Moses the condition for restoration? No, Jehovah no where, at any time promised to return Israel to the land in their unbelief. Yet, Tim LaHaye, Thomas Ice, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Jack Van Impe, and other leading millennialists insist that 1948 was the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel. This is simply untrue.
If Israel, in 1948, did not meet the demands of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 30, then it cannot be claimed that the events of 1948 was the fulfillment of prophecy. History and the present, proves that Israel was not, and is not, in repentance and obedience to the Mosaic Covenant, thus God’spromise to return Israel to the land cannot be applied to 1948. Mr. Crouch’s failure to mention God’s conditions for return to the land, all the while insisting that 1948 was the fulfillment of prophecy, reveals a sad willingness to ignore both history and inspired truth. The events of 1948 have nothing to do with prophecy. And, of course, if 1948 was not the fulfillment of prophecy, then we are not in the last days .