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Jesus prophesied that Jerusalem would be left desolate because of their rejection of the prophetic word spoken by Him and others but He also assured them that the desolation would not last forever. It would be until they were willing to welcome Him.

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” Matthew 23:37-39

The prophets of old had foretold of an exile because of disobedience and rejection of God and a return not only from Babylon but also from the ends of the earth.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west. 6 “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth, 7 Everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” Isaiah 43:5-7

Isaiah mentions a return a second time.

Then it will happen on that day that the Lord Will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Isaiah 11:11-12 (emphasis added)

God is not returning the Jewish people because of their goodness but for the sake of His holy name and His covenant promises. The end-time return of the Jews to their homeland and to Himself is God’s way of the nations of the world coming to know that He is the sovereign God. This is why Satan is so against Israel and the Jewish people.

22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23 I will vindicate the holiness of My great name... Then the nations will know that I am the LORD,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. 24 For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. Ezekiel 36:22-28 (emphasis added)

The ANZACs played a vital part in freeing the land from 1,300 years of Muslim rule – 400 of those being under the Ottoman Turks. This was no mean feat. Although the Jewish return had begun in waves from about 1880, it was greatly aided when the British got the mandate – that is until they began restricting Jewish immigration. The formation of the nation in 1948 (Is 66:8) and return of Jerusalem to Jewish hands in 1967 were further steps forward in the prophetic timeline.

Challenge to the Church

God is inviting His ‘ekklesia’ to participate with Him to bring His purposes to fulfilment. The return of the Lord to Jerusalem is dependent on His regathered people calling “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord” – the Hebrew way of saying “Welcome”. Will we stand with God’s purposes and help complete the physical and spiritual return of the people? He is moving aamongst His people, not as a huge outpouring at this stage, but rather as a persistent trickle.

Shortly after the re-birth of Israel, God started pouring out his Spirit upon Jewish people and the Messianic movement was born: Jews who believed in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour but kept the biblical feasts and traditions. Most pastors told the Jews to forget their background and convert to Christianity, but that is not what Paul said. Paul tells us that the church is to be grafted in to the olive tree of Israel, not vice versa.

Some Christians began to awaken to the fact that Jesus was Jewish and the Bible writers were all Jews, perhaps with the exception of Luke. They mostly wrote to Jews who had a Jewish understanding and interpreted their writings in a Jewish context. Jesus kept the biblical feasts and commands – even though he shed new light on the Scriptures and overturned many of the practices and burdens the religious leaders had added to God’s laws. Messianic Jewish teachers began bringing new depths of understanding from a Jewish perspective. They have a message to offer the church today. Leaders emerged and Messianic congregations began forming. In Israel thousands of Jews began to join the new congregations. Now there are more Jewish believers in Israel than at any time in history since New Testament times! There are about 100 Messianic congregations in Israel with mixed Jews and Gentiles and about 12,000 – 15,000 Jewish believers. This number is going weekly.

There are more Jewish believers in Israel today than any time since New Testament times.

God is beginning a work of pouring out His Spirit and bringing His people to Himself as He promised. It is a trickle rather than a flood at this time, as it is only a small percentage of the population, but it is a start. The reason that God said He would return the people to the land was to give them a new heart and a new Spirit. Renewed and revived, they will welcome His return.

Cyrus Anointing

As Cyrus was chosen by God to release the Jews from 70 years of exile to return to Jerusalem, so in World War 1 the ANZACs became God’s physical instruments to break through to clear the land for their return from the ends of the earth back to Israel. Britain became the political voice to open the new chapter of prophetic fulfillment.

Can the spiritual Anzac army once again become a Cyrus in the hand of the Lord to spearhead a spiritual breakthrough for Israel and turn the streamlet into a river of revival? Israeli leaders are calling for Australia and New Zealand to take their place in this role.

In 2013 Israeli Messianic Jewish leader, Arni Klein, travelled to Australia with a clear word on his heart. Having recognised the spiritual significance of the Light Horse charge at Beersheba in 1917, and the special anointing the ANZACs carried in the physical realm to break through, his mission was to call the spiritual ANZACs to come to Israel. Having spent many years leading a 24/7 prayer ministry, he had identified some spiritual forces in the different regions of his country that needed to be dealt with. God had shown him that the modern-day ANZACs were the ones to again lead the charge. He strongly feels this is to be done through worship.

In December, 2014, Stan Goodenough, a journalist and long-term resident of Israel, felt an urgent prompting of the Lord to come to Australia to call the Christians to stand with Israel and lobby our parliamentarians to hold the line, as Israel’s very existence was being threatened by the United Nations’ decisions. He saw Australia, with its seat on the UN Security Council at the time, as the only nation that could withstand world opinion.

Early in 2015, Pastor Warren Lyons of New Zealand sent forth a prophetic word calling for the spiritual ANZAC army to arise. In June 2015, a group of Chinese pastors came to Australia with ‘Homecoming’ meetings, calling the Australian churches not to lag behind what God was doing and join them in the ‘back to Jerusalem’ movement.

How will we respond to these appeals from far and near? This ANZAC call is an Australian attempt to stir the sleeping giant, the church in Australia, into action. Will we arise in this critical hour to plead before the King for mercy for the Jews? Or will He have to find another?

Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Esther 4:13-14 (emphasis added)