The ingathering of the Jewish people to their land is one of the greatest End Time signs being played out before our very eyes. Has the time come for a greater return of the Jewish community from Australia to the promised land?
The Current Exile
One of the clearest evidences of the Bible’s supernatural origin is its many prophecies describing the return of the Jews from exile – prophecies which are being fulfilled in the world-wide regathering which is happening in our day. All the way back to Moses (Deut 28:64-67), the Bible predicted an exile of the Jewish people from their land – followed by a return from the four corners of the globe (Is 43:5).
But why is God bringing His people home? Ezekiel describes two key purposes of this return in the context of the End Times. Firstly it is for the glory and honour of God’s name. Ezekiel describes the exile of Israel as bringing shame to God’s name among the nations. Seeing ahead to our day, Ezekiel prophetically predicts that God will bring them home – not due to their righteousness – but for His Name’s sake (Ezek 36:22-24). Jesus taught us to pray ‘Hallowed be your Name’ and a key avenue for this prayer to be answered is through the world-wide return of the Jewish people to their land.
A second purpose Ezekiel foresaw is for Israel and the nations to know He is God. Ezek 39:26 declares “when I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, 28 then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity … but also brought them back to their land”. Our heartfelt prayer and desire is for Israel to truly know the Lord. Ezekiel predicts this will happen in conjunction with the return to the land (see also Ezek 36:24-25, 37:9-13, Is 11:12) and that it will be a sign to the Gentiles of God’s faithfulness.
Ultimately, Israel’s return to the Land sets the stage for the End Time events predicted throughout the Bible – and most importantly of all for Israel to be in place to welcome back her Messiah.
Christians Assisting Aliyah
With a clear End Time vision in mind, many Christian organisations have been actively working to help the Jewish return. One example is Ebenezer Operation Exodus which has helped over 170’000 Jews mainly in Russia, and another example is the aliyah work of Christians for Israel in Ukraine.
When will it be Australia’s Turn?
While Aussie Christians have been praying for and assisting the return of Jews in places like Russia and Ukraine, a question that has been burning on my heart is “when will it be Australia’s turn”?
Over the years, my prayers have joined the prayers of many other Aussies asking God to stir the hearts of our Jewish community regarding aliyah. In 2016/17 we saw the first fruits of an answer to this prayer. For the very first time in 20 years of ministry, Australian Jews began contacting Ebenezer for assistance – with 7 people making aliyah here locally within 12 months.
This wave of aliyah enquiries co-incided with my mum and I’s move into Caulfield two years ago for the purpose of praying in the area and supporting aliyah. Given the higher cost of living in Caulfield, we really could not afford the move – but the very day we gave notice, I was given a business by a Christian business owner whom I had never heard of or met. The business transferred to my ownership at no cost to myself – and funded the move into the area as well as a general increase in my income. We really could see God’s hand at work!
Now in 2019, we are looking to take it to another level. My wife Sarah and I have just signed the lease to an office in the heart of Jewish Melbourne. The office space will be multi-functional, but is particularly setup with the goal of supporting aliyah via Ebenezer. The price of the office was a bit high for us, but only days after we got the keys, extra finances begun to come in to cover the shortfall!
We have also already interviewed one Jewish couple who are seriously considering returning – and we believe there will be many more coming through our doors in the coming days.
Do They Need our Help?
Does the Australian Jewish community need our support in terms of aliyah? While it is true that many members of the community are well off and while there are generous Israeli government programs setup to assist aliyah – there are people who fall between the cracks. For example, one young man contacted Ebenezer who wants to volunteer in the IDF – but because he had previously lived in Israel, he was not eligible for the usual assistance. Others need practical assistance with last minute cleaning of their homes or getting to the airport (having just sold their cars!).
Ultimately, Ebenezer’s goal is to also encourage the local Jewish community with a sense of divine destiny and the fulfilment of prophecy – helping them to see that their move back home is not just another act of migration, but is the fulfilment of what their Bible predicted so long ago.
Storm Clouds of Anti Semitism
When praying about setting up the office, my wife Sarah got the words ‘It is time’. A sudden surge of anti-Semitic incidents in Australia certainly witnesses to this fact. 2018 featured the single largest increase on record of anti-Semitic incidents – a whopping 60% increase from the previous year. For example, Neo-Nazi groups have plastered flyers across the country with pictures from the holocaust and the words ‘legalise the execution of Jews, join your local nazis’.
2019 is off to an even more shocking start here in Melbourne. At the beginning of the year, neo-Nazi stickers were placed at the entrance to an Aged Care centre for holocaust survivors. A few days later – on the 100th anniversary of the German Workers Party – a far right rally was held in neighbouring St Kilda featuring Nazi salutes and an SS helmet on display.
Will You be Involved?
We believe that this is truly the time when God is beginning to call His people home even from Australia. Isaiah declares that the Gentiles would be involved in aliyah carrying Israel’s sons and daughters “on their shoulders” (Is 49:22). Would you consider being involved and supporting this work?
We certainly need prayer. Pray for us that we will have favour with Jewish community leaders and that we may have divine connections with individuals in the community whose hearts are being stirred for aliyah (Zec 10:8, Is 11:11-12).
For more information or to find out more about practical support for the work of aliyah in Australia, please contact us directly via our web site www.pastorenoch.com.au
Enoch Lavender was born in Australia, raised in Norway, spent time living in China and is now based in Melbourne, Australia. He has been studying Hebrew and the Jewish roots of our faith for the past decade, and has a keen interest in the Middle East from a Bible prophecy perspective.