The Restoration: The Seven R’s of Israel

This is one of my favorite things to teach while leading a tour of Israel. But, before I get to the “Seven R’s of Israel“, let me tell you how I got them. In 1999, my dad (Jim Reimann, editor of My Utmost for His Highest, Streams in the Desert, etc…etc…) went on his first tour to Israel. He had a group of over 400 people, which took 9-busses from site to site throughout the holy land. His guide, and later one of his best friends, Tony Gafni, taught the “Five R’s of Israel.” No, I didn’t add any — two of them were missing.

Tony learned about the R’s in the 70’s when he first became a guide in Israel. There was a professor named Dr. Paul R. Bauman (1908-2005) of Longview, Texas who guided with Tony over 40 times over the years. Somehow only five of the seven were written down, or more accurately only five were remembered. As my dad hosted tours, Tony was always his guide and my dad really wanted to find out what the missing two were.

My dad tracked Dr. Bauman down. He knew that in the 70’s he taught at LeTourneau University so he called the school. He got in touch with someone at the library, thinking it might have been in one of his books, but that was not the case. After talking to the librarian, she said, “Well, let me give you his phone number and see if he can tell you.” What are the chances of that? On the first call, he got his phone number!

He made the call and Mrs. Bauman answered. My dad explained what he was looking for and he got to talk to Dr. Bauman. He said, “I’m 97 years old. Those five are right, but I don’t remember the other two. Let me call you back.” In the next couple of days, my dad got a callback and Dr. Bauman was able to give him the other two R’s.

On the next tour to Israel, my dad let Tony explain the “5 R’s” and held back until the end of his explanation. He told Tony that he had a surprise, he told him he was able to talk to Dr. Bauman and get the missing two R’s. The set is now complete and now Tony is able to tell all seven when he guides, and we can tell all seven when we host.

With that said, these things are a treasure for me. They were handed down from a wonderful theologian to the best guide in Israel, to my dad, and now to me. These are one of the best things we teach on our tours to Israel and I am so pleased to be able to share it.

The Seven R’s Of Israel

This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD. — Ezekiel 36:22-23

The Seven R’s of Israel are a restoration of G-d’s Holy land, for the Holy language, for the Holy people. Nothing like them has been prophesied and fulfilled for any other people group in the world.

1. Return of the Nation (Return of the People)

I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. — Ezekiel 36:24

IMG_0960_croppedOnce the second temple was destroyed and after the Jews were kicked out of Jerusalem, they were forced into a time and place called the “Diaspora” (Greek root meaning scattering or dispersion). The Jews went to Europe, Africa, Asia–you name it, they went there! I have even seen a History Channel special about the tribes that are in Japan.

The sad part is, eventually they were kicked out of over 100 places… Italy 855, France 1182, Germany 1182, Hungary 1349, The Netherlands 1442, Span 1492, Portugal 1496, Poland, Russia, Arab countries, and the list goes on. Google “Jewish expulsion list” and you will be amazed.

They were sent everywhere and they were always on the move. But all things started changing, as Ezekiel says. The Jews started making “aliyah”, meaning “ascent.” They started to ascend into Israel in 1882. There have been more than 4,020,918 people that have made aliyah. FOUR MILLION people! That is a prophecy with a very accurate number, not a “Well, maybe that has happened.” I personally know people that have been part of fulfilling this prophecy and am able to visit with them when I am there.

Anyone that has a grand-parent that is Jewish can make aliyah. It takes a plane ticket, and a few weeks of paperwork and they can become an Israeli citizen.

2. Rebuilding of the Cities

Have any of you visited a dead city? They are everywhere in America. The auto plant was shut down, the mines no longer have coal, etc., so the town is deserted. They become a ghost town. There is even a Wikipedia page!

I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. — Ezekiel 36:33

Israel is slightly different because G-d said it will be rebuilt, restored, and repopulated. 70% or more cities in Israel have the same (or very similar name) as the ones in the Bible and are built on the same (or very close to) the original place.

3. Reclaiming of the Land

Israeli farming

Israeli farming in the background

Before the Jews were kicked out of Israel it was a thriving and highly populated land with an estimated six million people living there. Once the land was no longer under the care of Israelites, it became desolate.

The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. — Ezekiel 36:34

In 1886 a famous author by the name of Mark Twain visited the holy land. Note: this is when the land did not have a high Jewish population. Jews were there, just not a majority. Mark Twain stated, in a nutshell, that the land was hardly producing enough food for the mere 150,000 people living there.

The land now produces enough for 7+ million!

4. Reforestation of the Land

You, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home. — Ezekiel 36:8

In America, we have Arbor Day, a wonderful day where no one really does anything. 🙂 At least, as far as I can tell, no one really celebrates it; no one really goes out and plants trees.

Reforestation of Israel

Well, in Israel they actually take the day and plant trees. It is a holiday called “Tu Bishvat” or “Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot,” meaning the “New Year of the Trees.” According to Wikipedia, over a million people are involved in this every year. Millions of trees have been planted and the land is thriving.

I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it . — Isaiah 41:19-20

5. Revival of the Hebrew Language

Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder. — Zephaniah 3:9.

Ever since I had to relearn how to speak, read and talk again, I have been interested in languages (that in itself is a very long blog post). As I studied mostly Celtic and Germanic languages I learned how many languages there are. Currently, there are 6,909 languages in use.

The problem is, languages die; that is what they do. Within my lifetime, we will lose over a thousand languages. In my children’s lifetime, we will lose more than half. At the current rate, a language dies every 11-14 days.

Chances are these languages that are dying will never be reused or revived; they never have before. They are gone forever, but not Hebrew. Hebrew is the only language that has died and been raised from the dead. Even in Yeshua’s (Jesus’) time, Hebrew wasn’t in use as the day-to-day language; it was Aramaic.

The Western Wall in Hebrew and English

Somehow, even after being dead for two thousand years, it is alive again. The primary language used by the Jewish people in Israel is Hebrew.

6. Reinstitution of Biblical Laws

I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. — Ezekiel 36:27

The first laws to rule Israel came from the British Mandate of the pre-1948 times. Over time, the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) continues to make more laws concerning their citizens. But before 1948, the land was controlled by people like the Ottoman Empire in which the majority of the people were Islamic.

7. Rebuilding of the Temple

I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be. — Amos 9:11

Has this happened, or is it going to happen? Any Jew would say, “Of course that hasn’t happened!” Some Christians might disagree. There is a belief that the “3rd temple” has been built in a Christian’s heart; other Christians are also waiting for the 3rd temple.

My thoughts are there will be a 3rd temple built in the near future, maybe in my lifetime.

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