The First Aliyah

Arno Froese

Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 11:17).

In the above verse, we notice the words “I will.” Thus, we realize that the return of the Jews to the land of Israel is the will of God. The question we ask is, how does He implement His will?

The Jerusalem Post proclaims that at the beginning of 2022, Israel’s population stood at 9.5 million.

Where did it all begin? Doubtless, from the “I will” of God. But how did it progress in practical terms? We know, for example, that the Declaration of the State of Israel occurred in May 1948. Since that time, three million Jews have made Aliyah. Jewish Virtual Library reports: “The First Aliyah followed pogroms in Russia in 1881-1882. The first group of 14 Biluim arrived at Jaffa port on July 6, 1882. Most of the olim (immigrants) during this period came from Eastern Europe; a small number also arrived from Yemen. Members of Hibbat Zion and Bilu, two early Zionist movements that were the mainstays of the First Aliyah, defined their goal as ‘the political, national, and spiritual resurrection of the Jewish people in Palestine.’”

We note the words “spiritual resurrection.” How did it work? The article further states: “In all, nearly 35,000 Jews came to Palestine during the First Aliyah. Almost half of them left the country within several years of their arrival, some 15,000 established new rural settlements, and the rest moved to the towns.” 

Most of the Jews of the First Aliyah came from Russia. But the Second Aliyah was different: “The Second Aliyah consisted of young men and women, mainly from Russia, many of them imbued with socialist ideas. These young men and women were guided not only by a more conscious and consistent national ideology, but were also fired by the ideal of laying the foundation for a workers’ commonwealth in the Eretz Yisrael” (

This group, although again mainly from Russia, had a distinctly different ideology; not spiritual restoration, but restoring the land and defending oneself. It was the 5th of January 1930 when, under the leadership of David Ben Gurion, the Mapai Party—Mifleget Poalei Eretz Yisrael: literally, “Workers’ Party of the Land of Israel”—was founded, “a democratic socialist political party in Israel.”

Quite interestingly, not those of a religious ideology, but in plain words, the communist workers’ party was the decisive implementer of settlements—“kibbutzim.” This term came from the Russian “kolkhoz,” a communist settlement. Many of these kibbutzim became extremely successful; to this day, there are millionaires and even billionaires among them.

What was their goal? “Establishment of a welfare state, providing minimum income, security, and free (or almost free) access to housing subsidies and health and social services” (

When we analyze Israel’s modern history, we are faced with the irrevocable “I will” of God. In plain words, the beginning of modern Israel was based on communist ideology.

The same prophet Ezekiel—who occupies himself mostly with the land of Israel—is commanded by God not to speak to the people in the first place, but to the topographical land: “Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord” (Ezekiel 36:1). Then in verse 8, He gives the reason: “But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.” First, the land is being prepared for the people to come.

Later in the same chapter, we read of their twofold conversion: 1) “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh” (verse 26). Note carefully, “a new heart” and “a new spirit.” But that’s not the end. 2) Verse 27 declares: “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” That is yet to come.

We are not surprised, therefore, when we hear so much about Christian Zionism—Messianic believers. They have to be very careful in their public-facing operations. A number of ultra-Orthodox organizations often fight with desperate means to hinder the proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah.

Another source reported that one-third of Russian Jews coming to Israel, while reaping many benefits as new immigrants and receiving Israeli citizenship, then return to Russia. What is the reason? Russia is their home country; it’s the land of their language, culture, ideology, and history.

This type of development is a prophetic warning for the Church. We may not turn back. Here is what we read in Hebrews 6:4-6: “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” 

While this Scripture is often used to support the teaching that one can lose his salvation, it actually proves the opposite. It is impossible to lose my salvation after I have been reborn, and then be reborn again. Our rebirth is based on God’s “I will.” The new spirit born within the believer is the work of God; it is eternal. But those who do turn back will experience the fulfillment of 1 Corinthians 3:15: “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

God’s work with us is not finished, but it can be at any moment. When the last one from among the Gentiles is added to His spiritual temple, then eternity has begun.

God’s “I will” for His people Israel is targeted toward this fulfillment: “And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore” (Ezekiel 37:28).

Explanation of Action for Israel
After the Yom Kippur War in 1973, our late founder, Dr. Wim Malgo, established an emergency fund for poor families in Israel who had lost a loved one in the war. Later, several building projects were undertaken. One of the major projects included part of the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center (now called the Shamir Medical Center). 

As of late, Action for Israel funds are mainly designated for believers in Israel in need.

Midnight Call - 07/2022

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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