Israel and the End Times
Israel has been called God’s Prophetic Time Clock. Israel and the End Times are closely linked. Its history and future are clearly defined in Scripture. What happens in and with Israel affects the whole world.
Israel is a Prophetic Sign to the Nations
Jesus said, “Now learn this parable from the fig tree when it’s ranch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the very doors” Matthew 24:32,33.
Bible scholars know the fig tree is an important symbol of Israel. When we see Israel standing up and becoming a Nation again, the Lord said, we must understand that the end is close. Israel and the End Times are closely linked.
A Brief History of Israel’s Beginnings
God promised Abraham his descendants through Isaac would inherit the land he was currently living in. The Lord had told him to leave his home and move to Canaan, future land of the Israeli nation. At that time it belonged to the Philistines.
“Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever… Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates” Genesis 15:14-18 (NIV).
Abraham believed God, even though he was one hundred years old and his wife ninety, far too old to have children of their own. In a moment of doubt, he had a son with an Egyptian woman called Hagar after Sarah pressurized him to help God fulfill His promise. Ishmael was born thirteen years before Isaac.
When Isaac was miraculously born, Abraham sent all his other children to the East. “And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac. But Abraham gave gifts to the sons of the concubines which Abraham had; and while he was still living he sent them eastward, away from Isaac his son, to the country of the east” Genesis 25:5-6. The Arab nations lived and developed to the East of Isaac and his descendants.
Israel in Egypt
The Lord also told Abraham they would only properly occupy the Promised Land 400 years after his death. At that time, the inhabitants of the land would sin to the point of no return and were marked for destruction. “But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete” Genesis 15:16.
Isaac’s son, Jacob, had twelve sons, who later formed the Nation of Israel. Joseph, the youngest son of Jacob at the time, brought them to Egypt during a great famine when he was Prime Minister of Egypt. Four hundred years later, Moses led them out of Egypt and Joshua took them into the Promised Land, where they settled.
In rebellion again, they were exiled to Babylon but returned to their own land in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. They rebuilt Jerusalem and the city walls. The Lord warned that would happen. “I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. I will scatter you among the nations Leviticus 26:32-33. They lived in Babylon, Persia, Rome, and many other nations. Many still do.
After Rome conquered them, Israel wandered from nation to nation for the next two thousand years, mocked and persecuted.
What Was Happening in the Promised Land?
A few hardy Jews remained. 43 Jewish communities were recorded in the 6th Century AD. Some Arab people wandered around the land too. A report in 1864 noted that the Jewish settlers formed the largest group of people living there. 99.9% of the land was uninhabited.
The Turks ruled the area for 400 years and were a major cause of the desolation. They declared a tree tax and all the trees were cut down to avoid paying it. Rev. Samuel Manning visited the land in 1874. He said, “The land is left void and desolate and without inhabitants.”
There has never been a nation called Palestine in that area. Palestine has never even been a State historically. That was the popular name given to the Middle East area controlled by Britain after Allenby claimed it as British territory in 1917.
The Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations
The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during World War I. It announced support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. It was then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population.
The League of Nations was established at the end of World War I as an international peacekeeping organization. Although US President Woodrow Wilson was an enthusiastic proponent of the League, the United States did not officially join the League of Nations due to opposition from isolationists in Congress. They promised the area to the Jews as a homeland in 1920.
Two years later, they reneged on their promise and divided the territory into two areas. Israel received a small portion and the rest was ceded to Jordan. Jews were not allowed to settle in Jordan, but Israel allowed roaming Arabic people from surrounding nations to stay. They came to work in Israel as the land began to blossom and prosper as God promised. “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose” Isaiah 35:1.
Dividing the land was not the best idea the nations ever had. The Lord warned the nations never to do that. He said: “I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land” Joel 3:2.
Is it any wonder those very nations are now thoroughly divided? Look at the mess Britain is in now. And America. There is worse to come when God deals with the nations at the Battle of Armageddon.
Israel and the End Times: Isaiah’s Prophecy
Isaiah prophesied that the Nation of Israel would be established in their land in one day. “…Has a nation ever been born in a single day? Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment?... Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth and then not deliver it? asks the LORD. No! I would never keep this nation from being born, says your God” Isaiah 66:7-9 (NLT).
Israel and the End Times: A Nation Born in One Day
That day came for Israel on May 14, 1948.
In 1931 a census was taken to see if any of the Arab people were actually born in Israel. None were. They came from the nations listed here.
Israel displaced some of them to make way for Jewish settlers and they are still protesting that they owned the land!
Israel declared itself an independent nation on May 14, 1948. The Arabs were furious. That next day five Arab nations joined Jordan, banding together to attack Israel. Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank) were uprooted by the Arab forces of Jordan. they destroyed homes, hospitals, synagogues, businesses, schools, and annexed the territory as their own. Israel took it back in the Six Days War in 1967. This is not “occupied territory” – it was legally declared their territory in 1948. The only occupiers were the Arab nations who forcibly took it.
Now, the fight is on. 150 million Arabs in 17 countries want that little piece of land called Israel about the size of our Kruger National Park. The nations have been calling for that little sliver of land to be divided again in the hope of making peace in the Middle East.
“Everybody sees a difficulty in the question of relations between Arabs and Jews. But not everybody sees that there is no solution to this question. No solution! There is a gulf, and nothing can bridge it .. We, as a nation, want this country to be ours: the Arabs, as a nation, want this country to be theirs.” – David Ben-Gurion, June 1919.
At heart, this is a spiritual battle. The descendants of Ishmael (Abraham’s eldest son) believe they should have inherited the land from Abraham. But deeper still, this is a battle between satan and the Lord. Does the devil really believe if he can take East Jerusalem, that will stop the Lord returning right there to the Mount of Olives, as prophesied in Zechariah 14:4? We’ve read the last chapter and know the outcome!
Israel and the End Times: Ezekiel’s War
Ezekiel prophesied that the Arab nations will try again, with the help of Turkey and Russia. He also prophesied they would be soundly defeated and it will take Israel seven months to bury the dead. They want Israel? The Lord says they will be buried there! “For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land” Ezekiel 39:12. Read more about this in Ezekiel chapters 38,39 and Psalm 83. The seven-year reign of antichrist follows and his peace treaty with Israel. We’ll talk more about that in a later post.
The Lord is going to rule from Jerusalem for one-thousand years, just as He promised according to Revelation chapter 20.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
May they prosper who love you.
Watch Israel If You Want To Know What God is Doing!
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