Israel Future - Israel's prophetic destiny
The handwriting is on the wall.
Is God finished with Israel? "Certainly not!" declares the apostle Paul (Romans 11). On the contrary, God's final drama is starting to unfold in vivid, rapid succession with Israel at center stage.
"For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days" (Hosea 3:4-5).
Jesus points to Daniel, Daniel points to Jesus.
When four of Jesus' disciples come to Him for a confidential briefing on His Second Coming (Mark 13:3-4), Jesus points them to the prophet Daniel as the key to End Times prophecy. In chapter 9:20-27, Daniel gives a mathematical prophecy that calculates the year, and the very day, Messiah presents Himself to Jerusalem and His people.
Then why did they miss Him? For the same reason that most Christians don't know the signs of His Second Coming. They didn't know their own Scriptures. Jesus holds them accountable for knowing this prophecy, with Jerusalem being leveled in 70 A.D. as the punishment for their behavior.
What is the fullness of the Gentiles?
The next event on the prophetic clock is the filling up of the Gentile church - when the last non-Jew becomes a Christian.
"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in" (Romans 11:25).
The word "fullness" indicates completion or wholeness. On the last day Christ will come to physically and spiritually remove Christians from the earth's physical realm.
"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
A false Christianity arises.
According to (2 Thessalonians 2:7), there will be no spiritual fortification to prevent a world wide, ecumenical, religious coup. Revelation 17 tells us a false Christianity will arise and lure all people to it, including Jews and Muslims.
Temple preparations are underway.
Orthodox Jews are also waiting to return to the sacrificial system laid out in the Old Testament. They know there will eventually be an end to this laborious payment for sin (Jeremiah 31:31-32); they just don't know exactly how it will be accomplished. In the meantime, this very day, they are moving forward with plans to build a new temple. What most Jews are presently blinded from, though, is that this payment for sin has already come:
"But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:11-14).
The Antichrist arrives.
Today, many Orthodox Jews in Israel are waiting for someone to bring peace to Jerusalem, justly dividing it to appease Jew, Christian and Muslim. We commonly refer to this person as the Antichrist, but a more accurate term would be a pseudo Christ, or one who is received instead of Christ (John 5:43). He'll have the likeability of a Lincoln, the strength of Stalin, the kindness of Carter and the charisma of Kennedy. He'll bring peace and calm in a world that's filled with chaos, combat and calamity.
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10).
Russia invades Israel.
In Ezekiel 38, God speaks against an attacker who arms and leads a coalition of Arab nations against Israel (secular historians agree that the descendents of Magog comprise modern-day Russia). The Lord intervenes on behalf of Israel and describes what appears to be the use of nuclear weapons.
"And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths" (Zechariah 14:12).
Meshech and Tubal (Ezekiel 38:2) speaks of the people geographically located in the area now known as Turkey. While Turkey is not hostile with Israel today, it is a necessary piece of the puzzle for a Russian invasion; thus we are wise in monitoring Turkey's political maneuvers.
A Mideast peace treaty will be enforced and then broken.
Antichrist will enforce a treaty that will seem to offer peace in Israel and Jerusalem. He will be hailed and loved by all for accomplishing this seemingly impossible task. This will begin a turbulent seven-year period known in the Old Testament as Jacob's Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).
"Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week" (Daniel 9:27a).
Midway through this seven-year period, Antichrist breaks his treaty and shows himself for who he really is.
"But in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate" (Daniel 9:27b).
What is the Abomination of Desolation?
The Abomination of Desolation is a historical reference to Antiochus Epiphanes (167 BC) desecrating the Temple by erecting a pagan idol in the holiest part of the Temple. This is the ultimate way to offend God.
"Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains" (Matthew 24:15-16).
At this time, all Jews eyes will be opened to what they have done, how they have been deceived, and the revelation that Jesus is the Meschiach Nagid, the Messiah the King (Matthew 24:15-22).
"? for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
When is the Great Tribulation?
The Great Tribulation is a term that speaks specifically of the second half of the seven-year period known as Jacob's Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). It will be a time of unprecedented, worldwide horrors as detailed in Revelation chapters 6-19.
"For when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape" (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
Hitler killed one out of three Jews in the Holocaust; the prophet Zechariah tells us this next Holocaust will take two out of three Jews.
"And it shall come to pass in all the land, Says the LORD, That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one- third shall be left in it" (Zechariah 13:8).
During this time, the Lord commissions 144,000 special servants - 12,000 Jews from each of the 12 tribes of Israel (Revelation 7:4) - to evangelize the world before the end comes (Matthew 24:14). Imagine 144,000 high powered evangelists walking the earth. The only problem is that accepting Christ during this time will cost a person his head (Revelation 20:4). While this certainly seems like something out of a science fiction movie, consider the Koran and what Muslims presently are doing to people who don't agree what they believe. They execute, chop off hands and chop off body parts (Koran, Sura 5:33). Now how strange is it?
When this seven-year period is complete, Messiah returns to settle His accounts and usher in the millennial reign of His kingdom. Just as Christ held the Jew accountable for knowing the time of His First Coming (Luke 13:34), we are responsible for knowing the signs of His Second Coming.
"Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:30).
"And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: 'The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob' " (Romans 11:26).