What Does The Bible Say About Israel’s Future?

What Does The Bible Say About Israel’s Future? – Commentary by Jack Kelley –
http://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/isaiah-17-an-oracle-against-damascus/

Contrary to all the polls and predictions Benyamin Netanyahu and his Likud party have won another election. Some Israeli observers are calling this a landmark victory, because it came in spite of (or maybe as a reaction to) unprecedented external meddling in the country’s election process.

Now the challenge will be to form a coalition with some of the other political parties because it takes nominal control of at least 61 seats in the Knesset (parliament) to have a workable government and Likud only controls 30. Netanyahu will now have 42 days to accomplish this through negotiations with some of the other party leaders for the remaining 31 seats. Because of the size of Likud’s victory this is not expected to be a difficult process, and Israel should wind up with a decidedly nationalist government.

In the short term, if you believe Netanyahu’s promises, this means the possibility of a Palestinian state becoming a reality is not at all certain, if it ever was. Same goes for the possibility of Iran acquiring the ability to produce nuclear weaponry. I believe it was his public stance on these two issues that resonated in the hearts of Jewish voters and won the election for him.

Some people have written me wondering if I think this will set the end times back a little on the belief that Netanyahu is a stronger defender of Israel’s territory than the other leading candidate. But I think the opposite might be true. Where Israel is concerned, Arab strategy has always been to get as much as possible through negotiations (land for peace) and then get the rest by going to war. Those who are willing to negotiate can keep making concessions to avoid war.

Netanyahu has promised no Palestinian state (although he has since softened a little on that), no divided capitol, and more construction in East Jerusalem. If he sticks to these promises there won’t be much to negotiate. The effect of this could be to convince the Arabs that they will have to fight to get the rest of the things they want. (Of course what they want is no more Israel.)

It’s rumored that the US and other countries will turn to the UN in an effort to force Israel into negotiations with the Palestinians. If so, we may be seeing early hints of the fulfillment of Zechariah 12:3 when all the nations of the world will gather against Jerusalem.

But it’s not my job to offer political commentary or human speculation. It’s my job to report on what the Bible says. So let’s begin.

Psalm 83 / Isaiah 17

The combined fulfillment of these two prophecies could well be the next event on the prophetic calendar. In Psalm 83 the psalmist listed a group of adversaries plotting to “destroy Israel as a nation, that the name of Israel will be remembered no more” (Psalm 83:4). The fulfillment of these prophecies are not recorded in history, but may soon become a reality. A careful study of the names of Israel’s adversaries listed in Psalm 83:5-8 shows they all occupied lands adjacent to Israel in their time. The current occupants of these lands appear just as determined to destroy Israel as their historic counterparts were. If the Psalmist’s prayer is answered, Israel will emerge victorious. Damascus will no longer be a city, and the threat from the proxy groups controlled by Russia and Iran who are lurking just across Israel’s borders will have been neutralized.

For more detail, read Psalm 83 … Preview Of A Coming Attraction & Isaiah 17, An Oracle Against Damascus – http://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/psalm-83-preview-of-a-coming-attraction/ and http://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/isaiah-17-an-oracle-against-damascus/

Ezekiel 38-39

The defeat of Israel’s next door neighbors will fulfill one of the preconditions required for the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 to take place. In Ezekiel 38:11 the Lord revealed these thoughts in the mind of Gog, the supernatural leader of the armies of Magog. “I will invade a land of unwalled villages. I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people – all of them living without gates and bars” (Ezekiel 38:11). This certainly cannot be said of Israel today. But it could be the case if Hezbollah, Syria, the PLO, Hamas, and other contentious neighbors had recently been defeated. The absence of these neighbors from Ezekiel’s list of Israel’s attackers lends credence to the notion of their prior defeat.

However it happens, a large contingent of forces armed and controlled by Russia and consisting of Muslim fighters from around the Middle East and Eastern Europe will suddenly swoop down from the north onto the mountains of Israel. They will descend like a cloud over central Israel, having the goal of conquering the Jewish nation with overwhelming force.

In Ezekiel 38:16 God admitted that He Himself will have orchestrated this attack as a demonstration of his power to the nations of the world. With His signature acts of a great earthquake, plague, torrents of rain, hailstones, burning sulfur, and turning the attackers against each other, He will decimate this invading army and Israel will once again emerge victorious (Ezekiel 38:19-23).

For more detail, read The Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 … Part 1 – http://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/the-battle-of-ezekiel-38-39-part-1/

Daniel’s 70th Week

The realization that it was God who won their victory over the Russian/Muslim invaders will make Israel will respond just as God predicted. “From that day forward, the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God” (Ezekiel 39:22). They will renew their national Old Covenant relationship with Him. Employing the altar they have recently completed, the priesthood they’ve been preparing will again offer sacrifices to their God. After a 2,000 year pause, Daniel’s missing 70th Week will have begun. With the help of an emerging world leader, they will begin constructing a Temple. Many will believe peace in the Middle East has finally arrived.

But too late, they will realize they’ve made a covenant with death, something God also predicted (Isaiah 28:15) The emerging world leader who everyone saw as a great man of peace will turn out to be a conqueror bent on conquest (Rev. 6:2), and war will soon be the order of the day across 1/4th of the world, accompanied by the disease, famine, and death that always follows (Rev. 6:8).

Then this leader will commit an act of blasphemy that in Jewish history has been called the abomination of desolation, previously committed only by Antiochus Epiphanes in 168 BC. He will stand in the Temple he helped build and declare himself to be God (2 Thes. 2:4). This is the event Jesus said would signal the beginning of the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:15,21). It will take place in the middle of Daniel’s 70th Week.

For more detail, read The 70 Weeks Of Daniel – http://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/the-70-weeks-of-daniel/

Great Tribulation

When He gave this sign to Israel almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus also warned them to flee into the mountains when they saw it, saying this would begin the greatest time of trouble the world has ever seen. Those who are believers will flee, but those who are only Jews by heritage or tradition will accept this imposter. They will think he’s the long awaited messiah and worship him, even as he begins a concerted effort to wipe their believing brethren off the face of the Earth.

God will help the believers escape to a place prepared for them in the desert (Rev. 12:14) and will protect them there while He launches the most severe series of judgments in the history of the world. According to Jeremiah 30:11, His purpose in doing so will be two fold. First, He’s going to completely destroy all the nations to which His people have been scattered, and second, He’s going to to discipline Israel, purifying them in preparation for opening their eyes so they’ll finally be able to recognize the messiah.

Toward the end of the Great Tribulation, this will happen. “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10).

This will be the moment the Lord has been waiting for. 2,000 years ago Israel had asked for a miraculous sign from Him.

He said, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:39-40).

Having waited in vain for Israel to accept this undeniable proof that He is their Messiah, He left them. It was 40 days after His resurrection, and their time of testing was over. This too had been prophesied long ago.

Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me (Hosea 5:15).

Finally, in their hour of desperation, they will admit their guilt and mourn for Him. And the Lord will say,

Their blood guilt which I have not pardoned, I will pardon (Joel 3:21).

They will finally understand what the preceding 2,000 years has been all about. It has been about God waiting for Israel to admit that their Messiah had come and they did not recognize Him.

2nd Coming

Upon His return the Lord will first go to Petra, where the believing remnant of Israel will be, and defeat all the enemy forces surrounding His people there (Isaiah 63:1-6). Then He will go to Jerusalem to free His city and defeat the forces gathered against Him there. The anti-Christ, who had deceived the whole world, will be captured and thrown live into the Lake of fire, and all his armies will be destroyed (Rev. 19:11-21). At the end of the day He will be King of the whole Earth, and His name will be the only name (Zechariah 14:9).

Millennium

In the Millennium, Israel will once again be God’s most favored nation on Earth. In fact, He will dwell among them as He did in Biblical times, only this time it will be forever (Ezekiel 43:7). They will occupy all the land he originally promised to them. Peace and prosperity will be the order of the day (Isaiah 66:12), since the nation’s age old enemies will have all been vanquished. Only during the time of Solomon have they even come close to having the quality of life they will soon enjoy, with all the promises God has made to them finally coming true.

Summary

When you understand the prophetic view, you can see that everything is falling into place, just like God said it would. Because their hearts remain hardened against Him, there will be some very difficult days ahead for Israel. They will be abandoned by all their friends, at the mercy of their enemies. Even the nation’s self reliance, declared so confidently in the Prime Minister’s recent speech before congress, will be insufficient to save them.

But He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4). He’s been waiting patiently for the time to come when they will realize that only He can save them, and will humble themselves before Him to ask for His help. Even this has been foretold.

“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence” (Hosea 6:1-2).

When that time comes, He will save them and restore them. He will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more (Jeremiah 31:34). Once again they will be His people and He will be their God.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins (Isaiah 40:2). Finally.

Israel, Iran, and the End Times

Israel, Iran, and the End Times -By Britt Gillette – http://www.raptureready.com/featured/gillette/bg63.html

Israel and Iran have been in the news a lot lately. Currently, several nations are trying to strike a deal with Iran to curtail its nuclear ambitions. The question on the minds of many Bible prophecy students is what does the Bible say about this? Are Iran’s nuclear ambitions a sign of the end times? Maybe. Maybe not.

Rest assured that Iran itself does have a role in the future fulfillment of Bible prophecy (see Ezekiel 38 and 39). But no one can say for sure whether or not the current nuclear talks will play a significant role in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. What I can tell you is that this generation is already a witness to the fulfillment of numerous Bible prophecies, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s much publicized speech from earlier this week should make that crystal clear.

On Tuesday, March 3rd, the Israeli Prime Minister addressed the U.S. Congress, and while the media replayed several sound bites from the speech, one passage in particular resonated with me. Here it is:

We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. This is why — this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.

Why do I find this passage so interesting? Because this simple paragraph reads like a collection of Bible verses. In fact, it reads like a collection of recently fulfilled and soon-to-be fulfilled Bible prophecies. Here are the key points that stood out:

1) “We are no longer scattered among the nations…” This is a direct fulfillment of God’s promise to bring the Jews back into the land of Israel. A promise made multiple times thousands of years ago through the prophets:

“Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind.” Ezekiel 39:28 (NLT)

“He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.” Isaiah 11:12 (NLT)

“However, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.” Jeremiah 16:14-15 (NLT)

“Then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you. Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the Lord your God will gather you from there and bring you back again. The Lord your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again.” Deuteronomy 30:3-5 (NLT)

2) “We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home.” Note to Netanyahu: This should read “God restored our sovereignty in our ancient home.” Why? Because God made it clear thousands of years ago this was all a part of His plan:

“I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will be proved holy through you in the sight of the nations. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your ancestors.” Ezekiel 20:41-42 (NLT)

“I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.” Jeremiah 23:3 (NLT)

“I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered – with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath.” Ezekiel 20:34 (NLT)

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess'” Jeremiah 30:3 (NLT)

“Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return.” Zechariah 10:9 (NLT)

“He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.” Isaiah 11:12 (NLT)

3) “The soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage.” God promised even the weakest soldier in modern day Israel will be like David:

“On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David.” Zechariah 12:8 (NLT)

“Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.” Jeremiah 30:10 (NLT)

4) “We, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.” This is a big one. Israel barely cracks the Top 100 nations in terms of population, but its military consistently ranks among the most powerful on earth. Think this is the result of random chance? I don’t think so. Israel’s exceedingly great army was foretold over 2,000 years ago:

“On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.” Zechariah 12:6 (NLT)

“They came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.” Ezekiel 37:10 (NLT)

5) “Even if Israel has to stand alone…” According to God’s Word, the day will come when Israel will stand alone. The war prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39 portrays Israel as an isolated nation under attack, and only God comes to Israel’s aid. Furthermore, the prophet Zechariah foresees a day when “all the nations of the earth are gathered against her”:

“In that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.” Zechariah 12:3 (NLT)

6) “Israel will stand.” Nevertheless, even though Israel will one day stand alone, Israel isn’t going away. Because God not only promised to bring His people back from their faraway lands of exile and firmly plant them in Israel, he promised they will never be uprooted again:

“And I will bring my people Israel back from exile. ‘They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,’ says the Lord your God.” Amos 9:14-15 (NLT)

Israel’s enemies should take note: “Israel will stand.” She isn’t going anywhere. Not because it has a great military or the support of the United States, but because the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob made a promise:

“I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.” 1 Kings 6:13 (NLT)

When the dark days of this age come to an end, God will make good on His promise, and He will come to live among the nations, and there will be no more war:

“‘Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.'” Zechariah 2:10-13 (NLT)

Whether or not the events of this week have any immediate prophetic significance, you can be sure that we’re living in the last days. Jesus, Moses, and the prophets pointed to the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel as one of the foremost signs of the Second Coming. Jesus Himself said the generation that witnesses the re-emergence of Israel will not pass away before He returns (Matthew 24:34).

So what’s the big lesson from this past week’s events? While we’re not yet in the seven-year period the Bible calls the “Tribulation,” we’re very close. Much closer than we’ve ever been.

Jesus is coming. Are you ready?

Britt Gillette is the author of Signs of the Second Coming: 11 Reasons Jesus Will Return in Our Lifetime and Coming to Jesus: One Man’s Search for Truth and Life Purpose. He’s also the founder of End Times Bible Prophecy.