The “Key” to Prophecy of the End Times is Israel
How do we know Bible prophecy and the end times are for the present times? Israel! Israel! Israel!
Israel is the focus of the end times because the Tribulation is the “time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) [NOT the Church’s trouble!] and Daniel’s 70th week (Daniel 9:26,27) after 69 weeks ended with Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt (a fact that can be calculated to the exact day!). Jesus said that Israel (the fig tree) was to be watched in Matthew 24: 32-34, “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its young shoots become soft and tender and it puts out its leaves, you know of a surety that summer is near. So also when you see these signs all taken together coming to pass, you may know of a surety that He is near, at the very doors. Truly, I tell you, this generation [that sees these things coming to pass] will not pass away till all these things taken together take place.” The Old Testament prophets referred to Israel as a fig tree. Hosea 9:10 says, “…I saw your fathers as the first ripe fruit on the fig tree in its first season…’. Jeremiah said in 24:5, “Like these good figs, so will I regard the captives of Judah whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.”
And what are the “things taken together” that we are to see? Matthew 24:3-14 and Mark 13:4-8 and Luke 21:7-13 all say wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, mighty earthquakes, famines, pestilences, signs in the heavens, birth pangs as a woman in labor – exactly what we are seeing today!
During the 20th century, we all witnessed God fulfilling all or, in part, seven prophecies concerning the Jewish people:
- The regathering of the Jews from the four corners of the Earth (Isaiah 11:10-12). Theodore Herzl’s book, “The Jewish State”, published in 1896 started the Jews returning. In 1900, 40,000. Today, over 1/3 of the world’s total Jewish population – over 6,000,000 – are in Israel.
- The re-establishment of the State of Israel (Ezekiel 37:21-22). 1917 British Foreign Minister Lord Arthur Balfour issued the Balfour Declaration which supported a “Jewish National Home in Palestine”. Palestine, from the Greek word “Philistia”, is the land of the Philistines. The Bar-Kochba Revolt in 135 A.D. ended the Jews in the area, and Hadrian, the Roman Emperor, renamed Jerusalem ‘Aelia Capitolina” (Aelia was one of Hadrian’s names – Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus Augustus) and Israel he named “Syria Palestina”. So, from 135 A.D. until 1948, the land was Palestine for 1,813 years! This fulfills the prophecy in Micah 3:11-12, “Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the Temple like the bare hills of the forest.”
- The reclamation of the land (Ezekiel 36:34,35) from a malaria-infested swampland denuded of trees to the breadbasket of the Middle east with many forests
- The revival of the Hebrew language (Zephaniah 3:9 and Jeremiah 31:23). Jews were driven out of their land by the Romans in 135 A.D. Hebrew stopped being spoken. But, almost 1800 years later, in Lithuania, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda devoted his life to resurrecting the dead Hebrew language. Britain declared Hebrew to be one of the three official languages of Palestine in 1922 along with English and Arabic. Ben-Yehuda died one year later.
- The re-occupation of the city of Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:4-8) on June 7, 1967, during the Six Day War, taken from Jordan some 1832 years after the loss of Jerusalem to the Romans in 135 A.D. This also completed Jesus’ comment to His disciples that, “…Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24).”
- The resurgence of the Israeli Military (Zechariah 12:6) from one of the smallest countries in the world (about the size of New Jersey). The Israeli Military is regularly ranked in the top ten militaries in the world
- The re-focusing of world politics on the nation of Israel and its Capitol city of Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:23)