Skip to comments.Israel Is at the Heart of Prophecy
Posted on 11/29/2010 4:03:52 PM PST by GiovannaNicoletta
I was talking with a friend recently, and we were discussing questions we get while speaking.
One of the most popular is, How do we know we are in the last days? A perhaps more popular version of this question is, How do we know Jesus is coming back soon?
Ninety-nine percent of the time, I hear this question answered with a New Testament verse or verses. That of course is legitimate. However, there is a fascinating reference in the Old Testament, and it has become my favorite answer.
In Psalm 102:16, we read:
When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.
Preterists and others hostile to Israel and predictive prophecy answer that this must refer to Christs first coming. Yet was the Lord building Zion on that electric night in Bethlehem? An emphatic no.
The Romans were pressing the inhabitants of the Holy Land under a dictatorial heel at that precise moment, and for a few centuries after that. In fact, after several decades of Jewish sovereignty under the leadership and aftermath of the Maccabees, who had taken control of Judea from the Seleucid Empire, that sovereignty came to an end.
In the first century, B.C., this Jewish rebel army gave way to the powerful Romans.
So at that stage of history, the Lord was not building Zion.
He has, however, been building Zion since the late 19th century, and now millions of Jews live in their ancestral land.
Logic the great hallmark of Bible-believing Christians, and the Achilles Heel of the liberals tells us that since Zion is being built-up right now, we can confidently expect the Lord to return at any time.
One of my favorite books is an obscure title from Prof. Benzion Netanyahu, entitled: Don Isaac Abravanel Statesman and Philosopher. The 15th century financier-turned-biblical scholar was a fascinating character, a Jew who saw much of the turmoil of Jewish life in Europe at a seminal moment in history.
At one point, upon seeing the brutal and callous treatment of Jews in Spain and elsewhere, Abravanel in order to make sense out of circumstances turned to Scripture in order to understand what was happening. It was there he developed a thrilling and significant worldview that had as its bedrock the truth that the Bible is supernaturally inspired.
This reality of course is hateful to liberals, among them certain Christian leaders who have crept in unawares, as they say. For them, predictive prophecy is a formidable weapon that can be used against their diabolical attacks on the faith. Thats why they hate it, and why they hate the Jews.
Netanyahu, the historian, went to the heart of the matter in discussing Abravanels epiphany:
The spearhead of the drive against the Jews in Spain, as against those of any other medieval country in the west, was the clergy."
Isnt that chilling?
Do you see?
The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 was one of those highlighted historical markers, in which human history is traced by how men have treated the Jews. And Abravanel observed up-close just who in fact led the efforts to persecute Jews: the Church.
Of course, in those days it was the Catholic Church. Although its a topic for another time, the Catholic involvement in this area is somewhat of a mixed bag since World War II (on the one hand, a virulent stream of anti-semitism still infects Catholicism; on the other hand, significant inroads have been made to bring Catholics and Jews together).
Today, the problem area for Jew hatred is center-left Christian leadership, and what are still legitimately evangelical leaders. I promise you, they completely loathe Psalm 102:16. This represents one side in a massive war going on today between biblical truth and paganism. Lets look at a critical aspect of Abravanels emerging worldview, as told by Netanyahu:
The position of Abravanel was thus simple and direct. It was based on his triple axiom: the Bible is the word of God; the Bible represents truth; the Bible must be taken literally before it can be interpreted symbolically.
More on Abravanels epiphany:
If the Bible is to be believed, miracles must be believed as well, and they can be explained only by Gods omnipotence, by His complete independence of nature and of matter. How can we establish the veracity of the Bible, which is threatened by the doubts placed in the miracle stories, and make it unchallengeable by the skeptics? Only by accepting creation ex nihilo, the greatest of all miracles.
Wow, and wow. Leave it to a Middle Ages Jewish philosopher and a modern Jewish historian to hit the nail on the head. Ironically, they are giving us the principle reason young people (and people of all ages) are leaving our churches in droves.
The relationship-and-self-driven, narcissistic, lights-and-laser-show programs of the modern American church are the antithesis of a New Testament church, and therefore, of reality itself. Modern Christian leadership in America has, by and large, either capitulated to liberal scholarship, or has turned to smarmy and ultimately pointless programs that have nothing to do with teaching the Bible as the guide for life. They have let the attacks on the miracle stories of Scripture cut the guts out of faith for millions.
You might think Ive digressed in this column, but I argue that I have not. For what is the return of the Lord if not the ultimate modern miracle? That cosmic return will tear open the fabric of time and space and provide a way of rescue for a planet that is coming apart at the seams.
He said a long time ago that when he builds up His people in their ancient land, He will come. Thats it. He will come. Again, Netanyahu, writing about Abravanel:
His position is that the universe has been endowed by its Creator with the power to endure a limited time, at the end of which it must cease to exist.
Im not saying that the long-dead Abravanel, or the now 100-year-old Benzion Netanyahu believe exactly as modern, Bible-believing Christians do regarding present-day and future history. But I am saying that these ideas are shedding light on what is really going on in our world right now.
As the great prophecy teacher Tommy Ice likes to say, Maranatha!
Well hello there. Good to hear from you again, and I agree, yes, Israel is indeed at the heart of prophesy. Those who come against the “apple of God’s Eye” always suffer the ramifications.
There is a lot of talk of Ezekiel 39 this last year, especially by no small number of Rabbis.
Well, we certainly have the required alliances in place right now for the Ezekiel 39 prophecy to come to pass...
For me, a lot of it is about “this generation”, 1948, the Bible take on the length of a mans years (70), the 70th wiik of Daniel, and all sorts of other prophesy from both the old and new testaments that tie in together as nicely as the prophesies of Jesus from the OT tie in with his life.
I’ve gone on record as saying that Obama is either the antichrist or he is not. If he is not, he will go down very, VERY hard. If he is, there is not much we can do except pray and follow Jesus’ commands. This world is a VERY temporary place for all of us. We need to put our focus on the right things.
Yes indeed. We are watching the whole world turn against Israel, like God told us would happen. Even the Queen of England has jumped on the bandwagon.
My belief is that we are in the end times. In fact, I was discussing some of this stuff with someone a few months ago and it suddenly hit me that based on various factors I mentioned a few posts ago, it would appear that it will be pretty obvious to anyone paying attention by 2018 at the absolute latest, and it could happen at any time before that.
No, I’m not setting dates. That is why I use the phrase “it would appear”. I may be all wet, but it is a theory at this point.
One thing is for sure, nobody will know the day or the hour, but we are instructed to recognize when the harvest is near. I think it is, and based on a LOT of disparate information and indicators from political, to economic, cultural and even geological.
We definitely the generation which is witnessing all the things Jesus said would happen when He returns.
Time is rapidly running out for decisions about one's eternal destiny to be made.
Indeed it is.
I think you're right on the money about the time around 2018 or 2019 to be the time for the beginning of the Millennial reign.
While none of us are date setters, we are the generation that is seeing the beginnings of the signs for the Tribulation occurring and Jesus said that it is that generation which would be on earth when He returns.
And you are absolutely correct about the command to be aware of the signs and of the season that we are in.
Jesus said, "You will know when it is near, even at the door". We are there!
AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!
Please elaborate in summary form, if you are able and it’s convenient etc.
How about you? How's your family?
Be focused on the fact that our days are numbered, and do what good you can. It’s OK, don’t worry.
If you care to, look inside to find some solace.
Find a quiet place and repeat the name of the Lord, He’s lonely and awaiting you.
It is pretty familiar to most people studying Bible prophesy. What is interesting is all the interest Rabbis are publicly expressing lately. For a quick rundown of the chapter and the discussion of its meaning, this is as good a place to start as any: http://www.google.com/search?q=EZEKIEL+39&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#hl=en&expIds=17259,27585,27642,27744,27798&ds=n&sugexp=lcprodsca4&xhr=t&q=%22EZEKIEL+39%22&cp=1&qe=IkVaRUtJRUwgMzki&qesig=2_cgd85jFIL688pIUwMUuA&pkc=AFgZ2tk-38IVhrXgeExZGk8lN1uLq4qodZHKN7U2kaWg4ZOsgeWl_1jY9_x_rhCqSnOsUEyA1XME0Pl0AEbAmOn0Q96XEVIu-g&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=nw&fp=573da4ec7e15bdf2
Let the Amils, Preterists, Postmils, REPLACEMENTARIANS, et al believe The Word Of God . . . or experience the consequences of not believing.
>>Be focused on the fact that our days are numbered, and do what good you can.<<
I agree with that.
>>Its OK, dont worry.<<
I agree with that as well. The way I put it is, “The absence of faith is fear and the absence of fear is faith.
>>If you care to, look inside to find some solace.<<
Unliess I find Jesus there, I think it is a complete waste of time. ;)
>>Find a quiet place and repeat the name of the Lord, Hes lonely and awaiting you.<<
I’m confused as to how “repeating” His name is productive.
AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!
Perhaps the Codes at
would interest you.
And we are coming apart at the seams, and on a global scale to boot.
That of all things, is what convinces me that we're in the end times. There are no new continents where anyone can go and start over.
Right now, bad as things are in this country, we're still the best this world has to offer. We're the last bastion of any real kind of freedom.
When we're done, the world is. And I fear it won't be long.
I don't think obama is the anti-Christ. I think Satan's testing the waters with him to see if the time is right.
I think he's a kind of proto-anti-Christ.
Our whole lives the last couple years have read like a Left Behind novel. The parallels are uncanny.
What's really interesting is that the Mayan calendar has the world ending in 2012, which is seven years before those dates......
Exactly. The collapse is global and the soon-to-appear Antichrist's solutions to all the problems will be what a desperate world will do anything for.
Isn’t that just strange?
>>I don’t think obama is the anti-Christ. I think Satan’s testing the waters with him to see if the time is right.
I think he’s a kind of proto-anti-Christ.<<
Kinda like Hitler?
And that is what causes me pause. If he is not the AntiChrist, things could get very bad, only for this to turn out to be another “birth pain”.
Genegis 2:3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Revelation 20:4 And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They[a] had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
So, to recap: 1: 1000 years = 1 day
2. God works for 6 days, then rests for 1
3. There is a 1000 year time of peace (day of rest) at the end of 6 days (6000 years) of work.
According to my young earth spreadsheet, the earth is about 6124 years old, or 124 years late.
This reminds me of an article you posted a few months ago, which mentioned the popular midrashic work called “Yalkut Shimoni.” Yalkut Shimoni provides commentary on most of the TaNaKh (your “Old Testament”). Where it shines is in Ezekiel. This ancient work is the source of much attention in the religious Zionist movement in Israel, especially in light of Iran.
I'm trying to find a way to bring up the subject with my Orthodox rabbi friend, but he is still glowing over the election results so I'll wait and use the time to think of a segue from our usual slice and dice of Obama to more important matters...
How does this explai the Khazar interlopers that undertook the Faith of the Old Testament and have perloined it?
If the Rabbi is a Zionist, he will likely be very well-informed on the subject. As we like to say, all orthodox Jews are “messianic” - just not the way that evangelicals perceive.
How was your Thanksgiving? We just did a small thing like usual; no friends or relatives, just our little family of seven. Personally I like it that way; I guess I am used to it. :)
Also, what are your plans for the holidays? We are planning to give my little 2-year-old brother a Thomas the train set for Chanukah with a train table tracks and wooden engines...he is going to be so happy! I can't wait to see the look on his little face... :) I think he will be getting the biggest gift out of all of us this year!
Yeah, I expect that it's going to get REALLY bad.
I mean, the anti-Christ is indwelt by Satan. It doesn't get much worse than that.
And trust me. A birth *pang* compared to real labor is nothing....
You've named my fear metmom.
Thanks for the ping! Interesting article.
"For them, predictive prophecy is a formidable weapon that can be used against their diabolical attacks on the faith...
(2 Timothy 1:7-8)"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.......for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev 19:10)
(John 14:29)"And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.......this is the work of God,that ye believe..."(John 6:29)
"This reality of course is hateful to liberals, among them certain Christian leaders who have crept in unawares..."
It's a denial of Jesus testimony and a direct attack against the work of God....not what we might think the work of God is,not what any church might think the work of God is,not what ANY authority or hierachy might think the work of God is but what Jesus from His own mouth said it was...to BELIEVE!
He has given us prophecy as irrefutable proof of who He is!The world and it's naysayers can say what they like...we cannot deny what we SEE!
NO PRIEST BUT CHRIST,NO AUTHORITY BUT THE WORD OF GOD!
This guy gets an E for effort. Drink the kool aid and it almost becomes believable.
You might think Ive digressed in this column, but I argue that I have not.
How can one digress from error? He would have to start teaching truth, which is mainly missing from this article.
Im not saying that the long-dead Abravanel, or the now 100-year-old Benzion Netanyahu believe exactly as [dispensational] Christians do regarding present-day and future history.
How would one know, since it changes regularly. Perhaps this week they are on the same page.
the great prophecy teacher Tommy Ice
Now there's an oxymoron.
At least these folks are starting to admit that their theology is Israel-centric, not Christocentric.
Preach it, brother....
Let me be a bit of a contrarian for a moment. We are seeing the collapse of western civilization, but other civilizations are emerging. In the southern hemisphere Brazil is growing and Evangelicals are becoming a real force there. In Asia, China is emerging and the last estimate I saw claimed there are 200 million Evangelical Christians there. In the middle east, India is growing and Evangelicals are making in roads there as well.
None of these emerging powerhouses is a friend to Israel, but if Evangelical Christians keep growing in power in these nations that will change. My point being we may be a long way from the Rapture and then the Tribulation.
It gets old, doesn’t it? LOL
Time will tell.
It does seem to be setting up the world for fulfillment of prophecy when you see what nations are mentioned in end times scenarios.
Thanks for the ping!
Thanks for the ping!
It does and I have no doubt our Savior will Rapture us before the Tribulation, but I don't want to be so eager for the end I see fulfillment of prophesy where it doesn't exist.
We know the reestablishment of the nation of Israel is a big event. However, we haven't seen any real progress towards a peace covenant with Israel, or for that matter the recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.