Chapter 10 Israel

Scripture foretold the past two thousand years of Israeli history. Ezekiel wrote about Israel’s exile from its homeland, which occurred in 70 AD with the Roman destruction of Israel. He also foretold the persecution of Jews while in exile at the hands of enemies, to include suffering in concentration camps. Ezekiel quoted God as saying: And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them. (Ezekiel 39:23-24; NIV)

Jewish people returned from exile and Israel was reestablished May 14, 1948. God foretold of a time when he would no longer hide my face from them (the Israeli people). God will reveal himself to the Israeli people, and Israel will accept Jesus as its redeemer. Concerning the establishment and purpose of modern Israel (referred to as “them” and “they” below), Ezekiel quoted God as saying: When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. 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. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.” (Ezekiel 39:27-29; NIV)

Zechariah wrote about the moment Israel will accept a crucified Messiah, the one whose hands and feet were “pierced with nails on the cross. “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. (Zechariah 12:10; NIV)

Initial Peace

The short-term protection of Israel comes about through a seven-year treaty with Antichrist, referred to as “He” in the following verse. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ (Daniel 9:27a; NIV) This refers to an agreement (covenant) that initiates the seven-year end-time period. Antichrist will be the leader of a unified Europe, a reestablished Roman Empire. Israel already is an Associated State of the European Union; under the Antichrist it could become a full member. This would fully commit the European Union to protect Israel, which would give Israel the security needed to turn over the occupied territories to a hostile Palestinian state.

The three and a half years of protection Israel receives at the start of the end-times corresponds with the time Israel remains in unbelief concerning Christ. Scripture cites this 42-month delay five times.

Israel’s Time of Unbelief

 

3 ½ years –

 1260 days

3 ½ years –

 time, times and half a time*

3 ½ years –

 in the middle of the “seven’

Daniel 9:27

 

 

X

Daniel 12:6-7

 

X

 

Revelation 11:3

X

 

 

Revelation 12:6

X

 

 

Revelation 12:13-14

 

X

 

* time, times and half a time = (1 + 2 + ½) years = 3 ½ years

The question asked in Daniel, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?” The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time(Daniel 12:6b-7; NIV) Nothing could be fulfilled concerning Israel until the initial three and a half years are completed. At that time Israel will accept Jesus as Messiah, and become a spiritually re-born nation.

Two Witnesses

God will send two witnesses to Israel during the initial 42 months. These are the first authentic prophets in Israel since the first century. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. (Revelation 11:3-6) These witnesses will be able to shut up the sky so that it will not rain, just as Elijah did when confronting King Ahab (1 Kings 17:1). They also will have power to turn the waters into blood, just as Moses did before Pharaoh (Exodus 7:20).

After 42 months, God withdraws protection from the two witnesses, and they are executed. When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. (Revelation 11:7-8) The place where these witnesses are murdered is the same city where the Lord was crucified. This Jerusalem on earth is corrupt, as Sodom was corrupt, and worldly, like Egypt. The eternal heaven, which is called New Jerusalem, is a sharp contrast to the Jerusalem on earth (Revelation 21).

The funeral celebration is appalling. Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 11:9-10) Through various technologies people from all over the world will gaze upon these two corpses; the contempt will be so great that they are refused a proper burial. People celebrate by sending gifts to each other. Just as people celebrate the birth of the Christian faith by exchanging gifts, people will then celebrate this apparent end to the Christian faith using the same tradition.

However, the story transitions into a resurrection and rapture, it ends in victory. But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. (Revelation 11:11-12)

At this point, Israel will accept Jesus as Messiah. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Revelation 11:13)

A Third Temple

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem will be a critical end-time setting (Appendix A). Because Islam currently controls the Temple Mount, the probability that an Israeli temple could be built at this site is considered unlikely. Yet there is growing evidence Israel will be able to rebuild on the Temple Mount. Archeological findings indicate the Islamic shrine on the Temple Mount might be on a location other than the site of the first two Israeli temples. This misplacement of the Islamic sites would allow Israel to build a temple on the correct site, without destroying the Islamic structures.

God surveys the Temple Mount, an action that demonstrates he is reclaiming ownership. John is given a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. (Revelation 11:1b-2) The courtyard area of the temple remaining under non-Israeli control indicates that the Islamic structures remain in place for the first half of the final seven years.

Broken Promises

Israel is the woman in the following story, which depicts how God protects Israel from the Antichrist during the first half of the final seven years: Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. (Revelation 12:6) The story continues with the dragon, also called the serpent, being Satan; the male child that Israel gave birth to is Jesus: And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child(Revelation 12:13) An application to the end-time story on earth is then stated: But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. (Revelation 12:14)

Antichrist will establish an agreement with many nations, to include Israel, for a seven-year period. In the middle of those seven years he will break that agreement and stop the Jewish practice of sacrifice and offering. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering(Daniel 9:27a; NIV) The blood sacrifice of lambs for the atonement of sins will return as a cornerstone of the Jewish faith at the rebuilt temple. Antichrist will enter the temple and claim to be Israel’s Messiah. He will stop the sacrificing of lambs and require people to worship him.

Paul wrote about Antichrist: who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (2 Thessalonians 2:4) Antichrist will declare that he is the Messiah that Israel has sought after since the fall of Adam and Eve. Daniel wrote about Antichrist: “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. (Daniel 11:36a; NIV) Israel will respond to Antichrist with a resounding rejection. From that moment forward Israel will be fiercely persecuted.

The violent harvest of Israel is depicted; enemy soldiers act as war criminals. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. (Zechariah 14:2a; NIV) God enters the fight: On 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; NIV) Jesus returns to earth to finish the battle on Israel’s behalf: Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. (Zechariah 14:3; NIV)