By: John Barnett
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As we approach God's Word we know that God has clearly and simply laid out His Word for us to know and live confidently for Him. Among the most fundamental truths in the Scriptures is contained in God’s eternal plan for His chosen people of promise the Jews and His nation Israel.
No matter what your background has been in understanding the Bible there are three markers plainly seen in God’s Word:
• God makes an eternal covenant promise to Abraham and his descendants the Israelites, or Jewish people—making them the Chosen People of Promise in Genesis 12.
• God explains through Paul, that the root is Israel onto which the church has been grafted, but not to the displacement or replacement of Israel in Romans 9-11.
• God describes through everyone who sees the end of the world (Jesus, Paul, John, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, and so on)—the same scenario. All describe Israel, Judea, Jerusalem, and the Jewish people as the main geography and central characters in the end of the world return of Jesus Christ know as the Second Coming.
So all we can say is that if you believe in Christ's Second Coming, the Bible describes Him as coming to save the nation of Israel, and Jewish people from extinction to keep His Word to Abraham and us in the Scriptures.
God’s Chosen People of Destiny
As we open to Genesis 12 , the history of our Salvation is inextricably bound up in the history of God's Chosen People of Destiny the Jews. That is why many years ago, when a great Bible conference speaker was asked to prove the inspiration of Scripture in one sentence, he replied: I’ll do it in one word – Jews.
One nation on Earth was picked by God to be:
• His bearers of Truth
• His Begetors of the Line of Messiah
• His Blessing to All Nations – ISRAEL.
The Jewish People are God’s People; and the Jewish Custom’s are God’s Shadow of things even yet to come.
Let’s read God’s promises to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-9:
"Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. 6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land. 7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. 8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. 9 So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South."
Israel and the Miracle of God’s work in and through them is the final key to God’s Prophetic Roadmap for the FUTURE.
The Lord has claimed that He ALONE can declare the future.
"I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed” (2 Peter 1:19).
What happens to ISRAEL has been ordained by God, and we need to be careful to understand from the past dealings of God with the Jews to realize in the future that He is still at work! First we must see that God has chosen the Jews as His people , and God has chosen the Land of Canaan (not Palestine) as His Land; and God has Chosen the Destiny of the Nation of Israel as His Destined Plan for His Destined People. The Jews, the Land of Israel, and the Nation Israel are a Chosen People of Destiny.
The Signs of The Times
As we read the newspapers and see how intense the hatred is of Israel by her enemies, even the continued existence of the Jews after centuries of dispersal and persecution unique in human history. Their continued existence is a mute, but eloquent testimony, to fulfilled prophecy. The restoration of Israel as a nation among nations in our own generation is merely the most recent in a long line of fulfilled prophecies dealing with the Jewish people.
Through the Holy Scriptures (almost all written by Jews) and through Jesus Christ, the seed of Abraham has indeed become a blessing to all families of the earth. Some from every nation have found salvation and blessing through faith in Him.
But now, the final sign and the staggering implications it has to us who read about this sign every day in the news. As I explain what God has told us, it should send a prophetic shiver up your spine. Everything God said would happen is happening right now.
Today’s news sounds like the prophets Daniel, Ezekiel, or Zechariah wrote it. And the headlines each day sound like the Apostle John is reading them from Patmos.
These are sure wonderful days to live and proclaim that we know the God who is in control, and shaping the world’s events as we head towards the End of days. Now we begin, as Jesus finally said that the end of days would be a time that is most characterized as:
Matthew 24 is Christ's teaching to His Apostles about the future. He explains the future by linking it to events in the present they could understand. Jesus divides His explanation about the future into two parts: the pre-tribulation (v. 4-8) ongoing struggles of the world; and v. 9-31 the end of days known as the Tribulation ended by Christ's second coming.
So as we look at v. 9 we are in the context, not of the church, but of Christ's description of what the Jews will go through in the final days.
Sign #10 is a time when the world’s entire attention will begin to revolve around Israel, the Nation made up of God’s Chosen People of Destiny:
• First we see this Sign in the Global Hatred of God’s Chosen People the Jews of Israel: Matthew 24:9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
Israel has a promised blessing and cursing system. In Leviticus 26 God told them that He would set down rules for Israel that He was their God, and that He owned them, their land, their time, and even their future. All were His. Note the following passages in Leviticus 26: v. 12, 14, 16, 17, 18-19, 21-22, 24-25, 26-33,42-45.
No nation or ethnic group has ever been hunted more, persecuted more, exiled more, tracked down and exterminated—like the Jewish peoples have for 2,600 years.
As Ezekiel described it (Ezk. 35:5), there is an ancient hatred (old as the Devil) against the Chosen People of Destiny called the Jews. But still they remain a distinct people group, and the focus of an undying hatred by huge parts of the global community. The rise of anti-Semitism worldwide anticipated by Moses and the other Hebrew prophets over 3,500 years ago.
• Second, we see this Sign in the Global Return of the Wandering Jews to the Promised Land: Matthew 24:15-16 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
God promised over 26 centuries ago that at the end of the world--Jews would begin to re-gather in Israel; and they HAVE come back, from over 100 different nations around the world. Israel has more different languages spoken within it’s tiny area than any other nation on earth! Look back at Matthew 24 and notice the “orientation” of this text. When Jesus comes back He saw the Jews there and near a temple dedicated to God.
Before we look at all the promises that God would re-gather His Jewish people back to His Land—notice that Jesus spoke of the Jewish people at the end of the world as—already there living in Israel and with a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem!
God promised over 26 centuries ago that at the end of the world--Jews would begin to re-gather in Israel.
• Jeremiah 31:7-10 "For thus says the Lord: “Sing with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O Lord, save Your people, The remnant of Israel!’ 8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child And the one who labors with child, together; A great throng shall return there. 9 They shall come with weeping, And with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn. 10 “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, And declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, And keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’ "
• Ezekiel 37:21-22 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again."
• Ezekiel 38:8 "After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely."
Since 1948 the world has witnessed the call of God deep within the hearts of 5.4 million Jews who have done everything they could to get to the Promised Land. And more arrive each day!
• Third, we see this Sign in the Global Fixation upon the “status” of Jerusalem: Zechariah 12:3 And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.
When the Old Testament prophets wrote the words describing the eyes of the world fearfully fastened upon Jerusalem—most of the city was in burned and tumbled ruins, most of the people were already either dead or in captivity, and Jerusalem had become little more than a “God forsaken” pile of rocks.
Yet today, just as God promised, the answer to the vexing question of who gets the control of Jerusalem is at the center of constant international turmoil. Almost daily there are news reports, and analysis on the conflict over who are Jerusalem’s rightful owners.
• Fourth, we see this Sign in the Complete Encirclement of Israel by Mortal Enemies (In the last days, Israel would be surrounded by a future confederacy of enemy nations, that has never been in existence until the last century): Psalm 83:4-8 They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” 5 For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You: 6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; 7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8 Assyria also has joined with them; They have helped the children of Lot.
So who exactly is this passage speaking of? Who are these undesirable neighbors? While in some cases there is slight disagreement about who is the modern day representative of each ancient name. Most people believe and agree that it is referring to Israel's immediate neighbors, who are all presently either in public or private confederacy against Israel and for the complete destruction of Israel as a nation.
The nations where the ten ancient people groups and tribes mentioned in Psalm 83 live today, are: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian territories within Israel. (David Dolan - "Israel's Next War")
• Fifth, we see this sign in the fact that, when Christ Returns four of the most trusted witnesses in the history of mankind say that they saw a Third Temple Built in Jerusalem: A literal, historical, grammatical interpretation of Scripture is known as a Dispensational Hermeneutic (model of interpretation) and for end times prophecy or eschatology, the seven year Tribulation comes from the key passage in Daniel 9. In this passage we see the timeline from Ezra and Nehemiah, to Christ's on the Cross, to AD 70’s destruction of Jerusalem and then all the way to the final 7 years called the Tribulation.
So, what did Jesus, Daniel, Paul, and the Apostle John all have in common? Each of them saw a future Temple of God standing in Jerusalem at the end of earth’s days. Plans to rebuild the temple in Israel anticipated in many Scriptures.
• Daniel 9:24-27 “ Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. 25 “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks [69 of the 70]; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. 26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; 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.”
• Matthew 24:15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),
• II Thessalonians 2:1-4 "Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 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."
• Revelation 11:1-2 "Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But leave out the court, which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months."
• Sixth, and finally, we this sign in the fact that just before Christ’s Return God tells us that there are Temple Sacrifices Reinstituted in Israel: Daniel was shown by God a time when the restored daily sacrifices are ended by the Antichrist. Therefore, the Jewish sacrificial system must have first been restored in the last days. Currently, the Temple Institute has created all the temple furniture and vessels. There are also several hundred young Jewish men in training for the Levitical priesthood.
Daniel 9:27 "Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; 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 12:11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days."
In late 2004 the rise of a Jewish Sanhedrin after 2,000 years of absence has sent tingles up and down the backs of those who know God's Word. Preparations by the Temple Institute are nearly complete.
Revived Sanhedrin discusses Temple
Two remarkable developments took place recently, that are extremely relevant to students of Bible prophecy. For the first time in 1,600 years, the Israeli Sanhedrin was re-established. It occurred in Tiberius, the site of the Sanhedrin's last meeting in AD 425. On Jan. 20, IsraelNN.com reported:
A unique ceremony – probably only the second of its kind in the past 1,600 years – is taking place in Tiberius today: The launching of a Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish-legal tribunal in the land of Israel.
The Sanhedrin, a religious assembly that convened in one of the Holy Temple chambers in Jerusalem [before AD 70], comprised 71 sages and existed during the Tannaitic period, from several decades before the Common Era until roughly 425 C.E.
These religious authorities believe it was necessary to re-establish the Sanhedrin because only this properly ordained body of sages can authenticate a Messiah when he comes. There is a growing expectation of the long-awaited Messiah to appear among devout Jews. The rebirth of the Jewish state and recapture of Jerusalem has increasingly influenced this conviction.
On Feb. 9, just a few weeks after the Sanhedrin's re-establishment, another enormously important development took place. The religious sages began to consider the rebuilding of the Temple and reinstitution of ancient animal sacrifices as prescribed in the Law of Moses.
The first step toward facilitating this monumental endeavor was to seek to determine the exact location of the Temple's foundation. Sanhedrin member Rabbi Yisrael Ariel is the most ardent believer that the Temple is to be rebuilt in this generation. He is the former Yeshiva head, founder of the Temple Institute, and one of the paratroopers who took part in the 1967 liberation of the Temple Mount.
The most difficult problem is to determine with certainty exactly where the previous Temple's foundations are. The Sanhedrin determined that there are only two viable theories as to where the Temple stood. One teaches that the Temple stood on the same basic site on which the Muslim mosque known as the Dome of the Rock was built.
The second theory (which I am convinced is the most accurate) is that the Temple was built north of the Dome of the Rock. Dr. Asher Kaufman developed this theory, using certain archeological evidences that he found before the Muslim's destroyed them. However, the most important archeological sign is the position of the Eastern Gate. According to ancient accounts of the Temple, its east-west centerline passed through the center of the Eastern Gate.
We have absolute evidence as to where the ancient Eastern Gate stood. I have viewed personally the remains of the ancient Eastern Gate, which is located under the modern Gate that was built on top of its ruins. The east-west centerline from the Eastern Gate.
"I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, 'Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.'" (Revelation 11:1-2 NIV)
If you measure the distance from the centerline to the point where the wall of the inner court would stand. There was at least 6 meters clearance from the nearest points of the Dome of the Rock and the Temple inner-court wall. The Apostle John clearly predicts that "the outer court was not to be included in the rebuilt Temple, because it was given to the Gentiles."
So what does all this mean? The Temple can be rebuilt and stand alongside the Dome of the Rock without disturbing it. And since the outer court, also known as the Court of the Gentiles, is given to the Gentiles in this period just before the Messiah comes, it infers that there would be a Gentile building there, i.e., the Dome of the Rock.
The fact that a re-established Sanhedrin is now considering the rebuilding of the Temple after 2,000 years is extremely important to students of Bible prophecy. I believe that we are very near the final climactic events that end with the Second Coming of Christ.
The Jews are The Final Sign
Satan the Dragon has a fixation on destroying the people of the Name (Rev. 12).
God has written history, and put on paper that He is going to save a remnant of Israel at their final and most desperate hour (Zechariah 12-14).
Satan can read. He knows the written down parts of the plan, and for the past 2600 years since that plan and other parts were revealed, he has intensified his efforts to thwart God.
Satan wants to Thwart God’s Plan
Actually none of those pogroms, holocausts, and massacres were the ideas of Haman, Roman Emperors, Hitler, or Muslim terrorists. All those murderous, extinction desires flow from the most evil one of all. Satan wants to disrupt God’s plan. He knows that God’s plan is centered on the Chosen Jewish people of Promise. If Satan can destroy them, he has won.
God’s plan is to bring back His Chosen People of Promise the Jews into the Land He gave them, and to see them come to faith, and then deliver them from the whole world under Satan’s sway, seeking to finally destroy them all.
And that is exactly what God's Word explains to us, and that is what we clearly see happening over there in Jerusalem, as the world fretfully watches each day. The Scriptures as Jesus said, cannot be broken!