Just as in the story of the boy who cried “Wolf!” so many times that eventually no one paid attention to him, many have stopped paying attention to those who have been shouting out for decades that the end of the age and the return of the Messiah are imminent. Just as the Wolf that the boy warned about really did come, with everyone caught off guard, so today multitudes are being caught asleep as the real “end of age” events are beginning to unfold. Unfortunately, to many the warnings sound like the looney imaginations of those who may have lost their grip on reality. But the shock of the events already on the way will be astounding, to say the least.
The story of the Jewish nation is like none other in mankind’s history. In light of current events regarding the Jewish nation, and because the Bible centuries ago foretold that the return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland would be a sure sign of the imminence of the end of the age, it would be a grave mistake not to touch on a few of the basics of this prophecy. Israel’s return to national status on May 15, 1948, has started a clock ticking that will not stop until all is fulfilled just as the Bible has foretold in very accurate detail. Below, briefly, are some of the main points to recognize about the Jewish nation.
Who Are The Jews?
Throughout the Bible, the Jews have been referred to as ”God’s Chosen People” and the Jewish nation has also been known by the symbolism of the fig tree. I believe there is a special connection between the two. The original seed for this fig tree, which led to the eventual designation as God’s Chosen People, actually began all the way back in the Garden of Eden.
At the fall of man, when Lucifer, in the form of a beautiful, intelligent, and upright walking serpent, convinced the first couple to disobey God’s one and only command to them, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. With that disobedience, they experienced spiritual death and, centuries later, they also died physically. The result of this great fall was that all human beings from that time on would also be born into the same fallen condition that Adam and Eve found themselves in. It was carried through the bloodline. God, who knew what was going to happen, already had the Remedy planned. But, the first step was to confront the disobedience of the man and the woman as well as speak a judgment upon the serpent. The words God spoke to the serpent is of interest at this point:
“…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise (or crush) your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15 (emphasis mine)
The woman’s Seed that God promised was a deliverer, but not just any deliverer. This deliverer was to be the Messiah Himself. The Messiah, who would be bruised, brutalized, and finally crucified, would crush the head of the serpent. The Messiah, through His death and resurrection three days later totally defeated him, crushing him and his destructive agenda. Now, this enemy of God is about to make a last ditch attempt to defeat God’s plan, but that is impossible. His final judgment is soon to come and his time is now very short.
These events in the Garden of Eden are important because the promise of a coming Messiah for a fallen world required a vehicle nation through which the Messiah would enter the human race. God chose to set aside one distinct nation, a chosen nation through which He would bring the Messiah into the world, that seed of the future fig tree which was spoken into existence in the Garden of Eden!
God chose the Jewish nation to be that vehicle nation through the man Abram, the patriarch who would become known as Abraham. In Genesis 12 we find God making this covenant with Abram:
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. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 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.” Genesis 12:1-3
In Genesis 15 we find the boundaries of the land that God was to give to Abraham and his descendants:
…the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates—the Kenites, the Kenezites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” Genesis 15:18-21
The Jewish nation, which began with the patriarch Abraham, has a long and detailed history recorded in the Bible. There are a number of other books which confirm the same history; some of them providing even more of details than the Bible itself. Ancient records like The Book of Jasher and the Book of Jubilees are two examples. Then we have the historical work which, in my opinion, has no equal, “The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus”, the Jewish historian. I bring to attention a few of the most important facts needed to show the special significance of the Jewish nation, particularly in light of current events and today’s unfolding End Time prophecies.
Abraham was born roughly 2,000 BC. He was 100 years old when the miraculous promised child was born to him and his wife, Sarah, who at 90 was well past childbearing age. God’s promise of the Deliverer was to come through Sarah’s lineage, not through Hagar, her Egyptian maidservant, as is taught by the religion of Islam. The patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob became the founding fathers of the Jewish nation, and all of God’s promises that pertained to this nation came through their lineage, none else. There are many Scriptures that show this, but we will take a look here at one where God spoke to Isaac directly:
There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar. Then the LORD appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Genesis 26:1-5
The covenant made with Abraham, then Isaac, was also extended to Jacob, and then by extension, to the entire Jewish nation. The Old Testament has recorded within it the history of the Jews, all the way from their long servitude in Egypt, the exodus from Egypt and then the 38-year-long trek across the Arabian desert, led by the prophet Moses to the land God had promised them in Canaan. The Jewish records detail the histories of the people of Israel as they were led by their priests, prophets, judges and kings. Two of their most famous kings, King David and his son King Solomon are known to most of the world. These kings established the kingdom of Israel and expanded it to its greatest size and power during their monarchies.
It was after this that Israel began to decline as one king after another seemed to compete for the title of the “most evil in the sight of the LORD.” Although there were a few good kings, most were not godly and eventually the nation of Israel split into two kingdoms. In time, the Assyrians overcame the northern kingdom and about a century later, the southern kingdom was taken into captivity by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar.
Seventy years later, in the latter years of Daniel the prophet, and during the time of the Empire of the Medes and Persians, the Persian King Cyrus released the Jews to return to their homeland. Initially, only about 50,000 of the Jews went back to their ancient home. The Jews who did return gradually rebuilt the city wall, the temple, and the old city of Jerusalem. As history has recorded, in time, and as the prophet Daniel had foretold, the kingdom of the Medes and Persians was defeated by Alexander the Great and the Greek Empire in 330 BC. The Greek Empire then lasted about 200 years until it was conquered by the Roman Empire.
The Jewish people found themselves under domination to each of these empires as they rose to power. As we know, it was the Roman Empire that was in power during the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. It was also the Roman Empire that sacked the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD, slaughtering up to as many as 1.5 million Jews in the process. A year later, the Romans plowed the city of Jerusalem with salt. It was at this destruction of the city of Jerusalem that those Jews who were left in Israel were scattered across the entire world, just as the Old Testament prophets had prophesied. Luke 21 has the words of Jesus predicting what was to happen just a few years after His crucifixion and resurrection. Here is what Jesus said:
…when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Luke 21:20-24
I put emphasis on the phrase “and be led away captive into all nations” because Jesus made this statement about forty years before the Romans sacked Jerusalem. Historically it is interesting to note that the Christian community was well aware of and remembered what Jesus had said. They took His warning seriously and so did exactly as He had said. As soon as they saw Jerusalem surrounded by the Roman legions, they immediately left. In spite of the fact that 1.5 million Jews were slaughtered, the Christian community itself survived. Jesus gave another warning in Matthew 24 that sounded much like the one in Luke, but it is a prophecy of an event yet to happen. The passage in Matthew reads this way:
Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in the winter or on the sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. Matthew 24:15-21
Prophecy is oftentimes revealed in layers, and often history will repeat itself. This is one of those cases. The passage in Luke makes it clear that many Jewish people would be killed, the city and temple destroyed, and the survivors carried off and scattered all over the world, with the city of Jerusalem trampled and overrun until the days of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Another interesting observation in the Matthew passage reference is made to an event at the midpoint of the Apocalypse, where there would be, what the Bible calls, an “abomination of desolation”. This will be when the Antichrist will declare himself God, setting up an image of himself in the Jewish Temple and will demand that everyone in the world worship him as such. The Matthew passage also makes another distinction by saying that the time Jesus is describing here will be the most devastating time in all of man’s history…including the time of Noah’s flood! That warning did not apply to the time of the Jewish people’s dispersion circa 70 AD.
The minimal historical outline above is not intended as a full rendition of history, but rather as a confirmation that the Jews did in fact have their national home on the eastern Mediterranean Sea between Egypt on the south and what is today Turkey on the north. And… Jerusalem has been the Jewish nation’s historic capital city for over 3,000 years.
The Jewish Dispersion
What has happened to the Jews since 70 AD cannot be effectively condensed into a few paragraphs. But, for the sake of my overall purpose in this writing, it will suffice to say that wherever the Jews went, wherever they attempted to build a life, they almost invariably were blamed for anything and everything that went wrong anywhere around them. They were accused, abused, stripped of their belongings, their freedom, and tossed into humanity’s refuse pile. The stories of the innumerable massacres are very difficult to even read. There were countless stories of individuals who went through unspeakable atrocities and were forgotten by history. Then there were the small groupings of people, either caught worshipping in their synagogues or just living their lives as best they could in the ghetto they were relegated to…and slaughtered as if they were diseased animals. History also has recorded slaughters of thousands at a time, tens of thousands, often hundreds of thousands. Then, of course, there was the Holocaust brought down on the Jewish people by Adolph Hitler and his demon-possessed henchmen which took the lives of more than six million men, women, and children!
Unfortunately, there were very few times in the last two millennia that the Jewish people could ever say that they were able to live in peace and not fear what could happen tomorrow. Yet, wherever the Jewish people found themselves, they found a way to survive. They not only survived, they excelled. No matter how much vile hatred was unleashed on this people by the hordes of hell, God saw to it that they survived. He had promised, and nothing could keep Him from keeping His Word. Was it because they were more valuable than other nations? Was it because they were “The Chosen People?” In Ezekiel 36:18-36, God speaks through the prophet and has this to say:
Therefore I poured out My fury on them for the blood they had shed on the land, and for their idols with which they had defiled it. So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds. When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name–when they said of them, “these are the people of the LORD, and yet they have gone out of His land. But I had concern for My holy name which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went. Therefore say to the house of Israel, “thus says the Lord GOD: I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations will know that I am the LORD,” says the Lord GOD, “When I am hallowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.
Throughout Israel’s history, God has worked with the nation and seen to it that it is preserved. It was preserved as God’s client nation in order to bring the Messiah into the world. After the Messiah was brought into the world and He had completed His work through the once-for-all sacrifice for mankind through His death on the cross at the crucifixion, and after He defeated Satan by rising from the dead three days later, the New Covenant was instituted and He ascended back to Heaven. Question is: Was God through with the Jewish nation? The Bible tells us…No!
In spite of the Jewish nation being nearly wiped out by the Romans, and in spite of the fact that they were scattered all around the world and persecuted more than any other nation ever in the history of mankind, God had promised to bring them back into the land that He had promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, King David, and through His prophets declared it to the entire world. But, as is clearly stated in the passage of Scripture above, it is not for Israel’s sake that God is keeping this promise, but for His own sake. Verse 22 makes that quite clear: “…I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake…” God’s word is something that cannot fail. In verse 36 of the same chapter above, God says: “I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it.”
The Land of Israel DIED!
Ever since the Jews were thrown out of their own land, it seems the land rebelled against anyone who tried to take possession of it. Over the centuries, not only have there been continuous wars, Jerusalem itself being overthrown at least seventeen times, but the land itself seemed to die. Even the rains stopped. It is a scientific fact that from the time the Jews were dispersed around the world, the land of Israel went into an unprecedented drought that continued relentlessly for 1,800 years until Jews gradually began returning to the land early in the 20th century. This can only be seen as the sovereign hand of God backing what He had said in His Word in Deuteronomy 28. Listen to God’s warning:
“…and your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.” Deuteronomy 28:23-24
This seems to be what American writer, Mark Twain, was struck by when he visited Palestine in 1867. I picked out a few descriptors that he mentioned of his trip from the Galilee to Jerusalem.
“Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies. Palestine is desolate and unlovely–Palestine is no more of this work-day world…there was hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country…a desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action…we never saw a human being on the whole route…not a solitary village throughout its whole extent–not for thirty miles in either direction…one may ride ten miles (16 km) hereabouts and not see ten human beings…these unpeopled deserts, these rusty mounds of barrenness…”
This was the condition of the land until early in the 20th century when Jews began to return, in small numbers at first, but in greater and greater numbers as the decades passed. The first Zionist congress was planned by Theodor Herzl as a symbolic Parliament for those in sympathy with the implementation of Zionist goals. Herzl had planned it to be held in Munich, Germany, but due to local Jewish opposition he transferred the gathering to Basel, Switzerland. The Congress took place in the concert hall of the Basel Municipal Casino on August 29, 1897. Approximately 200 people from seventeen countries were in attendance. In short, the purpose of the gathering was to begin the process of garnering the support of institutions, local and international organizations, and even governments in order to gather support for the goals of Zionism. Gradually, as Jews began to return, they purchased the devastated land and began to bring life back to it. As the Jews began to return to their homeland, so did the rain!
In Ezekiel 36, God promised to bring life back to the land of Israel, making the desert bloom again and reversing the desolation to become like the Garden of Eden again. For anyone who is at all aware of what has been happening in Israel since the Jews have come back to the land, it is known that Israel today, only about the size of the state of New Jersey, is now one of the world’s top producers and exporters of fruits, vegetables, wine, flowers, and many more products than I could not possibly list here. Israel has become the agricultural marvel of the world…just as God promised. But we have just seen the beginning. God also promised to bring them to the place of recognizing their true Messiah. That is still to come.
Israel today is surrounded by many enemies. Unfortunately, the enemies are not just from the outside. There are many on the inside–including those who by bloodline are Jewish but have turned against their own people. There are also those who have declared their allegiance to the fallen Lucifer and are expecting to take places of leadership in the New World Order and the Golden Age he has promised. This is, of course, in defiance of Jehovah God, and will not succeed. God knows who these are, those who are Jews, but are not.
In Part 5 of this series, I will outline how Israel has come to be the national entity it is today and show how the demonic onslaught against the Jewish nation is not over; in fact, it is about to get much, much worse. I will show how the events that are about to unfold at the center of the world will determine the future of this world and the Jewish nation…just as God foretold long ago.
To Be Continued…