This past week the Bible was in the News once again as Israel celebrated its 70th Birthday.
No nation under heaven has had more reason to celebrate. The Jewish people have survived millennia of diaspora. They have survived persecution from pagans, Christians, and Muslim nations. The arose out of the ashes of the holocaust, the pogroms of Russia and the persecution in Islamic countries to become a nation once again. This is a direct fulfillment of the words of Jeremiah:
“Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; Neither be dismayed, O Israel: For, lo, I will save thee from afar, And thy seed from the land of their captivity; And Jacob shall return, And shall be in rest, and be quiet, And none shall make him afraid. For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, Yet will I not make a full end of thee: But I will correct thee in measure, And will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” (Jeremiah 30:10–11)
Israel celebrated 70 years this week, a feat that is the direct result of the Bible.
Over the last 70 years Israel’s population has increased. A consensus take n in May of 1948 put Israel’s population at 600,000. It has exploded to almost 9 million with about 75% being Jews. Over 600,000 live in the West Bank. This population explosion is again prophesied in the Bible:
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, That I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah With the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, To pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, And to destroy, and to afflict; So will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 31:27–28)
The time to pluck up and pull down is over, and the time to plant and build has come.
Israel reflects on the pioneers turning a desert back farmland.
The 70th year celebrations featured a display of the reclamation of the barren land from deserts and swamps to the agricultural miracle we see today. This is also a direct fulfillment of Bible prophecy:
“And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, And they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; And they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; They shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, And they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, Saith the LORD thy God.” (Amos 9:14–15)
Again, the prophet Jeremiah records:
“For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.” (Jeremiah 24:6)
Israel economy has also been blossoming. It rose from $2.5 billion in 1960, to approximately $387.4 billion in 2017. Its economic growth was ahead of the USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany, and Russia in 2016, according to theGlobalEconomy.com. Considering that Israel is only 70 years old, and yet is ahead of nations who have been in existence for centuries, and some for millennia, it is again miraculous. Once again, this is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, where Ezekiel describes:
“… the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” (Ezekiel 38:12)
While Israel may celebrate the pioneers and the personalities who worked so hard to achieve the current status they enjoy, the reality is this is a miracle, and the work of God’s hands:
“…They shall inherit the land for ever, The branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” (Isaiah 60:21)
The growth expansion of Israel into the West Bank and Jerusalem in 1967 has been a bone of contention with many since that time. The war itself was a miracle, fought in 6 days, with Israel resting on the 7th, and saw the biblical heartland of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria back in Jewish hands. This was also a fulfillment of the prophets, when God stated:
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, When I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem…” (Joel 3:1)
As with most nations celebrating an anniversary like this, it is customary, not just to look at achievements of the past, but also to the future. Now, with Israel this is much easier to do. Most nations have plans and aspirations. Israel has destiny, a destiny not chosen by itself but by the creator of heaven and earth. Let us consider what is in store for Israel in during the next few decades, standing on the shoulders of what has been accomplished and looking to the future.
These will be the headlines of next few decades:
Russia, Iran and Europe to be decimated in Israel
The recent missile attacks on Syria by France, Britain and the United States have provoked the Russian bear. The whole world is bracing for a response. Israel’s attack on the Iranian base has spawned a flurry of headlines regarding Iran’s threats to Israel. However, while the media speculates on the present situation, the Bible is clear about future events. Russia with a conglomeration of European nations, Iran and others will invade Israel as is described in Ezekiel 38, which we have discussed many times on the Bible in the News.
Now, let us not be confused about this. This attack, will only be momentarily successful. Russia, Iran and the nations who join it will make their way to Jerusalem, where they be destroyed as the Bible clearly predicts:
“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” (Daniel 11:45)
Israel's military forces figured heavily in their 70th Year Celebrations
While the IDF has figured heavily in Israel’s history, and featured in their 70th year celebrations, this will not be one of their accomplishments. When these nations, along with the Vatican move against Israel, and the miraculous work God has been performing with them, they will be fighting against him, and ultimately against his Messiah:
“…he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.” (Daniel 8:25)
Their destruction will be the work of Almighty God himself:
“And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 38:21–23)
Whereas they came to institute Catholic worship in Jerusalem, on the temple mount, “planting the tabernacles of his palace… in the holy mountain” they will be obliterated, and a new age will begin for Israel and the world.
Restoration of the Monarchy
The future of Israel will be an exciting one. It will not be ruled by politicians through the Knesset, rather the Davidic monarchy will be restored to this city. Yes, it was God who used the Babylonians to remove the monarchy from Judah in the reign of the wicked King Zedekiah:
“And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” (Ezekiel 21:25–27)
In the very moment that God decreed the removal of Judah’s monarchy, he also predicted its return “when he came whose right it is” that he “would give it him”.
This is in keeping with the promise that was originally to David, when he stated of David’s future son:
“He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son… And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” (2 Samuel 7:13-16)
This is reiterated by Jeremiah of the future age:
“In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.” (Jeremiah 33:15)
If there was any notion of Israel’s Monarchy being removed forever, it is quickly dissipated later in this same chapter of Jeremiah:
“Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.” (Jeremiah 33:20–21)
And again, some might argue that Christianity replaced Israel in God’s purpose, but the prophets beg to differ:
“Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.
Rather, God reiterates his resolve on the matter:
Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.” (Jeremiah 33:24–26)
So it will be, that the monarch will be restored to Jerusalem as the second Psalm clearly establishes:
“Yet have I set my king Upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; This day have I begotten thee.” (Psalm 2:6–7)
Jerusalem will be the capital, and the fallen down ruins of the palace of David will be rebuilt:
“In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, And close up the breaches thereof; And I will raise up his ruins, And I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, Which are called by my name, Saith the LORD that doeth this.” (Amos 9:11–12)
So clearly, the monarch will be restored to the nation of Israel, to Judah and to David’s house in Jerusalem. This will surely put the cat amongst the pigeons at the United Nations and in the Council of Europe. But rage as much as they want, God will laugh at them.
Israel Annexes the Sinai, the Gaza Strip, the West bank, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria
Now never mind America moving its embassy to Jerusalem next month and the controversy that has sparked. Future territorial expansion is also part of Israel’s destiny. This is what we just read in Amos… “he is going to poses the remnant of Edom, and of all the nations.” Edom existed in the area of modern day Jordan. It was the Jordanians who used to control the West bank. But, never mind the West bank, either. That is a given, Israel’s growth will go far beyond that. The Psalm continues:
“Ask of me, And I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (Psalm 2:6–7)
You see, Israel’s return to the land is a fulfillment of prophecy. It has happened just as the prophets under divine inspiration predicted. But there is more. This is all founded upon the promises that were made to Abraham when the nation was established millennia ago. Now, God always keeps his promises. Here is what he said:
“In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:” (Genesis 15:18)
Now that pretty much takes in the area of the Sinai, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, the northern part of Saudi Arabia, half of Iraq and Syria.
If you think the debate over Israel’s annexation of the Westbank has been stormy, you haven’t seen anything yet. Not to worry though… that’s just the immediate area to be conquered by Israel’s monarchy.
Israel Establishes World Empire
The fact is, Israel’s empire is eventually going to be world-wide. This is not something that is politically correct to talk about, but fortunately, by then Israel will not be a democracy where this is up for debate, and the parliament will be paralyzed by different interest groups. Instead, as we have seen, a theocracy ruled by God’s Messiah will be established. Once in place, it will assert its control over all nations.
Here is what the prophet Daniel describes when the kingdoms of men fall, and the Kingdom of Israel is depicted as a little stone that breaks the pride of man, and his empires spanning from the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar, the Medes and Persians under Cyrus and Darius, the Greeks under Alexander the Great and the Romans… and their latter day successors today:
“Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image (representing Man’s kingdom’s) upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” (Daniel 2:34–35)
What does Daniel mean by this… well, he tells us in the interpretation of the dream:
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” (Daniel 2:44–45)
So a world empire is going to begin in Jerusalem, and eventually envelope the entire planet. This may seem far fetched, but then so was the idea of the Jews, a people scatter and broken over thousands of years returning to their land and rebuilding a nation.
Dome of the Rock Removed Temple Built in Jerusalem.
One of promises that was intertwined with the everlasting monarchy was the fact that a temple would be built in Jerusalem. This was first promised to David:
“He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” (2 Samuel 7:13)
Now, contrary to Palestinian assertions, Solomon built a house for God in Jerusalem, which archaeology clearly attests to. Although destroyed by the Babylonians, it was rebuilt during the times of the Jewish governors Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, when Joshua was high priest, Ezra was scribe, and the prophets Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi were active. It was later embellished by Herod the Great, but destroyed in AD70 by the Romans led by Titus.
The Romans built a temple to Jupiter under the emperor Hadrian around AD130 on the site of the Temple. Jerusalem passed from pagan Roman hands to Christian Roman hands, and was wrestled from them by the Muslims who built the Dome of the Rock in 691 AD during the Umayyad Caliphet. This has remained there ever since.
The Russians are destined to remove it when they come in a crusade, (which is destined for disaster), to re-establish Christian rule as we mentioned earlier:
“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” (Daniel 11:45)
Once the Russian’s and their hordes are destroyed, the third temple will be built, and will form the center of world religion, replacing the Vatican and Catholicism, or Mecca for the Muslims, as Isaiah prophecies:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, That the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; And he will teach us of his ways, And we will walk in his paths: For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:2–3)
The priesthood is also to be re-established by Messiah:
“But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: And he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, As in the days of old, and as in former years.” (Malachi 3:2–4)
Rather than be a catalyst for world war, this will bring about the end of wars and a time of peace the earth has never before witnessed, when Messiah asserts his rule over the nations and calms the raging waves of the sea:
“And he shall judge among the nations, And shall rebuke many people: And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruninghooks: Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4)
Israel’s 70th Birthday has been something wonderful to celebrate as it has been God’s doing, to regather his people, plant them in his land, multiply them, and make them prosperous once again, and restore Jerusalem.
However, the next few decades will be the most exciting – when God continues Israel’s restoration: it’s deliverance from the threat of the nations, when God re-establishment of the Davidic Monarchy, when the Messiah, the son of David rebuilds the temple as a center of world worship, and when God’s kingdom covers the world bringing in an era of real world peace.
The time has come when God has turned his face to favour Zion, and it is during this time that he will send the Messiah:
“Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: For the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, And favour the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, And all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the LORD shall build up Zion, He shall appear in his glory.” (Psalm 102:13–16)
These are exciting times. During the past 70 year we have witnessed the prophets who have written down the words of God in the scriptures proven to be true. Now we wait, with great anticipation, to see the completion of the rest of their story.
For the Bible in the News, this has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.