When we come to look at the prophecies relating to the time of the end we see that it is not an end of the world but rather this order of things, it is however a time of judgment. Welcome to antoher edition of the Bible in the News.
Ultimately when we come to the end times the nations are
opposing God and his son the Lord Jesus Christ, we can see this in Psalm 2:
“Why do the
heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel
together, against the Lord, and
against his anointed, saying,
Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his
Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
When we look in the prophecy of
Zechariah and the 14th chapter we see the picture filled out a
“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the
city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of
the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not
be cut off from the city.
Then shall the Lord go forth,
and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.”
When we look
at scripture there are many reasons why God would bring judgement on the
nations, at the time of the flood it was violence, at the time of Sodom and
Gomorrah it was complete Godlessness and idleness along with a morally corrupt
society. I think we would agree that our
time is just like that and therefore ripe for God’s judgments. That said, when we look at the prophecies
there is another trait that we would expect to see in the nations coming
against Jerusalem, that is anti-Semitism.
God brings his judgments on those nations for their treatment of the
Jewish people, the people that he calls the “apple of his eye.”
Let’s look at the prophecy of Joel 3 to see this further:
“For, behold, in those days, and
in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the
valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my
heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my
And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an
harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.”
We can clearly see that this is a
prophecy for our time as we are the people in history that have and are
witnessing God’s hand “bringing again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem.” But notice the reason for God’s anger, for
the treatment of his people and the dividing of HIS land.
Listen to the wording of the New
King James version:
“For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will also gather all nations,
And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
And I will enter into judgment with them there
On account of My
people, My heritage Israel,
Whom they have
scattered among the nations;
They have also divided up My land.
They have cast lots for My people,
Have given a boy as payment for a harlot,
And sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.”
I find these words beautiful and so completely relevant for
When we come to the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 it is the same
story again only with even more detail.
We have a large confederacy of nations described and said to be coming
out of the north. But again when we read
listen to who and where these nations are coming against:
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou
shalt come into the land that is brought
back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains
of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the
nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a
cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.
Thus saith the Lord God; It shall
also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and
thou shalt think an evil thought:
And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages;
I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling
without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the
desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have
gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the
young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast
thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to
take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
Therefore, son of man, prophesy
and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that
day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou,
and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and
a mighty army:
shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud
to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee
against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in
thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
Thus saith the Lord God; Art thou
he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel,
which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?
And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come
against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face.
For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken,
Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
So it is no surprise that there has been long history of
anti-Semitism in Europe and Russia and the halls of the Vatican. It is further of no surprise that we see the
same anti-Semitic character reappearing today.
We will come back to this!
Now, back to the Joel and Ezekiel prophecies there is one other
thing to notice (Something that has been discussed much on this program and in
the Bible Magazine, but is bringing us to where the Bible was in the news this
week!), the focus on Judah and Jerusalem in Joel, known and maybe narrowed
slightly somewhat in Ezekiel 38 as the “mountains of Israel”. These prophecies are not focusing on Tel
Aviv, Haifa, Netanya or Eliat but in the mountains.
Put this all together and the prophecies written thousands
of years ago paint a picture of the Northern nations coming together against
God’s people Israel, and therefore ultimately himself and his son. The prophecies also focus particularly on the
mountains of Israel, today the so called “West bank,” the land of the
“settlements.” In previous Bible in the
News’s and Bible Magazine’s it has been shown what a unique people it is that
live in this area, looking for messiah.
So... the newspapers this week reported the following:
Times of Israel –
“New EU directive bars all dealings with Israeli-held areas over the pre-1967
“Jerusalem source calls move
‘earthquake’; future deals with Europe will require Israel to acknowledge West
Bank is outside the state
new directive published by the European Union bars its 28 members from all
cooperation with Israeli entities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The
directive, sent out on June 30 and set to take effect on Friday, extends to
“all funding, cooperation, and the granting of scholarships, research grants
and prizes” to Israeli entities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Haaretz
reported on Tuesday.
It also requires that any contracts between EU member countries and
Israel henceforth include a clause stating that East Jerusalem and the West
Bank are not part of the State of Israel."
Jerusalem Post – “EU officially publishes settlement
guidelines despite Israeli objections”
Haaretz – “Israel warns EU ambassadors of
serious crisis over new settlement guidelines”
The truth is that in Europe there is what Ezekiel 35 calls a
“perpetual hatred” of the Jewish people
So any friend that Israel thought it may have had in Europe
is being shown for what it is. The
problem is that this week Israel’s other so called friend the United States has
had John Kerry push both sides back to the table to talk peace. The problem is that it is assumed that Israel
will have to give up territories. Well
it is God the rules in the kingdoms of men the book of Daniel tells us and
whatever happens God is in control. All
we know is that the mountains of Israel will stay populated with those that
have brought back from captivity. At the time of the end the only real friend
that the Jewish people have is almighty God, but when that is the case not much
Although the judgment that is so
very needed is coming on this world we must always remember the words in Peter,
“For the time is come that judgment must
begin at the house of God.” The nations will have to stand before Christ
and so will the believers. May we all be
motivated when we see the prophecies fulfilling to fill our lamps with oil, the
word of God.
This has been John Billington
with you this week. Please join us next
week when, God willing we again look for the Bible in the news.