God’s Prophetic Timepiece
By Matt Ward
“Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world” (Winston Churchill).
Strictly speaking, the Jews should not exist. For over 3,000 years the Jewish race has managed to persist and survive, while all others before them have been relegated to forgotten pages of world history. Nations and empires that at one time threatened the existence of the Jewish race have themselves suffered the fate they wished to mete out to the Jews. Empires of the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Media-Persians, the Romans, and the Greeks all ceased to be, including in more recent times, Hitler’s vision of a Nazi empire.
Despite spending 2,500 of the 3,000 years of their existence scattered to the four corners of the world in diaspora, the Jews remain and survive. When Blaise Pascal, the great Christian philosopher, was asked by King Louis XIV of France to give him proof of the existence of God, Pascal answered simply, “Why the Jews, your Majesty, the Jews!”
The Jewish race is unique to all human history; there is quite simply no other race like them on Earth.
Leo Tolstoy, the writer of War and Peace, acknowledged this truth: “What is the Jew? … What kind of unique creature is this whom all the rulers of all the nations of the world have disgraced and crushed and expelled and destroyed; persecuted, burned and drowned, and who, despite their anger and their fury, continues to live and to flourish.”
Even the vehement atheist and self-proclaimed enemy of God, Friedrich Nietzsche, who wrote the infamous statement, “God is dead,” in several of his works, acknowledged the uniqueness of this ubiquitous people: “The Jews are beyond all doubt the strongest, toughest, and purest race at present living in Europe; they know how to succeed even under the worst conditions.”
From earliest antiquity there exists account after account detailing frequent, state-sponsored antisemitism all over the known world. There are accounts of pogroms, of indiscriminate violence, and of persecution. 2 Maccabees (124 BC), written in antiquity, provides just one example of many. It tells of a Jewish woman who had seven sons. This Jewish mother is forced to watch as one son after another is executed before her eyes, all because Antiochus IV Epiphanes tried to force them to eat pork. They all refused, so they all died.
Today is no different from any age past. Antisemitism exists today and is as pernicious, persistent and increasingly pervasive, especially in Europe, as it has ever been. History is beginning to repeat itself with Jews being murdered from Paris to Copenhagen, synagogues attacked, burned and mobbed; and Jews, in increasing numbers, are leaving.
Even within mainstream Christianity there is no longer solace for Israel and the Jewish race. The old antisemitism, that in part fueled the fire for such horrors as the Crusades and the medieval Inquisitions, is returning to the modern-day church.
It is one of the great tragedies of our time that many Christians completely miss the significance of Israel existing in our own day. This tiny nation, that occupies only half of one percent of the total land mass of the Middle East, is the true cornerstone of all end-times Bible prophecy.
The ceaseless and increasing castigation and persecution of Israel, and of Jews still in diaspora, is not without purpose; God is still very much in control. Israel is a beacon which indicates exactly where we are on God’s prophetic timetable. It is a huge prophetic marker pointing to the increasingly imminent end of this age.
Prophetically everything begins and ends with Israel. God has guaranteed the people of Israel a national existence forevermore. Israel, in turn throughout her existence, has brought immeasurable material and spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ to the Gentile nations of this world: “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Indeed we have been blessed.
As well as these innumerable blessings, Israel and the Jews also define and determine the primary focus of the whole eschatological program of God past, present and future. Yet most today, because biblical illiteracy abounds, have completely missed the point of Israel. This is the season of the Lord’s return; the rebirth of Israel in 1948 absolutely guarantees it.
Jesus will come someday soon, “like a thief” (Rev. 16:15). However, His coming is not meant to be a surprise to those who know His word, only for those who reject it. For those that are watching, the return of Jesus for His bride is meant as a “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13), with a specific reward attached for those actively anticipating His at any moment return (2 Tim. 4:8).
Israel is God’s very own super sign, and the majority of Christians have either missed the point of Israel, or worse, actively rejected her. Israel allows us to discern, with a reasonable degree of specificity, exactly which “time” and “season” it is we are living in today, as all other end-time prophecy is gauged through the prism of Israel.
This is the primary reason why many within the Church today are so completely clueless about the days we live in, even actively rejecting the lateness of this hour. They fail to recognize the significance of the rebirth of the nation of Israel in 1948, seeing no importance to modern Israel at all. As a result of this, they miss the first, most important prophetic marker through which all other end-time prophecy is to be understood.
This means that they cannot even begin to interpret “times and seasons” because they have no starting point, the rebirth of Israel in 1948. They make this mistake because of bad doctrine, an adherence to replacement theology and, though it is uncomfortable to say it, because of the rise of antisemitism within Christianity today.
Israel is an active demonstration of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Israel has returned to its ancient land, its Abrahamic inheritance, after two thousand years of harsh diaspora, and she remains, just as predicted, in unbelief to this day (Isaiah 11:11-12). Just as the prophet Isaiah foresaw, a nation was born in just one day, on May 14, 1948.
“Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children” (Isaiah 66:8).
Hebrew has returned as the spoken language of Israel (Zephaniah 3: 8-10), and preparations for the rebuilding of the temple is common talk, as is the news of Red Heifer births. No biblically acceptable, blemishless Red Heifers have been born for over two thousand years, until very recently.
Ethiopian Jews have returned to Israel, while Russia has risen and its Jews have returned “from the north country” (Isaiah 43:5-6; Jeremiah 16:15). Indeed, one day soon the Jews will look back and determine that this unique regathering from worldwide dispersal, that has happened in our lifetime, is a greater miracle than was their deliverance from Egyptian captivity under Moses (Jeremiah 16:14-15; 23:7-8).
Israel’s deserts have bloomed (Isaiah 51:3), and her fruit, literally and metaphorically, fills the whole earth (Isaiah 27:6). Trees now grow again in Israel, a land that was a barren waste for two thousand years (Isaiah 41:18-20), and Israel has reached a point where she is more prosperous now than ever in the past (Ezekiel 36:11).
Israel has been completely rebuilt (Amos 9:11, 13) and has prevailed without exception against all of her enemies in modernity, up to this point at least (Isaiah 41:12-14).
Now established once again in these end times as a nation state (Ezekiel 37: 21-22), Israel is fast becoming the pariah of all the world, and the leaders of all nations seem utterly obsessed with finding a solution to the stalled so-called “peace process.” In doing so they seek to divide Jerusalem in a “two state solution” that is already doomed to failure (Zechariah 12:2-3). When it reaches fruition this “covenant with death” will be annulled by God Himself (Isaiah 28:18). The wrath of God will fall upon all those nations that dare to divide Jerusalem, the City of the King who will return.
Israel, today mostly alone and isolated in the Middle East, is being increasingly surrounded, as predicted, by hostile Arab enemies who are baying for her blood (Ezekiel 35:1–36:7). At this point it is evident to all who have eyes to see that Gog from the “remote parts of the north” has swept down into the Middle East where, along with the “horde” he now leads, he will one day soon come against little Israel in order to “take a spoil” (Ezekiel 38:1-39:16). It will be the Lord God Himself who will fight for Israel on that fast-approaching day, and He will bring Gog and his hordes to utter ruin in the land of Israel, before the eyes of all the world (Ezekiel 39:1, 5).
The great apostasy of the Church, prophesied so powerfully in the apostle Paul’s letters, is in full flow and bringing with it real antisemitism. There is something about antisemitism that cannot be explained rationally, but only from a spiritual point of view. Men and women are falling away, not just from sound doctrine and teaching (2 Timothy 4:3), but also from supporting the Apple of God’s eye, His Holy inheritance, Israel (Zechariah 2:8; Isaiah 19:25).
It is a perverse irony that some of Israel’s most bitter and intransigent enemies today can be found not in Gaza, Lebanon or Iran, or even amongst the barbaric hordes of IS, but in churches up and down our nation. Men and women who “…will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3) — men and women deliberately blind to Bible prophecy — mockers and scorners within our own midst.
It will be an uncomfortable truth for many to learn, but one of the main reasons that Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah, will return at the end of the Tribulation is to save Israel and to enforce the everlasting land grant given to the Jewish people. This is the same land many today claim Israel “stole” from the Palestinians. Jesus, at that time, will publicly return to overthrow the nations of the world who are in league with the antichrist and who are trying to violently take this land from Israel (Zechariah 12 -14; Ezekiel 47:13 – 48:35).
The plan of redemption for Israel, and the world at large, focuses upon two universe-defining events: the First and then the Second Coming of Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. In both advents, the Messiah did and will come personally to Israel. Just as the establishment of Israel was crucial to the First Coming of Jesus, so is the re-establishment of Israel in our own day crucial for the fulfillment of His Second Coming. It is the super sign which sets the scene for the unfolding and fulfilling of all other end-times prophecy, which will culminate in the personal return of Jesus to Israel.
Deny it or not, prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes; and one day soon Jesus Christ will return to the nation he loves, to rule all the nations of this Earth with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27; Psalms 2:9) from His eternal capital city, Jerusalem.
The end of this age fast approaches, though the question at this late hour is: Who is listening and who is watching?
Ask yourself honestly, will you be ready?
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).