Hard to believe, but 2015 is almost in the past and a new year is upon us once again. As I keep up with the news headlines, it is just amazing to me how quickly things seem to be falling into place according to bible prophecy in connection with the end times that precede the return of Jesus to establish His earthly kingdom. Key to identifying that we are in that time is the prophesied rebirth of the nation of Israel.
Isaiah 66:8 “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”
The rebirth of the state of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948.
Ezekiel 37:11–14 “Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.”
The rebirth of the nation of Israel is key because other end time prophecies are predicated on its existence.
Scripture declares that Jerusalem will be a burden of concern to all nations that will eventually result in all the people of the earth gathered against it.
Zechariah 12:2–3 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”
The news headlines consistently testify to the truth of that prophecy. The control over the temple mount in Jerusalem, the determination of Jerusalem’s status as the capital city of Israel, and the continual disagreement over Israel’s borders are constants in the news. The UN bias against Israel has resulted in a far greater number of resolutions against Israel than any other nation in the world. Muslim countries in particular are loudly outspoken on their determination to destroy the nation of Israel. Anti-Semitism is again on the rise throughout the world. In April of last year USA Today recorded a 40% increase in anti-Semistism throughout the world in 2014.
Bible prophecy also predicts that a coalition of nations led by Russia and including Persia/Iran, Turkey and others will make a future attack on Israel motivated by the desire to “spoil” or make a profit.
Ezekiel 38:1–12 “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee….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….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.”
For more detailed information concerning this scripture see my website. The point is that current headlines in the news seem to show the foundations for this attack being laid. Russia has aligned with Iran and joined the fight against ISIS in defense of Syria. This has positioned the Russian military right on Israel’s northern border. There is much that Israel possesses that would provide “spoil” to a conquering enemy. Research indicates that the mineral content alone of the Dead Sea is worth over $14 trillion. Add to that the recent gas and oil findings in Israel, and I think there is more than enough to provide incentive for this attack on the economic front.
I have to admit that the recent tension between Russia and Turkey doesn’t fit the biblical narrative. I am confident, however, that future news headlines will show the prophetic scenario playing out as foretold.
Another prophecy that appears to be closely connected to the previous one concerns the destruction of Damascus in Syria.
Isaiah 17:1 “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.”
Damascus is noted as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and has never experienced the type of destruction prophesied by Isaiah. I admit that this is the first prophecy that came to mind once I knew ISIS had set its sights on taking control of Syria. I tend to think that this may be the next major headline we see in fulfillment of bible prophecy.
Much to the consternation of the Muslim world, the bible also foretells the rebuilding of the Jewish temple. It is noted by Paul that the coming Antichrist, the man of sin, will actually establish himself in the temple of God claiming to be God.
2 Thessalonians 2:1–4 “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
Obviously, a temple has to exist for this event to occur.
These verses in Thessalonians make reference to the rapture, the time when Jesus gathers His followers to Him, to deliver them from the coming wrath of God that has been designated for the years preceding the return of Jesus to establish His earthly kingdom. There is coming a day when the news headlines will be dominated by an event in which millions of the true followers of Jesus will disappear “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.”
1 Corinthians 15:51–53 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
More detail concerning these prophecies can also be found on my website. My purpose now is to identify future headlines that proclaim the soon return of Jesus as “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16)
As reason would dictate, the future rebuilding of the temple would require some type of peace treaty with the Muslim world. According to bible prophecy, just such a treaty will be announced in headlines across the world, marking the beginning of the last seven years preceding the return of Jesus.
Daniel 9:26–27 “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
Once again, further explanation of this scripture can be found at my website. I believe “the prince that shall come” is a reference to the Antichrist. He will “confirm” (prevail and/or strengthen) a covenant between Israel and “the many,” possibly a reference to the Muslim world. The covenant will be established for “one week,” a reference to seven years. In the “midst of the week,” or 3.5 years into the covenant period, the headlines will declare that the Antichrist has broken the covenant and stopped Jewish sacrifices and offerings at the temple. I believe it is then that he will establish his throne in the temple. Jesus references this very prophecy as recorded in Matthew.
Matthew 24:15–16 “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”
By the way, in my study of Daniel 8, I conclude that it will take Israel just over seven months to build the temple after signing the peace treaty. The Temple Institute in Jerusalem has already prepared all the necessary furnishings for the temple. They have also identified men qualified to serve as priests and prepared their garments as well. The temple could be up and running in well less than a year. This would surely create more news headlines across the world.
There are and will continue to be many other headlines in the news related to bible prophecy—for example, increase in frequency and intensity of earthquakes, famines, diseases, and the continued decay of morals on a worldwide scale. I have just chosen to highlight some of the more specific future headlines that will testify to any right thinking individual the truth of scripture.
Personally, I am looking forward to the rapture at any time. It could be today or still a few years away; I don’t know. I do know that the prophecies of scripture will be fulfilled to the tiniest detail.
If you have placed your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will not have to experience the horrors that those on earth will experience those last seven years before the return of Jesus. Neither do we have to fear whatever we may have to face during whatever time remains before He comes to take us to the Father.
John 14:1–3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Jesus warned us that in this world we would experience tribulation and trouble.
John 16:33 “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
But the joy of heaven in the presence of the Savior will prove to be worth it all. Paul stated it this way: Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Keep looking up…….He’s coming soon!