For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land(
Ezekiel 36:24)….CONTINUE READING HERE
Simply mention the “End Times,” and you are sure to generate as many different opinions as people have favourite colours. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but you understand the point.
The study of eschatology (the study of the End Times) and apocalyptic writings in the Bible certainly bring no end to varying interpretations and opinions. Especially when it comes to understanding Israel’s role in the End Times.
The truth is, none of us knows the specific events that will occur, or especially when. Even Jesus stated that only the Father knew the precise day or hour of the eschaton — the end of all things as we know them:
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father( Matthew 24:36).
While there is much about the End Times, that is unknown and falls into interpretation or even speculation, a lingering question remains — what about Israel? After all, throughout Scripture — both Old and New Testament, the nation of Israel is God’s “chosen people.”
Where does the nation of Israel fit into God’s plan for the End Times? What does God have in store for Israel and the gift of eternal life at the end of the world? Is the existence of the current State of Israel a fulfillment of God’s promises to them?
Biblical prophecy about what happens to Israel in the end times is a topic of significant interest and debate among most Christian denominations and theological traditions. These prophecies are primarily found in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Here are some key themes and passages related to Israel in end-time prophecy:
Restoration of Israel
: Several Old Testament prophets, including Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, prophesied about the restoration of Israel in the end times. This includes the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel after a period of exile and dispersion.See:
(NIV): “For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.”
Rebuilding of the Temple
: Some prophecies suggest the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, often associated with the coming of the Messiah or a future period of spiritual renewal.See:
(NIV): “In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth of the month, in the fourteenth year after the fall of the city—on that very day the hand of the LORD was on me and he took me there. In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city. He took me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. The man said to me, ‘Son of man, look carefully and listen closely and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here. Tell the people of Israel everything you see.’”
Land of Promise
: The promise of God to Abraham and his descendants regarding the land of Canaan (later known as Israel) is seen as an enduring covenant, and the fulfillment of this promise is often associated with end-time events.See:
(NIV): “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
This promise is foundational to the Abrahamic covenant and holds great significance in the biblical narrative. It is often associated with end-time events and the restoration and fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham’s descendants in the context of eschatology. Many interpretations within both Judaism and Christianity see the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel as a sign of God’s faithfulness to this covenant and as part of His unfolding plan for the end times.
These Scriptures are generally seen as a hopeful expectation of God’s faithfulness to His covenant with Israel and the fulfillment of His promises.
Return of Jesus
: In the New Testament, particularly in the Gospels and the book of Revelation, there are references to the return of Jesus Christ. His return is often linked to the restoration and salvation of Israel.See:
(NIV): “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice, he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh, he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.”
End-Time Events in Israel
: The book of Revelation contains passages that describe end-time events taking place in Israel, including the Battle of Armageddon, which is often seen as a final confrontation between the forces of good and evil.See:
(NIV): “Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”
It’s important to note that interpretations of the Battle of Armageddon and its connection to Israel can differ among scholars and believers. Some see it as a literal battle, while others view it more symbolically, representing the ultimate confrontation between the forces of righteousness and evil in the cosmic struggle for God’s kingdom.
Conversion of Israel
: Some interpretations of
in the New Testament suggest that there will be a future turning of the Jewish people to faith in Jesus as the Messiah, leading to their spiritual restoration.See:
(NIV): “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.’”
Jerusalem as a Centre
: Jerusalem is frequently mentioned in both Old and New Testament prophecies as a central location for end-time events and as the future capital of God’s kingdom.See:
(NIV): “This is what the LORD says: ‘I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.’”and
“In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”
As you can see, these verses emphasize the future role of Jerusalem as a central location in God’s plan for the end times. They speak to the significance of Jerusalem as a place where God will dwell, where His law will go forth, and where all nations will gather. Additionally, they point to Jerusalem’s role in end-time events, including conflicts and the ultimate establishment of God’s kingdom.
The name of the nation of Israel is derived from the name given to Jacob — the grandson of Abraham and the son of Isaac. Jacob’s 12 sons were the forefathers of the 12 tribes that became the Jewish nation — the nation of Israel. It is easy to recognize the trials that the people of Israel — in other words, the nation of Israel, the Jewish people — have survived over the past 3,500 to 4,000 years:
Four hundred years of exile and slavery in Egypt, then escape only to wander in the desert for another 40 years before arriving in the “land of milk and honey.”
Another 70 years of exile in Babylon after the defeat of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.
Two thousand years of dispersion and exile from their homeland under the rule of multiple empires. While the Romans are best known, there were also the Babylonians, Persians, Greek Hellenists, Byzantines, Arabs, Ottomans, British — even Christian Crusaders who came from Europe to capture the Holy Land.
Dispersion throughout other lands — referred to as the Diaspora — which, of course, could easily have resulted in absorption into other cultures through mixed marriages and simple assimilation or absorption, yet did not.
Subjugation — many nations did not willingly accept the Jews into their countries. Russia, for example, was known for its harsh treatment of the Jews, who had no rights. Even during the British rule of their lands, the Jews suffered a great deal of violence at the hands of nearby Arab populations.
Genocide — the Holocaust, wherein six million Jews or more were brutally murdered. As much as 60% or more of the entire Jewish population.
And then…in 1948, against all odds, a return to the Promised Land. The new State of Israel. The Jewish community re-established Israel as a sovereign nation with a declaration of independence.
At the time, many orthodox Jews and non-Jews around the world were horrified. Political clashes exist to this day…..CONTINUE READING HERE