"Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem,
they shall prosper that love thee"
Israel's Future is bright and glorious according to the Holy Word of God, the God of Israel (Elohim Yisrael)! According to the Jewish prophet, Jeremiah, God has promised that though He makes a full end to other nations, He will never make a full end of Israel (Jeremiah 30:11: “ For I am with thee, says the Lord, to save thee; though I make a full end of all nations to which I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee…” ).
In Jeremiah 31:35-37 we read: “ Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who divides the sea when its waves roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, says the Lord, If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the Lord.” In other words, as long as there is a sun, moon and stars there will be an Israel. No matter how much science can discover of its world, it will never be able to exhaust the full knowledge of heaven and earth, nor will God ever cast off Israel and her descendants.
God has a wonderful plan for the nation of Israel that revolves around her Messiah and Savior, Y'shua ha Meshiach (Jesus the Messiah). In God's prophetic plan there is first coming The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, the Time of Jacob's Trouble, which we refer to as The Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7: “ Alas! For that day is great so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.” ). However, God clearly reveals that He will bring Israel out of this judgment and at that time set up His Millennial Kingdom during which time Y'shua Jesus will bodily rule and reign from Jerusalem, as He sits on His throne in the Temple there. At that time, all the nations of the world will be blessed through Israel and through coming up to Messiah's throne in Israel as foretold in Isaiah 2:2-3: “ 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.”
From that time forward, Israel will enjoy all the blessings of God that He has wanted to bestow upon her, but as she has turned her back on Him and thus removed herself from His umbrella of protection, first come the troublesome times that she finds herself living in, even now.
The turmoil of the day brings to light a number of questions that God has already given answer to in His Holy Word. We will take a look at some of these issues now and see what God says, as He has the final word and what He says will come to pass.
Who does the land belong to – the Palestinians or the Jews?
It is clear from God's Word that the Land of Israel is given to the Jews. As God is the sole owner, the creator or the entire world, it is by His authority that He can do with the land as He sees fit and according to Genesis 15:18 he promised this land to Abraham (“ In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land…”) . The promise was then specifically passed down to Abraham's son, Isaac in Genesis 26:1-3 (“And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech, king of the Philistines, unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I swore unto Abraham thy father”)a nd finally passed down to his son Jacob and his descendants in Genesis28:10, 13 (“ And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran…And, behold, the Lord stood above it , and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham, thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed”) . Out of Jacob's descendants, we have the twelve sons who became the twelve tribes of Israel and to whom the land was divided.
In the Old Testament times, the name Palestine identified the region as “the land of the Philistines,” a war-like tribe of people made up of Anakim (Joshua 11:21, 22), Rephaim (Gen. 14:5), Horites (Deut. 2:10-23) and others who inhabited the region alongside the Hebrew people. However, the more ancient name for Palestine was Canaan, hence its greater use in Old Testament Scriptures. After the Israelites took the land from the Canaanites, the entire country became known as the “land of Israel.” The name Palestine for the region did not occur until the 5 th century b.c. when the Romans replaced the Latin name Judea with the Latin name Palestina, a slur intended to incite the Jews as it was a derivative of their enemy of old, the Philistines. It did not refer to an ethnic race of people, called Palestinians, as some try to claim today. (An interesting note is that those who call themselves Palestinians today and are trying to claim Palestine as their original homeland, are only laying claim to the part of Palestine that is in Israel today. When Israel was called Palestine by the Romans it included land in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and even part of Iraq. Yet the only country being asked to give up land for these people today is Israel!)
The right of claim to the land of Israel is from the biblical deed God gave to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, known as the Jews today.
Will the Land of Israel be divided?
According to Daniel 11: 39 ( “… and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.” ) the land will be divided by the Anti-Christ, who will be doing it for his own purposes rather than for the purpose of peace being striven for today. This will only be temporary, as when the Messiah returns to set up His Kingdom, Israel will be given all of the land God originally promised her. Never in Israel's history has she occupied/owned all of the land promised. The borders according to Genesis 15:18 will be: “from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates”. This will incorporate land that today is in the country of Israel, as well as Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and some of Iraq.
Will the Temple be rebuilt?
There are plans today to rebuild the Temple, although this will only be a precursor to the Temple in the Millennial Period. There is a strong element in Israel, known as The Temple Mount Faithful, who believing the land to belong rightfully to the Jews, are fighting any division and any Arab control of the Temple Mount area. They have made the plans for rebuilding the Temple and even have made the Cornerstone which they have tried to lay several times, but are always stopped by the Israeli police so as to keep peace between the Israelis and the Arabs who control the Temple Mount area. The Arabs have control of the top of the mount as after the Six Day War in 1967, Israel allowed the Arabs to have control of that small area as they had two mosques on the site. Not to be deterred, though, the Temple Mount Faithful have made many of the Temple implements needed for serving God in the Temple, have made the High Priest's Robe, etc. These are not museum pieces, but will be actually put into effect just as soon as the Temple is rebuilt. (templemountfaithful.org).
We believe that during the soon-coming Tribulation Period (Time of Jacob's Trouble) the Temple will be rebuilt. It may take the coming of the Anti-Christ to bring his false “treaty of peace,” to bring the Arab and Jew together where they will allow each other this freedom on the site, but whatever it takes, according to God's Word the Temple will be standing during the seven year Tribulation period (Revelation 11: 1-2: “ And there was given me a reed like a rod; and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship in it. But the court, which is outside the temple, leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the nations, and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”) ). According to Shaul's (Paul's) letter to those living in Thessalonica, the Anti-Christ will desecrate the Temple by putting an image of himself in the Temple, setting himself up as “god” to be worshipped (Revelation 13:11-15: “ And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and them who dwell on it to worship the first beast…vs. 15…and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”) ; Mattathias (Matthew) 24:15-21: “ When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place…” ); Daniel 9:27: “ 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, …” ).
Who is the Anti-Christ?
While the Bible does not name who this person will be, it does give some of his characteristics. He will NOT be Jewish. A Jew need not make a peace treaty with a Jew and one of the first major acts the Anti-Christ will perform, will be to sign a seven year peace treaty with the State of Israel. He will come on the scene with such charisma that the whole world will fall at his feet, so to speak, and lend their abilities to help make his dream of peace come true. However, 3 ½ years later, in the middle of the Tribulation Period, he will show his true colors, break the treaty with the Jews and set up an idol of himself in the Temple wanting all to come and worship him (Matthew 24:15-21 with Daniel 9:27 see above).
When will Messiah return?
We say “return” because we believe that Y'shua Jesus is the One True and Living Messiah who came the first time to deal with the sin need of all people. Having shed his sinless blood for the remission of sins (Leviticus 17:11: “ For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.” ) for any who will believe (Isaiah 53:3-12: “ He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet is pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief. When thou shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he has poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors.” ), He now returns to fulfill the prophecies regarding His setting up of the Kingdom, promised to Israel.
While we do not know the exact timing, we believe according to God's prophetic time clock that we are living on the edge of the Time of Jacob's Trouble. That is to be a seven year period and then will be the return of Messiah in victory.
We can say confidentially that we believe we are close to that time as God gave certain signs that would be in effect when He returns. According to Mattathias (Matthew) 24:3 – 7 there would be wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes in various places. (“ And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age? And Y'shua (Jesus) answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in various places.”) . All this is true of the world today. Also, in Mattathias (Matthew) 24:37-39 it is to be as it was in the days of Noah (Genesis 6), when Messiah returns and that criteria too is in clear view today. ( “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”)
Mattathias (Matthew) also brings to light that Messiah will return “immediately after the tribulation of those days… (24:29-31: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened…And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” ) and that all shall see His coming in great glory as His feet will stand upon the Mount of Olives and it will cleave, and form a great valley and in that day, the Lord will be King over all the earth.
(Zechariah 14:4-9: “ And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in its midst toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azel; yea, you shall flee, as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah; and the Lord my God, shall come, and all the saints with thee. And is shall come to pass, in that day, that the light shall not be clear nor dark, But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night; but it shall come to pass that, at evening time, it shall be light. And it shall be, in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea; in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.”) ,
Will Messiah be received or rejected again?
In that day the nation will recognize and receive Him as their Messiah according to Zechariah 12:10: “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son…
What will Messiah's Kingdom be like?
There will be world peace for 1,000 years (hence the term “Millennial” Kingdom) according to Isaiah 2:4: “ And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” And Revelation 20:6: “ …but they shall be priests of God, and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
Y'shua Jesus will rule in righteousness and justice according to Jeremiah 33:15, 16: “ In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name by which she shall be called, the Lord, our Righteousness.” The prophet Isaiah concurs in Isaiah 32:16-18: “Then justice shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”
Jerusalem will be the world capital and all nations will be blessed through Jerusalem . Isaiah 2:2, 3 states: “ 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 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.”
According to Zechariah (14:16 -19) blessings from the Lord will be withheld from those that do not come up to Jerusalem: “ And it shall come to pass that everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be that whoever will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain, there shall be the plague, with which the Lord will smite the nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles, This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Many will be the blessings for the people of the Lord . Isaiah 35:5-6 states: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”
Furthermore, the prophet Isaiah in 65:18-25 says: “ But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more in it an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die an hundred years old, but the sinner, being an hundred years old, shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat; for like the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock, and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain says the Lord.”
We joyfully quote Isaiah again in 66:10,12 and 13: “ Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her; rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her, For thus says the Lord: Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like a flowing stream…” and Zechariah 12:8 states: “ In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be like David; and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them.”
Y'shua will enter into a covenant relationship personally with His people . Our prophet Jeremiah in 31:31-34 points out: “ Behold the days come, says the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, which, my covenant they broke, although I was an husband unto them, says the Lord; But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, says the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
These are but a few of the reasons why we say that Israel's future is bright and glorious. The Scriptures (Tanakh) are filled with precious promises for the land and her people and God can be trusted to bring every one of them to fulfillment.