Chapter One – The Jewish People
Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve noticed how most people in our society today have basically become self-centered. And because of this, everybody walks around with the “poor me” syndrome. They act as if their problems are the biggest and worst of all, when in reality they’re just being blown out of proportion to draw attention. Therefore, in light of this trend in our society, how does one know if they’re really having a bad day versus just exaggerating about themselves? Great question! I’m glad you asked. You see, I came across a list of some genuine signs to indicate that you are really having a truly bad day. In fact, if any of these have happened to you, there would be no need to ask the question. You’re having a bad day.
1. Your secretary tells you the FBI is on line 1, the DA is on line 2, and CBS is on line 3.
2. Your suggestion box starts ticking.
3. The plumber floats by on your kitchen table.
4. The simple instructions enclosed, aren’t.
5. You wake to discover your waterbed has sprung a leak and then realize you don’t have a waterbed.
6. You wake up face down on the pavement.
7. Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.
8. People send your wife sympathy cards on your anniversary.
9. Your wife says “Good Morning, Bill” and your name is George.
10. You’re driving on the freeway when you car horn not only accidentally goes off but it remains stuck behind a group of Hells Angels.
Yes, having your horn get stuck behind a group of Hells Angels would definitely be a bad day, wouldn’t it? But, believe it or not, there’s a worse day than that. You see, the ultimate sign that you’re headed for the worst day of your life would have to be this; it’s when you wake up one morning only to realize that your family has disappeared. You run to turn on your TV to see what’s happening and there you watch a special worldwide news report declaring that millions of people all over the globe are missing. Then, as you spy the Bible on the coffee table, it suddenly dawns on you that your family was right after all when they kept telling you about the rapture of the Church. Then to your horror, you realize that you’ve been left behind and have been catapulted into the seven-year Tribulation that is coming upon the whole world.
And folks, the time of the Tribulation is not a party. It’s an outpouring of God’s wrath on a wicked and rebellious planet. In fact Jesus said in Matthew 24 that it would be a time of greater horror than anything the world has ever seen or will ever see again. He also said that unless that time of calamity is shortened, the entire human race would be destroyed. But God is not only a God of wrath; He’s a God of love as well. And because He loves you and I, He has given us many warning signs that the Tribulation could be near and Christ’s 2nd Coming is rapidly approaching. Therefore, to keep you and I from experiencing the ultimate bad day of being left behind, we’re going to take a look at what the Bible declares to you and I as The Final Countdown.
We’re going to observe 10 signs given by God to lovingly wake us up so we can give our lives to Him before it’s too late. So let’s get started. The #10 sign on The Final Countdown is none other than The Jewish People. One of the first and most important prophetic events on God’s end-time calendar is concerning the Jewish people. In minute detail, the Lord prophesied specific events that would happen to Israel, giving a clear indication that we could be in the last days. So just what are these specific prophesies being fulfilled today concerning The Jewish People? Well, I’m glad you asked. The 1st End Time Prophecy concerning The Jewish People is that Israel would return to the land.
Isaiah 43:5-6 “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west and from north and south. I will bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth.” (NLT)
Ever since the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 AD, the Jewish people have been scattered all over the earth. But in the last century alone, millions of Jews have returned to Israel, fulfilling this prophecy.
In fact, just like the Bible said, they came specifically from the east, the west, the north, and the south. First from the East, in the early 1900’s many Jews living in the Middle East moved to Israel. Then from the West, during mid-1900’s, hundreds of thousands of Jews living in the West (Europe and the United States) began moving to Israel. Then from the North, during the 1980’s, Russia finally began to allow hundreds of thousands of Jews to return to Israel. And next from the South, Israel struck a deal with Ethiopia’s communist government. And on the weekend of May 25, 1991, 14,500 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel. And more and more Jews are returning to Israel each year from all over the world. First from the East, West, North, and then South.2 Just like the Bible said! When? In the last days.
The 2nd End Time Prophecy concerning The Jewish People is that Israel would become a nation again.
Isaiah 11:11-12 “In that day the Lord will bring back a remnant of his people for the second time, returning them to the land of Israel from Assyria, Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt, Ethiopia, Elam, Babylonia, Hamath, and all the distant coastlands. He will raise a flag among the nations for Israel to rally around. He will gather the scattered people of Judah from the ends of the earth.” (NLT)
Since 721 BC approximately 14 different peoples have possessed the land of Israel. Yet, as the Bible said, the nation of Israel would be reborn. One day they would regain their independence. And can anyone guess what happened on May 14, 1948? That’s right! After waiting centuries, the people who were scattered all over the world, not only returned to their land, but they also became a nation. From out of nowhere and against all odds, Israel was reborn. And in 1967 the Jewish people even recaptured the city of Jerusalem. Just like the Bible said! When? In the last days.
The 3rd End Time Prophecy concerning The Jewish People is that Israel would be brought forth in one day.
Isaiah 66:8 “Who has ever seen or heard of anything as strange as this? Has a nation ever been born in a single day? Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment? But by the time Jerusalem’s birth pains begin, the baby will be born; the nation will come forth.” (NLT)
On the morning of May 14, 1948, at precisely 4pm, the members of the People’s Council signed the proclamation and the declaration was made that, “The State of Israel is established. This meeting is ended.” Israel not only became a nation, but also was literally brought forth as a nation in one day.3 Just like the Bible said! When? In the last days.
The 4th End Time Prophecy concerning The Jewish People is that Israel would be a united nation again.
Ezekiel 37:21-22 “And give them this message from the Sovereign LORD: I will gather the people of Israel from among the nations. I will bring them home to their own land from the places where they have been scattered. I will unify them into one nation in the land. One king will rule them all; no longer will they be divided into two nations.” (NLT)
In about 926 BC, the Jewish people became a divided nation. The Northern ten tribes were called Israel, and the Southern two tribes were called Judah. But when the Jews regained independence in 1948, for the first time in 2900 years, Israel was again united as a single nation, not two.4 Just like the Bible said! When? In the last days.
The 5th End Time Prophecy concerning The Jewish People is that Israel’s currency would be the shekel. Ezekiel 45:12,13,16 “The standard unit for weight will be the silver shekel. Th
is is the tax you must give to the prince. All the people of Israel must join the prince in bringing their offerings.” (NLT)
The Bible predicted that in their future temple sacrifices, the people of Israel would be paying their taxes in shekels. But the problem is that Israel’s currency wasn’t the shekel, it was the pound. However, that all changed in 1980. This was when the shekel was brought back into existence as Israel’s official currency and is still being used right up to this day.5 Just like the Bible said! When? In the last days.
The 6th End Time Prophecy concerning The Jewish People is that Israel would blossom as a rose in the desert.
Isaiah 35:1-2 “Even the wilderness will rejoice in those days. The desert will blossom with flowers. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel’s pastures and the plain of Sharon. There the LORD will display his glory, the splendor of our God.” (NLT)
When Mark Twain visited Israel in the 1860’s, he reported that Israel was a barren wasteland with no trees. Almost 2000 years of foreign conquerors had abused the land, leaving it as a desert wasteland. But when the Jews began to return, they built a network of irrigation systems. Today, there are over 400 million trees in Israel and as a result, rainfall has increased over 450 percent. In fact, Israel, the former desert, is now the breadbasket of the Middle East and is exporting fruit all over the world. Then, Israel diverted the water from the Sea of Galilee and channeled it through sections of the deserts, which have allowed the deserts to literally begin to blossom with an abundance of flowers, which are now, along with ornamental plants, also being exported all over the world.6 Just like the Bible said! When? In the last days.
The 7th End Time Prophecy concerning The Jewish People is that Israel would have a powerful military. echariah 12:6 “On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.” (NLT)
Outnumbered and against all odds, Israeli forces have astounded the world by their victories during six wars. For instance, within hours of Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon all invaded Israel. The combined population of those countries was at least twenty million at that time. Yet, Israel had fewer than one million in population. But when all was said and done, the Jewish people not only won the war, but they expanded the size of Israel by fifty percent. Today, Israel is indeed one of the most powerful military forces in the world, with full nuclear capabilities. Hands down, they are the most powerful force in the region.7 Just like the Bible said! When? In the last days.
The 8th End Time Prophecy concerning The Jewish People is that Israel would be a center of conflict to the whole world. Zechariah 12:2-3 “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.” (NIV)
In 1948, when the Jewish people became a nation, the very next day, the nations around them declared war with Israel. And the fighting for control has never stopped. Also, Israel’s location in the heart of the world’s oil reserves makes it a great strategic significance to all the countries in the world. Then, to make matters worse, the world’s three largest religions have headquarters where? In Jerusalem! This is why you can daily turn on the news and read in all the newspapers of how Israel has indeed become an international problem. Just like the Bible said! When? In the last days.
The 9th End Time Prophecy concerning The Jewish People is that Israel would rebuild the temple.
Revelation 11:2 “Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.” (NAS)
The book of Revelation clearly reveals that a Jewish temple will be in existence during the time of the Tribulation. And can you guess who is preparing to build another temple right now? But the problem is that the Muslim Dome of the Rock is sitting right where many believe the previous temple was and where the new proposed temple needs to be. This is one of the reasons why there is such strife in Jerusalem today. But strife or not, the Bible is clear, in the end-time, the temple will be rebuilt. In fact, many scholars believe that it will occur as a result of a peace treaty made with the antichrist himself.
Daniel 9:27 “He will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings.” (NLT)
It is in this passage that we not only see that the Tribulation will last seven years, but its also where some feel that the antichrist with his false miracles and fabulous charisma will be the only one to convince Israel to give up more land and the carrot he uses is the permission to rebuild the Temple. But even if they don’t get permission to build it where the current Dome of the Rock is, it just so happens that right now Jewish archaeologists are saying the actual site for the temple may very well not be where the Dome of the Rock is, but rather to the North or the South of it, which means they could build it right now even with the current location of the Dome of the Rock!
However, it’s important to know that the Jewish people aren’t looking 100 years down the road to rebuild the Temple. People, the blueprints for the temple are ready today. In fact, a group in Israel called the Temple Institute is right now training priests to serve in the new Temple. They have even reconstructed most of the clothing and vessels that are required for worship in the new Temple. In fact, things are getting so close that for the first time since the articles of the Temple we’re hauled away at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Golden Menorah has not only been reconstructed at the cost of two million dollars, but it has been relocated opposite the Temple Mount.
Furthermore, even more recent, the golden crown of the Jewish High priest has finally been completed, where it is waiting to be placed on the “right head” at the “right time” to begin the Temple services.9 Therefore, almost everything is ready for the new Temple with the exception of one item, a red heifer. You see, the ashes of a pure red heifer are needed for cleansing.
Numbers 19:1-4 “The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: This is a requirement of the law that the LORD has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke. Give it to Eleazar the priest; it is to be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence. Then Eleazar the priest is to take some of its blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the Tent of Meeting.” (NIV)
You see, according to Bible, the ashes of a pure red heifer are needed to perform the necessary purification or cleaning rituals that are a part of the service of the Temple. But the problem is, since the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, pure red heifers no longer exist, until now. Believe it or not, a red heifer was born in Israel just a few years ago.10 And even though it ended up having a slight blemish, and was hence disqualified, it just so happens they’re starting to appear on the scene after all these years! Then, even if it doesn’t happen naturally, we just happen to be living in the days when for the first time in man’s history, we could create a red heifer artificially through genetic engineering and cloning!
Then, to make matters even more interesting, for the first time in 1,600 we have the rebirth of the Jewish Sanhedrin, just a couple years ago.11 And the Jewish people right now are expecting the return of a Messiah, which of course would be a false Messiah, but their expecting him at anytime! In fact, some think he’s already here! Check out these recent quotes from Jewish newspapers.
• “The most important event in the Messianic era will be the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. It is the act of building the Temple that will establish the identity of the Messiah beyond all shadow of a doubt. The Messiah will be a king over Israel, and a king can only be crowned by the Sanhedrin. The reason he will come to Jerusalem first is to be recognized by the Sanhedrin.”
• “Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar believes the Earth will soon see the coming a Messiah to judge all mankind. ‘We know that he is very near at hand. The Messiah may well have been born already. The world today is in a state described by our sages as ‘hevley mashiah,’ that is, labor that precedes the
coming of a Messiah. We are living on the verge of history. It can be felt everywhere.’”
• “Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri called upon worldwide Jewry to return to Israel due to natural disasters, which threaten to strike the world. ‘In the future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will bring about great disasters in the countries of the world to sweeten the judgments of the Land of Israel. I am ordering the publication of this declaration as a warning, so that Jews in the countries of the world will be aware of the impending danger and will come to the Land of Israel for the building of the Temple and revelation of our righteous Mashiach (Messiah). The Mashiach is already in Israel.”12
So let’s put these pieces together. The Jewish people are poised to build the end-times Temple right now, which might eventually include making a seven-year peace treaty with the antichrist which just so happens to be the single prophetic event that starts the clock for the seven-year Tribulation. Then we see how the Jewish people right now also have the means to purify the Temple, which must be in existence during the Tribulation. Then we see the rebirth of the Jewish Sanhedrin and the people’s expectation that the Messiah is either coming shortly or may already be here right now. Therefore, the question we need to right now be asking ourselves is this, “How much closer is the rapture of the Church, which takes place before the Tribulation begins?”
Yet, even with all this amazing evidence pointing to the signs of Christ’s soon return, some people still refuse to heed the warning and are headed for certain destruction, like this guy:
“Two local Pastors were fishing on the side of the road one day, and being Christians and all, they decided to make a sign that said, ‘The End is Near! Turn yourself around now before it’s too late!’ and showed this sign to each passing car.
Well, one driver that drove by didn’t appreciate the sign at all. So he shouted at them, ‘Leave us alone you religious nuts!’ and he kept on driving.
Then all of a sudden there was a big splash, so they looked at each other, and the one Pastor said to the other, “Do you think we should’ve just put up a sign that says, ‘The bridge is out?’”
Now, that guy didn’t want to listen to the warning did he? In fact, he thought that the people who were saying it were a bunch of wackos. And yet the Bible says that this skeptical attitude would be commonplace in the end times.
2 Peter 3:3-4 “First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire. This will be their argument: ‘Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created.’” (NLT)
People of God, I hope you’re not one of those scoffers who wake up one day and realize too late that you’ve been left behind. And you know what? So does God. Because He loves you and I, He has given us the warning sign of The Jewish People to show us that the Tribulation could be near and Christ’s 2nd Coming is rapidly approaching. Jesus Himself said this: Luke 21:28 “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (NIV)
Like it or not folks, we are headed for The Final Countdown. We don’t know the day or the hour. Only God knows. The point is, if you’re a Christian, it’s time to get serious and motivated about who we are and what we’re called to do as Christians. Folks, it’s high time we Christians speak up and declare the good news of salvation to those who are dying all around us. But please, if you’re not a Christian, give your life to Jesus today, because tomorrow may be too late! Just like the Bible said!