October 26, 2008
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
We have been looking at ten signs that point us to the fact that ours is very likely the generation that will witness Jesus returning in the clouds to receive His Church unto Himself. I am well aware of the fact that there are several schools of thought in the Church when it comes to the subject of eschatology, or the doctrine of last things. I am what could be referred to as a literalist or futurist in matters relating to Bible prophecy. I look at the prophecies that have already been literally fulfilled as a sure sign that the areas of prophecy yet unfulfilled will be as well.
I look at things happening in the world today and rejoice, because they point us to the hour in which we live. It is an extremely exciting time to be alive in the service of the Lord! We have looked so far at eight of the ten signs we set out to examine. We come to the ninth this week.
9. THE BATTLE OVER JERUSALEM:
After two-thousand years in Diaspora, the Jewish people were called from the nations of the world to where they had been scattered, and were brought back to their land and re-born as a nation. This was a great miracle and a thrilling fulfillment of several Old Testament prophecies. This occurred in May of 1948. Many prophecy teachers at the time recognized this event as the beginning of the countdown to the return of Christ. There was a problem however.
The city of Jerusalem, David’s capital, was still under Gentile control. Then in June of 1967 a war was fought between Israel and her Arab neighbors Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. This war was known as, “The Six Day War.” Another miracle occurred here, because even though the tiny Nation of Israel was out manned and out maneuvered, in just six days the enemies surrendered, and the city of Jerusalem was once again in Jewish control, and under Jewish occupancy. [For more reading on “The Six Day War, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War%5D I personally believe that at this time the prophetic clock really began ticking.
Jesus said in His great “Olivet Discourse”, 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. [Luke 21:24 NKJV] We did not live in the time when the Jews were dispersed among the Nations of the world and trampled by the Gentiles. We do however live in the until. We live in the time when “The Time of The Gentiles” has been fulfilled, and the city of Jerusalem is again in Jewish control. It must remain in Jewish control. It does not matter what politicians say about the matter, the city of Jerusalem is God’s city, and He has given it to the Jewish people. He has chosen to put His Name there.
The city of Jerusalem stands as the most hotly debated piece of real estate in the world. The Bible says, 2″Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. 3 And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. [Zech. 12:2, 3 NKJV] How could one city in the Middle East be the controversy among nations?
Secular individuals will never understand the constant news coverage, the carnage left by suicide bombers, and the anti-Israeli protests in the territories, until they understand the clash in an ancient feud and a religious struggle between two relatives. The Middle East struggle began when Abraham fathered a son, Ishmael, through an Egyptian wife. Later, Abraham’s Covenant wife, Sarah, conceived a son promised from God 25 years before Isaac’s birth.
At age 13, Ishmael and his mother, Hagar, were forced out of the house and the young boy became an archer, dwelling in the wilderness. The conflict intensified with Isaac’s twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Jacob, the younger, conceived a plot to steal the blessing of Esau. The strategy worked, and another family rift continued for 20 years. It should be noted that the sons of Isaac and Ishmael both buried their father, Abraham; and Jacob and Esau made restoration with each other [See Gen. 33:1 – 16].
The real rift began when a man named Shechem, son of Hamor, raped Dinah, the daughter of Jacob. Dinah’s two brothers, Simeon and Levi, retaliated by killing all the men in the family. Thus began a conflict with the tribes from the Promised Land. Thus began the Middle East conflict, and consequently the battle for the city of Jerusalem.
This serves as yet another sign pointing to the fact that we are indeed living in the time of the end.
The Weekly Word is found in Isaiah 14:29. Here the Bible says,
29 Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of thee, because the rod that smote thee is broken; for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth an adder, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent. [Isa. 14:29 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson