Seventy years ago, Zipporah ("Zippy") Porath had joined the Haganah (defense forces) and received training as a medic. In her book, “Letters from Jerusalem, 1947-1948,” she wrote;
“Our soldiers are like no others I'VE ever seen. They don't have much to fight with besides guts and determination. No swagger, spit or polish. No drinking, no shirking. Doing the dirtiest jobs, they sing and joke -- even in the fiercest moments, and never with a "here today and gone tomorrow" attitude. Tomorrow is what it’s all about.”
Independence for Israel (as detailed in the book above) was won in May of 1948 (70 years ago next month) with “blood, sweat and tears” followed by a Declaration of Independence and the establishment of the Jewish state. With that the time-line of end-times events began. In human history no other single event has more importance than the re-gathering of the Jewish people into one nation. The beginning of the end of latter days prophecy, which began about six thousand years ago had reached its first major plateau with that event.
When the modern state of Israel was established a time-table was set. We don’t yet know all the details but as the days go by, the pages flip and we see the chart a little better. One thing seems clear, we are headed for a date with destiny and May, 2018 may well be the tipping point that kicks it off.
Re 1:3 ¶ Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
In the last Seventy years the state of Israel has weathered many storms. They began with the odds stacked heavily against them (5 Arab countries to 1 beleaguered small group of Jews) with their declaration of Independence but in spite of it fought off the innumerable hordes of Islam which have only multiplied since as the years progressed.
The re-gathering and the existence of Israel is the single most important prophetic sign of the wind-up of history.
Just as the beginning of the human experience began in Genesis, the end details are written not only in Revelation but also in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke as well as many prophetic books like Daniel, Zechariah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and Jeremiah. There, as well as some of the smaller books we can see the hand of God writing crisp and clear as He gives us the signs to look for in our curiosity of how it will all play out.
The hands of our clock continue their inexorable clicking toward the second coming of Christ, we can’t see the numbers but we can hear the noises loud and clear. The Bible prophesies wars and rumors of wars as we near the end and we certainly have that. As this is being written Trump has just sent a hundred of so missiles into Syria while Russia ponders their response. A reply in some manner is necessary lest they appear as a paper tiger to the world. Will they lose face or will they respond in kind? If not in kind, how will they respond?
Prophecy foretells a period it calls “the times of the Gentiles.”
Lu 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Re 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
The question is, from where is the forty two months measured? As much of prophecy is, until more historical events occur, there will be confusion and disagreement over the prophecy in Luke. Taking Luke 21:24 in context which we must do, this takes place during a time when Jerusalem is compassed about with armies (vs. 20) either making it an historical reference to the siege of Jerusalem of 70 A.D., or a reference to a siege during the Crusades (1099 or 1187) or an event yet to come. On the assumption, while others may disagree, it is a yet future event, this article is about the kick-off date.
There is coming a time in the probable near future, when Israel will once more come under direct attack by its neighbors. War is obviously building in the region with different alignments coming into play as end-time characters jockey for position. Recently we have seen an unlikely alliance forming between Saudi Arabia and Israel, a common front against Iran and its aggression in Yemen and Syria (Sunni vs. Shia). Then throw in the possibility of another war described in Psalm 83 and the mix becomes more deadly. The Bible names the players in Ezekiel 38 with that war and mentions in Zechariah 12:2,3 Jerusalem will be both a “cup of trembling” and a “burdensome stone.” Great trouble obviously lies dead ahead.
On May 15 this year re-gathered Israel will celebrate its 70th birthday since becoming a nation once again on that date in 1948. The nation is focusing on a celebration but the Bible focuses on the coming troubles. Because the number seven carries such great significance in Bible prophecy, many eyes are on Israel in an attempt to determine whether or not the coming 70th birthday will herald war or other prophesied events.
Will next month be the start of the great tribulation? Will 70 be a significant number in the future of God’s Chosen people? Will some sort of a military attack take place on that date or will something else happen? What is the significance of the Trump Administration’s backing of Israel by the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol? Is that an integral piece of the puzzle? Does the number seven apply to these end-time arrangements?
The highest priority of God is salvation for all people, including all of the enemies of Israel. In His infinite wisdom He is setting up world events to bring about the maximum harvest of souls (and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me.)
Ezekiel says when the armies of Gog come against the “mountains of Israel” He will turn them back (Eze 39:2)… and leave but the sixth part of thee…, In other words, 83% of the invading armies will be destroyed, not by Israel but by the Almighty Himself. Five out of six will die on the mountains. How will it happen? The Bible says not by raining fire down from heaven, but by messing with the minds of the soldiers and turning them against each other.
Eze 38:21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother.
So we watch May 15 in Israel as they celebrate their re-gathering and re-birth as a nation and try to discern where we are approximately in the Biblical count-down. Are we in the “beginning of sorrows?” or perhaps a little farther along. Is the “great tribulation” about to begin, or will the unbiblical false doctrine of a “pre-trib” rapture somehow whisk us all away from that time of extreme trouble?
Mt 24:32 ¶ Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
The fig tree is the key indicator of how we will be able to discern our position in the scheme of final events of TEOTWAWKI. Effort is required on the part of the reader if he wants to know where we are as everything comes to a head. When it comes to biblical prophecy we don’t learn by osmosis. Discernment comes by study and by prayer, commodities in which we all are lacking. A diligent searching of the Word and proper dividing of it is required if we are to properly understand where we are.
Lu 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
If we put it all together yes, we are having and hearing of wars and rumors of war (Mt 24:6). And yes, there are famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes (7) testifying we are at least in the beginning of the final act. And at least in many parts of the world believers are being delivered up and killed but there still seems a long way to go. Christians in America so far seem far away from being put to death for their faith. Persecution? Obviously yes, considering bakers being forced to cook for perverts wanting to marry other perverts. But we are not yet being hunted like animals which is bound to come according to prophecy. Nor has the Gospel been preached in all of the world though several ministries are making a valiant effort.
Yet the text tells us the fig tree is putting forth leaves and it’s high time we start looking after the things of God instead of the things of the world. In the midst of it all we must not forget the gospel (good news) of Christ is available to all who will call on His name.
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