We’ve heard a lot of talk lately about moving the U. S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Does this issue have anything to do with Bible prophecy?
Without a doubt, Israel will play an important role in the last days, and it will eventually serve as the capital city of the world (Zechariah 14:9-11). Anything that happens in our world that keeps Jerusalem on the forefront of our minds could be considered prophetic. If we move our embassy to Jerusalem, we are certainly drawing attention to the city that will one day be center of the world, it it’s not already.
Scholars have differed over the meaning of the word Jerusalem, but it seems to mean “City of Peace.” Israel has not lived up to her name, but the Bible says that in the last days, Israel will experience peace for a season. Ezekiel was led by God to tell us that during a time of peace for Israel, their defenses will be down. It is during this time that the 5-nation coalition, along with Russia, will attack Israel in a battle the Bible calls the Battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39).
So, what can we watch for in the news regarding Israel? We will see continued attention placed upon Jerusalem, and we will eventually see a period of peace for the Jewish people. It is hard for us to imagine peace for Israel right now with all of the tension in the Middle East. It leads me to wonder what will happen so that Israel will have peace. It could be a treaty with the Palestinians and the destruction of Hamas and other factions. Regardless of how it happens, Jerusalem will finally live up to her name – at least for a season.
What about Russia? What role does Russia play in the last days? I’ll write about that next. In the meantime, keep your eyes on Israel. God is moving us toward an amazing conclusion.
I enjoyed speaking and singing at Wall Highway Baptist Church in Madison, Alabama this past weekend. It was great to meet some new people and have an opportunity to talk about preparing to stand firm in the days leading up to the return of Christ. For those of you who were there, you know that we had a time of questions and answers with the questions being sent in by text. I answered a few questions on Sunday, but I would like to answer all of the questions that were submitted. I’ll answer a few today and finish up tomorrow.
The first question related to whether or not I thought Ebola and enteroviruses are end-time plagues. The Bible does talk about plagues during the last days. Consider the words of Luke 21:11, “There will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines…” It will always be easier to look back at events and see them as fulfillment of prophecy than to recognize it is a fulfillment as it is happening. At the same time, Jesus told us to be alert and watchful for the fulfillment of signs. I do believe that the increase of diseases and plagues is a fulfillment of prophecy. It is possible that a number of years from now when there are much greater plagues going on than Ebola, this current situation will not feel like a fulfillment of prophecy. It could be the “beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:8) with a growing intensity of plagues hitting us in the years ahead. It is also true that plagues have been a part of life from the beginning. I’m sure that when people were dying by the thousands from the plague known as Black Death in the 14th century, people could have easily thought it was a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Actually, it is estimated that around 75 million people died throughout the world from the plague. It is difficult for us to say with certainty that Ebola is the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, but I think we can say that if Christ’s return is to be in our lifetime, it is the beginning of birth pains. There is also another angle to be considered. Daniel prophesied that in the last days, a one-world government would be formed. I believe we will continue to see things happening in our world that will draw our nations together to form a dependence on one another. There will be a growing sense of unity and need for one another to solve our problems. It will make a global unification much more palatable to a world that once was consumed with nationalism.
The second question was about the blood moons. If you are not familiar with this topic, NASA has reported that there would be four lunar eclipses over a period of 15 months. These eclipses would make the moon appear to be red, like blood. These blood moons are taking place during Jewish holidays. Acts 2:20 quotes the prophet Joel predicting such a lunar eclipse in the last days before Christ’s Second Coming: “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.” I believe John Hagee is a little off with his comments whereby he said that the blood moons are a sign that God is about to do something significant in Israel. He points to the 4 blood moons (tetrad) that happened in the 15th century as a sign for Israel, and there was a great persecution of the Jews in Spain in 1492. He said the next one highlighted Israel becoming a nation in 1948, and then the next tetrad was to highlight the Six-Day war in 1967. The only problem with this position is that the Four blood moon tetrad happened in 1493 and 1949 (a year after these events happened in Israel’s history). The four blood moon tetrad did coincide with the Six-Day war in 1967. In his video presentation about this topic, Hagee predicted the four blood moons in 2014 and 2015 point to the Battle of Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 38-39. I would say that the blood moons are unusual and God may be using them as a sign, but I would be careful. If it were to be a sign, it seems like the tetrad would have happened before the event. Ezekiel 38-39 also indicates a few things will need to happen before this predicted war (Gog and Magog). For example, verse 8 of Ezek 38 says that Israel will be living securely at the time of this invasion. Since 1948, Israel’s borders have not been secure. It will take some time for this to happen. I believe we are seeing the beginning of it happening now, but Israel’s enemies (Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, etc.) will have to be minimized before this great battle will take place. It is difficult for me to see that happening in the next few months, though I am aware that it could happen. I do not have a problem with saying these blood moons could be a prophetic sign, but I do not believe we can say so with certainty. I say that also because there were four other four blood moons before 1492 that did not seem to have anything to do with Israel. Most people believe Israel will do something to protect themselves against Iran, and there is no doubt that this could lead to the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39 at some point in the future. I think we will also see the prophecy of Isaiah 17 (the destruction of Damascus) coming to pass in response to some of this unrest. Let’s be firm about what the Scripture does say, but let’s not jump into speculation and make it appear to be confident truth.
Amazing!! That’s really all I can say, though I should not be surprised. I just read an article on Inquisitr entitled, Israel Miracle? Gaza Strip Hamas Complain: ‘Their God Changes the Paths of our Rockets in Mid-Air.’ The article is repeated on several news outlets, and Joel Rosenberg wrote about it as well on his blog. The article tells of numerous missiles that were shot at Israel only to have them mysteriously pushed off course by an unseen force. I watched an interview last night on Fox News where a representative for the Israeli army explained basic information about how Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. The representative explained that the system measures the trajectory of the missiles and launches a counter attack on the missile to intercept it in the air before it can land in Israel. The report said that around 500 missiles have been intercepted, but I thought it interesting that a total of 3500 missiles have been launched toward Israel. I thought then that it was odd because I couldn’t imagine Hamas just blindly shooting into Israel without targets. Tonight, thanks to my friend George Rogers, I read about God’s intervention in this battle. While some of these missiles should have hit their target, God used things such as a strong wind to blow the missiles off target causing them to land in the sea or in areas where no people lived.
God will protect Israel. The world will eventually see that while the world is pulling away from Israel, God is not. Ezekiel 38-39 tells about the future Russian coalition attack on Israel and how God will protect Israel. These events of God’s deliverance of Israel we are seeing today, that will probably not make it onto most news channels, are a small glimpse of what is to come. Pray for the peace of Israel and for the salvation of those who do not know Christ.