By Nathan Jones
Why does the world hate Israel and the Jewish people?
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista and I will look at the ninth end times sign related to Jerusalem prophesied by Jesus in Luke 21:20-24.
Because Israel Is God's Prophetic Time-clock
Vic Batista: What does Jerusalem have to do with the preparation for what the Bible says is coming concerning the end times?
Nathan Jones: The city of Jerusalem has been in prophecy for well over 2,000 years. Jerusalem is the ninth of the ten end times signs Jesus gave us in Luke 21 and parallel in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. I would even call Jerusalem the "Super Sign" because so much prophecy concerning the end times revolves around what happens to that city.Jesus said concerning Jerusalem in Luke 21:20-24 is:
"When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let those in the city get out and let those in the country not enter the city, for this is a time of punishment and fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those for pregnant women and nursing mothers. There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."
Vic Batista: We see in this passage part of God's plan for the future of the Jewish people. We see the time-clock is now moving much faster than it was 2,000 years ago. Israel became a nation again in recent history, and end time events since are moving along much more quickly.
Because Israel Is God's Object Lesson
Vic Batista: Nathan, have you noticed the hatred towards the Jewish people is growing around the world? Today's hatred is going to lead into an even worse hatred of the Jews during the Tribulation, right?
Nathan Jones: Right, and it's clear that's because God has made Israel the object lesson for all of human history. The Jews live in a covenant promise with God, but they've rejected God in their rebellion against Him. Now He sends judgments upon them to bring a remnant back in faith to Him. Once repentance is given, God will bless them again. That cycle goes on and on and on throughout Jewish history.
Israel got to the point in its history where it became so evil that God exiled them, just as He promised way back in Moses' time. Hundreds of years before Israel first became a nation, Moses prophesied that the Jews were going to eventually be exiled. And that's what happened. First the northern tribes were exiled in 722 BC, and then in 586 BC Judah and Jerusalem were exiled to Babylon. God said they would stay in exile for 70 years, and for 70 years there they stayed in Babylon. Then Cyrus the Great, who was prophesied by name by Isaiah 150 before Cyrus was born, granted an edict to allow the Jews to go back to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the Temple. Israel rose to became a nation again out of an exile. Amazing!
The Jews remained in Israel all the way into Roman times, that is until the Romans exiled them again in 70 AD. The Jews in Jesus' time were always rebelling against the Roman Empire. The Romans had finally had it by that point, so in 67 AD they sent a general named Titus Vespasian to deal with the rebel province, and he besieged Jerusalem for three years. When his armies finally broke through the walls of Jerusalem, they behaved exactly as Jesus prophesied. They came in, they destroyed Jerusalem, and they destroyed the Temple by setting it on fire.
Earlier, in Matthew 24, we read where Jesus said that not one stone of the Temple would be left upon another. And that's what the Romans left. When the gold in the Temple melted and dripped in-between the stones, the Romans in their fury crowbarred the stones apart and threw them down down into the Kidron Valley in order to reach the melted gold. Literally not one stone was left upon another. The Jews were then exiled out of Jerusalem a second time, and once out of Israel they were scattered to the four corners of the earth. This is all just as the Bible prophesied!
Vic Batista: Prophecy is so precise. That's what I love about the Bible. That's one of the many reasons why people need to take time to study Bible prophecy. Get a hold of all these wonderful resources, because they're thrilling! When you start to see events play out, happening exactly the way the Bible says, your faith in the truth of the Bible and God Himself will grow immensely.
Nathan Jones: The Bible is always 100% accurate concerning prophesies that were made. When Jesus said that the Temple would fall, He gave ten signs of things that would happen to show the time was upon them, and those signs happened just before the fall of the Temple. In 70 AD, 40 years after Jesus' ministry, the Temple fell just as Bible prophecy said it would.
Another amazing prophecy which occurred almost 1,900 years later in May of 1948 is that Israel became a nation once again. Jerusalem is in the hands of the Jewish people once more. The Third Temple has not yet been built, but we know that in order to fulfill Jesus' prophecies about the fall of the Temple there has to be yet another Temple built in the Last Days. A Third Temple has to been built in order for these end times prophecies to apply to that building as well.
We are living in the time period where we've see Israel become a nation again. We're also seeing a supernatural hatred of the Jews. People all across the world hate the Jews, and you have to wonder why. How can anyone hate a people group as much as they hate the Jewish people? But, they do. I believe such hatred is satanically backed. As we are getting close to Jesus' answer to that second question the Apostles asked concerning what will be the signs of the end of the age, we can know that we are living in that age now because Israel is a nation once more.
Vic Batista: Absolutely! I believe something incredible is going on. These events related to Jerusalem and other end time events are beginning to unfold. I believe that we could be the generation that's going to be alive when the Rapture happens.
Nathan Jones: That I believe is what Jesus was saying in Matthew 24 when He gave the object lesson of the fig tree. He said that when the fig tree re-blossoms, we'll know that the time is short. The fig tree was a symbol for Israel. So, when Israel re-blossoms and becomes a nation once more, Jesus said that would be the generation, or the people or the race, who would see the return of Jesus Christ.
Israel has been a nation since 1948. We've seen Israel become the focal point of the world's attention. How crazy that a country only the size of New Jersey could have the whole world obsessed over it! The world clamors for control over Jerusalem and tells the Israelis what they can do with their own land. They can't even build an apartment without an uproar. You know such attentions means something. It shows that the world's insane focus on Israel is leading up to Jesus rapturing the Church. Then the world's persecution of Israel throughout the following seven-year Tribulation will worsen until Jesus' Second Coming.
Because Israel Is Wealthy
Vic Batista: We are discovering part of the reason for why all eyes are on Jerusalem. Israel discovered some incredible amounts of natural resources. These resources are more of a cause for all sorts of countries to have their eyes on Israel.
Nathan Jones: For a long time people wondered about the prophecies in Ezekiel 38 & 39 which describes a great war where Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, and some of those 'Stan nations get together because they want to come down and attack Israel. The leader of this coalition comes from Russia. He wants to pillage Israel and steal its money. This leader from Russia covets Israel's wealth.
For centuries people have been wondering how Israel could become a nation again and where Israel would then be getting its wealth? The Israelis are good with money and they process diamonds, but there's nothing there worth conquering a country over. But, in the last few years, Israel has unearthed major gas finds in the Mediterranean Sea and they are still looking for oil. The thought is that Israel is now going to be independently wealthy because of their newly built gas line. Israel won't depend on Arab oil anymore. Israel will be able to export it as well which will make them competition for Russia, which is the major exporter in the north. The perfect reason now exists for why Russia desires Israel out of the picture. Russia wants to come and take her gas lines, and that's the precipitation for this war which we call the Gog & Magog War.
So, the pieces are falling into place and prophecies are starting to make sense.
Because Israel Is Not Yet Ready
Vic Batista: We need to recognize that our time is so short. We see prophecies lining up. The Lord is returning soon. That's why we I encourage everyone who doesn't have a relationship with the Lord, now is the time to come to the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and prayer. Maybe you pray a simple prayer down on your knees and repent of your sins. Jesus promises you can be saved if you put your faith and trust in Him.
Nathan Jones: Jesus gave us these end times signs for a reason. He wants us to know that He's coming back soon.
Knowing this now, ask yourself. "Am I ready?" Is your heart ready to meet your Maker? Have you given your life to Jesus Christ? Have you asked for repentance of your sins? Are you on His side, or are you still shaking your fist against Him? You now know that if you are against Him, you will be left behind when the Rapture happens. All you have to do if you are ready is to give your heart to Jesus Christ.
Pray in your heart or out loud right now, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." Jesus promises that He will forgive your sins. He will give you a new life, and you'll receive that blessed hope of the Rapture and eternal life with your Heavenly Father.