By Nathan Jones
Will the Jewish people lose control over Jerusalem?
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.
An Unmovable Rock
Nathan Jones: The story of the Jewish people didn't end with the destruction of the Temple. In 70 AD the Romans marched the Jews out of Judea, for they had also destroyed most of the surrounding land. They didn't want the Jews to have their own country anymore because they perceived them as causing trouble all the time for the Romans. So, just as prophesied so many times in the Old Testament, the Jewish people were exiled a second time. For about 1,900 years since, the Jews have been exiled to the four corners of the earth, just as the Bible said would happen. And, just as the Bible said would happen, the Jewish people would be regathered back to the Holy Land to rebuild their own country once more.
In May of 1948, Israel became a nation again. Since then, the labor pains for Israel started. Zechariah 12:2-3 tells us:
"I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounded people's 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 unmovable rock for all the nations and all who try to move it will injure themselves."
Notice there, Pastor Vic, that the verse says, "all the nations." When the Romans attacked Jerusalem in 70 AD, it was just the Romans and the countries that their empire represented. But, we know from Zechariah and the other prophets that a second attack will be coming against Jerusalem. All the nations of the world this time will gather against Jerusalem. There is a future, prophetic fulfillment of the 70 AD attack. Jerusalem will one day see all the nations of the world led by the Antichrist surrounding her and trying to destroy her one more time.
Vic Batista: That's a very good point, because we see that it says "all the nations." We can look today at a map and see how clearly all the nations that surround Israel pretty much hate Israel, right?
Nathan Jones: The last time I looked, statistically there are 360 million Arabs surrounding Israel, and they're all hostile and bent on destroying Israel. There's a supernatural hatred going on. You can hate somebody for doing wrong, but people hate the Jews just because they are Jews. They have all sorts of excuses as for why they hate the Jews. "They are money grubbers." "They stole our land," even though it can be historically proven that the Jewish people bought all their land. These Muslims may have all these excuses, but the source for all this unbridled hatred is Satan working in the hearts of the people of this world. He's building up this hatred. We are seeing this not only among the Muslims, but other people groups from around the world as well. Even the Japanese have terrible anti-Semitism. What do the Japanese and the Jews have anything to do with each other?
There reason for this growing anti-Semitism is that Satan knows his time is short. Jesus is coming soon, and in an attempt to thwart Jesus' plan, Satan demands the Jews be annihilated. He almost succeeds. During the Tribulation the Bible records that two-thirds of the Jewish people in the world will be killed for their faith in Yahweh. There are about 13.4 million Jews in the world today. That means that there will be 9 million Jews killed during the Tribulation. Compare that number to the Holocaust there where 6 million Jews killed. What we are talking about is another holocaust that's coming upon the world. It'll be more destructive than the Holocaust of World War II.
Vic Batista: How incredibly sad to think that America is not far behind in joining the nations of the world in their anti-Semitism. There are certain changes in attitude that we are seeing in America toward Israel and the Jews. We need to be very careful that we're not courting the wrath of God.
Nathan Jones: We do have to be careful. We as a nation have given up on God. We have pushed Him out of every corner of society. We've told Him to get out. When a nation has that kind of mindset, we risk falling under the supernatural influence of Satan. And, we are seeing that very think happening in the United States.
There's always been an undercurrent of dislike for the Jews in America, but we know that there's now also an underlying hatred of all things God. There is a growing hatred of Christians and greater hatred of the Jews.
God Steps In
Nathan Jones: The Rapture will take the Church — those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior — out of here, but the Jews and unbelieving Gentiles will remain because they haven't given their lives over to Jesus yet. A great war is coming in those last days, likely close to the Rapture. We can read about it in Ezekiel 38 and 39 where Russia will lead a coalition of Islamic nations such as Iran and Turkey and Libya and all those 'Stan countries. They will come against Israel, but God will enter into human history again and defeat Russia and all those nations supernaturally. He'll destroy their armies, and when He does, Ezekiel says the world will know that God's stepped back into history. The text then tells us that all of the Jews of the world will flee out of all of the countries of the world, and they will come back to Israel. That will be the final fulfillment of the Jews regathering back to Israel.
Pastor Vic, your church is Calvary Chapel Aventura, and the town of Aventura is primarily Jewish, right?
Vic Batista: Yes. Well, the surrounding area is.
Nathan Jones: You're down in Miami, and the electorate all knows Broward County has a strong Jewish presence. That means that any Jew living in your area and throughout the world that hasn't accepted Jesus as Savior will see this war happen. The Bible calls it the War of Gog and Magog. It's when God steps in and destroys the armies of Russia and Iran and Turkey and other nations. The Jews will either want to flee to Israel because Israel will be strong again, or because of the intense persecution that will follow. The Jewry of the world will flee out of the countries of the world and return back to Israel, just as Ezekiel prophesied.
Vic Batista: Excellent point! And that's why we pray for the nation of Israel and we pray for Jerusalem. We need to continue to support them and pray for the Jewish people, because God has great plans for them.
Nathan Jones: It's sad that Christians when they give up on the literal interpretation of the Bible and go with a spiritualized interpretation will adopt more of a liberal theology. They discount the Bible as God's Word, and that also changes their mindset. We are seeing especially among the liberal denominations a change away from supporting to condemning Israel. It's called Christian Palestinianism. This idea believes that Christians need to be against the Jews and boycott them all because of all those "poor" Palestinians. These Christian Palestinianists really haven't read their history and don't understand what's going on in the Middle East. It's not all those "poor" Palestinians.
The Church today is abandoning Israel more and more. The result is Israel continues to become isolated more and more. But, Pastor Vic, that's all part of God's plan. He plans on regathering the Jews back to Israel. The anger of the Antichrist will fall upon them, and many will die, but through all the death and destruction the Bible says that a third of the Jewish people will give their lives over to Jesus Christ.
The Remnant Mourns
Nathan Jones: When Jesus returns at the Second Coming, His armies — that's you and me there as well — will be riding on those white horses behind our King. I can't wait! We'll go to Jerusalem and watch Jesus defeat the Antichrist. He will throw Satan into a deep pit. Zechariah 12:10 says that the remaining third of the Jews will look up and realize that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. "Then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn."
The Jews will be fighting their last stand for control of Jerusalem, and that's when their Messiah rescues them. The remnant of the Jews fighting for control of Jerusalem will mourn when they realize the returning King is Jesus Christ, and they'll say in their hearts that Jesus is the Messiah. God's whole plan for Jewish history is coming down to that point where God saves a remnant of Jews during the Tribulation, along with a remnant of Gentiles.
The Time Is Short
Nathan Jones: As we get ready for the Rapture of the Church, we pray that people will now give their lives and hearts over to Jesus Christ.
Vic Batista: Jerusalem is an incredible sign for us in these last days. We pray and encourage people to come to Jesus Christ right now, because the time is short.
Nathan Jones: It is. it's very short. This ninth sign has been horrible, but the tenth one is glorious and wonderful — the return of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we know that our time is short.
We are coming up to the Rapture of the Church. So, have you asked yourself, "Will I be left behind?" Have you given your life and heart to Jesus Christ? If you repented of your sins and asked, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." Jesus promises to forgive you, to take away your guilt, and to give you the promise of the Rapture and life forever with Him in Heaven.
Vic Batista: That is absolutely true. We encourage people with what the Bible says in John 3:16, "That God so loved the world." God loves you. God has a plan for you. It starts in the Word of God and culminates in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
In the third and last segment of our discussion on the end times sign of Jerusalem, Vic and I will look at why the world hates the Jewish people.