THE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL - PRELUDE TO GLORY
JERUSALEM"God does nothing without telling his prophets" (Amos 3:7)
Location: Situated on the junction of land that connects the vast continents of Africa, Asia and Europe. It is in one of the most strategic locations in the world and is a Holy City for three major world religions (Christian, Jew and Islam). Therefore it is the most logical city to become the future World capital. (Jeremiah 3:14-17; Isaiah 2:2-4; 65:17-20 Psalm 122:6)
First mentioned in Genesis 14:18 as "Salem" (peace) .
Later known as "Jebus" - city of the Jebusites, it became "Jebus + Salem" - Jebusalem (Jerusalem).
PROPHECIES CONCERNING JERUSALEMRead: Daniel 9:24-26.
According to this prophecy the Messiah would come near the time of the "removal of the daily sacrifice" and the destruction of the "city and the sanctuary".
Fulfillment: Jesus came exactly on time and even decreed Jerusalem's "desolations" as a reminder that He was the fulfillment of this prophecy, and as a warning to His people to be ready to escape when the time came.
Read: Matthew 23:37-38; Luke 19:41-44 and Luke 21:20-24.
Further Fulfillment: In 70 A.D. the Roman general Titus (Son of Emperor Vespasian) besieged the city. Then for no apparent reason he withdrew his army.
The ancient historian Josephus notes the sect called "Christians" escaped
to the hills by climbing over the walls because the gates were crammed
with people "coming into the city". The Jews thought that God would never
allow Jerusalem to be destroyed.
BUTTitus and his army came in like a "flood" and slaughtered 2 million people in the city. Through Jesus' warnings, His people escaped the slaughter.
SINCE 70 A.D.The Jews had been dispersed and "led captive" among all the nations as predicted by God through Moses (Deuteronomy 28:49-57 Babylonian exile; Deuteronomy 28:64-68 the destruction of Jerusalem) and the other Prophets. Jerusalem had been "trodden down by the Gentiles".
But what did Jesus mean by "until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled" ? This signifies a period of control of the city.
Gentile: A person who is not a Jew.
It was not until last century that Bible Students began to think about the term "the times of the Gentiles".
Jerusalem in the 19th Century was ruled by the Turks, an Islamic power. Therefore the Jews had still not entered the city and been gathered as a people. Therefore the "times of the Gentiles" must still have been in operation. But how long was it to last ??
By looking for other references in the Bible to the word "times" [Greek = Kairos] we see one which stands out in Revelation Chapter 12.
This reference indicated that 3.5 "times" = 1260 "days".
Therefore 1 "time" = 360 "days".
But the question remained. How many times was the "times of the Gentiles" ??
Another passage which stands out is Daniel Chapter 7:25 and Chapter 12:7. This same period of 3.5 "times" is designated. This time the Hebrew word for times "Iddan" is used. But this passage does not apply to Jerusalem or to the Gentile control.
In Chapter 4 of Daniel however the word is used again to signify a period. I.e.. 7 "times" of madness for King Nebuchadnezzar.
Read: Daniel 4:23-25.
Some translations indicate that Nebuchadnezzar's madness was for 7 "years" (not "times") but archeology has shown that it definitely lasted only 4 years.
So what did 7 "times" really mean ??
History indicates that Nebuchadnezzar as king of Babylon, invaded Judah and Jerusalem initially in 604 B.C. The campaign was finally settled 19 years latter with all the remaining Jews being taken captive to Babylon.
There seems to be a "symbolic" application of the 7 "times" of madness in Nebuchadnezzar's dreams.
Read: Daniel chapter 2.
The image that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his first dream represented the World Empires that would rise and fall around the Middle East before God's Kingdom was established in the earth.
Each portion of the image represented a new empire:
It was obvious then that the 7 "times" was to be much longer than 7 "years". In fact if they are the "times of the Gentiles" Jesus spoke of, they were a considerable period of time.
Therefore 1 "time" is not literally 360 "days". The question had to be asked. What sort of "day" was it ??
There are two places in scripture which may give a clue of God's timing. These are:
Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:1-7.
The scale indicated is one year for every "day" in prophecy. If this is true it could be the key to understanding many time prophecies in the Bible.
The understanding given was that God had allotted 2520 years for the
Gentile powers to rule Jerusalem. If we wish to test the theory we cold
consider again the prophecy concerning the coming
of the Messiah to Jerusalem.
THE TIMES OF THE GENTILESTherefore the "times of the Gentiles" began in 604 B.C. with Nebuchadnezzar's invasion of Judah, was still continuing in Christ's time, with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and continued even to our own century (as Jerusalem was controlled by the Turks).
By counting 2520 years from 604 B.C. this period of Gentile control was to end in 1917. This was still in the future for the bible students of last century but it was reasonable to assume 1917 was the year the Turkish Empire would loose control of Jerusalem.
It was still very much speculation, and possibly would have remained so, had not another time prophecy coincided with exactly the same year.
Read: Daniel 12:11-12.
We will consider this time a period of 1335 "days". The two things which
would mark the beginning of this period of time were:
The 1335th year in the Islamic calendar falls in 1917 A.D. Two different time prophecies beginning with two different starting dates and calculated using two different calendars coincide with the same year.
This was the seal for the research. Many Bible scholars of last century predicted that in 1917 A.D. Jerusalem would be delivered from Turkish rule.
This was worked out from the prophecy given 2500 years ahead of the
A PROBLEMThe two time prophecies did not coincide exactly. The 1335th year began in September of 1917, and the Christian year ended on December 31st. This meant that the to fulfill both time prophecies there was only 3 months in which it could occur.
FULFILLMENTWhat happened in 1917 ??
The First World War was going on in the Middle East. General Allenby
of the British Army was leading the British forces against the Turks.
JERUSALEM DELIVEREDTwo things contributed to the deliverance of Jerusalem:
All this happened within the allotted 3 month period calculated from
the study of the Biblical prophecies written 2500 years before.
THE RESTORATION OF ISRAELRead: Ezekiel 37:15-28
These scriptures indicate clearly that the nation of Israel would be re-established in the Holy Land and the Jews would be gathered from every nation on the earth.
This prophecy was fulfilled on May 15th, 1948, when the United Nations established the sovereign state of Israel as a Jewish "home land". The "times of the Gentiles" were finished. This was proven beyond doubt in June, 1967, when Israel captured Jerusalem during the "6 day war".
WAR TO COMERead: Ezekiel Chapter 38 and Chapter 39
The prophecy in Ezekiel indicates that there will be a full scale invasion of the Holy Land by the forces of "Magog". The ancient historian Josephus identifies the land of Magog as being north and north-east of the Black Sea. This is an area within the boarders of the Soviet Union. Several other nations will be in "confederacy" with this invader. They will be "Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, and possibly Turkey" (Known in ancient days as Gomer and Togarmah).
The reason for this invasion will be two fold:
CAPITAL OF THE WORLDRead: Zechariah 14:16-21
As stated at the beginning Jerusalem is the most strategic city in the
world. When all these prophecies are fulfilled God will establish His Kingdom
in the earth. Jerusalem will be the capital of this Kingdom. It will be
the centre of true worship of God. Those nations which will not acknowledge
God and come in peace to Jerusalem will be plagued with all kinds of plagues.
SUMMARYThe re-establishment of Israel as a nation is not a mistake, it is a glorious fulfillment of the Divine plan. We have seen before that the nation of Israel has been prepared by God to rule on the earth during the Millennial Kingdom, therefore it was necessary for the nation to be restored before the Millennium began. The stage is now set for the return of Jesus to establish His Kingdom.
Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.