The God of Israel controls the future. Here’s what the God of Israel says:
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do. (Isaiah 46: 10-11)
One of the most fascinating aspects about the people of Israel is their sacred book (which we call the Bible) and its mind-boggling prophecies. These are God-inspired predictions of events declared long before they happened, written by people who lived ages before the concerned generation even came into being. What people and what God does this? In a world of many religions, one cannot help but be amazed by the God of Israel’s bold declarations of the future. Today we see predicted events unfolding before our eyes, and especially those concerning Israel’s future.
Predictions Concerning Israel
When we trace a timeline of recent world events we find that many are closely linked to Israel. We see that Israel is increasingly the vortex of the world. For example, the following events are prophesied:
The return of the Jewish people to their homeland [commenced late 1800’s, ‘Aliyah’ continues today]
The liberation of Jerusalem from Gentile domination [commenced 1917, completed 1967]
Establishment of a Jewish homeland [commenced late 1800’s, legalized 1922]
Continuing persecution of Jews outside Israel [encourages ‘Aliyah’ today]
Attempted division of the Jewish homeland and Jerusalem [sought by the UN, the EU and the PA]
Establishment of the State of Israel [the Jewish nation was ‘born’ May 1948]
Why look at Israel, or even think about this tiny little country? After all, Israel has only some 8 million people and is only the size of Wales. And isn’t stubborn little Israel a thorn in the flesh for the Palestinian people and a hard nut to crack for the UN politicians?
Yes – all that is true. But there is more to Israel than meets the eye – and the vast majority of the population fails to see it. A look at the facts, and a little reading of the Bible shows that Israel’s history and future are extremely important for the nations; she cannot be ignored. Like it or not, the milestones in Israel’s history and the prophesied milestones for the future are crucially important for the world. They affect all nations and all individuals.
The aim of this site is to be an eye-opener to the mystery of Israel. We want to spread the truth about the amazing role of Israel and how it can give us hope in an increasingly violent and chaotic world. Don’t walk away – this divine timepiece is running fast and events surrounding Israel will soon embrace the whole world. Whether you believe in the Bible or not, this site offers food for thought that you might find interesting and worth studying.
The timeline below is best viewed on desktops, laptops and tablets
If you’re viewing this on a mobile phone, click HERE for a PDF version
About the times of the End, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the prophecies, and insist upon their literal interpretation, in the midst of much clamor and opposition. [Sir Isaac Newton, 1642 – 1747]
Some claim that modern Israel a special nation amongst the nations of the world. And they claim that Israel will have an increasing role in the world as we near the end of this age. Prophecy fulfilled by Israel is a good test of these claims, and we need look no further back than the 20th century. During this time there are at least FIVE prophecies about Israel that have clearly been fulfilled: 1) the return of Jerusalem to the Jews, 2) the return of millions of Jews to their promised land, 3) the rebirth of the Jewish nation, 4) the protection of Israel against aggressors, and 5) the blessing of the land of Israel.
Here are Five Recent Examples of Prophecy Fulfilled by Israel
1. Prophecy Fulfilled: Jerusalem and the Times of the Gentiles
Historically, Jerusalem was under Jewish rule until the invasion of Judah and Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar around 600 BC, link. Although some Jews returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile, Jerusalem was always under some form of Gentile rule until the 20th century. Then, in 1917, things started to change when General Allenby liberated Jerusalem from Turkish rule. Jerusalem then came under the 1922 League of Nations (British) Mandate for Palestine – a mandate to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Scroll on 50 years and we see Jerusalem being fully liberated from Gentile rule after the 1967 6-Day War. At this point, all of Jerusalem came under Jewish rule for the first time in some 2,500 years and Jesus’ prophecy was fulfilled:
Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Lk 21.24)
2. Prophecy Fulfilled: the In-gathering of Jews from the Nations
In just 100 years the Jewish population of Israel has risen an amazing 7,700 percent (see Aliyah). Why this mass immigration to Israel? It is a fulfillment of prophecies which say that God will take His people from all the nations and bring them back into their own land (as promised to Abraham).
Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone … and bring them into their own land (Ezekiel 37.21)
Jews are coming from all over the world, from wherever they have been scattered amongst the nations. The first wave of immigration started in 1882 and particularly involved Jews from Russia and Romania. By 2008 the number of Jews living in Israel was more than any other country since the year 70 AD. Why this return? It is an end-time sign to the nations that God is about to intervene in world affairs:
He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four corners of the earth (Isaiah 11:12)
3. Prophecy Fulfilled: Israel – A Nation Born in a Day
Many prophecies foresaw the end-time gathering of the nation Israel from out of the Gentile nations – they were to come from the east and the west, the north and the south. This has happened over the last 100 years: in 1915 there were just 83,000 Jews in Palestine but this increased to over 6.2 million Jews in 2015, link, corresponding to an amazing 7400% increase! In comparison, over the same period the UK population increased just 55%. Equally amazing is the fact that the nation Israel was “born in a day” when the State of Israel was declared on 14 May 1948. This was fulfillment of prophecy:
Who has ever seen anything as strange as this? Who ever heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a single day? (Isa 66.8, NLT)
4. Prophecy Fulfilled: Israel is the Apple of God’s Eye (ISIS don’t Touch!)
In 1967 the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon (and later Iraq) attacked Israel with the goal “to wipe Israel off the map”. Israel defeated the attack in just 6 days even though the Arab armies had huge superiority in armour, aircraft and troops. After the war Israel held the Sinai, the Golan Heights, Gaza, the West Bank and all of Jerusalem. In fact, the area controlled by Israel after this war was the same area allotted to Israel for Jewish settlement under the 1922 Palestine Mandate!
In 1973 Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated attack on Israel in an attempt to win back territory lost in the 6-Day War. Iraqi forces soon joined the war, and Syria received support from Jordan. The Arab armies used up-to-date Soviet weaponry. The war was launched on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar when Israel is at rest and prayer, link. This took Israeli Defense Forces by surprise and Israeli causalities were heavy. Nevertheless, after just 20 days Egypt and Syria suffered military defeat.
In 2016 Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said their new Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile is capable of intercepting weapons bearing chemical, biological or nuclear warheads while they are still close to their launch pads. In other words, if a missile is launched from Iran it will fall on Iran!
These wartime victories against all odds, and superior anti-missile technologies are seen as fulfilled prophecy:
Whoever assails you will fall because of you … no weapon that is formed against you will prosper (Isa 54.15,17)
I will be a wall of fire around her … he who touches you, touches the apple of (the Lord’s) eye (Zech 2.5,8)
Did God Protect Israel against ISIS?
Early December 2016: Amidst increasing ISIS activity on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, Israeli soldiers stationed there reported that a literal pillar of cloud descended on the border. Reports say the strange storm (dust and rain) stopped on the border of Syria and was ‘unable’ to enter Israel’s Golan Heights area. It seems the storm cloud put a barrier between Israel and ISIS. Many believe God intervened on behalf of Israel to prevent ISIS from entering Israel, link, link.
5. Prophecy Fulfilled: Blessings of City and Land
Today, Israel’s industries include diamond processing, textiles, food processing, mining, agriculture and forestry. Despite the fact that more than half of Israel’s land is desert, Israel still manages to produce 95% of its own food requirements, link. Israel is also a major exporter of dates, avocados, olive oil, pomegranates and almonds, and is a world-leader in agricultural technologies, such as drip irrigation.
Israel’s scientific and technological advances are astounding: her industry now boasts many thousands of hi-tech companies in a wide range of fields such as computer science, electronics, genetics, optics, biotechnology, medical electronics, solar energy and electric cars. The majority of these companies are from startups. All major hi-tech companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel and Samsung now have R&D centers in Israel. In particular, cyber-security is big business there, link, involving some 200 Israeli companies and accounting for US$3 billion worth of anti-hacking exports in 2013.
The country has been described as an “economic miracle” since it has consistently had more companies listed on NASDAQ than all of Europe combined, and consistently scores as one of the top countries for patents per capita, see Venture Capital. According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel’s export of ‘goods’ (excluding services) has risen consistently over several decades, from $6 billion in 1980, to $31 billion in 2000 to over $63 billion in 2014.
Clearly, Israel’s cities and land are prospering. Why? Is it simply God’s end-time plan for Israel? Or is it a blessing from God because a majority of the Jews in Israel honour God by observing “halakhah” (the “Jewish Law”) e.g. by observing God’s feasts, keeping Shabbat, and praying once or twice a day? Or is it both? We are seeing the following prophecies being fulfilled:
Israel shall blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit (Isa 27.6)
If you observe carefully all His commandments … (then) blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country (Deut 28.1,3)
Prophecies about Israel – Abraham to the Millennium
Here are 54 Bible prophecies about Israel, many of which have been fulfilled.
Tiny Israel punches above her weight. Geographically she is just the size of Wales and she has less than ten million people, but she still stands unique amongst the nations. Why? The answer is that her existence (past, present and future) is mapped out in the scriptures. No other nation has such a well-defined timeline. Nations come and nations go, but according to the Bible, Israel will never disappear!
The following slides give 54 key Bible prophecies relating to the people and the land of Israel. They give a clear timeline of Israel – past, present and future. They clearly predict the present regeneration of the land itself, the recent discovery of natural resources, and the current unprecedented immigration (aliyah) to Israel. They also describe the future world government and how the nations will one day honour Israel. And prophecy describes a future harmony between Jew and non-Jews; they live at peace alongside each other in a Millennial age. That’s better than any “two-state” solution!
God’s People: Israel
God promised Abraham and his descendants (the people of Israel) all the land of Canaan (modern Israel) as an everlasting possession. He promised Abraham that he would become a great nation, and that this nation would be God’s own people, a unique people on the face of the earth. They are God’s chosen servant to be a witness to Himself and to make a name for Himself. Today, after 2,500 years of exile through disobedience, Israel is once more on the world stage as millions of Jews return to their own land. Today there is a State of Israel and she is becoming the focus of world attention as we approach the end of the age. God is leading them, just as a Father leads his little child.
Aliyah: the Ingathering of Israel
For a time rebellious Israel was forsaken by God and they were scattered (like dry bones) amongst the nations. But Ezekiel the prophet saw a valley of dry bones that became alive as God brought the people back to their own land. In these last days God has reached out to His people and wants to blot out their sin and unite them with Himself. So He is calling His people out from the nations, back into their own land, the land of Canaan. Jews call this ingathering or mass immigration back to their own land ‘aliyah’ or ‘ascent’. It has been underway now for over 100 years, drawing in some 8 million people. The Gentile nations cannot help but see an amazing thing: a nation born almost overnight. It is a very clear sign to the nations that the God of Israel is working in the world!
The Refining of Israel
Israel was scattered throughout the nations because she rebelled against her Creator. The prophet Ezekiel says she was like a captive behind bars, experiencing great suffering. But even when Israel returns to her own land, the vast majority of the Jews will still reject Yeshua, their true Messiah. So God brings them through a time of severe trial to refine them, like the refining of silver and the testing of gold. It is so severe that only one third survive. But this remnant at last sees Yeshua as their Messiah, and they mourn for their rejection of Him and how they pierced Him on the cross. God then pours out His Spirit upon this remnant, cleanses them, and writes His law on their hearts. From this time onwards, Israel is reunited with her God.
God’s Protection & Blessing of Israel
The refined remnant of Israel receive God’s protection and blessing. He protects them from their enemies and humbles those who have afflicted Israel. At the final assault on Israel, God causes great geological changes as the Mount of Olives splits in two (to provide protection for Israel). Israel then sees great blessings in both land and sea (possibly abundant gas and oil). Her well-watered hills produce abundant crops to fill the world with fruit and the formerly desolate land becomes like the garden of Eden. At last the nations acknowledge that Israel is God’s true witness of Himself and that His glory rests on the people of Israel.
Millennial Israel will live in peace, with the land divided equally amongst the tribes of Israel. The people will grow vineyards and build houses, and any foreigner (Gentile) will be treated equally as though they were God’s own people. Part of the land near Jerusalem will be set aside for Christ’s sanctuary, the seat of His Kingdom on earth. It will be a beautiful, glorious place. From there Christ will be King over all the earth and will the rule the nations with a rod of iron. Each year the nations will go up to Jerusalem to worship Him and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
The Jewish State of Israel occupies the land the Jews call Israel (and Christians refer to as the Holy Land). The Gentile world and the Arab nations also refer to this land as Palestine. The (so-called) Palestinians want to establish a Palestinian state on some (and preferably all) of the land called Israel. Hence the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Let’s summarize the facts.
No Palestinian People: There is no historical Palestinian people. Despite the strong Muslim presence over the centuries, by the early 20th century Palestine was simply a mix of many peoples representing some 50 languages [1911 Encyclopedia Britannica]. ‘Palestine was ethnologically a chaos of all the possible human combinations’ [Richard Hartmann, historian], and so it did not share a common Arab identity. A ‘Palestinian people’ only came to prominence from the indigenous Arab population in response to increasing Jewish immigration after WWI.
It was not as if there was a Palestinian people in Palestine and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them … they did not exist [Golda Meir, Prime Minister, 1969]
No Palestinian Land or Country: Although referred to a ‘Palestine’ from Roman times, the biblical land of Canaan (today’s Holy Land) was not a ‘country’ and had no frontiers, only administrative boundaries [Prof. Bernard Lewis]. The term ‘Palestine’ was used as a general term to describe the land south of Syria, and it was applied to the territory placed under the 1922 British Mandate. Historically, there was no such country as Palestine:
There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not
[Arab Prof Philip Hitti (Princeton University), 1946]
Palestine does not exist at all
[Ahmed Shkari (PLO founder), 1956]
Birth of a ‘Palestinian People: Palestinian nationalism and an identifiable ‘Palestinian People’ emerged after WWI, probably in response to the threat posed by Zionism when waves of Jewish immigrants arrived in Palestine between 1919 and 1939. Prior to this time, these Arabs were citizens of the Ottoman Empire. A Palestinian identity was given further impetus with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. This was a political maneuver:
The Palestinian people does not exist … there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people [Zahir Muhsein, PLO, March, 1977]
The ‘Promised Land’: The Bible says that the Jews have been promised a land of their own. God made an unconditional promise to Abraham:
I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you … I will give to you and your descendants … all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God
Land Partitioning – a Two-State Solution: Under the 1917 Balfour Declaration Britain supported the creation of a Jewish home in Palestine, with the proviso that the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities were preserved. This Declaration was based upon the biblical promise to Abraham and was formalized by the 1922 British Mandate for Palestine, where Palestine was defined as the land west of the river Jordan, including Judea and Samaria (now called the West Bank). In 1947 nearly half of Palestine was owned by Arabs, nearly half was “Crown Lands” under the 1922 British Mandate, and about 8% was Jewish. In the same year UN Resolution 181 recommended that this area be divided equally into an Arab state and a Jewish state, and Jerusalem was to be ‘internationalized’. The Jews accepted the resolution but the Arabs rejected it. When the British left Palestine, the Palestine Mandate was absorbed into Article 80 of the UN Charter, and still stands today.
Palestinian and Jewish Refugees: Since the two-state solution was rejected, immediately after the Declaration of the State in 1948 the Arab nations (notably the Egyptian and Syrian armies) invaded Israel. So Arab nations started the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which led to the refugee problem. In this so-called ‘War of Independence’, many Palestinians evacuated their homes under direction from Arab armies, hoping to return soon after the inevitable Arab victory, link. Instead, over 700,000 Palestinians became refugees that year in what is known as the Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe). A further 250,000 Palestinians fled to the West Bank or Gaza Strip during the 1967 war, link.
What is not so widely known is that this war also displaced Jewish inhabitants of East Jerusalem link, and between 1948 and 1951, over 800,000 Jews were effectively forced out of Arab countries by oppression and persecution. These also became refugees, link.
Israel’s Temporary Borders: After the 1948-49 war, the Arab countries refused to sign a permanent peace treaty with Israel and so the 1947 UN Commission proposals never received legal international recognition. Instead, Israel’s temporary borders were established along the so-called ‘Green Line’ of the 1949 UN armistice agreements. This line excludes Israel from the West Bank and Gaza. Its originators never intended it to be Israel’s permanent borders.
The Concept of ‘Land Occupation’: Since the 1967 Six-Day War, the international community (notably the media) has claimed that Israel is “occupying Palestinian land”. But in international law, a territory which has never been subject to the sovereignty of any state is declared terra nullius, and sovereignty over such territory can be legally acquired through occupation. This is the case of the West Bank and Gaza; neither have been legally recognized states and so legally cannot be occupied territories. So in the 1967 war, Israel simply took back Palestine Mandate land that was taken from her by war in 1948-49.
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Today
Today, Israel’s legal borders are still defined by Article 80 of the UN Charter and span from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. According to Article 80, “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. The land of Israel was meant to be home for the non-Jewish peoples as well as home for the nation, Israel. Sadly this has not happened because the Arab leadership refused, and still refuses to accept the State of Israel and so peace cannot be achieved.
The revised Hamas Charter re-affirms the Palestinian long-standing hatred of Israel:
Hamas will not give up on any part of the land of Palestine no matter the reasons, circumstances or pressures, and no matter how long the occupation remains. Hamas rejects any alternative to completely liberating Palestine from the river to the sea.
The Hidden Spiritual War
In all the conflicts with Israel it is important to recognize that they are driven by unseen spiritual forces. The root cause of such conflicts is the relationship of Israel to Jesus (Yeshua):
the dragon (Satan) … persecuted the woman (Israel) who gave birth to the male child (Jesus) (Rev 12.13)
Put simply, the salvation of mankind comes through the Jewish Messiah, Jesus, link. This fundamental truth is why the enemy of mankind persecutes Israel. There is a spiritual war against God’s chosen people, Israel, and aggressive nations and leaders (including the UN and the Palestinian leadership) are simply Satan’s pawns. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is just one example of this hidden but very real spiritual war.
The current land disputes with Israel over the so-called “occupied territories” will be relatively short-lived. Bible prophecy points to a soon-coming age (the Millennium) when the people of Israel (Abraham’s descendants, the Jews) live at peace within the boundaries promised unconditionally to Abraham. Those boundaries span from the River Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean in the west, and embrace the disputed territories of the West Bank and Gaza. It is interesting to observe that the boundaries given to Moses as he was about to divide up Canaan for the twelve tribes (Numbers 34) correlate well with the Millennial boundaries given in Ezekiel 47.
Biblical Borders: The Future Borders of Israel According to the Bible
The current borders of Israel are disputed by the international community, from the UN to the Arab leadership. But these parties insist on ignoring the true legal position, link. Even the US, Israel’s greatest ally makes misleading statements:
We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines [Barack Obama, 2011]
Obama gave US support for a future Palestinian state based on borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war. Thankfully, Israel’s border disputes will be short-lived. When this age ends and the 1,000 year ‘Millennial Age’ of earth begins, Israel’s borders will be firmly established by the God of Israel. In fact, Israel’s future borders are already clearly written in Bible prophecy (if only the world would read it).
The Promised Land: Israel’s Biblical Title Deeds
God promised that He would give all the land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants. He made a covenant with Abraham:
To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt (traditionally taken as the Nile) as far as the great river, the River Euphrates (Gen 15.18)
I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines (Gaza coast), and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates (Exod 23.31)
Despite Israel’s future disobedience, this promise was unconditional in that the land was to be theirs forever; no strings attached:
I will give to you and to your descendants … all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession (Gen 17.8)
Where was Canaan, this “Promised Land”? Where did the twelve tribes of Israel settle? They settled mainly in the area currently referred to as Israel, including the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights, although the tribes of Benjamin, Gad, Reuben and part of Manasseh settled east of the Jordan (Fig.1). So there we have it: Abraham’s descendants, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve tribes of Israel are promised their own land, their own piece of real estate in the region we now call Israel.
Location of Israel’s Future Borders
Let’s try and identify the biblical geographic boundaries. As the Israelites conquered more territory the term ‘Canaan’ was gradually applied to all the lands west of the Jordan valley, and there are references to Canaanites living in the valleys and plains of this region (Num 13.29)(Josh 11.3)(Judg 1.27). In time the LORD gave more detail of the geographical boundaries. For example, in Num 34.1-12 we find the boundaries given to Moses as he was about to divide up Canaan for the twelve tribes. These are:
Western: the Mediterranean Sea
Eastern: from Kadesh-barnea, via Zin and the salt sea to Zedad and Hamath in the north
Southern: from Kadesh Barnea to the Brook of Egypt (probably not the Nile)
Northern: from the Mediterranean Sea (Mount Hor) to Hamath to Zedad
The boundaries defined in Numbers 34 are shown in Fig.2 and in Ezek 47.13-20 we find more boundary detail which confirm these boundaries. It is clearly stated that the Jordan is the eastern boundary (v18) and the western boundary (the Mediterranean Sea) goes north as far as ‘opposite Hamath’ (v20). The southern boundary is defined by a ‘brook’ in Num 34.5 and Ezek 47.19 and by a ‘river’ in Gen 15.18. Note that this is most likely not the Nile, link, link.
The significant point here is that many understand Ezek 47 (in fact, Ezek 40-48) to describe Millennial Israel. And it is interesting to see how the Old Testament boundaries in Num 34 align closely with Israel’s future borders in Ezek 47.
Future (equal) land Division
Historically, the tribes occupied only some of this land and, as already mentioned, in addition occupied some land east of the Jordan (see also Israel’s History). Under Moses, the land was divided according to the size of each tribe (Josh 13) and so resulted in very unequal division e.g. the tribe of Manasseh took a large share. In contrast, Ezek 47 and 48 state that the land in Millennial Israel will be divided equally between the tribes, and in an east-west way (parallel sections):
The Sovereign Lord said, “These are the boundaries of the land that is to be divided among the twelve tribes … I solemnly promised your ancestors that I would give them possession of this land; now divide it equally among you. (Ezek 47.13-14)
So each tribe will have one portion, starting with Dan in the north and ending with Gad in the south, and all sections run east-west, Fig.3. There are several important points to note here.
The LORD’s Temple
Firstly, there will be a portion of land between the section for the tribe of Judah and the section for the tribe of Benjamin that is “set apart for the LORD” (Ezek 45.1-5, 48.8-22). Why? Recall that one day soon, in the Millennial age, the law will emanate from Zion (Mic 4.2). In the Old Testament, Zion came to mean Jerusalem, and the temple area in particular. This indicates that Christ will rule from some future temple and it’s surrounding area. In fact, Messianic Jews expect such a temple to be built in the near future, and we find a graphic description of such a temple in Ezek 40-48.
So the land “set apart” must include a holy place for the LORD’s temple or sanctuary. It’s precise dimensions are given in Ezek 45.1-5 and it is in the center of this special section of land (see Fig.4). It is the place of Christ’s throne on earth – a glorious place in the midst of the children of Israel. This is the place described as “THE LORD IS THERE” (Ezek 48.35).
Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever (Ezek 43.7)
The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the box tree and the cypress together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; And I shall make the place of My feet glorious (Isa 60.13)
Israeli-Palestinian Problem Solved
We should also ask, “What of the non-Jewish population – those who currently war against the Jews?” In the coming age this conflict is resolved by the LORD. Israel is instructed by God to treat “the stranger” (non-Jews) as one of themselves and let them live in the land:
“… and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,” says the Lord God (Ezek 47.22-23)
This of course is nothing new. Thousands of years ago God instructed Moses to tell the people of Israel how they should treat foreigners (non-Jews). They were commanded to love “strangers” and to let them live normal lives amongst them (Deut 10.19):
When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall do him no wrong … (he) … shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself (Lev 19.33,34)
So under the new (Millennial) borders of Israel, God repeats this instruction via the prophet Ezekiel. During an interview in 1989, Arial Sharon was asked: “Do you think of Arabs as your friends, neighbours, your enemies?” He replied:
From my childhood, I have believed Jews and Arabs can live together, and I believe now they should live together. All the rights to this country, to the land of Israel – especially Judea and Samaria – are Jewish … but everyone who lives in the country should have all the rights of the country”. [Ariel Sharon, TIME, April 1989]
Unfortunately, as long as Arab countries refuse to recognize Israel and continue to attack her, such peaceful cohabitation is impossible. But it will happen in the Millennial age under Christ’s rule.
A Border Discrepancy?
At first sight it appears that there is some discrepancy in the northern boundary, since initially God told Abraham this boundary would be the River Euphrates, much further to the north (Gen 15.18). The kingdoms of David and Solomon did indeed stretch from the river of Egypt on the Sinai peninsula (not the Nile), across the Syrian Desert to Tiphsah on the Euphrates, but the Euphrates boundary is absent from Num 34 and Ezek 47.
A possible explanation is that God is giving boundaries for two time periods. At the Second Coming of Christ, link, there will be significant geological changes in the Middle East (Zech 14.4,10)(Isa 11.15,16) and one of these is the drying up of the Euphrates (Rev 16.12). So whilst the Euphrates served as a boundary for David and Solomon, it virtually ceases to be a landmark in the Millennium.
Comparison with Today’s Borders
It is interesting to compare the future biblical borders and land division with the current situation in Israel. Clearly, the future borders include both the Gaza strip and the West Bank! They also include significant parts of present-day Syria i.e. up to Hamath, and probably all of Lebanon. Are the politicians listening?
The Bible liken’s the nation Israel to a fig tree. A fig tree produces both good and bad (inedible) fruit. So it was with the nation of Israel. Jews who were whole-hearted followers of God were likened to ‘good figs’, and rebellious Jews were likened to ‘bad figs’. The Bible also says that at the end of this age Israel will ‘blossom and bud’ and ‘put forth new leaves’ like a fig tree, and that this will be a sign of the imminent return of Israel’s true Messiah – Yeshua (Jesus Christ). Put simply, the Bible says that end-time events in the world will be closely linked to modern Israel.
Go directly to an interactive timeline for Israel-related events HERE
Signs of the End of the Age and of Christ’s Return
When Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Mathew 24.3), He identified four types of end-time sign (see also Mark 13 and Luke 21):
Signs in the world – wars, earthquakes, famines, lawlessness, wild weather …
Signs in the church – worldwide gospel preaching, persecution, apostasy, false prophets …
Signs in Israel – invasion, severe persecution of Jews …
Signs in the heavens – fearful solar and cosmic disturbances, asteroids …
Jesus said that when we see these signs then “know that the kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21.31). He said these signs point to His imminent return and the establishment of His kingdom on earth. So Jesus stressed that it was important to watch for these signs:
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming (Mat 25.13)
After describing the above signs, Jesus gave a mysterious parable. He associated the observation of these signs with the Parable of the Fig Tree. Why? It turns out that understanding this parable is the key to unlocking the mystery of what is now happening in the world. The parable leads to a very important sign, and one promised by the prophet Isaiah:
He will set up a sign for the nations (Isa 11.12)
What is it?
An Important Sign: The Parable of Israel the Fig Tree
After describing some end-time signs to watch for, Jesus ends with the parable of the fig tree. He told His disciples:
Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near – at the doors!
Why did Jesus associate a fig tree with the end time signs? Some argue that Jesus was just using a simple horticultural observation. Quite simply – the fig tree is one of the last trees to bud in the spring and so when it’s leaves are budding we know that summer is just around the corner! So, they argue, Jesus was simply saying; “when the fig tree buds you know that summer is near – likewise, when you see all these things happening, know that the end is near”. They deny that there is any positive association of Israel with a budding fig tree, link. On the other hand, Jesus used the concept of a parable, implying that underneath He was teaching a deep truth. Was He referring to Israel in the last days? Should we view the Parable of the Fig Tree as The Parable of Israel the Fig Tree?
Consider A Little Horticulture
The common or edible fig (Ficus carica L.) is native to the Mediterranean/Israel region, where it can produce three crops per year, link, link. Breba figs develop in the Spring (May) on the previous year’s shoot growth. They are generally inferior to the main crop and are often discarded to encourage growth of the main crop, link. Two main crops follow in July-November, with pollinated (caprified) figs in August-September. Pollination (caprification) of the common fig can markedly increase fig size, link and is done by fig wasps transporting pollen from Capri fig flowers. In contrast to most fruit trees, the Autumn figs (the main crop) develop on the new wood that grows in Spring.
Ficus carica was cultivated for its fruit thousands of years ago and figs are often referred to in the Old Testament. It is interesting to note that the Bible also refers to three crops of figs:
‘early, first ripe, first fruit before the summer, very good figs’ (Isa 28.4; Jer 24.2,3; Hos 9.10) – a relatively small crop with the best flavour, June-July
‘sweetness and good fruit, the season for figs’ (Judg 9.11, Mk 11.13) – main crop, August-September. Made into cakes for winter use (1 Sam 25.18)
‘green, bad, inedible figs’ (Song 2.13; Jer 24.2,3; Jer 29.17) – green or winter figs, small, unripened, unsweetened, inedible fruit, link, link
Spiritual Implication: the End-Time Budding of Israel
Fig horticulture identifies good sweet figs, the first of the summer figs, and poor, unripe and often inedible figs. The significant point here is that the Bible associates these qualities with the people of Israel. For instance, the ‘fathers of Israel’ or Patriarchs are seen as the best figs – the first-fruits of the summer crop:
I found Israel .. your fathers as the first fruits on the fig tree (Hos 9.10)
God sees this minority of Israel as the first and best of the nation. These figs contrast with the green, inedible figs. Both types of fig symbolize the people of Judah before their deportation to Babylon; they are seen as good and bad figs:
The LORD said to me ‘What do you see, Jeremiah?’ And I said, ‘Figs, the good figs, very good, and the bad, very bad (Jer 24.3)
Jeremiah 24.5-8 shows that God is referring to those Jews who are whole-hearted followers of God (the good figs), and to those rebellious Jews who had rejected God (the bad figs). Likewise, in the time of Christ, most Jews rejected Him and remained dead in their works and legalism. They were like green, unripened, unsweetened figs. Today, most Jews can be seen as green figs, whilst a few (the messianic Jews) are like sweetened ripe figs.
The consequences of rebellion against God is well illustrated in the incidence of the ‘Withered fig tree’ (Mat 21.18,19). Jesus found no fruit (apparently, not even the unripe breba crop), and so He cursed it and it died. This was prophetic, looking to the destiny of the Jews when they were to be scattered by the Romans in 70 AD. Like the cursed fig tree, the nation of Israel seemingly died. In contrast, Jesus gave an extremely important prophecy that applies to our time. To repeat:
Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near – at the doors! (Mat 24.32,33)
Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom is near (Lk 21.29-31)
Note that Jesus refers to the tender branch, implying new wood and the coming good summer fruit on the new wood. Since the fruit of the fig tree is established in the Old Testament as symbolizing the spiritual state of the people of Israel, many see this coming ‘summer crop’ as the restoration of the people of Israel (generically referred to as ‘Jews’) to their own land. The fruitless dead wood of scattered Israel is replaced by fruit on new wood. It is likened to a people drawn back into their own land and a nation that becomes a sign to the Gentiles. A remnant of this people become ‘the good, sweet crop’. This process has been underway now for over 100 years, link.
So when we refer to ‘Israel the fig tree’ we see both Old Testament Israel, and modern re-gathered or ‘budding’ Israel. The ‘good crop’ could include the 144,000 Messianic Jews drawn from the twelve tribes of Israel who will evangelize the gentile nations at the very end of this age (Rev 7.4-8). The result is the salvation of a countless number of Gentiles during the Great Tribulation:
I looked and saw a great multitude … of all the nations … clothed with white robes … these are the one’s who come out of the great tribulation (Rev 7.9,14).
The Message behind the Parable: Regathered Israel is a Sign to the Nations
It seems that when Jesus spoke of the appearance of new shoots on the fig tree as signalling that summer is near, He was actually alluding to the restoration of Israel and His imminent return. He was saying that when we see Israel regathered in her own land and ‘budding like a fig tree’ then His return is near – even ‘at the doors’. This will be the time of the coming of the fullness of the Kingdom of God on earth.
Israel and the Timeline for the Last Days
In Luke 21 Jesus said ‘look at the fig tree (Israel) and ‘all the trees’ (the Gentile nations) and so observe the signs of the times. He implied that Israel will be the vortex of the nations. So let’s now apply the parable of Israel the fig tree to the observed world scenario and ask the question, ‘When did the fig tree (Israel) start to bud?’ ‘When did Israel emerge onto the world scene?’ When we trace a timeline of world events from this time we find that many issues of today are closely linked to Israel! We see that Israel is increasingly the vortex of the world.
The timeline below is best viewed on desktops, laptops and tablets. If you’re viewing this on a mobile phone, click HERE for a PDF version
Historic Babylon and historic Rome were seats of power and authority over the world in their day. And today we see the ‘big five’ governments (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) in similar but larger seats of power. What do all these governments have in common? They were and are secular and Godless. Despite strong Vatican influence over Europe the EU has a ‘Godless Constitution’, and even ‘Christian America’ has a ‘Godless Constitution’, link.
What about a Future World Government?
There is much talk today about the coming (Godless) World Government. But in contrast to secular world governments, the final world government on earth will honour the God of the Bible. In fact, we know from prophecy who will lead this government. In the book of Isaiah (chapter 9) we read:
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders … There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace
This prophecy clearly states that the leader of this government will be Jesus Christ. Now let’s ask some pertinent questions:
Is this a ‘World Government’ in the modern-day sense? Yes. When Christ returns to earth (and that is soon) He will be “King over all the earth” (Zech 14.9)
Is this a strong government? Yes. Christ will rule the nations “with a rod of iron” (Ps 2 8,9)
What about the secular Godless government on earth when He comes? It will be dashed to pieces and no trace will be left (Dan 2.35)
How long will this government last? Christ will reign on this earth for 1,000 years (the Millennium) (Rev 20.4)
Lastly, where is this seat of His government? The prophets tell us that too:
Thus says the LORD, I will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth … for the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem (Zech 8.3, Isa 2.3)
Yes – it is certain that Jerusalem will soon be the seat of the future and final World Government. The eyes of the nations will be focused on tiny Israel and her King.
The Connection between Jesus and Israel is Fundamental
What is written in the Christian Bible about Jesus and Israel is deep and mysterious. Yet this mystery will soon be revealed to the world through end-time world events. It will affect everyone. So with national Israel in world focus today, it is natural to ask:
Is there any connection with the risen Jesus Christ and the Israel we observe today (the people and the land)?
In particular, some ask
What do Jews and Gentiles think of Jesus?
Will today’s Jews every recognize Jesus as their ‘Messiah’. If so, when?
Are there two biblical Covenants, one for Jews and one for Gentiles? Or does the covenant promise to Israel merge into the New Covenant given to the church?
What is Christ’s relationship to the nation, Israel?
Did Jesus’ teaching replace the laws of the Hebrew scriptures?
Does Jesus fulfill the promises of blessing given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Put another way, does Jesus and His church fulfill the role originally assigned to the nation of Israel – to be a light to the nations?
If Jesus and His church have taken the place of Old Testament Israel, what is the status and role of the nation of Israel today?
Is the modern State of Israel a product of man’s will, or a fulfillment of God’s prophetic word?
Does God recognize as ‘spiritual’ Israel all who respond in faith to follow Jesus?
Is the church related to the so-called ‘Ten Lost Tribes’? Are their descendants scattered amongst the Gentile church, link?
Did Jesus’ primary ministry (reconciliation of man to God) fulfill all that the Old Testament temple symbolized? Is a new temple in Jerusalem needed (as some maintain)?
Does the modern State of Israel have any claim to the land (Canaan) promised to Abraham and his descendants, noting that Israel failed to keep God’s covenant? Put another way, are modern Jews still the true heirs of the land promised regardless of their continued unbelief in Jesus?
Bible Prophecy Holds the Answer to many of these Questions
In his book Jesus and Israel: One Covenant or Two?, David Holwerda (professor of New Testament Studies, Calvin Theological Seminary) argues for a spiritual fulfillment of Bible prophecies, link. He rightly concludes that there is only one covenant and that “The way of salvation for both Jew and Gentile is the same because both must call on the name of Jesus to be saved“. But does a spiritual view of prophecy fit with the facts, with observed reality, with what we see happening in Israel today? Why can’t we take a pragmatic view of prophecies where the text is quite clear?
Jesus’ First Mission: He came primarily to His own people, the Jews (at that time, essentially from the tribe of Judah), but they rejected Him as their expected Messiah (the Moshiach):
He came to that which was His own [that which belonged to Him—His world, His creation, His possession], and those who were His own [people—the Jewish nation] did not receive and welcome Him (Jn 1.11, Amplified)
And He came not to abolish the Jewish Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill them (Mat 5.17).
Jesus’ Second Mission: Why does Jesus return to the Jews in Jerusalem and not to the politically important people in the UN or the EU, for instance? The answer is that prophecy explicitly states that Jesus returns to rule the Gentile nations with justice as King from Jerusalem (Zech 14.9,16,17). He returns to sit on the ancient throne of king David, who reigned 33 years in Jerusalem (Isa 9.7).
He returns to usher in the fullness of the Kingdom of God – a Millennial age of peace when the nations go up to Jerusalem to worship Him (Isa 66.23)! He returns to dwell with His chosen nation, the people of Israel (Ezek.37.26-27). Perhaps most important of all, Jesus returns so that His people recognize Him as their true Messiah, their looked-for Moshiach:
They (the Jews) will look on Me whom they pierced … they will mourn for Him … in that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem (Zech 12.10,11)
Again, these promises are difficult to spiritualize.
Jesus returns to Jerusalem: Bible prophecy says that Jesus will return at the end of this age. And the place of his return? Jerusalem! So at the outset, Jesus and modern Israel are inextricably connected via modern-day Jerusalem. Geologists have even discovered a fault line running through the Mount of Olives, as required for the mountain to split in two at Christ’s Second Coming (Zech 14.4). That is difficult to spiritualize.
Jesus’ return is Unexpected: It will be preceded by deception (false Christs), but his actual return will be sudden, unexpected, and globally observed. In the gospel of Mathew, chapter 24, we read:
Many false prophets will appear and fool many people … if people tell you, ‘Look, he is out in the desert!’ — don’t go there; or if they say, ‘Look, he is hiding here!’ — don’t believe it. For the Son of Man will come like the lightning which flashes across the whole sky from the east to the west
Who Takes Jesus Seriously?
Most Jews are confused over Jesus
As the video implies, most Jews in Israel today reject Yeshua (Jesus) as their looked-for ‘Messiah’ or ‘Moshiach’. Apart from a minority, those who claim to be religious follow Judaism, not Yeshua. This is alarming – but a fulfillment of prophecy. According to prophecy, God’s people (generically, the Jews) will return in unbelief to the land promised to Abraham and his descendants. The New Testament says that these Jews are suffering a temporary spiritual blindness and a temporary hardening of the heart towards God and especially towards Yeshua (Rom 11.25). Only at the very end of this age, under tribulation, does the vast majority of Jews recognize Yeshua as their Messiah (Zech 12.10-14).
In an ever-darkening western world, skeptics claim that nobody of our era has seen Jesus of Nazareth as the person who lived some 2,000 years ago. Where is he? He died didn’t he? For example, a vast majority of young people in Europe now reject Christianity, link. Some 70% of young people in the UK identify with no religion.
Yet billions of people worldwide who call themselves Christians believe he is a living person, trust him, and hang on to every word he said, as written in the New Testament writings of the Bible. And it is these same scriptures that give shocking warnings to those who don’t believe and consciously reject him. The warnings are so radical that they are brushed off as delusional ideas of the disciples of this controversial personality. The warnings are seen as fundamentalist dogma.
Here’s a series of four thought-provoking exposés about Jesus of Nazareth, born in the land of Israel as a Jew and predicted to return to Jerusalem to become King of a world-ruling government.
Jesus the man Jesus the Jew Jesus the Creator Jesus the coming King