In my last post I began to describe what the Bible says about Israel’s future. The first thing we learned is that a false peace will be brokered in the Middle East by a charismatic world ruler called “the prince to come” in Dan. 9:27 or “the Beast” in Rev. 13:1. This false messiah will come “out of the sea,” referring to the area surrounding the Mediterranean where the Caesars of Rome once ruled. But just as Israel begins to enjoy the peace that’s been brokered, she’s attacked by Russia and her Arab allies, an invasion described in Ezekiel 38. Against such a massive assault, Israel has no defense. So God in His mercy intervenes, even though the Jewish nation hasn’t yet accepted His Son as their Messiah. The army of Russia is quickly annihilated, leaving the “Beast” as the only superpower on earth. But instead of being humbled by God’s grace, Dr. Jekyll turns into Mr. Hyde, breaks his covenant as Israel’s protector, and becomes their greatest persecutor.
That’s where the action picks up in this blog. Israel is persecuted by the one they hoped would save them. Rev. 12:7-17 gives the motive for his turnabout. There will be war in heaven with Michael and his angels prevailing over the devil and his angels, so that Satan is cast down to the earth with no more opportunity to accuse God’s people before His throne in heaven. Knowing his end is near, the devil gives his power to antichrist (Rev. 13: 4) who relentlessly seeks to destroy the people of Israel because, he realizes, without a Jewish people, there can be no kingdom. And according to Zech. 13:9, there will be another future holocaust for the Jews. Two-thirds of the nation will be slaughtered by antichrist. But God in His mercy will see that a remnant is saved and enter into His kingdom.
But the Bible is clear. No one enters the Kingdom without receiving Jesus as Messiah. So Zech. 12:10 says one day Israel will repent: “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” All Israel will turn to Jesus as the Messiah, and the moment they do, He will return from heaven and save them from their enemies. Zechariah continues: “Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east… Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!”
At this point, Jesus will destroy His enemies (Rev. 19:11-21), set up His throne in Jerusalem, the Holy City, and reign over a Kingdom of peace and righteousness that will never end. This is why we’ve studied the nation of Israel the last several weeks and why we must pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psa. 122:6) – for when Israel turns to Jesus the Messiah, the church’s prayers for 2,000 years will be answered. “God’s Kingdom will come and His will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Let the Hallelujah Chorus begin! Israel 65 describes the glory like this:
For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind…No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed.
They will build houses and inhabit them; They will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They will not build and another inhabit, they will not plant and another eat; for as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, and My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands…
It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the LORD.
Are you ready for the return of Christ? Every time I read about Israel or listen to the news, it tells me His coming is near. Who knows? It could be today that the trumpet sounds, the clouds part, and Jesus returns as our Savior and King! If that were the case, would you be confident or ashamed? The joy He offers us is incredible. Take a moment to imagine with Mercy Me what it’ll be like –