If so, under what circumstances? Also, clarify the importance of the Israeli capture of Jerusalem in 1967.
One of the most significant prophecies about the Middle East and the Rapture of the Church concerns Russia’s imminent invasion of Israel. In the previous newsletter, we addressed the issue of Israel becoming a nation.
Why is that reality so vital to our discussion?
Because eighteen times in Ezekiel 38-39, the prophet states that Russia will wage war against Israel. For nearly nineteen hundred years, there was no nation called Israel-thus
no government and no specific piece of Middle East real estate that the Jews of the diaspora could call their own.
Now you and I have lived to see Israel become a mighty nation, a people to be reckoned with in the commonwealth of nations.
Therefore, when God’s Word foretells a Russian invasion of Israel, and we know that such a nation now exists, we can only assume that the coming of the Lord must be near. Ezekiel 38:1-2 states, “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.“
Since we will study these names in detail later, I will not spend time attempting to prove that this refers to Russia. I simply want you to see, for now, that this is a northern enemy, for they come from the north (see Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2).
Remember, Russia is due north of Israel.
If one draws a line northward from Israel, he passes directly through Moscow. As this great end-time invasion begins, they will come against the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 38:8). Verse 161)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2038:16&version=NKJV says, “Thou shalt come up against my people of Israel.” Verse 192)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2038:19&version=NKJV: “Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel.” Ezekiel 39:2 says, “I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel.” Verse 43)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2039:4&version=NKJV: “Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel. ” Verse 124)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2039:12&version=NKJV: “And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them.“
Let me repeat that Russia’s invasion of Israel could not occur until Israel became a nation.
Thus, this event could not have occurred in times past.
However, since Israel now exists as a viable, powerful nation (and has recaptured Jerusalem after twenty-five hundred years of dominance by Gentiles), and because Russia will move against Israel only when she is a nation, here is the thrilling scenario to follow-something that is already beginning to happen in front of our eyes today.
Follow me closely. Ezekiel 365)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2036&version=NKJV and 376)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2037&version=NKJV describe the Jew returning to his own land and setting up his government.
This occurred in 1948. In Ezekiel chapters 40-48,7)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2040-48&version=NKJV Messiah is back on earth-and that is when you and I have returned with Him to rule and reign for one thousand years (Revelation 20:4).
Between Israel’s becoming a nation-which you and I have lived to see-and Messiah’s return to earth, a war with Russia takes place in the Middle East (read Ezekiel 38 and 39).8)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2038-39&version=NKJV
The Jews are now home.
Today Israel has its own government, monetary system, and well-fortified and -trained armed forces. Russia marches when Israel is a nation, followed by Messiah’s return. There is no doubt that we are living at the very edge of this hour when the sign concerning Russia’s march to the Middle East is about to be fulfilled. It could happen at any moment, followed by Christ’s return. This ancient Jewish teaching is found in Avoda Zara 3B.
The clock is ticking toward midnight.
Jesus is coming again, and the day of His return is at hand.
What Is the Importance of the Jews Finally Reclaiming Jerusalem?
Since 400 B.C. the city of Jerusalem has been handed over to one Gentile superpower after another.
Here are a few of those “transference” dates since A.D. 70 concerning Jerusalem:
• A.D. 70, the Romans.
• A.D. 614, the Persians.
• A.D. 637, the Caliph Omar.
• A.D. 1099, the Crusaders.
• A.D. 1187, the Saladin.
• A.D. 1250, the Egyptian Mamelukes.
• A.D. 1517, the Turks.
• A.D. 1917, the British.
• and finally, in 1967, the Jews captured Jerusalem.
The disciples had asked Him, “When are you going to return to this earth?“
Jesus replied, “[Jerusalem] shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
What was the Savior saying?
Then, in June 1967 the Jews took control of Jerusalem for the first time in more than nineteen hundred years.
When we tie this historical information to Ezekiel’s bones coming to life, the Jews returning from the Gentile nations, and the earlier prophecies already outlined, there can be only one conclusion: Christ must come to earth soon, primarily because during the third and final invasion of the Armageddon campaign, all nations come against Jerusalem to battle and to take it back from the Jews (Zechariah 14:2).
This would have been impossible before 1967 since the Jewish people did not possess Jerusalem until that Six-Day War fought June 5-10,1967.
Thus, when the final invasion during Armageddon occurs, Christ descends to the Mount of Olives to end the atrocities committed against Israel at Jerusalem and to then set up His kingdom (Zechariah 14:4).
What signs exist in Israel today that provide clues to a rapidly approaching Tribulation period?
Of the hundreds of questions I am asked, issues related to the Great Tribulation always seem to top the list.
To review, there is going to be a terrible period of tribulation. Jeremiah 30:7 says, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it. ” Daniel 12:1 warns, “There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation,” and Jesus Himself said in Matthew 24:21, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.“
Although this event will not be the end of the world, it will bring death to one-half of our planet’s inhabitants: “By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone” (Revelation 9:18).
When one combines the cumulative facts and figures from the ‘Book of Revelation’ in Revelation 9:18 and Revelation 6:8, he discovers that nearly one-half of the earth’s population will be destroyed in the greatest fiery conflagration and pestilential judgment that have ever occurred in the history of mankind.
Again, however, let me remind you:
This great war signals the coming of Jesus Christ to the earth, when He reveals Himself to the entire world and stops the carnage (Revelation 11:18). As we learned earlier, this event is called the Revelation, and it is the second phase of the Second Coming. We have also learned that prior to the Revelation, a Rapture-the evacuation of all saints, dead and living, from the earth-will occur (Revelation 4:1). Immediately following the Rapture, the Tribulation Hour, that period of seven years of unprecedented turmoil and trouble, begins. Then, at the end of the seven years, Jesus Christ comes back to the earth to set up His kingdom for a thousand years-called the Millennium.
Remember that all the signs of Matthew 24,10)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2024&version=NKJV Mark 13,11)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%2013&version=NKJV and Luke 1712)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2017&version=NKJV and 2113)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2021&version=NKJV point directly to the second phase of the Second Coming, and not to the Rapture. If there were not one sign in existence anywhere at this moment, we could still go home to be with our Lord, because all the signs could occur during the seven-year period described in chapters 6-1814)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%206-18&version=NKJV of the Book of Revelation.
However, since all the signs point to Christ’s return to the earth-not His coming in the clouds (Revelation 4:1) but His coming to the earth (Revelation 19:11), and since you and I as Christians return with Him to the earth-then every sign in Revelation 6-1815)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%206-18&version=NKJV points to our coming back to the earth as well. This glorious event must occur soon since all signs are already in place.
For many decades Orthodox Jewish rabbis said: “When three signs appear in the Holy Land, it will be the hour for Messiah to return.“
What are these three signs?
(1) Horseless carriages, or modern automobiles, running through the streets of Jerusalem.
(2) Jerusalem being defended by airplanes.
(3) The desert of Israel blossoming as a rose.
Have these things happened? I will leave the answers to you.
When my wife, Rexella, and I last visited the Holy Land, we had an opportunity to preach, teach, and spend time with Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. So what I am about to share with you regarding the “signs in Israel” is not theoretical. As I began to observe them, I said, “Rexella, these are the signs that point to our return with Jesus Christ.” Since they are already in progress and are now being fulfilled, Jesus must be coming soon for His church in that glorious event called the Rapture. Let’s investigate these three signs that the rabbis have so long awaited.
The British had just discovered airplanes, and as they flew overhead, the Turks, never having seen such machines, became frightened, dropped their guns, and fled the city.
Britain’s conquest of Jerusalem was one of the few battles in history won without weapons.
Why? Because the Turks saw men flying as birds over Jerusalem.
This event was the beginning of the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Today, as one stands anywhere in the Holy Land, he sees jets flying overhead daily.
There is no end to it. The prophecy is here. It is being fulfilled now!
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
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