The World vs. Jehovah and Israel

Israel's Near Future
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I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be plucked up out of their land which I have given them, saith Jehovah thy God.—Amos 9:15, ASV

James Parkinson

It is necessary to change our characters into the image of Christ to please the Lord our God. It is also good to learn the prophecies of Israel’s future to then know what we should do about them: Joshua’s encounter with Jericho shows us in type that the Gospel age is divided into seven periods of time, and that the “last day”—the Harvest of the Gospel age—is also divided into seven sections. These sections of the last day are elaborated by the seven last plagues in Egypt (which fell only upon the Egyptians, and which typify major world events), and by the seven last plagues of Revelation (which show us the effects those world events are to have on Babylon).

These were the last three plagues in Egypt:

 

Plagues of Exodus

World Event
(cf. Revelation 16)

#5

An east wind brings locusts into all the borders of Egypt, they eat the crops; then a mighty west wind blows them all out.

Cold War: Struggle between western nations (democratic) and eastern nations (communistic).

#6

Three days of darkness that kept the Egyptians at home.

Worldwide Depression: Especially severe in the West (for three years?).

#7

The midnight death of the heirs of the Egyptian kingdom (the firstborn).

Battle of Armageddon: Rev. 16:16-21

Today our world may be in the latter phase of the East vs. West struggle. We watch to see if a worldwide depression might be next. But not many doubt that ultimately this world will destroy itself in a worldwide war commonly called Armageddon (Revelation 16:16-21). Yet the Lord promises Israel she will survive.

Israel is promised restoration to the land from all parts of the globe. Israel is promised to survive strong and evil attempts against its existence. And the people of Israel will survive even worldwide invasion in that last Battle of Armageddon (see Ezekiel 39).

Yet, Bible readers often wonder if Israel’s restoration includes all Jews.

How Many Will Return to the Land?

“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that it shall no more be said, As Jehovah liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, As Jehovah liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the countries whither he had driven them. And I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith Jehovah, and they shall fish them up; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.”—Jeremiah 16:14-16, ASV.

While Zionism has fished Jews back to the land with the bait of God’s promise, the hunting phase may have begun with Adolph Hitler, and it has since continued in the East. We should be concerned about it coming to the Western countries as well.

It does not seem readily apparent how 100% of Jewry will return to Israel prior to the Battle of Armageddon. But if the present exodus of Israel from all parts of the globe to their land is to dwarf the exodus from Egypt, it would be unwise to rule it out. After all, how many Israelites remained behind in Egypt after the exodus? None! Surely the Egyptians would have been too frightened to allow any to stay!

Psalm 83

Ten nations say, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance” (Psalm 83:4). Only two of these nations are non-Semitic: Philistia, from Ham (from Egypt to Crete, and then to the Gaza strip), and Tyre (ethnically related to Rome because both Tyre and Rome began as colonies of Tiras/Thrace in Genesis 10:2) from Japheth. These ten peoples, not exclusively Arab (though all are predominantly Muslim today), jointly conspire to annihilate Israel, but they will be confused and destroyed in the effort. Various applications of Psalm 83 seem possible at this time:

1. There may be a battle, yet future but before the Battle of Armageddon, in which Islamic nations will seek to drive Israel into the Mediterranean Sea, but it will be disastrous for the invaders, and will likely lead to peace with Israel (perhaps as an alliance against more-distant strong nations).

2. The reference may be to Arab attempts to drive Israel into the sea in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, and an as-yet-to-be-determined number of future wars (if any).

3. The entire psalm may use these ten nations to symbolize the Gentile world, which will come against Israel in the Battle of Armageddon. Verses 9-12 refer to Deborah and Barak’s victory over Sisera and his host, and to Gideon’s rout of Midian and their two Semitic allies, both of which are types of the Battle of Armageddon (see Judges 4-7).

“I will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling unto all the peoples round about, and {FOOTNOTE: Or,  against    Vulgate, Targum  read “and Judah also shall be at the besieging of Jerusalem.”}upon Judah also {FOOTNOTE: Or, shall it fall to be in the siege}shall it be in the siege against Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall be sore wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it” (Zechariah 12:2,3, ASV). Already we have seen that whatever nation pressures Israel to give up parts of the Promised Land are then wounded: Britain lost its empire, the Soviets lost their Union, New Orleans was evacuated, and Arab armies are repeatedly overwhelmed, impelling Arabs to turn to guerilla warfare.

The present Israel-Arab conflicts must eventually give way to Israel dwelling securely with its immediate neighbors (Ezekiel 38:8, 11). How could that happen? One possible scenario would be a coming worldwide depression:

  •  Oil prices plummet in the Arab world.

  • Jews flee the West to immigrate to Israel.

  •  Israel and the Arabs see a greater military threat from distant nations and decide an economic alliance is to their mutual benefit.

  • The result is temporary peace in the Middle East.

Other scenarios, military or economic, might be hypothesized, but the assured outcome will be Israel dwelling securely in the land. Yet the time will come afterwards when all nations shall be gathered against Israel.

Gog and His Allies (Ezekiel 38 and 39)

Gog, commander-in-chief of Magog, and his allies will then come against Israel at a time when the region seems too weak to defend itself. That Gog is described as chief prince of Meshech and Tubal suggests a revival of a Soviet Union in which the Great Russians, Armenians, and Georgians (Kartvelians) are prominent. (These three peoples have in common that they are all predominantly Eastern Orthodox.) Their allies will apparently be Iran, Black Africa, North Africa (west of Egypt), Germanic nations, and Turkic peoples (including the Finns), but none of Israel’s immediate neighbors (Ezekiel 38:2-6).

A substantially-weakened Western Bloc would appear to be headed by Arabia (Sheba and Dedan), with allies of westernmost Europe and their former colonies (including the Americas, and perhaps Australia and New Zealand) (Ezekiel 38:13). This alliance will evidently have some prior involvement with Israel (and perhaps its immediate neighbors), as they say, “Art thou come to take the spoil,” rather than, “Art thou gone …” The invasion will not necessarily be limited to Israel, though Israel may be the focal point.

Both Eastern- and Western-Bloc armies will perish. When Ezekiel 39:6 (ASV) says, “I will send a fire on Magog, and on them that dwell securely in the isles [or: coastlands],” it suggests that the Western response to the Northern/Eastern invasion may be thermonuclear fire, and that the Eastern Bloc will respond in kind. Such a scenario would almost certainly leave both sets of foreign troops in and around Israel unsupported. Thus would Israel be delivered from both sides.

But what will happen to Jerusalem?

Jerusalem Taken, but not Forever

“I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall Jehovah go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.”—Zechariah 14:2,3, ASV.

There is a reasonable question whether Israel will be fully regathered before the Battle of Armageddon. If they are, then how can Isaiah 66:20 (ASV) say, “They shall bring all your brethren out of all the nations for an oblation unto Jehovah, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith Jehovah, as the children of Israel bring their oblation in a clean vessel into the house of Jehovah”? The Zechariah text offers a potential solution: If half the city goes into captivity (not into the captivity of death, but into the captivity of the invading nations), then they could again be afar off to be brought back to Israel in the early stage of Christ’s thousand-year kingdom.

Then what?

The Aftermath of Armageddon

“They that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall make fires of the weapons and burn them, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall make fires of them seven years; so that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall make fires of the weapons; and they shall plunder those that plundered them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord Jehovah.”—Ezekiel 39:9,10, ASV.

The thought of burning the weapons may seem strange. Yet there is a change taking place now in the world’s military technology. Rapid deployment requires light weight; light weight promotes substituting plastics and filament-wound structures for steel. These new flammable organic materials are preferred not only for light weight but also for minimizing radar reflectance. And most military vehicles are fueled with petroleum products. Hence, in the twenty-first century it is becoming progressively more plausible that abandoned and captured caches could furnish Israel fuel for a long time, even years.

Ezekiel 39 concludes the near-future for Israel. After that, chapters 40 through 48 which contain a description of Ezekiel’s Temple, provide us a symbolic view of the thousand-year kingdom of Christ.

What Should Christians Do
About Israel Today?

Knowledge is to be used. The spiritual priesthood is in training now to bless the people in the coming age. The following points are recommended for each of us now:

  • A Christian is to change himself from what he is to what he should be, a living example of the Sermon on the Mount. Only in this way can he consistently discern between right and wrong.

  • To the extent possible, get out of debt, and stay out of debt: “Owe no man anything, save to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8, ASV). Debt-free means one less avenue of coercion against a Christian to violate conscience and to feel compelled to do that which is wrong.

  • Encourage Jewish acquaintances with God’s promises of the land to Abraham, and encourage especially the youth, to make aliya (to immigrate to Israel). Aliya may become more difficult in future years. If safety is a concern, remind them that at the time of the Gog-Magog invasion, only Israel is guaranteed a future.

  • If vocal public opinion turns against the Jews (as, for example, in Adolph Hitler’s Germany), have nothing to do with it.

  • Recognize that it is the Lord’s determination to bring back Israel to their land, but the attempt to keep it from happening belongs to Satan. The Lord has given the restoration of Israel as a concrete pledge that he will indeed establish his kingdom on this earth (Ezekiel 37; Genesis 15:18; 22:18).