When Israel became a nation on May 14, 1948, it was a modern-day miracle. More specifically, it was a prophecy fulfilled that set the last-days clock ticking. Never has a nation been able to maintain its national identity 300 to 500 years after being removed from its homeland – until Israel.
Today, one will look in vain for the descendants of the Hittite nation or the Babylonian nation, although they were major powers in the ancient world. In fact, were it not for the Bible, the Hittites never would have been remembered by history, having sunk deep into the sands of time. There was a time that scoffers ridiculed the Bible for even mentioning the Hittites, as it was thought they were a fictional people. But in the 19th century, archaeologists confirmed the accuracy of Scripture when they uncovered irrefutable evidence of the extensive Hittite empire.
You won’t find any Hittites today – or Babylonians, for that matter. But not so with Israel. How did the nation survive when the mighty Hittites, Babylonians and others vanished? Because God promised they would. In his book, “What in the World Is Going On?” David Jeremiah writes, “The return of the Jews to Israel in 1948 was an astounding event unprecedented in world history. Never had a decimated ancient people managed to retain their individual identity through almost 20 centuries and re-establish their nation in their original homeland. This event was specifically prophesied, and it happened exactly as foretold.”
This was a super-sign, which started the prophetic time clock ticking. And Scripture prophesies that not only will the Jews be regathered in their homeland, but they will have Jerusalem under their control as well.
After the modern state of Israel was declared in 1948, a war of independence left the city of Jerusalem divided, with Jordan retaining control over the Old City, including the Temple Mount and most of the historic sites. Then, during the Six-Day War in 1967, Israeli forces captured the Old City and reunified all of Jerusalem. For the first time in many centuries, the city was under Israel’s control, and the Bible’s prophecy had once again been fulfilled to the letter. It poses no risk for God to predict the future, because he lives in the eternal realm. Tomorrow is as yesterday to him.
Events predicted in the Bible that have already transpired include Israel’s scattering; Israel’s regathering; Israel’s regaining of Jerusalem; Israel’s isolation; and Israel’s being attacked. The Bible tells us that the final conflict of humanity will be centered on Jerusalem and the Middle East.
It is really amazing when you think about the fascination with Jerusalem and Israel, yet it was predicted long ago. God has promised a blessing for those who bless Israel, and a curse on those who don’t. And throughout history, the judgment of God has fallen heavily on Israel’s oppressors: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Rome – and in more modern times, Spain, Germany and perhaps very soon, Russia.
Ezekiel 38 speaks of a large and powerful nation to the north of the newly established Jewish homeland invading Israel, along with a number of allies. Clearly, this is to happen after the regathering of the Jewish people to their homeland. This is in our future, perhaps even our near future. It also mentions a number of times that this takes place in the last days.
More than one thousand Iranian nuclear scientists have been trained in Russia by Russian scientists, and Russia recently signed a billion-dollar deal to sell missiles and other weapons to Iran. Russia’s deputy foreign minister has stated that Russia is determined to boost its “military-technical” ties with Iran.
The book of Ezekiel predicts that a large force, identified as “Magog,” from the north of Israel will attack the nation. We don’t know why or exactly when this will take place. But this much I know: There is a lot going on in our current headlines that leads me to believe it could happen at any time. And when it does, it will transpire in rapid succession, like dominoes closely stacked together.
What does this mean to us? A lot. When Magog and her allies attack Israel, God will intervene and decimate the armies of Magog and its allies. Because of this, the Bible tells us, the Jewish people will give glory to God. Today, many Israelis are atheists. Certainly you will find very few Jewish people who believe in Jesus as their Messiah, although there are some. But they do have a determination to return to their homeland. They realize that they can look to no other nation for their protection or security and have returned to Israel, thus fulfilling prophecy from Scripture. But when the Holy Spirit is poured out on Israel after God drives back the invading armies of Magog, the Bible predicts there will be a revival in which numerous Jewish people will come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah. But this outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Israel will not take place, the Bible says, until the Rapture of the church.
Could these events from our headlines of today explode and culminate in the scenario we read about in the Bible? Yes, they could. Will they? I don’t know. We have to be very careful in interpreting current events.
But this I do know: Jesus Christ is coming back. It could happen at any time. It could happen this year or this month or this week. It could happen today. And whether or not this is the generation that will see the return of Christ, I can be confident that I am going to heaven. I don’t know what form of transportation God will utilize, whether it will be death or the Rapture, but one thing is certain: I am going to get there. And if you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, then you will too.