Time Of The Signs: Israel, A Promise Kept.

Time Of The Signs: Israel, A Promise Kept.

  1. Israel Time Of The Signs.

Reading Matt 24:1-35

The Promise Kept.

Good Morning again.

We begin a new series and one that I pray will have an everlasting effect upon you as it has done for many millions of people throughout history…but most especially today.

Many years ago, well before I was a Christian, it was my brother in law who invited me to see a Christian video that spoke of things to come. Prophecy.

Four prophecies that have been fulfilled we will deal with this morning

Four prophesies that we should be looking for to be fulfilled we will deal with this evening at 6pm.

THE BIBLE IS TREATED AS A CASSANDRA BY MOST PEOPLE TODAY.

IT SPEAKS PROPHETICALLY ABOUT MANY THINGS YET FUTURE, BUT VERY FEW BELIEVE IT.

Cassandra was the beautiful and fairest princess of the King and Queen of the City of Troy in Greek mythology. 

The mythical god Apollo was captivated by her and desired her, and for her love he gave her the gift of prophecy, the ability to see future events.

She took the gift but never gave Apollo her love. So Apollo cursed the gift, though her ability to tell of things to come was always accurate, she was cursed by never being believed.

It seems this has afflicted many today regarding the Bible.

They seem more than willing to consult their horoscopes, but not the Bible.

Fortune tellers are making a fortune telling, and those who are told believe the telling, but not the Bible.

They are happy to read the stars they know nothing about, the astrologers, stargazers and monthly prognosticators are often consulted for their mixed messages, but not the Bible.

The Bible has never been wrong, but these could never be trusted as being right and yet they are consulted…but not the Bible.

But the telling of events yet future to their writing makes up more than a quarter of the Bible. 27% is a statistic often employed.

So important is this passage of the Bible that it is reflected in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.

 There is a verse repeated in these passages that allude to the timing of the end spoken of in general terms, somewhat answering the question of the disciples at the first. 

Matt 24:3

“3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

THE BIBLE IS TRUE CONCERNING THINGS TO COME

Jesus tells them of many things and many signs.

Many believe that this specific indicates that the generation that has witnessed Israel’s return to the land as the FIRST SIGN, will also be the generation that will be living in the Times of the Signs.

We know that the passages Matt 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 are those that speak of the end times

And Jesus responds to them of so many things as we have just read.

But it is verse 33 that many believe give an indication of a rapid convergence of eventswithin a generation of Israel being back in the land.

So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Perhaps there is validity to this: it can’t be talking about the generation that was listening to Jesus speak, because it is clear that that generation has already past.

 Certain that I can see a strong potential link, but I could not confirm it with confidence.

But what I do see is the greatest convergence of signs for the last days that could EVER HAVE BEEN CLAIMED FOR ANY OTHER PERIOD IN HISTORY.

That this seems to coincide within the generational timeframe of a mans life, from Israel formally declaring itself a nation only 72 years ago, might be just a coincidence….or maybe not.

14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matt 24:14

For almost two thousand years men and women have gone out to preach the Gospel. Jesus did not say that the Gospel needed to reach the ears of all people, only that it shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations. 

Not only have all nations received the witness of the Gospel, but the great nations that had first sent many to preach it, have turned about in rejecting it.

ARE WE LIVING IN THE TIMES OF THE SIGNS?

Jesus spoke of many things in those passages, 

  • Great deception
  • The rise of false Christs
  • Wars and rumors of wars
  • Famines
  • Pestilences
  • And Earthquakes

All of these, he says, are the beginning of sorrows.

But the Bible also speaks of a great deal more;

  • A single global, all powerful and unelected Government will rule over the world.
  • A single global, digital currency will be the only form of exchange around the world.
  • A single global, ecumenical religious system will impose itself on all the world.
  • Economic turmoil will prevail.
  • Global divisions, like Iron mixed with clay, unable to hold together.
  • Apostasy in the church, where it is impossible to see any distinction between the Church and the world.
  • Advance in technology and travel greater than ever seen before

But it all begins with one impossible event about an ancient promise kept.

The Promise that Israel will be regathered and returned to the land of their fathers. That is what is believed by many to be the true beginning of the signs Jesus spoke of.

And it may very well be.

1.   Destruction Foretold and Re-establishment Foreordained.

Luke 19:41-44

41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Since the time Jesus began his ministry and the people observed the multitude of signs that followed him, for so many where the things which Jesus did, John tells us “the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (Jn 21:25). 

As a result of all those things Jesus did, they did all they could to make him king, but he continually slipped past them.

Yet Before this passage in Luke 19, Jesus organizes everything to present himself as King;

  • Arranges to ride in on as Ass (Donkey) as per prophecy of Zech 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass”
  • As he comes in, the people cried out fulfilling another ancient prophecy in the book of Psalms 118:26 “Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest”
  • The Pharisees wanted him to rebuke his disciples for saying such things, because those things are reserved for the Messiah and Jesus answered them saying “if these should hold their peace the stones would immediately cry out” (Lk 19:40). Claiming that inanimate objects would rejoice at the coming of the Lord, fulfills yet another ancient prophecy Ps 98:7-9 “Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.”

More than 300 are told us concerning the coming of Christ, some could see it, many did not. 

They did not recognize the time of his visitation. It was a time specified in the Old Testament book of Daniel chapter nine, the exact time even to the day that “Messiah the prince” should present himself (Dan 9:25). but now they are hid from thine eyes he says.

And he foretells of the days that would later come known to us as “the great dispersion” or “The Diaspora”, the scattering of the Jews to all corners of the world, a prophecy of Jesus, but one also prophesied many years earlier, even to Moses;

The Lord tells them fervently in Deuteronomy 28:64-65 of a GREAT dispersion;

 “And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. 65 And among these nations shalt thou find no easeneither shall the sole of thy foot have restbut the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind

THE BIBLE IS TRUE CONCERNING THINGS TO COME

AND History tells us the Jews have had no rest.

They had troubles in almost every nation they found themselves, none would ever leave them comfortable in the lands in which they dwelt, continually they would find themselves having to identify themselves as Pilgrims. 

The Jews stayed a while in those lands, they built homes and businesses until trouble came looking for them. 

  • Expelled from Rome in the 1st century
  • Italy in the 2nd century
  • Islamic countries from the 8th Century
  • Nth Africa in the 10th century
  • From England in 1290 until 1650 (360 years)
  • France in 1306 and 1394
  • Spain in 1492
  • Lithuania in 1495
  • Portugal in 1497
  • They were prohibited in Russia from the 15th century until 1772[1]

Pogroms against the Jews are recorded from the 1300’s.

The Roman Catholic inquisition, the most notorious, cruel evil that has ever come upon a land in the name of whatever god they were worshipping, had seen the Jews find no place to rest their feet in Roman Catholic Europe.

They were;

  • Persecuted in Russia
  • Persecuted in Europe
  • Distained in the UK
  • Turned away from the US
  • Murdered in Germany

For almost 2000 years the Jews have been scattered around the world, and by all intents and purposes they should have ceased to exist many years ago…But God made a promise to their fathers before them.

He promised them and he would keep his promise to them because THE BIBLE IS TRUE CONCERNING THINGS TO COME

The Lord said unto Abram….” “Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, thenshall thy seed also be numbered. (Gen 13:14-16)

Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation, was in Bethel when he looked upon the land about him.

The covenant of the land was made by God to Abraham in Genesis 15.

The detail of what had become known as the Palestinian Covenant was expressed by Moses unto the people in Deuteronomy chapters 28-30.

But now the land is empty

in Matthew 23:37 Jesus said “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate

And desolate it became.

What Jesus had prophesied had come to pass exactly as spoken.

Because THE BIBLE IS TRUE CONCERNING THINGS TO COME

Titus Vespasian was the cruel Roman general who effectively dispersed the nation in 70AD, destroyed the Temple completely, and the City. Josephus, the Historian of the day, said so great was the destruction that it could not be told their was ever a Temple standing there. 

All that was left in the City was Fortress Antonia that is today worshipped as The Temple mount.  

1800 years. For so long, the people of the Jews remained unsettled and strangers in strange lands.

Next year in Jerusalem” is the phrase so long recited at the end of every Passover by the scattered people. 

Next year in Jerusalem”, year after year, decade after decade, century after century. Discomfort in lands not ordained for them was how the Lord kept them desiring home.

UNCOMFORTABLE FOR NEW SETTLERS

What is curious about all this, is that even while the entire Jewish population around the world is kept in discomfort enough to long for their home, the homeland in which they shall return is being kept uncomfortable for anyone else to inhabit.

It seems that for the space of 1800 years, Israel and Jerusalem are recorded as have very few inhabitants.

In 1835, the French poet, Alphonse de Lamartine, visited Palestine. He wrote:


“Outside the gates of Jerusalem, we saw indeed no living object, heard no living sound. We found the same void, the same silence … as we should have expected before the entombed gates of Pompeii … a complete, eternal silence reigns in the town, on the highways, in the country … the tomb of an entire people.” [2]

Mark Twain, the famous American Author, visited Palestine in 1867. He described his visit in Innocents Abroad:
he writes;

There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”
“A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. We reached Tabor safely. We never saw a human being on the whole route”.

“Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies. Palestine is desolate and unlovely. And why should it be otherwise? Can the curse of the Deity beautify a land?” 

Charles Warren, British archaeologist and researcher who did extensive research in Jerusalem, wrote in the year 1870:

The Land of Israel is bound up in the chains of its curse which hangs over it. The land has no redeemer, and it is a wasteland with no one to cultivate it or care for it.”[3]

Prime Minister of the Netherlands Abraham Kyper, in 1905 stated “The Jews have come in vain, only God can check the blight of the inrushing Desert[4]

600 years before Mark Twain had seen the land, or Charles warren researched it),  Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, known as Nachmanides, after fleeing Christian Spain in the late 1200’s, arrived at Jerusalem in the year 1267, where he writes this back to his son saying;

Many are Israel’s forsaken places, and great is the desecration. The more sacred the place, the greater the devastation it has suffered. Jerusalem is the most desolate place of all.”

Nachmanides is the sage who’s Torah commentary is still studied by Jews to this day, yet he notes the lack of inhabitants in Israel at the time as a blessing. He wrote that the devastation 

constitutes a good tiding, proclaiming that during all our exiles, our land will not accept our enemies… Since the time that we left it, [the land] has not accepted any nation or people, and they all try to settle it… This is a great proof and assurance to us.

How is it an “assurance”? 

For two thousand years God had let the land lay fallow, he did not give anyone comfort it settling in Israel, it would be seen as Desolate by all who pass by. 

Turn to Ezekiel chapter 36;

First, he speaks of scattering them in verse 19, and then he has pity for his holy name sake and makes an incredible statement in verse 24

24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

Take a look at verse 33 & 34

Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. 34And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.

Incredible, and we have written witnesses in present history to testify of it.

Look again from verse 35

35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. 36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.

This is that prophecy. Consider Isaiah’s words

ISA 43:5-7

Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

November 2nd, 1917, during the first world war, a government declaration was addressed to Lord Rothschild respecting the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish nation;

It reads;

“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

The signatory was Author James Balfour and it is known as ‘The Balfour Declaration’

One month later on the 11th of December, on the Eve of Hanakkah, General Allenby led the British troops into Jerusalem and freed it from the vice grip of the Ottoman Empire of the Turks.

For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. (Ezek 36:24)

bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; (Isa 43:6)

On the 25th of April, 1920, one hundred years ago last week, another agreement known as the San Remo Agreement was created to lead for the establishment of 22 Arab states and 1 Jewish state, signifying the division of the territories of the defeated Ottoman Empire.

This Agreement is known as Israel’s Magna Carta;

On July 24th, 1922 a vote held at the League of Nations (Precursor to the U.N.) to recognise the Jewish peoples connection to Palestine and approve the creation of their state. Fifty-one member countries – the entire League of Nations – unanimously declared 

“Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”[5]

It is interesting to me that the history of disdain against the Jews across the world, and the desire of so many nations to rid themselves particularly of THIS people group, also seems to have coincided with every single nation represented in the League of Nations (A Precursor to the U.N.), voting to create a homeland for the Jews in a small, neglected piece of Real Estate that no one wanted at the time.

Vote 51-0

ISA 66:8

Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

The 14th of May, 1948, 72 years ago, the nation was born. It was a narrow vote of 6 to 4, but David Ben Gurion secured the right to create a nation in one day

Blood was spilled on that very day, the supreme forces of the Arabs roundabout would threaten the establishment of this nation from the very beginning. 

The United States sent a letter to the leaders of Israel, to put off statehood and accept the truce of the Arabs.

Golda Meir was one of the greatest diplomats of Israel, she was the woman who stood at the side of David ben Gurion, her statement saying “Peace will come when the arabs would love their children more than they hate us” would be one of the most quoted in Israel. She did all she could to petition The King of Jordon, but he would not promise to stop his threatened attack against Israel if they declare statehood.

Nevertheless, Israel was born in a day and fulfilled one of the most important and miraculous ancient prophecies of all, born in a day and “travailed as she brought forth children”.

THE BIBLE IS TRUE CONCERNING THINGS TO COME

The war of Independence was their first war and lasted from 1947 to 1949. The enemies of this tiny, new, nation state in that war were;

  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Transjordan
  • Syria
  • Lebanon
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Yemen
  • The Arab liberation army
  • The Palastinian Arab army

Together these formed a true Goliath against one David.

But the trouble against Israel would not stop. 

This is YET ANOTHER SIGN

Turn to Zechariah 12:2-4

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

Now, the timing of the passage is specific, it relates to the time of Jacobs Trouble (Jer 30:7), also known to us at the seven year tribulation period, YET we should see continued escalation of this trouble UNTIL all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

And there was;

There was the Sinai war against Egypt in 1956

The Six Day War against Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq in 1967

The War of Attrition against Russia, Jordan, Egypt and the PLO from 1967-70

The Yom Kippur war against Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and North Korea in 1973.

Operation Litani 1978

1st Lebanon war 82-85

1st Intifada 87-93

2nd Intifada 2000 – 2005

2nd Lebanon war 2006

Operation Cast Lead 2008-09

Pillar of Defence 2012 (This began on a day when I and my family was in Israel)

Protective Edge 2014

Operation Chess 2012 to now

I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about,

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:Ezekiel 37:21

Can you see that Israel is a modern miracle? A SIGN?

THE BIBLE IS TRUE CONCERNING THINGS TO COME

THE DESERTS BLOOM

Yes Pr Edi, they are in the land as the Bible said they would be, but with such trouble, do they prosper?

Beloved the greatest technological advances we have are due to Israeli innovation.

Many of the greatest scientists are Jews.

A record of King Faisal of the Arab nations who signed the San Remo Agreement in 1920, recalls him saying “we want Zionists to come into Palestine, we know what will happen, they’ll bring in the greatest scientists in the world…and the territory of Palestine now so arid and so much of it a desert, will be transformed, it will become a garden, it will blossom like a rose. We shall borrow their experts, we shall work together, we shall do the same in all the countries that we arabs have turned into deserts we will make them flourish again.[6]

Israel are identified as the 8th most powerful military nation on earth, more so than Australia and yet only 1/5th the size of Victoria. (Australia ranks 21st most powerful Military ranking in the world).   

Recall how the Lord describes the land in Ezekiel 36:35? ;

This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden

Isaiah speaks also to this;

The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: (Isa 35:1-2)

6…for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: (Isa 35:6-7)

10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isa 35:10)

It is as if the land had awaited its owner before it would produce fruit for its inhabitants.

Israel is the largest exporter of Roses to the world

Israel supplies Europe with 1/6th of all its Fruit and Vegetables.

And yet, we drove only a few minutes over the mountains of Moriah and it was arid land. We drove South, passed the dead sea, to Masada, and there was nothing but dirt and stones.

CLOSE

THE BIBLE IS TRUE CONCERNING THINGS TO COME

In a way beloved, I feel as if I have already exhausted you with the Miracle of Israel and one of the greatest signs of all, their being back in the land after being dispersed among the nations for almost two thousand years.

Never in history has this happened to another people group or nation. In fact, it is an impossible thing to ever occur in the natural sense. 

There is simply no logic to it, and we see this witnessed over many years even in our own country. People from foreign lands have come to Australia and become Australians.

The first real wave on Immigration in Australia did not begin until the Gold Rush days, and then in earnest from the 1950’s. All had become Australians with no corporate desire to return to their place of Origin.

Who else but God could place in the heart a discomfort so great for so long a time to a people scattered across the globe?

Who else but the Devil could be used by God to ensure the people of the world would continue to make them feel a longing for their homeland?

BUT THIS IS ALL OF THE PAST, WHAT OF THE FUTURE?

What we have witnessed regarding Israel and their regathering in the land is arguably the establishment of the SIGNPOST that holds upon it every other sign of the last days. 

Matthew 24:33-34 says So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

A CONVERGENCE OF SIGNS

WHAT OF THE FUTURE?

  • I have detailed to you the fulfillment of prophecy with Israel removed from the land, dispersed through out the four corners of the world.
  • I have detailed to you the fulfillment of prophecy with Israel returned to the land, from the four corners of the world.
  • And I have partly detailed to you the fulfillment of prophecy with Israel being a “BURDENSOME STONE” to all nations.
  • I have detailed to you the fulfillment of prophecy with the land of Israel returned to blossom and bud as the Rose

BUT I HAVE NOT YET SPOKEN OF THE PRESENT AND FUTURE

  • The Current efforts toward the Building of the third Temple, the one in which Antichrist himself will sit and perform the prophesied ‘Abomination of Desolations”
  • The looming wars spoken of in Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 against Israel that are designed specifically to reveal God to the world.
  • The coming hatred of the world for the nation of Israel
  • Their call for the messiah they crucified

Four of the signs of Israel are past

Four of them are present and future.

Join me again at 6pm this evening.

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[1] https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/expulsions

[2] Recollections of the East, Vol. I, 1845

[3] http://arachimusa.org/FAQSDetail.asp?FaqID=723

[4] Get-a-life ministries Video 1 Israel 26:26 min

[5] https://israelforever.org/interact/blog/why_you_should_know_san_remo/

[6] Phillip Noel Baker, Delegate, Paris Peace Conference. https://israelforever.org/interact/blog/why_you_should_know_san_remo/ (see video from 8 min to 11 min)

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