There is war in Israel and increasing turmoil in the Middle East. Hatred is exploding around the world. Russia is Hell-bent on destroying its neighbors; China is tightening its noose on Taiwan and warning the US to stay out of its way.
It seems like an ominous replay of the 1930s leading up to WW2, except infinitely more dangerous, with thousands of nuclear weapons in play and sophisticated weapon systems that were then unimaginable.
Despite the difference in weapons, however, the key difference between now and the 1930s is Israel. On the Bible’s prophetic calendar, the rebirth of the nation of Israel makes all the difference in the world.
In our generation, we’ve seen the dry bones come to life, as prophesied by Ezekiel…
“Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.
Therefore prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O my people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel.
And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when I have opened your graves, and caused you to come up out of your graves, O my people.
And I will put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I will place you in your own land: and ye shall know that I, Jehovah, have spoken it and performed it, saith Jehovah.”
We tend to take Israel's existence for granted and forget that the fulfillment of this prophecy was a profound miracle, unthinkable for Bible scholars until that time, who thought it to be merely symbolic language.
Yet, upon the Israeli nation's rebirth hangs all the rest of Bible prophecy. The Jews’ return to the land of Israel restarted the Biblical clock that is now moving the world toward end times events. We’ve seen this move gaining speed more and more rapidly in recent years.
The next major event on Israel’s prophetic calendar is a massive war in which Arab neighbors and nations from the north (Gog and Magog with Persia, Cush, and Put) invade Israel. The ancient lands of Gog and Magog can be traced to Russia, Turkey, and other former Soviet states, which will join with Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and other Arab nations in the attack.
Here's how Ezekiel describes that battle...
"In the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, that is gathered out of many peoples, upon the mountains of Israel, which have been a continual waste; but it is brought forth out of the peoples, and they shall dwell securely, all of them.
And thou shalt ascend, thou shalt come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy hordes, and many peoples with thee.
…and thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates;"
"Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy hordes, and the peoples that are with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured." Eze 39:4
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place for burial in Israel, the valley of them that pass through on the east of the sea; and it shall stop them that pass through: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude; and they shall call it The valley of Hamon-gog.
And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying them, that they may cleanse the land." Eze 39:11-12
It’s Time to Look Up
The timeline for Israel is pretty clear. Scriptures suggest that the great battle described by Ezekiel will likely lead to the treaty between Israel and the Antichrist that begins the seven-year tribulation period. A treaty that the Antichrist will break after 3 ½ years.
Is today’s unrest in Israel a precursor to the invasion described by Ezekiel? *
-- It certainly helps to set the stage for those coming events.
One thing is clear – Satan hates Israel as much as he hates the Church, and he would do everything in his power to wipe Israel off the map if God allowed it.
For the Church, the message could not be clearer.
Jesus warned us to watch for these signs of His Coming:
- Increased earthquakes,
- People will be bewildered by roaring seas and storms,
- Wars and rumors of wars,
- False Christs and False Prophets with cults that lead people astray,
- Evil shall increase,
- Many will hate and devour one another,
- The love of many will wax cold,
- Deception and delusion will come over the world’s population,
- Believers will be hated and persecuted,
- The Gospel is preached throughout the entire world…
...All of these things have happened or are happening now.
Verily I say unto you, This generation (the generation that sees the beginning of these events) shall not pass away, till all these things be accomplished. ~ Matthew 24:34
Even so ye also, when ye see all these things, know ye that he is nigh, even at the doors. ~Matthew 24:33
* For more on Ezekiel's prophecy, check out this excellent podcast by Russ Scalzo: