Israel – God’s Prophetic Time Clock :: By Ray Smith

The Bible contains approximately thirty percent prophecy. God, in His wisdom and mercy must have thought it was critical to include in His Word things that have already happened and are about to happen. Everything written will happen; we know that. So let’s take a look at the most prophetic time clock and what all prophecy revolves around, and that is no other than the nation of Israel.

What a gift this nation has been to the world, both spiritually and naturally! Through the Jews, many inventions and life changing discoveries have blessed the world in all kinds of different fields. But among the greatest gifts from God’s people was God’s Word, the Bible, which among other books contains the Torah, the Gospels and the Epistles.

The Jews also gave us the apostles, the prophets and the most important gift to the world, and that is none other than Yeshua the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the Lamb of God. God’s one and only Son whom He sent to atone for the sins of mankind by dying on the cross and overcoming death by being raised from the grave. That alone is the greatest story ever written, but this message is about how God is going to use modern Israel to usher in His Kingdom, to which there will be no end! We are living in these times. What an honor to be living in these times.

Yeshua spoke of a generation that would not see death until all these things are fulfilled, and how to determine the signs of that time. Again, lets look at what the Scriptures say about the importance of the modern nation of Israel, which is the greatest sign of the soon return of Yeshua, our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13). Isaiah 66:8 declares Israel would be born in a day, which was fulfilled May14, 1948. They had been scattered over the earth for nearly 2000 years since their dispersion in 70 A.D. after Titus destroyed the Temple and conquered Jerusalem. During that time, God declared Israel would be a wasteland (Deuteronomy 29:23-28; Ezekiel 36:33-36).

For almost 1900 years Israel became nearly uninhabited and a desolate wasteland. But the Lord would bring them back into their land and we see that in Ezekiel 37 with the vision of the “valley of Dry Bones” to which He would also permit them an exceedingly great army (Ezekiel 37:10). Lots of teachers refer to this chapter as possibly referring to the restoration of the Jews after the WWII Holocaust in which over: six-million-Jews were exterminated by the Nazis.

Today other than the U. S., Israel has the most powerful army with the greatest intelligence department in the world. This is a must for their survival as the late former Prime Minister Golda Meir once stated, “The Arabs could lose and live to fight another day. Israel can only lose once.” Over five million Jews have returned to Israel in recent times, helping to fulfill Ezekiel 37. This is unprecedented in human history. Also, another miracle was the restoring of a pure language (Zephaniah 3:9) when in the 19th century, a Zionist movement brought about the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language. In 1948, Hebrew became the official tongue of the state of Israel, thus fulfilling another modern day prophecy.

The Land of Israel did start to blossom where it once was so desolate for years (with the return of God’s people to the land). This fulfills Old Testament prophecies from Isaiah written centuries ago (Isaiah 27:6; 35:1-2). It is now one of world’s leading exporters of flowers, ornamental plants and produce. With Israel’s increased rainfall and their world-renowned irrigation technology, the land has done a complete turn around since the Jews returned. Keep in mind that the Lord said this would happen in the “latter days.” The scriptures declare that the city of Jerusalem would be rebuilt on its own ruins (Jeremiah 30:18, Zechariah 12:6).

Yeshua also declared that Jerusalem would by trotted down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:24). The Jews regained control of the Old City during the Six Day War in 1967, thus ending Gentile control which had been in effect since 70 A D. Psalm 83:4-8, deals with the nations surrounding Israel with words saying, “Come let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

Not only has the Iranian regime uttered those exact words, be we can see the whole region around her growing with anti-Semitic attitudes. Truly, she is surrounded by enemies which are Islamic. In the not to distant future, Israel is going to have to take action against these threats. Iran continues to pursue WMDs at an alarming rate. Prime Minister Netanyahu has already drawn a ‘redline” for Iran to cross and presented it to the U.N. They continue to climb to that line despite the great hardship they are putting on their people. We need to be in prayer for the Iranian people, as it is the regime that continues their pursuit of weapons and the sanctions being imposed on the people are heartbreaking and gruesome.

Jerusalem would also be a “burdensome stone” and a cup of trembling” to all the nations coming against her. All who burden themselves with it will be “cut into pieces” according to Zechariah 12:2-3.

How many times have we seen in the news, usually our secretary of state, making a trip to the Middle East just on this subject? There will be no peace until the Prince of Peace returns to set up His Kingdom to reign for a thousand years. The Eastern Gate will remain closed until the Messiah returns. At Yeshua’s Second Coming He will enter Jerusalem through this now sealed Eastern Gate (Ezekiel 44:1-3). I have personally seen this gate with my own eyes and it is still sealed. Zechariah 2:8, declares that Israel is still the “apple of His eye.”

We also know that God blesses those who bless them and curses those who curse them. He made that covenant with Abram and his descendents (Genesis 12:2-3), and it continues to this day where God speaks through Jeremiah: “He who gives the ordinances of the sun by day and the moon and the stars by night that the seed of Israel would never cease being a nation before Him” (Jeremiah 31:35-36). The last time I looked out the window these ordinances still were in place. These verses alone throw out “replacement theology,” in my opinion. The church has never replaced Israel for the Genesis covenant. Some of our elected officials need to read more of God’s Word concerning the nation of Israel and the repercussions relating to how we treat them.

The United States has been the most blessed nation ever on the earth through our standing beside the Jew. We need to be in prayer for our elected officials that that will always be the case. God is true to His Word and He never changes. Not for anybody, not even America. Hosea speaks of a time when Israel will seek His face, acknowledge their offense and return to the Lord (Hosea 5:15; 6:1-3). He will then live in their sight.

Jeremiah 30:3, tells the story of the Lord bringing back His people to the land that He gave their fathers. The Lord instructs us in Psalm 122:6: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem may all proper to those who love you.” It also says in Psalm 101:16: “For the Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory!” Yeshua referred to Israel as being the “fig” tree in end-time Bible prophecy. The fig represents the “natural” state of Israel, while the olive represents “spiritual” Israel. We will now see where this is all taking us at this time in world history and how prophecy is centered, around the Jewish people and their newly formed nation.

The Prophectic Parable of the Fig Tree, Luke 21.29-36:

Lets begin by having an understanding of each verse in these passages. Luke 21:29, begins with Yesuha speaking of a parable of the “fig tree” and all the other trees. We have already determined that the fig is natural Israel. Here He is speaking of its return from its dispersion throughout the world, which happened in 1948 following WWII. The other trees, He is speaking about are the “nations” of the world springing up after Israel’s restoration. Let’s go to the United Nations records to interpret this part of the verse. The membership in the U.N. in 1945 was 50, it grew to 58 in 1948 (Israel’s rebirth year); by 1960 it had grown to 98; to 127 in 1970; 154 by 1980; 159 by1990.

Today U.N. membership has approximately 193 nations, thus fulfilling this verse. We will now combine the next two verses together where He speaks, “When they are already budding, you know for yourselves that summer is now near” (verse 31). So you, likewise, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.” Here He is speaking of the budding of the “fig” tree and the other “trees” — know that the kingdom of God is near or “even at the very door” (Matthew 24:33).

Also, look for other signs as His return draws near. Among those is the decline of morality in society itself. Yeshua told us in (Luke 17:27-30), that it would be the same in the coming of the Son of Man as it was in the days of Lot and Noah. We see in (Genesis 6:5) that the days of Noah were filled with wickedness over the earth and in (Genesis 19) the times of Lot were filled with evil, and men desiring other men. Sound familiar to today’s times? Judgment came to both societies as a result.

Let’s look at Isaiah 5:20, where the prophet speaks of a time where society considers things backwards, “ Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.” Timothy speaks also in 1 Timothy 4:1, “That in the latter years some will depart from the faith giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” Also he speaks in 2 Timothy 3 verse 1-5, “In the last days perilous times will come” and also describing men’s hearts with being lovers of money, proud, unthankful, unholy, to mention just a few. I think everybody would agree we are at this point in history.

Lets go to verse 32: “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away until all things are fulfilled.” What time would this generation be that He is referring to? This whole chapter has been referring to the “fig” tree and the restoration of the nation of Israel, so we must look at this in the same matter. We know that was the year 1948, so let’s go from there.

Let’s go to Psalm 90:10 for some possible insight. There the psalmist describes the length of a generation: “The days of our lives are seventy years and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” If you take 70 and simply add it to 1948, you come up with 2018. (By the way, I am in no way setting any dates, nobody knows the day nor the hour (Matthew 24:36).

Remember, Yeshua said that by no means this generation will pass away until all things be fulfilled! Verse 33 describes how important these verses are along with being everlasting. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will in no means pass away.” Verse 34: “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day comes on you unexpectedly.” Here He speaks about the dangers of only dealing with the cares and “short term” desires of this life — that His coming will come on you unexpectedly. You do not want to be left behind, as we will see later in this teaching.

Verse 35 speaks that it will come on all of us. “For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.” Verse 36 is the most important verse in these passages, “Watch therefore, and pray you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man.” Let’s combine both of these verses. Lets go to Malachi 13:16-18 to see what is written. Here we see “A Book of Remembrance” was written before Him. Verse 17 says, “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, on the day that I make them My jewels, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. Verse 18 continues, “Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked. Between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.”

Could it be that our names need to be written in this book much like “The Book of Life” to be “counted worthy” for fulfilling verse 36? First Thessalonians 1:10 tells us: “To wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” The apostle Paul describes the Rapture or “the catching away” of the saints in great detail in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5. There he instructs us to “comfort” one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:18: 5, 11). Again, he reaffirms in chapter 5 verse 9: “For God did not appoint us to wrath but to obtain salvation through our Messiah Yeshua who died for us whether we wake or sleep, we shall live together with Him.” In this chapter Paul shows us how we should be living so “That Day should not overtake you as a thief” (1 Thessalonians 5:4).

Also in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, Paul describes how we will be changed from this mortal to immortal. He describes in verse 55 our victory over death and hell at that point as he writes, “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”

Let us also look at a couple more Scriptures describing the “transformation of our bodies” at the Rapture. Philippians 3:20-21: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” First Corinthians 15:20-23 describes Christ being the “firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”

The Tribulation or The Day of the Lord cannot start until we, the believing body, have been removed. Paul makes that very clear in 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12. We are the “restrainer” Paul refers to as we are restraining evil from the world because we are the “salt and light of the earth.” Once we are removed, the Antichrist will be revealed whom, “The Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, and destroy with the brightness of His coming” (2 Thessalonians 1:8). Also, in verse 11, after the Antichrist is revealed, God will send a “strong delusion, that they should believe the lie.” In other words, its going to be tough here if you are left behind. Deception and persecution will run rampant all over the world and chances are you will have to lose your life to save your soul.

Yeshua Himself said that there will be Great Tribulation not seen since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be again (Matthew 24:21). We need to take Yeshua at His very word and there He instructs to always pray to be “accounted worthy enough to escape all these things that will come to pass.”

Let’s look a little at what the Bible says will happen in the Tribulation. First, the Scriptures say that you will have to take the “mark of the beast,” so that you can buy, sell, and trade or just have a job or maybe medical insurance not only for you but possibly your family. Read Revelation 13:16-17. You will be forced to align with the Antichrist (indwelt by Satan) or God. But the eternal punishment for taking the “mark’ is clearly explained in Revelation 14:9-11) to which there is no reverse. In other words, once taken, your eternal fate is sealed.

Death and disease will be widespread in these days all over the earth. Read Revelation 9:15, also Revelation 6:8. Just remember God always gives us a choice. But when time runs out for this “Church Age” and He comes for His bride, have yourself and loved ones ready to go. It will be the greatest gift you can give them. The signs of the times are rapidly increasing in the days we are now living in. Time is short. Are you ready for Luke 21:36? My prayer is that the answer is, “Yes” to that question from everyone reading this along with your families and friends. Yeshua told us in John 14:2-3: “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if were not so, I would have told you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

The Prophetic Message in the Transfiguration

Matthew 17:1-9 describes the “Transfiguration” of our Messiah Yeshua. Let’s see if there is a “prophetic” message in it. Verse 1 talks of Yeshua taking Peter, James, and John up on a high mountain. But the interesting part of this message is, “after six days.” Why would Matthew have put that in and what significance did it have? Could this be a “timeframe” in history that the Lord is to convey to us? The Scriptures could very well be pointing to that being the case.

2 Peter 3.8: “With the Lord a day is a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.” We understand that Peter is more than likely speaking of the “longsuffering and patience” that the Lord has, but could there be more to it than that? Let’s look at another verse: Psalm 90:11 also speaks of it where it is written, “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past.”

Hosea 6 verse 2 reads, “After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.” From Adam to Yeshua was approx. 4000 years, Yeshua to our age another 2000 years, then the 1000-year-reign of Christ on the earth. So after 6 days (6000 years), Yeshua was shown in “His Glory.” Could this have been a vision of his glorious Second Coming in power and glory to reign in the 1000-year millennium? Matthew 17:3 we learn that Moses and Elijah appeared:

“Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified” (Mathew 17:1-6).

We fast forward to the Tribulation and we see the two witnesses of Revelation, which describes these two “biblical greats” to a tee.

Revelation 11:4-6 describes “two olive trees” standing before the God of the earth and the power they are given to them at that time. Verse 6 says that they have the power to shut heaven so no rain falls in the days of their prophecy. This was the same “power” given to Elijah in 1 Kings 17:1: “There shall not be dew nor rain these years except at my word.” We read on “they have the power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues as often as they desire.”

In Exodus 7:20 we see Moses and Aaron doing this with Aaron’s rod before Pharaoh. So this should describe the identity of the “two witnesses” of Revelation. Verse 5 tells of a voice coming out of a cloud, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, Hear Him!” This is the same voice of the Father who spoke at Yeshua’s baptism and much the same words. Verse 6 tells of the disciples falling on their faces from fear when they heard God’s voice, but in verse 7 Yeshua is comforting them and touching them by saying “Arise, and do not be afraid.”

In conclusion, could this passage of Scripture be describing the event in the Transfiguration to be a “vision and a timeframe” for the Tribulation and the return of Yeshua? Only time will only, but we can be sure that “our times are in Your hand” (Psalm 31:15) and “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; but in all ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, ‘Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand’” (Isaiah 41:10).

We know who sits at His right hand!

And finally, “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, from ancient times things that are not yet done. Saying My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10).

It’s all about Him, Christian brothers and sisters! We live in exciting and prophetic times not seen on the earth since Christ walked on the earth! Are you ready to meet the Messiah Yeshua face to face? Is your eternal destiny secure? What about your family and your friends? Time may be a lot shorter than we realize. Make sure you have accepted the “gift” Christ paid at the cross and announce to the world that He is coming quickly! God bless all of you!