We celebrate four major developments in world history this year. They all have major spiritual importance and all have huge prophetic significance!
One: Protestant Reformation in 1517 – The Reformation is 500 years old now and is ongoing. The historic ramifications of the Reformation are huge! The Reformation was responsible for the correction of many Church corruptions.
In addition, the birth of many different denominational expressions of Christianity were birthed. Millions have been saved from these resulting denominations and missionaries sent all over the world.
Two: Balfour Declaration of 1917 – Perhaps more sobering and prophetically impacting was the Balfour Declaration. This was the document in which the British Government recognized the need to establish a Jewish homeland. The Jewish people had been scattered all over the world since 70 AD by the Romans who renamed their homeland “Palestine”. Subsequently, the empires of the Old World absorbed the area into their boundaries. The latest, the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), controlled “Palestine” for 400 years, but had just been defeated in World War I. This left the British Government to decide the fate of the Middle East and the territory now known as Israel. As a result of Balfour, Britain declared “Palestine”, later named Israel in 1948, as a homeland for the Jewish people.
There was no Israel for Jewish people to return to until the twentieth century Balfour Declaration. Those who were students of Bible prophecy were greatly enthused by this development! Why? Scripture calls for a restoring of Israel from all over the world in the last days (Jer. 23:8, Eze.36:24).
The Messiah, Jesus, promised to return to a restored Israel (Zech. 14). We are the first generation in almost 2,000 years that has seen one emerge. Now that one is developing, it is a logical conclusion that the Messiah is about to return. Today would be good! Are you ready?
Three: Reclamation of Jerusalem – Entry of General Allenby into Jerusalem
1917 – Jerusalem and Judea were taken into captivity twice, first in the Babylonian captivity of 587 BC, and then by the Romans (70 AD). The Turkish Ottoman Empire was the last of many to control the area including Jerusalem from 1517 to 1917.
The Turks sided with Germany in WW1 and found themselves fighting the British in the battles for the Middle East. On December 11, 1917, General Edmond Allenby and his forces marched into Jerusalem. The day before the battle, Allenby had fliers delivered instructing the inhabitants of Jerusalem that the allied forces were coming into Jerusalem the next day. The flier was signed by General Allenby. Allenby bore resemblance to Allah Bey (Arabic for son of Allah). The Turks, thinking they had received a message from Allah, surrendered. Allenby marched into Jerusalem the following day without firing a shot and Jerusalem passed from Muslim control for the first time in many centuries. The Jewish people had been absent from Israel and Jerusalem for 19 centuries. The British was now opening a more friendly, door for the return of the Jewish people. Was this a coincidence or did God orchestrate it for His regathering of the Jewish people?
Four: Return of Jerusalem to Jewish Control This is the 50th anniversary of the reclamation of Jerusalem by the Jewish army. In June of 1967, during the famous Six-Day War, the Jewish army took control of the old city of Jerusalem and prayed at the Western Wall for the first time in 1897 years. This raised considerable interest among prophecy students because Jesus said Jerusalem would be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:24). Something very interesting about this is to consider the old Jewish tradition of Jubilee. Jubilee in Jewish history occurred every fiftieth year. Debts were forgiven, servants were set free, the property was returned to the original owner, etc. Basically, the reset button was pushed every fiftieth year. 2017 AD is the fiftieth year since General Allenby liberated Jerusalem from Arab control, in 1967. What will happen?
Ultimately, the end of Gentile power over Jerusalem will end when Jesus returns to establish his throne in Jerusalem ( Micah 4:1-2). The reclamation of Jerusalem by the Jewish army suggests that His day of ruling as King of Kings and Lord of Lords is very soon. Until then, He desires to rule in our hearts. Welcome Him to do so today (Romans 10:9-10).
Gary M Fisher