What is the Future of Israel in Bible Prophecy?

 

Israel and Jerusalem have always been the center and focus of Bible prophecy. However prophecy as well as the promises of God are always conditional. Jonah knew this and this became a major stumbling-block in his prophetic ministry. Listen to his complaints to God:

 

Jonah 4:2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, [was] not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou [art] a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

 

Ellen White, another reliable source says the same thing: “It should be remembered that the promises and the threatenings of God are alike conditional.” {Ev 695.1}

 

Jonah was complaining because his ministry to Nineveh was so successful that the king and people of Nineveh repented of their sins and turned to God and the predicted destruction of Nineveh did not take place at the prophesied 40 days!

 

With respect to Israel, who were the covenant people of God with the mission to take the knowledge of God to the world, not only were there promises of blessings connected with obedience to God but also threatenings of curses if they should forsake God, break their covenant with God and follow other gods.

 

Daniel's prayer recorded in Daniel 9:11 refers to this fact:

 

Daniel 9:11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that [is] written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

 

It was the blessings and curses written in Deuteronomy chapter 28 that Daniel was making reference to. Examples of the blessings for obedience are found in verses 1-8:

 

 

Deuteronomy 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe [and] to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

28:3 Blessed [shalt] thou [be] in the city, and blessed [shalt] thou [be] in the field.

28:4 Blessed [shall be] the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

28:5 Blessed [shall be] thy basket and thy store.

28:6 Blessed [shalt] thou [be] when thou comest in, and blessed [shalt] thou [be] when thou goest out.

28:7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.

28:8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

 

 

 

Examples of the curses of God for disobedience are found in Verses 15 – 25:

 

28:15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

28:16 Cursed [shalt] thou [be] in the city, and cursed [shalt] thou [be] in the field.

28:17 Cursed [shall be] thy basket and thy store.

28:18 Cursed [shall be] the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

28:19 Cursed [shalt] thou [be] when thou comest in, and cursed [shalt] thou [be] when thou goest out.

28:20 The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.

28:21 The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.

28:22 The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.

28:23 And thy heaven that [is] over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee [shall be] iron.

28:24 The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

28:25 The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

 

Where do we find most of the Jewish people today? In “all the kingdoms of the earth.”

Why? Because they never did learn, as a nation, to love and obey God with all their hear! The curses presented before them by Moses came upon them as a nation instead of the promised blessings that would follow obedience. But God still loves the Jews individually and has preserved them as a people even though they are found today in “all the kingdoms of the earth.”

 

The change from being the covenant people of God to being cursed – not as individuals – but collectively as a people was matured at the crucifixion of their Messiah, Jesus the Anointed of God. Their leaders stated: “We have no king but Caesar!”

 

John 19:15 But they cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

 

This divorce between God and the nation of Israel was sealed at the stoning of Stephen in AD 34. The story is told in Acts 6 and 7.

 

Acts 6:9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called [the synagogue] of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

6:11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and [against] God.

6:12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon [him], and caught him, and brought [him] to the council,

6:13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:

6:14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

6:15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

 

Chapter 7

 

7:1 Then said the high priest, Are these things so?

7:2 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,

7:3 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee.

 

For the next 46 verses Stephen reviewed the history of the chosen people of God. When he got to the place in the history stating that it was not Solomon's temple, but the human heart that God really wanted to dwell in – they would listen no longer. Stephen interrupted his discourse and interpreted to them what was going on at that time:

 

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers [did], so [do] ye.

7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

7:53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept [it].

7:54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with [their] teeth.

7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

7:57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

7:58 And cast [him] out of the city, and stoned [him]: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon [God], and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

 

The prophecies of these things were given to them to prevent them from doing what they had just done – broken the last link between Israel as God's chosen, covenant people as a nation, and their God. From henceforth the individuals in Israel or the individual Jews have the same opportunities that the Gentiles (non-Jews) do to come individually to accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Savior. However God had divorced Israel as His chosen, covenant nation to represent Him to the world.

 

The last time Jesus came from Bethany to Jerusalem that Sunday of His triumphant entry into Jerusalem as their king riding on a donkey, when He saw the city, foreseeing what was the result of His rejection as their king, He wept convulsively.

 

Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,

19:42 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.

19:43 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,

19:44 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.

 

This was fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 AD.

 

The prophecy giving the time element in this divorce is presented in Daniel chapter 9:

 

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

9:25 Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [ shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

 

God is here showing Daniel that 70 weeks (or 490 years) of probation was granted for God's chosen people to come into line with His plans for ending sin on planet earth by sending His only begotten Son as their Savior and Sacrifice for the penalty (consequences) of sin. From the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem (in 457 BC) until Messiah the Prince would be 69 weeks (483 years). These 483 years bring us to the baptism of Jesus in Jordan by John the Baptist in AD27. The details of what would happen in the first 69 weeks are detailed in the prophecy. The first 7 weeks (49 years) the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt and the street. Then it took 62 weeks of years to arrive at the anointing of Jesus with the Holy Spirit at His baptism, 27AD. That leaves one week left – the 70th week. The prophecy says in the middle of the week the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. Jesus was crucified 31AD after 3½ years of ministry in the middle of the week. The covenant was confirmed for a whole week. At the end of the 70th week Stephen was stoned 34AD which ended the confirmation of the covenant and Israel was divorced as the corporate wife of Christ.

 

Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Antitype of all the typical sacrifices since the garden of Eden had come and was sacrificed for the sins of mankind on the cross on Calvary. This ended all sacrifices that pointed forward to Jesus, the Lamb of God. It was not for another 3½ years of further probation, that the nation of Israel was divorced from God as His bride and wife and covenant people, His representative to the world.

 

From henceforth until the curse was fulfilled as spoken by Moses written in Deuteronomy chapter 28, God would accept Jews and Gentiles alike to be His people, the objects of His salvation. The specific time of the indignation (or curse) was stated in Leviticus chapter 26:

 

Leviticus 26:13 I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.

26:14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;

26:15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, [but] that ye break my covenant:

26:16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

26:17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.

26:18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.

26:19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:

26:20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.

26:21 And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.

26:22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your [high] ways shall be desolate.

26:23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;

26:24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.

26:25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of [my] covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.

26:26 [And] when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver [you] your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.

26:27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;

26:28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.

 

Four times in this passage, the “seven times” is stated. Using the Biblical precedent that a time is a year (with 360 days in Hebrew sacred reckoning) 7 years would by 2520 days or years. Scriptural support for the concept that in prophecy time-periods a day in prophetic time stands for a year, is found in:

 

Numbers 14:34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, [even] forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, [even] forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.

 

Ezekiel 4:6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.

 

The concept that a “time” in prophecy stands for a year is illustrated in Daniel 4:23, the “seven times” that passed over Nebuchadnezzar was seven years of the king's insanity. The prophetic period of “time, times, and half a time” (Daniel 12:7) fits 3½ years of prophetic time or 1260 literal years.

 

This is the basis of understanding “seven times” of punishment is 7 years of prophetic years of punishment of 7 times 360 = 2520 literal years of punishment on the Jewish nation for breaking the covenant with God.

 

In history the Northern Kingdom of Israel:

According to Usher's chronology The Northern Kingdom of Israel was carried away captive in 723BC. 2520 years of the scattering of Israel would bring us to the year 1798 when the Pope was taken captive and the 1260 years of Papal Rome's oppression of God's people ended. The midpoint of these 2520 years of Indignation brings you to 538AD which dates marks the beginning of Papal oppression of God's people. The prior 1260 years was pagan Rome's oppression of God's people.

 

In the history of the Southern Kingdom of Judah:

Judah was carried captive in 677BC. 2520 years of scattering of Judah ended in 1844 which marked the beginning of the antetypical Day of Atonement when the confessed sins of Israel were blotted out in the most Holy Place of the Sanctuary in Heaven.

 

On October 22, 1844 God set His hand to gather His scattered people and make a new covenant with them based on better promises (God's promises rather than man's promises). God promises to “write His law in the hearts” of His new covenant people. God's New Covenant is the same as the Old Covenant that mankind broke. God's new Covenant is found in Jeremiah:

 

Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

31:33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 

And in Hebrews:

 

Hebrews 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

8:10 For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

8:13 In that he saith, A new [covenant], he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away.

 

So God renews His Covenant with His new covenant people who this time it is God that promises to write His laws on their hearts – rather than they promising to keep the laws of God as they did in the old Cevenant.

 

Exodus 19:3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;

19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and [how] I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.

19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine:

19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

19:7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.

19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

19:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.

 

Now there is a very important feature about understanding the prophecies concerning God's people. Whereas after the rejection of Jesus as their Messiah, and then 3½ years later, the stoning of Stephen and genetic Israel was divorced of God as His covenant people and in 1844, at the end of the 2520 years of indignation and punishment of God's people (genetic and spiritual) God renewed His covenant with believers of all genetic backgrounds as “spiritual Israel”.

 

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

2:29 But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.

 

Jesus said:

 

John8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

 

The language in the promises and the prophecies did not change in Scripture, however who these same words as “Israel” and “Jews” and “kingdom of priests” and the “holy nation” designate is no longer genetic children of Abraham and Jacob and Isaac, but rather those who have accepted God's invitation for Jehovah to be their God and they individually have entered into the covenant relation with God to be His people. The characteristics of the new covenant people of God is that body of believers whom keep the commandments of God, do His will, and have the faith of Jesus, and who have allowed God to write His laws in their hearts.

 

What about the future of Israel and Palestine?

 

The prophecies concerning God's people after the crucifixion of Jesus apply to God's new testament people who keep His commandments and have His laws written in the hearts. The unconditional-appearing prophecies in the minor prophets of the Old Testament are all conditional and Israel of old did not fulfill the conditions for their fulfillment. For this reason these prophecies will not be fulfilled before the second coming of Jesus. The world will be destroyed with fire before their glorious fulfillment will be realized.

 

Thus the Holy City that Abraham was looking for:

 

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as [in] a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God.

 

Will be geographically located in Palestine and on this earth, but it will not be the old Jerusalem that we know and can visit today.

 

Revelation

21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.

21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.

21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

 

And so even though the Pope of Rome may establish His throne in old Jerusalem, he will come to his end and none shall help him.

 

Daniel11:45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

 

 
The BIBLE is the book of “Basic Instructions Before Living Eternally”.