I’m packing my bags here in Israel, ready to head back home. I don’t know how your day is going, but no matter who you are or what you do, you can’t stop time! Time started in the beginning and will continue until Jesus comes back. But God hasn’t left you on your own. He “changes times and seasons” so that his purposes can unfold throughout history.
When Jesus teaches on the end times he gives us the parable of the ten virgins. It is important, and Jesus always has a purpose in what he says. Sometimes we have heard these parables so many times that they lose their saltiness. But never forget: You are always using oil! When the five virgins who didn’t have oil in their lamps woke up, they were caught off guard. Do you understand? Whether you are at work, on vacation, sick, getting older, going through a crisis – you are using oil. The light of your inner lamp is always on and always using oil! It’s not like you only use oil on Sunday morning, and then turn the setting down to low for the rest of the week. No, you are always using oil. You can take breaks in other aspects of life, but never when it comes to the things you do to fill up your oil again.
The goal of my life is to get as many people as I can to join me in heaven. Do you understand? I don’t care so much about your weaknesses or missteps; for me the most important thing is that you love Jesus, that you are a man or woman after God’s heart. It isn’t the perfect people who have oil, or the ones who never make any major mistakes. No, oil flows most heavily from the heart that loves God. You can be on vacation, relaxing, enjoying time with friends, building your house, moving forward with your career – what Jesus is looking for is a heart that – in the midst of all those things – is thinking about him constantly. In the midst of everything else you are doing, God wants you to still live out Jesus. It’s like when you have just fallen in love. No matter what you do, the object of your love is in your thoughts all the time. You can’t stop thinking about the person!
Once Jesus has come back, it will be too late to change your mind. Either you are a part of it or you aren’t. I believe that you are a part of it, and I pray every day that I will receive grace to be a part of it. Never take it for granted! Live every day as if Jesus is coming back today.
Here is the rest of the final chapter of “The Jews – Heroes of Eternity” for your summer reading pleasure!
THE FINAL BATTLE
Before the culmination of world history into the seventh and final epoch of time—the Messianic epoch— world opinion will turn yet again against the Jewish people. I don’t personally like the thought of this, but a final power struggle is predestined to happen, and the way it will all play out is hard to predict. The fact that it will happen is unavoidable. Based on the light the prophets of the Bible cast over the end times, all of these things will occur as a result of “the full number of the Gentiles having come in.” In Paul’s letter to the Romans he quotes Isaiah when he foresees, as he puts it, “this mystery”:
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:25–29, compare Isaiah 27:9 and 59:20
So there is a set number of people, a “full” number of Gentiles who are going to come into God’s kingdom. This “time of mercy” is still ongoing, and that “mercy” is the very consequence of the age in which we now live, that a certain number of Gentiles will be “grafted” into the true olive tree, Israel (see Romans 11). When Jesus taught the disciples about the last days he talked about the same scenario: “Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). One day in the future this “time of the Gentiles” will be complete. So it is clearly shown in this Bible verse that there will be a point at which the Gentiles will no longer have the possibility of turning to God, since the blessing God promised through Abraham’s seed (see Gen. 12:1–3) has reached all peoples. When all of these things occur, all of Jerusalem will be set free. You could say that time is working in favor of the Jewish people, but that time is running out for the Gentiles.
Jerusalem’s third temple
… so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 2 Thessalonians 2:4, compare Daniel 11:36
Many people who study the Biblical prophecies are asking themselves if it is fair to believe that a third temple will be built. Islam reigns on the temple mount in Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock mosque is now located where the Jewish temple was once said to be located. But the temple wasn’t actually located there!
Ancient accounts of history tell of the straight line that was formed from the Mount of Olives in through King Solomon’s gate to the holiest of holies, which was the very center of the temple. But that is not where the Dome of the Rock is located! There is—and this is remarkable—an area on the temple mount that has not been built upon, and this space is the exact spot where the temple itself stood.
There is a movement in Jerusalem today called “The Temple Institute.” They are preparing for the inauguration of the third temple. They have flags, horns, and the robes of the high priest ready to be used, but are waiting for a few remaining details before they are able to reinstate the high priest into his office.
Another twist to all of this is that there has been talk of building a Jewish temple, a synagogue, on the temple site.
This was brought up in the Camp David discussions that preceded the intifada that broke out in 2001. A logical political solution to the Jerusalem issue and a possible future scenario is that the temple mount and Jerusalem will be the capital city for all religions and, as a point of negotiation, the Jews will even be offered a part of the temple mount where the former temple stood!
A new world leader will emerge on the stage of history
… that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped … according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 9-10, compare Daniel 11:36
In the future, as history approaches its climax, a new world leader will come forth. This will be a charismatic person who has a worldwide political plan of action that he claims will fix the big problems that are threatening all of mankind. His political stance will be both democratic and totalitarian at the same time; all objective values must be forsaken so that everything and everyone can be accepted.
The political message will be: “It is only natural that all exclusivity has to cease, so everything will melt into one single international fellowship.” Under this doctrine a subjective society will develop where no objective values will be allowed to have any say, since the foundation of this new political stance is that everyone has to accept everyone else. In this society the teaching of the Bible will be seen as a threat since it claims objective truths about one God and one way to God. It speaks of values that cannot be compromised; it speaks about what is right and wrong.
In the religious syncretism that the politics of this “new age” represent, there is no room for religious exclusivity. You will no longer be able to claim that the God of the Bible is the only God and that all other religions are wrong! This reasoning will have the appearance of being completely logical and rational. The mantra of this new world religion will be: “How can we have peace in the world if one religion thinks that it is better than all others? We all have a part in what is divine and all religions worship the same god.” It will be one world religion that, while recognizing all religions, simultaneously disapproves of all of them.
In this situation two conservative movements will be persecuted more than any others. One will be the true Christian church, whose members will risk their lives to firmly maintain that there is only one God and that the way to him can only be found through Jesus. The second movement is the Jewish people. If they haven’t let go of their Jewish identity, their historical roots or the system of values they received from God at the foot of Mt. Sinai nearly 3,500 years ago, why would they give up their exclusivity now?
Jerusalem—a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples
“I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” Zechariah 12:2–3
As a result of the Jewish people’s stubborn resistance to being absorbed by the rest of the world, the dark scenario of anti-Semitism will once again play itself out. The powers that worked through Pharaoh, Haman and Hitler will be incarnated in the leading politicians of the end times. Anti-Semitism will grow, and this time it will be total and worldwide. The Jews will, as they always have, claim Jerusalem as their city, and they will point to the promises in the Bible and claim their exclusivity in God. In the future all political negotiations concerning Jerusalem will collapse. In the new world order, Jerusalem’s status as the capital city of all religions will make up the cornerstone for world politics and it may even be established as the capital city of the world. All peoples will want to own Jerusalem and will be intoxicated by the drawing power the city seems to have. The problem is the Jews. As they always have, “through water and fire,” they will stubbornly refuse to give up their exclusive right to Jerusalem.
The next item on the political agenda
The political solution will be to force a solution to the “Jewish problem” by military means. This is a future development that is absolutely not just an eschatological theory but rather, as I judge it, something very real based on sensible political assessment. There are already many different international military actions that are organized against regimes that have been assessed as threats to world peace or strong political interests. The possibility of making Jerusalem an international protectorate that is governed by the United Nations is already being addressed. But world opinion is not quite ready for that yet. However, when Muslim and Asian dictatorships are tamed and neutralized, the issue of Jerusalem will come up and the religious tensions there will be the next item on the agenda for a new world order. But what will happen is that the people who have always chosen martyrdom before giving up their exclusivity will
make the same choice yet again. I will pour out the spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on me whom they pierced.
When Jesus wept on the Mount of Olives and looked into the future he said: “You shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD’” (Matt. 23:39, compare Ps. 118:26). Christians have always made a claim on this prophecy, but it was spoken over the Jewish people. Concerning the political crisis that will erupt and result in the attack of Israel once again by foreign armies, Zechariah foresaw a fantastic intervention by God:
It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves. In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. Zechariah 12:9–13:1
Concerning the political and military chaos that is going to characterize Israel, and the resulting deaths of many, the prophet Zechariah writes:
… two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it: I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, “This is My people”; and each one will say, “The LORD is my God.” Zechariah 13:8–9
Eventually there will only be one way out: to cry out to God in the same way their ancestors have done so many times. But not just to God, but now even to the Messiah, since things will have come to the point that the anti-Semitic spirit of murder will be burning across the earth and the only thing that can save the Jewish people is for the Messiah to break into the realm of time. During this time of revelation, brokenness, prayer and cries to the God of the covenant for the promises of the Messiah to be fulfilled, Zechariah’s prophecies will be fulfilled. As war rages all around and gets closer and closer, a spiritual awakening will occur in large portions of the Jewish people. The “spirit of grace and supplication” that is then poured out over Israel will fill the people with an inner longing for God! The synagogues will be filled to capacity on the Sabbath and people everywhere will talk about the Messiah.
The fact that the synagogues are filled and that the Jews, instead of giving up their religious exclusivity, seem to intensify their faith in God even more, will be broadcast to every home across the world. Once again, one last time, the Jews will be a testimony to the one and only God and Messiah. In this spiritual awakening Jesus will be revealed to the Jewish people. In their inner man they will sense his nearness on a spiritual level and they will see that the Messiah and the Jesus whom the Romans crucified 2,000 years ago are one and the same person. New light will be cast over the prophecies in the Bible and everything will be revealed to all who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The final battle
Three times before, political world leaders have tried to exterminate the Jewish people, but each time God has raised up a savior, a leader who has confronted the anti-Semitic leader and saved the people at the last minute. The first time was in Egypt, the second time in Babylon and the third time in Germany. It was Moses against Pharaoh, Esther against the Agagite Haman and in one way you could say Herzl against Hitler. It is interesting to see the associations between the attempts at extermination and the land of Israel. Each attempt at extermination occurred in connection with the Jews heading back to their land. Why? Because the Jewish people have a dual task in the history of salvation. The first was to birth the Messiah, which occurred in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. The second is to receive the Messiah when he once again enters the world. This is the task that both the land and the people have! This was at the core of the covenant: “In your descendants,” God promised, “the whole world will be blessed.” Here we see yet another paradox: the Jewish people who were blamed for being murderers and conspirators against humanity are actually the exact opposite. They are the salvation of the Gentiles since they birthed the Messiah, and they are the future of the world since they have been chosen to receive the Messiah when he returns once again.
The question everyone should ask themselves is: which powers have been at work behind anti-Semitism? What fruit have these powers borne? What would the world look like today if we had continued to build upon the pagan religions with their warrior cultures and slave societies? If Jewish ethics, morals and values had not broken through when the Jew Jesus taught and preached, would we still have had witch-burnings at the stake in Scandinavia, would we have exalted emperors as gods and found predictions in the stars?
When the time has come for the Messiah to come into the world, the final battle will be between the forces that have done so much damage to so many people and the Power that is the source of all things and the future salvation of all things!
The final attempt at extermination
One final time, hatred will mount against the Jewish people. This time it will be more serious than ever. The leader who will act will do so with all of the gathered powers of darkness in one and the same person. It is the fullness of the beast who mercilessly makes a final desperate attempt to annihilate the people who, throughout all of their history, have refused to worship him and have always claimed that there is only one God. It is Satan himself who will make the final attempt to hinder the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies, those that say that the Messiah will break in and that a world order will be established in which love and truth are complete.
In that hour, when the false game of evil seems to have deceived the world and the solution to the “Jewish problem” once and for all seems to have reached its full conclusion, history will take a new turn one last time. The whole world will closely follow the Jews’ stubborn battle against the gathered international force that is sent against the Jewish people in Israel in order to set Jerusalem free in the name of peace. “You will see Me no more,” Jesus said to his beloved people, “till you say ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’” On screens all over the world there will be reports of battles and of the world’s gathered troops standing on the hills outside of Jerusalem. When the final battle begins, synagogues all across the world will be filled with Jews. They know that now only one thing can save them, and that is the Messiah. Everywhere prayers about the coming of the Messiah will be heard, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Then it will happen. When the beast’s fury is at its peak, when the leaders of the world are most intoxicated with lust for Jerusalem, and when the anti-Semitic spirit of murder burns the strongest, God will raise up his final leader and savior. This time it won’t be Moses, or Queen Esther, or the journalist Herzl. Now the time and hour will have come when the earth is ripe. Across the whole world people will comprehend it, a deafening thunder that breaks forth into the realm of time—the sound of a bassoon that everyone can hear, the powers of the skies are shaken and the signs of the Son of Man will be visible to all. In Jerusalem everything will culminate when the Messiah breaks into our dimension. Everyone will be able to see him when he breaks through the skies and plants his feet on the mount east of Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives (see Matt. 24:29–31 and Is. 13:10).
For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem … Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east … Thus the LORD my God will come, and all the saints with You … and the LORD shall be King over all the earth. Zechariah 14:2–5, 9
The Jewish people’s task in the history of salvation will be complete. They birthed the Messiah, they “went through water and fire” and showed themselves to be “worthy” covenant partners with the living God. They held out against everything and everyone and finally got to meet the Messiah they had waited for for so long.
Now creation goes into its final epoch, the Sabbath rest, and in this thousand-year reign the Jewish people will be at the center of the worldwide kingdom of peace that will be based out of the Jews’ capital city of Jerusalem.
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. Isaiah 2:2–4