Laying the foundation:
Rev. Sudha Mehta©
Jesus teaching from freebibleimages
Matthew 24: 1As Jesus left the temple and was walking away, His disciples came up to Him to point out its buildings.
2“Do you see all these things?” He replied. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
3While Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”(BSB)
Jesus teaching photo from freebibleimages
Before we go too far, in this post I would like to give you some foundational information. I will give a very cursory overview of history, so you know where the patterns for prophecy were set. The Bible speaks of the future, but the Future can only be understood on the foundation of History.
The story of mankind begins in the Garden of Eden. After they diobeyed God, Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden and forbidden reentry. The Tree of Life was now guarded by Cherubim with fiery swords. Adam and Eve were, however, promised ultimate salvation/rescue someday from the mess they had made.
Left to their own, mankind went from bad to worse very quickly. Fallen rebel angels, who had been kicked out of Heaven, decided to mate with human women thus creating hybrid beings that were the Giants (Genesis 6). Sin abounded, evil grew so much that God had to step in and send a Worldwide flood to wipe out all living things. Only one family was left alive. Noah was found righteous in God’s eyes. so, Noah along with his wife, three sons and their wives. God gave Noah the blueprints of an ark big enough to house his family AND two of every species of animals and birds. When the Ark was completed, Noah followed the instructions bringing in the animals and birds that God sent, two by two of every species, a male and his female (Genesis 7: 1-3).
Noah’s ark photo from pixy.org
In the post-flood Era God gave Noah and family a renewed comission to spread out and populate the Earth, but the descendents of Noah decided it was safer to stay together and build upward, high enough to reach the heavens. This way no flood could wipe them out! Whether or not they intended to try another rebellion as the angels had before is unknown, but they expressly did not want to spread out. (Genesis 11: 1-4) They were rebelling against God’s purpose who wanted them to spread out and populate. God had already given the promise that He would never send a flood to cover the whole earth again, but they didn’t believe Him.
So, once again, God had to deal with the situation. Since all the world spoke only one language, an ingenious solution was to confuse the languages and break down communication. One word from God and humans found they could not communicate anymore, so, they could’nt build more. Interestingly, the same thing happens today when communication breaks down; families and society break apart.
So, the project (the tower of Babel) was abandoned and humans spread out and different nations were born. Seventy nations were named from these roots and spread out across the Globe. Today world politics and resulting divisions have numbered 195 nations. But all came from one source. All are human, all have one earthly father and mother, Mr and Mrs Noah.
The Plan for Israel:
One of Noah’s descendents through his son Shem was Abram. God saw that Abram had a righeous heart. So, God brought Abram and his wife Sarai to the land of Canaan to settle. Here He changed their names to give them a new beginning and a hope for the future. Abram was now called Abraham and Sarai was henceforth Sarah. God gave Abraham the Title-Deed to the land we call Israel today. Israel was actually the name God gave to the Abraham’s grandson who was called Jacob. Isreal the Nation, has to date never owned the entire territory promised to them in Genesis. God has chosen Israel as His Nation and through Abraham all the people of Israel as His people. Israel is a tiny Nation today with just about 9 million people with land that is roughly the size and shape of the State of New Jersey in the USA
Yet this tiny Nation, hardly visible on the Globe has become and will be central to all events in the End Times. The reason is simple, This is where God has chosen. It is His Center from which He aims to rule in the future which is fast approaching.
The Garden of Eden is believed to have been here in the vicinity of Jerusalem, This is the land God gave to Abraham and his progeny. It is believed here in Jerusalem on the mount called Golgotha, God Himself sacrificed the first animal to make garments of animal skin for Adam and Eve. Many scholars believe this was the first lamb signifying future sacrifices and ultimately Jesus as the promised Lamb of God. This was the same spot where Abraham offered up his own son Isaac, and recieved a blessing from God. God provided a ram for a burnt offering, and Isaac became the son through whose lineage God sent His own Son. Following the course of History, we find this was the same spot where Jesus offered Himself up for the sins of all mankind. Creator gave His life for His Creature.
photo from freebibleimages
You can see, I hope, why to God this spot in Jerusalem means a lot. This is where the promise of Messiah was given. This is where the permanent defeat of our enemy Satan was declared, This is where Messiah’s body was broken, and His blood shed to set us free. This is where He died in our place. This is where He paid the ultimate ransom to make all mankind free and equal, for at the foot of the Cross, all mankind is equal, no one is better than anyone else, for all have sinned and all need a Savior (Romans 3: 23). He gave the Law to the Jews that He then came to fulfill.
Jesus Himself said Salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), in that the Law, the Standard was given to them by which all humans could be made perfect, except, no human has ever been able to keep it, save Jesus. He was the onle One that was able to meet the requirements of the Law by remaining sinless all His life, and thereby becoming the only Perfect Sinless Substitute that took the punishment that all sinners deserve, including you and me. The Bible says anyone who says he does not sin is a liar. If you have sinned once in your life, you qualify as a sinner(1 John 1: 8). So, be careful what you say!
When Jesus returns He will set foot on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, and from there (Jerusalem) He will declare His own Kingdom. God with us, He will rule on Earth, reigning over the whole planet.
Second coming photo from pinterest
Jerusalem on Earth will have His new Milennial Temple and will be central to all Earthly government set up by Jesus the King. He was and will be the King of the Jews, along with being King over all.
Ezekiel’s Temple Photo from youtube
There are many who hate Israel and would like to see it be destroyed. There are Nations that would like to see Israel driven into the sea, the people either destroyed or scattered. However they are contending with God Who Himself is the “Keeper of Israel.” Contending with God never places anyone in a good position. God never loses! He promised Israel that when they are in their land again, they will never again be uprooted:
Amos 9: 15“I will also plant them on their land,
And they will not again be rooted out from their land
Which I have given them,”
Says the LORD your God.(NASB)
God watches over them Himself all the time:
Psal 121: 4Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.(NASB)
So, if you want to understand Prophecy, watch Israel. Better to pray for the Peace of Israel and Jerusalem so you can be blessed by God, than to hate the Nation or it’s people and make God angry and not bless you . . . right?!
Psalm 122: 6Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.(NASB)
You may never have given Israel much thought until now, but you will find Prophecy centers around Israel and in particular, Jerusalem.
Some 500 plus years before Jesus came to earth as a baby, the prophet Daniel in the Old Testament was given by God a timeline. The timeline encompassed World future told in advance. He was shown in visions how major World empires would arise and fall. Empires that would follow after Nebuchdnezzar whom he served. The Medo/Persian Empire, followed by Alexander the Great, followed by the four generals who divided up the Greek Empire, all the way to the Roman Empire.
Daniel’s vision from freebibleimages
It was during the time of the Roman empire that Jesus came and offered Himself on the Cross as the pure, living sacrifice on the day of Passover for the sins of all mankind.
Three days before the going to the Cross, Jesus gave this final briefing to His disciples on the Mount of Olives which is recorded in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. He spoke on this topic even in Luke 17 and 21. At this time He also foretold His own death on the Cross, as had already been told by the prophet Isaiah some 700 years before in Isaiah 52and 53 in the Old Testament. He spoke of the destruction of Jerusalem (which happened 40 years later).
In His final briefing Jesus also spoke of what Daniel had been shown, but added more detail.
The time clock of Bible prophecy stopped when Jesus died on the cross. Sounds strange doesn’t it?! I will explain as we go on. Some 40 years after Jesus ascended to Heaven, the Roman army lay seige around Jerusalem and after an 18 month seige, finally invaded, destroyed the City and burnt down the Temple that was central to the Jewish faith. Over a million people were killed, and the remaining scattered throughout the known World.
Israel was no more!
This was the second National exile for Israel. Both times when they were exiled from the land they called home, it was because of disobedience. God gave many chances for National repentance, but finally had no choice but to remove His protection and blessing.
In fact Israel ceased to exist as a Nation for more than two millennia. Jews from every tribe scattered in just about every nation . . . I know there were and are Jews even today in India. Somehow, most have clung to their Jewish identity through the centuries. Many lost the knowledge of Scripture but maintained traditions, without knowing the roots of those traditions. They celebrated Passover and the other feasts in other nations, and remembered the promise of God that someday, they will have a homeland and that the exile would end.
This time came!
More in part 3b of this post . . . stay tuned! 😊
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