More than 300 years ago King Louis XIV, the Sun King, asked Blaise Pascal, the noted French philosopher, to give him proof of the supernatural. Pascal answered: “Why, the Jews, your Majesty—the Jews.”
Let’s explore ancient prophecies many believe are being fulfilled today.
Creation and Survival of the State of Israel
The birth of Israel as a nation in 1948 was more than just the fulfillment of a dream held across 1,900 years—it was the modern fulfillment of ancient Bible prophecy.
According to the Scriptures, God promised that although He would banish the Jewish People from their Land because of disobedience, He would in the “latter days” bring them back and re-establish them in their Land.
Nehemiah 1:9 promised, “Even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for My Name.”
Likewise, the prophet Jeremiah wrote of a great restoration that would overshadow the exodus out of Eygpt:
“However, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors” (Jeremiah 16:14-16).
Finally, the prophet Isaiah declared, “Can a nation be born in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children” (Isaiah 66:8).
For the Jewish People, a quest for a Homeland that took almost 2,000 years was ended by a vote that took just three minutes. Although miraculous, it did not come without struggle, a struggle that continues to this day.
Regathering of Jewish People From the Nations
The history of Israel cannot be told apart from the modern miracle of God’s re-gathering of His People, scattered to the four corners of the earth. This re-gathering began back in the 19th century as Jewish settlers, fueled by their faith and conviction, came back to the Land of their Fathers. They cleared the swamps and revived the language of Hebrew.
Before, during, and immediately following the Holocaust, many European Jews tried to immigrate to Israel to escape death, but sadly, the British, who ruled Palestine until 1948, turned them away. Many went back to Europe where they were killed while others ended up in internment camps, never making it to the Promised Land.
After 1948 however, the floodgates opened and millions of Jews have returned to their Land. Ancient Jewish communities, perhaps even those who may have been descendants of the “Lost Tribes” of Israel, have made aliyah (the Hebrew word meaning “returning to Israel”) from such far away places as China, India, and Ethiopia. A new phenomenon is the sudden interest among many Latinos to recover their lost Jewish identity. Many believe they are descendants of Jews forced to leave Spain and later Portugal during the Spanish Inquisition in the late 15th century. Recent advances in state-of-the-art DNA research can now confirm if, in fact, a person comes from Jewish decent.
Rebuilding the Temple
The first Temple was built by David’s son, Solomon, around 950 B.C.E. It was constructed according to the pattern of the tabernacle in the wilderness given to Moses to house the Ark of the Covenant. According to archaeologists, scholars, and historians, it was built on Mt. Moriah, the site where Abraham offered Isaac to be sacrificed. It was later destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E. and eventually rebuilt by the remnant that returned from captivity 70 years later.
Known as the Second Temple, it was later enlarged and beautified by Herod the Great during the latter part of the first century B.C.E. It was built on such a magnificent scale it became one of the great wonders of the ancient world. The Temple was again destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. when they ransacked Jerusalem and burned the city to the ground. All that remains of the Temple today is a part of the western protection wall, known as the “Wailing Wall.” It is the most holy site in Judaism.
During the seventh century, when Jerusalem was under the control of the Muslims, a mosque was built over what was thought to be the Holy of Holies. It remains there to this day.
The Temple Mount is hotly disputed and is perhaps the most valuable real estate in the world today. A movement has now emerged to rebuild the Temple again and that movement is quickly gaining momentum.
The Rise of Messianic Expectation
The fourth and final sign that we may be in the time the Bible refers to as the Last Days or the End of Days is the rise of Messianic expectation, particularly among Orthodox Jews living in Israel. The ancient prophets of Israel predicted not only the restoration of the Jewish People back to their promised homeland, but also a restoration back to their God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
They spoke of a Redeemer who would come to establish the “age to come” on the Earth. This would be marked by an era of universal peace, when “The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). The Anointed One, from the root of Jesse (see Isaiah 11:1) would usher in this age.
Who will this promised Messiah be? Was he Rabbi Mendel Schneerson, known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe, as some still believe? Could Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth be the Messiah, as many Messianic Jews claim? Or is He yet to be revealed?