3 All Scriptures are the New King James Version OverviewOverviewWhy Israel and why study about Israel? Beloved, we are living in an era where we will most likely experience and see the unparalleled drama of the end-times foretold in Scripture unfold before our very eyes. Therefore, we need to understand this very important, basic-to-our-faith truth, that the very Name and Word of God is tied to the fate of the Jewish people and the nation of Israel as the center of end-time prophecy.This course of study was written in two parts:Part One:This overview was designed to aid you with the big picture, as well as a preparation for our study in Part Two. We will cover three essential keys in understanding the timing of end-time prophecy:Israel’s Two ExilesMessiah’s Two Comings and Basic EschatologyGod’s Calendar of Events, the Seven Feasts of the LordPart Two: Understanding Israel in ScriptureThis course of study was written by one of America’s leading Biblical Zionists, Cheryl Morrison. Cheryl targets key Scriptures which are central to understanding this present hour of prophetic fulfillment, as well as our responsibility as Christians to Israel. There are three parts to this section:God’s Heart for His PeopleWhy Study Bible ProphecyThe Jewish WeddingCharts, information, and studies used by permission from Rose Publishing, City Christian Publishing, Cheryl Morrision, and Kristina VickeryAll Scriptures are the New King James Version
4 Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:16When studying Bible prophecy, there are three keys that will help us navigate in understanding the timing of end-time events, which are:Israel Had Two ExilesUnderstanding end-time events is made simple when one understands that the Scripture foretells of both the first and second exile of the Jewish people and their return to the Promise Land, Israel, from those exiles.Many believers have fostered an erroneous trend of belief that God replaced Israel with the Church. The “technical” term for this belief is called Replacement Theology. How unfortunate for those who would believe that God would not keep His promises to some, but still expect Him to keep His promises to them! Believing this not only created negative attitudes towards the Jews down through the ages, but also made understanding end-time prophecy confusing at best. Why? Because end-time prophecy CENTERS around the reestablishment of the State of Israel after their second exile.A note of confidence -- God keeps His Promises!The Messiah Would Come TwiceMessiah’s first coming, as the Suffering Servant was between Israel’s two exiles. His second coming, as the Triumphant King, the focal point of end-time prophecy, will be marked by the Jews returning to Israel from their second exile.The Scripture refers to a time period after the first coming of Messiah as the Age of the Gentiles. The word “Gentile” in Scripture refers to all peoples that are not Jewish. During this period of time, God in His benevolence, offers salvation through His Messiah to the Gentile nations. The close or fulfillment of the Age of the Gentiles marks a time when God would once again restore the Nation of Israel and the Jews would return from the their second exile. The Jews call this return “Aliyah” (a-lee-yah).The Second Coming of Messiah, Jesus Christ, occurs after the Jews return to Israel in the end-times. In this section we have provided a basic overview of Eschatology and presented the four views of Christendom that interpret end-times events.The Seven Feasts of The Lord - God’s Calendar of EventsGod created time, and within that time gave measurements called appointed times. An appointed time is a predetermined period of time. These appointed times both reveal the big picture timeline and the purpose fulfilled in each one. The entirety of God’s plan is prescribed, foretold and revealed in the Seven Feasts of the Lord! As the Host of these Feasts, God invites both Israel and the nations to join Him in their fulfillment!
5 Returning from Exile Pre-Exile Exile Post-Exile Understanding Israel’s Two ExilesReturning from ExileWhen the Lord brought the Children of Israel up out of Egypt to bring them into the land which He had promised their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Lord required one thing from the Israelis, and that was faithfulness to Him alone! Once established in the Promise Land, Israel enjoyed the rich and bountiful promises of God. Over time, indulgence, ease and indifference set in and Israel drifted from the joy of obedience to God to the wantonness of idolatry. God sent prophet after prophet to call Israel back in efforts to reform her wandering heart and to return to the Lord. She would not; therefore God clearly demonstrated that unfaithfulness will not possess His promises! God brought them into the Land and God took them out of the Land! What a firm admonishment for all of us to remain faithful to Him and His Kingdom. God determined an appointed time of 70 years that Israel would be exiled to Babylon. This was Israel’s first exile. In the graph below, note which prophet spoke when concerning Israel’s exile, before, during and after. Upon the completion of the appointed 70 years, Israel returned to the Promise Land. Over a period of time the central focus of worship would be reestablished by rebuilding the Temple. While Israel regained her strength, she would not be a sovereign and independent nation until an appointed time foretold in Scripture as the latter days. In between the first and second exiles of Israel was the first coming of Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. The life, ministry, death (atonement), and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ was and is the Gospel for all of mankind. Gospel mean good news. And the Good News, Gospel, is that God offers remission of sins if we will humbly come to Him, repent of our sins and turn from our own ways. Upon the completion of His first mission of bringing the Gospel to all mankind, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile, our world would enter another appointed time, which the Bible calls the Age of the Gentiles. During this Age of the Gentiles, the Jewish people would experience their second exile from the land of Israel and would be scattered to every corner of the earth. This is called the Diaspora by the Jews. They would be in the Diaspora until their appointed time to return, which would mark the end-times. This return from the second exile, known as Aliyah to the Jews, would be marked by an extraordinary miracle, the reestablishment of the State of Israel – Israel as a sovereignly ruled, independent nation, which had not occurred since their first exile. This glorious rebirth of the State of Israel has happened in our modern time on May 14, We are in the appointed time called the end-times when the Age of the Gentiles is nearing its fulfillment and the Jewish people are being reestablished back into the land.Pre-ExileIsaiahMicahHoseaJeremiahObadiahNahumHabakkukZephaniahJoelJonah / AmosExileEzekielDanielPost-ExileHaggaiZechariahMalachi
6 The Renown of the Lord The Renown of the Lord As seen in both the first and second exiles, God will not tolerate unfaithfulness to Him and will, by right, enforce whatever measures necessary to cleanse His people, whether Israel or the Church. BUT for His own Name’s sake and renown in the earth, He will fulfill all of His promises! God reveals in Scripture an extraordinary generosity on His part to both the physical Land of Israel and the People of Israel foretold in the book of Ezekiel 36: The Land "Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, and the valleys, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and My fury, because you have borne the shame of the nations.” Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame. But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come.” Ezek 36:6-9 The People "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD," says the Lord GOD, "when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.” Ezek 36:22-29 As the prophet Hosea foretold, “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.” Hos 3:4-5 We are so privileged to live in an hour to see such things as the restoration of the Nation of Israel and Jews back in their homeland, Israel! As the Apostle Paul said in Romans 11:12, “Now if their (the Jews) Fall (the second exile) is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!” And again in Romans 11:25-27, 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.“The Scriptures above clearly emphasizes that the very Name and Word of God are tied to the fate of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. As Christians, our allegiance to the Lord will be demonstrated as we passionately both serve and stand with God’s predetermined will and appointed time for the Jewish people. Please reference the back of this study where you can learn more and be an active participant in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
7 Biblical Timeline – Locate Israel’s first and second exiles The Big Picture
8 AliyahAliyah!Aliyah: the return of the Jewish people from their second exile back to the Promise Land, Israel, from the nations in which they were scattered in the Diaspora.“He will raise a flag among the nations for Israel to rally around. He will gather the scattered people of Judah from the ends of the earth.”Isaiah 11:12 NTL
11 Understanding Jesus’ Two Comings As mentioned, the Messiah’s first coming was between Israel’s two exiles. The Scripture notes His second coming to be in the latter days or end-times. This would be marked by the Jews returning to the Land of Israel from their second exile.The study of end-time events is called eschatology. As we begin a basic review of the appointed time of Messiah’s second coming, it is important for the student to understand that there are four different eschatological views within Christendom differing in their interpretation of end-times events. It is also helpful for the student to understand that there are two different times when Jesus comes to the earth in the Book of Revelation, one in the clouds and one when He literally stands upon the earth. The first is called the rapture of the church, when we meet Him in the clouds. The second is when He actually comes and stands upon the earth and fights the nations that have come up to destroy Israel. Note the Scriptures below:The Rapture, Jesus Coming In the Clouds“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (rapture) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” 1 Thes 4:17There are three (pre, mid and post tribulation) different views as to when this happens:Pre-Tribulation (Believe the rapture occurs before the tribulation): “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this." Rev 4:1Mid-Tribulation (Believe the rapture occurs in the middle of the tribulation): “Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.” Rev 14:14-16Post-Tribulation (Believe the rapture occurs after the tribulation): “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” Rev 20:4-6Upon the earth – Jesus Stands Upon the Earth“Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads.” Rev 14:1“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth.” Job 19:25“Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives.” Zech 14:3-4
12 Eschatology Eschatology What is Eschatology? Eschatology is simply the study of end-time events described in Bible prophecy. Prophecy is the foretelling of history before it happens.Four Views of InterpretationThe four views of interpretation are:Dispensational PremillennialismHistorical PremillennialismAmillennialismPostmillennialismWe have provided a summary of each one in the following pages; however, the writers of this study and the majority of the Evangelical, Pentecostal and Fundamental Christians believe in, or at least most portions, of the Dispensational Premillennialism view.The Second Coming of Jesus Christ will happen during the appointed end-times, which is so graphically illustrated and summarized in the book of Revelation. At His return, Jesus Christ will fight against all the nations that have come up against Israel.The Book of Revelation BasicsThe book of Revelation is just that, a revelation of Jesus Christ! At His Second Coming, Jesus will personally confront and defeat the nations who have come up to destroy Israel. It was written by the Apostle John, the brother of Jesus, in two parts:Part One: Things Now (chapters 1-3)Part Two: Things to Come (chapters 4-21), describes things happening:In heavenOn earthUnder the earth[Note: While we are providing a linear overview of the book of Revelation for your reference, it might be helpful to think of these events spherically rather than linearly. Quite possibly, events spoken of in heaven, in earth and under the earth are corresponding to one another simultaneously.]
13 Dispensational Premillennialism Dispensational PremillennalismDispensational PremillennialismDispensational Premillennialism What is dispensational premillennialism? Dispensational premillennialism is the belief that Jesus will come back to earth after a seven-year tribulation and will rule during a 1000-year millennium of peace on earth. In addition, God will fulfill His promise to give the nation of Israel the land described in Genesis 15:18. Dispensationalist premillennialists are either “pre or mid tribulationialists.” Pre-tribulationialists understand Revelation 4:12 to refer to the rapture of the church from the earth before (pre) the tribulation, at the beginning of the seven-year period. Mid (or pre-wrath)-tribulationialists believe that the church will go up in the rapture in the middle of the tribulation when Jesus and His angels come in the clouds to reap the earth’s harvest in Revelation chapter 14. What do dispensational premillennialists emphasize? Dispensational premillennialists believe the rapture and the second coming of Jesus are two separate events. The rapture comes before or in the middle of the tribulation, and the second coming comes after the tribulation. They also believe that during the seven-year tribulation, natural disasters and wars will occur on the earth; and that those faithful to Jesus will suffer intense persecution. They emphasize the literal interpretation of the book of Revelation. [NOTE: Dispensational Premillennialism is the most dominant interpretation of end-time events among Evangelical, Pentecostal/Charismatic and Fundamental Christians.]Dispensational Premillennialism
14 Historical Premillennialism Historical Premillennialism What is historical premillennialism? Historical premillennialism is the belief that Christians will remain on the earth during the great tribulation. The tribulation will purify the Church by rooting out false believers, and the Second Coming of Christ will precede the millennium. Historical premillennialists believes that the Church has replaced the nation of Israel as God’s Covenant people, also known as “Covenant Premillennialism.” Historical premillennialism sees the millennium as a literal future event. What do historical premillennialists emphasize? Historical premillennialists try to balance symbolic and literal interpretations of the book of Revelation, emphasizing what the book meant to first-century readers and how it might apply to people’s lives today. According to historical premillennialists: God’s promises of the land and blessing to Abraham and his offspring were conditional promises based on their obedience. Israel’s persistent disobedience violated God’s covenant with them. However, they also believe that God has maintained a covenant of grace throughout the Old and New Testaments with all who trusted in Him. These believers – embodied today in the Church – are the true Israel. They also believe that most references in the book of Revelation refer to Israel symbolically as the Church.Historical Premillennialism
15 Amillennialism Amillennialism Amillennalism Amillennialism Amillennialism is the belief that Jesus will come again someday. There is no literal 1000-year rule by Jesus on earth; rather, the millennium symbolizes Christ’s reign in the lives of His people from the beginning of the Church until His second coming. Christ’s triumph over Satan through His death and resurrection in AD 30 restrained the power of Satan on the earth. Persecutions of Christians (tribulation) will occur until Jesus comes again, as will the expansion of God’s kingdom. When Christ returns, He will immediately defeat the powers of evil, resurrect the saved and the unsaved, judge them, and deliver them to their eternal destinies. What do amillennialists emphasize? Many amillennialists believe that the book of Revelation consists of seven sections. Instead of dealing with successive time periods, these seven sections use apocalyptic language to describe the entire time from Jesus’ first coming until his second coming in seven different ways. Amillennialists tend to emphasize the historical context of Revelation and what the book meant to first-century readers. According to amillennialists: The great tribulation represents disaster, wars and persecutions that have occurred throughout Church history.Amillennialism
16 Postmillennialism Postmillennialism Postmillennialism Postmillennialism What is postmillennialism? Postmillennialism is the belief that the second coming of Christ will occur after the millennium. The millennial reign described in Revelation 20:1-6 represents a long time period when, through the preaching of the Gospel, most of the world will submit to Jesus Christ. During this time, Satan will have no power over the earth and evil regimes will collapse. A period of great tribulation may precede the millennium. Some charismatic Christians embrace dominion postmillennialism. This teaches that, throughout the contemporary charismatic movement, God has been binding Satan. When the Church recognizes the fullness of its power through the Holy Spirit, the Church will establish God’s Kingdom on earth and usher in the millennium, a golden age. What do postmillennialists emphasize? Postmillennialists place great confidence in the preaching of the Gospel; they contend that the Gospel will eventually spread in such a way that nearly everyone in the world will turn to Jesus Christ. One Scripture cited in favor of this view is Mark 3:27. Augustine understood this verse to mean that before Jesus can claim His Kingdom, those that are lost (the possessions of Satan, “the strongman”) must come under the control of Jesus. Postmillennialists tend to emphasize the power of the Gospel to transform societies and individual’s lives. According to postmillennialists: During the millennium, Christ will rule the earth through His Spirit and through His Church; He will not however, be physically present on the earth. The resurrection depicted in Revelation 20:4 represents the spiritual regeneration of people who trust Jesus Christ. The Second Coming of Christ, the final conflict between good and evil, the defeat of Satan, the physical resurrection of all people, and the final judgment will occur together, immediately after the millennium.Postmillennialism
17 Book of Revelation Glossary of Terms 666: Number of the beast, spelled out in Rev 13:18, six hundred sixty-six. Six is the number of man and the symbol of incompleteness. Mark of the Beast: A symbol or identification of a person’s allegiance to the teachings of the antichrist and/or his system. 144,000: A number of Jewish believers (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel) who embrace Jesus Christ as their Messiah and who live faithfully before the Lord during the tribulation. Abomination of desolation: An event that describes when the antichrist enthrones himself as God in the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem. It is a signal that the end is near. Antichrist: A spirit that denies the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It possesses people, governments or systems who denounce Jesus as Lord. There will also be a specific individual who is the satanic counterfeit to Christ, described as the “lawless one” and the “beast.” (2 Thes 2:3-8, Rev 13:1, 18, 17:3, 17). Armageddon: Mount Megiddo overlooks the plains of the Jezreel Valley, a large open area where Deborah, Gideon, Saul, Ahaziah and Josiah all fought decisive battles. It is believed that the ultimate battle between good and evil will be fought here, specifically Jesus warring on behalf of the nation of Israel. Babylon: The government or system that persecutes the righteous. Symbolically it could be referring to: Babylon, the city in Iraq where the Jews spent their first exile. Rome, the city of the Romans who sacked Jerusalem in 70 AD and sent Israel to their second exile. One-world-government or One-world-faith that would persecute true believers for their faithfulness to Jesus Christ. Beasts: There are two beasts mentioned in Revelation. The first resembles a system or council and the second is an individual. The first beast: This creature rises from the sea and has ten horns and seven heads. The seven heads are believed to be the city of Rome. Some interpreters understand this to be a literal power to rise out of Rome in the end-times; others view it as a symbol of the powers of every age that defy God’s dominion and persecute His people. The beast claims blasphemous names for itself. One of the horns seems to die and then comes back to life. The second beast: This creature rises from the earth like a lamb with horns and a voice like a dragon – in other words, a satanic parody to Jesus Christ. Some interpreters understand this creature as a literal leader who will encourage people to worship the first beast, while others, as a symbol of any religion or system in any time period that encourages worshipers to focus on anything other than Jesus Christ. Final Judgment: The event described in Revelation 20:11-15, when God resurrects all people, judges them from the great white throne, and delivers them to their eternal destinies, whether heaven or hell. Millennium: A thousand-year period of time known as the Millennium Reign of Christ. The Two Witnesses: Two prophets of God who are given extraordinary power described in Revelation 11:1-14. They speak the truth about God before being killed, left in the streets for three days and then resurrected. These two prophets are believed to be either Elijah and Enoch, since both were taken to heaven without dying, or Moses and Elijah who attended Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. The (Great) Tribulation: A seven-year period of great adversity and anguish. Tribulation of the world: God will begin to release His judgments upon the earth. The force of these judgments will increase in severity throughout the seven-year period. Tribulation of the saints: The antichrist and his system will oppress and persecute the saints during this time.
21 Feasts of the Lord Overview Feast of the Lord OverviewFeasts of the Lord OverviewGod keeps His own time! God created time, and within that time gave measurements called appointed times. No greater calendar of events has been given to man than what is prescribed, foretold and revealed in the Feasts of the Lord! These appointed times both reveal the big picture timeline and the purposes fulfilled in each one. Before we go further, it is important for the student to understand terms of timing. Terms of Timing Appointed time: a predetermined period of time. Time: the measurement between eternity past and eternity future. It has a beginning and an ending. Day: the measurement of 24 hours, beginning at sundown (evening). Month: measured by a combination of the moon, which is on a 29 ½ day rotation, and the sun, by adding a leap year. There are civil months and there are seven holy months. All the Feasts happen within the holy months. Year: is measured by the Lunar (moon) calendar of 354 days longs, with a leap year added. The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is in the Fall so the Jewish calendar year is from Fall to Fall. Week: the word week in the Bible refers to the count or measurement of seven, whether in days, weeks, months, years or millennium. The seventh (day, week, month, year or millennium) is always referred to as the Sabbath. For an example, God rested on the seventh day. The land is to rest every seventh year and the earth will enter into rest on the seventh millennial day, known as the Millennial Reign of Christ. Sabbath: to cease or rest from all work or strivings. A holy convocation can either be another word for Sabbath or an extra Sabbath. The only day in the Jewish week that has a name is Sabbath. Every other day is a called by its relationship to Sabbath, such as: Sunday is called the morrow after the Sabbath or the first day after Sabbath. Monday is called the second day after Sabbath and so forth. Friday is called the day before Sabbath. The obvious focal point was the Sabbath, whether Sabbath past or Sabbath future. In kind, the Seven Feasts of the Lord, each individually, were to be like the Sabbath. This is amazing imagery that God was pointing all fulfillment towards His Sabbath Rest, which is in Messiah and His reign upon the earth!Christ the Messiah is PROCLAIMED each time we write the date!Amazingly enough, each time we write the date, we proclaim the birth of Jesus Christ upon the earth.B.C. = Before Christ B.C.E. = Before the Christian EraA.D. = Anno Domini (After the birth of Christ) C.E. = The Christian EraIf we were to write May 14, 1964 A.D., we would be writing that it is the month of May, the fourteenth day and one thousand, nine hundred and sixty four years after Christ. Likewise, if we were to write 586 B.C., then we would be writing five hundred and eighty six years before Christ. And those not wanting to acknowledge the birth of Christ write B.C.E. or C.E.Just as the days of the week are named for their relationship to the Sabbath, so all time is written in its relationship to Christ our Messiah.
22 The Former and Latter Rains Each Feast is commemorated throughout the year’s agricultural cycle and understanding the terms of the agricultural rain cycle is key to unlocking Bible prophecies. Rains: The agricultural cycle was in accord with the what the Bible calls the former (early) and latter rains. This was “news” to the Israelis who were coming out of Egypt, because there they watered all their crops by channels from the abundance of the Nile River – not any more! God would require and train Israel to believe and trust Him for His provisional rain. These rains were symbolic of God’s Spirit fulfilling His promises to both Israel and the Church in the latter days. With a better understanding of biblical timing and terms, read the following Scriptures carefully: Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rains. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7-8 Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you — the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. Joel 2:23 Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth. Hos 6:1-3Passover (Barley) 1st MonthPentecost (Wheat) rd MonthLatter Rains(Spring)4th Month5th Month6th MonthNo Rain(Summer)Tabernacles (Fruits) 7th MonthFormer Rains(Fall)
23 God’s Calendar of Events! The Seven Feasts of the Lord - God’s Calendar of EventsGod’s Calendar of Events!The entirety of God’s amazing plan is revealed in the Seven Feasts of the Lord! In this basic overview, you will learn a summary of each Feast and discover which Feasts have been prophetically fulfilled and which Feasts are yet to be fulfilled. Understanding these Feasts will help you know and understand both where we are in time and what is next on God’s prophetic calendar.Note in the chart below both the Feasts that have been fulfilled in Messiah’s First Coming and the ones that have yet to be fulfilled in Messiah’s Second Coming.The Feasts of the LordPassover(1st Month)Latter RainsUnleavened BreadSheaf of FirstfruitsPentecost(3rd Month)No RainsTabernacles(7th Month)Former RainsRosh HashanahDay of AtonementMessiah’s 1st Coming -FulfilledMessiah’s 2nd Coming- Yet to be fulfilled!
24 A peak at Leviticus 23 Leviticus 23 Prophetic Fulfillment Sabbath Read Leviticus chapter 23.Leviticus 23Prophetic FulfillmentSabbathJesus, our Sabbath RestPassoverJesus, our Passover LambUnleavened BreadJesus, our Bread from HeavenFirstfruitsJesus, our FirstfruitsPentecostBirth of Judism (giving of the Law) and the Church (giving of the Holy Spirit)Rosh HashanahBeginning of the End-Times (the Days of Awe)Yom KippurThe Day of the Lord - Jesus coming to Judge the nationsTabernaclesCelebrating Jesus as our Reigning King and Eternal Tabernacle
25 The Sabbath The Sabbath Imagine the Lord saying to you, “I have a gift for you” and while you’re wondering what His gift might be, He says to you, “I give you Sabbath!”The Sabbath is far more than just one day out of the week to worship, it was the fulfillment of ALL that God would/will accomplish in His plan of salvation, which is so vibrantly illustrated in the Feasts! The Sabbath was a type and shadow of the rest and wholeness that we will experience when we are in complete and unbroken union with the Lord Himself - the original intent for man in relationship with God! If you notice in Leviticus 23:1, when describing the Feasts, it begins with the Sabbath. However, Passover through Tabernacles are spoken of as appointed times, and each of them are to be like a Sabbath. The Sabbath was the cornerstone of each Feast and the completion of all the Feasts! Why? God was revealing, as the Host of these Feasts, that He Himself would be both the Provider and the Provision! Hear Jesus’ call to His Sabbath Rest: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matt 11:28-30 The Judeo-Christian faith is the only faith where God, Immanuel our Messiah, comes to us. Every other religion is man trying to get to God. In John chapter 6, those seeking Jesus asked Him what they should do to do the works of God, read Jesus’ response to them: Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?“ Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." John 6:28-29 The writer of Hebrews goes further in admonishing believers to have faith in entering the Lord’s rest: Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest…There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Heb 4:1-11 In Scripture, the eighth day is called the morrow after the Sabbath. It was on this day that Jesus rose from the dead, and from the time of His resurrection, it has been called the Lord’s day. Down through the ages many believers began to worship on the Lord’s day (what we call Sunday) rather than the Sabbath. However, the conclusion of all time is still within the prophetic millennial-week. The prophetic millennial Sabbath day is known as the Millennial Reign of Christ. In this light we can understand both Jesus’ response to the Pharisees when challenged about keeping the Sabbath, as well as Paul’s exhortation to the Colossians when they were challenged about keeping the Sabbath. “For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." John 5:16-17 “And He (Jesus) has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” Col 2:11-18
26 Feasts of the Lord - Passover Passover – The Death of JesusWhile the Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits are separate feasts, they are commemorated as three in one under the Feast of Passover.Feasts of the Lord - PassoverPassover commemorates the deliverance of the Children ofIsrael out of the slavery of Egypt. The Lord sent Moses to lead thechildren of Israel from Egypt to the Promise Land. When first confronted by Moses, Pharaoh refused to let the people go. After sending nine plagues, the Lord said the firstborn males of every house would die unless the doorframe of their houses were covered with the blood of a perfect lamb. That night, the Lord passed over the homes with blood on the doorframes. The tenth plague brought death to the firstborn sons of Egypt, even taking the life of Pharaoh’s own son. Finally, Pharaoh let the children of Israel go. Passover was to be a lasting ordinance throughout the generations to come.Passover is celebrated with a Passover meal called the Seder, which means order. During the Seder meal the historical account of Israel’s liberation is told, this is called Haggadah or the telling. (We have provided a Haggadah as an Appendix to this study. We would encourage the student to prepare and share a Passover Seder with your family or congregation next Passover.) There are several elements to the Seder, but two of which we will discuss here -- the wine and the bread.The WineThere are four symbolic cups of wine served on Passover whichcorrespond to the four “I wills” spoken by God in Exodus 6:Cup of Sanctification “I will bring you out of Egypt”Cup of Judgment “I will rescue you from bondage” (this cup is not drunk)Cup of Redemption “I will redeem you”Cup of Praise “I will take you as My people”The BreadThe other primary element of the Seder meal is the unleavened bread. Unleavened means that it does not have leaven in it. Leaven is symbolic of sin.The Passover LambThe Messiah, Jesus Christ, is our Passover Lamb! We are invited, by faith, to believe in the Blood of Jesus on the doorframe of our hearts. When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming to him, he said,“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29On the night that Jesus was betrayed, He served the Passover meal with His disciples when He instituted Communion:“Then He said to them, ‘"With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;” Luke 22:15“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “’This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.’” Luke 22: 19-21Profoundly, God fulfilled His “I wills” personally through the Body of Jesus,“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ…that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them…” 2 Cor 5:19
27 Passover – Unleavened Bread & Firstfruits Passover – Feast of Unleavened Bread and Feast of FirstfruitsPassover – Unleavened Bread & FirstfruitsThe Feast of Unleavened Bread – The Burial of JesusThe Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the fifteenth day of the first month in unison with Passover. Unleavened bread represents the bread made in haste as the Lord brought the children out of Egypt. Leaven is a symbol of sin. Today, the father of a Jewish home will go throughout all the house to look for any leaven and remove it. It is symbolic of carefully cleansing one’s heart and home of any hypocrisy or wickedness. For seven days no leaven was to be seen in his dwelling.“Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Cor 5:6-8This is the first day of Counting the Days of Omer. The Jews count from this day forward fifty day, or seven Sabbaths after Passover to the day of Pentecost. We will learn more about the fulfillment of this time in our lesson on Pentecost.The Feast of Firstfruits – The Resurrection of JesusThe Feast of Firstfruits is when the first ripe sheaf (firstfruits) of barley was offered to the Lord as an act of dedicating the harvest to Him. On Passover, a marked sheaf of grain was bundled and left standing in the field. The next day, the first day of Unleavened Bread, the sheaf was cut and prepared for the offering on the third day. On the third day, the Feast of Firstfruits, the priest waved the sheaf before the Lord. Jesus is our Firstfruits!“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have Fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the Firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.” 1 Cor 15:20-24
28 Feast of the Lord / Pentecost Shavuot - Feast of PentecostFeast of the Lord / PentecostPentecost is fifty days, or seven Sabbaths, afterPassover. Pentecost is a time to express joy and thankfulnessfor the Lord’s blessing on the harvest.It is helpful to understand that there were two harvest periods inIsrael; the first was called the corn harvest, which was comprisedof the spring and summer harvests, and the latter was called the Fall harvest or Fall fruits.First Harvest = CornPassover = Barley, symbolic of the Jew, represented with no leavenPentecost = Wheat, symbolic of the Gentile, represented with leavenLatter Harvest = FruitsFeast of TabernaclesShavuot is one of the three main Feasts that Israeli males were required to keep before the Lord. It was commemorated by waving two loaves of equal portions before the Lord. God counted this leaven bread holy unto Himself! Only twice in Scripture is this used; at Pentecost and as a Peace Offering. It was symbolic of both Jew and Gentile.Pentecost is also called the birthday of Judaism because it is believed that the Lord gave the Ten Commandments on this day. Interestingly enough, the Jews today read the book of Ruth as a celebration of this holiday. Ruth is the story of a Gentile woman being redeemed into the commonwealth of Israel. Listen to what the Apostle understood when he wrote,“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh — who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands —that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” Eph 2:11-17Amazing! This feast was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost and is considered the birthday of the Church as we read in Acts 2:1-4:“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”Just as the Holy Spirit filled the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem, so we who have been born-again are filled with the Holy Spirit and sent out into all the world as His living temple!For you are the temple of the living God. 2 Cor 6:16
29 Feasts of the Lord - Fall High Holy DaysFeasts of the Lord - FallWhile the three spring Feasts are commemorated as one Feast, so are the last three Feasts collectively called Tabernacles, consisting of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and the Feast of Tabernacles. This is considered the holiest time of the year because at it’s heart is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement – God’s way for us to become one with Him again.The first day of the Fall Feast of the High Holy Days will initiate what is called in Scriptures as Daniel’s 70th Week. The will mark the final seven years.
30 Rosh Hashanah Rosh Hashanah – Feast of Trumpets Rosh: head or beginning Shanah: year A Day of Remembering / A Day of Judgment Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is the first day of the High Holy Days, the holiest time of the year – a time of repentance. Rosh Hashanah begins with the blowing of a shofar, a trumpet made from a ram’s horn, to awaken the listener from his or her “slumber” and alert them to the coming judgment. It is a day when man is measured by God’s standards. This is a time of soberness, but not sorrow, because it is an opportunity to repent before God and receive of His mercy. Read the Apostle Paul’s admonishment to the Romans: “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” Rom 13:11, 12 The ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called the Days of Awe. This is a time to make a concerted effort to do good deeds, forgive those you haven’t, and to seek reconciliation with those who might have ought against you. These are days of repentance. It is believed on this day the Lord opens the Book of Life and judges one’s behavior. If you have repented and shown genuine change and transformation in your behavior then your name would be recorded or not deleted. Read Jesus’ word of prophecy to the Church of Sardis: “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Rev 3:5-6 The High Holy Days have yet to be fulfilled in their prophetic appointed time. Rosh Hashanah is believed to be the beginning of end-time fulfillment. Compare the words of Jesus as He spoke of His coming in the clouds, as well as the Apostle John from the book of Revelation: “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matt 24:30-31 “Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.” Rev 14:14-16 “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor 15:51-52
31 Yom Kippur Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement Yom: day Kippur: getting rid of Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year, it is the Day of Atonement. Yom Kippur is the tenth and final day of the Days of Awe, which began on Rosh Hashanah. The purpose of Yom Kippur was to restore Israel (as individuals and as a nation) to be “at-one-with-God” and “to be loving again.” The Holy of Holies in the Temple was separated from the congregation by a veil from ceiling to floor. It was entered once a year on Yom Kippur, when the High Priest offered the blood sacrifice of atonement on behalf of the people. The sole purpose of Yom Kippur was to restore Israel (as individuals and as a nation) to be “at-one-with-God-again” and “to be loving again” -- in short, it was to restore a loving relationship with God and His people by atoning for their sins that separated them. When Jesus died on the cross, the thick veil in the Temple was miraculously ripped from top to bottom. Jesus is the complete atonement for our sins. Look at the profound understanding that was written in the book of Hebrews of this account: “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Heb 10:19-25 However, the prophetic fulfillment of this Feast has yet to be fulfilled. Yom Kippur is the Day of Lord! This is when Jesus will return to the earth and judge the nations! Read the following Scriptures concerning that day: "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will Fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” Mark 13:24-27 “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thes 5:1-5 “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3:10-13 “Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 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,” Zach 14:1-4
32 Feast of Tabernacles Sukkot – The Feast of Tabernacles Sukkot = shelter / boothThe Feast of Tabernacles is a week-long celebration of the Fall harvest and a time to build booths (temporary shelters of branches) to remember how the Jewish people lived under God’s care during their forty years in the wilderness. This celebration is a reminder of God’s faithfulness and protection. The Feast of Tabernacles is also known as the Feast of Ingathering of the spring harvest. The “Blessing of the Lulah” is performed and the Book of Ecclesiastes is read on Succoth Sabbath.To this day, Jews continue to celebrate Sukkot by building and dwelling in temporary booths for eight days. These booths or shelters are made of temporary materials, such wood or canvas. The roof is made of branches with enough space to see the stars. It is decorated with Fall flowers, fruits, vegetables, and leaves. Many Jews celebrate in their sukkots by having meals, sharing with friends and families the good things God has done for them.There is a particular symbol that is made during this feast called the lulav. It is symbolic of four different kinds of people:The etrog, a citrus fruit, has both a flavor and a scent, like a believer who is both a hearer and doer of the Word.The date palm, has a taste but no scent, like one who hears the Word but does not act.The myrtle has a pleasant odor but there is no taste, it is like one who does act, but doesn’t know the Word.The willow lacks both fragrance and taste, just like the one who neither studies nor acts on the Word.The lulav and etrog , which must be held together for the waving ritual, reveal that we collectively (the lulav) make up the complete congregation (the etrog) and that we need one another.Sukkot is one of the three pilgrimage feasts when all Jewish males were required to go to Jerusalem to appear before the Lord. Two ceremonies were part of the last day of Sukkot:People carrying torches marched around the Temple, then set these lights around the walls of the Temple, indicating that Messiah would be a light to the Gentiles.A priest carried water from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple, symbolizing that when Messiah comes, the whole earth will know God “as the waters cover the sea.”Read the account of Jesus attending the Feast of Tabernacles:“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37, 38“The next morning while the torches were still burning, Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’" John 8:12The prophetic fulfillment of Sukkot will represents the final ingathering of the end-time harvest. It will be celebrated throughout the ages to come,“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” Zech 14:16
33 What Time is it? We are here! What time is it? In light of modern history, particularly the reestablishment of the State of Israel, where are we on the biblical timeline? If we were to measure strictly by the time frame given according to Scripture, it would look something like this: Adam to Abraham was 2,000 years Abraham to Jesus was 2,000 years Jesus to the present age is 2,000 years By studying the chart below, note where we are on the biblical timeline of events. We are in the hour of Messiah’s return!We are here!
35 “On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”(Isaiah 62:6,7)Part Two
36 Part II - Overview Part Two Overview You are now prepared for the main course of study!These following studies were written by one of America’s leading biblical Zionists, Cheryl Morrison. Cheryl has written these simple Bible studies to equip believers with the fundamental keys in understanding Israel in Bible prophecy.She will walk you through the Scriptures in a question and answer format to understand God’s role, Israel’s role and our role as Christians in these last days. While these are written in a question and answer format, we are encouraging that you begin an “Israel Journal.” In your Israel Journal write out the questions and answers, Scriptures, current events in the news and especially what you feel the Lord is teaching you.The first two studies are:God’s Heart for His PeopleWhy Study Prophecy?And the final study is a transcription of Cheryl speaking at her home church, Faith Bible Chapel, onThe Traditional Jewish WeddingAfter completing this course in its entirety, it is our hope that you will respond by praying for and supporting the nation of Israel in these last days. We have provided information if you are interested in:Receiving more information about IsraelLearning more about Christian’s global support of IsraelPrayer guides for praying for IsraelSupporting Israel with monetary giftsShalom and enjoy!
38 God’s Heart for His People - Preface I made my first trip to Israel in To walk the land of the Bible and see prophecy fulfilled before my eyes only strengthened my faith in God and His Word. I never read the Bible in the same light again. The story of Peter walking on the water to meet Jesus was more real to me because I had visited the Galilee area and taken a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. The feeding of the five thousand and the sermon on the mount took on new meaning because I had walked the very ground where these stories could have taken place. After I visited the Garden of Gethsemane and the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, the crucifixion, empty tomb, and resurrection became powerful visuals in my mind. These experiences have been repeated in new ways each time I have visited Israel since A trip to Israel brings new excitement to your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. There was something else just as powerful and life-changing that I experienced when I visited Israel for the first time: God placed a love in my heart for Israel and the Jewish people that has only grown and matured. I realized that Israel was not only the land where Jesus lived, died, and rose again, but Israel was also the land of the people of the covenant – the Jews. I began to search the Bible to see what it had to say about modern Israel, the conflict over the land, the return of the Jews, and the wars Israel has fought. Did the Bible have anything to say about Israel’s future? I discovered that the Bible had much to say about all these topics. To understand the Jews, the land of Israel, and God’s plan for them adds richness and great understanding to our faith. My hope is that this study will help you discover God’s heart for His people – the Jews, and also help you open up your heart to God’s plans and purposes for them. Cheryl Morrison, Director of Israel Outreach Faith Bible Chapel, Arvada, Colorado
39 God’s heart for His People / Table of Contents Lesson One Why Did God Choose the Jews?Lesson Two What Was The Covenant God Made With Abraham?Lesson Three Has God Rejected The Jews?Lesson Four Is Jerusalem of Any Real Interest to God?Lesson Five Why Is There So Much Controversy Over the Land of Israel?Lesson Six Does God Still Have a Plan for Israel?Lesson Seven What Does God Expect from the Church?Lesson Eight How Do I Pray for Israel?
40 God’s Heart for His People - About this Study It seems today that issues concerning Israel are continually the focus of the news media. Peace agreements between Israel and her former enemies, massive immigration of Russian and Ethiopians Jews to Israel, struggles over who owns the land, and a resurgence of anti-Semitism around the world all draw our attention to Israel. Does the Bible have anything to say concerning Israel? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you what He wants you to learn from each lesson. This study is designed to help you discover for yourself what the Bible has to say about Israel; you will discover that God’s Word has much to say about Israel. You will learn why God chose the Jews, what His plan is for them today, and how Christians are to respond to His plan. Each lesson has verses for you to read and questions to answer relating to the verses. Please write your answers on a separate sheet of paper as your “Israel Journal of Study.” Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you what He wants you to learn from each lesson. A memory verse is included in each lesson to give you an opportunity to meditate on God’s Word and put truth in your heart that will help you rightly discern the truth. Here are some suggestions that will help you with Scripture memorization: Read the verse and mediate on the meaning. Write the verse on a note card. Memorize the verse a phrase at a time. It is helpful to say it aloud. Keeping the verse with you, go over it until you can say it from memory. Keep repeating it until you feel it is firmly implanted in your mind. To enhance your study, it would be helpful to have either a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance or a Bible program on your computer that includes a concordance. These are very useful tools for studying the Bible. It is not only important to study God’s Word and to know what it says, but it is equally important for each of us to respond in practical ways to the truths of the Bible. In the back of this book, there is a section on ACTION POINTS that will offer you practical ways to respond to the information in this study. In addition to the study, there is a recommended reading list and other helps that will increase your knowledge and understanding of Israel. This study would be excellent for individual study, a small group, or a Sunday school class.
41 God’s heart for his People / Lesson One Why Did God Choose the Jews?God’s heart for his People / Lesson OneThrough the Jews, God brought redemption and blessing to all mankind. God has a purpose and a plan for everything He creates. When God created you, He created you with a purpose in mind, a purpose that is part of His master plan of redemption for the world (II Thessalonians 2:13-15). When God created the Jews, in His sovereignty, He chose them as a nation to fulfill His special purposes. Through the Jews, He brought redemption and blessing to all mankind. In this lesson, you will examine Scripture to discover God’s purposes for choosing Israel, and how these purposes affect your life today. Read Genesis 12:1, Genesis 15:7, Acts 7:2-3, and Hebrews 11:8.Where was Abraham when God called him?What did God call Abraham to do?By looking at Scripture and history, is it possible to see God’s purposes for choosing the Jews? Here we will look at four purposes. Write the purpose that you find in these verses. Read Genesis 12:2-3 and Genesis 18:18. From these verses determine one purpose for God choosing the Jews.Did this calling end with Abraham? Read Genesis 12:2, Genesis 18:17-18, and Acts 3:25. (See note at the end of this lesson.)Read Jeremiah 1:1-10, Haggai 2:1, Joel 1:1, Romans 3:1-2, and II Peter 1: With the possible exception of Luke, the authors of the Bible had a common heritage.What was that heritage? (To find this answer, read in your Bible the commentary on each author.) From your answer, state one of the purposes God had for choosing the Jews.Read Leviticus 11:44-45, Leviticus 19:1-2, Leviticus 20:24-26, Deuteronomy 14:2-21, and Deuteronomy 26:19.What purpose for choosing the Jewish people is given in these verses?Read Isaiah 7:14, Micah 5:2, Matthew 1:1, and Galatians 3: These verses clearly show us another of God’s purposes for choosing the Jews. What was it?What is the recurring theme of Isaiah 41:8, Isaiah 44:1, Deuteronomy 7:6, and Psalm 135:4?How have you personally benefited from God’s purposes for choosing the Jews?MEMORIZE Deuteronomy 7:6Note: As of the year 2002, the population of the world is over six billion people. The Jewish population of the world is approximately thirteen million. The Jews make up less than 1/500th of the world’s population; however, the Jews have won more than 22% of the Nobel prizes. The Nobel Prizes are awarded by the Nobel Foundation of Sweden to men and women who have rendered the greatest service to humankind. This is only one of many statistics that show the great contribution the Jews have made to the betterment of mankind in comparison to the rest of the world’s population. The greatest number of Nobel prizes won by Jews has been in medicine. (Sources: Jewish Virtual Library and US Bureau of Census.)
42 God’s Heart for His People / Lesson Two What Was the Covenant God Made with Abraham?God’s Heart for His People / Lesson TwoThe God of Israel is a covenant keeper. Covenant is a difficult concept for modern Western- thinking people to comprehend. We live in societies that don’t honor covenants. The marriage covenant is broken in the United States almost as often as it is made. Our society no longer expects people to keep their word. Many look to our legal system to help them break contracts they have signed. Politicians make all kinds of promises for the purpose of getting our vote, only to disappoint us by breaking their promises when they get elected. The God of Israel, however, is different. He is a covenant keeper. Leviticus 26:9 promises, “I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you.” (NIV) In this lesson you will discover the powerful meaning of covenant and how it pertains to Israel. Look up the word covenant in the dictionary. Write out the definition. Read Genesis 15:18 and look up the word covenant in a concordance. What does the word covenant mean in Hebrew? These verses tell us God made a covenant with Abraham. According to verse 18, what did God promise Abraham as part of the covenant? A covenant is made between two parties. In biblical times, the people making a covenant together walked between the pieces of the animals that had been sacrificed. This made the covenant binding. According to verse 17, what two entities walked between the sacrificed animals to make this covenant? According to verse 18 and Hebrews 12:29, who do you think the smoking oven and burning torch were? For a covenant to be made, two parties had to walk through the sacrifice. Abraham did not walk with God between the sacrificed animals to make the covenant; he was asleep (verse12). Why do you think God put Abraham to sleep before the covenant was made? Read Hebrews 6:13. There are several different kinds of covenants in the Bible: salt covenant (Numbers 18:19, II Chronicles 13:5), shoe covenant (Ruth 4:7), marriage covenant (Genesis 2:24), and blood covenant (I Corinthians 11:25). Of all these covenants, a blood covenant was the strongest kind of covenant that could be made. Salvation is a blood covenant. Jesus shed His blood for the covenant of salvation to be made (Ephesians 1:7). Read verses 9-10 and determine what kind of covenant was made in Genesis 15. Write out and explain your answer. Read Genesis 15:18, Genesis 17:7-8, and Exodus 6:1-8. Was the covenant made only with Abraham and the Jews that lived during the biblical era, or does it have any effect today? Write out and explain your answer. Read Genesis 17:15-22 and I Chronicles 16: These Scriptures refer to the covenant God made with Israel. How is the covenant described? Read Exodus 2:24-25 and 6:5, Nehemiah 1:5, and Psalm 89:34. What do these verses tell you about God’s covenant Word? After considering the Scriptures in this lesson, do you think the covenant God made with Abraham is still valid today? Why?
43 God’s Heart for His People / lesson two What About The Arabs?Many people ask the questions: “What about Ishmael and the Arabs who claim to be his descendants? He was Abraham’s first born. Shouldn’t Ishmael and his descendants be God’s covenant people?” To answer these questions, we need to look to God’s Word. Read Genesis 17:1-13.What did God establish as a sign of His covenant? (verse 11)What was part of the promise of the covenant? (verses 7-8)Read Genesis 17:15-17.What did God promise Abraham?b. What was Abraham’s response?Read Genesis 17: What question did Abraham ask God? From the context of Genesis 17, what do you think this question meant?What was God’s two-part response in verse 19?What did God promise Abraham in verse 20 concerning Ishmael?God promised Abraham things concerning both his sons.His promise to Ishmael was to ___________ him and make him a great ______________. (verse 20)His promise to Isaac was the establishment of the _____________. (verse 21)MEMORIZE Genesis 17:7
44 God’s Heart for His People / Lesson three Has God Rejected the Jews?God’s Heart for His People / Lesson threeMany Christians believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, because they rejected Jesus as Messiah. Some believe the church has replaced Israel and Israel no longer has a place in the plan of God. This heresy is called replacement theology, a teaching that provides fertile soil in the hearts of Christians for anti-Semitic beliefs. Replacement Theology became the position of the Church during the time of Augustine ( AD), who popularized it in his book, The City of God. In this lesson, we will answer the question, “Has God rejected the Jews?” Read Romans 11, Jeremiah 31:35-37, and Isaiah 49: In Romans 11:1-2, Paul’s answer to those who charged the Jews were no longer God’s chosen people was “______ ______________.” What are the two conditions in Jeremiah 31:35-37 that must be met before God would forsake the Jews as His chosen people? (1) (2) In Isaiah 49:14-16, God compares Himself to a __________________. He says that a ____________ can not forget her _______________; therefore, God will not forget or forsake ____________. The Lord says He has written the name of __________________ on His ____________. Read Isaiah 41:8-10. Summarize these verses. Read Romans 11:3-8. Have all Jews rejected Christ? (verses 5, 7) Why have most Jews not received the Gospel? (verses 7, 25) Read Romans 11:11, 20. What are the two reasons Jews have been blinded to the Gospel? According to Romans 11:25, how long will Jews be blinded? Base your answer to this question on your answer to the previous question. For the sake of God’s love for the Jews, what should be your attitude toward world missions? (Gentile nations)? Verse 11 implies that our salvation should provoke the Jews to want what we have. In light of this verse, what responsibility does the church have? Has the church lived up to this responsibility? Support your answer with facts from church history. Read Romans 11: What point, concerning the Jews, is Paul making? Write your answer and be specific.
45 God’s Heart for His People / lesson three Read Romans 11: Who are the wild olive branches?Who are the natural branches?Into what are the wild olive branches grafted?Read Romans 11:24 and Ephesians 2: What is the olive tree that is referred to in Romans 11:24?What points does Paul make through the analogy of the olive branches and olive trees?Read Romans 11: What is Paul’s exhortation to the church?In your opinion, when will verse 26 be fulfilled? Support your answer with Scripture.Review the meaning of covenant from Lesson Two.Read Romans 11: Why are the Jews enemies of the gospel?According to these verses, are the Jews still God’s chosen people?Read Romans 11:30-32.Why have Christians obtained the mercy of God?What promise do these verses hold for the Jews?Has God rejected the Jews?MEMORIZE Isaiah 49:15
46 God’s Heart for His People / Lesson four Is Jerusalem of any Real Interest to God?God’s Heart for His People / Lesson fourView of Mount Zion and the southern wall of the Old CityJerusalem is mentioned in the Bible over 800 times. This city, above all others, is God’s city. It is the place He chose to put His Name (II Kings 21:7). Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the heart of the Jewish people. Palestinians also claim Jerusalem is their capital. Historically, Jerusalem has never been the capital of any nation except Israel. Although Muslims say that Jerusalem is holy to their religion, it must be noted that Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran. Because of this controversy, most nations who have diplomatic relations with Israel refuse to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and have their embassies in Tel Aviv rather than in Jerusalem. In this lesson, you will look at what the Scriptures have to say about how God views Jerusalem.Read each of the Scriptures below concerning Jerusalem carefully, and for each Scripture determine the following:God’s heart for JerusalemGod’s promise for Jerusalem’s futureGod’s instruction to His people concerning JerusalemPsalm 122:6-7God’s HeartPromiseInstructionIsaiah 2:2-3Isaiah 62:1-7 Zephaniah 3:16-17Zechariah 1:12-17
47 God’s Heart for His People Zechariah 2:10-13God’s HeartPromiseInstructionZechariah 8:1-8Zechariah 12:1-10Joel 3:9-21Psalm 137:1-6 expresses the heart of Jews for Jerusalem. What do verses 5 and 6 tell you about the Jews and their heart for the city of Jerusalem? In a few sentences, describe God’s heart for Jerusalem.MEMORIZE Psalm 137:5-6
48 God’s Heart for His People / Lesson five Why Is There So Much Controversy Over the Land of Israel?God’s Heart for His People / Lesson five“Who owns the land of Israel?” seems to be a question that many are asking. Some say the Jews have the right to the land, and then others say it is the Palestinians’. Who is right? Does the Bible give a clear answer to this question? In this lesson, you will examine Scripture on this subject. In Genesis 15:18, God gave the borders of the land He was giving to Abraham and his descendents as part of the covenant. What are the borders? Map of Israel TodayThe West Bank is biblical Judea and Samaria. All land conquered in the 1967 War is within the biblical borders. Read Genesis 15: Look on a map in your Bible to determine the land that was included in the covenant. What is the recurring theme in each of the following verses: Genesis 13:14-15, 15:7, 50:24; Exodus 6:8; Leviticus 20:24; Deuteronomy 1:8; Joshua 1:6; Psalm 135:9-12; Jeremiah 3:18 and Ezekiel 20:42?Read Genesis 13: How long does God intend the Jews to have the right to the land He promised them?After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the Jews were dispersed from the land. Did God intend this dispersion to be permanent? To find the answer read Ezekiel 11:17, 36:24, 37:21, 38:8, and Amos 9:15.Read Ezekiel 36. What is the general theme?Who or what was God addressing in verses 6-12?What did God say would happen in verses 6-12?Read verses and answer the following questions.What was the Lord’s complaint against Israel?How did the Lord judge Israel for their sin?Read Deuteronomy 30:1-6 and Ezekiel 11: From these verses answer the following questions:How did God judge Israel for their idolatry?
49 God’s Heart for His People / Lesson five What did the Lord do that is a sign that He is going to bless Israel and restore them to Himself? According to Ezekiel 36:22, why is God going to fulfill His promises to Israel? Read verses Ezekiel 36:24-28, Also read Isaiah 14: From these verses state why the Jews must be back in the land God promised them. (1) (2) (3) From the Scripture you have studied in this lesson, how would you answer the following questions: Today, does Israel have a biblical right to the land that God promised to them? Why? Does God have a purpose for the Jews being in the land? Explain your answer. For every plan God has, the enemy has a counter-plan designed to thwart God’s will. Why do you think there is a conflict over whom has the right to the land of Israel? The words of Israel’s national anthem, HaTikvah, which means The Hope, helps us understand the Jews’ heart for their land. English TranslationKol `od balevav, p'nimah,Nefesh y'hudi homiyah,So long as still within our breasts the Jewish heart beats true, So long as still toward the East to Zion look the Jews.U-l'fa'atei mizrach qadimah,`Ayin l'tsiyon tsofiyah, `Od lo' 'avdah tiqvatenu,Our hope is not yet lost,Ha-tiqvah bat sh'not 'alpayim,The hope born of two thousand years, To be a free people in our land, In the land of Zion and Jerusalem,Lihyot `am chafshi b'artsenu,'Erets tsiyon y'rushalayim,To be a free people in our land, In the land of Zion and Jerusalem.'Erets tsiyon y'rushalayim.MEMORIZE Leviticus 25:38
50 God’s Heart for His People / Lesson six Does God Still Have a Plan for Israel?God’s Heart for His People / Lesson sixThe Holocaust was one of the darkest periods in all of human history. Many Christians wrongly assume that God no longer has a plan for Israel and the Jewish people. This is one of the great errors in Christianity. Because of this, church history is marred by anti-Semitic teaching that produced the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the pogroms in Russia, and silence during the Holocaust. The Crusades were carried on from the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries for the purpose of liberating the Holy Land from those the church referred to as infidels. As they marched across Europe on their way to Israel, the Crusaders pillaged villages and killed anyone that was not a Christian or who would not covert to Christianity. They rounded up Jews, locked them in their synagogues and lit the synagogues on fire. This is only one example of the terror the Crusaders inflicted on the Jews. In 1492, the King of Spain proclaimed Spain to be a Christian (Roman Catholic) nation. Non-Christians were given the choice of converting to Catholicism or suffering the consequences. Thousands of Jews were murdered or expelled from Spain because they refused to convert. During the reign of the czars, Russia carried out pogroms against the Jews. Pogroms were indiscriminate acts of looting and murder. The Holocaust was one of the darkest periods in all of human history. Nazi Germany systematically began the extermination of the Jews of Europe while the nations of the world refused to come to their aid. However, the most difficult position to understand was the worldwide silence of the Church. Yes, there were a few bright lights like Corrie ten Boom and her family who risked their owns lives to save Jews. Sadly, the ten Booms were the exception. The church, as a whole, was silent, and in some cases even helped the Nazis by betraying their Jewish neighbors. Historically, Christian persecution of Jews has been linked to the belief that God has forsaken the Jews and no longer has a plan for them because they rejected Jesus as the Messiah. This lesson will answer the question, “Does God still have a plan for the Jewish people and the nation of Israel?” For each of the following verses, list the promises God has given to Israel concerning their future. Psalm 102:12-13 / Isaiah 14:1 / Isaiah 49:5-17 / Isaiah 54:7-10 / Isaiah 60:10 / Ezekiel 36:24-28 Summarize in your own words what God’s future plans are for Israel and the Jewish people. [Note: It is important to renounce in Jesus’ name any wrong beliefs you have concerning the Jews. It breaks any hold the enemy might have in your thought-life.] Father, in Jesus name, I ask for your forgiveness for the beliefs I have embraced concerning the Jewish people that are contrary to your Word. (Name them specifically and renounce each one.) I ask You to teach me to love them unconditionally. I commit to support your plans and purposes for them. MEMORIZE Isaiah 14:1
51 God’s Heart for His People / lesson seven What Does God Expect from the Church?God’s Heart for His People / lesson sevenNOTE: In building relationships with the Jewish people, it is helpful to understand that while the cross has long been an endeared symbol of the Christian faith, it has also been a symbol of countless persecutions towards the Jewish people by the Christians over the last 2,000 years.God teaches in His Word a spiritual truth, of blessing the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. In this lesson we will examine this truth and the reward of being obedient to it. Read Genesis 12:3. God makes two promises in this verse to those (Gentiles) that will bless or curse His people. What are those promises? Those that will bless: Those that will curse: Which promise do you choose for your life? How will you live out your choice? For each of the following Scriptures, write what you see the Lord is expecting from Christians in their relationship to Israel and the Jews. Psalm 122:6 / Isaiah 40:1-2 / Isaiah 49:22-23 / Isaiah 60:10-12 / Isaiah 61:4-6 / Romans 11:18 / Romans 15:27 How are you being obedient to these instructions? Write you answer and be specific. As Christians, it is important that we love what God loves, and it is also important that we participate in His plans and purposes. In this study, we have discovered God’s heart of love for the Jews, the land of Israel, and Jerusalem. It is our responsibility to cooperate with God’s plans to bless them. Please reference the “Where To Go and What To Do” section in the back for ways in which you and/or your church can be a blessing to Israel. MEMORIZE Psalm 102:13
52 God’s Heart for His People / Lesson Eight How Should I Pray for Israel?God’s Heart for His People / Lesson EightRead Isaiah 62:1-5 What do you think “not holding your peace” means? Isaiah said he could not “hold his peace” nor “rest for whose “sake”? a. b. From verse 4, list the two requests Isaiah made of God for Israel and Jerusalem. Read Isaiah 62:6-7. Look up the meaning of the word watchmen in the concordance. How can you be a “watchman” for Israel and Jerusalem? Referring to verse 6, what does the Lord expect the “watchman” to do? According to verse 7, what is the goal of the “watchman”? Read Psalm 122. What is the command given in verse 6? What are the three things spoken by the psalmist in verses 7-9 that we should pray for Jerusalem? c. When we pray God’s Word, it teaches how to pray His will. From each of the following verses in Ezekiel 36, what should we pray for Israel? Verses 8-9 Verse 10 Verses Verse 24 Verses Verses Verse 36 Pray for Israel according to the instructions given in this lesson. List the things you want to pray for Israel. MEMORIZE Psalm 122:6
54 Why Study Prophecy? / Table of Contents Lesson One Why Study Prophecy?Lesson Two Ezekiel 36-37, Prophetic End-Time SignsLesson Three Ezekiel 38Lesson Four Ezekiel 39 God’s JudgmentLesson Five Jerusalem in End-Time ProphecyLesson Six Signs of His ComingLesson Seven Rapture of the Church & Abomination of DesolationLesson Eight Tribulation and the Second Coming
55 Why Study Bible Prophecy? Why Study Prophecy? A fair question to ask before beginning this study on end-time prophecy is “Why do I need to know this? God is in control of the times and the seasons, so what does it matter to me?” The answer is in Scripture. 1 Chronicles 12:32 “From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the temper of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.” NLT World events and headlines should prompt us to look to the Bible for answers. Through the Scriptures, we will be able to understand the times we live in and know what to do. As we study the end-time Scriptures and look at the situation in the world today, I pray each of us will gain spiritual insights concerning current world events, know how to pray more effectively and receive from the Lord a reenergized passion for those who do not know Him. Although there may be differing views on the order of end-time events, the important thing for us is to carefully read and study the Scriptures so we will understand the times we are living in and know how we should live. We will begin our study in Ezekiel and end it with looking at Matthew 24. Certainly there are other end-time Scriptures in the Bible, but time will not permit us to look at all of them. Our goal is not that we would know every detail of the end-time scenario or the exact time of certain events, but that we would understand this world is moving toward an exciting climax – the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
56 Why Study Bible Prophecy? / Lesson One Does Israel Play A Role In end-time Events?Why Study Bible Prophecy? / Lesson OneOne of the basics of understanding end-time events is to understand Israel and her role in these events. Israel is truly the epicenter of end-time world events. Here are some facts to consider: Israel’s enemies threaten to “drive them into the sea.” This means drive them out of their land. Here is what God says about Israel and His end-time purposes for the Jews being in their land. Fact One - Israel is the only nation founded by a sovereign act of God. Read Genesis 12:1,7. Summarize what these verses say. Fact Two – God promised Abraham and his descendents (the Jews) a land. Read Genesis 13:14-15 and Genesis 15:18. The tile deed was passed from Abraham to Isaac in Genesis 26:3 and was passed from Isaac to Jacob in Genesis 28:13. Make sure you read these verses. (See Map on next page) Question: Why is it so important to God that the Jews possess the land? Here are a couple of verses that may help answer this question. Genesis 15:18 / Ezekiel 36:24-28 / Zechariah 12:10 Fact Three – The prophets of Israel declared that the nation of Israel would be reborn, would be rebuilt and the Jewish people would NEVER again be driven from their land. Read Isaiah 66:8, Jeremiah 33:7 and Amos 9: Israel ceased to be a sovereign independent nation in 586 BC when Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, captured Jerusalem, destroyed the first temple and took exiles back to Babylon. This was the time of Daniel, and since then Israel has been overrun by one foreign conqueror after another until the miraculous day of May 14, 1948, when Israel once again became a sovereign independent nation. This event changed the course of history and began the movement of God’s prophetic clock.David Ben Gurion announcing the United Nations’ vote to make Israel a Sovereign Independent State
57 Why Study Bible Prophecy? / Lesson One Map on the Title Deeds of Israel& Possible Borders of the Promised Land based on ScriptureWhy Study Bible Prophecy? / Lesson One
58 Why Study Bible Prophecy? / Lesson One The following Scriptures are prophetic concerning Israel’s role in end-time events. Read Joel 3:1-3. The prophet Joel is describing the final judgment of nations.1. Look at the words below and their definitions:a. Valley - An elongated depression between uplands, hills, or mountains, especially one following the course of a stream b. Jehoshaphat – King of Judah who formed an alliance with the Kingdom of Israel; 2. When will this judgment take place? From the meanings in #1, write a description of what will take place.3. Where will this judgment take place?What will be God’s standard for this judgment?From your answers, can you determine if this could possibly happen now? Why?Read Zechariah 12:1-91. To what and when do you think Zechariah was referring in verses 3 and 4 as “that day”?What is the epicenter that is referred to in verses 3 and 4?Can you see from current world events how verses 3 and 4 could be fulfilled now? Why?Read Zechariah 14:3-4. What amazing event will take place in Jerusalem after the Jews are returned to their land?In your own words, tell how Joel 3 and Zechariah 12 tell us of Israel’s importance in the end-time?
59 Why Study Bible Prophecy? / Lesson Two Ezekiel 36-37, Prophetic End-Time SignsWhy Study Bible Prophecy? / Lesson TwoPrior to 1948 (year Israel was reestablished as a sovereign nation), believers could only by faith see what Ezekiel was prophesying. Carefully read Ezekiel 36 and take note of what God is foretelling. Since the destruction of the second temple in 70 AD, a long list of foreign conquerors have conquered and possessed the land of Israel. They stripped the land of its resources causing it to become desolate and unproductive. After a visit to Palestine* in the late 1800’s, Mark Twain wrote, “The land is so desolate that even my mind cannot grace it.” It is clear from history that the only time the land is productive is when the Jews possess it. The question is, why did God allow the land that He had promised to Abraham and his descendents to become a wasteland mostly, but not totally void of the chosen people, the Jews? The answer is in Ezekiel 36: The sign of God’s judgment on the Jews is they are driven out of their land and the land is judged and becomes desolate. Conversely, the sign of God’s blessing being restored to Israel is the land of Israel is restored and becomes productive and the Jews are returned to their land. Ezekiel 20:41-42 “I will accept you as a sweet aroma when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will be hallowed in you before the Gentiles. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised My hand in an oath to give to your fathers.” NKJV (*Hadrian was the emperor of Rome during the Second Jewish Revolt AD. He crushed the revolt and drove the Jews out of Jerusalem and from most of the land of Israel. To make sure they would never again revolt against Rome, he forbade Jews to enter Jerusalem. He changed the name of the Land of Israel to Palestine and Jerusalem was changed to Aelia Capitolina. These changes were made to try to erase all Jewish ties to the land promised to their forefathers and to their beloved Jerusalem.) Throughout history there have been many attempts to drive the Jews out of the land, but they could never drive the land out of the hearts of the Jews. The reason for this is clearly because God has a plan for the Jews and their land. Several Scriptures reveal that plan. In Ezekiel 36, the Lord made three promises concerning the land of Israel and the Jewish people. 1. What are those three promises? Planting Trees – Restoring the Land a. Promise #1 Verses 1-10 b. Promise #2 Verses 11-12, 24 c. Promise #3 Verses 25-28
60 Why Study Bible Prophecy? / Lesson Two Read Zechariah 12:10. It seems to be the complete fulfillment of promise #3.According to Zechariah 12, when will this promise be fully fulfilled?What will be the result of God’s fulfilling these promises? Verses 23, 33-36Why will God fulfill prophecy? (Verse 22) From books you have read, speakers you have heard, news media and your experiences, to what extent have the promises in Ezekiel 36 been fulfilled? Give specifics.Who Are The Bones and Sticks of Ezekiel 37?In Ezekiel 37, there are several prophetic events foretold. This chapter does not only tell of events to come but also events that are miraculous in nature. Understanding the difficulty of unifying people and the difficult geopolitical situation Israel finds herself in, Ezekiel 37 is an amazing prophetic chapter.Verses refer to Judah and Ephraim. Scholars have differing views as to who the tribe of Ephraim represents, but the prevailing thought is that it is the ten lost tribes*. Judah is referring to the geographical location in the south of Israel that contained the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.(*The ten northern tribes were exiled from the land of Israel in the eighth century BC. People refer to them as the “ten lost tribes” because until recently, no one could document where they were. The conventional thinking was they were dispersed and all assimilated and lost their Jewish identity. Recently researchers have located groups of Jews living in obscure places in the world. Now several of the tribes have possibly been located and some are starting to return to the land, i.e. Jews from remote parts of India, some in Uzbekistan and elsewhere.)Read Ezekiel 37: In your own words, what is God saying? Who are the bones?Note verse 10. God did not say that they would stand on their feet as a great people but a vast army. From what you know about Israel’s modern history, why did God say they would be an army?What might God be referring to in verses 12-13?Read Ezekiel 37: In your own words, what is God saying will happen? Who are the sticks?Read Ezekiel 37:26. What is promised here?Read Ezekiel 37: What does God say He will do? What will be the result?God’s promise of a temple being rebuilt seems difficult at best in the present political climate in Jerusalem. Yet God is stirring both Jews and Christians to believe and work toward this reality. The Temple Institute and others are actually preparing for the third temple. This alone is an amazing prophetic sign that Ezekiel 37’s fulfillment is near at hand.
61 Why Study Bible Prophecy? / Lesson Two Here is one of the newest items the Temple Institute has made – the blue garment of the High Priest including the 72 bells on the bottom of the garment. The 72 bells represents a name for God that Jews believe has 72 letters in it. Here is an interesting article from the July 6, 2007 issue of the Intermountain Jewish News. Just another prophetic sign pointing to the rebuilding of the Temple. “First ‘family reunion’ of kohanin (Hebrew word for priests) since the Temple. Recent scientific research and DNA testing have shown that today’s descendants of the biblical priesthood known as the kohanim are genetically related.These descendants of Aaron, the brother of Moses, have spread throughout the world over the past 3,000 years.Members of this extended family are invited to participate in the first ‘family reunion” held since the times of the Temple in Jerusalem.Kohanim and members of the Tribe of Levi and their families will join together for four days, July 15-19, in Jerusalem for seminars, touring and presentations by rabbis, researchers and experts.The dates for the first international gathering of the kohanim and the tribe of Levi coincide with the biblically noted date of the passing of Aaron, the high priest, on the first day of the Hebrew month of Av. The conference will address the importance of promoting and seeking peace among the Jewish nation.‘The research and information we will share will play an important role in appreciating and maintaining our unique and precious heritage’ said conference organizer, Rabbi Yaakov Kleiman, director of The Center for Kohanim in Jerusalem and author of DNA & Tradition.”
62 Why Study Bible Prophecy? / Lesson Three Ezekiel 38 - Who Are These NationsWhy Study Bible Prophecy? / Lesson ThreeEzekiel 38 is a prophetic chapter concerning a coming war in Israel. There will be an alliance of nations that will invade Israel. Bible scholars generally agree on who those nations are today. Read Ezekiel 38:1-16 (Nations of Ezekiel 38) Read the following commentary on Ezekiel 38. Remember commentaries are human opinion based on Scripture. When reading commentaries on end-times, some differ in details, but in general agree on the big picture. Ezekiel 38 through 39 tells of a future invasion of Israel by a vast coalition of nations that surround it. As we read the headlines in the newspapers of today, and witness the conflict in the Middle East, it's not hard to imagine that this invasion prophesied over 2600 years ago, could be fulfilled in our lifetime. Ezekiel predicts a gathering of the Jews to the nation of Israel, which will be followed by this massive invasion. For nineteen centuries the Jewish people were scattered throughout the world, and until May 14, 1948, there was no nation of Israel to invade. With the nation of Israel now a reality, the stage seems possibly set for the war of Ezekiel 38; a war that will end with the destruction of Israel's enemies by God Himself. As you read Ezekiel 38 and 39, it isn't just the creation of the nation of Israel that makes this prophecy seem likely to be fulfilled in the near future, but also that the nations God tells us will form this coalition against Israel seem more likely to do it now than ever before in history. Presently Iran’s President Ahmadinejad declares openly that Israel should be wiped off the map. Couple that with the fact Russia is arming Iran and Syria with missiles capable of striking anywhere in Israel, it would seem the stage is being set for the events of Ezekiel 38. Before looking at the participants of this invasion in more detail, it's important to understand that the war described in Ezekiel 38 is not the same as the war that will come at the end of the tribulation when Jesus returns to defeat the Antichrist and establish his millennial kingdom (Zechariah 12, 14; Revelation19:11-21). How do we know this? The war at the end of the tribulation, known as Armageddon, is a world war. Revelation tells us that this battle will involve all nations. The war described in Ezekiel includes specific nations that invade Israel. Also, Armageddon is at the climax of the tribulation, while the war described in Ezekiel comes well before then.
63 Why Study Prophecy? / Lesson Three Ezekiel 38:1-7 gives 10 names of participants in the invasion of Israel that will follow the regathering of the Jews to their homeland. First mentioned, is the land of Magog. The most common identity for Magog is in Central Asia. The Jewish historian, Josephus, said, "Magog founded the Magogians, called Scythians by the Greeks. Scythians were a nomadic tribe who inhabited the ancient territory from Central Asia across the southern part of ancient Russia." Today this area is inhabited by the former Soviet Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and possibly northern parts of Afghanistan. All of these nations that make up the land of Magog have one thing in common - Islam. Militant Islam has been on the rise in these countries since the Fall of the Soviet Union since Islam no longer has to be practiced secretly. Radical Islamic groups such as the Islamic Renaissance Party, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islam are working to reunite central Asian nations and ultimately the entire Muslim world. It is from this part of the world that a leader will arise to bring together a great coalition of nations to invade Israel. With Russia’s President Putin enacting policies that are less in favor of democracy and more in favor of dictator rule, his efforts to rebuild Russia’s military arsenal, and his tendencies to align with Islamic countries that hate the United States and Israel, it is conceivable that Russia could produce the leader of this coalition. If the actual leader that leads the battle is not from Russia, it is a high probability that the military strategy and arms would come from Russia.
64 Why Study Bible Prophecy? / Lesson Three ANCIENT NAMEMODERN NATIONEXPLANATIONRoshRussia or ChiefAncient Sarmaria known as Rashu, Rasapu, Ros, and Rus. ORTranslated as the adjective Chief.MagogCentral AsiaAncient Scythians - Islamic southern republics of the former Soviet Union with a population of 60 million Muslims. This territory could include modern Afghanistan.MeshechTurkeyAncient Muschki and Musku in Cilicia and Cappadocia.TubalTurkey (also southern Russia and Iran)Ancient Tubalu in Cappadocia.PersiaIranName changed from Persia to Iran in 1935.Ethiopia (Cush)SudanAncient Cush, south of Egypt.PutLibyaAncient Put, west of Egypt.GomerAncient Cimmerians - from the seventh century to first century B.C. in central/western Anatolia.Beth-togarmahTil-garimmu - between ancient Carchemish and Haran (southern Turkey).Many peoples with youOther Islamic nationsPossibly Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and EgyptWhy Study Bible Prophecy? / Lesson ThreeNote: In this list is mentioned possibly Iraq and Egypt; however, other Bible scholars do not believe that Iraq or Egypt will be part of the coalition of nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38.The reasons God gives us for the enemies' invasion of Israel are further proof that the attack will be an Islamic invasion.The first reason God gives for the invasion in Ezekiel 38 is a desire by the coalition to cover the Jewish land and wipe them off the face of the earth. Urged on by a hatred of the Jewish people, they will seek to destroy them and the nation of Israel. This is the stated goal today of almost every Islamic nation in the Middle East. The only nations not currently in a declared state of war with Israel are Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan, yet they would certainly be glad to see Israel eliminated if presented with a willing leader and an opportunity to rid the Middle East of Islam's archenemy.God tells us that they also come to "seize plunder…and to capture great spoil.” Many verses in the Koran advocate plundering for the benefit of Islam and there are several instances of this war tactic throughout the history of Muhammad's life. In fact, it is a common theme in his teachings.This invasion of Israel and attack on the Jewish people will indeed be a Jihad (Arabic word for holy war), but it will also be the final Jihad.Read Ezekiel 38:17-23When will this war begin? Verse 18Ezekiel 38:11 refers to a time when this war will take place. In your own words, when will it be?What will God’s response be? Verse 21-22What is the purpose of the events of the end-times? Verse 16, 23.
65 Why Study Prophecy? / Lesson four Ezekiel 39 – God’s JudgmentWhy Study Prophecy? / Lesson fourEzekiel 39 is a chapter on God’s judgment on nations according to Genesis 12:3. All of the nations of Ezekiel 38 have refused to agree with or cooperate with God’s plan for Israel. As a result, God’s word is true and curses will come upon them. Ezekiel 39 describes the curses that will beFall disobedient nations during the end of time. These nations believe they are getting away with cursing Israel and the God of Israel, but at God’s appointed time his wrath will answer their evil plans and actions concerning Israel.1. Read Ezekiel 39:1-2. Who will cause Gog and his allies to come against Israel?2. What do verses 3-5 foretell?3. What will happen to the homelands the invaders came from? Verse 64. What does verse 7 say is God’s purpose?5. Read verses Describe what these verses are telling will happen.Read verses Do you think this war can be diverted? Why?Read Verses 21-24What three things will the nations see and know as a result of God’s judgment?What will Israel understand?What are three purposes for God’s restoring the Jews back to their promised land?Verse 25bVerse 27Verses 28-29What does Ezekiel 39 tell us are God’s purposes for judgment?9. What can we personally learn fromEzekiel 39?
66 Why Study Prophecy? / Lesson five Jerusalem in End-Time ProphecyWhy Study Prophecy? / Lesson fiveJerusalem is a city that is always in the news. It truly is the epicenter of God’s end-time plan. Today, there is discussion of dividing Jerusalem and allowing the Palestinians to also have it as their capital. (Historically, Jerusalem has NEVER been the capital of any nation but Israel.) The Lord certainly has a plan for Jerusalem, and it is not the plan of the United Nations or any other world entity that is trying to divide the city.We need to begin our look at Jerusalem in the end-times with understanding God’s heart for His city. II Kings 21:7… “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever.”Israel is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Forty is significant in that the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years. (Deuteronomy 8:2) Moses was forty years in the wilderness and then the Lord appeared to him. (Acts 7:30) Eli judged Israel forty years. (I Samuel 4:18) Saul, David and Solomon each reigned for forty years. (Acts 13:21; II Samuel 5:4; I Kings 11:42)What role does Jerusalem play in the end-times? Each of the following Scriptures tell us of prophetic events that will take place in Jerusalem. Look for the event in each Scripture and answer in a few words.Zechariah 12:1-10Zechariah 14:4Acts 1:9-11Psalm 147:2Ezekiel 40Ezekiel 47:1-12;/ Zechariah 14:8Zechariah 14:16-18Read the following: Luke 21:24 “They will be brutally killed by the sword or sent away as captives to all the nations of the world. And Jerusalem will be conquered and trampled down by the Gentiles until the Age of the Gentiles comes to an end.” NLTTrenches on Ammunition Hill, a key battle site of the Six-Day War and the reunification of JerusalemThe first part of this verse refers to the destruction brought upon the Jews by the Romans led by Titus in AD when the second temple was destroyed, and later in AD when Hadrin was Emperor. However, the key for us is the latter part of the verse, “Jerusalem…trampled down by Gentiles until the Age of the Gentiles comes to an end.” The fulfillment of this verse began June 7, 1967, when Jerusalem was reunited under Israeli sovereignty. However, the Temple Mount was left under the control of the Arabs so this prophecy may not yet be completely fulfilled. Understanding this prophecy helps us understand why any negotiations to divide Jerusalem are contrary to the will of God. If we are approaching the end of what is known as the “Age of the Gentiles” the period when the gospel is primarily being preached to the Gentiles, then Jerusalem may be ready for the next phase of prophecy to be fulfilled.Trenches on Ammunition Hill, a key battle site of the Six-Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem
67 Lesson Five / Michael Bard / The Six-Day War / Page 1 By Mitchell Bard Israel consistently expressed a desire to negotiate with its neighbors. In an address to the UN General Assembly on October 10, 1960, Foreign Minister Golda Meir challenged Arab leaders to meet with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to negotiate a peace settlement. Nasser answered on October 15, saying that Israel was trying to deceive world opinion, and reiterating that his country would never recognize the Jewish State. The Arabs were equally adamant in their refusal to negotiate a separate settlement for the refugees. As Nasser told the United Arab Republic National Assembly March 26, 1964: Israel and the imperialism around us, which confront us, are two separate things. There have been attempts to separate them, in order to break up the problems and present them in an imaginary light as if the problem of Israel is the problem of the refugees, by the solution of which the problem of Palestine will also be solved and no residue of the problem will remain. The danger of Israel lies in the very existence of Israel as it is in the present and in what she represents. In 1963, the Arab League decided to introduce a new weapon in its war against Israel — the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The PLO formally came into being during a 1964 meeting of the first Palestinian Congress. Shortly thereafter, the group began to splinter into various factions. Ultimately, the largest faction, Fatah, would come to dominate the organization, and its leader, Yasser Arafat, would become the PLO chairman and most visible symbol. All the groups adhered to a set of principles laid out in the Palestine National Charter, which called for Israel's destruction.The PLO’s belligerent rhetoric was matched by deeds. Terrorist attacks by the group grew more frequent. In 1965, 35 raids were conducted against Israel. In 1966, the number increased to 41. In just the first four months of 1967, 37 attacks were launched. The targets were always civilians.Most of the attacks involved Palestinian guerillas infiltrating Israel from Jordan, the Gaza Strip, and Lebanon. The orders and logistical support for the attacks were coming, however, from Cairo and Damascus. Egyptian President Nasser’s main objective was to harass the Israelis, but a secondary one was to undermine King Hussein’s regime in Jordan.King Hussein viewed the PLO as both a direct and indirect threat to his power. Hussein feared that the PLO might try to depose him with Nasser’s help or that the PLO’s attacks on Israel would provoke retaliatory strikes by Israeli forces that could weaken his authority. By the beginning of 1967, Hussein had closed the PLO’s offices in Jerusalem, arrested many of the group’s members, and withdrew recognition of the organization. Nasser and his friends in the region unleashed a torrent of criticism on Hussein for betraying the Arab cause. Hussein would soon have the chance to redeem himself.
68 Lesson Five / Michael Bard / The Six-Day War / Page 2 The breakup of the U.A.R. and the resulting political instability only made Syria more hostile toward Israel. Another major cause of conflict was Syria’s resistance to Israel’s creation of a National Water Carrier to take water from the Jordan River to supply the country. The Syrian army used the Golan Heights, which tower 3,000 feet above the Galilee, to shell Israeli farms and villages. Syria’s attacks grew more frequent in 1965 and 1966, forcing children living on kibbutzim in the Huleh Valley to sleep in bomb shelters. Israel repeatedly protested the Syrian bombardments to the UN Mixed Armistice Commission, which was charged with policing the cease-fire, but the UN did nothing to stop Syria’s aggression — even a mild Security Council resolution expressing “regret” for such incidents was vetoed by the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Israel was condemned by the United Nations when it retaliated.While the Syrian military bombardment and terrorist attacks intensified, Nasser’s rhetoric became increasingly bellicose. In 1965, he announced, “We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand; we shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood.”Again, a few months later, Nasser expressed the Arabs’ aspiration: “the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people. In other words, we aim at the destruction of the state of Israel. The immediate aim: perfection of Arab military might. The national aim: the eradication of Israel.”Syria’s attacks on Israeli kibbutzim from the Golan Heights finally provoked a retaliatory strike on April 7, During the attack, Israeli planes shot down six Syrian fighter planes — MiGs supplied by the Soviet Union. Shortly thereafter, the Soviets — who had been providing military and economic assistance to both Syria and Egypt — gave Damascus false information alleging a massive Israeli military buildup in preparation for an attack. Despite Israeli denials, Syria decided to invoke its defense treaty with Egypt and asked Nasser to come to its aid.On May 15, Israel's Independence Day, Egyptian troops began moving into the Sinai and massing near the Israeli border. By May 18, Syrian troops were prepared for battle along the Golan Heights.Nasser ordered the UN Emergency Force (UNEF), stationed in the Sinai since 1956 as a buffer between Israeli and Egyptian forces after Israel’s withdrawal following the Sinai Campaign, to withdraw on May 16. Without bringing the matter to the attention of the General Assembly (as his predecessor had promised), Secretary-General U Thant complied with the demand. After the withdrawal of the UNEF, the Voice of the Arabs radio station proclaimed on May 18, 1967:As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.An enthusiastic echo was heard May 20 from Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad:Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united...I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.On May 22, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to all Israeli shipping and all ships bound for Eilat. This blockade cut off Israel's only supply route with Asia and stopped the flow of oil from its main supplier, Iran.In 1956, the United States gave Israel assurances that it recognized the Jewish State's right of access to the Straits of Tiran. In 1957, at the UN, 17 maritime powers declared that Israel had a right to transit the Strait. Moreover, the blockade violated the Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone, which was adopted by the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea on April 27, 1958.
69 Lesson Five / Michael Bard / The Six-Day War / Page 3 President Johnson expressed the belief that the blockade was illegal and unsuccessfully tried to organize an international flotilla to test it. At the same time, he advised the Israelis not to take any military action. After the war, he acknowledged the closure of the Strait of Tiran was the casus belli (June 19, 1967): If a single act of folly was more responsible for this explosion than any other it was the arbitrary and dangerous announced decision that the Strait of Tiran would be closed. The right of innocent maritime passage must be preserved for all nations. Nasser was aware of the pressure he was exerting to force Israel’s hand, and challenged Israel to fight almost daily. The day after the blockade was set up, he said defiantly: "The Jews threaten to make war. I reply: Welcome! We are ready for war." Nasser challenged Israel to fight almost daily. "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight," he said on May 27. The following day, he added: "We will not accept any...coexistence with Israel...Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel...The war with Israel is in effect since 1948." King Hussein of Jordan signed a defense pact with Egypt on May 30. Nasser then announced: The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel...to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations. President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq joined in the war of words: "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since Our goal is clear -- to wipe Israel off the map." On June 4, Iraq joined the military alliance with Egypt, Jordan and Syria.The Arab rhetoric was matched by the mobilization of Arab forces. Approximately 465,000 troops, more than 2,800 tanks, and 800 aircraft ringed Israel.By this time, Israeli forces had been on alert for three weeks. The country could not remain fully mobilized indefinitely, nor could it allow its sea lane through the Gulf of Aqaba to be interdicted. Israel decided to preempt the expected Arab attack. To do this successfully, Israel needed the element of surprise. Had it waited for an Arab invasion, Israel would have been at a potentially catastrophic disadvantage. On June 5, Prime Minister Eshkol gave the order to attack Egypt.The United States tried to prevent the war through negotiations, but it was not able to persuade Nasser or the other Arab states to cease their belligerent statements and actions. Still, right before the war, Johnson warned: "Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go alone." Then, when the war began, the State Department announced: "Our position is neutral in thought, word and deed."
70 Lesson Five / Michael Bard / The Six-Day War / Page 4 Moreover, while the Arabs were falsely accusing the United States of airlifting supplies to Israel, Johnson imposed an arms embargo on the region (France, Israel's other main arms supplier also embargoed arms to Israel). By contrast, the Soviets were supplying massive amounts of arms to the Arabs. Simultaneously, the armies of Kuwait, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq were contributing troops and arms to the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian fronts. On June 5, 1967, Israel was indeed alone, but its military commanders had conceived a brilliant war strategy. The entire Israeli Air Force, with the exception of just 12 fighters assigned to defend Israeli air space, took off at 7:14 a.m. with the intent of bombing Egyptian airfields while the Egyptian pilots were eating breakfast. In less than 2 hours, roughly 300 Egyptian aircraft were destroyed. A few hours later, Israeli fighters attacked the Jordanian and Syrian air forces, as well as one airfield in Iraq. By the end of the first day, nearly the entire Egyptian and Jordanian air forces, and half the Syrians’, had been destroyed on the ground.The battle then moved to the ground, and some of history’s greatest tank battles were fought between Egyptian and Israeli armor in the blast-furnace conditions of the Sinai desert.Prime Minister Levi Eshkol sent a message to King Hussein on June 5 saying Israel would not attack Jordan unless he initiated hostilities. When Jordanian radar picked up a cluster of planes flying from Egypt to Israel, and the Egyptians convinced Hussein the planes were theirs, he ordered the shelling of West Jerusalem. It turned out that the planes were Israel’s and were returning from destroying the Egyptian air force on the ground.It took only three days for Israeli forces to defeat the Jordanian legion. On the morning of June 7, the order was given to recapture the Old City. Israeli paratroopers stormed the city and secured it. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan arrived with Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin to formally mark the Jews’ return to their historic capital and their holiest site. At the Western Wall, the IDF’s chaplain, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, blew a shofar to celebrate the event.
71 Lesson Five / Michael Bard / The Six Day War / Page 5 While most IDF units were fighting the Egyptians and Jordanians, a small, heroic group of soldiers were left to defend the northern border against the Syrians. It was not until the Jordanians and Egyptians were subdued that reinforcements could be sent to the Golan Heights, where Syrian gunners commanding the strategic high ground made it exceedingly difficult and costly for Israeli forces to penetrate. Finally, on June 9, after two days of heavy air bombardment, Israeli forces succeeded in breaking through the Syrian lines. After just six days of fighting, Israeli forces were in a position to march on Cairo, Damascus, and Amman. By this time, the principal objectives of capturing the Sinai and the Golan Heights had been accomplished, and Israeli political leaders had no desire to fight in the Arab capitals. Furthermore, the Soviet Union had become increasingly alarmed by the Israeli advances and was threatening to intervene. At this point, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk advised the Israelis “in the strongest possible terms” to accept a cease-fire. On June 10, Israel did just that. The victory came at a very high cost. In storming the Golan Heights, Israel suffered 115 dead-roughly the number of Americans killed during Operation Desert Storm. Altogether, Israel lost twice as many men — 777 dead and 2,586 wounded-in proportion to her total population as the U.S. lost in eight years of fighting in Vietnam. Also, despite the incredible success of the air campaign, the Israeli Air Force lost 46 of its 200 fighters. The death toll on the Arab side was 15,000 Egyptians, 2,500 Syrians, and 800 Jordanians. By the end of the war, Israel had conquered enough territory to more than triple the size of the area it controlled, from 8,000 to 26,000 square miles. The victory enabled Israel to unify Jerusalem. Israeli forces had also captured the Sinai, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and West Bank. At this time, write in your Israel Journal how you saw God’s hand in the Six Day War.
72 Why Study Prophecy? / Lesson six Signs of His ComingWhy Study Prophecy? / Lesson sixRead Matthew 24:1-5. In verse one, Jesus makes a prophetic statement that was fulfilled approximately forty years later. The Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 AD. This is a sign that everything else Jesus said in Matthew 24 will also come to pass in its appointed time. It should be noted that the events of Matthew 24 might not be in chronological order.Verses 4-5 give the first sign and it comes with a warning.What is the warning?What is the first sign of Matthew 24?Here is another possible way to look at this sign. The first interpretation of this verse would certainly be that literal imposters of Christ will appear from time to time and this will increase as we get nearer His return. Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life; however, in this world as we know it, there are things and attitudes that we sometimes substitute for our faith in Jesus. Read 2 Tim 3:1-15 and list the attitudes and things that people will substitute for the Lord Jesus with.What are some of these things?How can believers protect themselves from Falling for the false christs, worldly attitudes and things?Read verses 6. List all the wars and fighting among nations that you know have happened in the last ten years.Read verse 7.List all the places you know where there have been famines or food shortages in the last ten years.The word “earthquake” means a series of vibrations induced in the earth’s crust by the abrupt rupture and rebound of rocks in which elastic strain has been slowly accumulating; something severely disruptive. From this definition, to what other natural phenomena might it be referring? List these natural disasters that have occurred in the past ten years? What might it mean for the future?What does verse 8 call the signs in verse 6 and 7?The beginning of birth pains are uncomfortable but bearable. However, as labor progresses it becomes more and more intense, painful and difficult to endure. The words of verse 8 are a sign and a warning of what is to come. Things will be difficult but will be bearable. As we get nearer His coming, it will become very difficult and painful for this world. Because of God’s grace toward His bride, He will remove her from this world before it gets unbearable. (I Thes 5:9)In the light of this, where in the birthing process of the coming of the Lord do you think we are?Read Matthew 24:9-14 in your Bible and read it in the NLT.Matthew 24:9-14 "Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because of your allegiance to me. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will lead many people astray. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But those who endure to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then, finally, the end will come.”
73 Why study prophecy? / Lesson six Many scholars believe that verses 9-13 referred to the Jews that were alive at the time of the destruction of the Temple and the immediate dispersion of the Jews to the nations. Here is an example of one such commentary: Matthew 24:9 -Ye shall be delivered up to COUNCILS and be beaten in SYNAGOGUES, and ye shall stand before governors and kings for my name's sake-be not anxiously careful beforehand what ye shall speak-for ye are not the speakers, but the Holy Spirit will speak by you-I will give you utterance and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to contradict or resist. We need go no further than the Acts of the Apostles for the completion of these particulars. Some were delivered to councils, as Peter and John, Acts 4:5. Some were brought before rulers and kings, as Paul before Gallio, Acts 18:12; before Felix, Acts 24; and before Festus and Agrippa, Acts 25. Some had utterance and wisdom which their adversaries were not able to resist, such as Stephen, Acts 6:10, and Paul, who made even Felix himself tremble, Acts 24:25. Some were imprisoned, as Peter and John, Acts 4:3. Some were beaten, as Paul and Silas, Acts 16:23. Some were put to death, as Stephen, Acts 7:59, and James the brother of John, Acts 12:9.Today, many of our brethren around the world are suffering persecution for the Name of Jesus and their faith in Him and His Word. Take just a moment and pray for them.But if we look beyond the book of the Acts of the Apostles, to the bloody persecutions under Nero, we shall find these predictions still more amply fulfilled. In these, numberless Christians fell, besides those two champions of the faith, Peter and Paul. And it was, as says Tertullian, nominis praelium, a war against the very name of Christ; for he who was called Christian had committed crime enough, in bearing the name, to be put to death. So true were our Savior's words, that they should be hated of all men for his NAME'S sake. But they were not only to be hated by the Gentiles, but they were to be betrayed by apostates. (from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft)Read each of these Scriptures. They are clear, however, that we as believers in Christ are not exempt from all difficulty and suffering.Philippians 1:9II Timothy 3:12 What does verse 14 portray as a sign of the end of time?This means that although the events of Verses 9-13 were severe and difficult, they were not the final events before the coming of the Lord, but the preaching of the gospel to the whole world is. Missionary efforts in the last thirty years have increased so much that many world missionary organizations believe that it is possible to fulfill the great commission within the next ten years.God’s heart is for the lost to be saved. Read each Scripture and write what it is saying to us.Matthew 28:18-20John 10:16 - Who do you think the “other sheep” are that Jesus is referring to?Acts 1:8I Timothy 2:4-5Some signs that God is moving quickly to reach the world are world events. Here are two major ones: the Fall of the Berlin Wall that resulted in the break up of the former Soviet Union, and China’s desire for international business markets. Both the Soviet Union and China are now open to the gospel in ways that could not have been imagined twenty years ago.Where is the last major area of the world that is unreached with the gospel? (Look at the world map for your answer.)Answer this question: “What am I personally doing to reach the world with the good news of the Gospel?”
74 Why study prophecy? / Lesson seven The Rapture of the Church & The Abomination of DesolationWhy study prophecy? / Lesson sevenThe question now is what are the next events on God’s prophetic timeline? Israel has been reestablished as a sovereign nation, Jerusalem is no longer controlled by Gentiles, and the European Union is well established and possibly may be part of the ten-nation confederation of Daniel 3: The toes were of iron and clay representing nations that are probably industrialized and nations that are dependent on the earth, possibly oil-rich Muslim nations i.e. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Libya, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Muslim nations of the former Soviet Union.What are the next events? The War of Gog and Magog, the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of Christ. Our focus for this portion of the lesson will be the Rapture of the Church. What is the Rapture? It is the taking away of the Bride of Christ (Matthew 24:40-41). This event, whether it is at the beginning of the tribulation or in the middle, marks the close of what is known as the “dispensation of grace.” Here are Scriptures that describe the Rapture.In I Thessalonians 4: The word “shout “ is a word used by a military commander to give a direct order. It is the command of Christ for the grave to surrender the bodies of the redeemed. The phrase “the voice of the archangel” is used because angels are God’s messengers and those who execute His will. The phrase “the trumpet of God” is to announce the appearance of royalty. Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.I Corinthians 15: When the word “mystery” is used in the Bible, it does not refer to something mysterious or difficult to understand. It refers to something God has never before revealed to man. The mystery revealed is the Rapture.How does Matthew 24:38-39 describe the days preceding the Rapture?What parallel can you draw between Noah preparing and entering the ark and the rapture of the Church? (Genesis 7:1-5; Hebrews 11:7; Luke 17:26-27)Matthew 24:40-41 gives us a description of the Rapture. Write it in your own words.What does Matthew 24:36 tell us?Refer to Matthew 24:42-44.a. See the definitions of the following words:Watch - To be alert, on the lookout; to look or wait attentively and expectantlyReady - Completely prepared or in fit condition for immediate action or useb. From these two meanings, write in your own words what Jesus is admonishing us.6. I Thessalonians 4:16-17 gives a description and order to the events of the Rapture. Write the order of events.7. I Corinthians15:51-52 also describes the Rapture. What details are given here that are not in I Thessalonians or Matthew 24?Read Matthew 25: This is a parable about the Rapture. What is its admonition to us?The resurrection of the dead is an Old Testament concept. (Job 19:25-26; Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:2) The resurrection of the just is in three parts:The first part was at Calvary when the dead rose from their graves when Jesus rose. Matthew 27:52-53The second part will be the Rapture of the Church. I Thessalonians 4:16-17The third part will be those who were martyred for their faith during the tribulation. Revelation 20:4The resurrection of the unjust occurs at the Great White Throne judgment at the end of time. Revelations 20:11-15
75 Why study Prophecy? / Lesson seven Antichrist Revealed Read Matthew 24: This is a warning of a great evil to come and an admonition to the Jews to flee from it for their very lives. To understand the interpretation of these verses, we need to look at verse 15. This verse refers us to Daniel 9:25-27 which refers to the end of the “seventy weeks” of Daniel’s prophecy, clearly meaning the end of time. For an abomination to be in the Holy place, the Temple will have to be rebuilt. This is prophesied in Ezekiel Most scholars believe this event will take place during the “seventieth week” of Daniel’s seventy-week prophecy, meaning that this most likely will happen during the seven-year period known as the tribulation. (Daniel 9:27) Who or what is the abomination that causes desolation referred to in Matthew 24:15 and Daniel 9:27? The answer is in II Thessalonians 2:1-4. Who is he? Here is what the Bible tells us about the Antichrist. Read each verse and state what it says. Revelation 13:2 tells us three things: Revelation 6:2 / Revelation 13:5 / Daniel 9:27 / Daniel 11:37 / II Thessalonians 2:4 / Revelation 13:3 / Revelation 13:7 / Revelation 13:18 / Revelation 6:9-11; 7:9-17 / Revelation 19:20 / Revelation 13:14 Read II Thessalonians 2:5-7. Why has the Antichrist not yet been revealed? The Antichrist is Satan’s counterfeit of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as the Father sent Jesus Christ to the earth to redeem people, Satan will empower the Antichrist to destroy people. He is given several different names in the Bible. Here are some of those name and titles: Daniel 7:7-28 / Daniel 8: / Daniel 9:26-27 / Daniel 11:16, II Thessalonians 2:3-4We as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are not to be uninformed about the end-times, and while we are aware of what is going on, our focus in on the appearing of the CHRIST!Concerning Matthew 24:16-25 that admonishes the Jews to flee to the mountains when this abomination is exposed, most scholars believe that the mountains they will flee to are the mountains of Edom in modern-day Jordan. Many believe it could be the area known as Petra, a possible place where the Lord will preserve many Jews until His second coming to defeat the Antichrist and set up his millennial reign on the earth. Locate it on the map.If Petra is the possible location of the mountains referred to in Matthew 24, Jordan allows Jews to flee to Petra. This means they probably are not part of the coalition of nations in Ezekiel 38 that comes in the end of time to destroy Israel.
76 Why study prophecy? / Lesson Eight The Tribulation and The Second ComingWhy study prophecy? / Lesson EightMatthew 24:21-22 tells us that the days referred to when the abomination of desolation is revealed are going to be very difficult, so much so that if they are not cut short, no one will survive. Out of desperation for some, and others being motivated by deceit, there will be many claiming to be the Messiah. (Matthew 24:23-26) This will only add to the chaos and confusion of the time.The word “tribulation” is used in the Bible in a technical and non-technical sense. When used non-technically, it speaks of any trial or suffering an individual may endure. When used in the technical sense, it refers to the seven-year period following the Rapture of the Church and prior to the Second Coming of our Lord to this earth.The tribulation will be a seven-year period. Most Christians today believe that the Rapture of the Church will happen at the beginning or middle of the tribulation. Regardless, when the Church is removed from the world, all restraint will be gone, and the Antichrist will have extraordinary power. He will begin with some kind of cunning explanation for the disappearance of Christians. His answers will be convincing and the world will fully embrace this evil one.His reign of terror will begin with a treaty that will usher in a false world peace that will last three and a half years. This is described in Daniel 9:27.In the middle of the seven-year period, the Antichrist will break the treaty, and with his armies he will invade Israel and take over the Temple, setting himself up as God – the abomination of desolation. This will begin the last three and a half years of terror and judgment like mankind has never seen. This is described in Isaiah 13:6-11.An in-depth description of what will happen during the tribulation is given in Revelation 6:1-19:21. Included in events of the tribulation are the following:I Thessalonians 4:15-18I Corinthians 3:12-15; II Timothy 4:8Revelation 17:3-13Revelation 6:2Revelation 6:1-8:6Revelation 7:1-8Revelation 8:7-11:19Revelation 11:1-12Revelation 12:7-17Revelation 13:11-15Revelation 13:1-18Revelation 14:6-13Revelation 15:1-16:21Revelation 17-18Revelation 19:11-21There are several purposes for the tribulation. Determine the purpose for the tribulation stated in each of the following Scriptures.Zechariah 12:1-9, Joel 3:1-3Zechariah 12:1-10 (focus is verse 10)Revelation 14:9-11
77 Why study Prophecy? / Lesson Eight The Second ComingFinally, at the appointed time, the Second Coming of the Lord will take place. The Second Coming of the Lord is when He returns to this earth with judgment and to overcome all evil! This is call the great “Day of the Lord.” It is not referring to the Rapture.1. What two things stand out to you in verses about the coming of the Lord? a. b.What two things in verses tell us this is a description of the Second Coming of Christ and not the rapture of the church?a.b.Following the Second Coming of the Lord, the following events will take place. Read each Scripture to determine what event is being described.Revelations 20:1-3Revelations 20:4 (first event to happen)Revelations 20:7-10Revelations 20:11-15Revelations 21:1-22:5
80 The Jewish Wedding / Page 1 I trust tonight, as we rehearse this biblical wedding, all parts of it, that it will cause you to remember with great joy your day of salvation, because I am going to talk to you tonight about the picture that God had long ago of your day of salvation. Can you remember it? Can you remember the day that you found Jesus as your Savior? I was at the University of Northern Colorado in Gordon Hall in my dorm room when I prayed that simple prayer, and Jesus Christ, the lover of my soul, the one I had heard about all of my life but didn’t really know who He was, leaped right into my heart and my life was never again the same. Many times, in times of discouragement and even encouragement, I stop and remember that day. I can picture myself sitting at my desk with that Campus Crusade magazine in front of me and reading that prayer. Can you remember where you were? Was it a Billy Graham Crusade? Was it this church? Was it in your home? It was a wedding moment. It was a wedding moment. You probably didn’t know it then, but it was a wedding moment. The Scripture says, “Let us be glad and rejoice and honor Him. For the time has come for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb and His bride has prepared herself.” There’s tremendous truth in that verse and I hope that it will mean more to you when we finish tonight then it did when I first read it. A first-century biblical wedding was not a ceremony. It was a journey. Our salvation and ultimate entering into the glory of heaven is a journey. It’s not a moment. It’s a journey. You know, when you pray that prayer and receive Jesus as your Savior, it is the beginning of a journey, a marriage journey. Now, Jews believe that all weddings must be filled with joy. In fact, it’s forbidden among Jews for anybody to come to a wedding sad. I talked to a friend of mine in Israel who had just lost several friends over a period of a couple months in suicide bombings. She had to attend a wedding and she said, “I reminded myself that we are Jews and that God expects us, even in times of mourning and in times of pain, to be filled with the joy of who He is. She said, “So I remembered and I let joy fill me and I went to that wedding and I brought to the bride and groom the gift of joy.” What a wonderful picture. Our journey, our wedding journey, our salvation journey, is to be filled with joy and expectation. All of the time that you’re on this earth you’re in part of a wedding. You’re in one stage or another of a great wedding and a great preparation. We can’t afford to let our lives be sullen and depressed and let life’s difficulties get us down. Hey, we’re preparing for a wedding. And we’re preparing for a wedding with the Groom of all grooms, with the Lord of all Lords, with the King of all kings. We cannot allow ourselves to be glum and sad over life’s circumstances. You know this is just a time of passing. You know this life is just a training ground to get us ready for that great day and we need to realize that above all we need to seek joy in our hearts and we need to refill our hearts with the expectations of the coming of the Lord. When’s the last time that you even talked about the coming of the Lord? When’s the last time that you encouraged someone, “He’s coming soon, hold on, we can make it, He’s coming, He won’t forget us, He will not forsake us, He’s going to come for us.” We need to be encouraging one another with those words. Now here’s a very interesting thing. All marriages in the first century were arranged. There are a lot of reasons why arranged marriages would be far better than the method that we use in Western civilization to find a mate. The important thing to know is that the arrangements were made by the fathers. Genesis Chapter 24:1-4, “Abraham was now old and well advanced in years and the Lord had blessed him in every way. He said to his chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all he had, ‘Put your hand under my thigh and I want you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my sons from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I’m living, but you will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.’”
81 The Jewish Wedding / Page 2 Abraham arranged for his servant to go and to select a bride for Isaac. Your father in heaven has arranged your marriage to His son. John 6:44 says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” Now you know what that means. 1 Thessalonians 1:4 says, “For we know brothers, you are loved by God.” I like that. Brothers and sisters loved by God and He has chosen you. You know we often talk about the day that we chose Christ. You know what. He chose us first. He chose us first. We Have A Choice The girl selected to be the bride of a man was not forced to marry him. It was her decision and that decision was respected. Now, there might have been pressure put on her, but when it came down to it, she only married the man chosen for her only if she wanted to. Genesis Chapter 24:57-59, Abraham’s servant found Rebekah and asked Rebekah if she would go. He went to tell her brothers and her father. Their response was, “We will call the young woman and ask her personally.” Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” and she said, “I will go.” So they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse and Abraham’s servant’s and his men. Marriages were a choice. Women did not have to marry who was arranged for them and neither did men. Just as it is our choice. Acts 16 says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” Salvation is an act of a free will. Believing is a beautiful gift because it’s an act of our free will. You might force somebody to say a prayer, but saying a prayer isn’t what gets you saved, it’s believing, it’s agreeing, it’s accepting that brings our salvation. Now here’s an important truth. A biblical wedding had two separate and important parts. The wedding didn’t happen on one day like it does in Western culture. It was a journey, and there were two important parts. One part was the espousal. In Hebrew it’s the “Kirsheim.” And the other, the marriage, the “Neismen.” The two parts were usually separated by a year, sometimes two years. But the important thing is that there was separation between the two parts. The Espousal Let’s talk first about the “Espousal.” I need to make it clear to you that this is not an engagement. Engagement in Western culture is “We plan to get married, but you know, until that day, something could go wrong and we may or may not marry.” So when we say “Espousal,” don’t think engagement or your going to miss it. This is how it happened. The arrangement was made between the fathers, the two having made an agreement on the marriage. Then the bridegroom would be brought to the bride’s house. They would be taken into a separate room by themselves and the bridegroom would offer the bride a cup of wine. If she drank from the cup, it was the sign that she accepted the marriage proposal. It’s very interesting, but Jews believe that at that moment that she drinks the wine and accepts the marriage proposal, that all mistakes or sins of the bride and groom are washed away at that moment. Jesus offered to us the cup of his blood. It is the cup of redemption. Accepting the blood of Jesus is accepting His marriage proposal.
82 Here is an important thing Here is an important thing. The Cup of Redemption that Jesus offers us refers to the third cup of the Passover Seder. I really hope that all of you have been to a Passover Seder, but if you haven’t, you need to make sure that this coming spring you attend one because there are such powerful truths in it. There are four cups in the Passover Seder and Matthew 26:27 describes the third cup.A Jewish Wedding / Page 3It says, “Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’” Jesus offered His disciples the Cup of Redemption which is really a picture of the Cup of Espousal, that when we receive that cup we’re espoused to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Promise to Prepare a Place At that time the groom gives his bride a gift as a promise that he will be faithful to prepare a wedding chamber for her and return to take her as his wife. This is probably where the concept of engagement rings came from. In biblical times, however, the gift was most likely coins, gold coins, and actually the bride would have taken those gold coins and probably sewed them on her wedding garment. It explains the parable in Luke, chapter 15. It says, “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the floor and search carefully until she finds it and when she finds it she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me, I have found my lost coin. In the same way I tell you there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.’” That would have been her dowry that her bridegroom would have given her, and if she lost one, it would have been a horrible thing and it would have been a shame. So she searched and searched and searched until she found it. In 2 Cor 1:21-22 it says, “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, Who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us. At the moment that you accepted Jesus as your Savior, He put a seal of ownership on you. If you could see it in the spirit realm, it’s there. It’s on you. It probably would cause you to rejoice and weep with great joy if you could literally see it because I am sure that it is something of incredible beauty. It says to all hell and to all heaven, “This one is the Bride of Christ.” A seal of ownership and His spirit is in our hearts as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come. The Holy Spirit and the seal of ownership is a deposit and a guarantee that Jesus Christ is coming back for you. He’s coming for you, because that seal is there; He will not forget you. He knows exactly where you are because He can see His seal on you and so can the enemy and he knows that you belong to Jesus. The Ketubah This document has so much legal power that she could take it to the city elders and say, “This is what he promised to do for me and he is not doing it.” And the elders would uphold the contract by the power of Judaism and require the groom to fulfill it. Marriages would be a whole lot better in the Body of Christ if we could really hold one another accountable for what we said we would do. The Word of God is our Ketubah, our marriage covenant. The Word of God is His promise to us of what He is doing and will do for us. He said that He was coming for us. He will provide for our emotional needs, heal our broken hearts and comfort us. He promised to provide all of our needs according to His riches in glory. This is Ketubah. God’s biblical text is our legal contract!The next thing that happens in the Espousal is the “Ketubah.” The marriage contract is read and signed by two witnesses. The groom gives this contract, this Ketubah, to the bride, and in it, details the groom’s responsibility to the bride. It’s says that he accepts certain responsibilities to provide shelter, food, clothing and to attend to the emotional needs of the bride. It has the power of a legal contract – probably where pre-nuptials came from.
83 A Jewish Wedding / Page 4Remember the Ketubah was signed in the presence of two witnesses and we can draw the parallel that Jesus is the Word and the Father and the Holy Spirit are His witnesses. I don’t think it could get any better for us and we need to know that what God says, He will do! You know you need to give up doubting the Word of God. You need to give up saying, “Well, maybe that works for other people.” That’s nonsense. If God has promised you things in the Bible, then He will do them. Let Him do them in your life. Let Him! Don’t put barriers in front of Him. Don’t say, “I won’t let You.” Remove the barriers of sin and doubt and unbelief and let the full authority of the contract of the Ketubah, the Word of God, take root in your life and live the joy of knowing He’s coming for you because He promised He would do it. When the Espousal is complete, the couple is legally married. Understand that you are not engaged to the Lord Jesus Christ, but legally married to Him! It’s a legal marriage. This isn’t a trial period to see if it’s going to work or if we want to do this. No, no, no – this is a legal contract. The Ketubah has been signed; it’s a legal contract. You are married! Remember the story of Joseph when he found out that Mary was pregnant during the Espousal period. It was a problem. During the Espousal period, there are no marital relations, and so when she came up pregnant, this was not a good thing. But look what Matthew says, “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph, her husband, was a righteous man, he did not want to expose her to public disgrace. He had in mind to divorce her quietly. You don’t divorce someone that you’re engaged to. You end a marriage by divorce, so this was a legal marriage. What happens when the Ketubah has been signed and the gift has been given and the cup of wine has been drunk? What happens now? The groom leaves and he goes to prepare a bridal chamber for the second part of the wedding. The bridal chamber was usually built onto the groom’s father’s house. John chapter 14:2, “In my father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so I would have told you.” I’m going there to prepare a place for you.” Now you know what that verse means. He’s gone to prepare for you a wedding chamber. The Father’s house is clearly in the biblical text, the Temple, the Temple in heaven. Jesus is right now having his angels build and prepare for you a wedding chamber in His Father’s house. The Wedding Garments The bride begins to prepare herself and her wedding dress. Isaiah 61:10 says, “For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robes of righteousness as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Wedding garments in biblical times were very ornate and very beautiful and they had jewels on them. Many of the jewels that were on the garment were actually gifts from the groom if the groom’s family was wealthy. As you are going about serving the Lord and doing good works for Him, He is adding jewels of glory to your wedding garment. When you see your wedding garment, it’s not going to be just a white garment, its going to be adorned with gorgeous jewels that are part of the reward that your Bridegroom has given you because He loves you so much. Revelation, chapter 19 says, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory. For the wedding of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.
84 A Jewish Wedding / Page 5As the bride was preparing herself, and preparing her wedding garment, we are to be doing the same. And the way you’re preparing your wedding garment is to do righteous acts in your life for Jesus. Your garment is being adorned with beautiful jewels. We are encouraged in Scripture not to grow weary n well doing because our labor of love for Him will be likened to the Bride’s wedding garments adorned with beautiful gems. So when He comes for us, our wedding garment will be adorned with great glory, beautiful, beautiful jewels, the reward of our work here on earth. One time I heard Derrick Prince say as he taught on this -- he stopped for a moment and looked at the crowd, and he said, “Do you have enough fine linen for a wedding garment?” It is a challenging thought to realize that it’s not a time to just sit around and build a life in this world and invest everything we have in this world. This is the time to build a life in and for the Kingdom of God, to invest our finances and talents, because when you see Him, your reward will be great. The Mikvah Also, as part of preparing herself, a Jewish bride goes to the mikvah so she’s ritually cleansed before her wedding. A mikvah is really a first century baptism place. It’s a place where you go in and immerse yourself and you go totally under the water. There are witnesses that watch to make sure that you go totally under, and it has to be clear, running water. Jesus went to the mikvah often before He went on to the Temple Mount. And for those of you who are going to Israel with us, I love mikvahs, and every archeology site we visit, I will show you the mikvahs because they were such a part of Jewish life. Mikvahs are an important part of the wedding. The Bride of Christ presents herself for baptism, and baptism is really like going to the mikvah. Acts chapter 2 says, “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” You were saved. You accepted the marriage proposal. He put a seal of His ownership upon you. He deposited His Holy Spirit in you. He gave you His word and now we are preparing for the second part of our wedding with the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns to take us to His bridal chamber in heaven – we are preparing for eternity! The Marriage: The Second Part The marriage takes place when the bridal chamber is ready. Interesting. The marriage takes place only when the bridal chamber is ready. The father of the groom is the one who determines when the bridal chamber is ready; not the groom, not the bride; in fact she never sees it. It’s the father of the groom who determines when it’s ready. The father gives his son permission when he believes that the bridal chamber is ready, to go get his bride. The groom goes to get his bride usually with great fanfare. He gathers his friends, they have trumpets, they have drums, and with great fanfare, anytime day or night when the father says “Go” the groom goes for where his bride is and his friends go with him! They make a lot of noise and it’s an incredible celebration. This reminds you of 1 Thessalonians 4, “When the father says to the Lord Jesus, ‘It’s ready, go get Your bride.’ For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with a voice of an archangel and with the trump of God and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and thus we shall always be with the Lord.’” That’s going to happen at the moment that the Father turns to the Son and says, “Go, get your bride.” We’ve got to remember that our wedding garments need to be ready. It would have been a disaster had the groom showed up and the bride did not have a wedding garment to put on.
85 A Jewish Wedding / Page 6 The Chupah The final part of the marriage is held under a Chupah. My friends, Helen, Lindaand I attended the wedding of the daughter of our good friend, Elena. Beforethey came to the Chupah it was amazing. They had some drummers who wereplaying on drums, calling them to the Chupah and they blew the shofar. Whenthey blew that shofar, I thought to myself, “The trumpet of the Lord will sound and time will be no more.” Now, the Chupah has great significance. It symbolizesthe home that the couple would build together but it also is a symbol of the “Holyof Holies.” Remember, the Jews believe that a couple is the most holy and pureon the day that they get married.Under the Chupah the bride and groom once again drink from the same cup of wine. This represents the fourth cup of the Passover Seder, which is the Cup of Praise. And in this light of the Cup of Praise, hear the words of Jesus in Matthew 26, “Mark my words, I will not drink this wine again until the day I drink it new with you in My Father’s Kingdom.” Drinking from the Cup of Praise in the marriage journey has brought us to the Heavenly Holy of Holies to see God the Father and our Bridegroom face to face. It is at that time we will drink with Him the true Cup of Praise! We praise Him now, but at that time we will truly understand how worthy He is of all our praise! The Bible sites this moment in Rev 5:12-13, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!“ And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!" As soon as the Chupah ceremony is over, there’s a great wedding feast. And interestingly enough, in biblical times this celebration would usually last a week, seven days. I think this could be a type of the rapture of the Church. And the Church is going to be at a wedding celebration for seven days! Quite possibly referring to the seven years of tribulation that will be on this earth, that the Bride will be in heaven at the marriage supper when the great tribulation is poured out upon this earth. Revelations 19:9 says, “And the angels said, ‘Write this, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feasts of the Lamb.’” The bible says that He’s coming for a bride that’s spotless and pure. He’s coming for a bride that’s looking for His appearing. He’s coming for a bride who’s been faithful and has not adulterated herself with the world. Now you understand why Jesus talks about spiritual adultery and addresses it in such a strong way. We have to realize that we are waiting for the completion or second part: We are waiting for the Chupah. We are waiting for the sound of a trumpet with a glorious, glorious company who will come with the Lord Jesus and catch us away in the air as His Bride! Jesus said in Luke 21:28 that when you see the signs of the end, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift your heads because your redemption draws close.” Jesus said in Rev 22:12-13, "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." Friend, He is coming to take us to our wedding chamber that He has prepared for us in His Father’s House.
88 Where to go and what to do WEBSITES Teachings / Support / Commentary Christians United for Israel Bridges for Peace Joel Rosenburg International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem Faith Bible Chapel Current News Jerusalem Post Ynet News Rueters News Bridges for Peace Blessing Israel with Your Finances There are several opportunities available for Christians to support both the Land of Israel and the People of Israel with their finances. Bridges for Peace Financially support Bridges for Peace, a Jerusalem-based Christian organization that helps new Jewish immigrants become established in their new homeland and runs the largest food bank in Jerusalem with an additional food back in the North. A giving “coupon” is provided on the next page. This is fulfilling the prophesies in Isaiah 60:10 and 61:4 at The City of Ariel, Israel Financially support the community of Ariel, located in Samaria, the biblical heartland of Israel. Ariel’s population is 20,000; approximately 60% are new immigrants. Ariel is a fulfillment of the prophesy in Amos 9:14 at Jewish National Fund Help restore the land of Israel by financially supporting the Jewish National Fund. They plant forests and provide new roads, parks, etc. They are fulfilling the prophesies in Ezekiel 36:8-13, Isaiah 35:1 and Amos 9:14 at
89 Bridges for Peace / www.bridgesforpeace.com Bridges For Peace is a Jerusalem-based, Bible-believing Christian organization supporting Israel and building relationships between Christians and Jews worldwide through education and practical deeds expressing God's love and mercy.It is our desire to see Christians and Jews working side by side for better understanding and a more secure Israel.Founded in 1976, Bridges for Peace seeks to be a ministry of hope and reconciliation. Through programs both in Israel and worldwide, we are giving Christians the opportunity to actively express their biblical responsibility before God to be faithful to Israel and the Jewish community.
90 Prayer Guide / Action Points As Watchmen on a wall…Prayer Guide / Action PointsPrayer Guide / Action PointsPray for the Peace of Jerusalem - Psalm 122:6Pray for rain in Israel - 1 Kings 8:36bPray for Jews to return to their land - Ezekiel 36:24-28Pray for Israel’s government - Proverbs 29:2Pray for Israel’s economy to prosper - Psalm 51:18Pray for the United States Congress and the President of the United States to stand with Israel - Isaiah 60:12Pray for the governments of this world to stand with Israel – Isaiah 60:12Pray for the cities in Samaria and Judea, Israel – Ezekiel 38:12Pray that the plans of Israel’s enemies will be thwarted - Job 5:12Pray for Israelis to turn their hearts to God - Isaiah 44:21-22Pray for Christians around the world to stand with and bless Israel - Genesis 12:3Action PointsKeep current on news regarding IsraelStart an Israel monthly prayer meeting in your church or Bible study groupPray about how you and your church can financially bless Israel