It was on May 14, 1948, that David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. On the same day, United States President Harry S. Truman also recognized the new nation. It was an improbable event in the world’s eyes. After centuries of exile, the Jews finally had their homeland back. Indeed, Israel had undergone repeated foreign domination by various nations—captivity, exile, dispersion, extermination, holocaust, and humiliation, but were never snuffed out from the face of the earth. If ever there was a solid, consistent, tangible, and verifiable proof of the existence of God, it is the continued existence of Israel, despite being brought to near extinction multiple times.
Indeed, more amazing yet, is Israel’s future glory and ultimate earthly supremacy among the global nations, many of which are bigger and militarily “mightier”1 than Israel. This is a truth foretold in the Scriptures—a future fact often ignored or overlooked by many, including professing Christians. These news headlines of tomorrow are prophesied in Zechariah 12-14 and in a more detailed revelation in Isaiah 60.
Before the above takes place, the Bible tells us of certain events that need to transpire first. The snatching away or rapture of the church when the Lord Jesus Christ comes in the air2 for His believers—the body of His church must happen first. With the church and the indwelling Holy Spirit out of the way, the spirit of the Anti-Christ will begin his influence. A period of seven years referred to as the Tribulation or “Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) will then be ushered in. This is the time of unprecedented tribulation for Jacob’s descendants—the Jews, the nation of Israel. Although the Abrahamic Covenant is everlasting, it is conditional on the descendants continuing faithful to God. When they fell into idolatry and sin, God had to punish and discipline them to bring them back. Over the years, Israel lapsed into a vicious cycle of sin, punishment, and restoration.
The Tribulation is the climax of Israel’s discipline. The prophet Zechariah tells us that Israel will be surrounded by enemies. In fact, the city of Jerusalem will be taken and occupied, the “houses rifled, and the women ravished, and half the city will go forth into captivity…” But the “residue of the people shall not be cut off” (Zech. 14:2). In such dire straits, the Lord Jesus will then return to earth with all His saints. His feet will actually touch down on the Mount of Olives. The Lord Jesus will go forth and fight against those nations that came to besiege Jerusalem and Israel (Zech. 14:3). The destruction of the enemies is described in graphic detail: “the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths” (Zech. 14:12).
But there will be no massive outburst of joyous celebrations in Israel over the defeat of all their enemies in the face of their imminent and certain defeat and annihilation. Instead, God will pour out His “Spirit of grace and supplication: and they shall look upon Me (the Lord Jesus speaking as Yahweh through the prophet), Whom they have pierced…”(Zech. 12:10) and the Jews will realize they had crucified their Messiah, Who is Yahweh. Israel will fall into deep mourning and repentance and realize that Jesus was “wounded for their transgression, bruised for their iniquities, and the chastisement of their peace was laid upon Him.”3 This deep mourning is not only national but also personal, as “every family apart and their wives apart” weep in true contrition at their monumental mistake. Jews both individually and collectively will acknowledge the Lord Jesus as their Messiah, “Lord (Yahweh) and…God” (John 20:28).
Then the Lord Jesus who during His first advent had come into Jerusalem riding lowly on a donkey will now rule as King in Jerusalem and usher in the millennium reign of a 1000 years (Rev. 20:3-4). Jerusalem will be the capital4 not only of Israel but of the world: “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). The gates of Jerusalem will be open continually and people and commerce will flow in and out ceaselessly (Isa. 60:6-9, 11). There will be economic prosperity: gold and silver will be in abundance (Isa. 60:17).
Jesus of Nazareth shall rule with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:27). “For the nation and kingdom which will not serve You shall perish, and those nations shall be utterly ruined” (Isa. 60:12). Righteousness and peace shall prevail (Isa. 60:18). Gentile nations like Babylon and Persia5 which were used of God to discipline Israel and Judah in the past, will be used by the same God, the Lord of hosts, to rebuild Israel and Jerusalem. Previously, Cyrus the Great, king of Persia from 559-530 BC was instrumental in allowing the Jews to return from their exile to rebuild the temple and walls of Jerusalem.6 How ironic it would be if present day Iran, an avowed enemy of Israel, in the future, should be providing the security of Israel and Jerusalem as one of the “sons of foreigners shall build up your walls” (Isa. 60:10) and acknowledging the supremacy of Israel: “the sons of those who afflicted you shall come bowing to you, and all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet” (Isa. 60:14). Then the disciple’s prayer will be fulfilled: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
Because the Lord Jesus Who is Yahweh is with Israel. “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6
1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. The rapture is to be distinguished from the second coming back to earth when His feet shall touch Mount Olivet; “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11
Isaiah 53:5 See also PT Tan, Israel Repentance Hymn in 2021 Cornerstone March April Issue
On December 6, 2017, President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The US Embassy opened at its Jerusalem location on May 14, 2018.
Now, Iran, which is currently hostile against Israel, attempting to acquire nuclear weapons and threatening Israel’s existence.
Isaiah 45:1-3. See also Briant, P., From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire, (Trans. version), Indiana (2002), p. 46.