Signs of the Times: Israel’s Re-birth and the Rise of International Tensions

Welcome back, Bible students! We’re gathering around the virtual study table to consider what God’s Word says about the last days, and how the signs we see in today’s world align with Scripture. We began this series yesterday by considering When Deception Grips the World. In it, we touched on Israel’s re-birth, and that is where we pick it up today.

Undoubtedly, Israel is unique. God called a pagan Gentile out of Ur of the Chaldees and guided him to the land of Israel where Genesis 15 describes the covenant God made with him. Among other things, God promised land and descendants. That land was Israel and, by virtue of that covenant, God called Abram (Abraham) to be father of the Jewish people, the uniquely called descendants.

Fast forward to Jesus’ first coming, and those very people who Jesus called rejected Him. God did not reject them in return, but He did open a pathway for Gentiles to enter into relationship with Jesus, and the church age began.

The church had its own unique calling (in a nutshell, make disciples and spread the Gospel), but just as it was born, Jerusalem was destroyed (70 AD) and Jews were dispersed from the land. So, the church began to grow, but Israel existed no longer as a nation.

Scripture talks of two witnesses. In describing Jesus as the Redeemer of Israel, Isaiah 43:10 says You [Israel] are My witnesses. Then, Acts 1:8 also identifies those who have received the Holy Spirit (believers, the church) as witnesses. Thus, God has called both Israel and the church to be His witnesses, yet the two hardly existed together at the same time until May 14, 1948. That marked the first time the two witnesses (Israel and the church) existed simultaneously.

Is it any wonder, then, why Israel has always been a battleground both spiritually and geopolitically, or why true Christianity is under constant attack? Many believe the re-birth of Israel is THE key prophecy regarding Jesus’ return. Why? Because Jesus cannot return unless Israel exists and is back in the land. According to Scripture, Jesus must return to Israel, and His second coming is all about salvation of the Jewish people.

Since Israel’s re-birth many of Israel’s enemies have threatened (and tried) to wipe them out. The day following Israel’s re-birth, 5 Arab nations attacked. They were also threatened and/or attacked in 1956, 1967, 1973, 2006, 2008, 2014, 2021 and several other times by enemy nations or Iranian-backed terrorist groups, and they are facing barrages of rockets from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria even now.

If we look only at Israel, the signs are everywhere. But international tensions are rising elsewhere as well. In Matthew 24, in answering the disciples’ questions regarding signs of the end, Jesus warned of wars and rumors of wars and kingdoms and nations rising against one another. Interestingly, the Greek word translated “kingdoms” in that passage is actually ethnos. Ethnic groups will rise against ethnic groups.

Not only do we see nations such as Russia, China, Iran and others forming coalitions and rising against other nations, but we see ethnic groups…Kurds vs Turks, Sunni vs Shia, black vs white, political party vs political party…rise up against one another on ethnic grounds. Our world is being shredded right before our very eyes…just as Jesus told us it would be in the last days.

Friends, we are wise to keep an eye on Israel, as the Jewish state is a barometer of where we are on the prophetic time clock. It is not to say we can set dates and predict the rapture. Far from it! The Bible is clear that no one knows the day or the hour, not even the Son! (Matthew 24:36, Matthew 25:13) However, to us (believers), the apostle Paul says there is no need to write to us, as we know perfectly well that the thief comes in the night. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2)

In light of that, Paul also writes:

11 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. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand.

~Romans 13:11-12 [Emphasis mine]


28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

~Luke 21:28

No need to fear, Bible believers! Our redemption draws near. Keep an eye on Israel and an ear on the trumpet because the night is far spent!

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