Having been a follower of Yeshua for 37 years, I have often heard or even said that we are in the last days. To be sure, even 1st-century believers thought they were in the last days, and each day that passes puts us closer to the end of God’s program for mankind on this side of eternity. So, when people hear that we are in the last days, many of them, suffering from some sort of eschatological fatigue, roll their eyes and move on. Are those of us claiming that it is 11:59 at the eleventh hour just sensationalists? Are we overreacting and redirecting our focus on the less important at the expense of what matters in life? Frankly, it all depends on what our focus is being redirected to.
I have always been a very literal, context-driven student of God’s Word. If God left us the Bible as His message to us on how to live and what to look forward to, we can look at it from different cultural vantage points, but we must agree that it contains the same truth for all mankind. We might not like some of the statements that the Bible makes, but that doesn’t give us the authority to declare that they are not the truth. When we survey God’s counsel, we are bound to find many prophecies fulfilled and more yet to be fulfilled. We must resist “newspaper exegesis”, but we need to honestly look at the news through a Biblical lens if we want to know where we are on God’s timeline of human history.
Much of that timeline revolves around Israel as God has promised to never forsake Israel or allow for its destruction (Jeremiah 31:35-37). At a time when rockets are raining down on Israel by the hundreds, from a human perspective, the situation looks very bleak. While casualties are inevitable on both sides, God isn’t caught by surprise by the present conflict, and neither should those of us who take His word seriously. Satan’s demise clock is ticking quickly, and he is desperate. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Satan finds, in most of the world, a plethora of willing executioners for his antisemitic agenda. Truth has long ceased to matter. Fact-checks are politically or socially motivated.
If someone believes that they are contributing to social justice, multiculturalism and tolerance, they immediately feel like they are making a difference to improve the world we live in; even if it is at the expense of someone else, and in this case, as is too often the case, at the expense of Israel and the Jewish people.
Not long after the tragedy of the Hyper Cacher Supermarket on the east side of Paris in 2015, Jeffrey Goldberg wrote a piece in The Atlantic that still resonates in my head. In it, he made a sobering statement that I was really hoping was inaccurate, but as it turns out, he might have been spot on. He wrote, ” The Shoah served for a while as a sort of inoculation against the return of overt Jew-hatred—but the effects of the inoculation, it is becoming clear, are wearing off. What was once impermissible is again imaginable. Memories of 6 million Jewish dead fade, and guilt becomes burdensome….Israel is coming to be understood not as a small country in a difficult spot whose leaders, especially lately, have been making shortsighted and potentially disastrous decisions, but as a source of cosmological evil—the Jew of nations.”
What Goldberg saw six years ago, was the erosion of Europe’s compassion towards the Jewish people. I have long been a believer that what happens in Europe, and even particularly in France, is a good indication of what is coming to America. The barometer of the new antisemitism in Europe sets the temperature for what is coming to America. Since 1948–when Israel was reborn as a modern nation–antisemitism, which was localized mostly to Greater Europe, became a global virus. The tiny Jewish state gave anti-Semites a justification for a Jew-hatred that has now spread over the four corners of the world. The irrational conclusion has been that if Israel is guilty, by proxy, all Jews are as well. This could lead to the whole world hating the Jews…but wait, isn’t there a prophecy in the Bible about that?
The prophet Zechariah wrote, “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it.” (Zechariah 12:2-3). Mind you, this is a reference to the Campaign of Armageddon, and we are not there since this will be taking place during the final stretch of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 16:16, 19:19). Yet, we cannot afford to put our heads in the sand and ignore the signs of the times. None of this final chapter of mankind, hinging around Israel is going to happen in a vacuum, but rather, it will be progressive AND exponential. I believe that we are well on the way to that final Biblical curtain call, as the pressure is mounting against Jews worldwide. In the last week:
- In a recent conversation with the Pope, Turkish president Erdogan declared, “All of humanity should be united against Israel.” I wonder if he had any idea of how Biblical he was when he made that outrageous statement?
- Pro-Palestinian crowds gathered in Los Angeles and attacked Jewish diners as a result of the current conflict between Hamas and Israel.
- Pro-Palestinian crowds rallied in Westwood, CA demanding that Israel stop the airstrikes over the Gaza Strip. They didn’t ask for a ceasefire or for an end to the conflict, but just for Israel to stop defending itself.
- In New York, Jewish people were attacked by pro-Palestinian passing cars who threw fireworks at them, screaming “F…ing Zionists”. One Jewish person was burned.
- In Germany, people marched on the streets shouting “free Palestine for the Jordan to the sea” which is a euphemism for getting rid of all the Jews.
- In London, a group of cars drove through a Jewish neighborhood screaming, “F… the Jews, rape their daughters.“
- In Washington D.C., protesters gathered outside the Israeli Embassy and shouted “Free, Free Palestine” and declared that Israel had no right to exist.
As of this writing, Egypt brokered a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. It is uncertain if that ceasefire will hold, but what is sure is that the hatred for Israel and the Jewish people seems to continue to grow on a global scale, preparing the way for an all-out war against the Jews. The Bible is clear, at some point, all the nations of the world will gather against Jerusalem, but that doesn’t mean that all people will follow suit. It is time for all Christians and people of goodwill to unite in rebellion against the real oppressor. For the last several decades, under the leadership of the new antisemitism, the Jews became the perpetrators, something that they never have been. Now is the time to reset our moral GPS because nobody in his right mind will find any moral equivalence between a country that uses weapons to defend its civilians and a group of people who uses civilians to hide their weapons.
Maybe the days of Zechariah 12:3 are closer than we think?