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THE ISRAEL REPORT

July/August 1999
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ISRAEL AND THE END OF DAYS

By David Dolan

God, the Creator of the universe, said much about the Jewish people. He made covenants with them, and told them that if they broke those covenants. They would suffer plagues, diseases, famines and ultimately, they would be tossed out of their land.

But God promised through Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and other prophets that they would be returned to their land in the last days - for His name's sake, not because of what Israel has done: "When the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds… Therefore I poured out My fury on them… I scattered them among the nations… I judged them according to their ways and their deeds… 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 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. 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 cleanse you… 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.'" (Ezekiel 36:17-19, 22-28)

I believe that Psalm 102 contains ancient, detailed prophecies that are being fulfilled in our day. The first 11 verses are an expression of a person overwhelmed with adversities. Suddenly the tone of the psalm changes; the psalmist starts talking about God's favor and restoration. Verse 12 begins, "But You, O LORD, shall endure forever." The psalmist starts to acknowledge the greatness of God. He realizes that he may perish, but God lives forever.

There was a time appointed in history, when God planned to turn His attention back to his Jewish people and favor them again. "You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favor her, yes, the set time, has come" (ver. 13). Is the psalmist speaking of the heavenly Zion or some spiritual dwelling - or Jerusalem, the original Zion? The passage goes on, "For Your servants take pleasure in her stones, and show favor to her dust" (ver. 14). This isn't any heavenly place; this is a place with lots of stones and dust.

Every building in the whole city of Jerusalem, by law, has to be made out of Jerusalem stone. It's lovely; it gives continuity to the city. When the sun is golden, all the buildings are golden. When the sky is blue and the sun bright, they all glisten. Stones are a feature of the land of Israel, as is dust, unfortunately. Most of the year, Israel experiences fresh, cool western winds that come from the Mediterranean, even in the summer. But four or five times a year, the winds blow from the east; they are hot and dry, and they blow in lots of dust. The city becomes so covered with it, people don't even bother to clean it off. It doesn't last long usually, but dust is a feature of the literal Zion. This passage is talking about the literal Jerusalem.

The Holocaust of World War II caused the Soviet Union and other nations to vote in favor of the establishment of the Jewish state in the Middle East. They decided to show compassion on the Jewish people because of what they suffered in the Holocaust. God share Hi compassion with them as well, and the Jewish state was voted into existence in 1947 and declared as such in 1948. A set time had come. God was again favoring Zion.

And what is God's purpose in showing Israel favor? "So the nations shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth Your glory" (ver. 15). As the state of Israel came into existence, the television age began. Today Israel is continually in the face of the whole world. The tiny land of Israel has the third largest permanently-stationed press corp on earth. There's always something happening there, and God wants everyone to see it because Israel's restoration is connected to the Second Coming.

Verse 16 says, "For the LORD shall build up Zion." Today the Lord is literally building up this city that 100 years ago had only 15,000 residents. When Mark Twain was there in the 1800s, he called it a "neglected, forlorn, religious relic that no one cares about." Now it is a city of half a million people, and it is growing all the time. It is the center of world controversy. This verse is saying that when you see the Lord build up Zion, "He shall appear in His glory" (ver. 16). That's what Jerusalem's restoration means.

Verse 18 is for you and me: "This will be written for the generation to come" - the "last" generation in the original Hebrew. The generation that sees all these things is going to be alive when the Lord returns. That's us. If there is anything that should motivate us to go and share the Light with a world that is in darkness, it's this. I believe the time is short.

Zechariah 12 says that all nations will gather to battle against Jerusalem. One hundred years ago that would have sounded like nonsense. Who cared about Jerusalem? What nations would battle over Jerusalem? But it's now a central issue at the United Nations. And what's going on today in Bosnia and Serbia is a warning to Israel because the world has determined that the Jewish people must give back the eastern half of Jerusalem to Yassar Arafat and the Palestinians and the Muslims.

For the Muslims, Jerusalem and the temple mount are very important. They believe that having the temple mount in their possession shows the world their faith is the final truth. When the crusaders came in and took it, the Muslims started a jihad, a holy war, and took it back. In this century, the Brits came in, took the city of Jerusalem at the end of World War I, and promised the Jews a homeland there. The Muslims thought Allah would never allow it. So in 1948, when Israel became a Jewish state, the Muslims called it "anukva," which means "the catastrophe" in Arabic. It was a catastrophe in a spiritual sense to the claims of Islam.

Then in 1967, Israel took the eastern half of the city, the temple mount, the walled old city, and the Mount of Olives. That was so awful, they don't even have a word for it. In the Arab world, they don't even acknowledge the state of Israel in most of their textbooks. And they are convinced it will be reversed; Allah will give them back Jerusalem.

In 1993 on the White House lawn, the Israelis and the Palestinians signed the Oslo Accord in which Israel agreed to negotiate the final status of Jerusalem. The whole Muslim world interpreted that as a sign that Israel would give back the eastern half of the city. The five-year Oslo peace accord ran out in May, and Arafat had said that he would then declare a unilateral state with holy Jerusalem as its capital. That was to be a declaration of statehood.

Over 100 countries have already said they would recognize that declaration, so Arafat still thinks it will happen, and the Israelis will just have to accept it. But the Israelis see Arafat's strategy as a declaration of war. The battle over Jerusalem is ascending.

The Muslim world as a whole has made it clear that they won't let this issue die again. That says to me, we are entering the final phase of history which Zechariah spoke about, the end of days when the battle over Jerusalem will loom at the center. It will involve Syria, Iraq and Jordan according to the Scriptures. Saudi Arabia will probably be involved in an attempt to take Jerusalem. Zechariah seems to imply nuclear warheads will be used, because he said the city of Damascus will be leveled, and no one will live thee afterward - only flocks will be wandering around.

Then I think we will see the rise of a worldwide anti-Christ, probably out of Europe, with the design to impose a peace on Israel. I believe dark days are ahead economically and politically for all the world. But God is on the throne. Things are happening according to the revealed blueprint of God.

As I was writing my novel, End of Days, from biblical prophecies, I cried out to God at one point: "Why do these end-time events have to be so dark, so bloody, so awful? And as I was weeping before Him, I felt that He spoke to me and said, "Son, this earth has a severe case of cancer. That cancer is sin, and it has gone into the cells of every part of the earth. It is severe, and I must operate to get rid of it. I have given you in this Word the blueprint of how I am going to do it. It centers on My land and it affects the whole world. My treatment will include, at a certain point, radiation therapy. But in the end, the patient will be healed. The cancer will be removed. Sin will be dealt with. The earth will be made whole. All tears will be wiped away. All wars will end. All violence and famine and the terrors of this earth will end." When He told me that, it gave me courage.

We're in the last days. Jesus is coming back. Go out into all the world, as the Lord has called you to do, and share the Good News because the time is short.

David Dolan, living in Israel, is an author, a journalist and reporter for several U.S. TV stations.


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