By Tony Pearce
Because of the return of the Jewish people to Israel and the crisis in the Middle East, many people today are interested in what the Bible says about the Messiah and the end of days. In an article posted in the summer of 2002 on the Jewish website Aish.com, Rabbi Wilson wrote,
“We are living in very turbulent times, to say the least. Whereas only two years ago the world and the people of Israel were optimistic about a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict, today that optimism has been replaced by fear and depression—fear of unbridled and senseless terrorism, and depression from what appears to be a no-win situation for the State of Israel.
“Now, more than ever before over the last 50 years, the Jewish people, and even the world in general, need a savior. We need someone who can, somehow, perhaps even mystically, bring about more than just a tenuous cease fire between two warring peoples. We need someone who can, once and for all, bring an end to all human conflict, especially in the Middle East. And, if someone can do that—a tall order—then perhaps he would also be able to destroy whatever other evil exists in the world. As he engineers this long-dreamed-of world peace, let him make unethical and immoral behavior a thing of the past, too. In other words, this savior, if he is truly a savior, should usher in a permanent utopian society where virtuous living is second-nature. And what shall we call this modern-day hero of Biblical proportions? In Judaism, he has always been called ‘Moshiach’ (Messiah), ‘the anointed one,’ because as a Jewish king he is to be anointed upon taking office.”
The Prophet Zechariah Speaks About Current Events
Zechariah, a Jewish prophet from the 6th century BCE, has some amazingly up-to-date information on current events! He describes a global conflict over the status of Jerusalem, a question that will affect not only the countries of the region, but also the whole world:
“And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” (Zechariah 12:3)
Zechariah prophesied that in the last days of this age, there would be a worldwide crisis focused on the Arab-Israeli conflict and on the question of who rules Jerusalem. This is already a main area of global concern; more UN resolutions have been passed on this issue than on any other. According to the prophet, the Middle East crisis would capture the attention of the whole world in the last days, and the search for a peace settlement would be of prime importance. Today, a “quartet” composed of the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the UN (representing all other nations) is attempting to negotiate a peace plan for the Middle East.
From attacks on Israel’s territory to global antisemitism, we can see the nations of the earth gathered together against Israel today—just as the prophet Zechariah said. Psalm 83:4 also describes the surrounding nations wanting to eliminate Israel: “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”
According to Scripture, the armies of the world will eventually gather together against Jerusalem to fight. When this happens, God says, “I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10)
The “one who was pierced” is Yeshua, who came once to die and will return to bring peace to Israel and the world. In that day, Yeshua will fulfill the prophecies of the reigning King Messiah—just as He has already fulfilled the prophecies of the Suffering Servant Messiah (see Isaiah 53).
“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it…For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:2-4)
How close are we to the fulfillment of these prophecies? It is clear that a “world full of enemies” surrounds the nation of Israel! There is little hope for negotiations, and most Israelis and Americans are not optimistic about the possibilities of human success. The prophet Zechariah’s description of a coming epic battle for the very future of Israel seems to be more possible now than ever before.
How close are we to the End of Days described in the Bible?
I would say we are very close. We should not, of course, attempt to set a date, but we do need to get ready…and turn to the Lord before He returns to us.
What about your future?