commentary: The Miraculous Survival of Israel
Given 16-Jun-18; Sermon #1438c; 14 minutes
Clyde Finklea, reflecting on the recent moving of America's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, focuses on a prophecy of Rabbi Judah ben Samuel, which history has proven to be accurate. The prophecy, made in 1215 A.D. states, "When the Ottomans [Turks] conquer Jerusalem, they [the Turks] will rule over Jerusalem for eight jubilees [8 X 50 years = 400 years]. Afterward, Jerusalem will become a no-man's land for one jubilee [50 years], and then [at the end of the ninth jubilee, Jerusalem] will once again come back into the possession of the Jewish nation—which will signify the beginning of the Messianic end time." History has corroborated every aspect of this prophecy, including the Turk's capturing Jerusalem in 1517, the British ending Turkish rule with the Balfour Declaration in1917, 400 years (or 8 Jubilees) later, the Israeli's capturing East Jerusalem in 1967 (one Jubilee later), and on September 23, 2017 (one Jubilee later), the American government's recognition of Jerusalem as capital of the State of Israel, accompanied with an announcement of its intentions to move its embassy there. God has positioned three American Presidents to carry out His plan: Harry Truman, by recognizing Israel; Richard Nixon, by providing military assistance to Israel during the Six Day War' and Donald Trump, by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
I'm going to be talking today about Israel—mainly Jerusalem—and how God is setting the stage for the return of Jesus Christ, our Messiah. I am going to go back just a little bit in history and bring us up to today.
Following the great revolt of the Jews from 66-70 AD, the Jews were driven out and the walls of Jerusalem were breached on Tammuz 17. Now Tammuz 17 is actually an important date for Israel. I am not going to be getting into it anymore today, but it is a day we to need to remember and perhaps later on in the future we can hear more about this. So, they were breached on Tammuz 17 and the temple was destroyed. For nearly 1900 years, Jerusalem would endure one overthrow after another.
After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, the British assumed control of Palestine. On November 2, 1917, the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour sent a letter to Lord Walter Rothschild. He was a leader of the British Jewish community, and in that letter it stated—and this is just an excerpt from it, not the whole letter—he said,
His Majesty's government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this objective.
I have brought this out because this letter was later on to become known as the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which is another important date that we will be hearing about in a minute. For nearly 1900 years after the destruction of Jerusalem, we see that God is setting the stage for the return of Jesus Christ. It would be another thirty years—in 1947—that events would begin to unfold. On May the 14th, 1948, the state of Israel was born, and that was against all odds.
I want to talk a few minutes here about a prophecy. Some of you I am sure have heard this prophecy before and some of you probably have not. It is called the Ten Jubilee Prophecy of Jerusalem. It was by Rabbi Judah ben Samuel. He lived from 1150-1217 AD, and I want you to know that it is going to be absolutely amazing how accurate he was. Quoting his prophecy:
When the Ottomans conquer Jerusalem they will rule over Jerusalem for eight jubilees. [A jubilee is fifty years. The interesting thing about this is that he wrote this over three hundred years before the Ottomans took over Jerusalem.] Afterwards, Jerusalem will become a no man's land for one jubilee [another fifty years] and then in the ninth jubilee it will once again come back into the possession of the Jewish nation, which would signify the beginning of the Messianic end time [and then that would begin the tenth jubilee].
The Ottomans conquered Jerusalem in 1517. That is almost 300 years to the day that he wrote this. They ruled until they were removed by the British in 1917. That is a total of 400 years, or eight jubilees. Afterwards, Jerusalem would become a no man's land for one jubilee, he stated. From 1917 to 1967—we are going to see at the end of this ninth jubilee what will happen. Even though Israel became a nation in 1948, no one had complete control of Jerusalem until 1967, after the Six Day War. And during that time up to then, Jerusalem was called "no man's land," just as he said. Then, in the end of ninth jubilee, it would once again come back into the possession of the Jewish nation, which would signify the beginning of the Messianic end time. Its amazing how accurate he was.
Now, we've got one more jubilee, the tenth jubilee. Well, the tenth jubille brings us up to date. It ended in 2017. What happened in 2017—at the end of 2017? That is when President Trump announced that the USA is recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the U.S. embassy would be moved to Jerusalem. We see, again, God setting the stage for the return of the Lord.
Now, I do not know about you, but I do not believe that Donald Trump was President by accident. I think that probably because of this reason and maybe more to come—I do not know—God placed this man in office, because the other candidate would have never done this. God has His timetable and it is going to work.
He has also used other Presidents to support Israel as well. President Harry Truman, back in 1948, was the very first one; we were the first nation to announce his recognition of Israel as an independent nation. Nobody else wanted to recognize them as the nation, but when Harry Truman came out with that, that set the stage for them.
I want to tell you a story about another President that God used to help Israel. This is a story I am sure many of you have never heard, though some of you I have told before. In 1973, Israel was attacked by their enemies surrounding them on the most holy day, which was Yom Kippur, which is also a very important day for us as well. It was called the Yom Kippur War. Golda Meir was the Prime Minister of Israel at this time. I think you are going to understand the importance of Golda Meir being the Prime Minister at this particular time when I finish the story, because I think she was the first and maybe only female Prime Minister of Israel. She's only one I know of.
Also at that time, Richard Nixon was the President of the United States. I think you are going to find this very interesting, those of you who have never heard this before. I saw this in a documentary by Michael Greenspan. He is a journalist who was sent to Israel to investigate the miracles that were being reported there. In his documentary, called "Against All Odds: Israel Survives," there is just one miracle after another that occurred there, and we know this is occurring because God, again, is setting the stage for the return of our Lord.
Speaking of Golda Meir, let me back up a little bit with her. In 1948, she wanted so badly to go to the signing of the declaration of their independence, there on May the 14th, 1948. But David ben Gurion, who was the first Prime Minister of Israel and was also instrumental in writing the declaration of independence for them, needed her to do something else. So he was sending her on another mission, and she begged him to let her stay but he made her leave anyway. But on her flight they had engine trouble, and the plane had turn around and come back to Tel Aviv. There was one excited young lady that was going to be that declaration signing and her name was Golda Meir. I think you are going to find that her being a prime minister at this time...you will see why it so important as we go on with the story.
President Nixon stated that when he was a young boy, his mother would read stories to him and his brother every day about Israel. As he got older, he said his mother told him, "Richard, one of these days you are going to be in the position to help Israel, and you had better do it." She was pretty stern, he said, about this. He was kind of shocked because he did not understand what she was talking about, really, at that time. Well, obviously, later on he become the President of United States.
When this war began in '73—when they were attacked on Yom Kippur—they had reached out to the United States and there was a secretary of state here called—I believe it was—Henry Kissinger, who made the statement, "Aw, we'll just let the Jews bleed a little." So, after—I do not know exactly how long it was during their fighting that the generals came in to Golda Meir and told her that they were not going to be able to last much longer, maybe a day or two, without the help of United States.
Golda Meir at that time says she contemplated suicide, but she did not want to be the Prime Minister that was defeated by their enemy. So, she reached out one more time, only this time she was not going to talk to anyone but President Nixon. So she makes a call to President Nixon and it was 3 o'clock in the morning here. The President said he got up and he took the call, and all he heard was his mother's voice. Now we know why GOlda Meir was the prime minister at that time, and why today they are still a nation, because you know the rest of the story.
President Nixon obviously went right to it and got them the help they needed and they defeated their enemies. I believe there is a peace treaty between them and Jordan even to this day as a result of that. President Nixon went on to make a statement. You know he got caught up in the Watergate scandal and he was impeached. He said he knew—he felt like—the only reason that he was President of the United States was for that very moment. You know, I think I have to agree with him.
So we see now with all these miraculous events that God is setting the stage for the return of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is so much closer then we ever thought—I believe that most of us even think it really is. Jerusalem and Israel—especially Jerusalem—is the spiritual epicentre of this earth. This is the place, if you'll recall, where Melchizedek the King of Salem changed the name of this too Jerusalem. The first king of Jerusalem, Melchizedek, is one and the same, as we believe, as the one that became Jesus Christ our Lord. This is the place where our Messiah came in the flesh. It is the place where He shed His blood for our sins. It is the place where He rose from the dead. It is the place where He ascended to heaven, and it is going to be the place where He will return to rule this earth—from Jerusalem.
I wanted you to see how God has set for that nation, for Jerusalem. It is all being put in place, brethren, for Christ's return, and it is sooner than we think. Jerusalem is going to play an important role in all of this. So keep your eyes on Jerusalem.