A Brief Review
Let’s begin this week’s Eye of Prophecy post with a quote concerning the enormous significance of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 (In italics):
At that time, the Balfour Declaration was the single greatest event in history since the tragic dispersion of the Jews from Israel when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. It was the beginning fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies guaranteeing the final restoration of Israel and salvation of the Jews. Accordingly, it was also the beginning of the final (Omega) generation identified by Jesus that involves the entire world as found in his amazing disclosure of the end times while on the Mount of Olives with his disciples.
If you at least vaguely recognize this statement, then you read last week’s Eye of Prophecy article; it is an excerpt from that post! If you haven’t yet read that article, I would encourage you to do so. Though every Eye of Prophecy article that is a Part II (or III) stands alone, a much better understanding of the main theme comes with reading Part I.
The quoted excerpt was a summary conclusion predicated on three monumental milestones of Israel’s 20th and 21st century history in the context of the unfolding end-times prophecies. They are: (1) The Balfour Declaration of 1917; (2) the UN Resolution for Israel’s statehood in 1947, followed by the rebirth of the Sovereign State of Israel in 1948; (3) the reclamation of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital in the Six-Day War of 1967.
Then I quoted the passage in which Messiah Jesus identified the final generation that is part and parcel of those three extraordinary events discussed last week and again this week.
Said Jesus: “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place” (Matthew 24:32-34).
Followed by the next two (the first in quotation marks, the second italicized) excerpts from last week’s article:
“Please see Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up, Redemption is Near Part I & II (published 7-11-15 & 7-18-15) that among other things lists twelve phenomenal indicators which have synchronized with a frequency and magnitude in the 20th & 21st centuries like never before.”
Yet it was the Balfour Declaration that set the last-days prophetic stage and started the end-times wheel turning.
Then an excerpt near the end of the Part I article (in italics):
Certainly, the Balfour Declaration was the “right and moral thing to do.” But it was more than that. Whether Lord Balfour realized it or not, his courageous initiative to speak for both Britain and the Jews was an acknowledgment and affirmation of God’s divine mandate to nations and peoples the world over concerning his majestic plan for Israel and the nations. One that absolutely will come to pass including the fall of nations who seek to harm Israel, and the success of those who support Israel in the journey of reaching God’s destiny for Israel and the Jewish people.
Before we examine more amazing prophetic implications of the Balfour Declaration, the rebirth of Israel, and reunification of Jerusalem to Israel, let’s analyze, “God’s divine mandate to nations and peoples the world over concerning his majestic plan for Israel and the nations” in the:
Historical Context and Assessment of the Balfour Declaration
To Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, God said:
“…Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:1-3).
God’s collaboration with the Jews—beginning with choosing Abraham to be the progenitor of the Jewish race and the Lord’s subsequent interaction with Gentile nations—is centered entirely on his sovereign purpose first for Israel, then for the nations. The Old Testament is replete with events experienced by the Lord’s chosen people during their tumultuous times of rebellion, discipline, restoration (return from Babylonian captivity) then more rebellion and apathy, resulting in 400 years of silence by the Lord after he last spoke to Israel through the prophet Malachi.
Those four hundred years of silence ended abruptly with God’s next prophet, John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Messiah, announcing to all who would listen as Jesus came toward John one day:
“…Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me’” (John 1:29-30, italics for emphasis).
With these words of acclamation for Messiah Jesus (Son of God, Son of David, and Son of Man) John reverberated the words of the prophet Micah written some 700 years earlier:
Before the Balfour Declaration there was no indication that the Diaspora dream of Jews the world over, “Next year in Jerusalem” would or could really happen.
For nearly two thousand years, most Jews had resigned themselves to be forever the “Wandering Jew” with no national homeland, no way to defend themselves against brutal persecution, and seemingly no realistic hope of God’s prophetic promises ever coming to pass. Two thousand years is a very long time … as long as the time from Abraham to the Great Diaspora. Two millennia had made even the most optimistic Jews doubt if another Jewish homeland was possible anywhere. Let alone the Promised Land that had been overrun, ruled, and stripped almost bare (literally and figuratively) of anything Jewish by the Romans, the Arabs, the Crusaders, and the Ottoman Turks for so long.
The Balfour Declaration changed all that.
Listen to one of hundreds of promises given directly by God to his prophets concerning the seemingly impossible, but from God’s vantage point a sure thing. This prophecy begins with a direct reference to Ramah, the deportation point of Jewish exiles to Babylon under the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. It is one of several prophecies that had both near future and distant future application; in this case the distant future slaughter of male children in Bethlehem so ordered by Herod in order to kill the prophesied Christ-child, Jesus. It also applied to Jesus’s prophecy that Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed (by the Romans), with the horrific result of a second Jewish exile from Israel … this time indefinitely as opposed to the 70-year discipline of the Babylonian captivity God imposed on Judah in 586 B.C.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘A cry is heard in Ramah—deep anguish and bitter weeping. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted—for her children are gone.’ But now this is what the Lord says: ‘Do not weep any longer, for I will reward you’ says the Lord. ‘Your children will come back to you from the distant land of the enemy. There is hope for your future’ says the Lord. ‘Your children will come again to their own land’” (Jeremiah 31:15-17).
Then a few verses later: “Is not Israel still my son, my darling child? Says the Lord. I often have to punish him, but I still love him. That’s why I long for him and surely will have mercy on him. Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Mark well the path by which you came. Come back again, my virgin Israel; return to your towns here” (Jeremiah 31:20-21, italics for emphasis).
The Balfour Declaration was THE historical catalyst that providentially precipitated the return of the Jews to the Promised Land, followed by the United Nations Resolution affording statehood to Israel. Both (along with the reunification of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967) were and still are: “road signs, guideposts, and path” marking the final generational path of the last days, because this road sign passage has everything to do with the Jews’ return to Israel.
Jesus addressed his end-times prophecy of the final generation primarily (first and foremost) to Israel. The true Church (Messianic Jews and we Gentile believers in Messiah Jesus) were obviously meant to know the signs of the last days. Yet other than witnessing the pre-Rapture birth pangs foretold by Jesus and as found in other places in Scripture, we believers will not experience the traumatic events of the Great Tribulation … which is the final phase of this Omega generation. The Rapture will spare us from God’s second universal judgment of this wicked world we live in. We will, however, be with our Lord when he triumphantly returns to rescue Israel at the end of the seven-year Tribulation.
Thus, the “return to your (Israel’s) towns” corresponds to and matches the generational time-frame identified by Jesus: “…this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place” (Matthew 24:34). This generation applies almost exclusively to Israel’s ultimate restoration beginning with the Jews return to Israel and culminating in Israel’s final redemption, spiritually and physically. If we don’t make this connection, then we are not seeing the “guideposts” nor are we, “marking well the path by which you (Israel) came.”
A Remarkable Correlation of Virgin Births!
Regarding the italicized portion of the Jeremiah Chapter 31 passage (my virgin Israel) here is another excerpt from last week’s article (in italics):
Consider the following comparison: Just as the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of our Great Triune God, supernaturally conceived the Son (Messiah Jesus as both God and man)—who existed from the beginning with God the Father—through a virgin, so did God through the Balfour Declaration providentially conceive the nation of Israel which essentially had been in existence since Abraham fathered Isaac.
As you’ll see in next week’s Eye of Prophecy Part II article on the Balfour Declaration from a passage in Jeremiah, God calls his chosen people—in the context of their final return to the Promised Land—my virgin Israel. Which makes the Virgin Birth of Messiah, who appeared several times in the Old Testament as the Pre-Incarnate Christ, and the virgin-like (re)birth (supernaturally against impossible odds) of the Jewish nation a very appropriate analogy.
(Back to this week’s article. Are you keeping up? The above italicized excerpt was from last week’s article in partial preparation for this week’s article. Just kidding … of course you are!)
In this same 31st chapter of Jeremiah we have one of the greatest prophecies in all of Scripture. I have quoted these verses in a few prior articles. Because of the universal impact of this prophecy—God’s New Covenant with Israel (one in which Gentiles have been “grafted in”) instituted and implemented with the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus—it merits repeating.
“The day is coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife, says the Lord.
“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord. I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people” Jeremiah 31:31-33).
On the eve of the Passion of Christ—with every event of the Passion prophesied directly or indirectly by Old Testament prophets and/or by Jesus, himself; his false arrest, illegal trial, brutal and unlawful (the Roman Governor himself said that Jesus was innocent but still handed him over for execution) crucifixion, and burial in a rich man’s tomb (Joseph of Arimathea)—Jesus ate the Passover supper one last time with his disciples.
This is what happened and what he said:
“He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.’ After supper he took another cup of wine and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you’” (Luke 22:19-20).
Three days later Messiah Jesus arose from the dead to validate that he was/is Messiah, the Son of God, and to seal the New Covenant God promised through Jeremiah some 600 years earlier. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a historical fact. He was seen by hundreds of witnesses during the forty days after he arose from the grave, and then ascended to heaven from where he will soon return to the earth, “…with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).
This is not the covenant message of the Mosaic Law that was written on tablets of stone, the one that God’s people could not and would not keep.
This is the message of the New Covenant.
Said the Apostle Paul, formerly the Pharisee Saul who persecuted and killed early Christians until his marvelous life-changing encounter with the Risen Messiah:
“…And that message is the very message about faith that we preach. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved … Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord who gives generously to all who call on him. For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:8-13, italics for emphasis, last sentence is a quote from Joel 2:32).
I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts (Jeremiah 31).
The Remarkable Results of the Balfour Declaration from a Broader Prophetic Perspective
In the context of and correlation with Messiah Jesus’s astounding announcement that the generation alive when he returns will (begin to) experience the end-times events he described (and by obvious inference all of the other last day prophecies of Scripture), the Balfour Declaration of 1917, followed by the UN Resolution in 1947 and Israel’s subsequent declaration of statehood in 1948 are staggering in their relevancy to this (our) generation.
Later this year, November 2, Israel—hopefully joined by many Western nations, especially Great Britain the very source of the Balfour Declaration—will celebrate the 100th anniversary of this famous decision, which was and still is the “right and moral thing to do.”
The 70th year anniversary of the UN Resolution of 1947 will also occur in November of this year. This is the second definition or time-frame of a Biblical generation, a generation within the 100-year generation. Next year, 2018, will be the 70th anniversary of Israel’s Statehood rebirth (May 14th) in the family of nations on earth, to be celebrated on April 19th. Israel uses the Jewish calendar when it comes to their national holidays.
Then the crowning point of Israel’s rebirth in the land sovereignly promised to them by God was the stunning reclamation of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967—what many Rabbis and Evangelical scholars, including me, consider to be a year of Jubilee.
The 50-year Jubilee memorial of the consolidation of Jerusalem will take place this coming Wednesday (May 24th), the day after President Donald Trump’s two-day visit to Israel. We, who love Israel and support Israel’s right of existence and God-given mandate to possess all of the boundaries of the Promised Land, can only hope and pray that President Trump keeps his promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This would be a strong symbolic and also powerful physical (real-time and space) acknowledgment of Jewish rightful claim to Jerusalem as the undivided eternal capital of Israel.
(The Latest Word is that President Trump Will Not Announce A Decision On the US Embassy Move During His Trip to Israel … See Eye of Prophecy Article, “Is President Trump Wavering on The Waiver?” Posted 2-4-17).
Let’s look again at the Biblical meaning of a generation and a Jubilee in the inescapable context that virtually all end-times prophecies are centered exclusively on Israel. The only direct involvement of the true Church is that of being whisked away at the Rapture, which is the “first day” of the Day of the Lord (Tribulation, physical Return of Jesus to earth, and then the Millennium).
Here, I will defer to the Eye of Prophecy article The Omega Generation (posted 2-15-14), excerpts of which were also quoted in a subsequent article written almost two years later, Jubilee and Messiah … They Go Together! (1-23-16).
It’s been over three years since The Omega Generation article was posted. We have reached the pivotal year of 2017 (Gregorian calendar; with, as we will see, the Jewish calendar the more Biblically accurate measurement of the two generational time-frames as all Scriptural references to days, months, and years relate to the 30-day month of the Jewish calendar). Based on Biblical and historical evidence—particularly the three 20th century momentous milestones of Israel’s modern history—I’m proposing that this year is the beginning of a two or three-year prophetic window of the final generation Messiah Jesus spoke of in answer to his disciple’s question: “…Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age” (Matthew 24:3, NASB).
In italics, here is a segment from The Omega Generation:
If Jesus is referring specifically to the last generation, and I believe the text/context is crystal clear that he is; then this generation must have a designated start-up date or dates. Without an actual event (which can be identified by a specific calendar year) to begin the generation, the 70-year or 100-year generational time frame is much too vague … meaning there’s too much overlap or ambiguity as to the actual decades involved. If you were explaining your generation to someone, what would be your reference point? How would you describe it? Wouldn’t you say, “In my generation….” Essentially, then, your reference or starting point is the date of your birth!
Using our first example of four generations of Israel’s enslavement in Egypt, God gave Abraham the point-in-time commencement of this 400 hundred years (four generations) captivity, i.e. from the time that the Jews no longer enjoyed freedom in Egypt, which was not too long after Joseph died.
Is it, then, possible to select or identify events/dates in Israel’s contemporary history that correspond to the Biblical definition of a generation … that is one hundred years and/or seventy years? The answer is a resounding, YES.
So, let’s look again at the three monumentally crucial events of the last 100 years, relating to the return of the Jews to Israel.
(A) Balfour Declaration of November, 1917:
Recognizing this very important event/date, we can then apply the Biblical generational measurement of 100 years. Once again, however, we need to convert Roman calendar years to Jewish years. Doing the math we come up with 101.4 Jewish years which translates to 101 years and 5 months. From November, 1917, this would take us to March or April, 2019.
(B) United Nations Resolution of November, 1947:
This was the 2nd significant milestone in fulfillment of hundreds of Biblical prophecies concerning the Abrahamic Covenant, i.e. the physical restoration of Israel. Most Bible scholars and historians select the statehood date of May 14, 1948 as the historical landmark, which it certainly is; however, the actual declaration of statehood was almost anticlimactic. Reason: officially, the British Mandate (rule) over Palestine expired on that date. But it was the UN Resolution that delivered the pivotal turning point or breakthrough. Without the UN resolution of November, 1947, there would have been no recognized Israeli State in May, 1948. Yet, there is only a period of 6 months separating these two events; thus, selection of either one would be a legitimate application to the 70-year generational measurement of time.
Again, doing the conversion math, we arrive at a total of 70.97 or (rounding it off) 71 Jewish years. Adding 71 years to November, 1947, we arrive at November, 2018. If we utilize May, 1948 as the benchmark date, the 71 years would take us to May, 2019.
(C) June, 1967 Six-Day War (Jubilee Years):
In addition to the two Biblical measurements of a generation (100 years and 70 years), what happens if we also select the Jubilee time-frame of 50 years? As stressed in the previous Seven Times Seven articles, the 50-year Jubilee was part of God’s formula for disciplining Israel, as the Jews also failed to keep the Jubilee. Consequently, I believe the Jubilee will also be a component part of God’s magnificent restoration of Israel.
In this instance, we will use the next epic milestone in Israel’s brief modern-history … that of the June, 1967 Six-Day War. We talked about this at great length in last week’s article, to include the fact that it occurred 50 years (not coincidentally, a Jubilee period of time) from the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
Once again we convert 50 Roman calendar years to Jewish time and we come up with: 50.7 years which is 50 years and 8.4 months (8-9 months). From June, 1967, this would take us through February or into March, 2018.
Combining All Three Events
None of these three possibilities give us an exact day/hour of Christ’s return that begins with the first phase which is the Rapture and ends with his physical return at the end of the Tribulation. And that’s good. Why? Because Jesus, himself, said that no one can possibly know the day or hour of his return. I emphasize that almost to a fault in my article, When the Rapture? Therefore, I wouldn’t even pretend to know the exact date of Christ’ return, nor would I ever venture a guess. Forget it!
On the contrary, Jesus did advise us to recognize the seasons, the times, the signs, and the symptoms if you will, of his glorious return. If he didn’t want us to put 2 and 2 together, then why did Jesus provide so many clues and signals? Why would he have even used the metaphor of the fig tree in bloom? Even more challenging: Why would he have selected a time-measured or time-dedicated point of reference (generation), if he didn’t want us to identify the noteworthy bench mark events of the final days, aligned alongside the pre-Rapture birth pains and post-Rapture (Tribulation) incidents that he describes.
With these questions in mind, what other specific events have occurred relating to Israel during the 20th or 21st century that would surpass or supplant the 1917, 1947 (48), and 1967 highlights that we’ve selected as commencement dates for both the 100 and 70-year generations, as well as the equally important Jubilee? In answer to this question, I’ll give you a hint: There are NO other events that even come close to these historical mileposts…
Here’s what we find when we combine all three projected dates of generational or Jubilee time-lapse… meaning 100 years, 70 years, and 50 years (Roman calendar). From our three (four, if we also use Israel’s statehood of May, 1948) examples, we will select the earliest possible month/year all the way to the latest month/year.
It’s conceivable that we will hear the blast of the last Rapture trumpet: BETWEEN FEBRUARY, 2018 and MAY, 2019!!
(Note for Today’s Article: In hindsight I certainly could have and probably should have included the (this) year, 2017. Actually, it was a foregone conclusion that 2017 could be the beginning of the Day of the Lord, as I and others are convinced this is a Jubilee year. See aforementioned article, Jubilee and Messiah … They Go Together! Posted January, 2016, for the time of year when the Jubilee was to be announced and the time of year it actually began).
Returning to a final excerpt from The Omega Generation (posted in February, 2014):
Of course, Christ may Rapture the Church any day between now and the above listed dates, or even after those dates. For the following reasons: God will determine the next Jubilee in Israel’s history. Concerning a generation (whether 70 or 100 years): unless the prophecy specifies actual periods of time such as found in Daniel 9, there is normally some flexibility built-in to God’s use of numbers in Scripture. For example, there are, relatively speaking, a handful of people on the earth who live to be 105 or 110, or whatever. Also, the average life expectancy in many developed countries is in the vicinity of 76, 77, or 78 years.
But, if the Lord decides to combine all three time-frames, then I would be very surprised if we Christians are still on this earth after the year 2020. Although that is a speculative statement, I believe that it is a sanctified speculation! Meaning that it is based on some solid evidence from Scripture, particularly the passages quoted in this article and prior articles.
The Day of the Lord is so very near. As selected by God to be the heart and soul of God’s chosen people, the Jews, and the eternal capital of the Promised Land of Israel, Jerusalem’s (the City of God) time has come.
“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance. Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. Your eyes will shine, and your heart will thrill with joy….” (Isaiah 60:1-5a).
I, for one, will echo and support and participate in the prophet’s passionate plea for Israel:
“Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory…” (Isaiah 62:1-2).
Things to Ponder
My maternal grandfather fought in World War I and was alive when the Balfour Declaration marked the beginning of the 100-year generation. Although relatively few compared to the world’s population, there are still many people over one hundred years old or who will turn 100 this year; some of whom will in all likelihood witness the beginning of the Day of the Lord.
My father fought in World War II. He is gone now as is my mother. I am 70 years old, born 14 months before the UN Resolution of 1947 and 20 months before the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Tens of millions of Baby Boomers are still alive (including me or you wouldn’t be reading this article!).
Millions upon millions more born in 1967 (Jubilee year) or thereabout are still on Planet Earth. In all probability, they will either be taken in the Rapture (if they have believed and received Messiah Jesus as Personal Savior) or left behind to experience the horrendous Great Tribulation.
Not since the First World War and more so the Second World War have world conditions been as ominous as they are right now. In fact, I believe the perils facing the earth’s population are more apocalyptically threatening than pre World-War II.
The geopolitical and military global balloon is saturated to the bursting point with wars and rumors of war and with world-wide imminent threats, ultimatums, and accusations against Israel like never before in world history. The chain of alliances in the Middle East (especially Syria)—where coalition A is fighting coalition B which is fighting coalition C, which in turn is fighting A—is a brittle cord ready to snap. The fragile tightened skin of the balloon is about to explode.
Something has to give, and it will give … soon.
Even more alarming than before the two World Wars of the 20th century, the prophetic pace of the 21st century is far too hectic, confusing, and relentless to allow time for anyone or any nation to pause long enough to effectively stop the doomsday clock from reaching the midnight hour. All the while, people “party” to escape today; hoping the next day brings them more time to ignore and delay their eternal destiny as they eat, drink, and be merry just in case tomorrow they die.
If anyone would chalk such an observation up to “doomsday melodrama” or flippantly brush aside the obvious warnings that come our way virtually every day, then they obviously prefer to sail on the same (imaginary) cruise ship of those in Noah’s Day—who after it was too late wished they had their own ark. With Noah and his family safely aboard the real boat of God’s protection and deliverance.
Here’s what Jesus said:
“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 24:37-39).
If you don’t know Messiah Jesus as Lord and Savior, please don’t wait until it’s too late. You truly need and want him as your Savior, not your judge.
“The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment” (John 3:35-36).
One day soon the Lord will judge the earth with perfect justice. Righteousness will reign. Truth will triumph. Peace will prevail.
Hallelujah to the Lamb of God! All praise to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!