One of the clearest pictures in the Bible of the second coming of Yeshua (Jesus) is found in Zechariah 14:2-3:
"I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem, the sea shall be taken...then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as He fights in the day of battle."
For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle. The city will be captured and the houses plundered and the women ravished. ... Then the Lord will go out and fight those nations as He fights in the day of war."
The fact that the second coming of Yeshua is connected with a battle over Jerusalem raises several theological problems. Interestingly, today's dramatic developments relating to terrorism, Islam and the United Nations are shedding light on how this prophecy could come to pass.
The first problem is one of coalition: How could all the nations of the world, from so many different backgrounds, come together in agreement? In recent years, we have seen the block of Islamic nations joining together with the liberal humanist nations, especially European nations, in anti-Israel resolutions in the U.N. Although the humanist nations and the religious Muslims are so different in their worldviews, they are able to come into unity against Israel.
The second problem is one of focus: How could all the nations of the world be focused against one small city? Here again we see the threefold influence of terrorism, Isla, and the United Nations. Terrorism affects all the nations of the world, but its primary focus is Jerusalem. Islamic claims on Jerusalem as its third most holy city (El Quds) and Palestinian anti-Israel propaganda in the UN, have made Jerusalem the focal point of international conflict in our generation.
The third problem is one of Christian Eschatology: How are Christians around the world to equate their faith in Jesus with the city of Jerusalem? Certainly, a Christian well read in the prophesies of the Bible will already be aware that the battles of the End Times are centered around Jerusalem. However, modern events are also forcing Christians to see the connection between Jesus and modern-day Israel. As some Christians see roots in the U.N. of a one-world anti-Christ government, so also they see the U.N. as a forum for anti-Israel propaganda. As Islam has become in our generation the primary obstacle to world evangelism, so has it also become the primary motivator for anti-Israel sentiment. Militant Islamic terrorism is not only directed against Jews but is also the greatest cause of Christian martyrs in the world today.
The fourth problem is one of Jewish messianic expectations: While many religious Jews understand biblical prophecy of the coming of the Messiah at the time of a great apocalyptic battle over Jerusalem, they do not see that as connected with Yeshua. However, as the nations of the world turn more against Jerusalem, the people of Israel are finding that our only allies are staunchly evangelical Christians.
The fifth problem is one of morality: if Yeshua is coming back to judge the world in righteousness (Ps. 98:9), why would He particularly punish those who are against Israel, when there are so many evils in the world today for him to judge. Yet suicide terrorism, especially against Israel, is emerging as one of the greatest evils our world has seen. We have yet to see the effects of what suicide terrorists will do if they get their hands on small nuclear devices or biological/ chemical weapons. Terrorism and how it is interpreted is increasingly becoming an issue that forms a moral dividing line between good and evil. Every truly moral person is having to take a stand against terrorism. Since the number one focus of worldwide terrorism is Jerusalem, Jerusalem is becoming, de facto, the moral dividing line of all peoples.
Liberal humanism in the U.N., religious militancy in Islam and the growing wave of suicide terrorism are together forcing Christians, the people of Israel and simply moral people everywhere to be aligned together. This alignment sets the stage for the prophecies concerning the second coming of Yeshua to take place.
Asher Intrater is the founder and apostolic leader of Revive Israel Ministries and oversees Ahavat Yeshua congregation in Jerusalem and Tiferet Yeshua congregation in Tel Aviv. Asher was one of the founders of Tikkun International with Dan Juster and Eitan Shishkoff and serves on the board of the Messianic Alliance of Israel and Aglow International. He and his wife and full-time partner in ministry, Betty, have a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew and unity of the body of believers worldwide.
This article originally appeared at reviveisrael.org.
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