CATHY INSTALLMENT #25

Chapter Sixteen (continued)

“So the point of all this,” Joyce summarized for him, “is that God is letting modern Israel get boxed in to such a degree that her future would be hopeless if it wasn’t for God. Then He enters the picture by saving Israel against all rational expectations. Even if He doesn’t overtly show Himself, there will be no excuse left for people not to believe in Him.”

“Bingo. But there’s more to it than that. God had said that He would bless those that blessed Israel, and curse him who cursed Israel. Remember the problems that the early Americans had when they fell away?”

“Yes. You just talked about it.”

“Well, the United States historically has been a friend of Israel. President Truman was the first to recognize Israel as a modern nation. President Nixon, despite his other faults, helped Israel through massive airlifts of equipment to go from defeat to victory in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. But lately, U.S. policy has been changing for the worse, helped along by a totally misguided and unbelievably cowardly State Department. There was a large policy shift under the presidency of George Bush senior. That was the first time, unveiled during the Madrid Peace Conference in Spain, that the U.S. proposed a parting of the land of Israel, to be given to the Palestinians in exchange for their promise of peace. The plan was called ‘The Roadmap to Peace’. It was anything but. In the first place, the land already had been parted in support of the Palestinians, even before Israel had become a modern nation. The plan had been to give what is now Jordan, a large piece of real estate, to Israel, but it was taken away from them. The latest attempt to separate the Israelis from their land would make the remaining area completely untenable for defence in case the Palestinians decided to pursue their original game plan of tossing the Jews into the Mediterranean. And they’ve never gone back on that ultimate intent. They’re simply waiting for the right opportunity. God knows all about their murderous plans. In Joel Chapter 3, for example, he expresses His displeasure with the Gentiles for “parting my land”.

“So what happened in Madrid?”

“It didn’t happen in Madrid. It happened here. While Bush was in Madrid unveiling the Roadmap to Peace, the Perfect Storm, a very rare event, hit the eastern seaboard of the U.S. You know, the one they made the movie about where George Clooney tries to climb a skyscraper wave. It turns out that the storm generated thirty-foot waves that trashed Bush’s Kennebunkport home. That was a first and relatively mild warning. After Israel abandoned Gaza at the insistence of the U.S., the Jewish refugees streaming out of the area were matched by American refugees streaming out of New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina drew near. The number of such incidences is beyond coincidence. Oh, people continue to refuse to see any connection. But they do so because they want to, not from rational considerations.”

“It does seem like Israel has God looking after her. But still . . .”

“But still, you were going to say, God’s right at the edge on this one.”

“Well, yes, I’ve heard people say that modern Israel has nothing to do with God. After all, it still is a thoroughly secular nation.”

“What would you say if I told you that Israel’s return as a nation is foretold in the Bible? To the very day?”

“What? You can’t be serious!”

“I’m very serious. The late Grant Jeffrey, an in-depth Bible scholar, figured it out. According to him, God had foretold in Scripture not only the return of Israel as a nation into her land in 1948, but the exact date of that event. Dr. Jeffrey claimed that he was given the ability by God to piece together the items of Scripture by which that event was foretold, thus demonstrating two points: first, that Scripture is supernaturally accurate, and second, that God had everything to do with the return of Israel as a modern nation in bold opposition to those who would claim that Israel is no longer the apple of God’s eye.

“Before getting into the specifics of Jeffrey’s research, I should tell you that his conclusions are corroborated elsewhere in Scripture. The Book of Hosea contains prophecies regarding Israel’s lengthy dispersion and her subsequent revival as a nation. While not as precise as the prophecies that Dr. Jeffrey investigated, they are quite remarkable in their own right as to the accuracy of the general timing of Israel’s revival after two millennia of dispersion. The dispersion itself is addressed in Hosea 4:4 and 5:

“’For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king,and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim; Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord, their God, and David, their king, and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.’

“Hosea 6:2 addresses the general time frame of Israel’s return, in which a day is interpreted as a thousand years according to Psalm 90 and 2 Peter 3:8:

“’After two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.’

“That already floors me, Earl. I never knew the Bible spoke of the modern nation of Israel. But there it is, in black and white. How many Christians understand even that much?’

“Not so many yet, but I have a feeling that God is opening the books now to a whole lot of people, so probably many more are coming on board with respect to God’s hand in the affairs of modern Israel. Anyway, returning to Jeffrey’s work regarding Israel’s return as a nation, he received his first clue regarding the nature of Israel’s return from Ezekiel Chapters 36 and 37, in which the ‘dry bones’ connect together, are clothed with flesh, and are given life. Many eschatologists view these chapters as applicable to the Jews having been given new life and a return to their homeland after the Holocaust they suffered in Nazi Germany. Now as to the timing of their return to their homeland, Jeffrey received his first clue from Ezekiel 4:4-6.”

“Let me read it, Earl.” Joyce picked up her Bible and read aloud:

“’Lie also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it; according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it, thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have appointed thee each day for a year.’

“So that comes to, um, four hundred thirty years. From when?”

“Here comes the interesting part. Ezekiel himself was a captive in Babylon, so Dr. Jeffrey assumed that the judgment was to begin at the beginning of Israel’s or Judah’s captivity. Israel was captured by the Assyrians in the eighth Century B.C., while Judah became captive to Nebudchadnezzar somewhere between 606 and 605 B.C. Dr. Jeffrey attempted to apply the 430 years directly to each of these dates, but came up with no historically meaningful end date. Rather than give up, Jeffrey pursued the topic in greater detail, coming to an astonishingly relevant passage in Leviticus 26, specifically verses 17 and 18, and 27 and 28:

Joyce turned to these passages and again read aloud:

“’And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies; they that hate you shall reign over you, and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. . . And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me, Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.’

“Ohmygosh, Earl, so it wasn’t four hundred thirty years. It was seven times that, wasn’t it?”

“Here is where Dr. Jeffrey demonstrates the power of the Holy Spirit and the depth of his knowledge of Scripture,” Earl replied. “He realized in connection with this passage that during Ezekiel’s time, the northern tribes of Israel had been under continuous captivity while Judah was undergoing a punishment that, according to Jeremiah 25:11, would last for precisely seventy years. Jeffrey also realized that the passage in Leviticus quoted above was conditional upon the Jews failing to turn back to God after an initial punishment. Judah’s captivity did indeed end after seventy years, when the Persian King Cyrus, who was called by name by Isaiah over a century before his birth – that’s in Isaiah 44:28, Joyce – decreed at some time between 536 and 535 B.C. that Israelites could return to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple. The fulfillment of that prophetic message is recorded in the Book of Ezra. As a side point, many Christians confuse this prophetic event with the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 9 regarding the appearance of Messiah 483 years after the commandment permitting the Jews to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. That prophecy was fulfilled in the beginning event by Artaxerxes Longimanus in 445 B.C. as recorded in the Book of Nehemiah and at the conclusion by Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem 32 A.D. Anyway, Jeffrey appreciated that the outcome of Leviticus 26 would depend on the behavior of the Jews following the termination of their captivity in Babylon, which meant that the 70-year period of their captivity must be subtracted from the 430-year period of Ezekiel 4 prior to the application of the sevenfold punishment of Leviticus 26. He subtracted the seventy years that Israel had already served her captivity from the four hundred thirty years of Ezekiel to get to 360 years remaining. Then he multiplied this number by seven from Leviticus 26 to arrive at 2520 years.”

“Are you almost finished? My head is starting to spin.”

“Just about. Years mentioned in the Bible prophecy are always prophetic years of 360 days. Multiplying the 2520 prophetic years by 360 gives 907, 200 days.”

“What? Did you actually memorize that number?”

“Hey, this is a truly important prophecy. Yes, I did. I worked it out, too. I added that number to the date that the Babylonian captivity ended and arrived, just like Jeffrey did, at an end date of 1948 A.D. I didn’t go farther that that, but I have a feeling that if I did, I’d have come to the date of May 15.”

“That’s enormous, Earl. I’m overwhelmed.”

“So am I. The prophecy fulfills Isaiah 66, verses seven and eight:

“’Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child. Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”

“I’m speechless, Earl.”

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