Prophecy and Israel

The Future of the Temple in Jerusalem – Remarkable Similarities between History and Prophecy

Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau told the Knesset Channel in June 2016 that he would like to see a Third Temple built. The restart of the sacrificial offerings may happen very soon since the original location of the altar and Temple can be reached underground from the Western Wall without disturbing the Muslim holy places on the Temple Mount. The comparison of the history of the Second Temple and the prophecy of the Third Temple may lead to a better understanding of this prophecy.

The Riddle of Psalm 49 – is rapture a Jewish prophecy?

The concept of a divine rescue in form of rapture originates in Jewish scripture: it is mentioned in the book of psalms in form of a riddle and exemplified in the story of Enoch. The prophetic announcement of this glad tiding is found in Psalm 49:16 But God will redeem my soul from the grip of the Lower World (Sheol), for He shall take me. This verse is interpreted by Ibn Esra with the following words: „I shall never die; rather, my soul will be drawn upwards, until it disappears in the heavenly abode, as we read of the ancient tzaddik (Genesis 5:24) And Chanoch walked with God, then he was no more, for God had taken him“. The Christian scripture offers additional details in the book of Revelation: The man-child in Revelation 12 symbolizes to my understanding the Messiah together with 144 000 of Israel’s faithful, who are rescued by rapture as first fruits from the earth.

The Mystery of Glad Tidings in the Darkest Days

The man-child in Revelation 12 is a picture of Christ together with the church and a select number from Israel. The future part of the fulfilment of God’s mystery, which was promised as glad tidings to the prophets, is the promised rapture of the 144,000 first fruits of Israel. They will be taken to heaven together with the two witnesses when the 7th trumpet begins to sound.

God's plan for Israel

Since the age of the Church Fathers, the Catholic Church has taught that Israel has been once and for all rejected by God because of the crucifixion of the Messiah and replaced by the Church. This teaching - known as Replacement Theology – shaped most Christians‘ thought, even after the Reformation. No distinction was therefore made between God’s plans for Israel and His plans for the Church. It was only at the start of the 19th century that Manuel de Lacunza, a Jesuit, released a book called "The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty" which provided fresh insight on the matter. It showed that the Messiah must return in glory and majesty before the millenial kingdom begins, and that Israel has a future in God’s divine plan which is independent from that of the Church. The process of developing new ideas on this subject is ongoing. The article at hand discusses God’s plans for his people with a view to encouraging fresh consideration of prophecy. While some of God’s plans for Israel are already fulfilled, others will come into fulfillment in the future, perhaps even soon.

Ezekiel’s Vision of Israel’s Future

In chapter 37 Ezekiel sees a valley full of bones, representing the whole house of Israel. God had opened their graves, the bones taken out and put together to a corps, however, still without life. – The Spirit of God which is missing will, according to prophecy, create divine life in three different ways to three groups of Israel. In chapters 38 and 39 attacks against Israel are described which will take place when the people has returned to Israel and is living there in security. Therefore, the Near-East-Peace-Treaty must be in force before this attack is started. The enemy from the north will be defeated in Israel and the slain will be buried. About seven years later a last attack will follow, which will be warded off by the powerful intervention of Messiah, who will erect his kingdom of peace.