How do we read bible prophecy in light of current events? As a spiritual parallel or an allegory with hidden messages? Do we read it with a grain of salt, believing that it was not for today, but written for “their ancient times”? Or could it be that the prophets were actually telling us what would one day happen?
One of the most damaging beliefs within mainstream Christianity is Replacement Theology (the false belief that God has replaced Israel with the Church) and how it directly distorts the Scripture's meaning and intention, more specifically the prophetic books. Within 100 years of the Apostles’ deaths, decisions were made by early Church fathers (namely Origen and others) to begin teaching much of the Jewish prophets' writings as an allegory or symbolic meanings. From their point of view and the current events of 2nd Century, God was “obviously” finished with the Jews for “killing Jesus”. The “proof” of this was the Roman destruction the Temple in 70 AD and the final crushing defeat of the Jewish revolt in 135 AD. There needed a way to explain over 2000 references to Israel or Israelite that is found throughout the Bible. The solution was to teach Israel as an allegory, where the characters or locations are simply insignificant players to communicate specific aspects of God. This bending of the Scriptures began one of the most demonic doctrines in Church history that allowed, justified and encouraged Christians to participate or at least, turn a blind eye toward the murderous persecution of the Jewish family in the last 1800 years.
Today, to continue to believe that God has utterly rejected Israel is to simply ignore modern history, stunning national miracles and tangible facts of the last 70 years. This theology is often still argued until one visits Israel and finds that the prophets’ actually meant what they said — God will again restore Israel to their land, the land will be cultivated and the waste cities will be rebuilt (Ezekiel 36). For the first time in 2000 years, it happening right now.
The most repeated promise throughout the Prophets is that God will return His people to the land that was promised them. It's happening and Jewish people flood back to the land after 2000 years. Isaiah 27:6 says “In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout, and they will fill the whole world with fruit”. It’s happening — Israel is now exporting over 1.5 billion fruit and vegetables annually. Isaiah 35:1 says the desert will bloom — it’s happening as vast greenhouses are exporting millions of flowers annually from the Negev desert. It’s not poetic, it’s tangible.
Yeshua also taught us this literal interpretation of prophetic scriptures. In Matthew 24:1-2, Yeshua’s disciples came to Him and pointing out the beauty of the temple and His response was stunning.
Yeshua came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. And He said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down."
Less than 100 years later, we find in Jospheus’s writing that this word was literally fulfilled when the roman emperor gave the order to “demolish the entire city and the Temple” (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 7.1.1). Yeshua’s words of what was to come was literal, not figurative or allegorical.
God gave the Scriptures to lead us in the right way, not to be taken by surprise. When we take Israel out of the Bible, there are large portions of Scripture that do not have proper context. When we read it as it is written with the nation of Israel and Abraham’s descendants taking a primary role, there is a complete story line and unfolding purpose of God in the earth.
In the scope of human history, there are some simply amazing and documented miracles happening in Israel right now that has never happened before on the earth, let alone foretold 1000s of years before. If the last 70 years of Israel’s history have shown us anything, it’s that the Bible IS true, God does keep His promises and that the “prophetic scriptures” regarding Israel are not so mysterious and hard to understand; they are literal. Today, Israel is showing us that God has plainly described what to expect in these days, for the world to see and to bring glory to Himself. For those that are watching, there is no allegory or symbolism, it’s happening exactly as the prophets said.
Better yet, join me in Israel from May 5-14, 2019 for the Israel Rising book tour and I'll show you myself. Click here for info!
(Photo Credit: Elisemonique.com)
Doug Hershey is the author of Israel Rising, conference speaker and founder of Ezra Adventures, an Israel focused travel and education company. From years of hands-on experience, cultivating unique relationships in Israel and a love for history, Doug provides a rare perspective on the connection between the Jewish Scriptures and present day Israel. When he is not in Israel, he is speaking in churches and synagogues about the prophesied restoration of Israel.
The Prophets foretold the revival of the physical land of Israel. After 2600 years its unfolding exactly as was written. To see over 100 then/now jaw dropping photo comparisons (including 15 of Jerusalem) that provide visual evidence that the land of Israel is reviving as foretold, with 2000 years of historical eyewitness accounts of the land, order Doug’s new book “Israel Rising: Ancient Prophecy/ Modern Lens” here!