Most biblical Christians realize that Israel is a significant marker in the Lord’s second coming. The creation of the state of Israel is believed to be a fulfillment of prophecy regarding the return of the Lord. Why? Because of the Lord’s answer to their question:
Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
In order for this “abomination of desolation” to “stand in the holy place” there has to be another temple built. There are those who say that this passage of Daniel:
Dan 11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
Has already been fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes. Presbyterian Albert Barnes explains it this way:
The very expression occurs in 1 Macc. 1:54: “Now, the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred and forty-fifth year, they set up the “abomination of desolation” upon the altar, and builded idol-altars throughout the cities of Judah on every side.” This would seem, from 1 Macc. 1:59, to have been an idol-altar erected “over” or “upon” the altar of burnt-offerings. “They did sacrifice upon the idol-altar, which was upon the altar of God.” “At this time an old man, by the name of Athenaeus, was sent to Jerusalem to instruct the Jews in the Greek religion, and compel them to an observance of its rites. He dedicated the temple to Jupiter Olympius; and on the altar of Jehovah he placed a smaller altar, to be used in sacrificing to the pagan god.”
Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible
And this is true. But the nature of biblical prophecy is the ability for more than one fulfillment. Take this passage from the Gospel as an example. John quotes Zechariah in describing the people watching Jesus be crucified.
Joh_19:37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
But a look at the quote of Zechariah shows that the context of the verse is about Jerusalem being surrounded and destroyed.
Zec 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
Zec 12:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
Zec 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
This, of course, did happen in 70 AD, but Jesus had already ascended. The phrase is repeated in Rev 1:7.
Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Other examples of multiple fulfillment exist, but this is sufficient for the purpose of this article. Israel and the rebuilding of the Third Temple are major markers of the Lord’s return.
It is also important to keep the context of what Jesus said regarding seeing the “abomination that makes desolate.” Prior to this statement he also said:
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world
for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
The fulfillment of the Great Commission comes first. Which means every believer who is serious about the Lord’s return should be sharing the Gospel where ever they go.
Trump’s Recognition of Israel
For the last 30 years I listened to candidates for president promise to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem then renege after getting into office. A promise that was mandated by Congress in the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act which required the move to occur in May of 1999. Trump fulfilled his promise when he opened the embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. This is a significant prophetic marker in that it makes the world recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, which is one more step towards the building of the Temple.
President Trump has continued pressing forward in his March 25, 2019 recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. A move he has been able to make since he has removed ISIS from Syria.
Some kind of temple has to be rebuilt in order for the “abomination” to enter the Holy of Holies. Some think that Ezekiel’s temple will be built, while others believe that a temporary temple will be built, saving Ezekiel’s temple for the millennium.
Whichever is correct, the Dome of the rock sits atop Herod’s temple mount. A conflict of two world religions has to be resolved before Israel can build another temple Even in Israel their is division over the temple. Some don’t want a temple at all. The Hassadim believe that only Messiah can build the temple, and they are right. However, they are wrong about the temple that Messiah builds. Like Trump who has been building the wall between Mexico and the USA all along, Jesus has been building his temple for the last 2,000 years. His temple is the body of Christ, not the stone structures Israel wants to build.
There is a common belief that the man of sin will negotiate peace between Israel and Islam which will allow Israel to build a temple. The danger in this belief is that our generation might be blinded by this doctrine just as many Jews at the time of Christ’s incarnation believed Messiah would overthrow Rome, thus not recognizing him when he came.
There are two deliberate gaps in prophetic information that God has withheld from us. The first is in Daniel and the second is in Revelations.
Dan 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
Dan 12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
Dan 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
And with John:
Rev_10:4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
The Lord told us what attitude we should have in these last days.
Mat_24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
It is time to watch the news, for markers have been passed already.