Please remember as you study this subject of Israel in the end times, that God's promises to Israel were conditional upon them keeping His commandments and accepting Christ Jesus as their Saviour. Now take a look at the following Bible verse:
1 Kings 9:6-7 ...'But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people.'
And everyone knows that the Jewish nation continued to disobey God and rejected Christ Jesus as their saviour!
If you type in the phrases end times or bible prophecy in a search engine, you will come across a huge number of websites connecting end times bible prophecy with the literal nation of Israel. Bible prophecy students and teachers alike have their eyes firmly fixed on Israel, eagerly watching and waiting to see what is happening there. These people base their end time beliefs purely on what is happening in Israel. Is this right? I don't believe it is, and in this study, I will reveal to you why I believe that many, many sincere people have their eyes focused in the wrong direction.
Where did this line of bible prophecy teaching come from? Well, in the 1980's, Hal Lindsey wrote books proclaiming this belief that the nation of Israel would be the centre of the end time struggle, including a literal armageddon. In his books he predicted a secret rapture of the church, a literal temple being rebuilt, the antichrist being revealed in this temple, the battle of armageddon and the beginning of the thousand year millennium. According to Hal Lindsey, all this was to happen by 1988. As we can see, these events have not happened, but the unfortunate thing is, even though these teachings were shown to be in error, they are still believed by many and continue to flourish among many Christians around the world. The big question we need to answer here is whether or not Bible prophecies concerning the end times point to the physical nation of Israel, or do they have a more spiritual deeper meaning. Before you continue with this study, I would highly recommend you take a look at the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel.
The Roman Catholic Church WANT you to look to the middle east for endtime events and a "future" antichrist, because it takes the focus off them as being the REAL Bible antichrist.
Take a good long look at the following bible verse spoken by Jesus ... Luke 17:20-21 ...'And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.' ... Now remember that the Jews misinterpreted the prophecies concerning the first coming of Jesus. They were expecting Jesus to be this mighty warrior, who would set up a physical kingdom and crush the kingdom of Rome. Even during Jesus' life and ministry, the Jews were still watching and waiting for this earthly kingdom that Christ would setup. But as you can see from the above verse, Jesus explained that the kingdom was a 'spiritual' one. But even after all His teachings during His ministry, they were still waiting for a physical kingdom that would not appear ... Luke 24:21 ...'But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel.' ... Looking at Jesus on the cross, they were still clinging on to this physical kingdom teaching, and their hopes were crushed.
When has Jesus ever said that His kingdom would be a kingdom of war and destruction? Jesus' whole message in the Bible was one of peace and love and doing good to one another. But there is a verse that many Bible students and teachers use in the wrong way ... Matthew 10:34 ...'Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.' ... This has been applied to a physical kingdom and a physical war. Jesus' Word was the double edged sword that would cause division amongst people. When He said that He came not to bring peace, but a sword, He was talking about His teachings ... Ephesians 6:17 ...'And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.'
I really believe that the church today is making the same mistake, by applying Israel in end times prophecy to literal Israel, rather than in a spiritual sense. There is going to be huge disappointment and consequences for many Christians who are holding on to this literal end time teaching. During the reformation, the Roman Catholic Church was revealed as the antichrist by the reformers, and because of this the Jesuit priests were commissioned to invent new interpretations of Bible prophecy to take people's eyes off the Papal Church and place them somewhere else. Sadly, many of the end time prophecies that are taught today are based on these false Jesuit interpretations.