A recent survey of Christian Evangelicals has them echoing Jewish prophecies, associating trouble in Israel and the rest of the Middle East with End Times.
Brookings Institute, a Washington DC-based think tank, recently released the results of their survey entitled American Attitudes Toward the Middle East and Israel. Among the more noteworthy results of their survey are two findings related to Evangelical Christian beliefs about Israel and the End of Days.
A staggering 73 percent of Evangelical respondents say that world events would turn against Israel the closer we get to End Times. In addition, 79 percent of Evangelicals believe that the unfolding violence across the Middle East is a sign that the End Times are near. These two findings are consistent with beliefs based in Biblical prophecy and rabbinic teachings.
In his book The Ishmaelite Exile, Rabbi Yechiel Weitzman confirms that Ezekiel’s prophecy is the more pleasant of the two. Weitzman explains that Ezekiel prophesied that the war of Gog and Magog will be fought outside of Israel. “According to the prophecy of Yechezkel (Ezekiel), the Jewish nation will not be involved at all in the war of Gog, for it will take place only in the mountains of the north,” he writes.
The darker prophecy comes from Zechariah and describes an End of Days war fought in Jerusalem:
“And I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to wage war; and the city shall be captured, and the houses shall be plundered, and the women shall be ravished, and half the city shall go forth into exile-and the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” (Zechariah 14:2)
Islamic terror occurring in Israel and across the Middle East – the specific violence that Evangelical Christians believe are a marker of the End of Days as revealed in the survey- was also hinted at by King David in the Book of Psalms.
“Woe is to me for I have sojourned in Meshech; I dwelt among the tents of Kedar. For a long time, my soul dwelt with those who hate peace. I am peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” (Psalms 120:5-7)
Sometimes, as in the above quote, the Bible refers to Ishmael using the name Kedar. Literally, Kedar was a son of Yishmael.
“And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael by their names, according to their births: the firstborn of Ishmael was Nebaioth, and Kedar and Adbe’el and Mibsam.” (Genesis 25:13)
Much later, troubling times for Israel at the End of Days was predicted by Rabbi Israel Meir HaKohen Kagan, born in 1839 and popularly known as the Chofetz Chaim. The Chofetz Chaim passed away in 1933, before Word War II, the establishment of the State of Israel and the ascendancy of Islamic terrorism. Nevertheless, he described the time before the arrival of the Messiah as one in which the Jewish people will endure difficulties that will occur in incredibly quick succession.
According to a translation by Weitzman, the Chofetz Chaim stated: “Before the coming of Moshiach (Messiah), Hashem (God) will act in a hurried manner so wondrous that even all who are wise of heart will be unable to fathom it. The troubles and persecutions [of the Jewish people] will follow each other so closely that there will be no space between them. Just as for an expectant woman who is about to give birth, the closer she comes to the moment of birth, the more intense her contractions and her pain, and this is the most reliable indication that the birth is nearing, so too, the wheels of the era will turn faster at the time of the birth pangs of Moshiach.”
There are those, like the prophet Ezekiel, who believe that it is still possible for God to bring the redemption with pleasantness and mercy. At the same time, like the Evangelical Christians surveyed by the Brookings Institute, the prophecies of Zechariah, King David and the Chofetz Chaim warn of a darker scenario.
Rabbi Pinchas Winston, international lecture, prolific author and End of Days expert, explained to Breaking Israel News that history certainly seems to be playing out a less merciful end game.
“End-of-Days scenarios have been around since the beginning of days. To many, Doomsday Sayers have seemed out of touch with reality. However, with the direction history seems to be going, and quite involuntarily, it seems more like reality is getting in touch with the Doomsdayers,” he said.
“Even mainstream media has begun mentioning the unmentionable: World War III, and all of a sudden the End-of-Days scenarios are becoming common culture for all peoples.”