Part One – Confirmed Promises
Bible prophecy deals with three classes of people: the Jew; the Gentile; and the Church of God. To Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, and to his descendants after him, God gave all the land from the river Euphrates to the river of Egypt for an “everlasting possession” (1Cor.10:32; Gen.15:18-21; 17:1-8). Later God confirmed these promises to Moses and appointed Jerusalem be the place where His name would be worshipped (Deut.12:5, 11, 14, 18, 26). About 500 years later God promised King David that his house and kingdom would be “established for ever”, and that there would always be one of his descendants to sit upon the throne of Israel. This line can be traced to both Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, and to Joseph, the husband of Mary, thus making Jesus Christ the son of David and heir to the throne (2Sam.7:12-16; Luke 1:30-33). When Jesus Christ came in fulfilment of many Old Testament prophecies, Israel rejected her Messiah; and in fulfilment of Jesus’ own words Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD, after which the nation was scattered around the world (Luke 21:20-24).
The Rapture Of The Church
Following Christ’s resurrection and ascension, God turned to the Gentiles, and through the Church, the Body of Christ, He has made His Truth known for nearly 2000 years (Eph.3:1-11, Rom.16:25,26). Sadly Christendom has apostatized, as Jesus said it would, and the Bible teaches that this “Church Age” will conclude with the Rapture, the “catching away” of all saved individuals. The Rapture will be sudden and unexpected. It will not be seen by the world. Those Christians who have died will be raised first, then those still living will be caught up together with them, in a moment, to meet the Lord “in the air” (1Thess.4:13-18; 1Cor.15:51, Luke 17:26-37).
The Coming Great Tribulation
Immediately after the Rapture Antichrist will appear from the Revived Roman Empire (EU) and “confirm a covenant with many for one week (7 years), but in the midst of the week he will cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease” (Dan9:27). The Jewish temple will have been rebuilt next to the Mosque of Omar, and halfway through the 7 years of the Tribulation Antichrist will proclaim his own deity. This will be the Great Tribulation during which Israel will turn to the Lord and again become God’s witness on earth. The re-establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948, and its subsequent growth to 6.2 million population in the land by 2001, indicates that this time is drawing near (Ezek. 36:16-38).