Israel — What Does the Future Hold?
By Arlen L. Chitwood
But It Will Happen Again
Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.
And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. . . .
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”
“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God [lit., ‘a son of the gods’].”
Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire.
And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them. (Daniel 3:19-21, 24-27)
During the summer of 1941, when British Intelligence began intercepting radio reports about mass killings by the Third Reich in Poland, the outside world — though still unaware of the full extent and dimensions of the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” — became aware of that which would only later be fully known.
Winston Churchill, in a speech shortly afterwards, stated, in a somewhat cryptic manner so that the Germans would not know that their messages were being intercepted, “We are in the presence of a crime without a name.”
Down through the years since those days, remembering back on what was later called The Holocaust — that which happened to the Jewish people (among others) throughout Europe during the twelve-year reign of the Third Reich (1933-1945) — the Jewish people have had a saying: “Never Again!”
These words, “Never Again,” represent a promise to past and future generations that everything possible will be done to insure that nothing like the Holocaust will ever happen again.
The numerous Holocaust museums and centers in major cities, particularly throughout Europe and the United States, along with Yad Vashem in Israel (a memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust), are in existence to let the people of the world know, to educate them, pertaining to that which occurred. And a major underlying reason for all of this is to prevent such a thing from ever happening again.
In line with the preceding, present Jewish thought throughout Israel and the world at large is that the Jewish people will “never again” allow themselves to exist in a position of powerlessness, as the Jewish people found themselves in Germany and throughout Europe during the days of the Third Reich.
The nation of Israel in the Middle East today maintains very active, ever-ready military forces — Army, Navy, and Air Force. They have compulsory military training and military service for all citizens, men and women alike. A high percentage of the population is military-ready; and a ready-to-respond armed force — in any or all branches of service — can be called up overnight.
And these are not just ordinary forces. Israel’s Air Force, for example, is recognized as having some of the best trained pilots in the world, flying modern aircraft and using modern weaponry.
Maintaining military forces of this nature, along with having hawkish personnel in positions of authority in both the government and the military, would be another way of letting anyone who would dare even think about trying to come against Israel again to know in advance what to expect.
The Jewish people are determined to “NEVER AGAIN” let anything like the Holocaust befall them.
A Date Which Must Be Kept
BUT, with the existence of all the preceding, IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN! The Prophets have spoken, and the Words of the Prophets — God speaking through the Prophets — cannot be circumnavigated.
Israel has a pre-set, pre-recorded date with destiny, which MUST be kept. This date has been set and clearly marked on God’s prophetic calendar, and it cannot be changed. This date is called “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), and it will be kept during a time referred to as Daniel’s Seventieth Week (seven unfulfilled years relating to God’s dealings with Israel preceding the Messianic Era [Daniel 9:24-27]).
And this pre-set date, reserved for the Jewish people on God’s prophetic calendar, which MUST be kept, is for a reason and for a purpose.
The reason that this date must be kept is because of Israeli disobedience over centuries, even millennia, of time, which Israel has yet to acknowledge and correspondingly return to the God of their fathers.
And the purpose for this date is to bring Israel to that place, to bring about repentance, so that God’s plans and purposes for calling this nation into existence 3,500 years ago can be realized.
Thus, there HAS TO BE another Holocaust, in order to, by and through Gentile persecution, bring about Israel’s repentance. And this coming Holocaust HAS TO BE of a severe enough nature to bring this to pass
God drove Israel out among the nations to effect repentance; and He is going to leave them there UNTIL they do repent, intensifying the persecution until Israel is left without anyplace to turn other than back to the God of their fathers.
(The Jews presently in the land [there in an unbelieving and unrepentant state], having returned to the land during decades of time, resulting from a Zionistic movement, will have to be uprooted from their land and driven back out among the nations [something that will happen in the middle of the coming Tribulation, the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Matthew 24:15ff; Luke 21:20ff; Revelation 12:6ff)].
This will HAVE TO OCCUR, for God drove his people out among the nations to effect repentance through Gentile persecution, and this is the place where He has decreed that He will deal with them in this respect.)
Thus, there is a disobedient Jewish people on the one hand (both in and out of the land) — with all of their Holocaust centers and museums, Yad Vashem, and a mighty military power in the land — saying, “Never Again!”
Then, on the other hand, there are the Prophets who spoke millennia ago, who, in essence, have said “Yes, Again!”
And the Prophets have said this because of one thing — God’s omniscience, as He has looked down through centuries of time, seeing and knowing the continued unbelieving and unrepentant state of the Jewish people in the world today, both in and out of the land.
One More Time…
It will take one more round of Gentile persecution, one more Holocaust, one more Furnace. Then…
And when it does happen again, the coming Holocaust will be FAR, FAR WORSE than the past Holocaust. The future Holocaust will exist, not just in Europe, but worldwide; and the person in charge will be a man seated on Satan’s throne to whom Satan will have given “his power” and “great authority” (Revelation 13:2; cf. Revelation 12:1-17).
This coming Holocaust is seen numerous places in Scripture.
One such place is in the account of the three Hebrews cast into a fiery furnace heated seven times hotter than it was normally heated, in Daniel 3:19ff. These three Hebrews typify the Jewish nation as a whole, seen in the coming Holocaust, the coming Furnace, the coming Tribulation, the coming “time of Jacob’s trouble,” occurring during Daniel’s unfulfilled Seventieth Week.
But these three Hebrews, seen in a fire heated seven times hotter than it was normally heated (“seven,” a complete number, showing that the furnace was evidently heated as hot as possible without destroying the furnace), were not in the fire alone. A fourth Person was in the fire with them.
This fourth Person, as seen in corresponding Scripture, can be clearly identified as God Himself (Exodus 3:1ff; ref. Chapters 1-3 in this book). And, as a result, the fire, regardless of its intensity, had absolutely no effect upon these three men. For the fire to have affected them in any way, it would have had to affect the One in their midst the same way.
These three men emerged from the furnace without a single hair on their heads singed and without the smell of fire or smoke on either them or on their undamaged garments.
This is how the nation itself will fare in the coming Holocaust, exactly as the nation fared in the past Holocaust. But, just as in the past Holocaust, the individual Jew is another matter.
In the past Holocaust, 6,000,000 Jews died, though the nation lived (emerged unscathed, for, exactly as in the type in Daniel, the nation cannot be harmed).
In the future Holocaust, two-thirds of world Jewry will die (about 9,000,000 by today’s count [cf. Ezekiel 5:12; Zechariah 13:8, 9]), but the nation will live (emerge unscathed, again, exact as in the type).
Between Now and Then
We’re not told how events in the Middle East or the world at large will transpire between now and that future time spoken of by the Prophets. There will have to be a transpiring of events that will allow this man to somehow neutralize or overcome Israel’s armed forces, beginning this second Holocaust (when the rider on the red horse appears in the middle of the Tribulation [Revelation 6:3, 4). We’re told about his intrigues, among other things, and the covenant that he will make with Israel; but we’re not told what part these things might play, if any, in allowing this man to do the things that he will be able to do in that day.
This man — seemingly unopposed, or not deterred by a military power as seen existing today — will move against the Jews (“forces shall be mustered by him” [Daniel 11:31a]), beginning in Jerusalem, in a very sudden and what would appear to be a very unexpected manner. The Jews are told that when they see this man desecrating the Holy of Holies in the rebuilt Temple, if outside their homes, to not even take time to go back inside to pick anything up, but to flee from this man’s presence, to run for their lives (Matthew 24:15ff).
That is how sudden and swift things will transpire when this man’s actions begin a three and one-half-year Holocaust, which, after beginning in Jerusalem, will then spread throughout the earth, probably quite quickly. And every single Jew — not just in Europe, but worldwide — will be caught up in it this time.
Following That Future Time…
Following that future time though, matters will be exactly as they existed when the three Hebrews emerged from the furnace in Daniel chapter three.
Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!.
Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon. (Daniel 3:28-30).
A similar ending is seen in the book of Esther, where another facet of the same matter has been given. Haman, another type of the man who will sit on Satan’s throne during the coming Tribulation, sought to have all the Jews in the province slain.
But in the end, through circumstances brought about by God’s sovereign control over all things, Haman suffered the same fate that he had sought to inflict upon the Jews. Haman himself was impaled on the same gallows that he had built for Mordecai, a Jew who “sat in the king’s gate.”
And, the two prominent Jews dealt with throughout the book — Esther and Mordecai, representing, as did the three Hebrews in Daniel, the entire nation — found themselves, at the close of events seen in the book, in positions comparable to that seen in Daniel.
Esther came into possession of all that Haman had owned; and Mordecai, among other honors, was promoted in the kingdom.
Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “Indeed, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows because he tried to lay his hand on the Jews.” . . .
And King Ahasuerus imposed tribute on the land and on the islands of the sea.
Now all the acts of his power and his might, and the account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen. (Esther 8:7; 10:1-3)
The same story is told from yet another perspective in the account of Joseph and his brethren in Genesis chapters thirty-seven through forty-five. The story begins with Joseph’s rejection by his brethren (chapter 37) and it ends with Joseph’s acceptance by his brethren (chapter 45).
In the latter part of the story, two seven-year periods are seen — a seven-year time of plenty, followed by a seven-year time of famine. And the time of famine would be so severe that the time of plenty would not even be remembered (Genesis 41:29-32).
Throughout the time of plenty (Genesis 41:47-53 ), Joseph’s brethren continued in the same state as seen back in chapter thirty-seven — as the ones rejecting him, not even knowing that he was still alive.
But, once the time of famine arrived (Genesis 41:54-57), they were left with no place to turn for help other than to Joseph (who had been elevated to second in command over all Egypt and one whom they knew not, even later when in his presence [Genesis 42:1ff]).
And, in the end, they were driven to the place where they had to acknowledge, in Joseph’s presence, that which they had done years before (resulting from their rejection of him [Genesis 44:16ff]).
Then Joseph, with his brethren brought to this point, was unable to contain himself any longer. He wept aloud as he revealed himself to his brethren:
I am Joseph . . . whom you sold into Egypt. (Genesis 45:3a, 4b)
His brethren, understandably, were “dismayed in his presence” (v. 3), but Joseph set them at ease, calling attention to God’s reason and purpose for that which had occurred (v. 5).
And, after certain events had transpired, Joseph’s brethren went forth with a dual message:
“Joseph is still alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 45:26).
Placing these types together provides different facets of the complete picture. We are presently living during a time of plenty, but a time of famine is coming, one like unto Haman is coming, and a furnace heated seven times hotter than normal awaits Israel.
The nation will be driven to the same place Joseph’s brethren were driven; and the nation, during this time, is going to do exactly the same thing Joseph’s brethren did. They will go to their Brother for help; they will go to Jesus for help, One whom they will not know, the One whom they rejected and crucified in past time.
They will be brought to the place, in His presence, where they will be forced to acknowledge their guilt (Zechariah 12:10-14; 13:6). And Jesus will then reveal Himself to them, evidently weeping, as Joseph did in the type:
I am Jesus . . . whom you crucified.
The Jews will, understandably, be troubled, exactly as Joseph’s brethren were troubled. But Jesus will set them at ease, calling attention to God’s reason and purpose for that which had occurred (cf. Luke 24:25-27).
And after certain events transpire (those which are seen in the Jewish festivals and certain judgments yet to occur [the trumpet and vial judgments]), the Jewish people will go forth to the nations of the earth with the same dual message that Joseph’s brethren carried forth:
Jesus is alive, and He is Governor over the entire earth.