October 8, 2023 - A. V. Rauf
Israel Declares A State of War on the Last Day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)
In the previous post I discussed about the importance of peace in the Middle East and how the Bible even calls for us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem according to Psalm 122:6:
Psalm 122:6–Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
I mentioned in the previous post that Bible prophecy envisions peace in the region in two stages. First, there will be a false peace engineered by a false messiah. Ultimately, the world will witness an even greater and everlasting peace between nations at the return of Jesus Christ as mentioned earlier.
The Prophet Zechariah in the Old Testament prophesied the Jerusalem would become focal point in International affairs that would impact the entire world in the last days:
Zechariah 12:2-3–“Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.
As of this writing, Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel and Hamas soldiers infiltrated numerous areas of the Israel-Gaza border and captured several border towns. Hamas fighters went into Israeli homes and slaughtered Israeli citizens while they slept and took other Israelis hostage . Reports from the first day of this onslaught are confirming over 300 casualties, over 1500 people injured many critically.
As a result, Israel has declared war on Hamas and has killed over 190 Hamas fighters in a limited counterattack. The Israeli Defense Forces have launched ‘Operation Swords of Iron‘ to strike back against Hamas and are striking Hamas strongholds from the air and sea and are preparing for a land invasion, thus, neutralization of ALL Gaza terrorist organizations is highly likely. All parts of Israel within a 50 Mile radius of Gaza and the entirety of Gaza itself have been designated as a “special military zone” by the Israeli Defense Force. As contingency plans have gone into full execution, this would also be inclusive of the Lebanon and Syria frontiers as well as Judea and Samaria.
HAMAS has called upon its allies in Judaea & Samaria and all Arab and Islamic nations to joining in on this war against Israel. It is being reported that Hezbollah stated that it supports HAMAS war and it is highly anticipated they they too will join in against Israel.
This can escalate to a full blown Middle East War if Iran ends up joining the fray. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s top military adviser said Tehran supported the attacks by Hamas against Israel and would continue to back the Islamist fighters “until the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem.” so if Hezbollah (which is in Lebanon) joins the war, as well as Jordan and Iran through its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.(By the way, The IRGC-QF has between 5,000 and 15,000 personnel, handpicked from the broader IRGC for their competency and allegiance to the regime) this could very well turn lead to the prophetic fulfillment of Psalm 83:
Psalm 83: Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.2 For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:6 The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;7 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;8 Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.
9 Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:10 Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth.11 Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna:12 Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.13 O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.14 As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;15 So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.16 Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O Lord.17 Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth.
It also bears mentioning that this took place on the last day of the Jewish Feast of Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles.
The first mention of the Feast of Tabernacles in the Bible comes from God as delivered to Moses on Mt. Sinai. In Exodus 23:16, God commands the Children of Israel, through their prophet, to celebrate a special feast of “harvest” or “ingathering.” Later in 23rd chapter of the Book of Leviticus, we learn that the feast should be celebrated in the seventh month, during the autumn season near the end of the year.
But of greater significance is the fact that the Feast of the Tabernacles was a celebration of all that God had done to lead and protect his people from freeing them from their bondage in Egypt, to guiding and protecting and providing for them during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.
So Israel was caught off guard during their national day of Sabbath and in celebrating this Feast.
Now in the New Testament, It was during the Feast of Tabernacles, in reference to the ceremony of pouring water into the silver basin, that Jesus publicly proclaimed His divinity and His mission. In John 7:37-39 we read the following:
John 7:37-39–In the last day, that great day of the feast (Feast of Tabernacles), Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
The Bible teaches a future role for the Feast of Tabernacles in the plan of God. Zechariah 12–14 tells of the final, climactic battle of the nations of the world against the nation of Israel. All the people of the earth will come against Jerusalem in battle.
Zechariah 14:1-9 —–Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. 2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished.
Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. 5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the Lord my God will come, And all the saints with You. 6 It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; The lights will diminish. 7 It shall be one day Which is known to the Lord— Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen That it will be light. 8 And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. 9 And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be— “The Lord is one,” And His name one.
Once again to put it into simplest terms, when the LORD comes and removes the faithful Church and unleashes His wrath on this earth and on the kingdom of AntiChrist, He will be intervening in the strategic conflict against the nation of Israel. This is the Day of the LORD. It is now very obvious to discern what is about to take place in the Middle East. In the map below the little red portion is Israel. The green portion is all the countries that are Islamic and are not too fond of Israel:
After Christ’s Second Coming and at the conclusion of the Tribulation period (aka The Time of Jacob’s Trouble), in Zechariah Chapter 14 it is mentioned four times that the nations of the world will then be required to go up to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
Zechariah 14:10-19–All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Remember that the time of Jacob’s trouble is the exact same event Jesus Himself mentioned in Matthew 24 where He prophesies about the coming time of great tribulation that will target the entire world in general, and the Jews in particular.
Matthew 24:20-21–But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Historically, Israel was destroyed in 70 AD, and the Jews were scattered across the nations according to Bible prophecy. In 1948, they were miraculously regathered in exactly the same place from which they were dispersed. But their regathering was a physical one, not a spiritual one and there has been a mass “Aaliya,“or return of Jews from the Northern , Southern, & Eastern parts of the world. Now Jews from the West have been returning to Israel in massive numbers.
God’s covenant with Israel and the Jews is eternal, just like His covenant with the Church is eternal and it cannot be broken, and God is not going to leave them in their fallen condition. The time of Jacob’s trouble is going to be the means by which He restores His chosen people back to a right relationship to Himself.
Hosea 5:15-–I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.
As for this current war with HAMAS, how severe the retaliation from Israel will be this time remains to be seen. Whether or not other parties join in on this also remains to be seen. Ultimately, how the nations react to Israel’s retaliation when this is all said and done also remains to be seen.
And on a final note, whether we as the Church are at the cusp of bringing in the “FINAL HARVEST,” beginning on this last day of the Feasts of Tabernacles also remains to be seen.
Buckle your seatbelts, because the remainder of 2023 looks to be very interesting!