By Reggie Kelly
It is our view that the present status of Israel does not sufficiently conform to those conditions depicted in Daniel and the Olivet prophecy (Matthew 24:1-51) that would suggest an imminent fulfillment of the final events (e.g., deceptive peace through treaty with anti-Christ; compare Dan. 9:27; 11:23; Ezek. 38:8,11,14; 39:26 with 1Thes. 5:3). In order for those prophecies to be fulfilled in many particulars, a radical reconfiguration of Israel’s current political climate is implied. Jerusalem will not ‘ultimately’ be internationalized as many believe.
The prophecies imply that Jerusalem will be under the control of the orthodox (intimated by the Lord’s reference to Sabbath travel restrictions which are evidently in force at that time; Mt 24:20). This and the distinctly religious character of the covenant that the anti-Christ endorses (Dan. 9:27; 11:22, 28, 30) are just some of the things that suggest that current conditions do not fully line up with the requirements of the prophecy. Hence, a radical realignment seems necessary. The above passages, with Mt. 24:15; 2Thes. 2:4; and Dan. 11:31; 12:11, reflect the dominance of the orthodox in the restoration of the temple ceremony. It is therefore reasonable to consider, that if the orthodox community is to at some point control Judea and the Temple mount, major changes are implied that could mean a complete upheaval of the status quo, a change very possibly effected by a serious preliminary violence.
Where does this future triumph of the orthodox, implicit in the above prophecies, fit in the current political context? The conditions anticipated in prophecy may emerge as the result of another war (now threatening). If Jerusalem is held or recaptured at great cost in Jewish blood, Israel would be, from that point, impervious to international demands to partition the holy city. An unparalleled outbreak of anti-Semitism is likely when Jewish intransigence on the question of Jerusalem is seen to threaten world peace. Therefore, it is more than inference or mere speculation to expect the complete upending of the nation’s current political posture by nothing short of world shaking reversals that ultimately set the stage for the covenant with death (Isa. 28:15; Dan. 9:27; 11:23), which erupts after three and one half years in ‘Jacob’s trouble’ (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Mt. 24:21).