wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." (Daniel 12:9-10 KJV)
In the verses immediately before saying, "Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God," Isaiah placed his statement in this context: "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins." (Isaiah 40:1-2 KJV)
Why did the Jews need to return to the Promised Land in the final part of the days? Their presence there in a restored state of Israel with Jerusalem as their capital was essential to fulfillment of the prophecies about the return of Christ.
The First World War is usually discussed in terms of the political intrigues of Europe. But, viewed from a biblical standpoint, its truly significant aspects were the deliverance of the Promised Land from the Ottoman Turks to British control, followed by the Balfour Declaration, which laid the basis for re-establishment of the Jewish state.
As time neared for the predicted restoration of Israel to the Promised Land, unseen demonic enemies inspired Hitler to undertake the extermination of the Chosen People in an effort to thwart fulfillment of prophecy. The lasting significance of the Second World War was that diabolical efforts to annihilate the Jewish people before their return to Israel where thwarted.
Jerusalem has been the focus of international tension for thousands of years. But only now is the whole world involved. Only now is the whole world concerned about terrorism spilling over everywhere from the conflict centered around the ancient Holy City. Terrorists citing the status of Jerusalem as a principal grievance have struck in New York, in Indonesia, at the Pentagon not far from Washington, D.C., in Casablanca, and throughout the Middle East. Terrorist cells have been broken up and alleged terrorists arrested in Germany and in Italy. The whole world is in fear.
Also for the first time the whole world has a decision making body, and that decision-making
body is beginning to use military force to enforce its resolutions. All down through history the dominant world power was able to enforce its will. But now there is a world body representing all the nations that is able to act in a united fashion in regard to Jerusalem.
At the same time the Internet has brought a single consciousness to the entire planet. People everywhere can read the Jerusalem Post simply by going to www.jpost.com. The Arab view of the conflict can be learned by anyone anywhere in the world by going to any one of a number of web sites. When there are casualties in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, people around the world can see the victims on television or on the Internet. The emotions of the whole planet are involved with one side or another in Jerusalem.
In centuries past the world powers had policies toward Jerusalem, and the city's immediate neighbors had policies toward Jerusalem. But only in our generation do we find that China has a policy toward Jerusalem, and Japan has a policy toward Jerusalem, and Indonesia has a policy toward Jerusalem. Nations in south of America have their policies toward Jerusalem. The many countries of Africa have policies toward Jerusalem. Inhabitants of islands in the Pacific Ocean have policies toward Jerusalem. And events in and around Jerusalem result in terrorism and bombings in islands in the Pacific Ocean.
So it is only in our day that it has become possible for Jerusalem to be a problem for the whole world and for all the nations of the world to unite in imposing their solution.
Chapter 17 Nations United and Resolved
Zechariah's prophecy that "all the nations of the earth will be gathered against" Jerusalem (Zech. 12:3 NASB) parallels similar predictions recorded by