Bible prophecy may have a bad name in the light of Harold Camping's misguided date-setting, but the biggest sign of the end may have been overlooked in all the rapture hysteria of last weekend.
Once again, we've seen the U.S. hit with a series of deadly superstorms following Barack Obama's pledge to return Israel to pre-1967 borders.
Just days after Obama insisted Israel must give up lands it won through military victory with its enemies, some 200 people were killed by a tornado in Joplin, Mo.
There's a pattern here.
We saw it in Katrina, when George Bush forced Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. In fact, as everyone from Israeli rabbis to U.S. senators have noted, it seems to happen every single time the U.S. pressures Israel to divide the land.
The phenomenon was best documented by Bill Koenig, author of "Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel."
Koenig points out that nine of the 10 costliest insurance events in U.S. history followed dramatic calls by U.S. officials for Israel to make land concessions in bids for peace with its neighbors. He points out with startling detail how six of the seven costliest hurricanes in U.S. history followed such events. He points out how three of the four largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history followed such developments.
Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, even terrorist attacks have hit America often within 24 hours of calls by U.S. officials for Israel to withdraw from Jewish land.
What does this have to do with prophecy?
It goes right back to Genesis and God's pledge to bless those who bless the children of Israel and curse those who curse them.
That is a prophecy that has seen every empire of the world come and go – yet Israel remains. It may be chastened by God. It may be dispersed. It may be divided according to His will. But God has punished every nation that has come against Israel. Each one has been judged.
You can choose to believe it or not. It won't make any difference.
But he that touches the apple of God's eye will pay a price: "For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye." – Zechariah 2:8
If you want to understand prophecy, don't listen to Harold Camping – keep your eye on Israel and study your Bible.
In God's economy, there is Israel and then there are the other nations.
It was through Israel He chose to reveal Himself to the world – eventually through the birth, life, death and resurrection of His own Son.
And His Son is coming back to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It's no surprise where He will return and where He will reign – in Jerusalem.
Trying to understand God and His Son Yeshua apart from Israel is a tall order – because that's how He revealed Himself to us.
His ways are not our ways, and our ways are not His ways.
We can only understand Him through His revelation.
I don't know exactly what date He will be coming back.
I'm not sure exactly when He is going to call out His children.
But I do know it's near.
I know it's near because Israel has been rebirthed as a nation – a prerequisite that simply wasn't in place until 63 years ago.
The Bible predicts all kind of turbulence and chaos surrounding Israel in the latter days. It will nearly be destroyed. But Israel's long-awaited Messiah will save it. He will destroy Israel's enemies. He will reign for 1,000 years.
As Zechariah 12:8-10 reveals: "In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
And one shall ask Him, "What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends" (Zechariah 13:6).