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 Post subject: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:27 pm 
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When I was a protestant a lot was made of the resurrection of the nation of Israel. It was viewed by many as a supersign that Christ would return soon. I'll refer to Luke 21 for some source material.

7 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the [f]sign when these things are about to take place?”

Interpretation: Jesus is going to explain what happens before he returns.

24b "Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."

Interpretation: Jerusalem was occupied by Gentiles and others for almost 1900 years before it returned to Jewish control in 1948 when the Jewish Israel became a nation. So we are now near the end becaue Israel is no longer "trampeled under foot by the gentiles"

Luke 21:29 "Then He told them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, [s]recognize that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I say to you, this [t]generation will not pass away until all things take place."

Interpretation: The fig tree represents Israel, and the generation living when it returns will not die out before Christ returns. A generation could be anywhere from 70-120 years, putting the end between 2018-2068.

The overal question is... Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"? How are the verses above understood within catholicism?


Last edited by Xavier on Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:32 pm 
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No....the modern secular state of Israel cannot be equated with the ancient, religious state of Israel.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:59 pm 
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that's an awfully large number on the high end for a generation, wouldn't you think? where did that "interpretation" come from?

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:01 pm 
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By the way, Jerusalem did not return to Jewish control until 1967, after the Israeli victory in the Six Day War.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:08 pm 
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xavier, istm an explanation for those verses was offered in currie's book "rapture:the end times error that leaves the bible behind".... i don't have my copy handy right now or i could check it out for you...in any case, it's a great book to delve into...if you have a mind to do so

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:18 am 
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faithfulservant wrote:
xavier, istm an explanation for those verses was offered in currie's book "rapture:the end times error that leaves the bible behind".... i don't have my copy handy right now or i could check it out for you...in any case, it's a great book to delve into...if you have a mind to do so


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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:18 am 
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Xavier wrote:
When I was a protestant a lot was made of the resurrection of the nation of Israel. It was viewed by many as a supersign that Christ would return soon. I'll refer to Luke 21 for some source material.

7 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the [f]sign when these things are about to take place?”

Interpretation: Jesus is going to explain what happens before he returns.

24b "Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."

Interpretation: Jerusalem was occupied by Gentiles and others for almost 1900 years before it returned to Jewish control in 1948 when the Jewish Israel became a nation. So we are now near the end becaue Israel is no longer "trampeled under foot by the gentiles"

Luke 21:29 "Then He told them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, [s]recognize that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I say to you, this [t]generation will not pass away until all things take place."

Interpretation: The fig tree represents Israel, and the generation living when it returns will not die out before Christ returns. A generation could be anywhere from 70-120 years, putting the end between 2018-2068.

The overal question is... Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"? How are the verses above understood within catholicism?


To understand the Olivet Discourse, you need to look at the way the passages are separated, while others are kept together:

End of the world:
Lk. 17:20 – 37
Mt. 24:37 – 41

Mt. 24:36 – 44
Mk. 13:32 – 37

Destruction of the Temple:
Lk. 21:5 - 33
Mt. 24:1 - 35
Mk. 13:1 - 31

If you take a look at the context for Lk. 21:5, Mt. 24:1 & Mk. 13:1, it is admiring the Temple. Jesus goes on to say that not one stone will be standing upon another.
Lk. 21:34 - 38

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:13 pm 
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God warned the Jews that disobedience of his commandments would result in them being removed from the promised land(Leviticus26:27-33, Deuteronomy28:64-65, 29:25-29). There are better examples I'm sure but I can't remember them for the moment. My point is that the Israelites seemed to have been uprooted from the land, namely due to their unbelief in Christ. That then begs the question, why are they back in the land when the vast majority of them still do not believe?

A possible explanation could be that God has brought them back to the land he promised to their ancestors, in preparation for their mass conversion, as Paul writes about in Romans 11:25-36. And as the RCC also teaches will be a sign of the endtimes;

CCC wrote:
674 The glorious Messiah's coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by "all Israel", for "a hardening has come upon part of Israel" in their "unbelief" toward Jesus. St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: "Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old." St. Paul echoes him: "For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?" The "full inclusion" of the Jews in the Messiah's salvation, in the wake of "the full number of the Gentiles", will enable the People of God to achieve "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ", in which "God may be all in all".


(Emphasis added)

A reference to Pauls letter to the Romans11:25.

Given God's conditional covenant with the Jews, and the Church's teaching on their conversion, I think that their return to Israel is very significant in terms of endtimes eschatology.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:07 am 
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Nope.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:16 pm 
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faithfulservant wrote:
xavier, istm an explanation for those verses was offered in currie's book "rapture:the end times error that leaves the bible behind".... i don't have my copy handy right now or i could check it out for you...in any case, it's a great book to delve into...if you have a mind to do so


Thanks, I put the book on my Amazon wish list.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:33 pm 
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If I follow the consensus here... the return of Jews to Israel is not predicted by Jesus' words as a sign of the end times.

However, the conversion of large number of Jews will be a sign of the end times and is buttressed by official church teaching as well as Biblical texts. We can confidently look forward to this as an indication of the return of Christ.

Let me ask a couple of follow-up questions to put this to rest: The Jews were ousted by the Romans around 70 AD, a prediciton made by Jesus. The catholic church sees a linkage between Jesus words back then (during his ministry), and the events that happened later (70 AD). Over 1800 years later, in what some call a miracle, the Jews are back in the same land. Many protestants, and some catholics, see see connection between Jesus' words, as I relayed earlier, and this event. But most on this forum see no significance to it whatsoever. The ouster of Israel was predicted by Jesus, the return was not. The return has absolutely nothing to do with the end times, period. Is this an offical church teaching, or is there room for multiple interpretations?


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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:55 pm 
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Xavier wrote:
If I follow the consensus here... the return of Jews to Israel is not predicted by Jesus' words as a sign of the end times.


Actually the consensus is that the modern secular state of Israel founded by men has no connection to the Biblical state of Israel that was founded by God.....

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:15 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Actually the consensus is that the modern secular state of Israel founded by men has no connection to the Biblical state of Israel that was founded by God.....


That isn't really what the thread starter is asking though Doom. The Church teaches that there will be a conversion of the Jews, and we know that God made a conditional promise to the Jews regarding the land.

Therefore the question remains, why are they back in the land before we have seen this conversion, and does it have any significance in terms of the end times?

I would agrue that it does, I would argue that one of the reasons God may have brought the Jews back to Israel is for that very reason, their conversion. There are other things besides God's conditional promise of the land to the Jews to make me believe this. There is also the return of Enoch and Elijah, who many believe will be sent to convert the Jews before the return of Christ, according to Catholic end times eschatology.

Haydock's Commentary wrote:
Ver. 8. Their bodies shall lie in the streets. It is what has often happened to the bodies of the martyrs, and may happen to Henoch[Enoch] and Elias[Elijah], for three days and a half, for a short time. --- The great city. Some understand any city where Christians are persecuted. Others by the following words, where also their Lord was crucified, will needs have to be understood Jerusalem, which they hold shall be rebuilt in the time of antichrist, and where by him shall be put to death Henoch and Elias. But others think it may be expounded of heathen Rome, which in a mystical sense might be called Sodom for its infamous crimes, and Egypt for its idolatries and superstitions, where Christ might be said to be crucified, not as to himself, but in his members, according to what he himself said, Matthew xxv. 40., "inasmuch as you did it to one of these, my least brethren, you did it to me." (Witham) --- City; Jerusalem, which it is supposed will be the residence of antichrist, and filled with a great concourse of people. (Menochius)


Source: http://haydock1859.tripod.com/id297.html

To completely dismiss the return of the Jews to Israel as insignificant, in terms of Catholic end times eschatology is naive in my opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:30 am 
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Jerome_2 wrote:
Doom wrote:
Actually the consensus is that the modern secular state of Israel founded by men has no connection to the Biblical state of Israel that was founded by God.....


That isn't really what the thread starter is asking though Doom. The Church teaches that there will be a conversion of the Jews, and we know that God made a conditional promise to the Jews regarding the land.

Therefore the question remains, why are they back in the land before we have seen this conversion, and does it have any significance in terms of the end times?

I would agrue that it does, I would argue that one of the reasons God may have brought the Jews back to Israel is for that very reason, their conversion. There are other things besides God's conditional promise of the land to the Jews to make me believe this. There is also the return of Enoch and Elijah, who many believe will be sent to convert the Jews before the return of Christ, according to Catholic end times eschatology.

Haydock's Commentary wrote:
Ver. 8. Their bodies shall lie in the streets. It is what has often happened to the bodies of the martyrs, and may happen to Henoch[Enoch] and Elias[Elijah], for three days and a half, for a short time. --- The great city. Some understand any city where Christians are persecuted. Others by the following words, where also their Lord was crucified, will needs have to be understood Jerusalem, which they hold shall be rebuilt in the time of antichrist, and where by him shall be put to death Henoch and Elias. But others think it may be expounded of heathen Rome, which in a mystical sense might be called Sodom for its infamous crimes, and Egypt for its idolatries and superstitions, where Christ might be said to be crucified, not as to himself, but in his members, according to what he himself said, Matthew xxv. 40., "inasmuch as you did it to one of these, my least brethren, you did it to me." (Witham) --- City; Jerusalem, which it is supposed will be the residence of antichrist, and filled with a great concourse of people. (Menochius)


Source: http://haydock1859.tripod.com/id297.html

To completely dismiss the return of the Jews to Israel as insignificant, in terms of Catholic end times eschatology is naive in my opinion.


I agree with you (not that I count for anything). :)

While the state of Israel is secular, it does allow for many Jews to be united in one place and that, arguably, would make mass conversion easier. That would likely have a ripple effect throughout the world; Jews everywhere would see the mass conversion of the state of Israel and possibly be prompted to conversion as well.

Dismissing the formation of the state of Israel out of hand as not associated with the "end times" might be naive.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:22 pm 
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This is a new one. Historically, protestants of this sort took generation as 40 years. If one looks at the major attempts among dispensationalists to predict the end times it is always 40 years after some major invent in the history of the Socialist state of Israel.

The Shepherd Rod movement predicted the end 40 years after the Balfur Declaration

The Church of the First-Born predicted it in 1969, 40 years after the formation of the Etzei

The founder of Calvery chapel said the last generation would be that of 1948 (when the state of Israel was founded!)

There were several predictions in 1988 including Hal Lindsey who explicitly linked it to the founding of Israel

Pat Robertson predicted the end forty years after the 6 day war, etc etc

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:09 pm 
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Solivagus in Mundi wrote:
This is a new one. Historically, protestants of this sort took generation as 40 years. If one looks at the major attempts among dispensationalists to predict the end times it is always 40 years after some major invent in the history of the Socialist state of Israel.

The Shepherd Rod movement predicted the end 40 years after the Balfur Declaration

The Church of the First-Born predicted it in 1969, 40 years after the formation of the Etzei

The founder of Calvery chapel said the last generation would be that of 1948 (when the state of Israel was founded!)

There were several predictions in 1988 including Hal Lindsey who explicitly linked it to the founding of Israel

Pat Robertson predicted the end forty years after the 6 day war, etc etc


I'm not saying that the end is anytime soon. We're probably a good 100 to 150 years away at the least. So while I believe that Isreal is part of the picture (as I discussed above), I certainly am not making some crazy Protestant claim...especially since I'm Catholic!

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:02 am 
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I always liked toying with the End of Times since we are supposed to be prepared anyway for our own end of time.
So here goes, the Old Testament had Sodom, we have San Francisco.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the existence of Israel a sign of the "end times"?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:46 am 
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the old testament had gomorrah...we have oakland :shock: sorry snake :wave

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