The Bible is very specific about Israel's role in God's end-times plan, clearly demonstrating that the Jewish nation lies at the very center of the prophetic picture. The Bible is nearly as clear about the U.S. role in the future, as the absence of America in Bible prophecy indicates a diminished connection with Israel when end-times prophecy begins.
End-times Bible prophecy begins with the rapture of the Church, the blessed event in which Jesus will come in the air and remove from the earth (to be with Christ) all who have believed in Jesus for their eternal destiny (eternal life). Immediately after the occurrence of that prophetic event, a seven-year treaty negotiated between Israel and ten national leaders (from both Arab states and European nations) will initiate, which will start the clock ticking on the final seven years leading to the return to Christ. God will use that significant seven-year era to bring Israel into a relationship with Him, through faith in Jesus Christ; and believing Jews will fan out globally to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to every nation. [For a much fuller presentation on these end-times events, see Apocalypse 2012: The Ticking of the End Time Clock—What Does the Bible Say?]
Thus, as can be seen from this glimpse of the future, Israel will be central to God's prophetic plan. However, as stated above, the U.S. is absent from the picture altogether, which signals the necessary move from the side of Israel. Recent news items are defining these roles for us, if we are paying close attention to what they are communicating.
We begin with the U.S. prophetic role, or lack thereof. America's breakdown in the Middle East seems to clearly portray its movement out of the prophetic picture, and a classic example of this occurred this past week. Dennis Ross, one of President Obama's most influential advisors on Iran and the Middle East, announced his resignation Thursday at a lunch with Jewish leaders. His resignation comes six months after Middle East envoy George Mitchell stepped down and seems to signal the failed policies of the Obama administration in the region. These resignations also appear to indicate that the White House is moving away from the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. In fact, they may very well signal the end of direct and significant involvement of the U.S. in connection with any kind of regional treaty with the Jewish nation.
Then there is Israel, which seems to be constantly in the news. In fact, the world's focus on the tiny nation—no bigger than the state of New Jersey—can be constructed in no other way than that it is a divinely-directed focus (along the lines of Proverbs 21:1). Aside from the world's attention on a regional treaty involving Israel, global attention is directed to Israel and Iran.
For example, British authorities just announced that Israel will launch a strike on Iran—as early as Christmas. A senior Foreign Office figure revealed that ministers have been told to expect Israeli military action, adding: "We're expecting something as early as Christmas, or very early in the New Year."
A recent Wall Street Journal article claims that a nuclear Iran threatens the existence of the nation of Israel and makes the world a far more dangerous place. In this same article, the Journal justifies an Israeli attack upon Iran.
A recent IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) report shows clear evidence that Iran is working on nuclear weaponry. In addition, past IAEA director-general Ollie Heinonen detailed Iranian documents that describe how to design a nuclear warhead for the Iranian missile, the Shahab-3—one that needs to be detonated at an altitude of 600 meters. A conventional explosion at that altitude would have no effect; but that is the perfect height at which to detonate a nuclear device for maximum effect.
Aside from providing clear evidence that Iran's nuclear program has an express military purpose, the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency also shows nations that they are running out of time to halt Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Based on the report, experts have surmised that Iran is about a year away from the capability of nuclear weapons, including ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) with nuclear warheads loaded on them.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu declares that Iran is closer to a nuclear bomb than is believed. Based on Israeli intelligence, the prime minister strongly believes that Iran is much closer to nukes than is indicated in the report.
Since the Iranian regime has threatened the existence of Israel, and is seeking the means (nuclear weapons) to do it, Israel cannot allow it to obtain nukes. Thus, one wonders if the recent deadly explosion near the Iranian capital which killed 27 soldiers involved Israel. Western intelligence definitely believes that the Mossad, the Israeli version of the CIA, was responsible for it. Included in the casualties was Major General Hassan Moqqadam, described by Iranian state media as a pioneer in Iranian missile development and the Revolutionary Guard commander in charge of "ensuring self-sufficiency" in armaments, meaning he was a key figure in prepping missiles for the mounting of nuclear warheads. This means it was a big hit for the Jewish nation.
This Israel-Iran showdown seems to fit perfectly with end-times Bible prophecy, as the Iranian regime will need to be taken down in order to open the way for the treaty with Israel and for world leaders to proclaim, "Peace and security!" (as per 1 Thessalonians 5:3). Furthermore, if Israel brought down that regime, the Jewish nation would be the hero for both Arab and European nations, which could prepare for further alignment with Israel on the end-times treaty.
Thus, as we stated at the very beginning of this article, Israel lies at the very center of God's prophetic picture, while America is absent from it. This means that the U.S. will have moved from the side of Israel—and will have ended its direct role with the Jewish state in the regional peace process—when end-times prophecy begins. We have already seen signs of this occurring, just as we have begun to see strong indicators of Israel's significant role in end-times prophecy.
[John Claeys serves with John Claeys Ministries through writing, speaking, and radio ministries and is the author of Apocalypse 2012: The Ticking of the End Time Clock—What Does the Bible Say?, a riveting look of the events leading up to the return of Christ. See www.JohnClaeys.com for more information.]