IS THE UNITED STATES’ RECENT EMBASSY MOVE TO JERUSALEM A FULFILLMENT OF BIBLE PROPHECY?
by Shawn Brasseaux
The prophecy preachers are excited now that the United States has relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem! Is there any merit in their elation? Could this news be a sign of Jesus’ soon return?!
Someone points to Zechariah 8:22, “Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.” By having its embassy in Jerusalem, the United States is allegedly drawing worldwide attention to said city. Perhaps other nations will follow the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? They may even flock to the city en masse!
In His famed Olivet Discourse, Jesus laid forth many specific details about end-times prophecy. Two questions had generated that sermon: “And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?” (Luke 21:7). The more famous version is Matthew chapter 24; Mark chapter 13 is a third account. Matthew 24:3: “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” What we want to know about these verses is that they outline the various “signs,” or indications, of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Luke 21:20 says: “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” Certain prophecy preachers see here the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict having been intensified by the embassy transfer.
Making history, United States President Donald J. Trump will be meeting with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un next month. Some have gone so far as to see this predicted in Daniel chapter 11—the interaction of “the king of the north” and “the king of the south.” While we can see a connection of North Korea and the king of the north, the United States can hardly be considered “the south.” (For the record, the king of the north and the king of the south would be in reference to the land of Canaan—the land north of Canaan [that is, Syria] and the land south of Canaan [namely, Egypt]. North Korea and the United States have absolutely nothing to do with Daniel chapter 11! President Trump and Dictator Kim Jong Un are not there either!)
So, what are we to make of these current events? Should we be alarmed, excited, or indifferent? Rather than offering opinions, hunches, speculations, and the like, we will look at facts.
Firstly, we should point out that very rarely is the Bible ever used as God intended. This author, many years ago, was caught up in “seeing the Bible in the newspaper and nightly news.” When some world event occurred—especially concerning Israel and/or the Middle East—he arrived at the conclusion, “How close we are to the Lord’s return!” It was 70 years ago this month that Israel was founded as a modern nation. For seven decades, Christian people have been saying, “Israel is in the land and the Lord’s coming is near!” (A good many of these individuals have since died, having never seen His coming.) Rather than using the Bible properly, they rely on the traditional (ly wrong) approach the preachers and teachers learned in seminary and Bible College. The scoffers and skeptics then use this as ammunition to discredit the Bible. No, the Bible is not discredited; Bible corrupters and Bible abusers are discredited. These are nothing but cases in point for the need of proper Bible study. As you can see, people grab verses from just about anywhere in Scripture and try to make it fit a modern situation.
The only verse in the Bible that tells us to “study” the Bible also tells us how to study the Bible: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). If we keep looking and reading, we will find other verses to help us understand exactly what it means to “rightly divide the word of truth.” Two passages very helpful in that regard will be shared now.
Peter the Apostle preached in Acts chapter 3: “ Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” If we get nothing else from this, friends, we at least understand that God told man some information since Adam’s creation. God was unfolding His plan and He was revealing it to man piecemeal (little by little).
Paul the Apostle was led to write something quite different in Romans chapter 16: “ Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,  But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:….” With Paul’s ministry God is revealing some information He has kept secret since Adam’s creation.
Did you notice the simple divisions presented by the above verses? In the Scripture, there is revealed truth and there is hidden truth. Revealed truth is prophecy—something God spoke since the world began. Hidden truth is mystery—something God kept secret since the world began. There is absolutely nothing difficult here unless we have a denominational system to defend or a church tradition to maintain. It is so crystal-clear if we just let the words of God say what He means and mean what He says.
Let us offer a few more verses about special Paul’s ministry and message. When he was converted on the road to Damascus in Acts chapter 9, Saul had a personal face-to-face meeting with the ascended Lord Jesus Christ. Years later, in chapter 26, Paul provides his testimony: “ And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.  But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;  Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” We want to notice that Jesus Christ personally commissioned Saul of Tarsus as the apostle, or sent-one, of the Gentiles (verse 17). Romans 11:13 thus says, “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office.” And, Ephesians chapter 3: “ For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward.”
All of this shows us that, if we ignore Paul’s writings—the Bible Books of Romans through Philemon—we are disregarding God’s Word to us the nations. We do not go to Christ’s earthly ministry to find current divine revelation (remember, Jesus will not reveal the mystery until Paul’s ministry some years later). It makes no sense to grab Matthew chapter 24, or Luke chapter 21, or Mark chapter 13, and try to find us or God’s present dealings with man. How silly it is to yank a verse from Zechariah or Daniel and make it fit in this the Dispensation of Grace! Daniel and Zechariah had no idea about us the Church the Body of Christ.
If prophecy is ongoing, then that means the mystery program has stopped. If the mystery program is ongoing, then that means the prophetic program has stopped. Both cannot be operating because they are so radically different. Prophecy involves the nation Israel; mystery involves the Church the Body of Christ. We should stop mixing Israel and the Body of Christ, Law and Grace, Heaven and Earth, Prophecy and Mystery. Such mingling has caused absolute confusion in churches for thousands of years now.
Never once did the Apostle Paul—God’s spokesman to us Gentiles—ever tell us to look for “signs” of Christ’s return. We can search Romans through Philemon in vain. “The Jews require a sign,” 1 Corinthians 1:22 says. Are we Jews?! Then why are we looking for “signs?” In fact, as members of the Church the Body of Christ, we have no reason to be looking for the Second Coming of Christ anyway (which is what Matthew chapter 24, Mark chapter 13, and Luke chapter 21 anticipate). The Second Coming is prophecy whereas we are living in the mystery program. We are not looking for the coming as predicted in Matthew through John. Rather, we are looking for the coming as found in Romans through Philemon—Christ’s secret coming for His Body. This is commonly called “the Rapture,” although the Bible uses terms such as the “resurrection,” “redemption of our body,” “our gathering together unto Christ” (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:51-55; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; 2 Timothy 2:18; et al.).
While interesting, today’s events are not fulfilled Bible prophecy. According to Romans chapters 9-11, prophecy is temporarily paused!