For over a decade, I have been declaring in many gatherings in many cities of the earth: “While all eyes would be on Iran, to watch Syria. Iran will pose a great threat, but the imminent danger to Israel’s security would arise out of Syria.” I have warned of chemical and biological weapons being stored up in this rogue nation and how they would attempt to export them to their puppet regime of Lebanon. I have seen this multiple times in dreams. But I also believe that prayer changes things!
Sometimes I have grace and faith to pray that what I see does not occur. Sometimes I sense grace to intervene. Other times, like many of you, I have called forth the “Shields of the Lord to Arise” to protect Israel. At one point I called forth 91 Days of Prayer for the Homeland Prayer Initiative to protect the borders of the United States of America. Sometimes I have sensed things are “out of God’s appointed time table” and to call forth angels from heaven into the earth realm to hem in the demonic enemy. At times I sense the clock is ticking according to God’s prophetic calendar and in the midst of turmoil, His purposes are coming forth.
In the fall of 1987, an angel of the Lord visited me and declared to me times of great distress would come the Persian Gulf. In that angelic visitation when we lived in south Kansas City, MO, I was given the exact dates of both Gulf War invasions in 1991 and 2003. I was assigned by the Lord to be a “Crisis Intercessor” for the entire month of February, 1991 when there would be a “ground engagement” in the land of Iraq. I took my place and I did my part along with others around the world.
Later, I saw in the Spirit that Syria would conspire a scheme of invading the Golan Heights as things would heat up and temporarily go “out of control in the Middle East.” Years ago the Holy Spirit spoke to me about the fall of 2012 (5773) and how things would heat up and spill over into an eruption in 2013. I have meditated on Psalm 83 where it says, “The nations will conspire to wipe Israel off the face of the earth to be remembered no more.” I have written and spoken on Psalm 83 for the past decade. Like many of you, I have logged many personal hours over the years being up the middle to night to “watch to see what the Lord would speak.”
The Countdown to Zechariah Twelve
In January of 2004, the Lord woke me up in the middle of the night and said, Watchman, tell me, what do you see? I looked up and in a visionary experience saw a clock that was not there in the natural, hanging on the bedroom wall. The time on the clock read 11:53 p.m. and above the 12 were the letters “Zech.” The Holy Spirit then said, Watchman, tell me, what do you hear? Then suddenly the external, audible voice of the Lord came: It is the countdown to Zechariah 12.
I rested in the presence of God for a while and did not move until His manifest presence withdrew. Then I turned on the light and read Zechariah 12. It is the most amazing chapter, all about a city named Jerusalem. Let’s read a portion of it together:
The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel. Thus declares the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundations of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.” . . .
“In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them. And . . . I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”
Zechariah 12:1–3, 8–10
The countdown to Zechariah 12 is on. I never have stated that this would happen in the next seven minutes, seven years or even seventy years. What I do know is that God’s prophetic clock is moving toward a kairos moment when God’s plan for Jerusalem will be consummated. This is the final countdown!
God has a Road Map, and it points toward Zechariah 12:10. It is easy to identify with Zechariah 12:3 as we hear about the nations coming against Jerusalem. But read further and you will see that Zechariah 12:10 declares that God will “pour out the Spirit of grace and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and they will look upon the One whom they pierced and will mourn.” Let’s arise and pray for Israel’s destiny and that of the entire Middle East!
Romans 11 through Isaiah 53
Since that revelatory encounter those many years ago, I have pondered on the time shown on the clock—11:53. Perhaps it is something like this: Romans 11 will be fulfilled through Isaiah 53. Romans 11—“all Israel will be saved”—will be fulfilled by a revelation of the Suffering Messiah in Isaiah 53.
Romans 11:12 speaks of how the Jewish people’s rejection of their Messiah has brought salvation to the Gentiles. Paul says, “[If] their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!” Romans 11:15 goes on to say, “For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”
What do you think “life from the dead” looks like? Zechariah 14:5, 8–9 and 11 gives us a glimpse of that day:
Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! . . .
And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem. . . .
And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one. . . .
People will live in [Jerusalem], and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security.
The Father will reward His Son, the Messiah, for His sufferings. The salvation of Israel is a key component of that reward, and the Father will not do without it. If we are going to align ourselves with the God of Israel, we are going to have to align ourselves with His covenants and His prophetic promises of the salvation of the Jews and the restoration of Jerusalem.
It is not difficult to find political analysts, historians, reporters and even theologians ready to explain their theories and share commentary on Israel’s current state of affairs. But despite the abundance of opinions and strong feelings, the future of Israel still remains a mystery to most of the world. Paul, the apostle and bond slave of the Lord Jesus Christ, did not want believers to be uninformed of this mystery or to be wise in their own estimation concerning Israel (see Romans 11:25). The Holy Spirit through Paul made a number of very clear points in Romans 11.
Despite what it may look like, Israel has not fallen so far from God that they can never return. In fact, their falling away was ordained by God as a measure of grace to us, the Gentiles. Paul said it this way: “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit” (Galatians 3:14, niv).
The Gentiles are being embraced by the Jewish Messiah in part to make Jews jealous (see Romans 11:11). Gentiles are not “natural branches” on God’s family tree, but rather “wild olive shoots” who must recognize that they have been grafted in. God’s plan is to graft the “natural branches” into their own olive tree once again (see Romans 11:24), resulting in the reality that “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26).
God Has a Grand Plan!
We must not be wise in our own estimation when it comes to Israel or be uninformed of this mystery. Romans 11:25 says that, “A partial hardening has happened to Israel until—”
Until what? Maybe you have read this verse many times. Have you realized that the word until is the key word in this passage? “A partial hardening has happened to Israel until—” That means there is a point in time when the hardening will be removed. That time is when “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25).
What does the fullness of the Gentiles look like? Perhaps it deals in part with the day Jerusalem was released from Gentile control and restored to Israeli rule in 1967. But knowing the God that we serve, this probably does not deal only with land but with hearts as well.
What Gentile people group would, in the minds of most people, be the most unlikely to come to faith in the Jewish Messiah? Would it not be the Islamic people? What if the Holy Spirit moved powerfully upon a remnant of the Islamic people and they turned away from their false god to serve the Jewish Messiah? What if a movement of God fell upon them with the signs and wonders of an apostolic dimension, and they were grafted in as wild olive shoots to the Master’s tree? Talk about pricking the Jewish heart to jealousy!*
What I do know is God has a Road Map, and it is different from the international Quartets Road Map. God has a grand plan and ultimately His will shall be done!
(Note: Part of this is an excerpt from my book Praying for Israel’s Destiny published with Chosen Books.)
A watchman for such a time as this!
James W. Goll