“The time is coming when not on this mountain and not in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know; for salvation is from the Jews. The time is coming and now is when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-23).
To worship in spirit and truth, no geography or time is needed. To worship internationally, there is no need of any ethnic identity. Yet the acknowledgment that salvation comes from the Jews remains as a fact of divine covenant.
For much of the international Christian world, there has been little importance to time and geography for the last two millennia. In the Jewish worldview, time and geography are of utmost importance. Geography is described in terms of “Jerusalem, Judea, Galilee and Diaspora.” Time is described by the calendar of Sabbaths, New Moons and Holy Days.
Yeshua gave a basic strategy to His disciples in Acts 1:5-8. They must stay in Jerusalem. They must wait for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Then they must leave Jerusalem. Jerusalem would be destroyed. They were not to know the time of its rebuilding.
Time is connected to Jerusalem. While Jerusalem is in place, the clock is ticking. When Jerusalem is destroyed, time seems to change dimensions until the time for restoration returns. Daniel studied the writings of Jeremiah to determine when the time was appointed to rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:2). The mystery of time and non-time, of geography and nongeography, is part of the mystery of Israel and the Church, of Jew and Gentile.
In the first century, the gospel had a clear direction: from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. For the following two thousand years, there has been somewhat less emphasis on direction. In this last century, a strategic emphasis returns, and the direction reverses from the ends of the earth back to Jerusalem.
When Yeshua told His disciples that they were not to know the times set by the Father, He meant that it was not the time for the restoration of Jerusalem; therefore, there was no need for them to know. God certainly does want us to know the time and season we are living in at any point in history so that we can obey Him in our current season. When it comes time to obey, you will know what time it is and what to do.
Let us recall that a period of 50 years is somewhat symbolic in Scriptures and is called a Jubilee. No one knows the exact dates of the original biblical Jubilee years. In any case, it is fascinating to notice this passage of time:
- 1517: Ottoman Empire conquers Jerusalem
- 1517: Beginning of Luther’s Protestant Reformation
- 1917: British Protestants conquer Jerusalem
- 1967: Jewish nation conquers Jerusalem
- 1967: Charismatic Renewal
- 2017: Global alignment and Muslim evangelism
Let’s summarize these years:
- 1517 was 500 years ago or 10 jubilees
- 1917 was 100 years ago or 2 jubilees
- 1967 was 50 years ago or 1 jubilee
Israel became a nation in 1948. The year 2018 is 70 years from that time. A period of 70 years is described as turning point dates for the restoration of the kingdom to Israel (Jeremiah 25:11; 29:10; Daniel 9:2, 24). The period of 70 years is to cross over to a new paradigm from what happened previously. It is to cross into the next historic stage.
The year 2018 is a 70-year completion for the State of Israel. Now is the time for the next stage. It is the time for the spiritual restoration to rise out of the natural restoration. It is the time for the revival stage of the restoration of the nation of Israel. It is the time for the Messianic remnant of Israel to take its place.
(I don’t think we should overemphasize dates, but it is worth having a bit of historical perspective for the times we live in.)