The question of who will inhabit the holy Land in the period before the Return of Jesus, is made clear by the following Bible passages;
Daniel 7:25 He [the Anti-Christ] will wear down the holy ones of God. He will change the feasts and the religious laws. The Lord’s holy people will be delivered into his power for 3½ years. [Those people, who stay in Beulah: Isaiah 62:1-5, will experience the Tribulation. Daniel 11:32]
Daniel 11:21-22….a despicable man, not recognised as a king, will come unexpectedly and seize the kingdom by intrigue. He will sweep all opposition before him and will kill a leader of the covenant people. [The leader of the One World Govt will conquer Beulah, inhabited by every faithful Christian, and will kill one of their leaders.]
Daniel 11:29-35 At the appointed time, he will again invade the South, but ships of Kittim will oppose him. As he retreats, he will vent his fury against the covenant people. He will reward those who forsake their covenant with God. Troops in his command will stop the regular offering and set up ‘the abomination that causes desolation’. With flattery, he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who are faithful to their God, will be resolute and take action.
Wise leaders of the nation will guide the people, though for a time, they will be taken captive and killed. Some help will come, albeit; not entirely sincere. Those leaders may become victims, so that they may be refined and purified, ready for the end of the age. Daniel 12:3 The wise leaders, who have guided the people in the true path, will shine like stars, forever.
The Anti Christ invades some unidentified nations in Southern regions, but ships of Kittim [Cyprus – in the Mediterranean, but this is a metaphor for the Western nations] will stop him. He will then occupy the Holy Land, taking control and causing many of God’s people to obey him. Those who hold firm to their Covenant with God will be persecuted and some killed. This is in order to refine and purify them, ready for the Return of Jesus.
Zechariah 14:1-2 A Day is coming for the Lord to act and the plunder taken from you will be shared out while you stand by. I shall gather all the nations to make war on Jerusalem, the city will be taken, the houses ransacked and the women raped. Half of the people will go into exile, but the rest will remain there. Daniel 9:27
Verses 1 & 2 must refer to the midpoint of the 70th week. [7 year period] That commences the Great Tribulation, 7 Trumpets and 7 Bowls. Then: from verse 3, the description is of the Return of Jesus.
Revelation 13:5-10 The Beast, [Anti-Christ] was given permission to continue for 42 months. [3½ years] He blasphemed against God and waged war on God’s people and defeated them, he was given authority over the whole earth. You have ears, so hear!
Those who are destined for prison, will be imprisoned, those to be killed will be killed. This calls for the endurance and faithfulness of God’s people.
Revelation 12:13-14 The dragon [Satan: the Beast] is thrown down to earth. He pursues the Woman, [Israelites, Overcomers; the followers of Jesus] who gave birth to the male child. [Jesus] But she is given the wings of the mighty eagle, so that she could fly to a place in the wilderness, where she is looked after for 3½ years.
Ref. REB, NIV. Verses abridged.
In Zechariah 14:2 it says that half of the population will go into exile, this obviously is the Woman: faithful Christian Israelites, referred to in Revelation 12:6-17, where they will be kept safe until the Return.
Then, in Matthew 24:31 – they will be gathered back into the Land, along with those Gentiles who have refused the mark of the Beast, to live with Christ for 1000 years.
The other half of the population who remain in the Land, will suffer under the yoke of the Anti-Christ. They are the Lord’s Christian people, who have to face testing and refinement. Daniel 11:32-33, Revelation 14:12, 2 Esdras 13:47-50, Revelation 7:14….they have passed through the great ordeal…. It is these people who will say to Jesus: “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord”.
So, who are those living in the Land of Israel before and during the Tribulation?
They are the Lord’s people, all the true believers plus the Christian descendants of Jacob, gathered, in order to fulfil God’s promises to the Patriarchs, to be His witnesses and to be His Light to the nations. His holy people are seen in the Land in the last days; Daniel 7:25, Revelation 13:7.
It is quite evident, from Bible study, that the next prophesied event, the Sixth Seal, will cause a dramatic clearance of peoples from all the Middle East area. Jeremiah 10:18, Jeremiah 12:14, Zephaniah 1:14-18, Ezekiel 30:1-5, Amos 1 & Amos 2:1-5
In Ezekiel 20:34-38, we see the gathering of all the 12 tribes of Israel. The Lord will judge them and those who revolt and rebel will not enter the holy Land.
Then all His righteous people to emigrate there, as described in Isaiah 66:18b-21, Psalms 107, all faithful Christians, from every nation and language, to live there in peace and prosperity. Ezekiel 34:11-16, Isaiah 35:1-10, and Romans 9:24-26 says how the Christians become Sons of the Living God, in the very place that the ancient Israelites were rejected.
They will rebuild the Temple and reinstitute the Law and the ordinances. Zechariah 6:15, Ezekiel 43:1-12, Isaiah 56:1-8
All the rest of the world will be under a One World Government, initially ruled by 10 leaders, but soon to be taken over by another strong leader. He will rule until the Return of Jesus, when he will be chained up for the 1000 years.