Yesterday Randi and I were treated as special guests at the March of the Nations events in Jerusalem. This year’s event was the first time that it had been held in Israel, and it was done so in honor of Israel’s 70th year celebrations, and especially in honor of — as are all of the Marches of the Nations around the world each year — Holocaust survivors and their families. One of the victims spoke about surviving two death marches, but having participated in five Marches of Life. His life after the horrors of WW2 and the Nazi death camps is a story of death and restoration: 22 members of his family, including two great-grandchildren, live in Israel today. Continue reading “March of the Nations – 15 May 2018”
At the beginning of this year, in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s election victory, and his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem in recognition of it being the capital city of the State of Israel, I wrote the following: Continue reading “Jerusalem, Allenby, Trump, and Time of the Gentiles – 8 Dec 2017”
It has been 50 years (May 24 this year according to the Hebrew calendar) since Israel captured Jerusalem in the Six-Day War in June, 1967. It is clear now for many years already that this did not bring the “times of the Gentiles” to fulfillment. (Lk 21:24) Jerusalem is still being trampled under foot by the Gentile powers, and East Jerusalem — the Biblical Jerusalem, where the Old City and Temple Mount are located — is still being offered as the capital of some potential Palestinian state. Jerusalem’s peace will only come with the return of the rightful Heir to the throne of David. Until then, there is still much unrest and trouble. Keep Jerusalem in your hearts and prayers, for the sake of the name of the Lord, who has chosen that city as His — the city of the great King! For now, she has the spirit of Sodom and Egypt (Rev 11:8), and awaits her full redemption.
President Trump is scheduled to arrive tomorrow for a brief and historic visit. He wants to make peace between the three major religions. Such attempts should be wake-up bells for real believers in Jesus that we are nearing some extremely significant ‘signs of the times’, and cause us to increase our alertness in watching and praying as we carry on our Lord’s business. The religious and political kingdoms of this world are opposed to the Kingdom of God, which is not of this world (Ps 2; Jn 18:36) — but the Day is nearing when it will come! Praise the Lord!!
The recent terrorist attack in a synagogue in West Jerusalem by Arab Muslims from East Jerusalem, in which rifles, knives, and meat cleavers were among the weapons used against Jewish men praying their morning prayers, has brought closer to home the reality that we are entering a religious war, and not only a nationalistic, political war here in Israel. Among the dead and wounded Jews, a Druze policeman was also mortally wounded and killed as he responded to the terror within the Har Nof neighborhood synagogue.
There are those who remember what Dr. Baruch Goldstein did 20 years ago, when he entered a mosque in Hebron and massacred 29 Arab Muslim pray-ers during their morning prayers, and wounded many others. As despicable as Goldstein’s act was, it is not comparable as a modus operandi to what took place in the synagogue: apart from some fringe supporters, the government of Israel and the people as a whole repudiated such use of violence to achieve whatever the goal may be. The then PM Yitchak Rabin said that he was ashamed to be a Jew. Such an act taints all of us. On the other hand, the Islamic terrorists are praised and celebrated, called martyrs, and others are encouraged to go out and wantonly murder Israeli Jews — and any others — in order to rid the land and the planet of particularly Jews and Christians — those who are the living witness of the one, true, living God, and of His Son, Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah. This is done in the name of their God, who is not the same as YEHOVAH, God Most High. The murderous attack by the Jewish terrorist and murderer, Jack Teitel, against Palestinian Arabs and against Jewish believers in Jesus was his act of war, thinking to do God’s will; yet he, too, was widely denounced for his thinking and for his actions.
While most wars seem to have be for economic and political reasons, there have been many religious wars in history; the Crusades come to mind fairly quickly. The Islamic conquests after its beginnings in the 7th century were all religiously motivated. There have been intra-faith wars between rival parties within religions; for example, the Jews led by the Maccabees against the Hellenizing Jews and Greeks; Sunni vs Shia Muslims; Catholic vs Protestant Christians. Hindis have fought Buddhists. When the Israelis first conquered the Land of Canaan in the 15th century BC, it is stated in what would be considered religious terms: the iniquity/sin of the inhabitants of the land was full, and YHVH God was bringing His chosen people — the descendants of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob — back into the land from Egypt in order to possess it as an everlasting possession, with the stipulation that should they also act as the Canaanites did, then they, too, would be removed from the land as a punishment under the terms of the covenant between YHVH and the Children of Israel. The return of the Jewish people back to Palestine (the Land of Israel) in the 20th century was both pragmatic, political, and religious, and God in His sovereignty brought both His will and the will of man to coincide. This return of the scattered Jews from out of nations all around the globe is itself a strategic act of war by the LORD of Hosts against those who seek to prevent Him from fulfilling His covenant promises and glorifying His name. The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount — the place which God led King David to choose as the place for YHVH’s earthly Temple — and the Muslim efforts to eradicate the validity of Israeli and Jewish history there, is itself an affront and act of defiance to the historical record.
Yet, for the most part, most religions do not teach to engage in war in order to propagate their faith and culture. Islam does, and there have been many who have written about that, using the Koran and Mohammed’s teachings as a proof. The God of Israel also instructed His people to use force as needed, under His directions and guidelines, when taking possession, and then defending their natural and spiritual identity and heritage. This use of force by Israel was not to extend beyond their borders. Until today, this is generally the way Israel employs its military might and prowess.
The Word of God in the Bible tells us that war was declared already back in the Garden of Eden, when YHVH, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth — including the angels and human beings — let Satan (the devil; the fallen angel, Lucifer) know that his rebellion against God, and his active efforts to spread that rebellion among humanity, whom God created in His image and likeness, would not go unanswered. The enmity between the seed of the serpent and between the Seed of the woman — this ‘state of war’ between the devil and Christ Jesus — has been the “mother of all wars” since, whether carried on in the heavenlies, or played out here on land, seas, and air. “Just wars” are those which are perceived as being between good and evil. While warfare is itself a result of sin and rebellion, it is nonetheless used by God to ultimately defeat all enemies of that which is godly and righteous and good, and to glorify His holy name in the process. One of our problems is that we have not exercised our senses to discern both good and evil.
Those who believe in Yeshua as Lord and Messiah are also called to engage in what is called spiritual warfare: this is the war against lies, against the works of the devil, against unrighteousness, against the truth of the true God and Savior. We are called to take the gospel to the ends of the Earth to all nations and people groups, to deliver people from the lies and darkness of Satan and to bring them into the truth and light of Jesus Christ. This is effected through preaching, not by carnal weapons or through lying, intimidation, or force of arms. It is a war for the hearts and minds of men, women, and children — to know and believe the Word of the God who alone forgives sins, and who has power and authority to not only kill the body, but also to send both soul and body to hell. In His love, and to win this war, God the Father sent Yeshua His only-begotten Son into the world, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but inherit eternal life.
Jesus won the war on the cross, in His death, and subsequent burial and resurrection! The sad news is that many people have not heard, or have not believed what they have heard concerning this good news. The good news is that the Holy Spirit is still at work to bring the many who do repent and believe to saving faith. The peace which Jesus gives is not the peace which the world gives. The day is nearing when the Lord Jesus Christ is going to return from Heaven to put an end to all rebellion and unrighteousness, and to establish the true God’s kingdom over Israel, and over the entire Earth and universe! He alone forgives sin. “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Last week, from May 13-16, the second bi-annual “At The Crossroads” conference was held in Jerusalem at Christ Church inside Jaffa Gate. The conference did not focus on either politics or theology, but on carrying out the Great Commission in a triangular region in the middle of the Earth inspired by the Word of God in Isaiah 19: 23-25: the highway from Egypt to Assyria (the whole area of its former empire), with Israel in between as the bridge of peace.
In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the Earth, whom the Lord (YHVH) of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”
The participants were mostly former Muslims who have come to faith in the truth of Messiah being Yeshus/Jesus. They were Kurds, Turks, Egyptians, Iranians, Algerians, Arabs; and also at the conference were some Israeli Jewish and non-Jewish believers, including Arab Palestinian. It was an exciting time of praise and worship together, with testimonies of how God, through the truth of the gospel, has changed lives and hearts and minds. There were some exceptional messages of understanding what God is doing, and of how Abraham is such a father figure to us all. The name “Israel” was spoken freely, despite some of the participants risking their lives to be in Israel at such a conference. The sponsor and host of the gathering is the CMJ (Christian Mission among the Jewish People), and was held at the oldest Protestant church building in the Middle East.
You can read some reports of At The Crossroads by journalist Charles Gardner here: http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24620/Default.aspx?hp=article_title
Here is the CMJ report of the first conference in 2012, including the conference resolutions as to its intent and purpose: http://www.cmj.org.uk/downloads/atthecrossroadsconferencereport.pdf
Times and seasons have a way of stirring the memories, both personal and collective. Depending on what they may signify, the reactions and anticipations may vary among individuals or nations, or among those joined together through religion or faith. Below are some historical markers that are beginning to converge to draw attention to a watershed, perhaps. Both friend and foe are taking notice.
Oct 31, 1517 – Reformation Day, which gave the Bible back to the people that they may be saved by faith alone in God and His Word
1517 – Turkish Ottoman Muslim Empire begins rule in the Holy Land, the land of the God of the Bible
1882-1903 — First Aliyah (Immigration wave), following pogroms (riots) in Russia in 1881-1882
Aug 29, 1897 – First Zionist Congress in Basle, led by Theodor Herzl, who prophetically understood the times that the Jewish people needed to seek “a publicly recognized legally secured homeland”
June 28, 1914 – the assasination of Austrian arch-duke in Serbia, the catalyst for the declaration a month later of what became WW1, ending on Nov 11, 1918; “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…”
Oct 31, 1917 – ANZAC/Lighthorse Beer Sheva Charge victory over Ottomans in break-through victory towards return of Jewish people back to Land of Israel, and of ending 400 years of Ottoman rule in Holy Land, and 400 years to the day of the Reformation
Nov 2, 1917 – Balfour Declaration of intent of British government to establish a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine; “It shall come to pass in that day that [YHVH God] shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left . . . . He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the Earth.”
(here is a site devoted to regretting the Balfour Declaration: http://www.balfourproject.org/ )
Dec 11, 1917 – Jerusalem surrendered to British General Edmund Allenby and the Allies from Turkish Ottoman control
Apr 25, 1920 – San Remo Resolution ratified by post-WW1 Allied Powers, legally sanctioning the establishment of the Jewish people back in the land of their fathers
Aug 12, 1922 – League of Nations establishes British Mandate in Palestine, authorized to carry out San Remo Resolution (which legally sanctioned the intent of the Balfour Declaration)
Sept 1, 1939 – Sept 2, 1945 – World War II
Nov 29, 1947 – UN Partition Plan for Palestine, offering both Jewish people and Arab Palestinians states. Israel accepted what for them constituted “a publicly recognized legally secured homeland”; the Arabs rejected, and prepared for war (Israel’s Independence War, 1948-49); 430 yrs since the restored promise of salvation and righteousness by faith in YHVH God and His Word, and of the Ottoman Islamic control of the Land of Israel
May 14, 1948 – State of Israel as the re-established homeland for the Jewish people proclaimed by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, in accord with the legal status conferred by both the League of Nations and the United Nations; the British Mandate ended day before
Jun 7, 1967 – Capture of Jerusalem in Six-Day War, unifying the city in Israeli Jewish hands (70 years after 1st Zionist Cong; 50 yrs Jubilee since Balfour Declaration)
Dec 9, 1987 – First Intifada (Arab uprising) begins, lasting seven years, leading to Oslo Accords between the State of Israel and the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), signed on Sept 13, 1993
Sept 29, 2000 – Second Intifada begins, inconclusively ending in a truce on Feb 8, 2005, and leading to the Gaza disengagement on Sept 12, 2005
2014 — 100 years since start of WW1
2015 – 70 yrs since end of WW2
2017 — 500 yrs since the Reformation; 120 yrs since 1st Zionist Cong; 100 yrs (double Jubilee) since Beer Sheva Charge, the Balfour Declaration, and the capture of Jerusalem by Gentile Christians; 70 yrs since UN Partition Plan; 50 yrs Jubilee since capture of Jerusalem by Israeli Jews; 30 yrs since beginning of 1st Palestinian Intifada (“breaking the yoke; horse shaking off the rider”)
2018 – 100 yrs from end of WW1; 70 yrs of Israel’s re-established nation-state
2028 – 80 yrs since Israel’s re-establishment as homeland for the Jewish people
20?? – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!
A case study of sovereign legal rights to Jerusalem — in particular East Jeruslaem, and more specifically the Old City with the Temple Mount: a thesis by Dr. Jacques Gauthier, an international lawyer and human rights attorney:
Today’s peace negotiations are a battle of narratives less grounded on facts and more on historical fallacies and revisionist history, personal and national emotions, and increasing lawlessness (recognizing no law as binding).
Early yesterday morning at 5:15, we were awakened in Beer Sheva by the sound of the air raid siren. Another rocket from Gaza was fired our way, hitting in a residential neighborhood in the center of the city. Thankfully, it missed a direct hit on a house, but nonetheless caused injury and damage. Schools were called off that day, and once again the Mayor made the right decision: another rocket hit around 9:45, when children would have been in school. Other rockets were fired into other western Negev cities and towns. The Islamic Jihad took credit; the Palestinian Authority and Hamas claim that they are against escalation of the simmering conflict at this time.
Later yesterday, around 3:00, the terror of bus bombings returned to Jerusalem. One person has died so far; others are still in critical condition, with many wounded or traumatized.
The woman killed in the terror attack was a Christian who had been working for 20 years translating the Bible into the language of a tribe in togo.
Mary Gardner was from Scotland and she came to Israel at the beginning of the year to hone her translating skills at a ministry here called the home for Bible translators (Assoicated with Wycliffe Bible Translators)
Chris Mitchell and Julie Stahl, CBN
We know and have been forewarned that lawlessness will be increasing as we get ever nearer to the end of the age and the coming again of the Lord. Terror produces fear and anxiety. May the grace of our God work in us the fear of the Lord and complete trust in Him.
An arson attack was carried out a few nights ago on the Christian and Missionary Alliance center in Jerusalem. There were people inside sleeping during the attack. I was able to meet with them when they came down to Beer Sheva on Sunday for a work project at HaMaKoM Bible House.
What alerted me to be concerned was an internet article sent out by someone (with an Arab name) which took some of the facts of the case, and turned it into a propaganda attack against Israel for the plight of Christians here. The CMA owns the two properties in Beer Sheva which are of special importance to us: HaMaKoM Bible House, and the ‘Old House’, which is where Nachalat Yeshua Congregation meets and carries out other ministry.
While the explosives which were sent out of Yemen headed, apparently, for synagogues in Chicago, in the U.S., received much Israeli and world-wide coverage, the actual attempt to destroy a Christian church building, with sleeping people inside, in the heart of Jerusalem has, to the best of my knowledge, gone virtually unreported.
Pray for the salvation of Jewish people, of the Arab people, and for the thoughts and intentions of the heart of believers caught up in the conflict. There will be a prayer meeting in Jerusalem at the CMA center on Saturday night.
In praying for the peace of Jerusalem, please know that only the coming again of Yeshua is going to settle once and for all the lack of peace there and everywhere else.
A commandment from the Holy Spirit!
—Ps 122 Pray for (Ask about) the peace of Jerusalem
–this present Jerusalem (the heavenly New Jerusalem does not need any prayers!)
–still being trodden down by the gentiles
Understanding the times
—1Chron 12:23 (24 Heb), 32 (33 Heb) those prepared for war; . . .the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do
—Dan 9:2 in the first year of [Darius’s] reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of years by the word of YHVH through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations ofJerusalem
—Dan 9:24 seventy weeks of years to accomplish God’s plan forIsrael’s redemption
—Mt 16:1-4 the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus, seeking a sign. . . .You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah . . . .(Jon; Hos 6:1-3; Ezek 36; Mt 24; Lk 19:42,44; Rom 9 – 11)
–returning to the whole of the Bible (Mt 5:17-18; 2Cor 1:20)
–it is high time to awake. . . and put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 13:11-14)
—1Cor 10:11 Scriptures written for us living at the end of the age
For the sake of the Name of YHVH God and of His Son, Messiah Yeshua
—Ezek 20:5-44 I acted for My name’s sake (9,14,22,44), that it should not be profaned amongst the Gentiles. . . .I will rule over you. . . .Then you (they) shall know that I am YHVH (19,26,38,42,44,48) when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways nor according to your corrupt doings, O House of Israel, says the Lord GOD.
—Ex 32:9-14 attitude of Moses with God for His (his) people
—Ezek 36 . . .I will also require of the House of Israel to do this for them
–Blessed is He who comes in the name YHVH! (Mt 23:38-39)
–Come, Lord Jesus!
Israel’s salvation connected to the Church’s reigning with Messiah 1000 years
—Rom 11:11-36 For if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the gentiles, how much more their fullness!. . .For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
–(blessings for other nations—Egypt,Assyria,Lebanon, isles– bound withIsrael’s)
If God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. . . .For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. . .that God might have mercy on all. For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever!
—Mt 19:28 Jesus said to His disciples, . . .in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes ofIsrael.
—Rev 19:1-6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. . .they shall be priests of God and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years over this earth.
—1Cor 15:22-28 no more rule, etc., in the new heavens and new earth
Message to Jewish and Israeli People The Same Now as at the Beginning of the Church
—Acts 2:22-24,36-39 personal and national responsibility by the Jews andIsrael for the crucifixion in sovereignty and wisdom of God for His eternal purposes
–Jesus the stone of offense
–cross a necessary cause of stumbling (1Cor 1:17-25)
–God’s judgment for sin – rejection of Jesus as Messiah and the Son of
the Living God – remains; we ‘always’ resist the Holy Spirit of God ( Jn 16:8-9; Acts 7:51)
—Acts 15:10 Jews given a yoke (Law) which no one could bear. . .so have mercy on them
–they will not see Jesus until they bless Him and call upon His name for salvation
—Acts 15:11 through grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we Jews/Israelis will be saved in the same manner as you who are gentiles (i.e., not Jews/Israelis). . .so provoke them to jealousy for Israel to fulfill her calling to be a holy nation unto YHVH God, a kingdom of priests (not a western democracy)
—Rom 10:14-15 How will they hear without a preacher who is sent?!