This is the Bible in the News with Paul Billington commenting on it--and of course, the news that most Bible believers are watching right now, is the one-day long Annapolis summit and its results. Exactly what, if anything, has this hyped-up event achieved?
In the words of the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: "Annapolis has thus been the beginning, not the end of a new, serious, substantive effort to achieve peace in the Middle East."
In short, it has achieved nothing as yet. Looking over the initial reports on this summit meeting, and looking at the official statements realistically, it has to be said that one would have to be a super-optimist in order to believe that anything at all can be achieved as a result of this theatrical performance in Annapolis.
Israeli and Palestinian leaders at Annapolis with U.S. president Bush in the background.
The Annapolis Declaration, as it is called, calls for a two-state solution, and claims to "lay the foundation for the establishment of a new nation." Ongoing and continuous negotiations will make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008. Israel is to bring an end to the occupation that began in 1967, remove unauthorized outposts and end settlement expansion. Negotiations are to take place on the future of Jerusalem, on Palestinian refugees, security matters--and just about everything that is essential to Israel's survival as a nation.
The Annapolis Declaration lays out a scheme for the destruction of Israel through negotiations.
An Associated Press article comments:
"Of all the obstacles to a peace deal, none looms larger than Jerusalem--the city at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with its holy sites of such enormous importance to Muslims, Jews and Christians."
The article continues:
"But there's an even thornier issue--how to share the emotionally charged Jerusalem holy site known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount. As the site contains a Muslim shrine built on the remains of a Jewish one, a solution will almost certainly require an international presence to administer jurisdiction."
Just when, and under what arrangement all nations will descend upon Jerusalem in order to establish their presence there, is not suggested by this article--but we can think of several passages from the Bible that indicate it!
And herein lies the core of the whole problem--that Book, the Bible.
On Friday November 23 the Voice of Palestine Radio broadcast a sermon given on the Temple Mount. The Muslim cleric referred to Israel's request that it be recognized as a Jewish state, and said:
"If this request is granted and Israel is recognized as a Jewish state, then there will be no withdrawal to 1967 borders, no partition of Jerusalem and no deportation of the Israeli settlers. This is a serious danger to the Palestinian people and it confirms the Balfour statement from 1917. This consolidates with the Zionist ideology and with the Bible that presents Palestine as the 'promised land' and the Jews as the chosen nation of God. Israel's request to be recognized as a Jewish state confirms that they are a racist regime and speeds the immigration of Jews from around the world to Israel..."
So this is not only a matter of destroying the Jewish state, it is a direct challenge to the word of God and to His promises as they are recorded in the Bible. This is the position now being supported by the United States under the leadership of George Bush and Condoleezza Rice. Those protesters who held up a poster in Jerusalem had it exactly right: the poster read "Bush's War on G-D, who gives this Land to Israel?"
The principle is clearly laid out before us in the Scriptures and was seen historically in Ezekiel's prophecy against Seir (that is Edom, or Idumea). Ezekiel 35:11-13 reads:
"Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged thee. And thou shalt know that I am the LORD, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume. Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against me, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard them."
The rulers of the United States, and indeed the whole nation ought to tremble in fear at the plans which were laid out at Annapolis. In supporting the Palestinian position at the expense of Israel's Zionists, the United States places itself in a very dangerous position. And if George Bush believes his Bible as he claims to do, he should know this.
In view of these stated objectives which Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and the Palestinian leader have subscribed to at Annapolis, it is not surprising that many in Israel are gripped with a feeling of despair--especially among the religious Zionists. At a prayer meeting held at the Western Wall last week, one organizer is reported as saying:
"We sometimes think that if we act, protest, settle the Land, teach, and do all sorts of things, that everything will be OK. But today, we are coming to the Western Wall with humility, awe, and serene faith. We return the ball that has been repressed in our hearts for the past two-plus years, and that is threatening to choke us, to our Father in heaven. We plead with Him that He will show us the way, and that we can be partners with Him in our Redemption. We want to work with Him, to sanctify His Name."
We do not think it will be long before the God of Israel responds to that frame of mind. He will show these people THE WAY as He has promised to do in such Scriptures as Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1 and in other places.
The State of Israel as it exists today--the secular state that occupies the Land in unbelief--cannot survive. In accordance with prophecy, that basis of the nation must be eliminated and the news that the next peace summit between Israelis and Palestinians will be held in Moscow and arranged by Russia, is a red flag to all who understand Ezekiel 38. But out of all this a new Zion will arise:
"And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD" (Isa. 59:20).
"For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee" (Isa. 60:2).
Today, the rising of Zion has begun, and will continue to grow more and more. Nothing can stop it. Not Annapolis, not Russia nor Europe; not the Vatican--and not Israel's left-wing secular unbelievers who would sell off the Land and their people. When Zion arises, Gentile power will fall, and the true Messianic era will at last be established in righteousness. We pray for that day.
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