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Sunday May 20th was Jerusalem Day Marking 45 Years
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May 26, 2012 - Audio, 8.25 MIN
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Sunday May 20th was Jerusalem Day, marking 45 years since Jerusalem was united as a result of the Six-Days war of June 1967. For those of us who carry the memory of that amazing phenomenon, and understand the fulfillment of prophecies related to it—prophecies such as Joel 3:1 and Luke 21:24, it is clearly and indelibly etched upon our minds. The historic announcement on the Israeli radio reminds us of this:
(Hear Kol Israel on audio version.)

This is Paul Billington bringing you this week's edition of the Bible in the News. Jerusalem Day (May 20th) began what we might well now call "Jerusalem Week." It began with a speech by Benjamin Netanyahu when he said: "Israel will continue to build and develop the capital city of Jerusalem."

Speaking from Ammunition Hill, Jerusalem, he said:

"We will protect Jerusalem, because Israel without Jerusalem is like a body without a heart," Netanyahu said. "On this hill, 45 years ago, the united heart of our people began to beat again, with full power.

"Our heart will never be divided again," he added. "The prayers of generations beat in our heart."
Giving up on a united Jerusalem would show weakness to our enemies, the prime minister explained, stating that a body that would give up its heart cannot fight for anything.

IDF soldiers fought like lions 45 years ago, because they were fighting for Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, and they changed history forever.

"Our generation had a great privilege - we saw the words of the prophets come true," the prime minister stated. "We saw the rise of Zion, the return of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, the ingathering of exiles, and our return to Jerusalem."

Speaking on the same day at the Jerusalem Day ceremony, Israeli President Shimon Peres called for peace between nations and religions living in Jerusalem, recalling the many battles in the Holy City's history.

In six days, our soldiers, with their bravery and heroism, contributed a great chapter in the history of Israel's security," Peres recounted. "The quick war amazed the world."

The President said Israel was not looking for war, but Arab leaders promised to bring an end to Israel, and the IDF fought three wars in six days - against Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

"Those who wanted to defeat us were themselves defeated," Peres explained. "Here on ammunition Hill was the battle on the first night of the war, where the historical echo that came from the prayers of our forefathers and our longing for redemption rose."

Peres spoke about 22 empires attempting to conquer Jerusalem over 4,000 years, burning its houses and taking down its strongholds. Now, Israel looked for the peace that was promised to Jerusalem.

But that peace is not likely to happen yet, for on Monday (the day after Jerusalem Day) the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) passed a controversial bill with regards to settlements, including Judea and Samaria - the so-called "occupied territories."

The newly approved law offers a 35 percent tax break on donations to NGO's (Non government Organizations) that encourage settlement anywhere in the country, including Judea and Samaria.

If that isn't enough Israeli authorities have released plans for 2,610 housing units and 1,110 hotel rooms.

With the approval process going more quickly than expected, building could start later this year, creating the first new Israeli settlement in 15 years among the sprawl of a modern Jerusalem that is spread out over many hills. The Yahoo news website reported that:

"If that happens, it would effectively cut off the city's mainly Arab neighborhoods from Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, imperiling the Palestinians' prospects for establishing a coherent capital and with it their goal of an independent state.

"'There is only so much territorial abuse this tortured land can take before we kill the political options of saving the two-state solution,'' said Daniel Seidemann, an Israeli attorney who monitors urban developments he thinks affect chances for peace.

"'What is happening at Givat HaMatos is a game changer," he said, his finger tapping a map of the area for added emphasis. 'Events are careering out of control.'"

But students of the Bible know that events are not out of control! In fact, events are being controlled by the God of Israel, who intends to re-establish His kingdom in the Promised Land.

Anyone who wants to understand what lies behind all this only has to consider the prophecies referred to earlier - Joel 3 and Luke 21.

The prophecy of Joel says:

"For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."

So what we see happening since the uniting of Jerusalem in 1967, is God gathering all nations into the Valley of Judgement (for that is the meaning of the name given here). In Luke 21:24 Jesus says that this fulfills the times of the Gentiles, for he says in Revelation 16:16,

" And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."

Armageddon is a symbolic name and, like Joel 3, it refers to a valley of threshing, or judgement. So that is where events are leading. The world will become more and more hostile to Israel, and the God of Israel will judge the nations according as to how they have treated (or mistreated) the Jews. It is upon the ruins of the kingdoms of this world that God will establish his kingdom under the rule of Jesus Christ. Thus "The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ (Messiah), and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Rev. 11:15).

Join us again next week for another edition of the Bible in the News, God willing.

Bible in the News provides a weekly analysis of world politics and events
in the light of Bible prophecy — the Bible in the News!