A member of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), MK Effi Eitam is one of three Knesset members injured by police as they attacked settlers on Wednesday during the destruction of Jewish homes in Amona. Eitam was taken to the neurosurgery department and to the same floor where Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is still in a coma. He had a CT scan on his head and chest.
This is The Bible in the News brought to you by Paul Billington— and again, what a week it has been! The amazing victory of the terror organisation Hamas, has caught the attention of most people, while in the background Iran continues to rant and rave against Israel and the West, and Russia’s president Putin brags to the world about his new clever missile that can out-wit and out-manoeuvre United States defences. It’s all very significant stuff when viewed in the light of what the Bible has to tell us about events in the latter days. But what do we make of this Hamas victory? The politicians and the media (and it’s hard to tell who is leading the pack here) are trying very hard to explain—or rather interpret—what has happened. Why has a democratic vote given to Palestinians resulted in a vote for terrorists?
The hope is that Hamas will now transform itself from demon to angel—that this democratic victory will somehow sanctify the terrorists and make them acceptable negotiating partners, who will be willing to walk the route laid down in George Bush’s beloved "road-map." The Palestinians, we are told, just wanted to get rid of the corrupt Fatah gang. The politicians and media-men simply refuse to hear what the Palestinians have said—they refuse to accept that the Palestinians have voted for murderers and terrorists. They have lifted up their democratic voice and voted for a Barabbas—one that made insurrection and committed murder. This is what the multitude has cried out for—Mark 15:7.
Meanwhile, another group in this Holy Land are being brutally and savagely beaten—and expelled from their homes (audio clip from Israel radio). These are the religious Zionist settlers. First it was expulsion from Gaza and now the focus is shifting to the West bank. It was Hebron last week, and it was Amona this week. Gaza has been given over to Hamas, and now the Government of Israel has shown that it intends to do the same with the West Bank settlements.
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper had an article which drew attention to the excessive violence, referring to a 15-year old is lying unconscious in hospital and dozens of injured people have been admitted to ER, the settlers have a point.... nonviolent girls and adults in Amona were beaten on the head with clubs yesterday. Mounted police beat demonstrators with cudgels and injured Knesset members. Dozens of demonstrators were struck deliberately in the stomach and groin. Orit Caspi, Amona's secretary, says, "Almost anyone who came out of the houses got struck by a baton. It looked like the policemen's aim was not to enable anyone to walk out on his own two feet."... television footage leaves no doubt that during parts of the clashes excessive violence was used. The video film broadcast on Channel 10 last night shows a policeman hitting demonstrators seated inside a house. What threat was there to his life?... Many were interested in harsh violence in Amona including the acting prime minister, who blocked every attempt at compromise, and the Yesha council, which chose to make a compromise suggestion only when it was too late... it appears that a comprehensive, general inquiry will be inevitable."
And so, you see, a spirit of madness prevails. The practical effect of the policy being followed is to crush and expel the religious Zionist settlers who grow tomatoes and produce, and give their greenhouses and their land to Hamas, whose declared goal it is to destroy the State of Israel. IT IS MADNESS.
But you see-that is the spirit that the Bible says, would grip the nations, and which would lead them on the road to Armageddon. This is the road-map to Armageddon-and you can find it both in the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation. Look at Revelation 16:13-14. Now there is a lot of symbolic language going on here, and we do not intend to unravel it all here. But one phrase helps us to understand what is going on. You can see it in verse 14, the phrase is: "the spirit of devils."
That is the King James Version. Others will more correctly render this as "the spirit of demons." Now there is a lot of misinformation out there about this term demons. It really has nothing to do with those ugly mythical creatures that people generally imagine. That idea is one that has entered Christian thinking from pagan sources, just as the New Testament predicted in passages like 2 Timothy 4:3-4; and 1 Timothy 4:1.
If you have the current issue of The Bible Magazine (Vol.19, Issue No.1), there is an article about this on page 22.
No; a demon in the bible is an idol, or a false god, and in New Testament times people attributed illnesses to their influence—especially mental illness or madness. Well, what Revelation 16:13, 14 is telling us is that a spirit of madness—that is a deranged teaching or philosophy—will be at work gathering the nations so that they will oppose God Almighty.
In James 3:15, 16, we are told about a form of wisdom that is “earthly, sensual, devilish” or demoniacal, bringing “envying, strife, confusion, and every evil work.” That is what this is in Revelation 16, a form of wisdom—a philosophy—that is stirring among the nations. This philosophy and guiding principle in today’sworld is one that came out of the early Humanist teachings in France. It first found political expression in the French Revolution of 1789, but instead of bringing a just social system it resulted in the famous ‘Reign of Terror.’
Well now, that is what we have seen at work. First, the United States, Britain and the Israeli Government have promoted democracy among the Palestinians. They supposed (as did the early Humanists) that their ideology would bring peace and justice. But of course it didn’t—it brought terror; and it has done the same again now in bringing Hamas to power. It has created a terrorist state; what Benjamin Natanyahu called “Hamastan.”
The madness continues further, while every effort is made to appease Hamas, yet any move towards a Biblical Zionism as is seen in the Jewish settlers is (if possible) throttled.
You see: what we see developing into sharp focus is a clash between secular, Humanist ideology and a Bible-based religious outlook.
The State of Israel was founded upon Humanist and Socialist values, and that is what its Government represents today. The Zionist settlers of the West Bank represent a Bible-based form of Zionism—and the two are fundamentally opposed. In a way, the choice facing the Jewish nation today is not unlike that which faced their ancestors in the first century: Messiah, or Barabbas!
It is true of course that the religious Zionists do not yet know their Messiah and King—but the apostle Paul tells us in Romans 11:25 that this blind-spot will be corrected when the Deliverer turns away ungodliness from Jacob (verse 26). As we watch the news then, and see the spirit of democracy and Humanism bringing to power terror outfits like Hamas, and vainly trying to crush the seedlings of a faith in biblical Zionism, we should know that prophecy is being fulfilled—and that soon, Jesus of Nazareth must return in order to save his people, and to call forth his saints—who will then execute the judgements that are written, as you can read in Psalm 149:5-9.
Only then, will ‘Thy will be done upon earth, even as it is in heaven.’ This is what we pray for and look for. God willing, we will consider the Bible in the news again next week—Hope you can join us then.