This week the major news outlets reported the pope’s Christmas message - his "message of peace”. The Israeli Ynet news site had the headline: “Pope calls for peace in Israel in Christmas address”. The lead in to the story read: “Pope Francis focuses on peace and condemns Islamist militant atrocities in his annual Christmas message.”
There is no other Church leader, whose Christmas speech would gather any where near the media attention that the leader of the Roman Church receives. The queen of England’s speech gathered some media attention, but again no where near the same as the Roman Church. Aside from the media attention tens of thousands crowded into St. Peter’s square at the Vatican to hear the message live. The influence of the Catholic Church today is immense, and often on the news we hear the pope quoted as a moral authority in the world.
Here is an english translation of the Roman pope’s speech, from the Vatican Radio website, “The voice of the pope and the Church in dialogue with the World":
"Where God is born, hope is born. Where God is born, peace is born. And where peace is born, there is no longer room for hatred and for war. Yet precisely where the incarnate Son of God came into the world, tensions and violence persist, and peace remains a gift to be implored and built. May Israelis and Palestinians resume direct dialogue and reach an agreement which will enable the two peoples to live together in harmony, ending a conflict which has long set them at odds, with grave repercussions for the entire region."
Later the Roman pope referred to terrorism:
"My thoughts also turn to those affected by brutal acts of terrorism, particularly the recent massacres which took place in Egyptian airspace, in Beirut, Paris, Bamako and Tunis.”
He finished with a quote from the Psalms:
"Today, then, let us together rejoice in the day of our salvation. As we contemplate the Crib, let us gaze on the open arms of Jesus, which show us the merciful embrace of God, as we hear the cries of the Child who whispers to us: “for my brethren and companions’ sake, I will say: Peace be within you” (Ps 122:8).”
(It must be stated, that the idea of God - the creator of the universe - being born is absurd.) This speech would sound comforting to many - a "message of peace for the world" - and that is clearly what is was calculated to be be on the surface. However, there is a glaring problem with this carefully written speech. Let’s take a closer look.
The Roman pope begins his statement about peace in Israel by noting that where he says “God was born”, peace should be born, therefore there should be no more hatred and war. But, when Jesus came he said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34 - What is going on here? When Jesus came the people rejected him and therefore judgment came upon them. There is no peace without righteousness. Isaiah 32:17, "And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”
When the true Messiah, the king, the Lord Jesus Christ returns there will be peace. Listen to these verses from Psalm 72.
"Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor...In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth."
This map shows the UN partition plan for Palestine in 1947. Note that Jerusalem,
Bethlehem and surrounding areas are "internationalized", according to Vatican
The call for peace in the Israel (although the pope doesn’t say Israel), sounds nice, but it must be understood within the Vatican’s understanding of peace. The Vatican does not just wish for peace in the Middle East, they desire a “just peace”, in other words a Vatican-approved peace. In Israel’s case, this means a Palestinian State with Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, and the “holy places” internationalized and administered by the United Nations where the Vatican has great influence. See Bible in the News from May 30 of this year for an in depth look at this subject: Vatican Support for Muslim Palestinian Aspirations
The Roman pope begins by demonstrating his complete impotence in bringing peace to Israel. If he was indeed the king of God’s kingdom on earth, as he claims to be - there would be righteousness and peace in Israel - yet as he says, "tensions and violence persist”.
Here is what the pope offers as a path to peace - there is no mention of righteousness. "May Israelis and Palestinians resume direct dialogue and reach an agreement which will enable the two peoples to live together in harmony, ending a conflict which has long set them at odds, with grave repercussions for the entire region.”
What is astounding here is what the pope does not say. There is no call for a cessation of terrorism against Israelis. Since September Israel has been subject to a wave of terrorism. Here are some details from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website:
"The recent series of attacks against Israelis is the direct result of incitement by radical Islamist and terrorist elements, calling on Palestinian youth to murder Jews."
According to data from Magen David Adom the Israeli "Red Cross”: Between September 13 - December 23, 2015, 24 people have been killed and 283 wounded - 24 of them seriously.
As of December 24 the Israel Defence Force recorded these terror attacks since September: 97 stabbings, 35 shootings, 19 car ramming attacks into groups of people.
Yet even when the pope speaks of terrorism, there is no mention of Israel: "My thoughts also turn to those affected by brutal acts of terrorism, particularly the recent massacres which took place in Egyptian airspace, in Beirut, Paris, Bamako and Tunis.”
Why is the pope ignoring a wave of terror in Israel? The Daily Telegraph asked the exact same question in relation to the whole world in an opinion piece in October of this year by Arsen Ostrovsky entitled: “Why is the world ignoring a wave of terror in Israel?”
In this piece Arsen, an international human rights lawyer living in Israel concludes:
"In a groundbreaking speech on Islamic extremism this July, the British Prime Minister David Cameron made clear, if you say “violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter” – then you too are part of the problem.” To all those people who fail to condemn this Palestinian terror, or find ways to excuse, equivocate or minimize it, I say the same – "then you too are part of the problem.”
When Abbas visited the Vatican in May of this year, the Roman pope called him an “angel of peace”. On September 30 of this year Abbas gave an incendiary speech at the United Nations General Assembly, in which he included the Christian Holy Sites which he imagines Israel has plans to “undermine”, he said:
"I call on the Israeli government, before it is too late, to cease its use of brutal force to impose its plans to undermine the Islamic and Christian sanctuaries in Jerusalem, particularly its actions at Al-Aqsa Mosque, for such actions will convert the conflict from a political to religious one, creating an explosive in Jerusalem and in the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory.”
He went on to say:
"Palestine is a country of holiness and peace. It is the birthplace of Christ, the messenger of love and peace...
"Recently, on 17 May 2015, two nuns from Palestine, Alphonsine Ghattas and Mariam Baouardy, were canonized as saints by His Holiness pope Francis at the Vatican in the presence of tens of thousands of the faithful from around the globe. The flag of Palestine was raised at the Vatican, which recognized the state of Palestine, as documented in the agreement signed between the Holy See and the state of Palestine.”
Two weeks before his speech at the United Nations, Abbas spoke to his own people, on Palestinian TV. Arsen noted this in his opinion piece in the Telegraph, he wrote:
"In a speech on Palestinian TV on September 16th, Abbas proudly stated “we bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem. With the help of Allah, every shaheed (martyr) will be in heaven.” He then added “Al-Aksa is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They [Jews] have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet.””
Should Abbas be called an “Angel of Peace”? Here he is unequivocally calling for terrorism against Israelis! Why is the Vatican ignoring this wave of terrorism and instead fully supporting Abbas? In the words of David Cameron, "you too are part of the problem”.
Yet this is exactly what we would expect from Bible prophecy.
The prophecy of Joel 3, tells us about the time when Judah and Jerusalem will be regathered and when all nations will be gathered against them to battle. "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..." Joel 3:9 says, "Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up", The word here "prepare" is the verb to be holy, to consecrate. So the war against the regathered Jews of Judah and Jerusalem is a holy war - a consecrated war by the nations.
Today we see a sanctified holy war again the regathered Jews in the land of Israel. They are preparing and sanctifying a war against the Jews in Israel. The Vatican is involved and while attempting to appear holy, they are a wolf in sheeps clothing.
The Roman pope finishes with a quote from Psalm 122. A Psalm which contains the well known phrase to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”. This is a travesty. Psalm 122 is about a Jewish Jerusalem, where the thrones of David are, where the tribes of Israel ascend to worship, where the house of Yahweh is built. The pope knows none of this, nor desires it and only seeks to destroy it.
Daniel 11:45 - "And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”
Return next week God willing as we once again consider the Bible in the News. This has been David Billington with you at www.bibleinthenews.com