I was hit by more countries and more pressure and more people calling, begging me, don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it, I said, we have to do it. It is the right thing to do. It is the right thing to do. We have to do it. And I did it. But every other president really lied because they campaigned on it. That was always a big part of the campaign. They got into office and they never did it.
So I understand why they didn’t do it. It was a tremendous campaign against it, so incredible. But, you know what, the campaign for it was also incredible. And we did the right thing.” - US President Donald Trump, CPAC speech, Feb 23, 2018
It will be 70 years this May since the founding of the State of Israel, and it seems that the US is shortening the timetable for the opening of its embassy in Jerusalem to coincide with Israel’s big anniversary on May 14th. Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News. This is John Billington with you this week. With the State Department confirming this news the announcement has obviously excited many in Israel with Benjamin Netanyahu thanking President Trump at last Sunday’s cabinet meeting, saying “President Trump, you are a great friend of the State of Israel and we all thank you… This is a great moment for the citizens of Israel and this is a historic moment for the State of Israel.”
As Jerusalem is the burdensome stone as we are told in Zachariah 12:3 these announcements elicit not only reactions from Israel but of course from Israel’s enemies.
Hamas has called the move a “declaration of war.”
According to Ynet News PLO official Erekat: called the US “part of the problem” and said that “he further lamented the fact the move would coincide with the Nakba Day—the 1948 Palestinian exodus, or how the Palestinians refer to the establishment of Israel.”
Turkish President Erdogan called the news “extremely worrying” and reaffirmed his position that Jerusalem as the Palestinian’s capital was not disputable. However even before the shortened timetable Turkey’s president Erdogan said that Jerusalem would be the top priority at his Feb 5th closed doored meeting with Pope Francis. The meeting made Erdogan the first Turkish leader since 1959 to visit Rome and the reception was warm.
According to CBN News Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said he is disturbed by the fact that Pope Francis, "in advance, allowed Jerusalem to be the focus of the meeting.”
Cooper said Erdogan has been using the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a way to get street credibility in the Muslim world, and he's "really been a flamethrower in terms of rhetoric and in some cases in terms of action, that Pope Francis would find common ground with him over the future of Jerusalem is deeply troubling and frankly offensive."
Well, Rabbi, be deeply troubled because the Vatican has been stoking these flames ever since its inception.
Speaking about the Vatican, also in the news this past week was a leak of the US peace plan. Although the US administration is denying the leak many in Israel are unhappy about what was said to be leaked incase there was any truth in it. The leaders of the Sovereignty Movement said the plan was a regional disaster.
Ultimately the plan would have a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, Israel would hold onto the larger settlement blocks and have to uproot smaller ones. As far as Jerusalem was concerned it would be given special international status that would place the Holy Basin in international custody.
That last part about the international custody of Jerusalem has the fingerprints of the Vatican all over it, if the reports have any merit whatsoever. It is worth mentioning again that the US administration is saying that the reports are not to be believed and soon enough we will hear directly from the administration itself and Nikki Haley has said the plan is nearly ready.
What can be almost certain is that whatever the US administration puts on the table the PLO will never agree to. They turned down 98% of the West Bank going back to the days of Arafat. And if that is the case Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post wrote in an opinion piece that Israel will have to move unilaterally. And that “when Netanyahu embarks on a new course, like Bill Clinton and Warren Christopher in 1993, Trump and his advisers will not stand in his way.”
Regardless, if the reports and opinions are true or false, what must be noted is that only what God allows will come to pass. It is worth stating the obvious, Jesus Christ is the saviour of Israel, not Donald Trump or any other world leader. Sitting where we do in the timeline of human history it must be said that we have seen so many of the prophecies come to pass. When we see these Bible prophecies coming to pass before our very eyes we are witnessing the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Speaking of Jesus Christ in 1 Peter 3:22 he writes - “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” So it is he that is guiding world events and especially events in Israel that it might be ready for his return. In Christ’s own words in Revelation 16:12 the great river Euphrates would be dried up “that the way might be made ready for the kings that come from the sunrising.” This is a book of sign and symbol and the great river Euphrates means the power surrounding the river, which if we go back into the 1800’s was the Ottoman power. So it was that Bible students long looked for the Ottoman power to be dried up and to lose control of the holy land that the Jews could return to the land of their forefathers, and that in time the King of the Jews, and those he leads, could return as well. It only makes sense that this is the order of events. It is no use having the king return if he has no people. So, of course it was in 1917 that the Ottomans lost control of the holy land to the British, and just over 30 years later the British too would lose control of the holy land when the people of Israel were established enough for them to stand on their own. Make no mistake, this was all the work of the Lord Jesus Christ as he ruled the kingdoms of men ordering it to this point.
The bulla (seal impression) just found in Jerusalem.
The seal reads "[Belonging] to Isaiah nvy" and is missing only one Hebrew letter.
John Thomas in The Book Unsealed, the transcript of a public lecture given in 1869, speaking about a time period in the book of Daniel says the following:
“The long period of waiting has all passed away. Does this mean anything or does it not? I believe it means that the period for Israel's down-treading is at an end, and that we have entered upon a new series of events that will culminate in the cleansing of the Holy. We are not necessarily to look for some great event that will wind-up the purposes of God in a flash of lightning. One series of events having come to its close, another series has already begun and will continue to develop more and more largely until the Ancient of Days makes his appearance and takes things into his own hands. That this will be the order in which the events of these latter days will develop, we are justified in saying, because it is the order of all God’s past relations with Israel. All His purposes and schemes with them have been gradual in development. God is never in a hurry. He has plenty of time at His disposal. He is not bound to do things according to your speculation or mine as to how long He ought to take. He has fixed the times and seasons. He has commenced the development of His events, and they will not be interrupted by the policy of men, but on the contrary, the activity of men to carry out their own purposes will only expedite His. He has the controlling power, and what He has decreed will most assuredly come to pass. None can hinder or stay His hand.”
But as the nations struggle over Jerusalem and God’s land it is believed that the seal of Isaiah the prophet has been found in the excavations in the city of David, not far from where the seal of King Hezekiah was found. And so we will finish with the words of God through the prophet Isaiah in chapter 62:
1 “For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.
2 And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.
3 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence,
7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”
Come back next week for another edition of the Bible in the News at www.bibleinthenews.com