Russia, Israel & The West Bank:
The Coming Crisis Approaches!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
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Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News. This week's comment is from Paul Billington and centres upon the well known prophecy concerning the Russian led invasion of the mountains of Israel and its destruction, as described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. Addressing this latter day alliance the prophet says:
"Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee" (Ezekiel 38:7-9).
This prophecy is reflected in that of Daniel which describes the same crisis in different terms. The great theme is that of the Kingdoms of Men (that is, Human Governments) in conflict with God's people and nation of Israel. Daniel's prophecy was summarized in the lengthy title of a book published in 1854 by John Thomas, which read as follows:
"Anatolia; or, Russia Triumphant and Europe Chained: being an Exposition of Prophecy, showing the inevitable Fall of the French and Ottoman Empires; the occupation of Egypt and the Holy Land by the British; the formation of a Russian Latino-Greek Confederacy; its invasion and conquest of Egypt, Palestine, and Jerusalem; Its destruction on the Mountains of Israel; the long-expected deliverance of the Jews by the Messiah; His subjugation of the world through their agency, and consequent establishment of the Kingdom of Israel."
Now as we have pointed out before in this programme, "the mountains of Israel" are equivalent to the modern geographic phrase "the West Bank." This is made clear by looking at a relief map. Israel occupied the territory in 1967 as a result of the combined Arab armies attempt to eliminate Israel. Since then it has been a territory in dispute and includes East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
Before 1967 the area was ruled by Jordan, but they abandoned their claim to it in July 1988. It has since been claimed as a Palestinian State as part of the so-called Two-State solution. but there is a problem with that because over 300,000 Jewish settlers now live there and appeal to the Bible as their title-deed to the Land. The majority of these settlers (and especially the rising generation) have no intention of leaving the Land which God promised to their fathers - Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They are not going to move out by their own voluntary freewill!
The news this week, that Russia supports an independent Palestinian State in the disputed territory is a significant development in view of what the prophets have said. The words of the Russian President Medvedev are paving the way for the situation which has been foreseen over many years. He said:
"Russia's position remains unchanged. Russia made its choice a long time ago ... we supported and will support the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to an independent state with its capital in East Jerusalem."
At the same time the Russian President called for an Israeli freeze in its building and development of the area.
In addition to that, the leader of Israel's Security Agency (Shin Bet) pointed out that European countries may also recognize the Palestinian State. So a Russo-European block is forming which would be willing to see Jews expelled from the Biblical heartlands, and from parts of Jerusalem.
This is exactly what Bible prophecy leads us to expect.
It is important for us to realize that the driving force behind all this is Catholic Europe and a newly emerged Orthodox Christian Russia. The Russian President was making his point by bathing in the river Jordan and making reference to the baptism of Jesus at that spot. What we are seeing is the claims of Christendom - Papal and Orthodox - to the land of the Bible. This just has to bring conflict with Israel, with the Palestinians being used as the excuse or justification for military action when the time comes.
Now read again the 1854 title page of John Thomas' Anatolia (reproduced on our printed page). Russia and her apostate Christian allies are to be destroyed on the mountains of Israel (see also Ezekiel 39:2-4).
This means that we are approaching that time when the Kingdom will be restored to Israel - The Hope of Israel is about to be realized, and it is through the Gospel that we are invited to participate in it. The Kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and it is he who will reign for ever and ever. So it is that we pray "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done..."
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Printed: Thursday, January 20, 2011
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