Let Jerusalem come into your Mind:
A New phase in the Restoration Process?
Saturday, May 19, 2018
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Hello, this is Paul Billington in Jerusalem having been here as the U.S.A. has moved its embassy to the city during an historic week. But what does it mean in practical terms for the future? I asked this question to several leading personalities here among whom was a friend of the Prime Minister—Bobby Brown of Tekoa who worked with him for several years and knew him well. Also David Wilder in Hebron who knows the situation here and has been a spokesman often involved by the media, including the B.B.C.
Two days ago I visited the Knesset (parliament) here in Jerusalem and interviewed MK Yehuda Glick in his office down in the basement of the Knesset building having braved a multitude of security screens in order to do so.
My question to all of these people was: What does the U.S.A. embassy move to Jerusalem really mean in practical terms? What difference will it make?
The answer from those I spoke with was simple: It introduces a new phase in Israel’s credibility on the international scene. Some, including MK Yehuda Glick compared it to the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Donald Trump is being praised to the skies as banners all over the city claim that he is making Israel “Great,” and that he is a lover of Zion. But I have to say that although the move may be an important one, and although it may mark another phase in the political development of the State of Israel - all the glory centres upon man - there seems to be very little recognition of the work of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the one controlling the restoration process. To the Jewish leaders of course, Christ does not even exist. They do not know him.
Yet it was Jesus who foretold the rising again of Jerusalem in the well known passage from Luke 21:24,
“Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, UNTIL the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
There was to be a limit to the time when Jerusalem would be trodden down by Gentile powers, and we have seen Jerusalem rising again ever since 1967. This fact may well be seen by many, but who recognises that it is the work of the risen Lord Jesus bringing it to fulfillment?
US Embassy signs in Jerusalem.
What we see today was expected on the basis of Bible prophecy, and explained by John Thomas in his book Elpis Israel in 1849. He wrote:
“The pre-adventual colonisation of Palestine will be on purely political principles; and the Jewish colonists will return in unbelief of the Messiahship of Jesus and of the truth as it is in him. They will emigrate thither as agriculturists and traders, in the hope of ultimately establishing their commonwealth...”
A few years ago I spoke with the well known historian, Sir Martin Gilbert not long before his death. I asked him about this statement by John Thomas in Elpis Israel, in his reply which I recorded he said:
“As a historian I find it very inspiring that someone from a religious perspective should be really aware of the historical currents of that time, not just aware but foreseeing them very clearly, so that in 1849 he is talking about events that began in 1882 and as he puts it so rightly, the political return of Jews to set up farming colonies and the prediction that there would have to be a power, called the great power which would essentially liberate the land so that the Jews could form their commonwealth. He uses the phrase ‘commonwealth,’ and it was to be some years before this happened. What Dr. Thomas is proposing is much more comprehensive than that, and in that sense foreshadows Herzl’s political Zionism and the Basel Congress of 1897 and the Balfour Declaration of 1917. He talks about British statesmen and is very caustic about their abilities at the time he is writing, but again he envisages a different calibre of statesmen, which certainly Balfour, then Churchill who was in charge of the British Mandate, 1921, fits the bill.”
This is precisely the situation as we see it today. The Jewish people are “in unbelief of the Messiahship of Jesus...” Hence there is no recognition of his hand at work.
"Trump is a friend of Zion" banner, Jerusalem, Israel.
We attended a conference at the Knesset in which Jews and Christian Zionists took part - but even the so-called “Christian Zionists” gave no glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. To listen to their input you would not know that Christ had anything to do with the restoration of Israel, yet it is his work. The prophet says:
“It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.”
So as I look around Jerusalem today and observe all the glory being given to men - whether to the Jews themselves or to Donald Trump, the words of the prophet ring out and tell us that it is the Lord who is raising up Israel and that he is also the means of salvation to the Gentiles.
There is much more to this than we have covered here, and I would draw your attention to our Bible class to be held on Sunday May 27 in Brantford entitled: “This is Jerusalem, I have set it in the midst of the Nations.” If you can be with us that would be great, if not enquire about a recording of the event that will be available. The next issue of the Bible Magazine will be published in July with further relevant details.
Join us again next week for another edition of the Bible in the News.
Printed: Saturday, May 19, 2018
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