Word from Jerusalem – December 2017

The latest edition of Word from Jerusalem is out.  Having just celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, it is no surprise that the lead article is dedicated to that historical event.  However, this edition also contains other interesting articles, such as:

  • The ICEJ Remembers the Balfour Declaration at the London Belfast Celebration
  • The Reformation and Israel
  • Starting a New Life in the Promised Land
  • A Season to Recognize God’s Favor Upon Israel
  • From the Equator to the Arctic Circle: Israel has Christian Friends Everywhere
  • Does the United States Benefit from its Alliance with Israel?

This edition is packed, so take some time and enjoy it!

Thoughts on President Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem and Movement of US Embassy

Following President Trump’s announcements on Wednesday, many seem to be wondering, “What now?”

While the United States, under President Harry Truman, was the first to recognize the newly reborn state of Israel in 1948, no American president in the past 20 years has been bold enough to unequivocally declare Jerusalem to be the fully-recognized capital of the Jewish state.  That is, until President Donald Trump.

I was present at the AIPAC Policy Conference in March 2016 when then-candidate Donald Trump laid out his plans for diplomatic relations with Israel. Among his statements was this one:

“We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem…we will send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally the state of Israel.”

He made a promise and he seems to be acting on it.  That is admirable, though he will still have his hands full in actually moving the embassy.  But at least he has committed to it.

But what can we expect in the coming days, weeks and months?  Well, in the coming days, I believe we can expect the Arab world (particularly the Palestinians) to act with violence.  Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is very adept at whining to the rest of the world about the “injustice” being done, while inciting his people to violence…without a word being said by the rest of the world who has bought into his whining!  Yet, “peace talks” have lingered since 1947, and the Palestinians have been offered incredible statehood deals in the past, to which they have always said no.  Examples:

  • Image result for british mandate map1947 UN Partition Plan: Though the British Mandate (1917-1922) declared the Jewish homeland to be the territory we know today as Israel and Jordan, by the time the UN Partition plan came along in 1947, the Jewish homeland had been cut down to only parts (primarily the deserts!) of Israel.  The Jews said, “Ok, we’ll take it,” while the Arabs said, “No way! We want it all!”
  • 2000 Camp David Peace Talks: President Bill Clinton mediated negotiations between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, in which 97% of all territory demanded by the Palestinians was agreed upon by Israel.  (Only highly Jewish-populated areas of the West Bank were excluded and land swaps were offered.) Arafat said, “No way! We want it all!”
  • 2008 Peace Talks: Israeli PM Ehud Olmert was so anxious to culminate a peace deal that he conceded virtually every demand (including a Palestinian state AND a divided Jerusalem) of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.  (See this article!)  Yet still, the Palestinians said, “No way! We want it all!”

So, I’m not confident that President Trump nor anyone else will be able to close the “ultimate deal!”  Palestinian leadership simply does not want peace…they want Israel and the Jewish people totally eliminated, and they incite…and even PAY…Palestinian people to riot.  They also have the UN on their side, and that infamous body meets today to discuss the situation.  (Don’t be surprised to hear about UN resolutions condemning the US!)

That is what we are seeing today, and will see for days to come.  (A word of caution here: in general, it is not the Palestinian people who are the problem. It is Palestinian leadership.)

In the coming weeks, I’m hopeful that other nations will follow the lead of the United States by declaring their recognition of Jerusalem as the capital, and perhaps moving their embassies to Jerusalem.  The Czech Republic and the Philippines have made similar pronouncements already.  Also, Netanyahu has made huge inroads over the past couple years reaching out to nations in the Mediterranean, Africa and even South America to build diplomatic relations, and those seem to be working.  There are those who share hope with Israel!

In the coming months, I suspect we’ll see world leaders vie for power.  Trump is not well-liked in many parts of the world (particularly now) and America has definitely lost credibility on the world stage over the past several years.  In addition, North Korea is enough of a distraction to keep the US busy in other places besides the Middle East.

So who will rise to world power?  Could it be Vladimir Putin in Russia?  (Oh, how he longs for that!)  Might it be Emmanuel Macron in Europe?  Will someone else arise to become the world’s foremost power monger?

We don’t know, but I think the next few months might give us a clue as to where the pieces might land.  Make no mistake, Jesus could miraculously bring about a season of peace in the Middle East (though very difficult to imagine at this point).  Or, He may be setting the stage for the next grand event on the prophetic calendar: the rapture of the church!

Either way, He calls us to be ready!  Are you?

Israeli Knesset Says “Thank You” to Christians

In early November 2017, as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the Israeli Knesset (similar to the US Congress) hosted a special gathering to express thanks and gratitude to Christians, recognizing their contributions in the establishment and sustaining of the miracle of Israel.

“The State of Israel was established, not just to be another place for tourism.  We have a message to the world…God is not exclusive, He is inclusive, and it is our obligation to bring that God to the world!”
~MK Yehudah Glick

“We highly appreciate the love and support Israel receives from its Christian friends and allies around the world. It is not only a blessing, but an imperative in these trying times. Thank you for your prayers and thank you for standing with Israel.”
~MK Robert Ilatov, Chairman of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus

Read the entire article and see the videos at Christian Zionist Volunteers in Israel Are “First Step” in Fulfilling Biblical Prophecy.

You will be blessed!

70th Anniversary of the UN Partition Plan…Gateway to Israel’s Re-birth

70 years ago yesterday, the UN passed Resolution 181, formalizing the UN Partition Plan, put forth as a result of the Balfour Declaration.

Related imageA public statement issued in a letter (following WWI) from British Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, suggested the British-controlled Palestine be established as the Jewish homeland.

Unbeknownst to the UN, this was all part of God’s plan to fulfill His promise to Abraham, to give him land and descendants.  At the passing of Resolution 181, a doorway opened for Jews to establish the land God promised.  That was accomplished about 6 months later, when on May 14, 1948, the nation of Israel was re-born!

Check out the story in this 2-minute video from Stand with Us.

 

I will be teaching about Israel’s journey through the Balfour Declaration, San Remo Conference and UN vote in 1947 (along with a couple other surprises!) on Sunday.  If you are in the Phoenix area, come join us at 9:00 am at Calvary Community Church (Northwest campus Prayer Room).  See you there!