Jerusalem: A Cup of Reeling

Zech 12 2-3

We’re a week beyond President Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Not since President Harry Truman became the first to recognize Israel as a newborn nation in 1948 has a President so solidly and profoundly declared America’s position regarding Israel.  Praise God for the stand taken by the American administration.

However, on Wednesday, Muslim leaders declared East Jerusalem the capital of “Palestine.”

Could it be that we have now stepped into a whole new dimension when it comes to God’s plan for the last days?  We are living in the time of the Gentiles…that time between the “cutting off of the Messiah” (Daniel 9:26), when God pressed the pause button on His plan for the Jewish people; and the rapture, when God will release that pause button to complete His plan for the Jews.  (See God’s Prophetic Pause, or check out Week 2 of the Bible Study, Looking for the Blessed Hope)

We are obviously talking about end times outlined in the Bible, and as we consider the ongoing battle over Jerusalem, particularly in light of announcements by President Trump, and then by Muslim leaders, we come face-to-face with Zechariah 12:2-3 (above).  The prophet Zechariah prophesied that, in the end:

  • Jerusalem will cause reeling (“stumbling” or “trembling” in other translations) to all the people around.
  • Jerusalem will become a heavy stone (“burdensome”) for all the people.
  • All who lift that heavy stone will be severely injured.
  • All the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.

The end-time battle over Jerusalem is just beginning, and people (nations) are going to get injured!

But I’m reminded of something else.  We (followers of Jesus) are called to be watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem.  Isaiah 62 commands that we not be silent, but rather take no rest for ourselves, and give Him no rest until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth!  Jerusalem WILL ultimately become a praise in the earth when every knee bows and every tongue confesses and gives praise to the Lord!  (Philippians 2:9-11Romans 14:11)

Surely, we are approaching the time when Jerusalem will become more and more a burdensome, heavy stone which causes injury to those who try to move her.  That battle will last into and throughout the Tribulation…after Christ followers have been taken in the rapture!  So, believers, as long as we are on planet Earth, our job is to give the Lord no rest in our prayers on Israel’s behalf!

Now, a final thought.  Ezekiel 36-37 describes God’s preparation of the land and the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.  That prophecy, highlighted by Israel’s new birth as a nation in 1948, is happening PHYSICALLY, as Jews continue to return to their land.

However, Ezekiel 36:27 and Ezekiel 37:14 describe a SPIRITUAL rebirth.  With the exception of relatively few Jews who have met Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah, that spiritual new birth is still  to come.  It will come after God resumes His plan for the Jews…during the Tribulation.

So, we’re seeing prophecy fulfilled right before our very eyes!  Jerusalem will become a larger and more burdensome cup of reeling, and people and nations will injure themselves messing with God’s people and the Holy City He gave them.  Our job, Christian friends, is to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  Pray for the Prince of Peace to rule and reign in the hearts of those who will believe.  Our job is to take no rest, and give the Lord no rest, until He completes His work with His people and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Then, and only then, have we fulfilled the responsibility we have been given!  Pray on, dear friends!

Why Isn’t there a Palestinian State?

Since the re-birth of Israel in 1948, conflict has reigned between Israel and her Arab neighbors.  The “conflict” has turned into the Israeli-Palestinian struggle over who has rights to the land.  Recently, following President Trump’s public recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Palestinian people were incited by their leaders to riot.

The UN would have us believe Israel refuses to negotiate a land for the Palestinian people.  In fact, they believe President Trump’s announcement now validates that notion.

But is that true?

Take a look and a listen to Why Isn’t there a Palestinian State?  Then, decide for yourself!

 

PS: The news out of Israel is interesting.  While national media outlets continue insisting that violence and riots are taking place in Jerusalem, I hear from those on the ground there (including the Old City) that conditions are relatively peaceful.  (In fact, they are entering the Old City without fear of violence!)  So, what gives?  Well, here is my take: When I see reports of riots and violence on the news, I do not recognize the scenes.  Not that I have seen every inch of Israel (though I am fairly familiar with Jerusalem), the fact that I don’t recognize any of those sites leads me to believe that violence is happening only in Palestinian-controlled areas.  (Another clue is the fact there is a very distinct difference in the cleanliness of Jewish areas vs Palestinian areas in Israel.  Areas shown on the news do not appear to be Jewish areas.)  Media outlets are also talking about violence in Jerusalem, while showing obvious footage of other Arab cities (such as Beirut)!

Therefore, my current belief is that the liberal media (typically sympathetic to the Palestinian position) is working to convince the masses that President Trump’s decision is sparking violence throughout the area, though the reality is that Palestinians and Arabs are simply rioting in their own areas.  That plays well into the Palestinian Authority’s game plan to convince the world that the Palestinians live in  severe oppression!

UPDATE: Here is an article that seems to concur: Trump Did Not Bring Jerusalem Crashing Down.

Amir Tsarfati’s Special Update on Jerusalem

Yesterday I shared some thoughts regarding President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and I tried to provide some insight into the days, weeks and months ahead.  For many of us who love Israel, these are intriguing times and we want to know more.

If you missed Amir Tsarfati’s Special Update on Jerusalem on Thursday and you are one “wanting to know more,” I suggest carving out an hour to catch the update.  Being Israeli and speaking with authority vested in his military background and political connections, Amir is a tremendous resource when we want to know more about Israel and what is happening there.  So sit down, relax and spend the next hour soaking in what Amir shares.  Enjoy!

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?