Political and Prophetic Implications of the US Embassy Move

The Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) has ramped up Israel-related coverage in the past few years.  They produce regular Jerusalem Dateline segments and have an “Inside Israel” page on their website.  As a Christian organization that supports Israel, they are leading the media charge in taking up issues specific to Israel.

Gordon Robertson, president of CBN, was present and spoke at last week’s ICEJ/ACLI Summit in Washington DC, committing to continue efforts to put Israel positively in the news.

Recently, CBN produced The Embassy Move to Jerusalem: What it Means Politically and Prophetically.  I encourage you to take time to view the 22-minute report that includes Robertson’s comments at the Summit, VP Mike Pence’s comments at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC, and an interview with the Guatemalan Ambassador to Israel following the opening of their embassy two days following the US Embassy.

Also, as you know, US Ambassador David Friedman now has a new address.  As the United States Ambassador to Israel, Friedman represents the interests of America to Israel, and became the first ambassador to occupy an official embassy in Jerusalem when, on May 14, the US officially moved the embassy from Tel Aviv.

The quiet-spoken, level-headed ambassador reflected on the move in a recent interview with the Christian Broadcast Network (CBN).  As we get used to diplomats moving into embassies in Jerusalem, it is no small matter that the US was the first to take the leap.

Listen to Ambassador Friedman’s comments (including a little-known story about President Trump) here.

As the “new” wears off and the embassy staff continues to take the necessary steps to stand with Israel, will you pray for Ambassador Friedman and his staff?  Pray God’s richest blessings upon them, and that God’s divine wisdom will guide their plans.  Blessings to the ambassador, and blessings to you!

The Embassy is Open! What a Day it was!

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Today, as President Donald Trump spoke to the delegation in Jerusalem at the official opening of the US Embassy, our crowd here in Washington DC tuned in as well.  What pure joy to be among staunch Israel-supporting Christians as the celebration took place!  The room erupted many times in applause and celebratory cheers as we watched history being made.

If you missed President Trump’s congratulatory remarks and the unveiling of the official embassy seal, here is the 4 1/2-minute clip:

Later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a rousing speech, thanking President Trump for following through on his  promise to open the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

“What a glorious day! Remember this moment!  This is history.  President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history!”
~Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel

Watch his exuberant remarks here:

Indeed, it was a glorious day!  Spending it with those who love Israel was a true blessing.  Here in Washington DC we heard from other dignitaries and Christian leaders such as Yaron Gamburg (Minister of Public Diplomacy, Israeli Embassy in Washington), Dr Jurgen Buhler (President, ICEJ), Dr Jerry Johnson (President and CEO, National Religious Broadcasters), Pastor Saleem Shalash (Christian Arab Pastor at Jesus the King Church in Nazareth Israel) and many others.  How encouraging to know that Christians are leading a worldwide movement to share the truth about Israel, and to exhort others to speak out and act boldly on behalf of God’s chosen land and God’s chosen people.

In days ahead I’ll share more about the content of this first-rate gathering, beginning with America’s “Cyrus Moments” tomorrow.  See you then!

Israel Living Securely in the Land

…and they are living securely…land of unwalled villages…those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates…My people Israel are living securely…
~Ezekiel 38:8, 11, 14

Notice how the prophet Ezekiel describes Israel in the days leading up to the invasion from the north, known as the War of Gog and Magog.  Clearly, Israel will be living in safety and security.

Long-time friends of mine have just arrived in Israel, but not before we talked over dinner a few nights ago.  I was asked the most common question about Israel: “Is it safe?”   I answered as I always do, with a resounding “yes,” then got the typical, “Are you sure?” look! (Of course I’m sure!)

It is true that Israel has a low crime rate, and I feel as  safe (if not more so) walking the streets of Jerusalem as I do walking the streets of American cities.  While some accept that fact, many can’t get beyond the thought that Israel is being targeted (and at times fired upon) by enemies who desire to destroy her.  That was the concern of my friends who were undoubtedly excited about going to Israel, but somewhat anxious about their safety.

So, is it safe?

That question goes beyond simply our limited view through human eyes.  One must understand God’s promises both to Israel and to us as believers.  There is a spiritual element that is best explained in a recent report by Amir Tsarfati from the Golan Heights.  Just a mere stone’s throw from the Israeli-Syrian border, one might think the Golan Heights would be particularly dangerous.  Yet, there is Amir, safely leading a tour group in that very place!

“But wait!” you say.  “Isn’t the Israeli Air Force engaged in conflict with Iranian forces in Syria right now?”  Ahhhh…yes!  Indeed there is conflict in Syria, but that is specifically the point!  Israel is safe and secure because Israel has drawn “red lines” regarding what they will allow at their borders.  Currently, Iran is no match for the IDF, thus Israel is well able to deflect conflict to Syrian territory rather than Israeli territory.

Would I go against the instructions of the IDF?  No.  If they say it isn’t safe to travel to the Golan Heights, I would not go there.  However, Israel is calm and life continues as normal today because the IDF is doing its job.  Moreover, as believers in Christ Jesus, we have nothing to fear!  We, too, can live securely as our Savior and Protector is doing His job!

Settle in and tune in to Amir’s report!  Then, decide for yourself if Israel is indeed living in safety and security…just as Ezekiel prophesied.  You will be blessed!

PS: We’re heading into exciting days, so stay tuned!  I hope to report from Washington DC in a few days, where I will attend a ceremony at the Israeli Embassy, linked by satellite to the festivities surrounding the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem!

 

The Iran Deal is Nixed, but What Other News Can We Expect over the Next Few Days?

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Netanyahu attends a Victory Day parade (WWII Soviet victory over Nazi Germany) ahead of meeting with Putin  (Photo credit: PMO)

Welcome back friends!  As you know, President Trump has pulled the US out of the Iranian nuclear deal.  However, that’s only one of the many newsworthy events expected in the next few days.

Certainly, there is fall-out from Trump’s announcement yesterday.  Netanyahu, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, European leaders, as well as some Arab states have all responded to the news in one way or another.  (See various comments here.)

Also,  the Israeli Air Force took care of business by destroying Iranian missiles aimed at Israel.  (See this morning’s post.)

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Big news for sure, but other “newsy” days are ahead.  Here is a recap of what is on tap:

  • Today – Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation in the Middle East.  (See yesterday’s post for more info about that meeting.)  Information is just coming out about that meeting, where Netanyahu is said to have thanked Putin for engaging in a conversation about regional issues, and warned the Russian premier that Iran’s ambition is another Holocaust.  Putin’s response: “We remember the tragedies of the two world wars, about the lessons of history which do not allow us to become blind. The same old ugly traits are appearing along with new threats: egoism, intolerance, aggressive nationalism and claims to exceptionalism. We understand the full seriousness of those threats.”  Time will tell!
  • Related imageSunday, May 13 – Jerusalem Day (Hebrew: יום ירושלים‎, Yom Yerushalayim) is the day Israel celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem following the 1967 Six-Day War.  Though Israel was victorious in the War of Independence (1948) and the Suez War (1956), in which they legally took control of their land, part of Jerusalem (and what is known as the West Bank today) fell under control of the Jordanians.  When Israel was threatened again in 1967, they were again victorious, reuniting Jerusalem.  Obviously, that is much disputed to this day, as there continues to be argument over the “pre-1967” borders.
  • US Embassy SignsMonday, May 14 – Israel will celebrate her 70th anniversary and the US will officially open its embassy in Jerusalem.  Many protests are expected, particularly from the Palestinians who continue their “March of Return” protests along the Israeli security fence.  Hamas if fueling the riots there, and they are expected to grow in intensity.
  • Tuesday, May 15 – Palestinian observance of nakba (“catastrophe” in Arabic), marking the establishment of the state of Israel.  Again, protests in Gaza and the West Bank are expected to reach a fever pitch during these days.
  • Wednesday, May 16 – Guatemala will officially open their embassy in Jerusalem.

As you can imagine, opportunities for conflict over the next few days abound.  Pray for peace, and pray for wisdom of world leaders.  Things are boiling beneath the surface and the eruption is bound to occur at some point.

As believers, we know these to be “birth pangs” Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:1-8 and Mark 13:1-8.  Never in the history of the world have we seen the stage so fully set for end time prophecies.  Not to set dates or predict when the rapture (next thing on the prophetic calendar) will happen, but to simply say:

You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
~Matthew 24:6-8

But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
~Luke 21:28

Our Lord could tarry, but our duty is to be ready, and to be about our Father’s business as we wait.  Keep that in mind as we navigate the days ahead!

PS: Stick with me, as I hope to report from the ICEJ/ACLI Conference and a celebration in a few days at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC.