Saturday, May 25, 2013

Jerusalem! part 2, The Nation. "Israel to define itself as 'national state of Jewish people' "

Jerusalem! Introduction

Jerusalem! Part 1, The Land 

Jerusalem! Part 3, Its Glorious Spiritual Future

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Jerusalem! It is the eternal city, (Psalm 46:4, Revelation 3:12) God's city where He has set His name, (1 Kings 11:36, 2 Chronicles 12:13) and is the city in which Immanuel (Matthew 1:23) will dwell in all His glory, (Zechariah 8:3) calling it Jehovah Shammah, The Lord is There.(Ezekiel 48:35). It is the nickname He uses when he calls His people. (Zechariah 3:2). It is a place that it figures solely as the most important land, city, and people in the history of the earth. All of history is dwindling down to one focal point: Jerusalem. So let's take a look at this incredible place.

God chose a people and a land to bring unto Himself. These are the Israelites and His land is Israel. Its city is Jerusalem. He made this promise to Abram in Genesis 12. God was actually delivering three distinct promises to Abram, later re-named Abraham. God made a land promise, a national promise, and a spiritual promise. In part 1 we looked at the land promise. Here is the verse--

"Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3).

Is Israel a great nation? Well, yes. It has developed some of the world's most wonderful technology. It has changed an arid place into a garden, and now most of the world's fruit is exported from there. It is a military nation, strong and mighty. It is a tiny nation, having given away land during successive political parliaments. It is only the size of Massachusetts, but it is incredible in that it simply did not exist for 1900 years and then one day it did!
NatGeo

However as much as Christians bless the nation, and pray for its deliverance, we have to be realistic. This is from a sermon titled "The Cleansing of Israel," delivered by John MacArthur in 1977. Not much has changed since then-

"Israel is not a religious nation. I would have to say that I doubt whether been in a more irreligious nation in my life than Israel. It's an irreligious nation. Their god is the god of armies, the god of strength, the god of surprise, the god of might, the god of racial identity, which is the big thing, but not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and not the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God."

Jerusalem is referred to as Salem in Genesis 14:18, when Abram honored Melchizedek, King of Salem and priest of the God Most High (unusual that this one is King AND Priest, something banned later in Israel's history. Priests always came from the tribe of Levi and Kings from the tribe of Judah).
 The meeting of Abraham with Melchizedek

Ezekiel 21:25-27 prophesied the end of the kings and there has been no king rightfully officiating over Israel since King Jehoiachin in about 600BC, shortly after Ezekiel's pronouncement. There has been no priest in Israel since the last High Priest serving when the Roman army came and overthrew the Temple in 70AD since Phannias ben Samuel and he wasn't even from a priestly family, he was just a revolutionary. he died during the Roman overthrow.

There is still no king or priest over Israel today. And of course, no prophet since John The Baptist and then Jesus prophesied there. There was not even any nation Israel between 70Ad and 1948. By this standard, the Israel of today is merely a political entity, led by a Prime Minister, a President, and a Parliament (Knesset).

Even during the period between May 1948 and June 1967, Jerusalem was not in Israel's hands. They won East Jerusalem back during the Six Day War of June 1967, wresting it from the Jordanians who were occupying it. Later that month the Israeli Knesset declared Jerusalem unified. On July 30, 1980, the Knesset passed a law declaring the City of Jerusalem to be ‘eternal and indivisible.’” The United Nations promptly condemned the action.

There is still contention today. For example, what are the city's borders? You can search for that answer online and you'll come up with millions of maps with dotted lines, position papers, and news articles, but no borders.

Why won't the world declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel? No country in the world has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Many do not recognize it as a city that is even belonging to Israel! When others proclaim that Jerusalem shall be their capital, not a murmur is heard from the world.




Why won't America declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel? We won't even place an embassy there. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is a public law of the United States passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995. It was passed for the purposes of initiating and funding the relocation of the Embassy of the United States in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no later than May 31, 1999. This law was never enacted, due to opposition from Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. (source). The US position is aligned with the United Nations- to 'internationalize" Jerusalem, make it be an international city.

Source Times of Israel
Why are there maps emerging one after one that not only fail to draw correct boundaries to Israel, but fail to list it in any way as even existing? This has happened over and over, including just a few days ago. Times of Israel reports, "Official UN workers in Lebanon posed with a map in which Israel did not exist, and the entire area from the Jordan to the sea was titled ”Arab Palestine.” At the launch of German-funded projects in Lebanon earlier in May, Ann Dismorr, director of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) affairs in Lebanon, held the map, which mentioned Jordan, Syria and the other neighboring countries by name — but neglected to name Israel."

Why does the world insist on calling Israel a state, and not a nation? Or a nation and not a state? Or a nation-state? The roots of the political conflict with Jerusalem and Israel lay in the fact that the Arab world refuses to declare it a national state for the Jewish people. Israel is set to define itself, "Israel's new government plans to pass a controversial new law defining the country as a "national state of the Jewish people" despite the presence of 1.5 million Arabs within its borders. It will be enshrined in Israel's Basic Law – the country's equivalent of a constitution - and lay down that The State of Israel is the National State of the Jewish People," as the UK Telegraph reports. 

Think about it. Since 1990 there have been 34 new countries to enter the world stage. A bunch of them came about as the Soviet Union dissolved. One of them was Armenia. The rest are listed below. The most recent is Sudan splitting into (Islamic) north Sudan and (Christian) South Sudan. (source)

March 21, 1990 - Namibia became independent of South Africa.
May 22, 1990 - North and South Yemen merged to form a unified Yemen.
October 3, 1990 - East Germany and West Germany merged to form a unified Germany after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
September 17, 1991 - The Marshall Islands was part of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands (administered by the United States) and gained independence as a former colony.
September 17, 1991 - Micronesia, previously known as the Caroline Islands, became independent from the United States.
January 1, 1993 - The Czech Republic and Slovakia became independent nations when Czechoslovakia dissolved.
May 25, 1993 - Eritrea was a part of Ethiopia but seceded and gained independence.
October 1, 1994 - Palau was part of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands (administered by the United States) and gained independence as a former colony.
May 20, 2002 - East Timor (Timor-Leste) declared independence from Portugal in 1975 but did not became independent from Indonesia until 2002.
June 3, 2006 - Montenegro was part of Serbia and Montenegro (also known as Yugoslavia) but gained independence after a referendum.
June 5, 2006 - Serbia became its own entity after Montenegro split.
February 17, 2008 - Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia.
July 9, 2011 - South Sudan peacefully seceded from Sudan following a January 2011 referendum. Sudan itself was the first to recognize South Sudan and did so one day early, on July 8, 2011.

Have there been successive UN Resolutions condemning their actions? Declaring where they may or may not build apartments? Fighting over which city is allowed to be their capital? Talks and endless talks over unifying territory, or splitting territory? Other nations managing as guardian large swathes of certain other nation's' lands? Wars? Of course not.

Only Israel sparks such attention, focus, and hatred.

Though there was a push several years ago for the vaunted 'two-state solution' to end the armed conflict over Israel, it subsided in 2008. I watched for years but we heard crickets on the Palestinian-Israeli peace plan. Until now. All of a sudden it revived big time. Secretary of State has rushed to Israel and environs to re-start the talks.

Yesterday the Guardian UK reported, "The British foreign secretary, William Hague, has warned of the risks of failure of the US-sponsored mission to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, suggesting that it was the last attempt possible at reaching a two-state solution to the conflict and there was no realistic "plan B". Hague spoke in Jerusalem shortly before US secretary of state John Kerry departed at the end of his fourth visit to the area, saying the time was approaching when "hard decisions" needed to be made."

This current iteration of the two state solution talks is like a cat. A cat will doze for hours, slumbering quietly in the sun. Little snuffles emit from its nose, convincing you it is asleep. Then all of a sudden for no reason it will jump up and RUN LIKE A MANIAC INTO THE NEXT ROOM! It's like it all of a sudden says "I need to be in there, right now." That is what the US Secretary of State is like. For at least five years, not a word was said about the Israeli peace talks. Now it is hectic activity as if we're approaching a cliff. And maybe we are.

The upshot is that Israel, and Jerusalem, is a political entity. It surely is a great nation, but it is without paying homage to her God. God is still with her, and will protect her to the end. She will be ravaged, for it has been the times of the Gentiles since the failure of the last king. Only gentile Kings ruled Israel, such as Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzar, etc. Even now she is without a king, only a Prime Minister.

These are the questions. This is today's Jerusalem, today's Israel, a politically buffeted nation without a king or a priest or world regard. The world is against it.

Anti-Semitism widespread among European Muslims
"Anti-Semitism in the Muslim World has always been problematic. After all, a 2008 Pew Research Center study shows that almost 100 percent of people in the Arab countries surrounding Israel hold anti-Semitic views. But what is even more problematic is how this anti-Semitism among Muslims has spread to the Western World, especially to children and teenagers. Anti-Semitism is rapidly spreading and becoming mainstream among young Muslims in Europe ..."

Source
Last week a Italian journalist Giulio Meotti asked in an Op-Ed,

How Did 150,000,000 Europeans Come to Hate Israel?
The Jewish religion is under attack in Europe”, declared the Conference of European Rabbis president Pinchas Goldschmidt. Many polls (such as the study on behalf of the German Social Democratic Friedrich Ebert Foundation) bring an iconic number measuring the disaster: 150,000,000 Europeans have a delegitimizing and demonizing view of the State of Israel and its citizens. For a large sector of Europe, the cities, skyscrapers, hospitals, cinemas, and schools on that tiny sliver of land named "Israel" are merely real estate that will be restored to Islam once this malefic Jewish form is swept away. This is a popular mobilization against Israel in the “Raus mit Uns” spirit. 150,000,000 Western citizens believe that Zionism is a misconceived project to be brought to an end as soon as possible."

He ended his piece this way, "Europe’s public opinion has been persuaded to believe that Israel is a state that ought to be dismantled forthwith. Europe's population count today is 730,000, 000 citizens. What would happen if the anti-Semitic worm infected the mind of all of them? Can Israel really remain immune from that eruption of psychotic anti-Jewish illness?"

Yes. and No. Political Israel's days are numbered. The world is coming against it as Zechariah showed in the prophecy. The psychotic illness that is Israel hate is satan's contribution to his plan to thwart God' The world will gather against Israel and surround Jerusalem. In this regard, the Italian journalist's questions is consistent with prophecy.

"“Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it." (Zechariah 12:2-3)

"And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child." (Revelation 12:13)

"For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. " (Zechariah 14:2).

"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near." (Luke 21:20).

Things do not look good for the nation Israel and the city Jerusalem. And they aren't. But the Lord will come and save His nation, His people, and His city. The third part of the series on Jerusalem will look at its glorious future! And it IS glorious! They will go through a dark time, but then things become very bright, as bright as the glory of the LORD himself!
source

4 comments:

  1. Hi Elizabeth, thank you for this interesting and informative series on Jerusalem. If you have time I'd be interested in your comments on 'The Inheritance of Abraham?', a report on the promised land published by the Church and Society council of the Church of Scotland, available at www.churchofscotland.org.uk . Thanks, John.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John,

      Here are two different news sources about the controversy. The first is from The Scotsman, a Scttish news media.

      http://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-news/top-stories/scottish-independence-kirk-critical-of-debate-1-2942021
      Rethink calls on Promised Land report are rejected

      THE General Assembly has ignored calls by Scottish Jews to rethink a controversial report on the Israel-Palestine situation.

      The Church and Society Council’s 'Inheritance of Abraham?' A report on the Promised Land document prompted a storm of controversy around the world when it was first published.

      Although primarily about the treatment of Palestinian people by the Israeli government, it was interpreted by Jewish groups as questioning the assumption that the Bible supported the existence of Israel as the Promised Land for Jews.

      The report was criticised by the Israeli government as playing into “extremist political positions” and that it had damaged inter-faith relations

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      this second one is from the American conservative news outlet, World Net Daily

      http://www.wnd.com/2013/05/church-of-scotlands-revised-israel-report-blasted/?cat_orig=faith

      The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities said that, despite recent revisions, the Church of Scotland’s report on Israel remains “unacceptable.”

      The report, entitled “The Inheritance of Abraham?,” was endorsed by the church’s general assembly Thursday in Edinburgh. It is a revision of an earlier text the church’s Church and Society Council published earlier this month and then withdrew amid Jewish condemnations of its assertion that Jews have no special claim to Israel. The report further said that Israel should be boycotted and that Western support for Israel is rooted in Holocaust guilt.

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      My comment to all that would be it is consistent with hatred of Jews because it is prophesied that in the end all the world will be against Israel. Anti-semitism is rising fast in Europe and around the world. Replacement Theology is everywhere (which replaces Israel with the church and says God is done with Jews). Constant calls for splitting the Land are heard, because increasingly, people and organizations say Israel has no right tot he Land. Islam is increasing while Christianity is shrinking. Legislative persecution of Jews is increasing, just as it was prior to Hitler's time. It all fits. Nothing about that Church of Scotland report surprises me.

      The important thing to watch for is the world reaction to Israel's proposed legislation to identify itself as a nation of Jews, which I linked to in the essay above. With world attitude against Israel rising, and hatred of Jews increasing, their legislation, if it passes, might well be a catalyst for further action.

      Delete
  2. This is a balanced article explaining the context of the Knesset's proposal to self-identify as a "national state of Jewish people'", the reactions from various factions, and how this affects their overall democracy. In reading the article it seems to me that it is a pivotal point in their history- whether to identify as Jews or identify as a democratic government (secular). Even at that, there is heated discussion on *which* Judaism to adopt, in other words, what does it even mean to be a Jew in 2013?

    Article is worth reading.

    http://www.theinternational.org/articles/381-whats-in-a-name-israel-as-a-national

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for your comments and the article reference. What I find sad about the Church of Scotland's stance on Israel is that for centuries it has been one of Israel's strongest supporters. At the COS Assembly last week this anti-Israel report was passed by an overwhelming majority, although a few lone traditionalists spoke out bravely against it. It appears that now we are deep in the last days that apostasy is rife in the Church of Scotland. John.

    ReplyDelete

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