Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Israel in prophecy: Peace talks, Jerusalem divided? ISIS blows up pipeline, Synagogue attack

Israel and especially Jerusalem has been in the news a lot lately. Israel is the ground zero for prophecy. As Joel Rosenberg wrote in his non-fiction book Epicenter, that part of the world is prophetically known as the epicenter because "the eyes of the nations are riveted upon Israel and the Middle East, the epicenter of the momentous events shaking our world and shaping our future."

For thus says the Lord of host, After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you-- that is Israel--touches the apple of His eye. (Zechariah 2:8)

He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. (Deuteronomy 32:10)

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, (Psalm 17:8)
"Israel is very precious to God; and they who vex and harass him are as they who hurt that which God prizes inestimably, and which a mere touch offends and injures." (Pulpit Commentary)
And yet we know that in the end of time no one on earth will be Israel's friend. Zechariah 12:3 says that at the time of the very end, all nations will be gathered against her. This is to show that God alone is Israel's protector. All who try to move Jerusalem, the immovable rock, will injure themselves, the prophecy states.

By these verses and others we can see and know that the hatred against Israel and the Jews is irrational. This is because it is from satan. This rage and hatred of Israel will only become worse as time goes on and God executes His final plans for human history.

Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
(Psalm 2:1-3)

For the last few weeks tensions and violence in Jerusalem has inched up to the nearly unbearable zone. Fox News has a timeline. Here is an excerpt
Nov. 5: A Hamas militant slams a minivan into crowd waiting for a train in Jerusalem, killing two.

Nov. 8: Israeli police shoot and kill an Arab Israeli protester at a demonstration in northern Israel. Video indicates the man was walking away from the officer when shot.

Nov. 10: Palestinian attackers kill two Israelis in Tel Aviv and the West Bank in separate stabbing attacks.

Nov. 13: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman; the trio agrees on steps to defuse tensions at Jerusalem holy site.

Nov. 14: Israel lifts age restriction at holy site; Friday prayers go off without incident.

Nov. 16: Police say Israeli man stabbed in the back by an "Arab" attacker in Jerusalem and wounded. Assailant escapes.

Nov. 17: Israeli government says it will step up punitive demolitions, gives notices to families of Palestinian attackers

Nov. 18: Two Palestinians storm Jerusalem synagogue, kill four five and wound six.
November 7:
Call to Mobilize Reservists to Secure Jerusalem
Avi Naim, head of the Beit Aryeh council in western Samaria, called to mobilize reserve forces to stabilize the security situation in Jerusalem on Friday, in a special interview with Arutz Sheva. "The situation is explosive and sensitive," Naim stated. "There is the guiding hand of [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas there, who wants to burn the city [down], and the fact that there are no incidents in Judea-Samaria." "[Jerusalem] needs reinforcements, and we should call up the reserves, so the [IDF] is seen everywhere and so that we take a firm hand [against terrorists]," he added.
Remember, the end of November was supposed to be a drop-dead date for finalization of peace talks, long-stalled but supposedly resumed in October. The goal in early November was this:
The Palestinians are expected to submit a resolution to the UN Security Council by the end of November or early December that calls for an end to the occupation and the recognition of a Palestinian state along 1967 lines.
Joel 3:2 prophesies judgment upon the nations for the way they treated Israel, which the verses above show God considers His own, near to Him as the apple of His eye. Dividing His land is something He will render wrath for, and dividing Jerusalem is an even worse idea. Yet Luke 21:24 shows us that the Gentiles trample Jerusalem anyway.

They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Revelation 11:2 says it will be for 42 months.

but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.

November 8
EU urges two-state capital in Jerusalem as tensions soar
Europe's top diplomat on Saturday called for a Palestinian state sharing Jerusalem as its capital with Israel, hours after the police killing of an Arab-Israeli further fanned tensions. ... "I think Jerusalem can be and should be the capital of two states," the new EU foreign policy chief told reporters in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. The status of Jerusalem is a sensitive issue that has blocked peace efforts for decades.

November 13
Martin Sherman wrote an opinion piece on the Jerusalem Post asking a terrible question,

Into the Fray: On the cusp of carnage?
A perfect storm brewing
A perfect storm is brewing for Israel. On virtually every front, ominous clouds are gathering, and should the menacing maelstroms they portend hit together, it is far from certain that the Jewish state will survive the destructiveness of their combined impact. Since I began writing this Into the Fray series in mid- 2011, I have warned repeatedly of the perils of the government’s policy of counterproductive compromises and concessions. I cautioned that this “cavalcade of capitulation” will elicit nothing from our adversaries other than demands for more – and more far-reaching – concessions, as indeed it has. In my column of December 2, 2011, I wrote: “By adopting a policy of continually trying to avoid confrontations in which it can prevail, Israel may eventually find itself forced to engage in a confrontation in which it cannot.”

Precisely such a perilous predicament is now beginning to develop before our eyes.

Across every border Israel shares with its Arab neighbors, within its own borders, and far removed from them, a formidable range of threats – from damaging economic sanctions and international isolation, through murderous terrorist attacks, jihadi insurgency and domestic insurrection, to the specter of weapons of mass destruction and a nuclear Iran – is coalescing with disturbing speed into a multi-faceted menace that jeopardizes the survival of the Jewish nation-state to a degree arguably unprecedented since its inception.

There is one yet-to-be fulfilled prophetic confrontation that Israel engages in which they cannot and do not win: The Gog-Magog battle of Ezekiel 38-39. In that confrontation, Israel is taken by surprise, and would lose, unless the LORD had directly intervened.

November 15
ISIS Blows Up Egypt-Jordan Gas Pipeline
The pipeline through Sinai exports Egypt's natural gas to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Jordan is in the anti-ISIS coalition.
The Islamic State's Sinai Peninsula terror organization, which was named Ansar Bayt al-Makdas until it swore allegiance to Islamic State (aka ISIS), has blown up the pipeline carrying gas from Egypt to Jordan. The pipeline, which is 1,200 km long, and was built at a cost of $1.2 billion, is used for exporting natural gas to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. In the past, it was repeatedly attacked by Islamist terror groups, until Egypt's gas exports to Israel were halted. The Islamic State's Sinai Peninsula notified the press that it would not allow gas to be exported to Jordan unless ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi allowed it. It said that the attack was a response to Jordan's participation in the military coalition against ISIS.
Speaking of being on the cusp of carnage, though in his opinion piece Mr Sherman was speaking of general war between nations, there was carnage today, sadly and mournfully.

Four Five killed in attack on Jerusalem synagogue
Four Israelis were killed and eight more wounded in a frenzied assault by two Palestinian men on Jewish worshippers praying at a Jerusalem synagogue in the most lethal incident in the city in years. The two assailants who launched their attack with meat cleavers and a gun during early morning prayers were then killed by police officers in the ensuing gun battle at the scene of the attack. The deaths occurred as the two men – identified by family members as cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal from the East Jerusalem district of Jabal Mukaber – burst into the Bnei Torah synagogue in Har Nof, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of West Jerusalem.
Israel vows harsh response to synagogue attack
Israel vowed harsh retaliation Tuesday for a Palestinian attack that left four rabbis hacked or shot to death on the blood-smeared floor of a synagogue in Jerusalem, a major escalation of already-high tensions after weeks of religious violence. The attack during morning prayers in the west Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof was carried out by two Palestinian cousins wielding meat cleavers, knives and a handgun. They were shot to death by police after the deadliest assault in the holy city since 2008. Three of the dead were born in the United States and the fourth was born in England, although all held dual Israeli citizenship. Six others were wounded, including two police officers.

Tuesday's attack, however, appeared to mark a turning point, with the gruesome scene in a house of worship shocking a nation long accustomed to violence. The government released a photo of a bloody meat cleaver it said came from the crime scene. Government video showed blood-soaked prayer books and prayer shawls on the floor of the synagogue. A pair of glasses lay under a table dripping in blood, and thick streaks of blood lined the floor.
Source

Tears.

How Long, O Lord?
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

13 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
(Psalm 13:1-6)



6 comments :

  1. If only Israel would turn to her Messiah!

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  2. I think Psalm 83 and Gog-Magog of Ezekiel are two different wars and also distinct from Armageddon, no?

    For either of the first two, is there a timeline you're aware of, e.g. could Gog-Magog occur many decades before the Tribulation, or is it (as indicated in the first Kirk Cameron-featuring Left Behind film) an event that immediately precedes the Rapture, so as almost to announce its (utter) imminence?

    Curious about your thoughts. Dunno if that's enough to inspire you to make a blog article about (or if you already have), but that would certainly be interesting (I don't think this subject is covered in this exact nuance as widely as other end time subjects.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Hakam Adam,

      Thanks for your good question.I believe Psalm 83 is very prophetic (meaning involved in the very last days) because of the same reason I believe Gog-Magog is also at the doorstep of the Tribulation:

      Psalm 83: v. 17-18, IF God fulfills the prayer David made in the way David prayed it,

      Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever;
      let them perish in disgrace,
      18that they may know that you alone,
      whose name is the Lord,
      are the Most High over all the earth.

      And all the world knows God is Lord over the earth, that would be a Tribulation statement.

      The same with Gog-Magog: God rains down brimstone, (Ez 38:22), and He personally saves Israel, AND ALL THE WORLD KNOWS IT. His intervention is so startling and personal, the entire world realizes God is real and He is involved in human affairs. This also causes Israel to turn to Him. For example, Ez 38:16

      In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.

      Ez 38:22-
      So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

      And this theme continues in Ez 39. So if the world sees the Lord personally intervene, miracles happen thru His wrath, AND Israel returns to the LORD (Ez 39:22) it seems to be a kind of Tribulation activity. Israel returning to the Lord in covenant has to happen sometime, He paused the prophetic clock at the time of Jesus, so if the Gog-Magog battle causes Israel to claim God again then this restarts the clock. It would also mean the church is gone, since New T. and Old T. cannot co-exist.

      Of course, Psalm 83 could happen decades before, and maybe even G-M, but the LORD says in Ez 39:7 that "I will not allow My name to be profaned anymore" indicating a beginning of the end of human history where indeed, this will no longer happen and His name will not be profaned. (Even in the Millennium He rules with an iron rod.)

      Many people place the Gog-Magog war at the very beginning of the Tribulation, or else happening simultaneously with the rapture, because first for the above mentioned reason, Israel returns to covenant with God thru this war, re-starting the prophetic clock; and second, because in Ez 39:9 it says the Israelites will use the downed weapons for seven years.

      None of this is in stone, perhaps we have misinterpreted something and the Tribulation is not 7 years. Perhaps the Israelites use the weapons for a few years in the Trib and continue to use them in the Millennium Kingdom for the remaining years. Perhaps the Psalm 83 was is not an actual war but only a prayer. Perhaps anything...but the above seems to be the general interpretation of the events of which you mention. Hope this helps.

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    2. There is no mention of a war in Psalm 83, although it does identify the countries that plot against Israel. In Ezekiel 39:7 the Lord says, 'l will not allow my name to be profaned anymore.' This suggests that the war of Gog-Magog and Armageddon are one and the same.

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    3. Good point about Psalm 83. Some maintain it is only an imprecatory prayer.
      Ezekiel's battle of Gog and Magog is not the battle of Armageddon. The names are the same but the participants and timing is different. This is explained scripturally, here
      http://www.joelrosenberg.com/ezekiel-38-39-faq/

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    4. I don't think you can be absolutely sure that Gog-Magog and Armageddon are separate battles, and I don't think Joel Rosenberg can either. If God says that He will not allow His name to be profaned anymore, then I for one believe Him. And that assertion suggests it can only have been made with reference to the final battle of the age.

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