Question # 280…..(02-17-06) What is preterism?
Answer……Preterism is one of the three or four mainline schools of eschatological interpretation. They include the Historical, the Futurist, Idealist, and the Preterist eschatological perspectives. The preterist view holds the position that all of the conveyed prophecy in the Bible has already been fulfilled in the events of the past. The term “preterism” is taken from the Greek word, “preteristos,” which means, past. Preterist theologians principally believe that prophecies of The Revelation and the Olivet Discourse were played out fully in the events surrounding Israel’s destruction in the first century. Preterism has gained strides in popularity in recent decades because it parallels the ecumenical and replacement theology camps that are more and more dominating the Laodicean religious arena today. Preterism basically assumes the position that the first century generation, the contemporaries of Jesus, (Matthew 24:34) witnessed all the things that are related to prophecy. Preterists conclude that the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD by the Romans fulfilled the Revelatory aspects of Bible Prophecy. For this reason alone, preterists must also assume that the book of The Revelation was penned by John before that year, when in fact it was conveyed to John on the island of Patmos some 25 years later. Totally rebutting the Preterist school of thought is the fact that the Lord conveyed to Israel 3000 years ago that it would endure a great time of Trouble (Jacob’s Trouble, or Tribulation) that was later detailed in the 70th week prophecies of Daniel chapter nine. Deuteronomy 4:30-31 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.) The Revelation is Christ’s own conveyance to John relating to the events of the Latter Days, (tribulation) which immediately precedes his literal Second Coming.
Question # 279…..(02-16-06) What is meant be the phrase “Christian Zionism”? I have seen espousing Christian Zionists attacked by many ministers, and just wondered why they renounce it.
Answer….Christian Zionism is the desire and prayer of Christians for the Jewish people to come to the realization of God’s plan for their nation, by first recognizing the fact that Jesus Christ was their promised Messiah. Modern Zionism (political or religious) is the desire of the Jewish people for a national homeland on the ancient lands promised to them in the Old Testament by God. Biblical Zionism refers to the omnipotent, omniscient plan of God to utilize the nation of Israel to bless the world, send the deliverer through it, and finally to establish the Messianic throne of Christ on Mount Zion. Christian Zionism relies heavily on the proper Old Testament understanding of God’s Divine plan of interaction with the people/nation of Israel throughout world history, and identifies with God’s plan to restore Israel in the latter days for the sole purpose of bringing to pass all his promises and covenants with Israel. Many times Christian Zionists are accused of trying to “push or rush world events” to speed up the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom. But any attempt of this kind is simply impossible. (God alone has overseen the restoration of a remnant of Israel, and He alone can revive Israel to complete its rebirth) Albeit, many ecumenically minded replacement theology proponents portray any serious eschatological analysis regarding Israel, and the Last Days, as being overzealous religious extremism. In truth, the Apostle Paul was a Christian Zionist. He prayed for the salvation of Israel and the peace of Jerusalem! (Romans 10:1, Psalms 122:6) Christian Zionism is in fact an accurate prophetic theology and appropriate Biblical instruction. Jesus own Disciples, after the Lord’s resurrection, expected that Jesus would establish the kingdom of Zion in the 1st century, but they were unaware of the drama of the ensuing Church Age that was required to precede the coming of the kingdom of Zion. (the calling out of the Gentiles and their in-grafting) Christian Zionism has always flourished in regions where there has been a deep doctrinal study of scripture. The early 1st century zeal of Christian Zionism gave sway to the religious interpretations of the Papacy, who simply “replaced” Israel out of the Divine land covenant. Nevertheless, the Reformation, along with the printing press enabled the Bible to become more widely reviewed and studied, and immediately, Europe, and especially Great Britain experienced a wave of renewed Biblical Zionism. Christian Zionist expositors of the 17th and 18th centuries explained Zionism under the Biblical concept of a Divine remnant restoration of Israel. The “Restoration” of Israel doctrine, forms the foundational building block of pre-millennial eschatology. In nations where Christian Zionism is rooted, Israel has found supportive friends, whereas in nations where replacement theology has flourished, anti-Semitism has taken root. Zion is the place where the Lord will reign soon! Christian Zionism is a product of the Holy Spirits union with Christ in tuning Christians in to being knowledgeable about his soon Second Coming. (Psalms 132:13 For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.)
Question # 278…..(02-15-06) There is a lot of talk these days about weapons of mass destruction. It is a frightening topic. What is the likelihood of weapons of mass destruction actually being used against America? Does the Bible have anything to say about the possibility of whether or not weapons of mass destruction will play a part in the events of the Last Days?
Answer…… The Bible does not use the terminology of “weapons of mass destruction.” However, it does allude to the idea that nations in the Last Days will have the militaristic capability of virtually destroying mankind from off the planet, and even wreaking destruction to the planet itself. In describing the Last Days and the perilous circumstances involving the dynamics of world geo-political powers and their hatred of Israel, Jesus remarked the following: (Matthew 24:21-22 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.) Jesus said that if the terrible time of the Tribulation era (Jacob’s Troublous era) was not confined (by God) in its duration, the nations would literally explode in global warfare and exterminate life on the planet. This unfathomable propensity for evil by mankind is a result of the human condition known as sin. The splitting of the atom by scientists in the 1940’s equipped nations with a power that mankind cannot sustain control of. The nuclear-power nations of the world have endeavored for four decades to limit the spread of these weapons, fearing the prospect of evil-scheming men or nations gaining access to their enormous power, and catapulting the whole world into a nightmarish Armageddon type catastrophe. Unfortunately, the genie was let out of the bottle just by the mere invention of the atom bomb, and now, since it is a fact that man is evil by his very nature, the world is confronted with the distressing and perplexing dilemma of controlling the enmity that exists between nations. Jesus alluded to this fact also: (Luke 21:25-26 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.) The atomic elements of the heavens have been split, and now mankind faces the disturbing prospect of possessing more destructive power than he possesses spiritual wisdom! Last year the US National Security Agency and the US Congress concluded a study about nuclear non-proliferation and weapons of mass destruction. Their conclusions were startling. They found that there is a 50% chance of a nuclear, biological or chemical attack upon the US within five years. They further estimated that the threat increases to a 75% likelihood within the next decade.
Is it just mere coincidence that so many nations have gone overboard in the development and acquisition of so many types of weapons of mass destruction? Is it by mere accident that the very nations that were prophesied hundreds of years ago to be involved in an Armageddon scenario against Israel are today busy researching and constructing their doomsday war machines? Recently a political/scientist/history organization noted that the chances of Armageddon type scenario happening today are no better than the chances of it not happening. One hundred years ago the same formula for calculating the "Armageddon Syndrom" produced a "zero chance" for an Armageddon event happening. In the past ten decades we have gradually gone from a zero chance to a multi-billions-to-1 chance, until now today we stand at an even chance for Armageddon happening. Coincidence? Not hardly! When one calculates the chances of all these things happening at the exact point in history that Israel was being reconstituted amongst the community of nations in this world, (for the 2nd time) and that just one city, "Jerusalem" is the fuse that could ignite Armageddon, one must marvel at the precision of Bible prophecy.
For these reasons alone, Bible Prophecy should be one of the most fervently studied subjects in the world, for only Jehovah God, the God of Israel has divulged the fate of the nations. The gathering storm clouds concerning threats against Israel should highlight for every Christian that age-ending prophecy relative to the return of Israel’s once rejected Messiah is coming to pass in our lifetimes. Personally, I believe that the United States will indeed suffer catastrophically from the exchange of nuclear weapons in the future. I believe the United States is depicted in Jeremiah 25:29-32 as the (isle-beyond the sea) coastal power that is a player in the Armageddon scenario. It is no small irony that the nations of the world that hate Israel with a passion, also hate the US, and call for the destruction of America, and it is highly probable that the Tribulation era will see the US being amalgamated under the authority of the Antichrist powerbase. But the most important thing to ponder in these perilous times for people of every nation is: “Are you ready for the return of Jesus Christ?”
Question # 277…..(02-10-06) Does the Bible say anything about whether or not Israel will acquiesce to a Palestinian State becoming a reality? I have always believed that Israel would never give up Jerusalem, and since the Palestinians demand Jerusalem as a capitol, how can a state ever really be agreed to by Israel.
Answer…..The Bible does not specifically indicate whether or not a Palestinian State will ever emerge in the West Bank. It does however convey that the city of Jerusalem will be “burdensome stone” and a “cup of trembling” to all the nations of the world, in the Last Days. This has certainly become a reality since 1967. The Bible further indicates that Israel will enter into a “covenant with Hell” (Isaiah 28) and portrays that Israel will enter into a multi-lateral (Many-Daniel 9:27) peace-safety league agreement with the Antichrist in a pragmatic religious/geo-political solution to the problem of Jerusalem. I believe that Israel will be coerced into accepting an “internationalized” situation regarding the Temple Mount area of Jerusalem, and will also act in complicity with the will of the nations (UN) to facilitate the creation of a Palestinian State. The 3 monotheistic religions that identify Jerusalem as home all concur that Jerusalem should become a Global religious center. Upon finalizing a peace process, and seemingly having resolved the outstanding issues between Israel and the Arabs, (I Thessalonians 5:1-3) the world powers will falsely believe they have established universal peace for all, with security guarantees for each nation. But in the final analysis, Israel will be betrayed by the world leader, the Antichrist. The Bible does indicate that Israel will never know the joy of its promised Kingdom (and its extended borders) until it learns to worship the true Messiah. Therefore, according to Bible Prophecy, it is entirely plausible that Israel will accede to the creation of a Palestinian State, and also give up sole sovereignty of Jerusalem. Prophecy indicates that the coming Antichrist will use Jerusalem as the seat of his kingdom for a short space, and that He will seek to use the Temple Mount for his own designs. Jesus said; ‘Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” This prophetic statement would seem to indicate that Jerusalem will fall under the jurisdiction of world competitors and rulers, other than Israel, until Jesus comes and establishes His Kingdom. Israel could have ended Gentile dominion over Jerusalem in 1967, but because of the fear from a Muslim backlash, and a fear of world opinion, Israel retreated from its opportunity to end the times of the Gentiles, and so, Jerusalem became the “cup of trembling” that the Bible predicted. Daniel 11:45 indicates that the Antichrist will plant his abominable temple in Jerusalem, and at the mid-point of the Tribulation command the worship of the whole world. The dynamics of the geo-political conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is working toward this eventuality, and during the current peace processes, two things can be sure; 1.) The geo-logistical forces of the Antichrist will use the conflict to attain His political ascendancy, and his world superstructure of forces will work to undermine Israel’s prominence in the Land (2.) Jesus will supernaturally preserve Israel, and eventually return to destroy the conspiracy of Satan and the nations to annihilate Israel.
Question # 276……(02-02-06) Don't you suspect since Israel refused to sign the NNPT in 1968, and was allowed to have nuclear weapons, that surrounding Arab states felt threatened by this in the first place. Thus, did not Israel start the nuclear race in the Middle East by refusing to sign a treaty that 187 other countries signed in the first place? So, since Israel thus had nuclear weapons and technology, other surrounding States feel they should be at least able to explore using nuclear technology for energy uses? If any nation used nuclear weapons of any sort, it would be suicide. If Iran or any other Middle East country attacked Israel, the US would be there with its nuclear weapons defending it.
Secondly, Prophecy, whether Christian or Muslim, tends to get in the way of civilized societies working toward civilized solutions that all members can agree too. Once one group begins to adhere to a "prophecy" and fulfill this prophecy, then all hope is lost. There is no compromise for real world solutions. That's the definition of a Democracy: compromise. Granted, I believe Israel has the right to exist but within the context of workable, real world solutions. And that means compromises.
Response…….Thank you for your feedback and for visiting FOJ. It may or may not be true that the Iran, and Iraq (1981) before it, pursued WMD and nuclear capabilities solely because of the Israeli nuclear arsenal. One thing is a fact though, and that is that Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have all joined forces in 3 separate attempts (1948, 1967, and 1973) to exterminate Israel. Israel’s reputed possession of nukes did not deter these countries from launching conventional offensive wars, and yet Israel did not respond with its nuclear capability against them. The Arab world concluded that they could not defeat Israel in conventional warfare, and thus turned to the hideous path of terrorism to extract concessions from Israel, even as Israel negotiated terms of peace. Israel did not sign the 1970 NPT because it knew full well that it cannot trust its security to anybody, including the United States. (Why would a nation that was subjected to the Holocaust, inside Europe-a stronghold of democracy, feel like it could trust the world?) Israel, as a viable democracy, has never been a belligerent nation militarily. It has acquired the “controversial new territories” (often referred to as occupied) by wining defensive wars, and has only been interested in survival and defending itself against the numerous aggressors seeking her annihilation. Israel has always sought peaceful co-existence with its neighbors, and has traveled extensively down the diplomatic venue of “Compromise” desperately seeking a solution to the conflict, as the multi-lateral tracks of the Middle East Peace Processes demonstrate. But obviously, and as Iran and its terrorist units publicly state, the only compromise they are willing to accept is one in which Israel just vanishes from the map. You refer to the utilization of nuclear weapons as an act of suicide. This is commonly knows as MAD, (mutually assured destruction) but in the case of such a tiny geographical nation like Israel, a first strike by a rogue entity (terror unit) or State could result in a “completed Holocaust” being perpetrated against Israel! Iran’s new leader has let the cat out of the bag……”wipe Israel off the map.” That is Iran’s sole intent for nuclear ambitions. It is widely called the “Islamic Bomb”! It is hatred, pure and simple that drives nations to the brink of Armageddon, and that “perpetual hatred” is a disease that plagues mankind, sin. And it is also because the nations are in league with the “God of This World—“Satan”. The Bible describes the powers of this present world system as Beasts, and that analogy befits the Gentile nations traits to that of devouring predators. Israel is a tiny wonder that is caught between the muscle-mass of the worlds superpowers, which in turn use the second-tier nations of the world as pawns in a Global power game. That sir is Bible Prophecy, and no other religious book other than the Holy Bible is the authoritative revelation of Jehovah God almighty. There is absolutely no credibility to Muslim prophecy, or any other prophecy. In fact, outside of the Bible, prophecy is an undisclosed subject, and that is because the authors of other religious writings knew that they would be exposed as frauds by false prophecy. God alone has revealed himself, and the history and fate of the nations, and the climax of history in the Bible. God foretold the very diplomatic dilemma that exists today in the international geo-political arena, especially in the Middle East. While the field of eschatology is a complex science, and while many people have indeed done it a disfavor by advocating erroneous and unsubstantiated things, the Bible still stands as the only revelation from God, who is beyond time, and oversees all things, and is working all things for his own good purpose. Jesus Christ is coming soon to rule and reign in this world, and he will rule with a rod or iron, and He will make no compromises with this world. (Revelation 12:5 And she [ISRAEL] brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.) It is because Israel delivered the Son of God into the world that the world hates Israel, and seeks her annihilation. In the meantime, the Bible does say; “blessed are the peace-makers,” but in any humanistic approach to peace, it takes two willing partners who are weary of war and killing to forge a truce. Sadly, because of human depravity, peace in this present world is all too often unsustainable, and requires just men to prepare for war, while extending a hand for friendship. Only the Prince of Peace can ever bring true peace!
Question # 275…..(01-31-06) I agree with all that is said on the website "focusonjerusalem". I have one question though. Since Israel is allowed to have nuclear weapons and nuclear energy, why are not other nations surrounding the Middle East, like Iran, allowed to possess such capabilities? Oh, yes, Iran’s views on the Middle East are way out there sometimes, but any country would have to be suicidal to use nuclear technology other than for energy production? Why is it not legal and permissible for Iran to have this power?
Answer…..Iran is one of the 187 signatory nations to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Israel is not a signatory to the NNPT. The NPT is a landmark international treaty, through the auspices of the UN whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The Treaty represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States. The NPT was circulated among the nations of the world in 1968, and the Treaty entered into force in 1970. A total of 187 parties have joined the Treaty, including five of the known nuclear-weapon States. (Great Britain, United States, France, China, and Russia) The NPT was signed on July 1,1968 in Washington DC, London, England, and in Moscow, Russia and became the arms-limitation parameter for member nations, world wide. The signatory nations concluded and considered the devastation that would be visited upon all mankind by a nuclear war and the consequent need to make every effort to avert the danger of such a war an urgent effort. The signing nations consented that the proliferation of nuclear weapons would seriously enhance the danger of nuclear war, and so by signing the NPT agreed with resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly calling for the prevention of wider dissemination of nuclear weapons. The UN International Atomic Energy Agency was established to oversee the mandate of the member nations. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty basically seeks to inhibit the spread of nuclear weapons. Its 187 states-parties are classified in two categories: nuclear-weapon states, (NWS) consisting of the United States, Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom, and non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS). Under the treaty, the five NWS are committed to pursue general and complete disarmament, while the NNWS agree to forgo developing or acquiring nuclear weapons. With its near-universal membership, the NPT has the widest adherence of any arms control agreement, with only India, Israel, and Pakistan remaining outside the treaty. Iran is a NNWS member of the treaty. Israel is not. NWS states are also bound by Global law to refrain from helping NNWS from attaining nuclear capability. The recent scenario surrounding the Iranian nuclear weapons program has also implicated Russia, and reveals Russia’s true intent regarding the Middle East. (Ezekiel 38)
Article I of the NPT says the following
Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever any nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.
Article II of the NPT adds the following
Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
For India, Israel, and Pakistan, all known to possess or suspected of having nuclear weapons, joining the treaty as NNWS would require that they dismantle their nuclear weapons and place their nuclear materials under international safeguards. Many of the NPT membership are lobbying for the enforced inclusion of Israel into the NPT club. This may be a parallel strategic ploy being utilized by Iran. In any event, Iran is considered by Western analysts to be a rogue state (like North Korea) that is pursuing nuclear weapons for the sole purpose of threatening another nation. Iran has publicly stated that once it acquires a nuclear bomb, that it will forthwith use it on the nation of Israel. Nuclear weapons have only been used on two occasions in world history, both instances by the United States against Japan, and only then as a means to bring about an immediate end to the nightmarish hell of World War II.
Israel has maintained a nuclear capability for decades, but has never threatened its neighbors with these weapons. Israel views its nuclear capacity as a military deterrent from a vast horde of nations surrounding that has historically sought its annihilation, and repeatedly calls for it to be wiped off the map, as Iran has done. The Iranian threat, is being perpetuated by the Russian strategy of countering Western and US dominance in the Middle East. The prophetic scenario spelled out by the prophet Ezekiel is playing out before our very eyes today. Ezekiel 38:2-8 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, (IRAN) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.) Today, Russia is preparing, or arming its future allies in a great invasion against Israel. Iran is acting as a powerful demonic influence on Russia to bring them down in support of a Northern and Eastern invasion upon Israel.
Question # 274….(01-26-06) I notice that you refer to the Last Days a lot in your writings. What is the basis for your belief that we are living in the Last Days? How can you be sure that these are the last days and that the end of the world is near?
Answer…..There are literally hundreds of signals that portend that our current era is the dynamic days that will usher in the return of Jesus Christ. The term “last days” does not refer to the end of the world, as some people tend to think, but it refers instead to the final days of the Age of the Gentiles, and the institution of the Millennial Age of Christ. Foremost among the signs hinting that the Last Days are upon us are the following:
1.) The modern miraculous and prophesied rebirth of the nation of Israel. (physically)
2.) The perplexing world-wide dilemma that encompasses the sovereignty of the city of Jerusalem in world affairs. (religiously and politically)
3.) The rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the world, especially in the Arab world.
4.) The rise of superpowers that are anti-Israel in the north (Russia) and the Far East.
5.) The alignment of Russia with Persia (Iran) in geo-political strategic designs against Israel, and the West.
6.) The emergence of a unified political superstructure in Europe.
7.) The emergence of a Global Governance concept. (UN, etc.)
8.) The unprecedented defamation of Biblical Christianity.
9.) The rise and prevalence of the Laodicean Age (compromising/apostate) Church, and the search for religious harmony and unity.
10.) The capability of mankind to destroy the world through warfare.
11.) The traumatic and urgent sense of insecurity and threats among nations.
12.) The preponderance of wars, famine, earthquakes, pestilences, etc.
13.) The degradation of society through moral decay, and the cultural abandonment of absolute truths.
14.) The unprecedented worldwide search for a process of humanistic and politically pragmatic peace.
15.) A historically unprecedented disrespect for the Prophetic word of God! (scoffers, deniers, false teachings)
Jesus himself likened these “signs of the times” to the birth-pangs of a woman as she is about to deliver a child. He conveyed to us that the preponderance of these signs coming together would increase with frequency and intensity after Israel has been returned to its Promised Land. Israel is portrayed in Bible prophecy as a woman, “travailing” amongst the nations of the world, and giving birth to the Deliverer, and his Kingdom in Zion. (Revelation 12:2 And she (Israel) being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. I Thessalonians 5:1-3 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.) The prophet Micah sums it up pretty well…..Micah 4:6-10 I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counselor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.
The 1948 restoration of a remnant of the descendants of Jacob into the Promised Land for the 2nd time in history swung the pendulum of the era of the Last Days forward, and began the countdown on the terminal generation that should witness the return of Jesus Christ to the world. Matthew 24:32-34 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Question # 273…..(01-10-06) What is your opinion about the recent Pat Robertson comments about Ariel Sharon, that, like so many other things he says, have caused such a controversy, and a backlash against Christians?
Answer……Well first of all, let me emphasize that it is unfortunate today in America (formerly a strong Christian nation) that we have allowed the societal strongholds of righteousness and Judeo-Christian teaching to become eroded to the point to where it has become conventional for the culture to tolerate a plethora of worldly gods and worldly teachings, and to leap at every occasion to participate in the further defamation of Christianity. As Christians we need to be wise to the wily ways of the evil one in these ominous Last Days, and cognizant of the fact that a dark force is at constant employ seeking to undermine the mission of the Bride of Christ. For the record, Mr. Robertson came under heavy criticism for the following statements:
· Pat Robertson suggested Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for "dividing God's land" of Israel suggest to viewers on his "700 Club" television show that Sharon was being punished for his policies in Gaza and the West Bank. "The prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who, quote, 'divide my land.' God considers this land to be his. "You read the Bible, he says, 'This is my land.' And for any prime minister of Israel who decides he's going carve it up and give it away, God says, 'No. This is mine.'" He was dividing God's land, and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations or the United States of America." God said, 'This land belongs to me, you better leave it alone.'" Robertson also appeared to suggest former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, murdered in 1995, had also paid the ultimate price for talking peace. "He was tragically assassinated, and it was terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless, he was dead."
Mr. Robertson is correct in asserting that the “land in question” is God’s land, and even more correct would be the point that the Lord gave this particular land to Israel. (and not to any other people) Mr. Robertson was also correct in claiming that compromising or burdening oneself with dividing the Promised Land is an act that can bring a Divine curse upon the perpetrator. (Zechariah 12) God has further stipulated in the Biblical record that Israel lost its land because of disobedience and for whoring about after other gods. God also forecast that Israel would be brought back into the Promised Land in the Latter Days, and that this process would eventually play itself out in the drama of The Revelation. Prophecy reveals that this “land dispute” would become a dilemma for the whole world, invoking the world to undertake a “partitioning of the land” as a solution to the Arab complaint. The West is hoping to placate the Arab world by enforcing a “dividing of the land and the Holy City” upon the Jews, in the hope of avoiding a cataclysmic world war via the terrorist threat and nuclear blackmail, along with oil/gas resource security.
However, Mr. Robertson should have shown an unswerving Christian compassion toward Mr. Sharon, (a man Robertson called a friend and someone he had prayed with) and should not have so bluntly condemned his activities at this particular point in time. Mr. Sharon is a good man and was a good leader, and foremost of all needs our prayers at this time, for his life and his very soul are one the line. Now was not an appropriate time to publicly reprimand a friend, and an ally of our country in public. Although God is overseeing and working amidst human affairs, (especially the Middle East situation) no one can fully know the mind and mystery of God. While Christians should always present the truth of the Bible, they should always be careful to do so with the wisdom of knowing they are speaking before many spiritually and prophetically blinded eyes and ears, and with the knowledge that evil forces are flitting about seeking to bring defamation and charge against God’s anointed. Mr. Robertson’s assertion that Sharon is being punished by God for his political policies opposing Divine providence regarding the land is a point that is bit of a stretch. This might be the case, then again it might not. Sharon was far overweight and in poor condition, and certainly the stresses of political office may have factored naturally toward his tendency for a stroke. In any event, the day-to-day playing out of events in the lives of leaders and nations is always within God’s omniscience. This is not so with human beings. Albeit, we do have God’s prophetic word with which to gauge the events of our times, and upon rightly digesting the word of God, we can track events in history as they occur. At first glance, it might well appear that Sharon fell under a curse for compromising the land of God, but if that is the case, one must also wonder, what position would that place President Bush, and many other Americans (a supposed Christian) who have coerced Israel into compromising the Promised Land. Would we not also be deserving of the same curse? If so, we should not be so quick to accuse Mr. Sharon. We must remember that the Jewish people are still blinded to the truth of the identity of the Messiah, therefore it is even more preposterous for a Christian nation to be forcing the brothers of our Biblical heritage to parcel out God’s land. Sharon’s legacy was staunchly pro-land until America’s leaders forced him to compromise for our worldly gain!
Again, Mr. Robertson was right about his prophetic analysis regarding the land, but he did not utilize wise judgment concerning the worldly entrapment for Christianity that swirls around the Israeli-Arab conflict, and the sinister times in which we live. The politically and religiously-correct world is seeking to categorize Christian Zionism and Bible fundamentalists in the same lump with Islamic extremists. Thus his correct statements are being used toward this end by the enemies of the Gospel. Jesus was also often cornered by his enemies, waiting for his Biblical exhortations so they could twist it, and ensnare him in a controversy. (Matthew 22:15-22 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.) (Luke 11:53-54 And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.) The religious world today is uniting under a banner of apostasy, (and soon to accommodate the Antichrist) and is pervasive today in devising evil against prophetic truth. (Psalms 57:6 They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves) Mr. Robertson might have better served the Church if had pointed out America’s sin of partitioning the land, and highlighted the terrible sin of the Church in betraying Israel through replacement theology, and just let the Sharon situation be transparent. When the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Jesus a woman taken in adultery; they asked him publicly what to do with the woman taken in adultery, in the very act. Jesus didn’t condemn the woman, but realizing that the self-righteous enemies were laying a trap for his answer, replied by taking to finger writing on the ground, and said, “he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” (Matthew 10:16-17 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;)
Question # 272…..(01-09-06) With all the turmoil about Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffering from a stroke, I was wondering about the history of the office of Prime Minister. Who has been the leaders of Israel, and who do you think will emerge as the new Prime Minister?
Answer……. Israel has been fortunate to have had several good leaders in its brief history since 1948. Ariel Sharon’s demise from political leadership leaves a void in Israeli politics, but the frontrunners for new Prime Minister are Deputy PM Ehud Olmert, who has the backing of Peres, and Benjamin Netanyahu, who will lead the conservative land of Israel grassroots.
Question # 271…..(01-09-06) What is your perception of the situation involving the sudden demise of Ariel Sharon from power in Israel? How do you think it fits in with prophecy for these times?
Answer….. It seems entirely clear now that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will probably never recover his normal faculties, even if he emerges alive from his medically induced coma. Sharon’s doctors have basically acknowledged that he has undoubtedly suffered irreversible damage from his heavy brain hemorrhaging and the nine hours of surgery it took to stem it. It is a sad event for the Sharon family, for Israel, and indeed for all those who love Israel. Ariel Sharon has been present at or involved in nearly every seminal moment in modern Israel's history. From pre-state Israel and Israel's wars of survival, to politics and the disengagement plan, Sharon has played a highly significant role in shaping Israel's future. Ariel Sharon is probably the last of a generation of giants that Israel was fortunate enough to have during its rebirth, and during its decades-long fight for survival in defending its new nation. Ariel Sharon was elected by the Israeli electorate in February 2001 to take a hardline stance against the Oslo land-for-Peace Process and to wage a war-on-Palestinian terrorism. But after America was hit by Middle Eastern terrorists in 2001, Sharon coddled over to the Bush Doctrine and agreed to cooperate with the US in the Quartet sponsored Roadmap for Peace. Apparently, Ariel Sharon, at the insistence of President Bush began to see that Israel had no answer to terror, and as a prime minister, flying back and forth to meet President Bush, he realized that Israel could not cut itself off from the family of nations, and especially from the US who was now waging a Global war-on-terror, which is in effect a parallel war to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Most of all, Sharon worried that the United States might someday simply impose an accord on Israel to maintain its own regional powerbase through its oil alliances with Arab Sheiks. Thus Sharon caved into political pressure from the West to agree to trade war-won lands to the Palestinian Authority, whom President Bush had pledged to help build a democratic State. Albeit, Sharon sped forward on the Roadmap by instituting the Gaza withdrawal ahead of schedule, presumably to display to President Bush that the democratic process in the Palestinian sector was a charade. This action won Sharon political acceptance in the West, but in reality, Sharon was abandoning his conservative grassroots of support in Israel, and leaning more and more towards the Shimon Peres-led peaceniks that tend to formulate Israeli foreign policy in line with the New World Order policies of the West. Thus the reason for the formation of the new Kadima Party, a political order in Israel created to appear moderate in its form, but one that would push forward with the UN-EU-Quartet Roadmap land-for-peace formula. The sudden passage of the Sharon era throws the Israeli political scene into one of turmoil. Israel is slated to elect a new government on March 28, ironically about the same timetable that Iran is expected to reach nuclear capabilities. It is the assumption of FOJ that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will emerge as the next Israeli leader. Shimon Peres is attempting to shore up support for acting PM Ehud Olmert, who is not very popular among the Israeli electorate, and is seen as a weak leader. It was actually Olmert who guided Sharon away from his Likud base, and into a political affiliation with Peres and the peace movement. In the event that Netanyahu emerges as the new Prime Minister of Israel, it is likely that he will not be as compliant with the Bush Administration about trading land to the Palestinians for peace. It was Netanyahu that advocated “reciprocity” in the peace process, and demanded that terrorist infrastructure in Palestinian territory be rooted out. FOJ believes Netanyahu will continue this same philosophy after being elected, which in turn, with the new geo-political scenario in the Middle East could likely see the phased escalation of the broader war-on-terror. The Iran nuclear card is timed to play itself out very soon, and the Assad regime in Syria is in serious trouble with the US-led coalition against Middle Eastern terror. Iran is likely to use its agents in Hezbullah and Hamas to wage a three front terror war on Israel (Gaza-Lebanon-West Bank) to counter the diplomatic pressures being brought to bare on Syria and upon own its nuclear program by the West. The West is worried that without Sharon, the Roadmap Process will hit a dead-end, and that renewed anxieties in the Middle East will cause a strategic earthquake in the Global energy arena. The Bible indicates that Iran (Persia) will be a major catalyst in bringing the great Russian bear down from the North in the Last Days. It is well known that Russia and China are both arming Iran and seeking to make inroads into the Middle East energy and geo-political equation, and the West is seeking to dominate the energy rich region. These dynamics portend an eventual climactic showdown in the Middle East. A security sensitive and tough-line minded Netanyahu-led government in Israel will confound the current dynamics and perhaps lead to a confrontation with Hamas-Hezbullah, and the eventual destabilization of Syria. Prophecy scholars are divided about the timing of the Magog scenario, and the fact that Iran is pushing the militant envelope indicates that it is certainly looming on the horizon. Meanwhile, it is the position of FOJ that the Ezekiel 38 scenario will only occur after the Antichrist solidifies a security perimeter for Israel and crafts a regional peace treaty with the Arab world. In the interim, we should look for the war-on-terror to expand out of Iraq in the direction of Israel, and involve Damascus. The passing of the Sharon era, and the re-emergence of Netanyahu at this time would facilitate just such a scenario.