News Review - 19 May 2017
trumpSalamPopeJerusalem

Jerusalem 2017

President Trump to visit Saudi Arabia… Israel… the Vatican. Tension mounts in the Middle East, so what happens next in Jerusalem?

Just days before President Trump visits Israel, the focal point of end time Bible prophecy, the political tension is already rising, as the Times of Israel reports:

“In a bitter diplomatic incident, a senior member of the US delegation making preparations for Donald Trump’s visit to Israel next week angrily rejected a request that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accompany the president when he visits the Western Wall, and then sniped at his Israeli counterparts that the Western Wall is ‘not your territory. It’s part of the West Bank,’ Israeli television reported on Monday night.

An official at the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed the Channel 2 report, telling the Times of Israel that Israeli officials were ‘shocked’ by the comments and have asked the Trump administration about the incident. The official said that Netanyahu is certain that the comment does not reflect President Trump’s policy.” ( timesofisrael.com)

The Middle East Muddle

On his upcoming trip President Trump will be visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican. From what has been indicated in the media, his goal is to achieve peace in the Middle East. Does he fully understand just what he is getting involved in? Perhaps he should look back over the last 100 years and realise what he is up against.

Here is a very brief overview of the last 100 years since the concept of a Jewish homeland was put forward by British Foreign Secretary, Lord Balfour, in what has become known as the Balfour Declaration.

100 Years Ago - The Balfour Declaration

“The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was the first significant declaration by a world power in favour of a Jewish ‘national home’ in what was known as Palestine. The letter was addressed to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the Jewish community in Britain. It became an important arm of the movement to create a Jewish state in Palestine.

The letter:

Foreign Office

November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours,

Arthur James Balfour” ( bbc.co.uk)

Early Beginnings

Prior to 1917, Palestine had been a part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1920, the League of Nations divided the territory into new entities, called mandates. Britain was given control over Palestine. They divided the land in 1921 into two parts. The area east of the Jordan River was called the Emirate of Transjordan, or Jordan as we know it today. In the western half of Palestine, between the Mediterranean Sea, the Arabs and the Jews fought for control.

During the Second World War the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husayni, escaped to Berlin where he appealed to Hitler to destroy the proposed Jewish homeland. Hitler declined!

1947

In 1947, Britain, unable to reconcile the Arabs and the Jews, passed the problem on to the United Nations. In November 1947, the UN voted to partition the land of Palestine into two States. The Jews were given control over the Negev Desert, the coastal plain between Tel Aviv and Haifa, and parts of northern Galilee, while the Palestinian Arabs were given the West Bank of the Jordan, the Gaza District, Jaffa, and the Arab sectors of Galilee. Jerusalem was seen as the real problem, so it was proposed to make it an International City controlled by the United Nations.

The Jewish leader, David Ben-Gurion, accepted this partition plan, even though they would not have control of Jerusalem. The Arabs and the surrounding Arab states rejected the partition proposal. They felt that they were strong enough to destroy the fledgling Jewish State.

May 14, 1948

David Ben-Gurion read out the Declaration of Independence and proclaimed the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine to be called the State of Israel. He promised equal rights to the Arabs and extended the hand of peace to all the neighboring Arab states.

May 15, 1948 – Arabs attack Israel

Arab armies from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt attacked! But Israeli forces quickly gained the offensive. The Arabs living in the new Israel voluntarily left the areas, having been promised a quick return after a victory over the Jews. This never happened. Even though “peace” agreements were signed between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations, conflict continued between Arabs and Jews.

July 1956 Second Arab-Israeli War Erupts

In the early 1950’s, Egypt violated the terms of the Egyptian/Israeli armistice agreement and blocked Israeli ships from using the Suez Canal. Israel attacked Egypt, aided by France and Britain. This became known as the Suez crisis. World opinion, especially that of the United States, together with the threat of Soviet intervention, forced Britain, France and Israel to withdraw their troops from Egypt. It ended with United Nations forces controlling the Egypt/Israel border.

May 1967

When United Nations troops finally left the area, President Nasser immediately blocked Israeli ships from the Straits of Aqaba. As tension mounted, Jordan and Syria made military agreements with Egypt.

June 5, 1967 - “Six-Day War”

In June 1967, Israel launched a preemptive strike against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, after the Arabs had declared their intention to destroy the Jewish state. Israel’s attack ended with the Israeli army occupying Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Syria’s Golan Heights, and Jordan’s West Bank.

September 1, 1967 - Arab Summit Conference

The conclusion at this Arab conference was: “no recognition of the State of Israel, no negotiation with Israeli and no peace with Israel”.

October 6, 1973 - "Yom Kippur War"

Egypt attacked Israeli forces on the East bank of the Suez canal while Syria attacked Israel on the Golan Heights. In just a few days, Israel had both the Egyptians and the Syrians in retreat. This war was stopped suddenly by the intervention of the superpowers, the USA and the USSR, who both feared an escalation in the war. Once again, UN peacekeepers were put in place to monitor the ceasefire. Once again, a war ended with a Jewish victory!

Then Came the “Peace” Conferences.

Camp David Accords, 1978

The Madrid Conference, 1991

Oslo Agreement, 1993

Camp David, 2000

Arab Peace Initiative, 2002

Roadmap, 2003

Geneva Accord, 2003

Annapolis, 2007

Washington, 2010

…And the end result is?

Nothing much has changed in the last 100 years.

The Arabs will not recognize the State of Israel; they still want to totally eradicate the Jewish homeland.

Several US presidents have tried to bring peace in the Middle East. President Carter, President Clinton and President Obama – they all tried and failed. The United Nations has failed to broker a peace deal. Now President Trump wants a “deal”, and he is expected to make some announcements when he visits Israel before the end of this month!

The Status Of Jerusalem

Jerusalem is at the heart of the problem. The Temple Mount is the focal point! Jews, Muslims, Christians: all are involved! Back in 1947, the answer was to make Jerusalem an international city, controlled by the United Nations. This was adopted by a two thirds majority by the General Assembly of the UN, embodied in Resolution 190, but never implemented due to the 1948 Arab- Israeli war. This idea will not go away!

The United Nations

“As the UN has never revoked its resolutions 181 and 194, it maintains the official position that Jerusalem should be placed under a special international regime.

The European Union

The European Union continues to support the internationalisation of Jerusalem in accordance with the 1947 UN Partition Plan and regards Jerusalem as having the status of corpus separatum.

The United States

The United States has never officially relinquished its early support of the corpus separatum . On 23 October 1995, the Congress passed the advisory Jerusalem Embassy Act saying that ‘Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999’ . Since 1998, the congressional suggestion to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv has been suspended semi-annually by every sitting President, each time stating that this ‘is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States’.

The Vatican

“The Vatican has previously expressed support for the status of corpus separatum. Pope Pius XII was among the first to make such a proposal in the 1949 encyclical Redemptoris nostri cruciatus. This idea was later re-proposed during the papacies of John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II.” ( wikipedia.org)

Vatican’s UN Delegate Repeats Commitment To International Status For Jerusalem

November 11, 2015: “The Vatican’s representative at UN headquarters in New York has reaffirmed the commitment of the Holy See to ‘a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of the City of Jerusalem, which should, inter alia, ensure the freedom of religion and of conscience of its inhabitants, as well as the free and unhindered access to the Holy Places by the faithful of all religions and nationalities’.” ( catholicculture.org)

Writing in his Personal column in the Plain Truth Magazine in 1980, Mr Armstrong explained:

What about making Jerusalem an international city? I would ask, as Mayor Kollek asks, who – and from what race or nation – would run the international city? The Jews would never accept an Arab and the Arabs would never accept a Jew. And neither would accept someone else. The very idea is out of the question.( The Plain Truth – October/November 1980)

Who Is National “Israel” Today?

One of the big problems in understanding the Bible is the true identity of modern nations. Without this understanding, Bible prophecy cannot be understood!

“Palestine belongs, by divine grant, to Abraham and his descendants. But God rejected Ishmael, the father of the Arabs, from the promise. It passed on, instead, through ISAAC. God also rejected Isaac’s eldest son ESAU, after he had undervalued the birthright and sold it to Jacob for a bowl of red soup. The TURKS are the children of Esau, and so they, too, have always felt Palestine belonged to them. But it was given to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

But then how was it passed on down? The dying Jacob passed the birthright, and possession of Palestine, on through the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, sons of Joseph (Gen. 48:4-5, 15-16). He named His Name (Israel) on them – Ephraim and Manasseh. It is their descendants today, the American and British peoples, therefore, who are truly the national ISRAEL. The Jews come from Judah, and belonged to the nation JUDAH, not the nation ISRAEL!

For a complete exposition and understanding of our national identity as the true nation ISRAEL, the reader is referred to our special booklet The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy.

But what a muddle! The Arabs believe Palestine should be theirs because they are descended from Ishmael.

The Turks want it because they come from ESAU.

The Jews want it because they come from Jacob, but through JUDAH!

What a hot firebrand it is! It may yet set the whole world on fire!( The Plain Truth – February 1979)

Jerusalem – Centre Stage At The End Of The Age

In his Pastor General’s report to the ministry in November 1979, Mr Armstrong gave this understanding of end time events in Jerusalem.

“Daniel did not understand, but the angel said, ‘Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end’ (Dan 12:9).

And then what – in the time of the end, into which we have entered? ‘Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried, …but the wise shall understand’ (Dan 12:10). We are in that time of trying and testing, to bring us closer to God – to prepare us for Christ’s coming – now!

Many of us are being tried and tested as never before – and for our own good!

But, verse 11, ‘from the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away…’ Consider this a moment. This does NOT imply a material temple to be built in our time in Jerusalem. It does seem to imply the Israelis may restore the daily (twice daily) sacrifice – possibly at the Wailing Wall. The indication is the armies of the ‘beast’ of Revelation 17, entering Jerusalem (Dan. 11:41, Zech. 14:2), will stop this daily sacrifice. ‘…And the abomination that maketh desolate set up.’

What is this abomination?

This refers to Daniel 11:31 and Matthew 24:15. In Daniel 11:31, the armies of Antiochus Epiphanes were at Jerusalem, and some commentators have interpreted it as Antiochus placing a statue of Jupiter in the Holy of Holies in the Temple. Not only does Matthew 24:15 also refer to this, but in a parallel New Testament scripture, Luke 21:20 speaks of the same thing as ‘Jerusalem compassed with armies.’ This is the correct meaning of this abomination. It is the armies – not a statue – that make Jerusalem desolate.

From this time (Dan. 12:11) to Christ’s coming will be 1290 days.

Understanding the 1260, 1290 and the 1335 days in Daniel 12

Never before have we understood these periods of 1260, 1290, and 1335 days. But it seems evident, now, a blessing is pronounced on us – GOD’S CHURCH – who wait and endure until the 1335 days – approximately 1335 days prior to Christ’s coming. But since no one can know the day or the hour of his coming, we probably shall not be able to know the exact day that this 1335 days begins. But apparently that is the time when our work shall end.

That will be a time when the United Europe shall appear – the revival of the medieval ‘holy Roman Empire.’ We shall then be warned, and readied to be taken to a place of refuge and safety from the Great Tribulation.

Forty-five days later [1290] ‘the beast’s’ armies will surround Jerusalem.

Thirty days later [1260] the Great Tribulation will probably start with a nuclear attack on London and Britain – and possibly the same day or immediately after, on United States and Canadian cities.” ( Pastor General’s Report – November 20, 1979)

Jerusalem: What’s Next?

What can we expect from President Trump’s visit to the Middle East? If history is anything to go by, don’t expect miracles! The Jews do not trust the Arabs and the Arabs will not recognise the State of Israel. Expect the conflict to continue. The USA may try to pressure all parties to accept some sort of peace plan, but will it really produce peace? Keep in mind: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

What ever happens in the next few weeks, we can expect more tension, more talks, more arguments, more strife, the possibility of a local war, more fake news stories and few if any real solutions.

Nations involved in the area should take note of what God has to say regarding Jerusalem, recorded in the book of Zechariah!

It starts with a warning…

“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zechariah 12:3).

What we do know, is right up to the time of the return of Jesus Christ, there are Jews living in Jerusalem.

“The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first… In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem…” (Zechariah 12:7-8).

We are told the fate of those who oppose Christ…

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:9).

We are even told how the returning Christ will destroy the armies…

“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (Zechariah 14:12).

All the nations that are left shall come under the government of God, and keep His Feasts!

“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16).

Jerusalem – Soon The Capital City Of The World

“…at Christ’s coming as King of kings to rule all nations – to usher in world peace – He shall again choose Jerusalem as His Capital – then to become the capital from which the whole world shall be ruled for a thousand years!” ( The Plain Truth – October/November 1980)

Jerusalem is clearly the focal point of end time prophecy…

WATCH events in this area very closely!