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2 Peter 1.20: "Know this in the first place: the meaning of no prophecy of Scripture is to be had through its own interpretation (i.e. one must compare scripture with scripture; c.q. prophecy with prophecy!)."


THE MIDDLE EAST IN PROPHECY I

When people like John Nelson Darby, an ex-Anglican priest in the nineteenth century, and others predicted that Jewry would be restored to the country of Israel (see e.g. Ezech. chs. 36-39), skeptics laughed. Today Israel and the surrounding nations are generally considered the powder barrel of not only the Middle East, but of the entire world! Is anyone heeding the wisdom of these bible expositors of almost two hundred years ago? Rather, who listens to what the bible has to say about the subject? Theologians are apt to declare you some kind of bibliophile when you say that not only Jewry will be restored, but also the ten tribes (and also Assyria, Moab and Ammon among others!!!). They will throw you into the corner along with the British-Israelites and other crackpots.

But in this section I hope to point out some other ancient predictions; very intriguing prophecies with a double meaning. They were fulfilled in ancient times and will be generally repeated! Why? Because the Jews of old were God's people, but now they are Lo-Ammi, 'not-my-people' in accordance with the prophet Hoseah (1.9). However they will be restored in that a small remnant will accept Christ Jesus as the Messiah after Christ's coming again on the clouds of heaven (see 1 Cor.15.51 ff.; 1 Thes. 4.15 ff. The time of grace in which the bride of the Lamb is formed, the Church [which began at Pentecost] is a historical parenthesis that more or less interrupts God's direct dealings with the Jews and with the nations as they are linked to the fate of Israel [see also Rom. chs. 9-11] The time of the Church ends with the rapture of the Church on the clouds of heaven.

In all probability there will be another historical parenthesis between the rapture and the last week of Daniel. Alone already because of the fact that the beast makes a seven year alliance with Israel. However Daniel's last week is also seven years. But the beast and the antichrist cannot act before the Church has been taken up, as the Holy Spirit thwarts them. They must prepare their respective roles before the last week. And who knows what all has to happen yet before they are there? The world will not go down in the Apocalypse for who knows how long! Because before the beast the seventh king has to come yet as well[see Rev.18.10,11].)

The Moslem nations around them thank their existence in the first place to God's dealings with this nation. And oil made it all possible, financially. [In fact from the cradle of history (Gen. 10) the fate of all the nations of the world has been tied up with the history of the Jews! (Cf. Gen. 46.27; Deut. 10.22; {It is stated here that the number of nations in Genesis was the same as the family of Jacob would be!} Deut. 32.8 and Acts 7.14. Perhaps the difference of five people can be accounted for when one considers that Jacob had four wives. At any rate there must be an explanation. The bible does not know contradictions, but paradoxes). One must bear in mind also, however, that the bible speaks of the times of the gentiles that started with the empire of Nebuchadnezzar, when the nation of Isreal lost their position and in principle became 'Lo-Ammi' [Hoseah 1.9]; (cf. Lu. 21.24; Job 12.23; Dan. ch. 7; etc.] By the way, in Ezech. 38.12 where the KJV has 'the midst of the land' may very well be translated 'the navel of the earth'. Israel is not only at the center of the world geographically, but will be so also spiritually!

Before the Shekinah glory (the cloud of God's majesty that descended on Solomon's temple [1 Kings 8.10, 11]) left Jerusalem in the days of the prophet Ezechiel (see Ezech. chs. 1-10) a long history of warnings had preceded. But the Jews killed many of the prophets and God's servants. When Christ came He said to the Pharisees: 'Fill ye up the measure of your fathers(!)' (Mat. 23.32). I hasten to say that Christians so-called and unworthy of the Name of names, abused the fact that the Jews slew the Messiah and used it as a pretext for antisemitism to degrade, to rob and to harrass Jewry throughout the centuries.

In Revelation 11.8 Jerusalem is called Sodom and Egypt, why then do some naive christians go to the other extreme and try to be friends with Jewry only and pray for the peace of Jerusalem as if the Prince of Peace is already there?. Do not take me wrong, please, I am not at all advocating some religious form of antisemitism. But a serious and orthodox Jew attemps to be dependent in the first place on his JHWH and according to the apostle Paul when he reads the O.T. in the synagogue there is a veil on his heart so he cannot understand (2 Cor.3.15). Christians should attempt to find the golden mean between antisemitism and a naive and ignorant friendship with Jewry. If a christian does the former than he or she has learned nothing from the holocaust. If the latter then, really, the befriended Jew or Jewess is not helped enough. We are not tourists in this life. We are on our way to our eternal destiny.

There will be no lasting peace in the Middle East and indeed in the entire world until the Prince of Peace has returned Himself (Zec. 14.4). In the same book it has been prophesied that Jerusalem will be a cup of bewilderment (sic!) to all the surrounding nations (Zec.12.2, 3). Why is this all so, we should wonder. Why the holocaust, why this powder barrel in the Middle East? Why indeed any suffering at all? It is because the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth is so holy that stealing an 'apple' is a mortal sin. Sin in general has the character of Eve's desiring to be like God. And we all try to do the same thing as our first mother. We want to be independent from God, do our own thing; without wanting to be responsible or worry at all about higher responsibilities, let alone higher laws.

The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 19.10). Christ Jesus is the answer to all our suffering. He that allowed us to fall, came to suffer the ultimate. Not just the death on a Roman cross, but the death at the hands of a God full of holy wrath. Christ died for you and me, dear reader.

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