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The Australian, AFP, March 17, 1999


of Zechariah 14:2, and the "all the surrounding peoples" to whom Israel was predicted to be made (later than the crucifixion of the Messiah, repented of in 12:10) what ? This: "a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem". IT IS THIS WHICH ISRAEL IS PREDICTED TO BECOME TO THEM, AND SURELY SHE HAS DONE IT!

The former reference to the surrounding nations may be the intent of the later one; and certainly this has already occurred in 1948 with its extensions into 1967, 1973 and a little less directly, 1991, when Israel suffered from an Iraq still declaring its continuing war on the Jewish State. Israel has been more than triumphant in all this. The Lord has seen to that, according to His word (cf. Zechariah 12:8). Now with the Arab League following up on the Pan-Islam announcement of 1991, summoning concerted assault on Israel, we are undoubtedly in the broader sphere of reference.

All the surrounding nations have already fulfilled their prophecy, concerning the multi-national assault on Israel; and at that, since 1947, the UN declaration has widened that to a vast concourse of nations certainly fulfilling the scope of the announcement. The Pan-Islam and Arab League announcements broaden this still further, so that not only the immediate region, not merely the UN (rather a large body, representative of the whole territory of the nations, one would think!), but now in addition these two further bodies thunder their thoughts, dispossessing Israel verbally, whereas in the providence of the predicting God, they have simply not been ABLE to dispossess it physically. Words speak; but in this category, actions can speak yet louder.

The UN and the Arab League, this time, they are all yapping like wolves. It is so obvious that God's Biblically declared will concerning Israel does not matter. It is so clear that the Bible is to be disregarded. The world in its Arab League and its United Nations are all agreed. Jerusalem is not to be Jewish. The UN since 1947 has had internationalising plans in store. This concourse of peoples abundantly satisfied the text of Zechariah 14, for "all the nations" in the context of Zechariah 12's surrounding peoples, has indeed been the thrust of history: the whole international (grossly misnamed) community, PLUS the surrounding peoples. Now, we go yet further. The European Union has made a statement.

What is its purport ? This: it is one "refusing to recognise Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem". Quite a mouthful. It is a European mouthful. "Those nations" in Zechariah 14:3 makes it clear that we are not dealing with absolutely every nation, but a vast concourse of peoples as are also seen unleashed specifically in Ezekiel 38-39. Wave after wave, result after result comes in this drawn-out process, like Act V in a Shakespearean play, filled with warning to the 'players' as the crescendo mounts. But what of the tenor, of the manner of the announcement made to this sovereign State of Israel ? What sort  ... of diplomacy is it which tells it that its capital, currently held by it as really as Moscow by the Russians, really, will not at all to be in any part ... under Jewish sovereignty. What are to think of this ? How does it compare with other statements made by one nation to another, to diplomatic courtesies and protocol ?

  • Suppose now England had been invaded more successfuly than by buzz-bombs,
  • at the discretion of Adolf; and in the aftermath of wars and more wars
  • (as in your papers and in the predictions for the tragic approach to the historic finale, in Matthew 24, you can read either, both indicate similar results),
  • the European Union had graciously decided that
  • no part of London shall be under British sovereignty.

If such were the case, one would almost tend to gain an impression, and this ? that the EU did not LIKE the British. It would, not to put too fine a point on it, scarcely suggest an underlying amiability towards the British. If now the British were allowed only a few counties within say 100 miles of London anyway, the rest being taken over by people of other kindred and alien creed, then the ultimatum concerning London (as well) would look even less amiable. It would indeed look brilliantly hostile.

The Jews reside in the Middle East, in their minuscule residual territory, with their miniaturised residue of people left from the holocaust, surrounded by scores of millions of Arabs with their hostile Moslem apparatus including the holy war syndrome which affects many, and the "duty" to assault and so on, coming at various times from various sources, such as the 1991 Moslem meeting in Teheran, which wanted to "islamicize" the opposition to Israel. Such noises often come from people of Moslem disposition, nations with scores of billions of oil dollars, enriched to a fabulous point, just as the US has been rendered a massive debtor in the last score of years, instead of an historically large world creditor. The two changes are not unrelated.

What then do we find ? It is an interesting proposition.

Neither Europe

(that is the EU, for this State apparatus is not "Europe" but a bureaucratic bustling about Brussels, and about ideas, though it is expected to grow enormously, as part of the predicted European power base),

nor the Arab League are inclined to favour the Jews.

  • In this matter,
  • these bodies
  • are not disposed to listen to the word of God,
  • are not inclined
  • to consider the chastisement the Jewish people have suffered since the death of Christ.

They seem not too concerned about  their own Romanist follies on the continent and indeed at Smithfield in Britain as well, just to name one reeking example; nor to lament at their own distinctively European denial of the faith in multitudes of sophisticated but futile efforts to seize it and run, like some ruckman in a football match (this 'ball' has proved far too heavy, but they still tried). We do not generalise. Many Europeans are of the most gracious, faithful. So are many Jews, from whose ranks, for that matter, the apostles were drawn for the Christian Church! However, we are dealing with a REPRESENTATIVE BODY, the European Union, which in some sense is supposedly intimately related to Europe. THIS is the statement which evocatively, provocatively, has been issued according the AFP News Report.

Prodigious for heretics, Europe has spawned a whole crusade of them in the last 100 years, as much an attack on the Lord as were the hands that others laid roughly on Christ. The Lord and His word are not separable in this, that He wholly endorses it (cf. Isaiah 8:20, Jeremiah 23, Matthew 5:17-20). His scathing scorn at a people professing His name and wresting disagreeably His word, are famous down the hollow of the centuries: "This people draws near Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me." Every manner of subterfuge and dissidence has been the lot of multitudes of Jews and Gentiles alike (Jeremiah 23:16-18, Isaiah 30:15-16,8-11 - but do not forget Isaiah 30:18!; Matthew 24:24, II Peter 2, II Timothy 3).

It is true that Europe has been the site of some of the most beautiful Christian characters, rich in suffering and dedication, grand in compassion and concern, valiant for the truth, willing to die and often taken to this point, for the faith, a place of earnest and hearty reformation for some, as well as most brutal and rapacious religious persecution, and sometimes of  aspiring religious beauty, so that with England and Scotland, it has made rich yet heavily costed contribution to the powers of return and resource in the Lord. It is unwise to forget the good because of the evil. Nevertheless, Europe quite simply is now a mission field, a large missionary body bears its name as target, citing startling statistics of need;  the testimony of truth has diminished in scope, as also in England; and Europe has indeed a large swathe of  people wandering as to their final alliance with larger forces willing to lead them, as they have indeed  led, in large masses, twice in this century. (See also, for England and movements after the hegemony of the British Empire, News 13.)

For Europe, the forces of restraint are less manifest and its tendency to absorb England has its stern warning, following the World Wars of this century; while the forces leading to disastrous secular humanism, spiced with the fearless ideas of the flesh, in place of the fervent ideals of the truth, are less and less curbed. Such sweeping ambitions have been seen already, under the microscope of history; and their end is biblically perfectly clear. (Cf. SMR Ch.7, pp. 502ff., 510ff., 516ff.; Ch. 8, pp. 726-732C, Bk.2 Glossary, pp.750Bff.; Ch.9, pp. 886-889,899-900, 905-911,929-931, 948; Ch. 10, 1031C; Barbs, Arrows and Balms, Item 20, Extension, esp. Part II, in pp. 150-152, Biblical Blessings Ch.1, Ch.2, esp. pp. 19-26 - with preceding table).  As Rome centres (see refs. preceding) Babylon, in the "mystery Babylon" reference in Revelation 17:5-18:24, and is  Babylon's death mask, or its deadly concentrate in the ultimate eras, becoming the projection into contemporary society of this vast 'heritage' reaching back to Babylon itself, so Europe is the predicted site of Daniel's forecast, for the world rule to come.

What then ?

It is not a question of decrying Europe, but of decrying pride, the vainglory of the flesh which, whether in army or philosophy, and sometimes the first following the second,  can take man for a ride to the spiritual ghettos and the more sophisticated concentration camps, which are to become the barbed wire of this world. Electronic barbed wire can be cheaper, and easier to string out.

It is a question

       of developing understanding of the direction of things, the correction for that direction individually, and for the nations that are interested in equity,

       of finding compassion, concern and sensitivity also to the plight of the Jews, who though disciplined by God, are not any man's plaything as if they were not a people. To disregard these things is merely to request from the God and King of eternity, what the barrenness of heart deserves for so doing. Europe then would do well to channel its concern in less distant ways than making such pronunciamentos about Jerusalem. If they do these things, they are playing with fire, not merely for such interference with another State, but for such action towards what God has most emphatically arranged differently. After all, He made the land, and there is no claim to compete with that. This is not merely an ethical, a moral and a spiritual fact; it is statedly to be an observable one.

The Gentile people, more broadly, have nothing to boast about, in the mass; and to the point, it was the United Nations, a broad-based body if you like, which made the earlier verbal aggression against Jerusalem and Jews, in their 1947 pronouncements to the point. That was man. As to the Lord, the Bible explicitly predicts a vast return both physically, to the territory, of the Jews, and of course, that happened. The Bible carried the day, and the UN did not! The Jews have Jerusalem. The Bible proceeds with the unfolding history. AFTER that Jewish return, following this miraculous development, with its stunning suddenness in the re-institution of the nation as predicted (Isaiah 66:7,cf. News 47), the return in large numbers of Israel is predicted to be ...a return spiritually to the Lord (Ezekiel 34-37, Zechariah 12:10, Romans 11:25ff.: cf. The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, Appendix A).

Indeed, as the apostle Paul shows there,

  • it was the fall of the Jews
  • (as a nation in their posture about Christ, which is not greatly relaxed yet, when it comes to Christian evangelism, as attested in an earlier News item in this site)
  • which provided the vast gap leading to massive Gentile exposure to the Gospel.

It is the RETURN, the restoration, the coming back to the Lord, and to the rejected Messiah as so eloquently described prophetically by Zechariah, noted above, which is to give ground for a vast rejoicing among the Gentiles (cf. Deuteronomy 32:43), to which the apostle Paul points in Romans 11:12,14-15, 15:9-12). "If," says Paul, "their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life form the dead?" This says he to the Gentiles, "DO NOT BOAST!" The Jews were lost as a nation thorugh unbelief, so let the Gentile peoples "be not highminded but fear!"

All these matters we have dealt with in Biblical and considerable historical detail, in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, Chs. 8 9, and elsewhere as noted in the second Index, for other volumes.
Today, in view of this news item, we have - other than review, one simple task. Be warned: the time is of the return of the Lord with all the vexations preceding, is drawing near

  • as the UN Declaration of 1947 giving the Jews some slender portions of Palestine and an internationalised Jerusalem to "SHARE",
  • is now vexed further by this intensely partisan European statement that NO PART of Jerusalem shall be under Jewish sovereignty! NOT SO, say the Jewish nation.

Mr Netanyahu is reported as summoning the ambassador from Germany, an offender in this field in the past, to stress how gravely was viewed this EUROPEAN ANNOUNCEMENT. Proclaimed the "eternal and indivisible capital of Israel" by the Israeli Parliament in 1980, Jerusalem is now the subject of a new statement by the Israeli parliament. And this, as reported ?

"Israel will not accept under any circumstance the division or internationalisation of Jerusalem, which will remain for eternity under the exclusive sovereignty of the State of Israel."

For clarity, that is a pearl. Not for Israel in this thing is the ambivalence of the World Council of Churches, that hideous synthesis of Christianity, which in fact requires that one "forsake all" if one is to follow Christ (Luke 14:27ff.), with masses of other and contrary perspectives and beliefs. It is impossible to do (cf. Galatians 1, and refer That Magnificent Rock,Ch.3) but the WCC tries just the same. The Israelis here have spoken a very different language, clear and unequivocal. Not for them the phrases that cover up the underlying cracks. WHEN the nations DO attack Jerusalem in their brave finale, as noted in Ezekiel 38-39 and indicated in Zechariah so dramatically, then various things will follow.

These will include the following two:

1) The massive turning to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah who came to die at the date predicted by Daniel the prophet, on the part of a vast swathe of Jewish people; and

2) a massive thrust from the Lord God personally, to deliver the people from precisely this invasion.
After all, it is a wonderful opportunity to make a point, and the Lord is on record, that HE WILL MAKE THIS POINT. For the nature of it, see Ezekiel 39:21ff.. The nations will then KNOW why the Jews went into their long exile, and the Jewish nation will see the evidence once more, Ezekiel 37:13-14, and find it in their lives as well as in their land. This draws near to the return of Christ (Luke 21:24), and that speaks

  • to the Gentiles, that their special innings is about up (Christ signifying this to occur when Jerusalem was no longer 'trodden down' by the other nations);
  • to the Jews, that their time for return to the Lord is imminent.

To all, it speaks. It is time to repent (Luke 13:1-3). It is always time (II Corinthians 6:1ff.). Indeed, there is not always time to do it. Now is the time (Isaiah 55).