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This past week many of the team who bring you the Bible in the News were involved in a Bible Exhibition celebrating the
Jubilees of 1917, which saw the liberation of the land from Ottoman Turk rule after hundreds of years, and 1967, which saw the liberation of the city of Jerusalem. This year is 2016 and begins the next Jubilee period, and we contemplate what this Jubilee period might bring.
Bible Students have looked for these events for hundreds of years. Christadelphians have anticipated and predicted these events based on their belief in what the prophets have to say. They have watched with great expectation as the events rolled out, thrilling the hearts of Bible students world-wide.
We are not the only ones thinking about the Jubilees and the liberation of the land and the city of Jerusalem. This week also saw the 71st annual General Assembly of the United Nations, where leaders from around the world gave their remarks.
Interestingly, Mahmoud Abbas chose to condemn Britain for the Balfour declaration, issued in 1917 and Israel for the liberation of Jerusalem in 1967. He stated about Israel’s liberation of Jerusalem in 1967 (which he refers to as occupation):
Israel’s disrespect and contemptuous policies have even lead to attempts to “legalize” the settlements and the settlers colonizing our occupied land since 1967….
Here, I must once again appeal to you to provide international protection for the Palestinian people, suffering under occupation since 1967 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
He went on to state about the 1917 Balfour Declaration:
…the Israeli prime minister has the audacity to criticize Palestine’s statement at the Arab League Summit in Nouakchott because we referred to the Balfour Declaration.
This was the summit where Abbas promised to sue Britain over the Balfour declaration, reported by Haaretz at the end of July of this year. In his UN speech, Abbas went on to state:
… By the end of this coming year, 100 years will have passed since the Balfour Declaration, and 70 years since Al-Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe) of the Palestinian people, and 50 years since Israel occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
Yes, 100 years have passed since the notorious Balfour Declaration, by which Britain gave, without any right, authority or consent from anyone, the land of Palestine to another people. This paved the road for the Nakba of Palestinian people and their dispossession and displacement from their land. As if this were not enough, the British Mandate interpreted this Declaration into policies and measures that contributed to the perpetration of the most heinous crimes against a peaceful people in their own land, a people that never attacked anyone or partook in a war against anyone.
He’s obviously forgetting the Hebron riots and the Arab massacres of the Jews during the Mandate period, that are catalogued in a Museum when you visit Hebron today. He continued:
Therefore, we ask Britain, as we approach 100 years since this notorious Declaration, to draw the necessary lessons and to bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibilities for the consequences of this Declaration, including an apology to the Palestinian people for the catastrophes, miseries and injustices that it created, and to act to rectify this historic catastrophe and remedy its consequences, including by recognition of the State of Palestine.
Bible prophecy students see these events as very significant, and a fulfilment of the both the 6th vial:
“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.” (Revelation 16:12)
This has been discussed previously in the Bible in the News, and form part of the content of the current Bible Magazine. The Euphratean power was identified by Bible students 400 years ago with the Ottoman Turks, and they foresaw their collapse or drying up as a power over the Middle East, preparing the way for the return of the Jews to the land, and the eventual establishment of the kingdom age.
The 1967 Jubilee forms part of the Olivet prophecy, and the end of the Times of the Gentiles during which time Jerusalem would be in Gentile hands and the Jews would be scattered:
“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24)
The times of the Gentiles in Luke refers to the time period in Daniel during which the sanctuary and the host would be downtrodden:
“Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” (Daniel 8:13–14)
Prophetically speaking, this was identified as 2300 years, starting in 333BC and ending in 1967. The identification was made by Bishop Newton in 1754 when he stated:
I conceive they (the time periods) are to be computed from the vision of the he-goat, or Alexander’s invading Asia. Alexander invaded Asia in the year of the world 3670, and in the year before Christ 334. Two thousand three hundred years from that time will draw toward the conclusion of the sixth millennium of the world, and about that period, according to an old tradition, which was current before our Saviour’s time, and was probably foundered upon the prophecies, great changes and revolutions are expected… Rome is to be overthrown and Jews are to be restored.”
Doing the math we realize the time period comes out to 1966-67 when this was exactly what took place… the occupying power was removed, and Jerusalem became the sovereign territory of Israel again! This was also predicted by Bagster in the 1800’s in the margin, where the note reads:
“That is, 2300 years, which, reckoned from the time Alexander invaded Asia, B.C. 334, will be A.D. 1966.”
What is incredible about this prediction, like it or not, is it has happened. It was not men that did it, but the finger of God that caused nations to move:
“… the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)
Again the Psalms tell us,
“This is the LORD’s doing; It is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:23–24)
So when Abbas threatens to sue Britain for fulfilling the role marked out by prophecy, he’s actually fighting against Almighty God. All we can say is, good luck.
Netanyahu’s response was poignant:
If UN habits die hard, Palestinian habits die even harder. President Abbas just attacked from this podium the Balfour Declaration. He’s preparing a lawsuit against Britain for that declaration from 1917. That’s almost 100 years ago — talk about being stuck in the past. The Palestinians may just as well sue Iran for the Cyrus Declaration, which enabled the Jews to rebuild our Temple in Jerusalem 2,500 years ago. Come to think of it, why not a Palestinian class action suit against Abraham for buying that plot of land in Hebron where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish people were buried 4,000 years ago? You’re not laughing. It’s as absurd as that. To sue the British government for the Balfour Declaration? Is he kidding? And this is taken seriously here?
This is the level of lunacy that some people are intent on stooping to, and others will believe. Netanyahu went to to state:
President Abbas attacked the Balfour Declaration because it recognized the right of the Jewish people to a national home in the land of Israel. When the United Nations supported the establishment of a Jewish state in 1947, it recognized our historical and our moral rights in our homeland and to our homeland. Yet today, nearly 70 years later, the Palestinians still refuse to recognize those rights — not our right to a homeland, not our right to a state, not our right to anything. And this remains the true core of the conflict, the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state in any boundary. You see, this conflict is not about the settlements. It never was.
The conflict raged for decades before there was a single settlement, when Judea Samaria and Gaza were all in Arab hands. The West Bank and Gaza were in Arab hands and they attacked us again and again and again. And when we uprooted all 21 settlements in Gaza and withdrew from every last inch of Gaza, we didn’t get peace from Gaza — we got thousands of rockets fired at us from Gaza.
This conflict rages because for the Palestinians, the real settlements they’re after are Haifa, Jaffa and Tel Aviv. Now mind you, the issue of settlements is a real one and it can and must be resolved in final status negotiations. But this conflict has never been about the settlements or about establishing a Palestinian state. It’s always been about the existence of a Jewish state, a Jewish state in any boundary.
This will, of course, be the issue that will bring all nations down into Israel at the time of the end, and we see these events as a precursor to them.
But it wasn’t just Abbas that wants to ignore the hand of God in the nations. The United Nations also took a run at Israel, as Netanyahu went on to point out:
…. year after year I’ve stood at this very podium and slammed the UN for its obsessive bias against Israel. And the UN deserved every scathing word – for the disgrace of the General Assembly that last year passed 20 resolutions against the democratic State of Israel and a grand total of three resolutions against all the other countries on the planet.
Israel — twenty; rest of the world — three.
And what about the joke called the UN Human Rights Council, which each year condemns Israel more than all the countries of the world combined. As women are being systematically raped, murdered, sold into slavery across the world, which is the only country that the UN’s Commission on Women chose to condemn this year? Yep, you guessed it — Israel. Israel. Israel where women fly fighter jets, lead major corporations, head universities, preside — twice — over the Supreme Court, and have served as Speaker of the Knesset and Prime Minister.
And this circus continues at UNESCO. UNESCO, the UN body charged with preserving world heritage. Now, this is hard to believe but UNESCO just denied the 4,000 year connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site, the Temple Mount. That’s just as absurd as denying the connection between the Great Wall of China and China.
It is amazing the UN could be this ignorant or purposefully belligerent. There is more historical and archeological evidence supporting the existence of the Jewish temples in Jerusalem than there is the existence of people like Alexander the Great!
On the subject of Jerusalem and the temple, the scriptures are very clear. God stated of the city of Jerusalem:
“Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel: But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.” (2 Chronicles 6:5–6)
Solomon who recounted these words also stated what he had done in the city:
“The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 6:10)
Amazing. The very things that Bible students choose to put on a Bible Exhibit, to demonstrate the truth of God’s word, and its relevance today is splashed all over the headlines the very week when it is going on, showing the world is heading into a collision course, not only with Israel, but with Almighty God himself – when he will reveal himself in the Middle East to world intoxicated with the humanistic frog spirits that will gather the nations:
“And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.” (Ezekiel 38:16)
Reporting from the edge of the dawn of the kingdom age, this has been Jonathan Bowen for the Bible in the News.
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