Monday, May 14, 2018

Moving To Jerusalem--Another Promise Kept

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the US delegation last night in Jerusalem---on the eve of the day America, the most powerful nation in the history of the world, officially moves its embassy to Jerusalem---affirming that Jerusalem is indeed the capital of Israel.

Other nations will follow America's leadership, but not all.

Before our eyes, significant history is happening. Promises are being kept.

Netanyahu said last night at a reception, “Our people will be eternally grateful for [President Trump’s] decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the American Embassy here tomorrow.”

Among those in the audience were Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog; Christians United for Israel founder John Hagee, American lawyer Alan Dershowitz; new Republican National Committee finance chairman Todd Ricketts; Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Ted Cruz (R-SC), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Mike Lee (R-UT); Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), American Jewish Committee chair David Harris; Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs Sandra Jovel Polanco, and many others.

Netanyahu praised President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem and transfer the embassy there, "It's been the capital of the Jewish people for the last 3000 years," he said. "It's been the capital of our state for 70 years. It will be our capital for all time."

He said, "It took a President Trump to enunciate a simple basic truth."

This move is in the best interest of peace.

Netanyahu said "peace" means confronting the "enemies of truth" and that's what President Trump has done.

He also said, "With all due respect to those sitting in European capitals...we've seen the disastrous consequences of the Iran deal"...he praised Trump's decision to leave the deal, saying, "It's a good thing for the region, for the United States, and for the world."

Daniel Shapiro, the US ambassador to Israel during the Obama administration agrees with the president's action to move the embassy.

He said, "Trump's announcement to move ahead with the relocation...was "recognizing a reality," "an overdue step" and may "actually bring closer the day" of resolution to the conflicts.

Netanyahu said, "I call on all countries to join the US in moving their embassies to Jerusalem... because it's the right thing to do...because it advances peace."

Other Nations will follow.

Guatemala has already announced they are moving their embassy to Jerusalem. Paraguay is expected to do so as well.

The New York Post says more than 10 countries are already in talks with Israel to move their embassies to Jerusalem---some of them are European nations.

While some in the press today, and in the days that follow this week, will try to downplay this event as "no big deal," because they know it is, and most in the press don't agree with the decision---don't believe them. The significance of this move cannot be overstated.

The Political Significance.

PBS seems peeved about this move to Jerusalem. With a strained faux "non-partisan" voice, they report the United States has lost "a diplomatic channel both physically and verbally," and "the US has lost its ability to be neutral as a peace broker" in the Middle East.

PBS also was suggesting a couple of months ago that President Trump was pushing the US toward a possible nuclear war with North Korea.

Today they are quoting Arab leaders who say "no one in the Arab world likes Trump's decision," "but it's not really a priority to most of them" and "Saudi Arabia and Egypt are downplaying the decision because they want to continue working with the Trump Administration."

And PBS explores whether Trump's decision to move to Jerusalem could be reversed, concluding that "it's hard to see how that could work, but a future president could still declare support for East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine or place another American Embassy there."

PBS concludes that Jerusalem is a core issue---"A Palestinian state without a capital in Jerusalem would be I think in the view of most Palestinians not a state worth having."

The Biblical Significance.

In 1947, the nations of the world were poised to give Jerusalem away. Instead of handing it over to Jewish rule, the United Nations Resolution 181, proposed making Jerusalem an international city, establishing a special international regime with free access for everyone to all the holy sites inside the city.

It didn't work.

After the 1948 War of Independence, the Jordanian occupation of the eastern portion of the city meant no Jew could go visit the Western Wall, which is the closest accessible place to Judaism's holiest site. This continued for 19 years, then Israeli forces liberated the area in the Six Day War.

The UN plan looked good on paper, but in reality, Jordanian forces destroyed the Jewish Quarter and dozens of synagogues and even expelled Jews.

The "Six Day War" was a liberation of Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and was seen as an undeniable event of biblical proportions. But some still believe Israel will never really exist again.

There are those within the Christian community who teach a replacement theology. Simply stated--Israel of the Bible is essentially gone because God rejected it after the Jews murdered Jesus Christ. The church, or among some advocates for this teaching, a remnant of the church is a "replacement" for the biblical Israel---thus replacement theology.

Replacement theology teaches the original Israel served strange gods, were unfaithful and ultimately rejected their own messiah. These folks often quote Jeremiah (19:11) as defining the Jewish vessel that was smashed, and it cannot be put back together. They also refer to the Jews being scattered as dust (Matt. 21:44) and the Roman armies of Titus in 70 AD destroying them forever.

They say all biblical teachings and prophecy must be understood through that belief regarding Israel.

That is not biblical. It is a false doctrine.

Most biblical Christians do not believe replacement theology. But be informed.

Seventy years ago today, May 14, 1948, Israel was politically restored as a nation.

There has been a significant conversation about if this is truly modern biblical Israel, why is Jerusalem not its capital?

Evangelicals and Jews see this event today in Jerusalem directly linked to the prophecy or "promise" in Ezekiel 37---linked in the same way the established modern state of Israel is linked to Israel coming alive again.

In chapter 37 of Ezekiel's book, God sat the prophet down in the valley of the dry bones, and asked: "Can these bones live?"

The prophet said, "I don't know God, only you know." The Lord told him to prophesy to the bones, and say, "Surely I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live, then you shall know that I am the Lord."

Following that exchange is a description of what that renewal would look like and sound like.

We are witnessing "the flesh being put back on the dry bones."

Vice President Pence said on November 28, 2017, "To the men and women of Christians United for Israel, the president hears you. This president stands with you. And I promise you that the day will come when President Donald Trump moves the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is not a question of 'if', it is only 'when'."

Today is "When."

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Be Blessed.