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Weekly Update: The love of many will grow cold

Andrew Tucker - 5 June 2020

The debate continues in Israel (and beyond) about the plans to apply Israeli law and jurisdiction to settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley. Many are passionately in favor of the proposals, many are passionately against.

Israel itself argues that – whatever its merits – this is not “annexation”, because annexation concerns a State incorporating territory that does not belong to it by means of illegal use of force. In this case, Israel claims to have Biblical, historical and legal entitlement to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – as a result of the San Remo conference and the Mandate for Palestine.

Israel is a lively democracy. Jews have many different opinions. Over 20% of Israeli’s are non-Jews.

It’s not our place as a church to dictate to Israel what it should, or should not, do.

The world is in great turmoil. After the bizarre upheaval of the last months caused by a tiny virus, we are now witnessing an unprecedented chaos and rebellion in the USA that is spreading around the world. In capitals around the world, large crowds are gathering to protest. Against what?

No doubt there is great injustice. But the violent anger and resistance against those in authority that has come to the surface cannot be explained just by single instances of injustice in the USA. It seems hatred of authority and the fight against racism has become a new religion for which the young are willing to live and die.

This is the spirit of rebellion and lawlessness that characterises the time before the return of Jesus Christ. “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12)

We see this manifested worldwide. The media makes a spectacle of this, making heros out of rebels, feeding the turmoil further.

To some extent we see the same phenomenon in Israel. There is great disunity and distrust of politicians, and many apparently feel the elected government cannot be trusted to make the “right” decisions. The Prime Minister seems to have lost the respect of many people that he once had and that characterised a great leader like Ben Gurion.
Let us pray that the people of Israel will be united in heart and mind, and look only to God for their strength and direction in these confusing times.

Shabbat shalom,

Andrew Tucker
Editor-in-Chief – Israel & Christians Today


Why Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism 

Nadav Lawrence writes: “For many on the Left, the term ‘anti-Zionism’ has become a badge of honor, the real test of whether someone is really on the Left or not. The flag-bearers of the term brand Zionism and the State of Israel as ‘settler-colonialism.’ In doing so, either through ignorance or intent, they cross the line into anti-Semitism. To understand why, it is necessary to delve into a brief history of European colonialism.” Read more..


Israel, the Middle East and “Annexation”

Debate continues in Israel and worldwide concerning Israel’s plans to extend Israeli law to parts of the West Bank. It is a very sensitive topic. Here is some background and some interesting perspectives:


The significance of the 1920 San Remo conference 

Prof. Efraim Karsh writes: “There is probably no more understated event in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict than the San Remo Conference of April 1920.” Read more..

Hugh Kitson writes: “The San Remo Resolution, and the Mandate for Palestine that resulted from it, enshrined the title deed that Almighty God gave to the Hebrew Patriarchs into international law. Perhaps this was not obvious at the time, but I believe this was what God was doing behind the scenes 100 years ago in April 1920.”
Read more..


Turkey’s selective amnesia 

Burak Bekdil writes at BESA: “Turkey exhibits a remarkably stubborn selective amnesia about its own history. The country claims the title of world’s greatest friend to the Palestinians and most ardent champion of their cause, yet forgets that the Palestinians assisted both the Armenians and the Kurds in their bloody fights against Turkey.” Read more..


Love your neighbor as yourself

Koen Carlier writes from Ukraine: “Shalom, yesterday we got an encouraging message from Tania, the deputy mayor of Karmiel, a big city in the Galilee (Israel). Ever since she came to Ukraine to give lectures about the return we have maintained a good relationship. She believes in the God of Israel with heart and soul and simply wants to be obedient to God’s word: to welcome the Jews from the Diaspora and to help them in a practical way with a dedicated staff.  She secretly hoped that many newcomers from Ukraine would settle in Karmiel!” Read more..


The Blessing of love

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks writes: “A society whose members seek one another’s welfare is holy, and blessed.” Read more..


“All Israel will be saved” (Romans 11)

Kees de Vreugd: “It is written here in plain terms: all Israel will be saved. Not a single translation or explanation can avoid it. it is possible to translate: ‘then, all Israel will be saved, as it is written…’, but ‘all Israel’ is all Israel. Or is it not?” Read more..

 


“The borders of the land” – Video teaching by Johannes Gerloff

Episode 26 in the series of teachings by Israeli-based Bible teacher and journalist Johannes Gerloff:

The land that God promised to Abram is demarcated by specific parameters, it was never boundless. However, can we take our modern-day definitions of a state and its borders and apply them to the biblical text?

 

“Glory” – Video teaching by Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer

Rev. Willem Glashouwer helps us understand God’s prophetic word, and how prophecy is being fulfilled in our generation.

In Matthew 24 we read how Jesus taught His disciples about His return. The first question of the disciples to Jesus was: when will this happen? When will the city of Jerusalem and the Temple be destroyed in such a way that not one stone will be left upon another? It was literally fulfilled 40 years later. The second question was: what will be the sign of Your coming? How can we understand the ‘signs of the times’ so that we know when Your coming in Glory is right at hand?

 

Scripture for the week: Matthew 24:3-31

3 Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?

4 Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 5 for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8 But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.

15 “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) 16 “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 17 A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. 18 A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. 19 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. 20 And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.

23 “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. 25 See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.

26 “So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it! 27 For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. 28 Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.

29 “Immediately after the anguish of those days,

the sun will be darkened,
the moon will give no light,
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.

 

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