It was reported on Feb. 23, 02 in a Denver Rocky Mountain News article which headlined, "U.S. sees hope in land - peace proposal" that Crown Prince Abudullah of Saudi Arabia issued an offer of Arab peace to Israel. Praised by moderate Arab nations and expected to be a key topic of discussion between President Bush and Egypts President Hosni Mubarak, the proposal would entail Israel giving up all pre 1967 lands to the Palestinians including East Jerusalem. In return Saudi Arabia says it would be prepared to establish full diplomatic relations, normalize trade and supposedly guarantee Israels security. With hopes being raised of a possible Mid East peace arising from the Saudi offer we felt we should update our 1999 Rapture Watch Message #167 "The Truth about Jerusalem" to effectively demonstrate the futility of such attempts to avert the soon to transpire prophesied war of Psalm 83.
It is really quite amazing how peoples thoughts can so easily be manipulated. It almost seems hopeless at times, in these last days, to share a truth because of the incredible amount of misinformation and distortions which can be conjured up. The tactics cause even godly men to doubt their biblical convictions. What chance does an unregenerate world have for sorting out the truth in the face of the massive amounts of lying propaganda disseminated through satanically controlled communication mediums?
This is not just some kind of alarmist view, or a gross exaggeration, but biblical fact. The Scriptures tell us in John 14:30 & Ephesians 2:2 that for the present age the Devil is the recognized prince of this world and prince of the power of the air. The world is trapped in the same predicament Pilate was in when he said to Jesus, "What is truth?" in Jn. 18:38.
Let us consider an example by looking at the issue of Jerusalem. The world has become almost fully unified against Israel regarding their possession of this city. Most of the world believes Israel is a usurper over the Arabs and against the declarations of the United Nations regarding this City of David.
For the sake of historical accuracy we will be quoting a portion of a letter by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that was published in the Mar. 19, 99 Jerusalem Post under the headline "Still fighting for Jerusalem." Keep in mind while reading Mr. Sharons letter the prophecies of the Bible such as those found in Zechariah 12 which speak of Israels brave and defiant stand against the world as she continues to occupy Jerusalem up to the very return of Christ. Also be aware that God is never mentioned in the letter as the legitimatizor of Israels right to the ownership of Jerusalem, even though the then Foreign Minister did make reference to Israels plan for an eternal presence of Jews in the city. Zech. 12 also speaks of the day when Israel will acknowledge God with due respect by accepting His crucified Son Jesus Christ as their Redeemer.
"The denial, the refusal to recognize Israels sovereignty over Jerusalem, has been going on for over half a century. In UN General Assembly Resolution No. 181 of November 1947, it was proposed that the city of Jerusalem be internationalized. The Arab nations rejected the resolution and promptly launched a war against the small Jewish community in the Land of Israel. Our people made heroic stands against the onslaught of seven Arab armies that invaded Israel. Thousands of our young people died in this struggle, and tens of thousands were wounded. But we won. That UN resolution, therefore, calling for the internationalization of Jerusalem is null and void; it no longer exists Here are some historical facts and figures concerning Jerusalem that all of us need to keep in mind: Throughout the history of foreign rule in Jerusalem - from the Roman and Byzantine periods, through the Crusader era, down to the time of the Ottoman Turks - the Jewish community has maintained a continuous presence in the city, in the face of repeated acts of persecution, pogroms and attempts at expulsion; just as, for some 3,300 years and down to this day, there has not been a single day that Jews have not resided in the Land of Israel. Again and again, down the centuries, Jews have opted to settle in Jerusalem. Since 1840, the Jews have comprised the largest ethnic community in the city. From the 1860s to this day, the Jews have constituted the majority of the citys population. In 1948, during the War of Independence, the Jordanians, after heavy battles, captured the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and demolished it, together with scores of synagogues and Jewish institutions, some of them centuries old. Thus was Jerusalem divided. - Jerusalem has always been the national capital of the Jewish people, and of no other. - There is wide national agreement, in Israel and in the Diaspora, that united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty is and will remain the eternal capital of Israel. - Israels sovereignty over Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel and as the seat of its governmental institutions, as well as the citys boundaries are also defined in the Basic Law At this critical juncture of the struggle for the maintenance of full Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, the national interest requires that - as is evident also in the practice of other countries - the realization of Israels sovereignty must, and indeed always will, take precedence over recognition by external bodies Despite all this, Israel and its government are fully committed to the pursuit and advancement of the peace process. Personally, I am convinced that it is possible to move forward in the negotiations and to arrive at a settlement with the Palestinians. At the same time, we must make the following absolutely clear, here and now, to the Palestinians as well as to friends and rivals alike, in Europe and throughout the world. Full Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, the united and eternal capital of the Jewish people, is not and will never be a subject for negotiation with any foreign entity. The Netanyahu government will continue to insist on this, and I am confident that with will and determination, our effort will be successful." Ariel Sharon is a very brave and intelligent man, but he could obtain immeasurably greater wisdom if he would only trust in the Scriptures of Almighty God.
At the opening of our message we stated that "it almost seems hopeless at times, in these last days, to share a truth." It is important for believers to always remember that even though it "almost" seems hopeless - the fact remains that truth will always win in the end. God has declared, "The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment" (Proverbs 12:19).
Ariel Sharon has shared the true history of Israels Jerusalem. He also told the truth when he wrote that Jerusalem "is and will remain the eternal capital of Israel," as God confirms in Joel 3:17&20. But he was only partially correct when he concluded with confidence that full Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem would remain because of Jewish "will" and "determination." The whole truth is that Israels sovereignty over Jerusalem, according to the Holy Scriptures, will only be maintained by God and faith.
According to Zech. 12:5,6&10 - 13:1,6-9 & 14:1-9, when all would seem lost, Israels faith in their God will flame anew and they will recognize Gods only begotten Son Jesus Christ as their Messiah who was crucified for their sins. Two thirds of the population of Israel will perish and half of Jerusalem will go into captivity before the Jews recognize their Savior. The Lord Jesus Christ will physically stand upon the Mount of Olives with "all the saints" who had joined Him in Heaven at least 7 years earlier and the mountain will split apart like the Red Sea before Moses. Then while Israel escapes through this newly formed valley of the Lord, the nations will face the terrifying fate of falling into the hands of the Living God who has arrived upon the earth to do merciless combat. The battle is over quickly and "in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem" "And the Lord shall be King over all the earth."
We often hear the instruction of Psa. 122:6 which tells us to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem," but rarely do we hear the summation of the reason we are to pray found in verse 9 which reads, "because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good."
The awesome truth we want to emphasize at the close of this message is that we who are redeemed by Jesus Christ will be with our Lord our God and "all the saints" when He returns to the Mount of Olives (see Zech. 14:15, Acts 1:9-11, Jude verses 14-15 & Rev. 19:11-16).
The question remains, how did all of the saints get to Heaven in the first place in order for them to be with their Lord when He returns? The answer is glorious. It is found in I Thess. 4:15-18 at the event commonly referred to as the Rapture. It is at that instant when all the dead and living saints in Christ are to be changed and then caught up to forever be with their Lord. At some moment in time before the 7-year covenant of Daniel 9:27 is confirmed by the princely Anti-Christ, the Church will be glorified.
In a world full of treachery and lies it is comforting to
meditate on Jesus Christs answer to Pilates question,
"What is truth?" Jesus gave the solution to Pilates
question in fact before the words even came out of the Roman
leaders mouth. Pilate just refused to hear what Jesus told
him. Quoting from Jn. 18:37, "For this cause I was born,
and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should
bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears
My voice." All who hearken to Christs Words will be
led to the truth of Life and will receive His promise of salvation
and deliverance from the wrath which is soon to come. Put your
complete faith in the Way, the Truth and the Life," who
paid for the sins of the world by His atoning blood sacrifice
when He was pierced upon the cross - the Risen, Eternal Lord
- Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6).