Did you know at least one Arab source declares Israel has just seven years before being wiped off the map? Bassam Jarrar, a Palestinian Sunni Islamic scholar published 'End of Israel 2022' in Arabic. It was translated by discoveringislam.org. Jarrar wrote the first draft of his book in Lebanon, after being deported from Israel in 1993.
'Arab Muslims will re-enter the Al-Aqsa mosque for a second time, after destroying the Jewish state." He wrote, 'the first temple was destroyed in 586 BC.' He added, 'the forces that will re-enter Jerusalem will destroy, kill and tear apart everything that comes under their control," he wrote. (www.discoveringislam.org)
While some will interpret scriptures and events to suit a particular agenda the late Derek Prince said: "One of the major themes of biblical prophecy is the destiny of Israel. From the birth of Israel as a nation to the final consummation of her destiny, every major stage has been predicted by her own prophets." (Prophetic Destinies, Derek Prince, Creation House.)
Jesus said He will return to Jerusalem, His holy city. (Luke chapter 21 verse 24) So we can be certain Jerusalem remains and is in Jewish hands on that great and awesome day. Years ago a Syrian journalist interviewed on Palestinian Authority TV claimed former US President Bill Clinton was notified Israel would not survive beyond 2022. He claimed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) produced an 'Eyes Only' report for the President. The journalist identified as Al-Bujayrami said "The CIA says (in the report): 'if things continue as they are, we don't think that Israel will continue to exist after the year 2022.'"
The Bible has much to say about the destiny of Israel. In Genesis chapter 13 verse 15, He said, "for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever." Judges chapter 2 verse 1 "Then the Angel of the Lord said, 'I bought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, 'I will NEVER break my covenant with you.'" Israel, the apple of His eye, is the prized possession.
Who determines the Right?
Arguments are continually brought forth concerning the rights of the Palestinians and the rights of the Israelis that seem logical to the people who present them. But a basic question still remains: "Who has the ultimate authority to determine rights concerning this special piece of real estate?" The biblical answer to that question is that the God of the Bible alone determines the "rights" that any of us have. Something is right or wrong because of Divine decree, not human feeling or human reason. Almighty God has already determined the rights of Israel and the Jewish people to the land God owns and has deeded over to them.
The rivalry between Sunni and Shia erupted early this year. Shia-Iran compared Sunni-Saudi Arabia to ISIS after the execution of 56 year old Nimr al-Nimr, an influential Shiite cleric. Iranian protesters set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran (Sunday, Jan 3, 2016). Saudi Arabia said Iran had supported terrorism by
condemning the execution. Only weeks ago, Hamas refused a financial offer from Iran. They preferred to align with the Sunni states who support Saudi Arabia. In Syria Hamas connects with the Moslem Brotherhood, while Iran support Bashar al Assad. The rivalries are passionate and deadly but in it all Israel remains the common target.
A dress rehearsal?
Syria is a complex battleground and strategic for Israel. Along with Sunni and Shia forces, Russia and others are aggressively involved. Is Syria, right now, a dress rehearsal for the vast end times army?
In 2014 a Japanese bureaucrat said: "Tensions are getting very high in this part of the world. There are huge arms sales from Russia, the US and Europe. China's defence spending has seen double-digit growth each year since 1989. US influence in the
region is receding." Certainly the 'lead from behind' policies of the US Obama administration opened the doors for other powers.
Russian president Vladimir Putin accepted the open door and flexed his influence in Syria. After the US declared its plan to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russia arrived on that battlefield with the opposite plan. Putin said he wanted to remove ISIS but he also declared his support for the al-Assad presidency.
Chinese President Xi Jinping last December said, his nation was prepared to embrace a broader role in the fight against international terrorism. He promised Vladimir Putin, China would support his goals in Syria.
Analysts have been freely speculating the power of a Russia-China alliance. China's significant 'boots on the ground' linked to Russian sophisticated weaponry created a super-power of gigantic proportions. But there's more. Russia has strong ties to Iran and openly trades with Tehran. Russia and China have active connections with Bashar al-Assad. An alliance of Russia, China and Iran is very impressive.
Author Joel C. Rosenberg said "The presence of Russia in Syria reverberates end-times prophecies." In his words President Obama 'surrendered'. Rosenberg added 'we have withdrawn, we have surrendered, we have ceded the playing field to Vladimir Putin, who is a czar rising." Takes me back to Ezekiel chapters 38-39. God warns Iran (Persia), with Russia (Magog) and a coalition of allies regarding their plans to invade Israel.
A vast army will come against Israel in the future (Ezekiel 38, 39). Israel will be alone but God will be their conquering champion. Jesus spoke about the end-times in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. He spoke of very turbulent times but called on Believers to 'be ready.' His intervention, His return will take place when 'you do not think He will." (Matthew chapter 24 verse 44)
Biblical revelations and current events have been contentious issues since the early church.
But I am reminded of the King of Judah who learned his kingdom was to be invaded by a vast army. He knew his resources could not engage such a formidable force. He called his people to pray and through a Levite these words came:
"Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but Gods.... You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid. Go out and face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you." (2 Chronicles chapter 20 verses 15,17)
Ron Ross is a Middle East consultant for United Christian Broadcasters (Vision FM). Previously he was radio news editor for Bridges for Peace in Jerusalem, Israel. His career started at WINTV as sports editor, then becoming a missionary with YWAM, then Noosa Baptist and eventually Bridges for Peace in Jerusalem.
Ron Ross' previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/ron-ross.html