"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem"
Israel has been a critical focus point of the world since its reestablishment in 1948. A recent article cited in the Jerusalem Post on January 17, 2023, stated that Israel must rescind the sanctions it levied against the Palestinian Authority for seeking assistance from the world court. Over 90 nations of the 193-member General Assembly of the United Nations passed it with a signed statement. Sixteen countries voted against it and 53 abstained. Forty-five percent of the 193 members voted in favor of the Palestinians on Friday.
The nations which voted against Israel have tended to be more authoritarian countries with some democratic characteristics like Mexico, Armenia, Turkey and Pakistan. Poland and a handful of EU nations joined the ranks of those voting against Israel. Poland joined six other democracies of the EU who usually vote against Israel at the UN: Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, Malta, Luxembourg and Slovenia.
God said He would make Jerusalem a heavy stone for the nations of the world to bear, and any nation coming against it would end in destruction (Zechariah 12:1-3).
The Temple Mount, along with the whole of East Jerusalem (which includes the Old City), was controlled by Jordan from 1948 until 1967, and has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967. Currently, the Temple Mount is under Israeli sovereignty and security, while the day-to-day authority of the site is under Jordan's Jerusalem Islamic Waqf. A waqf is an Islamic religious trust. Israel handed the authority back to the Jordanians after capturing the Temple Mount in the Six-Day War in 1967.
What does this signal to us? Israel will increasingly be under pressure from a growing number of nations at the international level. Thus far, Israel has support from the major nations of the European Union, but how long will that last? When will the time come when the countries of the EU seek to appease the enemies of Israel?
Recently an EU delegation traveled to Jerusalem and expressed support for Jordan’s oversight of the Islamic sites, especially the al-Aqsa Mosque. Azzam al-Khatib, Director-General of the Jordanian-controlled Waqf Department in Jerusalem, voiced deep appreciation for the European Union’s support for the Palestinians and the two-state solution.
Iran has made no secret they would like to drive Israel into the Mediterranean Sea. Twenty-eight member states of the UN have either never recognized Israel or have withdrawn their recognition; others have severed diplomatic relations without explicitly withdrawing their recognition. This is built upon their hatred and bitterness towards Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, recently reelected, is the longest-tenured prime minister in the country's history, having served for a total of over 15 years. He has resisted the two-state paradigm as well as relinquishing territory. However, with stresses from within the nation and pressures internationally, how long can Israel stand? Often a nation’s greatest enemies are within. Netanyahu faces push back from Israel’s own people in the Knesset.
Israel in Prophecy
The Bible reminds us great troubles will fall on this small piece of real estate in the future. Jesus warned us in Luke 21:20-22: “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”
It will be a time of horrific suffering and death. Christ clearly warned those living in the end time to flee or quickly clear out of this area. He said, “These are the days of vengeance.”
Vengeance is retribution or punishment, and we know God will take vengeance on mankind for the evil of the world during the final conflict. However, could it possibly also refer to the desire of the enemies of Israel to punish them and retake Jerusalem?
Jesus Christ, the future King of kings, in giving this prophecy, must have looked ahead at what would happen, not only to the massive destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, but what would happen to Israel at the time of the end of the age. He felt a deep compassion for Israel then as He does now, and in the future battle of Armageddon when He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’" (Matthew 23:37-39).
The sad thing is, the Israel of old and of these modern times haven’t generally been willing to trust in God. Jesus said He desires to gather them as a mother hen gathers her chicks under her protective wing, but they weren’t willing. Are we willing? As the Church of God our survival depends on our dedication to preaching the gospel and preparing ourselves as the Bride of Christ day by day. By trusting God and doing these things, we show Christ we willingly seek to be under the care of His wing.
This is my Perspective and the Prophetic Times follows below:
Mini-missiles: IAI unveils missile that can fit in a backpack
January 19, 2023 israelnationalnews.com reported:
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has unveiled its POINT BLANK electro-optically guided missile that can be carried in a soldier’s backpack. The system answers the battlefield requirement to provide tactical units ranging in size from small tactical teams to battalion level, with an independent and organic capability to increase their lethality.
POINT BLANK allows these units to attack various targets in real time with great precision and high lethality without the need for support. The missile is hand-launched, operated by a single soldier, and can take off from and land vertically back to the soldier’s hand…
POINT BLANK weighs about 15 lbs and is about 3 ft long. The missile can fly at altitudes above 1,500 ft, at a maximum speed of 178 mph (286 kph), and can hover or loiter in the air while the target’s nature and exact position is confirmed prior to attack.
EU diplomats visit Temple Mount, express support for Jordan custodianship
January 18, 2023 jpost.com reported:
European Union diplomats who toured the al-Aqsa Mosque compound (Temple Mount) on Wednesday expressed support for the Jordanian custodianship over the holy site, Azzam al-Khatib, Director-General of the Jordanian-controlled Waqf Department in Jerusalem, said, ’This was a successful visit,’ Khatib told reporters. ‘We waited for this visit for a long time.’
He said the European delegation came to the site carrying two messages. ‘The first message expressed support for His Majesty’s custodianship over the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, especially the al-Aqsa Mosque,’ Khatib said. ‘The second message expressed support for the Waqf Department, which implements His Majesty’s custodianship over the Islamic sites, especially the al-Aqsa Mosque.’
Khatib voiced deep appreciation for the EU’s support for the Palestinians and the two-state solution.
Over 90 nations demand Israel lift sanctions on Palestinians
January 17, 2023 jpost.com reported:
Israel must rescind the sanctions it levied against the Palestinian Authority for seeking assistance from the world court, over 90 nations have declared in a signed statement.
“We express our deep concern regarding the Israeli government’s decision to impose punitive measures against the Palestinian people, leadership and civil society following the request by the General Assembly of an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice,” the nations said in the statement they signed.
They referenced the UN General Assembly vote to ask the ICJ to issue an advisory opinion on whether Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank was legal. The UN resolution passed with the support of only 87 nations out of the 193-member General Assembly. Only 16 countries voted against it and 53 abstained.
But some of those countries which opposed the vote or abstained, have argued that it is wrong for Israel to punish the PA over the vote.
‘If Israel is abandoned, Netanyahu will bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities’
January 16, 2023 israelnationalnews.com reported:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is prepared to use military force to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, the head of Israel’s National Security Council said Monday.
Speaking with Channel 12 during the ceremony Monday marking the transfer of control of the IDF from outgoing chief of staff Aviv Kochavi to his successor, Herzi Halevi, National Security Council chief Tzachi Hanegbi said that should Israel find itself isolated and without alternatives vis-à-vis Iran’s nuclear program, Netanyahu would undoubtedly use force to prevent Tehran from realizing its atomic ambitions.
‘If we are abandoned, Prime Minister Netanyahu will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.’
Hanegbi, a long-time ally of Netanyahu who thrice served as minister in the prime minister’s office and also served as acting prime minister in Netanyahu’s stead, said Israel has been preparing for a scenario in which it must act alone against Iran.
Central-Bank Digital Currencies Are Coming—Whether Countries Are Ready or Not
January 16, 2023 foxbusiness.com reported:
Central-bank digital currency” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. But you might want to get used to saying it. These so-called CBDCs, or digital versions of dollars, yuan, euros, yen or any other currency, are coming, say those who study them. And depending on how they are designed and rolled out, their impact on the banking system could be profound.
One hundred and fourteen countries are exploring digital currencies, and their collective economies represent more than 95% of the world’s GDP, according to the Atlantic Council’s Central Bank Digital Currency tracker. Some countries, including China, India, Nigeria and the Bahamas, have already rolled out digital currencies. Others, like Sweden and Japan, are preparing for possible rollouts. The U.S. is studying the issue and has run trials of various technologies to enable a digital currency, although Fed chair Jerome Powell has indicated the U.S. central bank has no plans to create one, and won’t do so without direction from Congress.
Debates about the necessity, utility and potential pros and cons of digital currencies are often confusing, and confused, in part because every country rolling out a digital currency is doing it in its own way.
Generally, however, CBDCs can be roughly divided into two types: those designed for use by financial institutions and those designed for use by the general public.”
At this point, the average person is probably wondering why, in a world in which billions of people have become accustomed to paying for things with electronic payment systems already, anyone needs a digital version of their currency. The answer to that question depends on the motivations of the central banker, analyst or academic you ask. Many who study digital currencies argue that at the most basic level, a digital currency is all about control.”
As elites arrive in Davos, conspiracy theories thrive online
January 15, 2023 apnews.com reported:
When some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential figures gathered at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting last year, sessions on climate change drew high-level discussions on topics such as carbon financing and sustainable food systems.
But an entirely different narrative played out on the internet, where social media users claimed leaders wanted to force the population to eat insects instead of meat in the name of saving the environment.
The annual event in the Swiss ski resort town of Davos, which opens Monday, has increasingly become a target of bizarre claims from a growing chorus of commentators who believe the forum involves a group of elites manipulating global events for their own benefit. Experts say what was once a conspiracy theory found in the internet’s underbelly has now hit the mainstream.
“This isn’t a conspiracy that is playing out on the extreme fringes,” said Alex Friedfeld, a researcher with the Anti-Defamation League who studies anti-government extremism. “We’re seeing it on mainstream social media platforms being shared by regular Americans. We were seeing it being spread by mainstream media figures right on their prime-time news, on their nightly networks.”
The meeting draws heads of state, business executives, cultural trendsetters and representatives from international organizations to the luxe mountain town. Though it’s always unclear how much concrete action will emerge, the meeting is slated to take on pressing global issues from climate change and economic uncertainty to geopolitical instability and public health.
Hundreds of public sessions are planned, but the four-day conference is also known for secretive backroom meetings and deal-making by business leaders. This gap between what’s shown to the public and what happens behind closed doors helps make that makes the meeting a flashpoint for misinformation.
“When we have very high levels of ambiguity, it’s very easy to fill in narratives,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who is the director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and also studies misinformation.
Theories about influential global leaders are not new, she said, but scrutiny of the forum and its chairman, Klaus Schwab, intensified in 2020 in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. That year, the theme of the annual meeting was “The Great Reset.”