Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jerusalem: Back in focus

Sometimes I just marvel at the prophetic scriptures. Watching prophecy unfold exactly as recorded thousands of years ago, reveals many important aspects about our God - His omniscience, His Omnipresence, His undying love for us (the comfort of knowing that God is in control of everything we see, along the comforting words telling us to have no fear as we watch these events unfold etc.), and more importantly, prophecy offers absolute proof that the God of the Holy Bible is indeed the God of the universe. Our God. The one and only God. Prophecy is a powerful testimony to all of the above and more.

To avoid some degree of redundancy, I'll resist the urge to dive into Zechariah (again), as those scriptures (12:1-3) have been repeated so many times on this blog - but just take a look at this article (below) in the context of Zechariah 12:1-3. And again, keep in mind, when those prophetic scriptures were written, Jerusalem didn't even really exist, having been destroyed by the Babylonians. Additionally, Jerusalem wasn't a factor in terms of the world's attention until 1967. And to this day, it remains a relatively small city with nothing remarkable about it, outside of the importance to the Nation of Israel and to Christians.

Also keep in mind that many of us, based solely on biblical prophecy predicted that the recent "peace plans" would ultimately boil down to the fate of Jerusalem.

"Palestinians set their sights on all of Jerusalem"

The Palestinian Authority on Sunday again reiterated to its own people in Arabic that the ultimate goal in regards to Jerusalem is to wrest control of the entire city from Israel. And once again, the international media ignored the nefarious agenda that the Palestinians themselves admit they have.

The WAFA news agency, an official mouthpiece of the Palestinian Authority and the PLO wrote that the Palestinian government was outraged this week when the World Jewish Congress kicked off its annual gathering in Jerusalem.

"The action...is a blatant defiance of international resolutions, which considers all Israeli actions in Jerusalem as 'invalid and illegal', and which emphasizes that Jerusalem is part and parcel of the occupied territory," read the Palestinian statement.

The Palestinians called the World Jewish Congress meeting an act of "Israeli aggression against the holy city" and "a provocation to the feelings of Arab and Islamic nations."

The thing is that the World Jewish Congress is being held at the David Citadel Hotel on the western side of Jerusalem, which up until now has not been disputed as sovereign Israeli territory.

It was also telling that the Palestinian statement did not use the phrase "East Jerusalem" when referring to Palestinian rights to the city, but rather the entirety of Jerusalem.

International media and world leader regularly ignore what the Palestinians and other Arabs say in Arabic as it presents an inconvenience to their own "peace" efforts. However, as Israelis often point out, those words in Arabic are laying the foundation for continued conflict even if a peace deal is signed.

Additionally, this article points out an important factor that goes largely ignored. To anyone who has watched the Middle East, it is clear that the radical Islamic groups will not be happy with East Jerusalem (only). It always seemed obvious that East Jerusalem would serve as a starting point towards gaining control of all of Jerusalem - just as the West Bank and Gaza are only interim goals - serving as part of the process to eliminate Israel completely.

Its all about Jerusalem in these last days - exactly as the Bible tells us.


Expected Imminently said...

Hello Scott
Please excuse my detour from this update.

I had stupidly allowed myself to get 'down' over the position of the Birth Pangs. (My memory)
Now I remember how I found you in a Google search. I had been trying to find a Greek word - something like Paralambano? It meant Jesus was going to draw us to Himself. It was a different word than it could have been.
I don't remember the details, and I know they are important.

I have checked my own files - nothing. I have also been looking back through your posts, and on the Lamb and Lion archives. So far to no avail. Do you remember? can you remind me (if you aren't too busy that is).

I am unable to rest or sleep once I get a bee in my bonnet like this. I am like a blinking terrier worrying a rag, I just cannot rest properly until I sort it.

Do you remember? We agreed how much we appreciated Dr. Reynald Shower's, but couldn't agree that the birthpangs were only in the 7 years.
God bless
Sue x

Scott said...

Sue - LOL!- no need to have that bee in the bonnet!

There are several aspects to Paralambano, which means, in greek: "To take with (oneself)".

This is the verb used in John 14:1-3, which is a well known rapture reference, and the parallel to the Jewish wedding ceremony when the bridegroom would come, unannounced to the Bride's location, and take her WITH him to the fathers house (which had just been completed for the bride).

On a deeper level, and this is argued over and over by the rapture crowd - the same verb is used in Matthew 24:40-41. It is for that reason (and many others), that I believe Jesus was referencing the Rapture in that passage. People like Hal Lindsey and Perry Stone agree with that POV - but many do not. Many folks believe thats is a Second Coming reference.

The fact that Paralambano was used (which to us, indicates a rapture reference (( "Take WITH")) - is a compelling argument. There are a number of better verbs that would have been used if this represents the casting out of the non-believers at the Second Coming.

That was probably the basis of paralambano you were thinking about.

After its all said and done, it doesn't matter that much either way. We don't "need" this reference to prove the Rapture, as we have the many other references. But its a point of debate.


hartdawg said...

i`ve always believed the "one taken the other left" to mean taken into judgement due to the context BUT it could also reference "the elect" at the 2nd coming where jesus said "i will send my angels to gather the elect" so the word "to be with" would still apply to the 2nd coming and not disprove a pre trib rapture.

Expected Imminently said...

Scott Please be aware that this may be a double post, I am not sure my first try was successful?

Thank you SO much Scott. As you know, followers of R.Showers insist the birthpangs begin with the 7 years. I have Dr Showers ‘Maranatha’, which is a wonderful book, but I cannot see how he can say that the signs in Matt.24 compare only with the seals?

He compares vs.5 with the first seal in Rev.6:2 as “Rider on white horse, a false Messiah”. Yet Matt.24:vs 4,5 “And Jesus answered them and said to them: Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For MANY will come in My name saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many”.
The a/c is one, plus the false prophet is two – that’s not ‘many’. Yet throughout the Church age, it is a fact that MANY false Christ’s arose both to scattered Israel as well as deceiving the Church.

Second he combines Matt.24:vs6and 7 comparing them to the second seal in Rev 6:3,4.
Rider on red horse takes away peace from earth.

Yet Matt.24:6 says differently “And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass BUT THE END IS NOT YET”.

Vs.7 FOR nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Vs.7 being the START of the birth pangs proper. The destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem must be part of the signs if we really believe in imminency (well I do?)

Others have said that vs 4-6 are general ‘NON signs’ that we know have occurred during the entire 2000 years of the Church age. Yet vs 7 describes the worlds first World Wars 1&2 and it is a fact that there has been a steady increase of wars, rumours, famines, pestilences and certainly earthquakes SINCE the WW1&2 coinciding with the start of the Zionist movement resulting in the re-birth of Israel (in a day) in 1948. Vs 8 says that all THESE are the beginning of sorrow.

If we haven’t been observing the beginning of Israel’s sorrows, how can we be so sure that the 2nd Coming events are near?

Thanks for listening Scott, I am not sure I have explained myself very well, but if we have not been witnessing the early birth pangs for the past – at least sixty years, more if we include the WW 1&2, – then I shall eat that bonnet, bee and all!
Zzzzue! :)

Scott said...

Well, I firmly believe that the Rapture was in view in the Olivet discourse, and there are many reasons.

As far as Showers, its probably the only place where I disagree with him, and at least he has the intellectual honestly to admit that the use of Paralambano poses a problem with his view.

In fact, in "maranatha" he has a whole section titled "A Potential Problem" and he states: "Several things may be potential problems for the understanding of the Matthew 24 passage just presented. first, the verb paralambano, used for taking people away from the feild and mill at Christ's coming with His angels, is a different word from airo, used for taking away the unsaved in judgment by the flood."

He goes on from there and further explains the "problem" with his POV and the use of this verb. His ultimate explanation is very weak IMO.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum, by contrast, correctly identifies the first birth pains as being during the WWI era, using the same arguments that I use.

I honestly believe that ccertain people became entrenched in Showers et al view, because the post tribbers tried to make EVERYTHING in Matt 24 chronological, and that meant, in their view that the passage in question proved the post-trib rapture.

It seems clear to me that chronology ended at Jesus' description of the second coming, and the passages after that are attempts to go back and clarify certian things which were just discussed. But I believe the "literalisis" in their early arguments against the port-tribbers, took the view that all of Olovet is ONLY during the Trib. I don't buy it for a second.

We'll see when we get to heaven. But there are SO MANY reasons, (far more than we have discussed) to believe the passage in question is a rapture reference.

I devoted a LOT of space to these arguments in "Signs of the Coming Christ".