Did The Prophet Zechariah Warn Us About Tucker Carlson?

In a prophecy written by Zechariah about 3,000 years ago, we learn, “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples all around. Now the one in siege against Jerusalem will also be against Judah. But it will be in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who heave it up will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it (Zechariah 12:2-3.) It is very unfortunate, but it is part of the word of God and it is guaranteed to happen, but how soon?

In a nutshell, at some point in history, the whole world (Yes, that includes the United States) will go against Jerusalem and by proxy, the Jewish people. This is a prophecy that just a few years ago would have appeared to be in the distant future, but today, it very well could be unraveling in front of our very eyes. One Bible teacher succinctly put it this way, "You’ve now reached the point where right-wing isolationists & nationalists have essentially the same anti-Zionist & anti-Semitic beliefs as left-wing neo-Marxists & Hamas supporters. Can you think of any other issue where the polarization between Left & Right has dissolved in such a way and led to a more-or-less unified position?

A perfect example of that is the recent interview that Tucker Carlson conducted with Pastor Munther Isaac of Bethlehem Bible College. Munther Isaac is a Lutheran Pastor in Bethlehem and is the academic Dean of Bethlehem Bible College. He is no friend of Israel and behind a thin veneer of Christian love and reconciliation, he promotes a one-sided agenda, throws Israel under the proverbial bus, and supports Hamas. What was Tucker thinking?

Was Tucker used by Munther Isaac without being prepared? How much does he really know about that man? That interview was a clear endorsement of Munther Isaac and the Palestinian narrative, and it was laced with lies and based on false premises. Frankly, Tucker seemed to be completely out of his lane, unprepared and unresponsive, but it could be worse, maybe he was unashamed and aware of who he was talking with. At the end of the interview, Tucker closed by saying to Munther Isaac, "that was a thoroughly decent and sensible analysis," when in fact, it was a thoroughly biased and deceptive analysis.

Munther Isaac is also the Director of the biennial Conference "Christ at the Checkpoint," which is a gathering of "Christians" claiming that they seek, peace, reconciliation and biblical love. This sounds really commendable at a time when the whole Middle East seems to be sitting on a powder keg with a very short fuse. Biblically speaking, anything done in the name of Yeshua and following His teaching should lead to peace and turning the other cheek. Furthermore, the leadership of CatC claims that, "The conference brings Palestinian and international Evangelical leaders, to study and explore the rise of religious extremism within Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and how this impacts the Israel/Palestine conflict. We will also explore what the Bible has to say about religious extremism in any form. Together, we will seek a Biblical response to religious extremism, and find ways that provide an alternative through living out the kingdom of God. "

On May 21-26, 2024, the seventh "Christ at the Checkpoint (CatC) Conference will take place in Bethlehem. The theme will be, "DO JUSTICE, LOVE MERCY: CHRISTIAN WITNESS IN CONTEXTS OF OPPRESSION." From their own website, they give the world their mission, which is: " The aim of Christ at the Checkpoint is to provide an opportunity for Evangelical Christians to prayerfully seek a proper awareness of issues of peace, justice, and reconciliation. We seek to renew the biblical call for justice and mercy in contexts of oppression and compel a unified mission of the global Church."

Their mission appears to deal with any form of extremism within Christianity, Judaism and Islam. In and of itself, this seems balanced and very informative, but the problem is that CatC conferences build every two years on the work accomplished by the previous conference(s), and as such, CatC has gained a reputation that increasingly lacks ethical stability. The first six conferences were all advertised under the banner of "reconciliation," but at the end of the day, each one resembled more a witch hunt against Israel than a dialogue to find a healthy compromise. Unfortunately, many evangelicals are blinded by Palestinian victimhood rhetoric.

Much could be gleaned from the CatC Manifesto, for which I wrote an analysis. To be honest, as I recognized that it included some truths, half-truths and lies, all mixed, which makes it even harder to decrypt, I had to look at each of the 12 articles carefully. It is well worth reviewing. (in bold are the exact words of the manifesto as published on the CatC website.)

1. The Kingdom of God has come. Evangelicals must reclaim the prophetic role in bringing peace, justice and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel.
DISAGREED: Kingdom Now Theology claims, among other things, that Yeshua’s Kingdom was inaugurated at His First Coming while Scripture states that He will reign as Messianic King on the throne of David from Jerusalem, in a yet-to-come Millennial Messianic Kingdom (Psalm 72:8, 11, 17; Isaiah 9:7, 11:6-11; Jeremiah 23:6, Zechariah 3:10

2. Reconciliation recognizes God’s image in one another.
AGREED:God created man and woman in His image, regardless of ethnicity (Genesis 1:27; 5:1; 9:6; 1 Corinthians 11:7; Ephesians 4:24). However, inviting blatant anti-Israel speakers year after year defeats that purpose.

3. Racial ethnicity alone does not guarantee the benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant.
DISAGREED:The benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant are multifaceted. They include God's promises to both the Jewish people and the nations (non-Jews) through Abraham, yet the physical land is ONLY promised to the Jewish people, ethnic descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:1-3, 7; 13:15;17:7-8, 19; 25:5-6; 26:3; 28:3-4; 35:9-15).

4. The Church in the land of the Holy One, has born witness to Christ since the days of Pentecost. It must be empowered to continue to be light and salt in the region, if there is to be hope in the midst of conflict.
AGREED:Yeshua’s last command to His disciples was to make disciples of ALL NATIONS (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:47)

5. Any exclusive claim to the land of the Bible in the name of God is not in line with the teaching of Scripture.
DISAGREED: The land of Israel belongs to God Himself (Leviticus 25:23). He chose to make a covenant with Abraham that would include that piece of land (Genesis 15:18-19) as an eternal AND unconditional part of that covenant. Additionally, God’s gifts are irrevocable (Romans 11:29).

6. All forms of violence must be refuted unequivocally.
AGREED: Yeshua always taught peace between His followers and unbelievers as much as possible, making Christianity a unique faith in which disciples of Messiah must EVEN love their enemies (Matthew 5:39-48; Luke 6:27-35, Romans 12:17-21). Munther Isaac's support of Hamas is a slap in the face of article 6.

 7. Palestinian Christians must not lose the capacity to self-criticism if they wish to remain prophetic.
AGREED: In any conflict, ALL parties must be willing to recognize fault and be prepared to adjust accordingly. (Proverbs 18:12; Ephesians 4:2; Philippians 2:3; Colossians 3:1-17.)

8. There are real injustices taking place in the Palestinian territories and the suffering of the Palestinian people can no longer be ignored. Any solution must respect the equity and rights of Israel and Palestinian communities.
PARTIALLY AGREED AND DISAGREED: While mutual respect of human beings as being made in God’s image is at the core of peace and reconciliation, what is meant by “injustices in the Palestinian territories” remains to be defined. (Genesis 1:27; 5:1; 9:6; 1 Corinthians 11:7; Ephesians 4:24.) The further we advance in history, the more accepted the Palestinian narrative becomes. Unfortunately, it is not founded on historical facts but purely fabricated. Please don't take my word for it, take the time to study the facts!

9. For Palestinian Christians, the occupation is the core issue of the conflict.
PARTIALLY AGREED AND DISAGREED: While nobody enjoys living in a land that they feel is theirs and yet is occupied by a foreign people group, it remains to be proven biblically that Jewish people are the occupiers. All previous Scriptures cited about the land lead to an opposite view (See verses under points 3 and 5). Additionally, anyone claiming occupation of Gaza is ignoring that Palestinians have been given full authority of the strip since 2005, with zero Israeli occupation, and that there was a ceasefire there since 2005, which was broken by Hamas on October 7, 2023.

10. Any challenge of the injustices taking place in the Holy Land must be done in Christian love. Criticism of Israel and the occupation cannot be confused with anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel.
AGREED: While it is possible to disagree with Israeli policies, much of what has been labeled as anti-Israelism or even anti-Zionism has really been antisemitism in disguise. Genuine Christian love is at the core of any reconciliation and is irrespective of color or race. (2 Corinthians 5:14; Ephesians 3:19; Colossians 3:14). CatC continues to invite a plethora of speakers who are very good at pointing the finger at Israel as the “occupier” and “apartheid state”, but rarely do they speak of radical Islam, terrorism and/or antisemitism.

11. Respectful dialogue between Palestinian and Messianic believers must continue. Though we may disagree on secondary matters of theology, the Gospel of Jesus and his ethical teaching take precedence.
PARTIALLY AGREED AND DISAGREED: Respectful dialogue means that both sides must be heard, and both sides must listen. Agreeing on the Gospel of Yeshua doesn’t negate God’s covenants with the Jewish people (Romans 1:16; 9-11.) Even the 2016 "Larnaca Document" signed in Cyprus between Palestinian Christians and Messianic believers sounds more like a trap than a true breakthrough. For instance, in their article 2.2, both parties agree to disagree on what constitutes lethal violence. Seriously? So, Israel's counter-terrorism actions against Hamas should be seen as one version of "lethal violence" on equal footing with Hamas's bloody terrorism?

12. Christians must understand the global context for the rise of extremist Islam. We challenge stereotyping of all faith forms that betray God’s commandment to love our neighbors and enemies.
AGREED: While again I find the statement misleading as it could be taken to mean that there is a justification for radical Islam’s violence, I agree that Christian love is always the foundation of any lasting peace and reconciliation (See verses under points 6).

So, forgive me for not getting too hopeful about the seventh iteration of "Christ at the Checkpoint."  I think that it has progressively gotten worse. How can we possibly speak of Christian love, justice and in the same breath praise Hamas for October 7., 2023. This conference, led by Munther Isaac is based on their manifesto, and this is what Tucker Carlson–knowingly or not–promoted during his interview.

Shame on you Tucker Carlson for promoting a Hamas sympathizer as a Middle East peacemaker! If you wanted to conduct an interview of biblical proportions, you were successful in that you got us all a bit closer to the fulfillment of Zechariah 12.

Are Modern Jews Descendants of the Khazars?

The world continues to distance itself from Israel and the Jewish people, giving increasing credence to the prophecies of Zechariah 12.  The weed of Jew-hatred has found fertile soil in the various conspiracy theories spun about the Jewish people, spanning over centuries.  Post-modernism has also added a challenge to debunking conspiracy theories since truth has become relative in many people's minds.  As a result, we are seeing an exponential increase in global antisemitism, and once again, the Jewish people are paying a high price as the ultimate scapegoats of humanity. 

The tragedy of October 7, 2023, in Israel, has also helped to increase the momentum that certain conspiracy theories had over time. As global antisemitism now seems to be completely out in the open with no restraining in sight, those who are friends of Israel and have a genuine love for the Jewish people must equip themselves on how to debunk the main conspiracy theories against the Jewish people.

I want to look at the theory that modern Jews are descendants of the Khazars and have no ties to the original Judean Jews. Some people call it a theory, and others call it a hypothesis. How about calling it a conspiracy theory? The Khazars and their connection to the Jewish people continue to be shrouded in mystery, and yet, the theory exists that modern Jews are descendants of the Khazars and not of biblical Jews from the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

Khazaria was located between Turkey and Russia in the northern Caucasus region. At the beginning of the 7th century, the Khazars became independent of the Turkic empire. They settled and dominated an area between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. Their independence and existence lasted for about two centuries after that. A campaign was launched against them from Kyiv in 965, and by 969, Russia had fully conquered Khazaria. 

Around 740, King Bulan, the ruler of the Khazars at the time, is said to have led his country to convert to Judaism. Desiring to embrace a religion, the king is said to have invited three spiritual leaders—a Christian, a Muslim, and a Jew—to his palace and entered dialogue with each one individually, inquiring about the virtues of each religion. At the end of the meetings, the king chose Judaism, converted and influenced others within His realm to do likewise. How many others were converted has never been determined.

Rabbi Yehudah Halevi’s book The Kuzari: A Book of Argument in Defense of a Despised Religion, written in the twelfth century, details that story in detail. The book is a novel in which Halevi reconstructs the events that might have transpired, obviously preferring Judaism over the other two religions. It is important to consider that The Kuzari was written 500 years after the events it describes took place. 

Another line of evidence corroborating the Khazars' conversion to Judaism was the letters of Hasdai Ibn Shaprut in the 10th century. He was aware of the Khazars' story and decided to send emissaries to that region to investigate its Jewish connection. While they never got to meet any Khazars, they received letters from someone known as King Joseph of the Khazars. Though very detailed about the conversion, the letters are widely believed to be forgeries. There is no doubt that there was, to some degree, a Khazar conversion to Judaism at some point in history, but details of that event remain unknown or unverifiable. They are not mentioned in any documents from the large community of Jews of Mesopotamia. Unfortunately, that has not stopped conspiracy theorists from claiming that modern Jews are descendants of the Khazars. Some would claim that they were converted by Karaites, but there are no Karaite records of such an event either. 

In the mid-seventies, in his book "The Thirteenth Tribe," Arthur Koestler posited that modern Jews are all descendants of the Khazars and no longer have any connection to biblical Jews. His theory quickly became a convenient approach to delegitimizing Israel and the Jewish people’s right to the Land since, according to Koestler, the Jews of today are not descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

Koestler writes, “The large majority of surviving Jews in the world is of eastern European – and perhaps mainly of Khazar – origin. If so, this would mean that their ancestors came not from the Jordan but from the Volga, not from Canaan, but from the Caucasus, once believed to be the cradle of the Aryan race, and that genetically, they are more closely related to the Hun, Uigur and Magyar tribes, then to the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Should this turn out to be the case, then the term antisemitism would become void of meaning, based on a misapprehension shared by both the killers and their victims. The story of the Khazar Empire, as it slowly emerges from the past, begins to look like the most cruel hoax that history has ever perpetrated. "

Koestler’s claim assumes that Eretz Yisrael's existence owes nothing to the Bible record. His understanding is that Israel exists because of a United Nations partitioning that took place in November 1947. He further states, “I am aware of the danger that it may be maliciously misinterpreted as a denial of the state of Israel’s right to exist. But that right is not based on the apathetic origins of the Jewish people, nor on the mythological covenant of Abraham with God; it is based on international law – i.e., on the United Nations decision in 1947 the Israeli citizens, racial origins, and whatever illusions, they entertain about them, their state exist de jure and de facto, and cannot be undone, except by genocide."

Koestler saw no biblical roots in Israel, and thus, no harm was done by proposing that modern Jews all descended from the ancient Khazars. He gets further validation from Shlomo Sand in "The Invention of the Jewish People." In his book, Sand defends Koestler while finding him a bit naïve. Sands writes,“ In the 1970s, Israel was caught up in the momentum of territorial expansion, and without the Old Testament in its hand and the ‘exile of the Jewish people’ in its memory, it would have had no justification for annexing Arab Jerusalem and establishing settlements in the West Bank, the Gaza strip, the Golan Heights, and even the Sinai Peninsula.” 

The Khazar/Jewish theory has become–at least in the mind of antisemites–a viable way to delegitimize Israel’s right to the biblical land given to her by God, as delineated in Genesis 15:18-21. Despite some pseudo-scholarly explanations, that theory stands on very shaky grounds. The Khazar theory can be debunked when disconnected from any antisemitic agenda.

Undoubtedly, the country known as Khazaria existed between the seventh and tenth centuries. It has also been established that the country's history includes a conversion to Judaism, at the very least by the royal family and possibly beyond that realm. Various studies have taken place, trying to link modern Jews to the Khazars, with little admissible historical, anthropological, or genetic evidence. The results of one such study, published in 2013 in The Journal of Genome Biology and Evolution, explained that the Rhineland hypothesis (Middle Eastern Jewish ancestry) and the Khazarian hypothesis (Khazarian/Jewish ancestry) both presented valid arguments, at least partially, but no conclusion could be drawn in favor of one hypothesis over the other. 

Furthermore, Kevin Alan Brook–a leading researcher on the Khazars– concluded that Y-DNA patterns found in Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Kurdish, and Indian Jews cannot be explained by Khazars.  Brook’s conclusion about the connection between Jews and Khazars was that modern Jews are indeed the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and not the Khazars, as he stated, “By this analysis, we can show that the dominant ethnic element among Eastern European Jews is Judean -- the ancient Jewish people of Judea in the Middle East.” 

 The Khazar hypothesis has been refuted by history and DNA research beyond the shadow of a doubt. The Khazar conversion to Judaism is a true story, albeit very fuzzy in details. It has even been attractive, historically speaking, but the minute that antisemites figured out they could hijack it to fuel their agenda of delegitimization of Israel, it lost most of its luster. 

When interacting with proponents of that antisemitic view, a few questions might help debunk the theory. An honest handling of these questions will show that they yield no answer:
• Why is there complete silence from the Jews of Mesopotamia regarding the Khazar's conversion? 
• Who converted the Khazars?
• Was it a Rabbinic conversion or a Karaite conversion? 
• How many Khazars converted?
• What happened to them? 

The Khazar Theory is just that...A theory lacking too much evidence to be proven true. In our age when the truth is no longer the essential component for any discourse or dialogue, if a theory seems to fit a specific narrative, it BECOMES TRUTH. If modern Jews were descendants of the Khazars, then Israel would instantly become stolen land, colonized and occupied by a bunch of impostors. Unfortunately, in the age of the normalization of antisemitism, that concept sells very well!

Beware, Antisemitism Goes Much Deeper Than You Realize!

At the root of the word antisemitism is the word "Semite," and the Semites were the descendants of Shem, one of Noah's three sons. Genesis 6:10 tells us, "And Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth." The Semites were the ancestors of both the Jews and the Arabs. If someone is of Semitic descent, it means that they have either Jewish or Arab lineage. It is worth to note that when the word is used as the compound word, "antisemitic," it never includes the Arabs but just the Jews.

The definition that I have arrived at, after more than two decades in that field, is as follows:" Antisemitism is the irrational and demonic hatred of Israel and the Jewish people, characterized by thoughts, words, and/or deeds against them." It was satisfactory to me for quite a long time until a few years ago, when I decided to add two words that have become critical to that definition: irrational and demonic.

In all the volumes I own on that topic (more than 400), I have found almost no scholar or theologian mentioning a spiritual component to antisemitism. I have learned much over the years about the history, geography, sociology, and morphing of the oldest hatred, but I extremely rarely see the spiritual aspect of it all being addressed. Yet, we have to recognize that antisemitism is very irrational, and that is because it is from Satan himself.

It is actually not that complicated. I believe that Satan adheres to the pre-tribulational, premillennial view of the end times. He knows the Bible better than most of us, and as a result, he is well aware that, at the end of the tribulation, when surviving Israel calls upon Yeshua, the Messiah returns with the Saints, who would've been raptured seven years prior, and this is pretty much the end of Satan's career. Yes, my friend, Yeshua will not return until Israel calls upon him, according to Zechariah 12:10: “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.."

At that point, Satan's career is over, and as I have mentioned before, he really doesn't care for his retirement plan. Simply put, Satan will do everything he can to prevent Yeshua from returning, and since he understands that it is hinging around Israel calling on the Messiah, Satan has worked overtime to destroy the Jews and turn the Church against them. It is fair to say that he has done a lot of damage toward that goal so far, but we would be naive to believe that antisemitism only affects Israel and the Jews.

Antisemitism is now crossing all borders. I believe that not only does antisemitism affect the Jewish people globally, but it is also becoming a threat to the friends and supporters of the Jewish people and of Israel.

It used to be that antisemitism affected Jewish people in Israel and abroad. In fact, prior to 1948, it only affected Jewish people in the Diaspora, but soon after the creation of the modern state of Israel, the actions of Israel became, by proxy, the actions of all Jews across the globe. Today, no Jew is exempt from the danger of global antisemitism, even though they might be removed from whatever Israel is accused of.

But it goes much deeper than a global hunt on the Jews. If you support Jewish people or display any visible sign of support for Israel, such as signs, flags, or written statements, you now become a target. In the eyes of the antisemites, you have chosen sides, and since you support the "oppressor," you have become a guilty co-perpetrator of crimes against humanity, oppression, apartheid, occupation, and genocide. Incidentally, these accusations are the very actions of the enemies of Israel, and yet, Israel is being blamed for it all. How irrational and demonic is that? Jewish historian Bat Ye'Or writes: "Defamatory terms such as 'settlers', 'occupiers', 'Nazis' and 'occupied Palestinian territories' project a demonic character onto Israelis that evokes the anti-Jewish verbal violence of the Nazis." We truly are in a repeat of the 1930s and 40s.

While I thought it couldn't get any worse, I was corrected a few days ago when I found out what had happened at Cambridge University in England. A pro-Palestinian group slashed and spray-painted a century-old priceless painting of Lord Balfour. The red paint was supposed to be a symbol of the "genocide" committed by Israel against the Palestinians in Gaza. Lord Balfour was the British statesman who penned the now-famous Balfour Declaration in 1917 while serving as foreign secretary, giving the momentum for the birth of the modern state of Israel. So, naturally, in the eyes of those who hate Israel and the Jews, the painting had to go!

So, this is how delusional antisemitism has become. You no longer need to be Jewish, Israeli, a Christian Zionist or a supporter of anything Jewish to be a target. Nobody cares about the artist who created the painting. P.A. De Laszlo was a British artist from Hungary who was famous for painting famous world leaders. Incidentally, he also painted a portrait of dictator Benito Mussolini, but apparently, that painting is safe because everybody knows that the crimes of Mussolini don't even come close to those of Israel against the Palestinians, Right? Seriously, how much history needs to be rewritten before the world realizes that George Orwell's 1984 novel is no longer fiction?

What will the destruction of art accomplish except to bring the world one step closer to a canceled culture and a revised history? When we allow people to sterilize any historical record they disagree with, we are giving more power to those who want to destroy the people they feel are in the way of their neo-aryan ideology. If you think that this is only related to Israel and the Jewish people, think again. If the Jewish people are indeed the canaries in the coal mine of civilization, the bird has died and no one is paying attention!

The Prophetic Significance of the Hamas/Israel War

On October 7, 2023, Hamas literally broke a ceasefire that had been in effect since 2005, when they sent terrorists across to Israel and murdered 1,200 innocent civilians and took over 240 hostages (several of them also murdered since that initial date.) On October 7, Hamas had declared war on Israel. Within a few hours, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu declared: “We didn’t start this war, but we will finish it!”

The war is ongoing, and many Bible students are wondering if it has any prophetic significance. Is it connected to any Bible events that are predicted for the future? Is it the war of Psalm 83? Is it the war of Gog and Magog? Is it the beginning of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, also known as the Tribulation? Maybe it is also connected to the events described in Zechariah 12. Let’s look at all four possibilities.

Is It the War of Psalm 83?

Psalm 83 was written by Asaph and is a clear example of the hatred that the enemies of Israel have for the Jewish land. Verse 4 literally reads like a news headline: “They have said, ‘Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.’

Further down into the Psalm, we are given a list of the ten nations that are “conspiring” against Israel. Incidentally, they also conspire against the God of Israel according to verse 5: “For they have conspired together with one heart; Against You they cut a covenant.” So, keep in mind that you cannot hate the Jews and love God.

The ten nations are found in verses 6-8, “The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them.

In modern times, these ten nations are divided as follows: Jordan (Edom, Moab, Ammon), Saudi Arabia (Ishmaelites), Egypt (Hagarenes, Amalek), Lebanon (Gebal, Tyre), The Gaza Strip (Philistia), Iraq and Syria (Assyria.)

Two of these countries, Egypt and Jordan, have official peace treaties with Israel and are currently not a threat to the safety of the Jewish people. Additionally, there has never been a conspiracy of all ten countries in the history of mankind.

Another way to look at Asaph’s lament is to see it as a literary device he used to express to his God that everywhere he looks, the Jews have enemies. It is akin to someone saying, “The whole world is against me” when many negative things simultaneously happen to that person. It is very likely that the war of Psalm 83 isn’t really a war to start with.

Is It the War of God and Magog?

The war of Gog and Magog is also a very debated topic among Bible students. Ezekiel chapters 36-39 provide much information on end times. Chapters 36 and 37 speak of the regathering of the Jewish people into the land, first in unbelief (36) and then, as they are being regenerated (37), with that beautiful passage about the Valley of Dry Bones.

Ezekiel 38:1-7 lists ten proper names for the reader. Gog (a person), Magog (former Soviet Union), Rosh (Russia), Meshech and Tubal (Turkey), Persia (Iran), Ethiopia (Sudan), Put (Libya), Gomer (Central Turkey), Beth-Togarmah (Turkey).

This is a real war and can probably be described as one of the greatest existential threats that modern Israel will know in the future. Furthermore, in Ezekiel 38:8, 11 and 14, we are told that the battle will take place while Israel is at rest and at peace, something that is clearly not the case currently, especially since October 7, 2023.

Ezekiel 38:11 and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates.

A preferred view for Gog and Magog would be after Israel has signed a peace treaty with the Antichrist, something that will indicate the starting point of the seven-year Great Tribulation. At that point, Israel will be at peace–albeit false–for the first three and a half years of the seven-year Tribulation. This is also in line with the prophecies of Daniel 9. Things are moving very fast in the Middle East right now and many events take place unexpectedly, but we are not in the midst of Gog and Magog.

Is It the Start of the Great Tribulation?

It is no secret that I adhere to a premillennial, pre-tribulational view of the end times, with the next event on the prophetic clock being the dateless, signless Rapture. Regardless of one’s view of the Rapture, serious students of the Bible agree that what starts the Tribulation is the signing of a peace treaty between the Antichrist and Israel, and this hasn’t happened quite yet.

Simply put, the current situation in Israel has not started the Tribulation. Incidentally, nowhere in the Bible do we find even one verse telling us that everything will be fine for believers all the way to the start of the Tribulation. Things can and probably will get worse before they get better, and eventually, the Tribulation will start.

Is It Connected to the events of Zechariah 12?

The prophet Zechariah sheds more light on the end times. He tells us that in the end, Jerusalem will be at risk:

Zechariah 12:3 But it will be in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who heave it up will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.

Further down in the chapter, we learn that God will go after all the enemies of Israel, something that even Asaph was praying for in Psalm 83.

Zechariah 12:9 And it will be in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

         While we still do not have an exact timing for these events, we can say with assurance that the world stage, and certainly the Middle East stage, is being set for these battles. The worldwide irrational and demonic increase in antisemitism is showing us again that we are ever so close to the return of Yeshua of Nazareth. Satan knows that his days are numbered and that he will eventually be thrown into the Lake of Fire after Yeshua has returned.

         This time, Yeshua will return as the Lion of Judah and not the sacrificial lamb of God. He will decimate all the enemies of Israel and inaugurate the Millennial kingdom in Jerusalem from where He will reign from the throne of David.

         So, while this is not the War of Psalm 83, Gog and Magog, or the Tribulation, the stage is being set, and all the players are in place. Now would be a really good time to examine your heart and make sure that you have made peace with God by trusting the atonement made by Yeshua, the Messiah, on your behalf. When all these events become a reality, while salvation will still be possible, life will be much more complicated.

Only Biblical Zionism Matters, But What Is It Exactly?

There are many different ways to look at Zionism. It can be cultural, political, historical, and even Christian. Yet, the safest way to define Zionism is biblical if, of course, it can be done. If Zionism could be defined biblically, it would supersede all other definitions as long as those looking at that definition would believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God. So, can we truly define Zionism in the Tanach?

Let's first look at the words themselves. The terms “Zionism” and “Zionist” were coined in 1890 by Jewish activist Nathan Birnbaum (1864-1937), who also played an important part in the first Zionist Congress held in 1897 (renamed the World Zionist Organization in 1960) alongside its first president, Theodore Herzl. The word Zion comes from the Hebrew tzion, a reference to Jerusalem and often, by extension, to the Land of Israel itself (first mentioned in II Samuel 5:7.)"Nevertheless, David captured the stronghold of Zion, that is the city of David."According to scholar Mitchell Bard, Zionism is: "The national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel."

Many followers of Yeshua look at the Bible and clearly see that God is NOT done with Israel. They see a glorious future for the people and the Land. They understand that the promises of Genesis 12:3 still stand, and they want to be in the center of God’s will by blessing the people that He calls “the apple of [His] eye” (Zechariah 2:8). Believers in Yeshua who recognize Israel’s biblical and historical right to the Land and the Jewish people’s right to return to the Land are often called Christian Zionists. God Himself declared this plan in His Word; thus, Christian Zionism is a noble cause and is part of what every Bible-believing Christian should promote.

Unfortunately for those of us who are Bible-believing, modern-day disciples of Yeshua of Nazareth, the term Christian doesn't help our cause. It has been overused and abused by friends and foes, and its etymology is now quite different from the simple definition it once carried. Not all people called Christians have truly placed their trust in the finished work of Yeshua of Nazareth on their behalf. Additionally, among those who are Christian, not all of them espouse a positive, biblical view of Israel, its land and its people. So, let us forget the term Christian for a moment and move toward a definition of Biblical Zionism.

There is a lot of scriptural evidence validating the claims of Zionism, beginning with the fact that God Himself said that only HE owned the Land in Leviticus 25:23: "The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me." So, even though it would appear that God gave the title deed for Eretz Yisrael to the Jewish people, He still is the original owner. The following points are all taken from the Jewish Scriptures and they will help us to define biblical Zionism as we start to understand how God sees the whole thing. Since one of the main themes of God's word is Israel, it sheds some light for us, as we can see first from the Torah:

 The land belongs to God first and foremost: Leviticus 25:23 
 God made a covenant with Abraham promising a land, a seed and a blessing: Genesis 12:1-3
 The land has specific boundaries yet to be fulfilled: Genesis 15:18-21
• God's covenant was reconfirmed through Isaac, Jacob and his 12 sons: Genesis 26:2-4, 28:13, 50:24
 God cares about the land and will bless/discipline Israel for obedience/disobedience: Deuteronomy 11:8-17
 The land is promised based on God's character and not Israel's performance: Deuteronomy 7:7-9
 God told Israel to conquer the land: Deuteronomy 9:3
 Israel's exact boundaries are controlled by God: Deuteronomy 2:3-5, 16:19
 The Babylonian captivity didn't annul the oath made by God: Leviticus 26:41

Additionally, the Prophets also tell us of the glorious future of Israel:

• Israel will never be destroyed because of God's promise of eternal protection: Jeremiah 31:35-37
 God promised Israel a New Covenant when He will remember their sins no more: Jeremiah 31:31-34
 Israel's glorious future includes a final restoration to the land: Ezekiel 39:25-29
 Israel's glorious future is secure because of God's character: Ezekiel 36:22-28

I think that the best way to understand Zionism is through a biblical lens. It will be helpful to remember that anytime we study the word of God, we must have a consistent method of interpretation. My preferred hermeneutical method is the literal grammatical/historical approach to the biblical record, making sure we always read a text within its original context. We should never read a biblical text through the eyes of our current culture, but rather, try to navigate through our current culture using a biblical lens.

From the biblical record, starting in Genesis, it can easily be argued that God Himself was the first Zionist. It hasn't changed and never will. Those who fight or reject Zionism are fighting and/or rejecting God. Incidentally, He doesn't want anybody to perish, and He certainly has the same love and compassion for both Jews and Arabs and so should we. Being a Zionist doesn't mean that one is a racist or a colonizer. Not historically, and certainly not biblically. Being a Zionist doesn't mean that one is anti-Palestinian, but sadly, the opposite is seldom true!

A Global Kristallnacht On The Horizon?

Historians agree that Kristallnacht (November 9-10, 1938) was the onset of the Holocaust, shifting Nazi antisemitism from mere rhetoric to pure violence and murder, and setting in motion the death factories aimed at accomplishing “the final solution to the Jewish question.” Kristallnacht, or “The Night of Broken Glass,” was a boycott/pogrom of Jewish synagogues, schools, businesses, and homes, resulting in the death of almost 100 Jewish people and the destruction of 7,500 properties. It was extremely well-planned and anything but a reaction to the death of a German official in France. Historically, Kristallnacht was one somber night that, along with other bloody murders of Jews, led my people to come up with the post-Holocaust motto of "NEVER AGAIN." Unfortunately, antisemitism didn't cease to exist, but it slowly went from taboo to transformed to tolerated to trendy.

October 7, 2023, changed everything not only for Israeli-Arab relations but apparently for Jewish people around the globe. It has come to my attention that Jewish people are currently being identified across the world by different means. Why do we need to be identified? Let us not forget that identification was the first step that led to the Holocaust 80 years ago. Identification (Nuremberg Laws) was followed by separation (ghettos), which was followed by mass transit (cattle cars to the camps), eventually leading to annihilation (gas chambers.) So, when today we hear about Jewish people being identified and/or singled out, we should pay attention. Following are some of the recent events that should really raise a red flag.

Hackers stole Jewish names from the 23andMe website: The popular website that determines ancestry based on a DNA sample was hacked in late 2023. Almost 7 million names were exposed. The company claimed that this was due to poor password management from users. It doesn't really matter what the cause was, but what was concerning was the fact that the hackers offered to sell the names of people with Jewish ancestry for anywhere from $1 to $10 per name.

Blue stars of David were painted on the front of buildings where Jewish people live in France: Not too long after the start of the Gaza War in October 2023, Paris saw several of its buildings identified with blue stenciled stars of David (a clear Jewish symbol.) The buildings turned out to be the residences of Jewish people. This was eerily reminiscent of the painting of the word "Jew" and the large white stars of David painted on Jewish storefronts in Berlin in November of 1938. The purpose, in 1938, was solely to identify Jewish businesses and destroy them through pogroms and boycotts. Should we dare draw a parallel in 2024?

The Doxxing of Jewish Identities in Australia: After some pro-Palestinian individuals maliciously released personal or identifying information about Jewish people without the subject’s permission (known as doxxing), Australia decided to ban the illegal practice. Doxxing is not only used to identify Jewish people, but we can see how it could lead to harm committed against that very community, already targeted by so many people.

Forbidding Jewish people to rent equipment in Switzerland: The town of Davos might be better known for the global meetings of the World Economic Forum, but it is also a popular ski resort in Switzerland. Recently, a poster was affixed on a ski equipment rental shop reading: "The shop would no longer rent gear such as sleds, skis and snowshoes to “our Jewish brothers” after a series of “very annoying incidents” — including the theft of a sled." The poster (written in Hebrew) was removed within 24 hours, with the store owners apologizing for a poor choice of words, but only after they received massive complaints from the Jewish community that the move was purely antisemitic. Truly, the store owners could have easily written a statement stating that anybody not following the rules in their rental agreement would be charged a fee. To single out Jewish "brothers" is both antisemitic and patronizing.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement capitalizes on the Gaza War: The BDS agenda continues to be heavily promoted by pro-Palestinian factions, accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza but completely ignoring the real genocide of 1200 people in Israel by Hamas on October 7, 2023. In their own words, they invite antisemites around the world to "Act Now Against These Companies Profiting from the Genocide of the Palestinian People.This is a complete role reversal...Is anybody paying attention?

I could continue to list all the incidents that have taken place since October 7, 2023, but you get the idea: we are being identified, singled out, delegitimized, and demonized. This is no different than how the stage was set in the 1930s. This is not going to get better for the Jewish people. It can only get worse, but it doesn't have to be hopeless. In a world of bystanders, we can be upstanders. When we stand up against the oldest hatred, we show the Jewish people that there are still people who care and who would do just about anything to be there for their Jewish friends.

Upstanders are going to become a small minority in a sea of bystanders. True, there is power in numbers, but even if we feel isolated or alone in this fight, we must keep fighting on behalf of our Jewish friends. We are fighting a spiritual battle against Satan and his demons who want to destroy the Jews so that they will not be the voice crying to God and saying: "Baruch Haba Bashem Adonai" at the end of the time of Jacob's trouble (Zechariah 12:10, 13:8-9, Matthew 23:37-39.)

Satan is on his final rampage to destroy the Jews and prevent the return of Yeshua. He didn't succeed in preventing the First Coming of the Messiah when He offered Himself as the sacrificial lamb for Israel and the rest of the world. He will not succeed in preventing His return to inaugurate the Millennial Kingdom and reign on the throne of King David from Jerusalem.

Satan always causes casualties, and right now, he is trying to turn the world against the Jews by leading various people to identify and single out Jewish people in various communities around the world. The battle is a spiritual one, but when we are on the side of Israel and love the Jewish people, we are on God's side. Where else would you rather be?

Trump, Ford and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion!

A few days ago, President Trump made a very uncomfortable comment as he was visiting a Ford factory in Michigan. As he was addressing executives about the founder of Ford Motors, Henry Ford, he said, “The company was founded by a man named Henry Ford, good bloodlines, good bloodlines. If you believe in that stuff, you got good blood.”

That statement was awkward at best and appeared possibly antisemitic. I say possibly because I am not convinced that President Trump is actually anti-Semitic. I don’t say this simply because he has Jewish family members, that would be too simplistic. Rather, Donald Trump has been a friend of Israel for a while and has shown great boldness in the last three years when it comes to proving his loyalty to the Jewish state.

Under his administration, the United States finally moved its embassy to Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem. Under his leadership, Nikki Haley, ambassador to the U.N., was one of the strongest advocates for Israel. He was instrumental in helping reverse policy on Jewish settlements, to name just a few of his accomplishments as they pertain to Israel and the Jewish people.

Trump knows a lot, but he is not omniscient. Is it possible that he doesn’t know some of the darkest details of history that have loomed over Henry Ford’s head and have severely tainted his legacy? Sure, it is! Frankly, unless you are looking for it, that information is not advertised. Today, Ford Motor Company is far removed from its original, founder and his xenophobic ideology. Today’s Ford is not yesterday’s Ford by a long shot, but a trip back to the 1920s is necessary to explain why President Trump’s comments ruffled many feathers in the Jewish community.

In the early 1900s, a Russian man, Sergei Nilus (1862-1929), wrote a pamphlet titled “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.” Sergei Nilus, a blatant anti-Semite, actually claimed that the book had been read secretly at the First Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland in 1897. The Protocols are the best know example of a forgery, as well as one of the earliest examples of “Conspiracy Theory.” They are filled with clichés, platitudes and ugly stereotypes on how to take over the world, while never containing any details or specifics. In the pamphlet, you could read what was appeared to be the minutes of a Jewish cabal trying to take over the world. The Protocols were a compilation of antisemitic tropes that, for a while, fueled the fires of antisemites around the world. It was quickly exposed as a hoax in 1921 and subsequently debunked. This didn’t prevent people from continuing to promote The Protocols. Henry Ford was one of them in a very strong way.

Ford was also the publisher of a newspaper known as the “Dearborn Independent.” He used that medium to reprint The Protocols between 1920 and 1927. The newspaper published The Protocols, at the same time as The Times in London discredited the pamphlet, but this did not stop Henry Ford, who was quoted saying: “The only statement I care to make about the Protocols is that they fit in with what is going on.” Ford continued to promote them for 6 years and also was responsible for the financing and distribution of 500,000 copies of The Protocols. Many of the articles published in the Dearborn Independent were reprinted in a later volume, known as The International Jew.

Hitler himself relied heavily on The Protocols and even quoted them in Mein Kampf, praising and validating them: "To what extent the whole existence of this people is based on a continuous lie is shown incomparably by the Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion, so infinitely hated by the Jews. They are based on a forgery, the Frankfurter Zeitung moans and screams once every week: the best proof that they are authentic. What many Jews may do unconsciously is here consciously exposed. And that is what matters. It is completely indifferent from what Jewish brain these disclosures originate; the important thing is that with positively terrifying certainty they reveal the nature and activity of the Jewish people and expose their inner contexts as well as their ultimate final aims."

As Hitler was influenced by The Protocols, it greatly helped him to rationalize the destruction of European Jewry. In many ways, The Protocols were a catalyst for the Holocaust as they became part of “The Solution to the Jewish Question.” In the twenty-first century, The Protocols continue to be published and distributed by neo-Nazi fringe groups and radical Islamist groups around the world. The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion are classified under “controversial knowledge” and are even available today on Amazon.

Henry Ford didn't care that the pamphlet was a forgery because it served his agenda of hatred. Incidentally, on his 75th birthday, Henry Ford received the Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle, which was the highest honor that Nazi Germany could give to a foreign person. Hitler had great admiration for Henry Ford and even mentioned him in Mein Kampf. 

Ford's antisemitism is indelibly printed in the chronicles of history. It cannot be denied, it shouldn't be minimized and will not be forgotten. To this day, some Jewish people refuse to buy a Ford automobile, just like my own Holocaust-surviving mother refused to step foot on German soil for the rest of her life because of the day she saw her father taken in front of her eyes by the Gestapo in her Paris home. Let me reiterate that the Ford Motor Company of 2020 IS NOT the Ford Motor Company of 1920. Likewise, just because Martin Luther wrote a very caustic book against the Jewish people at the end of his life doesn't negate his invaluable contribution as the father of the Reformation. So, we cannot hold today's Ford Corporation responsible for the sins of its founder.

This being said, we must tread very lightly when it comes to praising Henry Ford. The proper choice of words is going to be critical. By now, most people have realized that regardless of his accomplishments, President Trump not only doesn't mince words, but he also isn't the most tactful person. Using a statement such as, “The company was founded by a man named Henry Ford, good bloodlines, good bloodlines. If you believe in that stuff, you got good blood" was a very poor choice of words. It definitely can be seen as antisemitic.

I do not believe that President Trump was promoting Eugenics or racial superiority in the way that Henry Ford did. Unfortunately, unless he apologizes for a very poor choice of words–and he probably won't– his statement will be used against him by his enemies and also by those who espouse such a view, linking President Trump to a group of fringe antisemites that already are believed by some to support him.

I am reminded of some very good advice from the Bible, warning us all about misusing the tongue in James 3:8-10, "But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way."

 

Q&A with Olivier Melnick: Why Do Some Jewish People Believe that Christians are Antisemitic?

The New Players in Anti-Semitism by Olivier Melnick