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.

It Was Not About Reclaiming The Land, It Was A 21st Century Pogrom!

"Israel is an occupier!" "Israel is an apartheid country!' "Israel is a colonizer!" "The Zionist regime stole land from the Palestinians!" Over the last few decades, we've heard it all. The world has incessantly painted a very negative picture of Israel, imposing a reputation on the only Jewish state in the world that many people have now come to hate.  It's not based on facts, but it continues to be spread. As a result, amid a full-blown war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip to respond to the most extensive twenty-first-century pogrom since the Holocaust, Israel is still seen as the perpetrator.

How could Hamas accuse Israel of occupation when there are no Jews in the Gaza Strip? Hamas governs the Strip and has since 2005, after Israel unilaterally disengaged from the area. After the legislative elections of 2006, Hamas became the ruling party and has been ever since, with no new election in 17 years. The Gaza Strip is 100% Palestinian-ruled and not under “occupation”.

Incidentally, the whole land of Eretz Yisrael is Jewish land and has been for about 4,000 years. For those who care to learn history and learn from it, a timeline of the history of the Land of Israel can be beneficial. Here are just a few of the many markers on this critical timeline. Palestine is never mentioned in any of these Bible passages or anywhere in the Bible, for that matter. Jewish presence in the land has been uninterrupted for about 4,000 years:

1900 BC: God chose Abraham as the Father of the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3; 15).
1900 BC: Abraham's son, Isaac, is given the land as an inheritance and takes the lead over Israel (Genesis 26:2-4).
1850 BC: Isaac's son Jacob is given the land as an inheritance and rules over Israel (Genesis 28:12-13; 35:12).
1400 BC: Moses leads the people out of Egypt and back to Israel (Exodus 3:17; 14).
1010 BC: King David unites the 12 tribes into one nation (2 Samuel 5:1).
970 BC: King Solomon, the son of King David, built the first Temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 6).
930 BC: Israel is divided into the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah (1 Kings 11:31-35).
722 BC: The Assyrians conquered the Kingdom of Israel (1 Chronicles 5:26).
605 BC: The Babylonians conquered the Kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 24-25).
586 BC: Solomon's Temple is destroyed by the Babylonians (2 Kings 25:8-9).
539 BC: Persians conquer the Babylonians and take control of Israel (Daniel 2).
538 BC: The Jews return to Israel from the Babylonian captivity (Psalm 126:1-6; Ezra 1:1-2).
520 BC: Solomon's Temple is rebuilt. (Ezra 1:1-6:22).
323 BC: The Ptolemies (Egypt) and Syria (Seleucids) fight over Israel (Daniel 11).
167 BC: The Hasmoneans recapture Israel (Daniel 11).
70 BC: The Romans conquer Israel (Luke 21:20, 24).
20 BC: King Herod (re)builds the Temple (Luke 2:46-47).
6 BC: Yeshua Ha Mashiach (Jesus), the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world, was born in Bethlehem, Judea (Micah 5:2; Luke 2).
70 AD: Romans destroy the temple (Matt. 23:37-39).

So, the Land has always been a Jewish land if one is to believe the Bible. Yet, for some who do not believe in God or do not hold the Bible as inspired and without error (in the original manuscripts), we must include the modern-day confirmations of 1917 with the Balfour Declaration, the 1920 San Remo Conference, and the United Nations November 17, 1947 vote of Israel as the modern Jewish state, leading to the Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948.

This all goes to prove that biblically, politically, and historically, the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. There were always Jewish people in the Land. While their presence went thick and thin through the centuries, there was NEVER a time in Israel when Jews were not present. Even now, the Jewish people gave away Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is Jewish land occupied by "Palestinians" if you really want to know. Since the Oslo Accords, Israel has worked hard at the idea of "Land for Peace"; yet, here we are, in October 2023, proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that it will never work. October 7, 2023, will be remembered as the bloodiest day in Jewish history since the Holocaust. No matter our belief about "occupation," Hamas has the blood of innocents on their hands.

As much as the Palestinian narrative has wanted us to believe it was, this was never about the land. This has always been about the complete annihilation of the Jewish people and the complete eradication of the State of Israel from the world map. If it ever was about land, why is self-ruling 100% Palestinian Gaza complaining about occupation? If it was truly about land, shouldn't the inhabitants of Gaza be grateful for their area, as little as it may be? If it was about land, shouldn't the Gaza residents show an example and grow their region with the funds sent by the global community? Finally, if it was about land, why did Yasir Arafat turn down Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000, when he was offered 100% of Gaza and 95% of Judea and Samaria?

That is because the land grab is an excuse for complete genocide. We just saw what Hamas is capable of. They committed a modern-day pogrom against Jewish people, and they would do it again if given a chance. They must not be given that chance. To be clear, the definition of a pogrom is: "an organized massacre of a particular ethnic group." This was exactly what took place on October 7, 2023.

The ultimate enemy of Israel is Satan who is obsessed with destroying the Jews. We must understand that this is a spiritual battle before anything else. The Bible promises that when God resumes His program which hinges around the Jewish people, Israel and Jerusalem, there will be casualties, but He also promises to never, ever forsake Israel (Jeremiah 31:35-37).  Be it Satan, Hamas or any other antisemitic entity, Israel's enemies will be defeated. Although this is 2023 and the Holocaust is only 80 years in our rearview mirror, there are those who would have it all happen again.  The motto of "never again" seems forgotten and has been replaced by “gas the Jews!” This had nothing to do with the land, it was a pogrom.  The goal is the murder of all Jewish people, not just in Gaza but the whole world.  Let's face our new reality. It is open season on the Jewish people again!

Satan’s Creativity: Antisemites Come in Different Shapes, Sizes and Colors! - Part 2

A few weeks ago, I started a list of all the different types of antisemites. I want to continue that list in part two of this article. Remember that antisemitism cannot be fully understood without the spiritual component that allowed it to persist through the centuries. It is a creation of Satan to eradicate Israel and all Jewish people. Satan is as creative as he is hateful. He has managed to summon Jew hatred from so many people around the world and over the ages.

It really helps to identify all the different types of antisemites that one can run into. Some of them might be harder to identify because of how devious Satan is at disguising the hatred and making it look like social justice. In a day and age when social justice is so attractive, many people will jump on the antisemitism bandwagon, thinking they are doing a great deed.

So, who are these various antisemites? Let us continue our list with a few more in no particular order, keeping in mind that some of the various characteristics might intersect and some people can display several of them all at once. Additionally, the list will keep growing because of Satan's creative hatred and continued subcontracting of it to many people.

The Boycott antisemite: The Boycott of Israel and Israeli goods and personalities was revived in 2005 by Mahmoud Abbas and Omar Barghouti who repurposed the South African apartheid definition to fit the Palestinian narrative. Fighting real apartheid with a boycott made sense and the concept of a boycott isn’t bad in and of itself, but the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement is built on an entirely false premise.

People around the globe have bought into BDS and are promoting it blindly without checking the facts. The boycott antisemite will almost always claim that he/she is anti-Israel or anti-Zionist but not antisemitic. This is another case of trying to hide Jew-hatred under a thin veneer of social justice.

The Neo-Nazi antisemite: The Nazi regime left a scar that will never disappear. So much so, that after WWII, most people believed that the new Jewish motto “NEVER AGAIN” really meant something. To this day, it is very unpopular to join the ranks of any Neo-Nazi group. They only exist on the fringe and do not constitute a very serious threat. This being said, they can still be found in several countries of Europe. They espouse a new brand of Hitlerian ideology and adhere to all the antisemitic tropes and blood libels in the book.

The Coward antisemite: For the better part of 2022, various antisemitic flyers have been found in multiple US states in residential neighborhoods. The flyers accuse the Jewish people of various ills such as controlling the world, the banks, Hollywood and even the Coronavirus. Even though the flyers seem to all be connected to the same internet site known as Goyimtv.tv, there is a certain amount of cowardice in the way they are placed on private residential properties at night.

The Leftist antisemite: In recent years, antisemitism has been heavily promoted by the left. While it is important to recognize that antisemitism currently comes from the left, the right and just about all other political and ideological factions out there, the left is particularly active in denigrating Israel. What is so ludicrous is that the liberal left–for which many Jews vote to this day–is promoting an anti-Israel agenda and a pro-Palestinian narrative.

Even Radical Islam and the liberal left agree on the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people, when ideologically they agree on nothing else, being on two opposite side of the spectrum. Yet, we all know the adage “The enemy of my enemy is my friend!”

The Social Media antisemite: The advent of the Internet changed the way we communicate and consume information and data forever. There is nothing that cannot be shared almost instantly and globally. This too is an aspect of our civilization that is neutral in and of itself but again, fallen into the wrong hands; the Internet is can become a vile and even lethal weapon.

Beyond the Internet is the web of social media networks. These networks have been overwhelmingly used by Jew-haters. Sadly, when many people get penalized for speaking the truth and being perceived as divisive and racist, antisemites the world around seem to have an open platform with almost no censorship.

The Jewish antisemite: While “Jewish Antisemitism” should be an oxymoron, it does exist. It exists on an individual level with liberal Jews who boldly promote Holocaust denial and Israeli colonization and occupation of Palestine. There are also Jewish Religious groups like Neturei Karta meaning “Guardians of the City” who have opposed Zionism since the late 1890s. They even had a conference in Iran. Groups such as The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, while being fringe groups, still play a role in the denigration of Israel and the Jewish people. Their voice helps to embolden the more aggressive antisemites of the world.

The Isolated antisemite: Probably the most puzzling antisemite of them all is the isolated antisemite. It is the person who hates Jews openly and yet has never met one in their life. All the other racists base their dislikes of a particular people group or ethnic community on experience and interaction–not that it would ever justify such feelings. For the isolated antisemite, indoctrination against the Jews based on more than 2,000 years of libels and lies is all they need. How one can say they hate someone without having ever met them shows the irrationality of antisemitism.

So, what do all these types of people have in common in spite of their various approaches to the subject of antisemitism?

“Antisemitism is the irrational and satanic hatred of the Jewish people and Israel characterized by thoughts, words or deeds against them.” There is no room for Christians or people of goodwill in that definition. Period!

Appeasement is a Time Bomb Sitting on a Powder Keg!

Sir Winston Churchill once said, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” This was most likely a reference to Sir Neville Chamberlain who had naively thought that he could appease Adolf Hitler. History proved Chamberlain wrong.  It became one of the most common cases of failed appeasement.  On September 30, 1938, when the “Munich Pact” was signed by France, Great Britain, Italy and Germany, Germany was pretty much “given” Czechoslovakia for peace purposes. In other words, within months of the start of WWII, as Hitler had already become a force to be reckoned with, he was “appeased” with Czechoslovakia. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went home, proud of his group’s achievement, and telling all that, as a result of it, they had achieved “peace in our time”. The rest is history and, suffice it to say, Mr. Chamberlain and the Allies were proven wrong about fifty million times over.

Fast forward to today, and there should really be no dialogue with those who want to replace and/or eliminate Western civilization. Appeasement is one of the greatest weaknesses of the postmodern West and will very likely become part of its demise. It is born out of a desire to remain within the acceptable boundaries of political correctness. Unfortunately, both political correctness and appeasement are seen by our enemies for what they are:  weaknesses and wide-open doors to get inside our democracies and destroy them slowly from within.

When it comes to end-times anti-Semitism, appeasing the enemies of Israel and the Jews will only be done by agreeing with them and further participating in their destructive agenda. The principal recipient of the “blessing” of appeasement is the main protagonist on the scene of end-times anti-Semitism. On one side, radical Islamic ideology pervades many aspects of our daily lives and dictates what must be done next. Liberalism, on the other side, also promotes appeasement at the high cost of denigrating, ostracizing and now even killing Jewish people. Radical Islamic ideology is behind the reshaping of Europe, the United States and, of course, most of the Middle East and Asia. It has slowly infiltrated large corporations, government agencies, schools and universities and even financial institutions over the last 50 years to reshape the West in what can be called “the stealth jihad.” So, appeasement with Islam in any radical shape it might be, is a sure loss for the West.

Appeasement shows weakness and even desperation, which is exactly what we are seeing all over the world when it comes to not offending Muslims. We can have no mention of Jesus in American public schools, no wearing of kippot (Jewish skull cap) in French public schools; yet, we even take down crosses in some public places because they offend Muslims. In one case, there appeared to be so many crosses in a Catholic (that’s right, Catholic!) University that a complaint was filed claiming Muslim students were uncomfortable praying there. This is a Catholic school, for goodness’ sake. What do you expect? Why can’t they just use a different room to pray? This hatred against the Christian cross is growing all over the world and especially in Europe. Muslims have a great aversion to the cross, so everyone else must bend and take them down or cover them. I would understand if we tried to erect crosses in Muslim countries like Iran, Afghanistan, or even Saudi Arabia, but in Western Europe?  Seriously?

Why appease Muslims and erase the symbol of Christianity in what used to be Christian countries? If anything, the cross is even more offensive to Jewish people because of all the carnages and persecutions done in its name against my people for the last 2,000 years (Crusades, Inquisition, Pogroms, Holocaust, etc.), but you don’t see Jewish people anywhere suing for being offended by the cross or protesting its public display. Jewish people simply walk away or do not enter into a building with a cross, end of story!

Any type of appeasement is simply an act of postponement. In the name of tolerance, political correctness, multiculturalism or even out of fear, appeasement is a time bomb connected to a powder keg, sitting under Western civilization. Appeasement should make us very upset and cause us to speak against it, but it shouldn’t lead us to hate the people who attempt appeasement. In other words, it is necessary for us all to speak up against those who try to negotiate with terrorists, murderers and haters, whether with individual people or with whole countries. The danger is that in the process of our disagreement with appeasers, we can easily sway towards hatred of those they are trying to appease, simply to prove to them that they are playing with fire and eventually will get burned. In recent history, we have moved towards pointing the finger at the enemy, whether it be ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Boko Haram, Hezbollah or others. Without caution, we can find ourselves just a few steps away from racism.

It works the same for any other groups like BLM or Antifa. Violence, looting, racial slurs and destructive acts cannot be condoned by anyone for any reason. Appeasement, as good as it looks to the outside world, is a one-way street that is taken when negotiations are not an option and those appeasing appear to be a danger. It is akin to rewarding a guilty party for acts of treachery, abuse or even destruction. Appeasement is cowardice in action, and it is a clear sign of a lack of integrity!

There is Peace, and then there is PEACE!

Don't quote me wrong, I have no intention of minimizing the event that took place at the White House on September 15, 2020. It was truly historic! Considering the geopolitical crisis that has punctuated the Middle East since Israel's birth as a modern nation on May 14, 1948, any Israeli/Arab peace treaty is a monumental achievement. There had only been two in 72 years. Egypt was the first in 1978 at Camp David under Jimmy Carter and between Anwar El Sadat and Menahem Begin. It was followed by Jordan in 1994, at the White House under Bill Clinton and between King Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin. Then came the 2020 negotiations in the Middle East under Donald Trump and his team, and the impossible took place; the United Arab Emirates declared that they would normalize relations with Israel and soon after them, Bahrain followed suit.

While nobody knows the details of what is to happen next, President Trump hinted at the fact that 5-6 other Arab nations are lined up to normalize relations with Israel. This is truly changing the entire dynamics of the Middle East. The Abraham Accords (Abraham being the father of both Jewish and Arab nations), as they are being called, are truly history being written in front of our very eyes. The positive aspect of such an event is most definitely welcome in 2020, a year that until now, could have been renamed "The year of all tragedies."

In an exclusive interview with Vice President Mike Pence, Joel Rosenberg confirmed that the current administration desires to go the extra mile to strengthen US/Israel relations after they had been strained by the previous administration. Pence called Israel,“our most cherished ally” and said that "the president had decided from the very beginning of his administration that he was going to do everything he could to strengthen the U.S.-Israel alliance and try to advance peace." What a departure from the shaky relations that the US had under Barack Obama! Incidentally, Pence also mentioned that it was Democrat President Harry Truman who recognized Israel literally moments after Ben Gurion had declared independence in Tel Aviv.

The Peace Treaties that were signed are very special because they open the door to more countries in the region, and that is a good thing. Additionally, they put Iran and the Palestinian Authority on notice. When more countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sudan and others decide to normalize relations with Israel, the Middle East as we have known it for the last several decades will be a thing of the past. Iran, already weakened by major US sanctions, is seeing its hegemony of the region erode by the day. As to the Palestinians, their response to the peace deals was still typical of their ideology and agenda; they sent missiles onto Israel from Gaza. The consensus from the Palestinians is that "there will be no peace until Palestine is free." For now, the Palestinian Authority has decided to dig its heels in the sand, but with a weakened Iran increasingly unable to finance Hamas and Hezbollah, the tide might turn soon. The Palestinian narrative might become irrelevant. Wow, I never thought I would say that in my lifetime! We are truly living as critical history is being written. It is about peace. But there is peace and there is PEACE!

Again, I do not wish to brush aside the momentous event that took place days ago, but I also want to bring some biblical perspective if I may. From a human perspective, nobody can argue that peace is good. The Bible tells us to get along with our fellow men whenever and however possible in Romans 12:18, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." We are also told not to seek revenge or hold a grudge in Leviticus 19:18, " You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord." So, there is definitely a biblical precedent for seeking peace with our neighbors. What about Israel? Does the Bible give us clues as to peace in the Middle East Region and the safety of Israel? I believe it does.

The first thing we must understand is that, from our limited human perspective, peace is simply the absence of war. This doesn't make peace not worth seeking, but that is not the whole story. The peace we should be seeking is the one that comes from the Prince of Peace, Messiah Yeshua as He is called by that name in Isaiah 9:6 "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." Yeshua the Prince of Peace will return in the future to establish His messianic kingdom on earth as He promised. Isaiah goes further in describing what life will be in the messianic kingdom, under the just rule of Messiah, the Prince of Peace, in Isaiah 11:6-10 we read, "And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. Also, the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea. Then in that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious.

We are told that the whole earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord and that the wild will fellowship with the tame as never seen before. The prophet Ezekiel (Chapters 40-48) also tells us with great details about that future time in history when a beautiful Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in a New Jerusalem. That is what real PEACE will be all about, and anything but that is a thin veneer of "pretend peace" painted over a lost world in need of a Savior. The Bible also tells us that a false peace will exist, and while I recognize the incredible events of the last few days, biblically speaking, I still see the region undergoing turmoil. The door has been open for more peace in the Middle East and for Israel to start feeling more secure. Israel will have to feel more secure in order to let her guard down and agree to sign a seven-year treaty with a charismatic new world leader that the Bible knows as the Antichrist.

At first, the world will become mesmerized by this new figure. He is known by many names like "the little horn" (Daniel 7:8), "the prince who is to come" (Daniel 8:23), "the one who makes desolate" (Daniel 9:27) and "the man of destruction" (2 Thessalonians 2:3) to name just a few. He will rise to power very quickly (Revelation 17:13.) Possibly his biggest achievement in the eyes of men will be the covenant he will sign with Israel to bring complete peace to the region. This will allow the resumption of Jewish sovereignty on the Jerusalem Temple Mount (Daniel 9:27.) Needless to say, that this area of Israel is currently sitting on a powder keg with a very short fuse, so when he brings "false" peace, it will be received by many as real peace. That is not the end of the story, but soon after–three and a half years to be exact–this will be the end of peace on earth, as he will claim to be god and will require to be worshipped (Revelation 13:4-8.)

The antichrist will also gather all the nations against Jerusalem as seen in Zechariah 14:1-3, "Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle." and also in Revelation 16:16, "And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon." and yet, this is still not the end of the story.

The false peace that the antichrist will bring to the world will come to an end, but so will the antichrist's career of lies, abuse and rebellion against God. Finally, he will fight against Messiah when He returns to earth and he will be completely defeated (Revelation 19:19-20.) Additionally, he will be thrown in the Lake of fire and brimstone forever (Daniel 7:11; Revelation 19:20.)

So, truly, there is peace and there is PEACE! What we are seeing right now in the Middle East should be exciting from a human perspective, but even more so from a prophetic perspective since it opens the door for the rest of God's program to unravel and for the return of the Messiah to rule the earth.

I recommend that we all keep one eye in the Word of God and one eye in the sky because Yeshua is coming soon to rapture the believers before the antichrist steps onto the world stage. Will you be coming with us or will you be left behind? Don't wait too long to decide.

In the meantime, L’Shanah Tovah for a prosperous New Year!

Holocaust Remembrance Day in the midst of COVID-19!

We continue to shelter-in-place and practice social distancing as well as cover our faces with masks and hands with gloves. This might go on for a few more weeks and frankly, even as we re-open the country, a gradual re-entry into the economy will undoubtedly continue to incorporate the items that are quickly becoming our "new normal" for the foreseeable future. Additionally, more and more people are starting to hear of the death of someone they know. When this is all said and done, we will have a sobering reminder of how fragile humanity really is. Eventually, people around the world will have memorials to the victims of COVID-19, because remembering the positive AND the negative is part of our human fabric and is necessary for our survival as a global village.

On the subject of remembering, Israel and the global Jewish community are gearing up to remember the Holocaust during the 2020 Yom Ha Shoah (The Day of the Catastrophe) Commemoration. At 10:00 am in Israel on April 21, sirens will sound all over the land for 2 minutes, as all people will literally come to a halt wherever they are, including cars on roads. Some will say that the last thing we need to worry about is another Holocaust Memorial, especially when the whole world has its eyes fixed on COVID-19, the rising death counts and the race for a vaccine. It seems like just about all the news we get nowadays revolves around some aspect of the pandemic and its effect on the economy, so who cares about another event to remember one of the biggest human tragedy of all times? Well, we all should and here are some reasons:

 We Need to Shift Our Focus: It might do us some good to shift our focus onto something else even for a day. How many press conferences, News reports and hunts for toilet paper and hand sanitizers can we go through before we go insane? There is something very healthy about shifting our focus onto another person, group or event for a while so that our attention is no longer on our own situation. We can easily find a person or a cause worthy of our attention. The alternative is to negatively dwell on our own lives and as a result, ignore the rest of the world around us. Sure,  businesses, restaurants and many other places have closed for now, but there are many things that we can do to encourage, help and sustain others. Remembering the victims of the Holocaust will help shift our focus, even if for a day!

• Life goes on during a pandemic: Even though for the first time in the history of mankind the world literally came to a screeching halt, the earth still orbits the sun and we still have 24 hours in a day, divided between night and day. True, we are being introduced to a new normal that will most likely dictate our every moves for the next several months or possibly years. But this is no reason to forget or ignore important dates to be commemorated. It might be expressed differently amidst a pandemic, but we should not ignore the remembrance of the 6,000,000 for any reason whatsoever!

• The Fight against antisemitism is still needed:
Not only is it still needed, but it is needed more than ever. Our fight cannot be put on hold because people are forced to shelter in place for a while. As a matter of fact, one of the most lethal weapons against the Jewish people and Israel is the intricate web of social networks. Social networks have become the number one method of propagation for the longest hatred, and it can all continue as people are stuck in their homes. People get indoctrinated online as they buy conspiracy theories against the Jews, hook, line and sinker. Eventually, the propaganda turns people into propagators of antisemitic acts either against property or people. This is all happening right now in front of our very eyes.
A pastor–and in his case, we should use the term very loosely– recently told the Jewish community that they were being infected by COVID-19 because they rejected Jesus. Iran is accusing Israel of being behind the virus. White Supremacists are also connecting the virus to the Jews. Now is not the time to pause on either our fight against antisemitism or our recognition of its victims over history. Let us not give Holocaust deniers and historical revisionist one shred of an opportunity to push their evil agendas any further!
"We are all in this together" is as valid for the fight against the virus as it should be for the fight against antisemitism–another deadly virus!

Join me on Monday, April 20th at 6:00 pm when I will conduct a Virtual Service for Holocaust Remembrance Day live from my house. I promise you it will be uplifting. Register here

Anti-Semitism in 2018: A Year in Review – Part 2

Year after year, anti-Semitism continues to rear its ugly head all over the globe with what appears to be increasing frequency and intensity. 2018 was no different as most of the world recorded an increase in the numbers of anti-Semitic incidents. In this second installment of my two-part series are some highlights from July to December 2018. (Part one here).

Haman, Hitler and BDS: We should know better!
What do the book of Esther, the Nuremberg Laws of 1933 and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement have in common? A lot more than meets the eye! There is a theme found in Esther about Haman’s disdain for the Jewish people that is quite unique in the biblical record. We find the first step in Chapter 3 where Haman puts his curse against the Jews in motion, and because of one Jew, namely Mordecai, Haman seeks to destroy all of them. We start seeing the irrational behaviors promoted by an anti-Semitic heart.

Fast forward to 1935, the Nuremberg Laws were introduced and Jewish people lost their citizenship. Marriage and/or sexual relations between Jews and Aryans were prohibited and severely punished. By 1935, Hitler was solidly established in power. His obsession with the “Jewish problem” would soon lead him to the next step in his attempt at the destruction of European Jewry. The process by which Haman sought to annihilate the Jews as seen in various verses of Esther 3 and the one used by Hitler have many similarities.

Satan, the ultimate enemy of the Jews is constantly re-inventing himself to further demonize and ostracize Israel. Ideologically, BDS is an extension of Hitler’s agenda which was parallel to Haman’s agenda. BDS is a lot more than an economic, academic or entertainment boycott. People need to dig a bit deeper to see the real motives of that sick movement.

UNHRC: Actions Speak Louder Than Words!
Recently, the United States decided to leave the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council.) United Nation US Ambassador Nikki Haley shared the reason in a statement where she said“For too long, the Human Right Council has bee a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.” Many have seen the move as a retreat, but Miss Haley clearly stated that the move was anything but a retreat. It was because the United State would no longer be part of a hypocritical UN organization that allows for a myriad of human rights violations, elects human rights violators to the UNHRC and has a chronic bias against Israel. In leaving the UNHRC, the United States made a bold move signifying that the days of letting Israel being accused of human rights violation while looking the other way when obvious violators act with impunity are over. Some politicians including John Kerry had spoken against the bias on occasions, but these apparently were just words. Over 50% of the governments sitting on the council are considered repeat offenders when it comes to human rights violations. Like China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, to name just a few, they are either totalitarian regimes or “non-democracies.”

In another blow to the UN, US National Security Adviser, John Bolton just announced the United States decision to defund the UNHRC. According to John Bolton, the US pays 22% of the UN budget and it would calculate how that relates to the funds given to the UNHRC and defund them. Hopefully, the world will start taking notice of the anti-Israel bias from the UN and the UNHRC and speak up.

Can a Biblical Zionist Love the Palestinians?
Whenever one puts biblical, Zionist and Palestinian in the same sentence, definitions are in order. Unity might never be fully achieved, but it should never be because of lack of clarity. First, what I mean by biblical is “in accordance with the biblical record” that as far as I understand includes the sixty-six books of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. As far as a fair definition of Zionism, lest I’d be accused of any bias as a Jew, I prefer to give a plain dictionary definition of the word as, “a movement for (originally) the re-establishment and (now) the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel.”

Now, for the definition of who is a Palestinian, it gets a little tricky. Again, for the sake of clarity, I will say, “any physical descendant of the various Arab inhabitants of the Land of Israel known as Palestine prior to 1948.” We must not forget that Palestine as a word was introduced by the Roman empire at the time of the Bar Kohba Revolt in AD 132 (A failed Jewish revolt against Rome.) Eventually, under the leadership of Yassir Arafat and subsequent “Palestinian” leaders, the etymology of the word was expanded to mean both a land AND a people, a political claim that cannot be proven historically, archeologically, culturally or biblically.

The biblical Zionist’s love for Israel and the Jewish people is a result of his understanding of the eternal, unconditional and unilateral Abrahamic Covenant. But the great love that biblical Zionists display for Israel and the Jewish people should not be exclusive, and it should extend to all, even those who have been indoctrinated to hate and destroy Israel. In the words of Yeshua in Matthew 5:44, we read, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. This absolutely doesn’t imply that all Palestinians today hate the Jews. So YES, a biblical Zionist not only can but should love the Palestinians.  Over the years, I have found that to love Israel one doesn’t have to hate the Palestinians, but sadly, the opposite is seldom true!

All Hate Crimes are a slap in God's Face!
It was just another peaceful Shabbat morning at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, when antisemitic Neo-Nazi Robert Bowers barged in with a semi-automatic weapon, screaming “all Jews must die!” and aimed at the crowd. By mid-day, the death toll had reached 11. It is believed that this tragedy was the largest and deadliest attack on Jews on American soil. How do you move on from such a bloody massacre?

Jewish people have been victims of hate crimes more than all other groups combined, but this is not a competition. Hate crimes are an abomination and shouldn’t happen anywhere, especially in the United States and in 2018. Beyond the tragedy that they create in communities and families, they are a slap in G-d’s face Who created man in His own image. They are also a poke in G-d’s eye who calls the Jewish people “The apple of my eye” in Zechariah 2:8. It is because of man’s self-ruling outside of G-d’s will that hate crimes become possible.

We shouldn’t succumb to the temptation of politicizing this horrible tragedy, because it was not political but spiritual. When the enemy of G-d (Satan) is at work against the people of G-d, it is no time for political bickering, but it is time for prayer more than ever.

Let’s start by lifting up the memory of the victims (Joyce Fienburg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65; Rose Mallinger, 97; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Cecil Rosenthal, 59; David Rosenthal, 54; Bernice Simon, 84; Sylvan Simon, 86; Daniel Stein, 71; Melvin Wax, 88; Irving Younger, 69)  and their families. If you are Jewish, while you shouldn’t yell it on rooftops, you also cannot live in fear. Otherwise, people like Robert Bowers have won the battle.

To the Anti-Semite we are All Jews!
There is a real danger today for Jewish people everywhere except in Israel because except for the Jewish State, all foreign governments approach antisemitism differently and they are not necessarily very efficient. Definitions of what constitutes antisemitism vary from country to country and sometimes even from various organizations within the same country. That is one reason why it is difficult to fight since acts against Jewish people are often under-reported, misreported or worse…not reported, especially if it involves a Muslim. The politically correct fear of insulting a particular group is so prevalent in the United States that an antisemitic crime might simply be categorized as a violent crime in fears of reprisals. It is time for all Jews to unite against antisemitism, but unfortunately, we are far from being united, and it helps the enemy greatly. Jewish people define themselves in a variety of ways including religiosity, ethnic origins, and Zionism to name just a few. It can get confusing when one doesn’t differentiate between Jewishness (ethnic connection) and Judaism (religious affiliation). But really, one can be ethnically Jewish without practicing Judaism and one can practice Judaism without being born Jewish.

Then you have messianic Jews. Those of us who claim that you can be Jewish and believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah. Truly if one can be Jewish (ethnically) independently from believing in anything, one can remain Jewish (ethnically) when they believe in anything, including that Yeshua of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah (Isaiah 52:13-53:12). Unfortunately, the vast majority of the Jewish community who doesn’t recognize Yeshua as Messiah also rejects the idea that once we follow His teaching we remain Jews.
Considering all the ways we can define who is a Jew, there is one fact that the antisemites are right about…We are all Jews, and as such we are a nuisance, and in some cases, as we witnessed during the Tree of Life bloody massacre “All Jews deserve to die”. My point is that to an antisemite if a Jew is Ultra-Orthodox, agnostic, Reconstructionist or even Messianic, he remains a Jew. The antisemite is an equal opportunity xenophobe. He does not discriminate. To that person…We are all Jews indeed!

Christmas with Hizbollah: There is Fake News and then there is Propaganda!
Currently, Hezbollah is digging terror tunnels on the northern border of  Israel akin to those built and used by Hamas to funnel terrorists underground from the Gaza strip to Israel. The IDF has been working hard to put a stop to these tunnels, including the destruction of several of them. They also discovered that the tunnels lead to urban areas on the Lebanese side, proving once again that one of the preferred methods of the terrorists, is to use civilians as shields for their operations. On one hand, the United Nations, always eager to pass one more resolution against Israel, is doing absolutely nothing about the tunnels. They have discussed them but have not taken any actions to put a stop to them. On the other hand, Benjamin Netanyahu is determined to do all in Israel’s power to destroy them in an effort to protect the country. So it is clear that “Iran backed” Hizbollah is on a terror mission to destroy Israel, and yet they have received praise from the New York Times for their recent “Christmas spirit efforts”. In a tweet, they even stated “Even Hezbollah, the Shiite political movement and militia that the United States has branded a terrorist organization, has helped ring in the season in previous years, importing a Santa to Beirut’s southern suburbs to distribute gifts”.

Personally, I have given up the hope of integrity from the New York Times for a while now. This is not even an issue of political leanings anymore but an issue of evil propaganda. I wish I could say that the reporters and journalists at the New York Times didn’t know any better, but what would that say about the state of journalism in 2018? Well, maybe it does?

2018 was replete with acts of anti-Semitism on a global scale and 2019 doesn't show any signs of letting down. It is incumbent upon people of good will to speak up and fight all sorts of racism, including anti-Semitism. The weed of anti-Semitism is chocking the Jews all over the world, but it will choke many more people if it is allowed to grow much further!
(Part one here).

Christmas with Hizbollah: There is Fake News, and then there is Propaganda!

There are not that many countries in the world that wouldn't define Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. We don't need to look very deep into their methods to come to that conclusion. Hezbollah in Arabic means "the Party of Allah". The group is considered to be a terrorist organization by many countries including the United States, Canada, Israel and even the Arab League. Iran, on the other hand, doesn't worry about Hizbollah's reputation as a terror organization, and as a matter of fact, has become a huge financial backer to the Lebanese organization, financing their armament and even the recent tunnels.

Currently, Hezbollah is digging terror tunnels on the northern border of  Israel akin to those built and used by Hamas to funnel terrorists underground from the Gaza strip to Israel. The IDF has been working hard to put a stop to these tunnels, including the destruction of several of them. They also discovered that the tunnels lead to urban areas on the Lebanese side, proving once again that one of the preferred methods of the terrorists, is to use civilians as shields for their operations. On one hand, the United Nations, always eager to pass one more resolution against Israel, is doing absolutely nothing about the tunnels. They have discussed them but have not taken any actions to put a stop to them. On the other hand, Benjamin Netanyahu is determined to do all in Israel's power to destroy them in an effort to protect the country.

So it is clear that "Iran backed" Hizbollah is on a terror mission to destroy Israel, and yet they have received praise from the New York Times for their recent "Christmas spirit efforts". In a tweet, they even stated "Even Hezbollah, the Shiite political movement and militia that the United States has branded a terrorist organization, has helped ring in the season in previous years, importing a Santa to Beirut’s southern suburbs to distribute gifts".

Hezbollah is a Muslim organization at the core, and that means that Christmas has no place in their ideology. Whatever the reason for them to advertise a Christmas spirit and support of the Christian community is unclear, but that should never exonerate them for their crimes against humanity perpetrated in their numerous acts of terrorism. The "appearance" of one right absolutely cannot erase so many wrongs.

Personally, I have given up the hope of integrity from the New York Times for a while now. This is not even an issue of political leanings anymore but an issue of evil propaganda. I wish I could say that the reporters and journalists at the New York Times didn't know any better, but what would that say about the state of journalism in 2018? Well, maybe it does?

Any time a media outlet, an NGO or a famous person endorse the actions of a terrorist organization out of ignorance or willful defiance, it emboldens the terrorists to do more damage. It softens their image to a world that already doesn't look for factual truth anymore. So the world concentrates on the false positive about Christmas in Lebanon with Hezbollah and completely misses the real issue.

Propaganda worked well for the Nazi war machine. They made the world believe that Jews were going to nice camps where children played together and stayed with their families, like in the staged location at Theresienstadt. Within days after the International Red Cross came to visit the "ideal" camp and give a positive report to the world, the children were sent to gas chambers.

Propaganda works best when the receiving party can be deceived. The world today is easily deceived by the media, political entities and even famous personalities all in the name of social justice. This recent article by the New York Times is propaganda promoting an organization that only has the complete destruction of Israel on their radar. There is fake News, and then there is propaganda! Nothing less than full retraction will work in this case, but who am I fooling?

Rosh Hashanah 5778: Apples, Honey and Uncertainty!

On the eve of September 20th, 2017 ( 29 of Elul) Jewish people around the world will gather in synagogues and community centers to celebrate the New Year. Rosh Hashanah (literally "Head of the Year") is a special time of rejoicing and looking forward, for Jewish people around the world. We celebrate by blowing the shofar and eating special foods such as round challahs (bread loaves,)  apples, and honey for a sweet year. Jewish people will go around wishing one another L' Shanah Tovah Tiketevu meaning "May your name be inscribed for a good year!" This day marks the beginning of a series of Jewish Holy Days including Yom Kippur and Sukkot. But for the Jewish people worldwide, beyond the tangible AND symbolic sweetness of this season's foods, there is quite a bit of uncertainty about the past, the present, and the future.

Jewish history is one of the longest uninterrupted narrative in the history of mankind–about 3800 years since the birth of Abraham, even though the Jewish calendar starts with Adam and eve 5778 years ago. Jewish history is both rich with a diverse heritage and heavy with acts of anti-Semitism that punctuated its long stream. The uncertainty about the past comes in a few different ways, but they all lead to a possible eradication of Jewish presence in mankind's history.

With the exponential decline of the last few thousand survivors from the death camps, Holocaust memory is at risk. First account stories will soon be impossible to collect. This fact of time, coupled with a strong desire by many to re-write Holocaust history and revise it, put the greatest Jewish catastrophe at risk of becoming obsolete in postmodern minds. Additionally, various organizations such as the United Nations, UNESCO, and others, are trying to disconnect Israel from any Jewish roots. We saw it recently with the ludicrous, yet very bold attempt at making the Temple Mount area a Muslim site with no Jewish connection. The past should always be something to learn from and build upon, but Jewish people around the world feel uneasy as they see their past history at risk.

The present situation also offers many challenges for our global Jewish community. Modern anti-Semitism has replaced the once believed defunct historical anti-Semitism of yesterday. The hydra of Lerna of classic anti-Semitism saw its head being cut off after World War Two, only to grow two more within two decades after that. There is no safe place in the world for Jewish people except maybe for the one place that most of the world wants to eradicate, that is Israel. A Jew in Iceland, South  Africa or Australia is in danger today–as if by proxy–simply for something that takes place in Israel. In some big metropolis like London or Paris, it isn't safe to be outside wearing a yarmulke or a Star of David. Jews around the world have to watch their back just about anywhere they go. With BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) pushing a pro-Palestinian agenda, even those who wish to support Israel are at risk now. Killing Jews is even back on the agenda in France as we can see from the recent events involving the mostly unreported death of Sarah Halimi.  The present is something that many Jewish people want to live for but uncertainty is real,  as danger looms around the corner every single day.

So with a past and a present as described, what is left to look forward to? Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech at the 72nd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on September, 19th, 2017. He started by painting the picture of a world, embracing Israel more than ever before. But he quickly turned our attention to the danger of Syria, Iran, and global anti-Semitism. Yet much of the future of the world in the fields of technology, agriculture, innovation, and security, takes place today in Israel; at the hands of a myriad of entrepreneurs. Where would these people be today if G-d had allowed for the Holocaust to continue for a bit longer? Yet, G-d isn't bound by time. He is the G-d of the past, present, and future, and He never changes (Numbers 23:19.)

There is indeed a future for Israel and for the Jewish people. It is clearly delineated in the Tanach and the B'rit Hadashah. Israel will never cease to exist and the Jewish people will NEVER be completely decimated (Jeremiah 31:35-27.) As we enter 5778, I want to believe more than ever that my Jewish people will look forward to their glorious future, when Mashiach will rule on the throne of King David in Yerushalaim. Only the Messiah can bring real peace into the world. I am convinced that He came in the past (Isaiah 52:13-53:12.) to sustain us through the present as He promised us a bright future. There is no uncertainty in my heart and mind for my destiny is secure in Messiah. I look forward to a sweet 5778 as I wish you all the same. May YOUR NAME be inscribed in the Lamb's Book of Life forever!

L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu B'shem Yeshua Mashienu!