|Editorial by Chris Josephson
Border? What Border?!
"And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted" (Isaiah 49:11).
Though wed been publishing since 1957, five years ago we began a new publication called Bible Light On the News. What triggered this was the disturbing news that the mountain settlements in the so-called West Bank were in danger because of "The Peace Process". Having lived in those mountains, I could not keep silent. We shall continue this policy, by Gods grace, as long as He leads and enables, because we believe the above Scripture, and many others, are being fulfilled.
When Joshua led the children of Israel into the land, he conquered the mountains first, coming through the gate to the mountains the city of Jericho. That city was the first to be turned over to the PLO. This strategic gate opens to the mountain heights with the whole land in view. My late husband Elmer Josephson and I lived on those heights in Ramallah in the early 70s. The view was fantastic with many miles of Israels coast line shimmering in lights every night. Once during daylight hours we counted 11 ships in the port at Ashdod.
Have all the nations leaders departed their senses casting logic to the wind? Anyone with an eye should know: ISRAEL CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT THE MOUNTAIN BACKBONE. Physically, breaking ones backbone brings either death or paralysis. Before the 1967 war, Israel went through many attacks from the mountains forcing women and childrento live and sleep in bunkers.
God miraculously gave victory in the Six Day War that returned the heartland of Israel to His people. Many of the Arab inhabitants of the so-called West Bank fled. However, Moshe Dayan, Israels Defense Minister at the time, sent after them begging them to return, and assuring them they could live in peace in their homes. And when an Israeli soldier climbed to the top of the Mosque on the Temple Mount and planted an Israeli flag, he was made to pull it down. In personal conversations with Arab people living there, they admitted to us they were better off economically under Israel; then added, "But we dont want to be under the Jews."
Now, Israelis are so sick of this situation, so tired of war and terrorism, they have given in to world pressure. It came from our own State Department; then Secretary of State Baker coined the expression which continues to echo loud and clear over the worlds housetops: The [mountain] settlements are the greatest obstacle to peace.
Objection! Foul! Instead of "obstacle", those brave mountain settlers are Israels first line for peace. From years of deep study of restoration promises in THE BOOK, has come this conviction. And in saying, "peace", we think not only of Israelis but Arab neighbors as well. Isaiah 52:7 figures in possitively here with symbolic language, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"
Return to Judea/Samaria
Shortly after the Six-Day War, Kfar Etzion, a kibbutz destroyed by the Arabs in 1948, was reestablished and Jews began to return to Hebron from which they had been cast out following the massacre of 1929. These early communities were like healthy saplings planted in their native soil. Today, they have branched out to encompass 144 communities that include villages, towns, kibbutzim, moshavim and flourishing cities that continue to thrive and grow despite great adversity.
YESHA (Hebrew acronym for Judea, Samaria and Gaza) is the home to over 150,000 Israelis, including over 90,000 children. They come from all walks of life; farmers, artisans, doctors and engineers. Among them are sabras and new immigrants from around the world diverse in outlook and background. Together, they look to the future, united by the age-old dream they live each and every day of their lives ..... the return to Zion. [The Yesha Report]
Like when trouble or a death in a family (especially when it is a child) sometimes causes a divorce as each one blames the other, so Israel is plunged into deep divisions and are forced into early elections because of "Wye". No one in Israel applauded the Wye Memorandum. Off the record, government ministers acknowledged a complete capitulation to American pressure. Most in Israel despair of the so-called peace process, knowing that it will deliver neither peace nor security. On his return from Wye, "Bibi" was not greeted with a happy crowd. Israelis feel that it will be the Americans who make the final decision, Israel will have no direct role, that she is becoming a banana republic of the U.S. This is scary, for the U.S. has failed before in responsibility in supervision of the implementation of agreements between Israel and her neighbors.
Arafat invited to prayer breakfast? To what kind of breakfast? His invitation should have been to "break fast" from terror tactics. Those of us who believe in prayer and are old enough to remember all his acts of terror got a sick, sinking feeling when this bit of news came. If there were concrete facts that he really was trying to control terror, that hed repented and renounced the evil of the past and present, that he showed signs of wanting to be "born again", then there would be hope, giving grounds for the invitation to "prayer breakfast". Otherwise this seems to make a mockery of prayer, and leaves one wondering how much praying really goes into, and at, this meeting or if it has degenerated into political stance. In our office we have documented videos and hard-paper copies of Arafats inflammatory rhetoric routinely broadcast on Palestinian Public TV, inciting his followers to Jihad and martyrdom in the cause of creating a Palestinian state and eliminating Israel. It is routinely fed to school children under PLO control who in turn are trained to spew out hatred toward Jews and to sing it on TV programs. To ignore these facts so evident to Israelis, mocks the spirit of the "breakfast". Several regulars, realizing this, did not attend.
As David Horowitz writes concerning the elections: What will stand out as the pivotal question will be the bitter controversy revolving around PLO statehood. So far, the only individual who has come out against statehood in favor of autonomy, as per Camp David, is Netanyahu... [We] hope that Netanyahu will open the Book and check the Biblical boundaries G-d has ordained for all of Israel.
Netanyahu has said that Israel reserves the right to extend Israels law to the territories under its control if Arafat and the Palestinians continue to violate the agreements they have signed. He reportedly said, "We will not allow Arafat and the Palestinians to determine the borders of our state and the future of our capital. We will continue to adhere to our firm and clear policy, which does not allow for the creation of a Palestinian state in the heart of the Land of Israel, [our emphasis] and we will not allow Jerusalem to be redivided."
Netanyahu spoke with compassion for the suffering of the Palestinians (at the UN), "We want peace for us and for the Palestinian people, whose prolonged suffering has been one of the cruel consequences of the wars waged against us."
In our U.S. House and Senate there is strong opposition to unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. But which way will the U.S. vote in the United Nations on this issue? Ground work has been laid with countries of the European Union to vote "yes". Will Israel stand virtually alone?
Trouble in Jordan?
Husseins eldest son, who is now King Abdullah, replaced the Kings brother, Crown Prince Hassan, who in turn has asked permission to leave the country. 36-year old Abdullah has little knowledge of political or economic issues. The demographic makeup of Jordan changed after the 67 war when Jordan was flooded with Palestinian refugees. About 3 million of Jordans population of 4.4 million are Palestinian Arabs. As a land-locked country with few natural resources and high unemployment, it would not be difficult to encourage the Palestinians to revolt against their new King. The gain would be Arafats (or his successor) and the "State of Palestine". A successful takeover would give him Jordan to add to "the West Bank and Gaza". Will this bring about prophetic events described in Jeremiah 49?
Who Has the Last Word?
"He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them [nations] in derision" (Psalm 2:4. Please read it all).
Read Matthew 25: 31-46 to learn what happens to nations based on their treatment of Messiahs "brethren". He will say, "Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these MY brethren, ye have done it unto ME". Today Israels size is minuscule (See comparison in Frank Eiklors article on page 10) BUT Israel is populated by the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David Jesus family!
Will our nation be among "the sheep" nations? The Clinton administration has carefully set the stage for the president to recognize such a state. If Prime Minister Netanyahu is forced into annexing the remaining areas of the West Bank, it is widely believed that it will lead to war. How much of this degradation and defamation of HIS NAME will the Almighty allow? How far off is the day when the true Messiah will come in his glory "And before him shall be gathered all nations...."? He will sit upon "Davids Throne" and will reign from Jerusalem! Dont you think men, women, children and nations better be taking heed to His Word now? His Laws will be world-wide Kingdom edicts, and true peace will finally reign everywhere.
But let us NEVER translate these Biblical truths into:
As though Israel doesnt have enough to contend with, she is being deluged with self-styled "doomsday cults" and Christian missionaries with Messianic complexes and who think they are called of God to bring about practically single-handedly the Millennial reign of Christ on the earth beginning at Jerusalem.
Our heart-felt warning to Christians wanting to go to Israel: Dont rush drastically in where angels fear to tread. Christ Himself said that only the Father knows that time; and that He would bring it about by His own power. In other words; He is doing quite well, thank you, and He doesnt need your help. The clear admonition for Christians who are "concerned for Israel" is found in Isaiah 40:1,2; and according to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc. will help bring those in the Diaspora home again.
Demonic forces disguised as angels of light, many times play on vulnerable hearts of sincere believers, whispering in unsuspecting ears to give messianic complexes of spiritual grandeur and "exploits for God" appealing to spiritual pride and self-exaltation. What other reason (certainly not a Scriptural one) would a leader teach his people to try to get themselves killed by Israeli police!?!
A Jewish Press account said, Dozens of American Christians have settled [in Jerusalem] in anticipation of the year 2000. Some of them have rented rooms at the base of the Mount of Olives, to secure what they hope will be a birds eye view of . . . an apocalyptic vision of the future. Havent these Christians read Zechariah 14? Do they want to be caught in an earthquake?
The article went on: "Up until now evangelical Christians have been very supportive of Israel, but will that love survive what will no doubt be a monumental disappointment? Will they be less supportive politically, and will there be a big drop in tourism to Israel by a group that, lets face it, is virtually the backbone of Israeli tourism industry?"
"There are plenty of respectable evangelical individuals and groups caught up in millennial expectations," said Dr. Richard Landes, professor of Medieval Studies at Boston University and director of its Center for Millennial Studies. "What we must keep sight of is the fact that during millennial times the fringe moves to the center. The excitement, the deep longings for validation of ones faith, are contagious as will be the letdown."
If Jesus doesnt return in or around the year 2000, will you lose faith? Upon what is your faith built? We need to re-examine our Jewish roots, and read the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the Gospels and Epistles. To behave as described above shows we need to be balanced with "the WHOLE counsel of God." We need some old time teaching and preaching about what it really means to live for and follow the Lord. We need to learn the walk of denying self, the lusts of the flesh and eyes and (ego) pride of life (I John 2:16). Then we might be worthy to be called "a son" who goes with The Heavenly Father. My late husbands definition of wisdom was, "Knowing how God is working in the world and going WITH Him."
Not on a "soapbox", but we can stand on the mountain tops of hope, and blow the trumpet of warning, declaring the Word of the Lord to this sin-sick world. Regarding our personal ministry of Bible Light, we thank you for your prayers. As quoted in a publication, "The Prophetic Roundup", (edited by a friend, Sam Peak Box 2, Abilene, Tx 79604): "Gods work done in Gods way and in Gods time never lacks support." It was never the policy of Elmer Josephson to beg for finances. His motto, which we still follow, is similar to the one quoted above. "When He leads, He feeds; when He guides, He provides." We shall continue as long as you, our readers, obey what He prompts your heart to do to help us. And we pray He will bless and meet YOUR every need according to His riches in Christ Jesus. -