Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem  



Nov 10

Jim Fletcher On Israel Watch

I’m always amused — sort of — when critics of the Bible mock predictive prophecy. Ironically, this often comes from within the Church. Preterists, mainline officials, even a growing number of evangelicals make fun of those of us who champion the validity of Bible prophecy.

One of the most outrageous examples of this occurred almost 10 years ago, when Christianity Today ran a cover story filled with alleged wrong-thinking by supporters of Israel and Bible prophecy. The illustration on the cover featured some of the leading spokesmen for Bible prophecy — caricatured — and led by then-Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. The cover and the article itself were crass. The author’s premise — that Bible prophecy adherents are misinterpreting Scripture — was itself so full of holes one could drive a truck through it. No matter; the screed drove home the point that Bible prophecy and its proponents are crackpot.

Wrong.

Recently, on a short walk from the King David Hotel to Jerusalem’s Old City, I stopped and marveled at a neighborhood within a stone’s throw of the city walls. This is the area first settled in the 19th century, after Jewish philanthropist Moses Montefiore subsidized housing outside the Old City walls. These dwellings thus fulfilled Zechariah 2:4 in a remarkable way.

And this is but one of thousands of confirmations of Scripture.

You see, Bible prophecy exists in the real world. Whenever we hear a critic mock the God of the Bible (and such critics often describe themselves as Christians), we should ask the question: “If the Bible were true, what should we expect to see in the real world?” The answer of course is that any of us can see the fulfillment of Bible prophecy every day. But if we believe another biblical claim, that man’s heart is rebellious, we can also see this at work, too.

A few years ago I attended a lecture by radical scholar John Shelby Spong. The retired Episcopal bishop is a major draw in many venues, including college audiences.

On this particular night, Spong was in his element at a mainline church, where he was treated like an icon. At the conclusion of his talk, which included poking fun at Bible prophecy (he also rejects the Resurrection, the Atonement, the Bible as God’s word, etc.), Spong was thrown softball questions. Mostly.

I stood and asked him, if Bible prophecy is invalid (a coincidence, myth, or history written after the fact), what does one do with Exodus 12:14? Here, the God of all history tells the Hebrews that they will observe Passover forever. That was almost 4,000 years ago and yet, today the world over, Jews from all walks of life celebrate the Passover. Religious, secularists…all of them observe the night unlike any other night.

Spong turned around and put his fingers to his lips, as if he were deep in thought. Finally, he spoke and basically said that he just rejects Bible prophecy.

Remember this: that answer is not good enough. Never let a critic off that easy. If they are going to mock God, they should be held accountable. Think of the impressionable college students today who hear a steady stream of invective aimed at the Bible. Yet professors are rarely called to account. They are allowed to continue ad hominem attacks on the Bible.

Think of the implications of Isaiah 51:18. Here, God is telling us that Israel will not be led to peace by her princes, her leaders. Now think of the great, capable men who have led modern Israel: David ben Gurion, Menachem Begin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon. The list goes on. Yet none of these men has been able to bring peace to Israel.

What is this if not an amazing fulfillment of prophecy? God has promised that He alone will save his people.

And what of the tightening noose on Jewish Jerusalem? After the heady days of June, 1967, when Jerusalem came under control of a sovereign Jewish government, who thought in terms of pressure and threats on Israel? After all, Israel then was still relatively friendly with many nations.

Today, those nations are slowly gathering for war. They hate Jews and they hate Israel. We live in a world in which the foreign ministers of China and Belgium huddle in the halls of the United Nations and discuss Israel’s lack of enthusiasm regarding the “peace process” with the Palestinians. Why should they care? Why should sophisticated, self-absorbed diplomats the world over give one whit about the small country on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean? They care, as Dave Hunt and others have pointed out, only because the Creator of all things said they would. He said the day would come when Jerusalem would be a tremendous sore spot for the international community.

That day is here. International pressure on Israel, and, specifically Jerusalem, has intensified for over a decade. It is getting worse.

Remember that the next time someone says Bible prophecy is bogus. Remember it and ask them politely to explain themselves.

You’ll have a long wait.

Jim Fletcher is a member of the executive committee of the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel (NCLCI) and co-authored the 2001 book, The Last War, with David Lewis. His writings have appeared in the Jerusalem Post, WorldNetDaily, and OneNewsNow. He is available to speak in churches on the subject of Bible prophecy, apologetics, and current issues. Jim can be reached at jim1fletcher@yahoo.com.