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SUBLIMITY AND SUBWAYS
The exponents of plans for man are many. The plans are awry, lacking compassion, or coherent conception, humanity or divinity. They whirl in a world which has outgrown God, which being impossible, is mere illusion. Britain, wonder harbour of so much so sacrificial for Christ, of such valour and missionary ardour, of such character and lovingkindness directly reflected from the Lord, despite the variable input of much to the contrary, now wanders and wonders. It rose for a time, like a rocket determinedly gaining altitude, but wavered like Challenger. Having given entrance to Christ without the papacy, the Bible without the traditions and the Lord without the suppressions, as a powerful initial thrust, refined in time, though somewhat variably, and with sudden lapses from time to time as worldly interests clouted their fellows, it is now changing character, rapidly losing its Christian character; for now its energies are firing in different directions, its orbit is eccentric and perilous and ait scarcely knows its own mind. This was seen in Ch. 2 of The Lie has a Limited Shelf-Life, Truth Endures Forever.
The USA, fabulous founder of many godly institutions, not least Princeton as a Presbyterian centre of excellence, with its famous seminary, before its spiritual corruption becoming manifest from the early 1900s, till that body actually moved from the Bible as the only source of doctrine to whatever it preferred (cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gresham_Machen), has long been moving awry, and now faster and faster it goes in an altogether different direction. It is a nation which was a spreader of many missions, source of marvels of religious education, wonders of works for the glory of the Lord, as of incredible crime and distortion in her latter days, tepidly tampering in the field of theology, while cordially pressing many to embrace vigorously all that unbelief could offer, compounding novelties with the Bible and nostrums with truth. Sadly, the hearts of many have been lured, at times even incited with extreme vigour for more than a century of robust ruin, with sects and specious wonders of self-affirmation, and is becoming ambivalent. Changes of heart are soon apparent in changes of head.
Merely as a symptom, her new President is found calling a book defamatory of Christ, of His salvation, of His deity, of His mission, a holy one, while speaking in most respectful if not empathetic terms of Islamic convictions, extolling the Koran. The US defence of Israel in its divine restoration, pending the coming thrust of salvation that near for it (as in It Bubbles ... Ch. 10, and Zechariah 12, Ezekiel 36ff. - cf. SMR Appendix A) has been astonishing in the day of Nixon, of Reagan. Enormous efforts were made for the removal of what destabilised her little harbour to which she has returned, and would rush her to her grave. America did not wish to see her grave-clothes.
This cordiality from the USA for Israel, it is so no more. That day has changed, that also. Now the USA has permitted the Palestinian Authority diplomatic mission in Washington for the first time, to raise their flag over their site (Israel My Glory, March-April 2011), "symbolically transforming the location into a national embassy". In this, it moves with Ireland, which has upgraded the PLA delegation to the status of diplomatic mission with the leader referred to as Ambassador. While the move is muted somewhat, the ingredients and their direction are clear. Medvedev has made it clear that since the 20th century, Russia has supported a Palestinian state with capital in East Jerusalem, and that it will continue to do so. It is almost as if he too has a passion, to fulfil and write in the modern equivalents of the surge assault to come on Israel as in Ezekiel 37-39!
While then two of the chief bastions of Protestant religious enterprise and evangelical outreach in this world, two of the most obvious engines of action, are now in vast need of oil and power, each in debt and increasingly unconcerned with the debt of both to Christ for what both became, and straying with energy and application, other peoples move more and more towards the UN type of hype, morals with no divine mouth, morals of man built on man as he imagines himself to be, now here, now there, spouting international brotherhood while being so far from showing it as to make of the travesty, a triumph mainly for humour. Works like "Defeat of an Ideal", written by Shirley Hazzard, and her "People in Glass Houses" attest disaffected responses to this elaborate humanism in its practical outcomes, mighty pretensions compared to small deeds and formalistic methods.
the secularisation of the sacred continues to burn in its smoky temples, in this
darkened world, with neither sacrifice nor sublimity, Israel shows its return an
index to the end just as it began after the first recovery from the universal
flood which struck the world last time, yes, and came to ending it. Its
treatment is showing just that lure to eliminate it, to control it which was
foretold by the God of the Bible in Deuteronomy 32, Zechariah 12-14, Ezekiel
36-39. Alike its freedom for Israel and its international muscling by
interfering nations are precisely what was predicted as one unique index of the
impending return of Christ. We do not know HOW near, but that it is near, is
like so much else in the self-vaunting of mankind in his world, part of the cue
for the final rigor mortis of this challenged globe, where judgment and not mere
death is coming (cf. Answers to Questions
Ch. 5 and SMR Ch.
Nations are falling and failing, at best in confused compromise, at worst in positive alliance with a new genocide, bit by bit, corpse by scattered corpse, rocket by rocket, some of them from Russia without love. Some of these are sprayed on Israel from the land she freely gave, Gaza, to the Palestinians (a national topic to which we shall return in the next section). Other modes of harassment, no homes, death, persecution abound in Sudan where Christians have been assailed and assaulted for so long by so many that it is marvel any are left; they are to be found in India where Church elimination is becoming distressingly familiar, as at Orissa, or in China where pastors may be impeached for preaching not according to the á la mode method required, or imprisoned; while even in Britain one Home Secretary, not so long ago, was to be found comparing evangelical Christians to terrorists, for reasons incapable of disentanglement from confusion (cf. Deserts and Desserts Ch. 6).
In the midst of such an unspiritual and desultory, even deadly scenario, it is good to continue to emphasise, focus and feature the divine sublimity of the ardour of Christ's salvation. It remains, as it will, the only hope for man, and when it is finished (cf. Revelation 6:9ff.), so too is the scope for redemption on this earth; for after His rule, it will be gone, and those who cling to their sin, are clamped with with what they clutch, to a worse resultant (John 8:24). Reality is not a function of abstracted thought, but of what God has instituted, both in and for man, and about him in His creation (cf. The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 6); and it does not alter because someone yells, or casts spells, be these political or military, militant or of the order of Shangri-La.
Creation is not a by-product of human thought but of divine action; salvation from the sin which blurs, mars, distorts and contorts itself on this earth is not a purchasable item for man, but a given focus from God. If it is not taken, what you get is what God said would be the case; and very assuredly, this is it.
In avoiding this, if such a heart is found in you, it is necessary to find the basis of salvation, and in seeking it, it is not a matter for idle roaming, or spitting hostility, but reconciliation with God before man (II Corinthians 5:17ff.). Thus, whatever man's faults before man may be, those before the Creator of that very equipment which is found in man are vastly more horrid, being elemental and devastating at the very source, even of what is given to him. Does he thank God for it, find them manual for its use, use the cure for his distempers, find pardon for his sin ? or do many move away, scurrying, flurrying or hurrying off with the precious life they are given, like a dog with a desired bone, barking possessively as he runs.
With man, there is scope for the heart and mind, the body and power to blight of any member of this race, including for each one, his own soul, spirit and mind. Indifference to God is not reciprocal. It brings rising costs for the omission, as if an engine ran without oil. Until this debt is covered, vain are efforts to finance the universe with dissolute and impalpable, freakish and ill-founded founderings and clownings from the heart of man. It is, then, high time to seek the Lord in His sublimities, and to realise that anything less will never do for man, if any of this race are to continue.
The Gospel of divine grace is immutable (Galatians 1), and its ways and words continue as always, both effectual and fulfilled on all sides. This is the escape hatch, and as in a submarine, there is no other (Hebrews 6:19).
Meanwhile, there is a particularity, concerning Israel, which it would be ridiculous to call sublime, in the internecine, devious, morally delinquent and increasingly renewed anti-Semitic passion which is being aroused in a way for which the slither that seeks to remove the holocaust of Hitler from history has been an apt preparation. It would be far wiser to look to remove the hatred from the hearts of man; yet just as futile. It is only God who can do that.
However sublimity is here. It is found in the extent of the still offered mercy
After this, to retain an interest in such a nation, even to have it kept
To continue to offer salvation to a disloyal people, adhering to its denials,
this surpasses even that.
To have had this scenario in mind all along, till Israel responds as a nation
To use this to find many more, who are not of
There is sublimity.
Before God finally acts as He has stated, precisely in such a milieu as is now developing, it is well to see this phase of the general declivity which is seizing the nations, as part of the whole, and a specialised one at that.
THE WORD AND WILL AND WAY OF GOD
ARE SPIRITUAL ARSENIC
The Dose Taken is Increasing
Israel, Its Neighbours and The World
The following elements are recent and worth noting. They represent a concurrence, an elevation, a thrust as of a dynamised scythe stroke, as if amid the peoples of this entire world, restraint is reducing, desire is increasing, and the appetite for an end to Israel mounts like the Japanese tsunami. It is contrasted with the other side of it. To be sure, Israel as a nation first crucified Christ, according to the divine plan which knew how to turn evil to good; but since then, as Paul points out in Romans 11:22-25), there is no ground for Gentile scoffing, highmindedness, self-assurance.
"And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree,
were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches.
"But if you do boast,
remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
"You will say then,
'Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.'
'" Well said.
Because of unbelief they were broken off,
and you stand by faith.
Do not be haughty, but fear.
For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
"Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God:
on those who fell, severity;
but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness.
Otherwise you also will be cut off.
And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in,
for God is able to graft them in again.
"For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature,
and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree,
how much more will these, who are natural branches,
be grafted into their own olive tree?
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery,
lest you should be wise in your own opinion,
that blindness in part has happened to Israel
until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
"And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
'The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.' ”
While then this advice is disregarded with an almost religious zeal, like that of some students who delight in mordancy, trifling, disengagement, rudeness and unruliness, and exult in their follies, so does the end come not creeping now, but rushing, intent on its explosive arrival, as sure as an arrow, while man sets himself up with wry smile, as target for vast trouble, taunting the while. He will shortly have his wish as in Revelation 19:19.
With these things in mind, then, let us consider some of the developments, concerning Israel, first in a broader perspective, and then quite recently, keeping in mind what has already been said.
1) In the first century A.D., there was the Life-Giving Flow of Grace
In divine providence and grace, this was so used by God that in due course, as event upon event accumulated, entire nations were to be found adopting pro-Christian attitudes at various times, starting with the Roman Empire. Thus God used some in Israel in the early formation of the Christian Church, in this planned export. The nation failed, but the apostles triumphed and the Gentile world was regaled.
As by them, precious exports were made, in contrast, now there has been and is abundant import of death to Israel from sundry sources, international pressure and presumption, effort to divest Israel of more land, gross libel and the like. These are features of the end of the Age, of which we have seen much more lately, in an obvious intensification of war, earthquake, seas and waves roaring, more incendiary attitudes to Israel, confirming even more acutely, that the this time up! is near.
2) Thus the Death-Dealing flow of assault on Israel by Gentiles near and far,
3) Since the return according to prediction as in Ezekiel 36ff., and
implied in Luke 21:24,
This phase is that of Jerusalem, at long last restored to Israel,
thus showing we are near the end
(Luke 21:24, 28, Zechariah 12:1ff.).
It is one unique element in the list of preliminaries
as specified by Jesus Christ in Matthew 24 and Luke 21, for example.
The world's distemper at its doorstep is now in vogue, in view, and in process.
That being so, let us see some recent developments in these terms.
There is the array of mordant and mortal messages, directed to Israel the
when despite the UN, and surrounding nations,
Israel stood and was founded as a nation.
As to the nations, the prophet declares of this ultimate restoration leading on to Christ's return
(Ezekiel 37:24ff.), that THEN
"the nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel
when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore."
THAT sanctuary is Christ (cf. John 2:18-22, cf. Revelation 21:22). This will be quite an enlightenment for those who do not find it in their hearts to heed the word of the Creator that there is one quite small portion of the earth He made that is given without qualification to Israel, however much she may for sin be exiled at any time, and that this does not change (cf. Genesis 17:7-8 and Galloping Events Ch. 4). Indeed and further, in Ezekiel 39, after the Lord has shown His mind about the invasive forces aligned against Israel at this eschatological moment, we find further on ... education.
"The nations will know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity;
because they were unfaithful to Me,
therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies,
and they fell by the sword ...
"Therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob,
and have mercy on the whole house of Israel...
then they will know that I am the Lord their God ,
who sent them into captivity among the nations,
but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer."
Now new events appear to be scurrying for more and more blatant effort to
desecrate if not annihilate Israel,
on the part of various nations; and some who have helped, appear to be losing zest.
Argentina is inclined to accept an offer from Iran to abandon seeking
Egypt's new foreign minister is keen on changing policy re Israel,
Gaza rockets can now reach the outskirts of Tel Aviv, and have hit Beer Sheba.
Russia through Medvedev states that Russia has recognised
Israel is preparing an Iron Dome defence weapon, to repel missiles from Gaza.
10) The support of the USA, formerly so great, sincere and direct,
Data on RELEVANT REAL ESTATE, GEOLOGICAL AND SPIRITUAL
The Middle East in ONE respect is incredibly simple as an action centre.
In this, there are two parties: God on the one hand gave Israel its land by divine decree (Genesis 17:7-8), which while including in covenant, results of departure from it, which have been fulfilled in the dispersion (cf. Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28-32), also included an impermeable insistence on their continuation there. Hence their divinely ensured return (cf. Micah 7:14ff., Deuteronomy 32:29ff., Ezekiel 36-39 cf. SMR Appendix A). On the other hand, man gives Israel's appointed land to whoever will have it, be it Roman or Turk, or Arab, so that although Palestine was appointed for a homeland to Israel, yet much of it was given to Jordan instead, while now more is sought, including part of Jerusalem.
Accordingly, there is a biblically predicted war which would start, as it in fact did start, with triumphs by Israel, as in 1948, 1967, 1973, disproportionate though the battle was from numerous enemies, as foretold in Zechariah 12. This continues when conversions to Christ come in great numbers in Israel (12:10-13:1) and ends in a massive malady for those who do not stop at taking God on, even when the whole earth is there, no small part of it in Islamic hands. Despite this, they MUST have Israel and it MUST become even more indefensible than it now is, except that is, by God.
Fancy disputing property rights with the Maker of land! Yet if Israel is an index, what of Christ ? How many are involved in repeats of that slaughter in their hearts, these living lands unyielded, divested from the divine mercy, alike with weighty results! That, the real estate of the heart, is the most crucial of all.
Voiding reality is worse than anaesthetic, and far more fatal. Imprisonment by sin pits vision, slays uprightness and imperils life (John 8:34-36), and in this is small profit.
It is the liberation of THAT land of which Paul spoke boldly in Rome, as do and must we in our day throughout this present world, while it remains. Without its Maker, many are unmade, fashioned by fiasco, finished along with their idols; and of that kind of thing, surely Israel has given the world ample exhibition of the cost! Great will be the day of its spiritual return in large measure (Romans 11:25ff.), for long enduring Israel (Jeremiah 33:10ff.), whose distinguishable continuation amazes the world, just as it was guaranteed by God. If return to their land was great, then greater yet will be the day of any one, Jew or Gentile, who finds the Lord crucified, yes rather risen, and peace in Him. It is this, the return in heart to man's heartland in Christ, which matters most (Luke 15:10).
Above all, Christ was under arrest, importing nails, exporting pardon. When HE is imported, then grace is exported (Revelation 3:20, John 7:37-38), for then the heart is regenerated, the spirit is infilled with His presence (Romans 8:9, Ephesians 3:16), which being uncontainable, wells up, springs out and brings hope to many. Hope only is not all, for as His imprisonment in locales ending in the that of the cross, has brought liberty, so His resurrection brings certainty, conferring to faith in Him, everlasting consolation, eternal life and scope for service till He comes, however arresting our circumstances may appear (II Thessalonians 2:16), who for every Christian,
"will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body,
according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself" (Philippians 3:21).
As the crescendo mounts, so will the definitive conditions for the divine assault on the assault forces; and it is sad that they so wiggle the tongue of the lion, and mock the weak Jews who having taken a piece of the land granted by the League of Nations (cf. Israel, Vol. 3, Ch. 9) as their homeland, give, give, give and are given evil in return.
After all, amid what appears almost the new partial Islamification of the USA which seems to be bred in presidential chambers, that is a sympathy and empathy which by observation seems to favour none on this earth more than they, which by no means nationally endorsed, is yet having a significant impact on current history, there is one outstanding feature. It is this.
The Lord in Deuteronomy 32:36, just before coming for the deliverance of Israel with divine power (Deuteronomy 32:39-42 cf. Micah 7:15ff.), notes a vital point concerning timing. It is "when He sees that their power is gone" that He acts. The removal of the enormous help given already to Israel from more faithful times in the USA, to helping this beleaguered democracy, with new emphasis on slicing off a section of the minuscule remnant of the Palestine appointed for homeland in the Balfour Declaration, and probably seeking part of Jerusalem for the capital of the enclave so created, with other land which Israel has already donated, is NOT the critical element. It can come and go, as nations do before God; but HIS WILL is always done.
It is always to be recalled that God has appointed times and seasons for the nations (Acts 17:26-27), "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us..." Whether a nation rises in realisation of the divine truth of Jesus Christ and the Bible, or leaves it, becomes fiery in faith or tepid in spiritual truancy, this is as it will be; but the plans of the Lord, who knows all from the first to the last, do not alter, not one speck! You see this in such scriptural sites as Matthew 5:17-20, Amos 3:1-7, Jeremiah 23:23-29, Isaiah 34, 14:27. One is to hope that the current flurry of disfaith beginning to move the waters in the USA will abate; but reality does not alter. Each must align as he or it will, and results flow as reality is found. Mercy is for faith, not fibrillation.
It is the Lord who from the first as Creator, to the last as Redeemer, and at the last as Judge, whose word written, the sole authorised word of God to mankind (cf. SMR, TMR) whose word reviews events past and still to come, and whose Spirit moves as He will, bringing repentance or revival, challenge or comfort; and as His sublimity and ardour for salvation has moved, so does His zeal to find each of His own proceed to the culmination. Events to not shape the Lord; He shapes events, and as with Pharaoh, where wickedness becomes the desire of the heart, there is ample scope for due confrontation at the time of His choosing, and doubtless the Pharaoh of the Exodus was not a little surprised as the divine actions mounted to the heavens and down to the waters, and even divided the sea; but his army had little time to reflect at this phase.
God is patient, not pliable; stunning in mercy, and reliable, faithful to the uttermost, keeping promise and covenant, but He will not bend His will to the sales of human confusion, offered to replace Him. Willing even to be crucified, He is not willing to evacuate heaven that hell might find the hearts of all. He knows and He will keep His own, Jew or Gentile, in this our race; and the sublime fact is that to the very end, the water of life is available freely (Revelation 22:17).
To whom ? It is available to those who thirst. He thirsts that they come; and if they nevertheless, as foreknown from the first, before all their works and apart from these, desire otherwise, then their teeth are not broken in order to open their mouths that they might drink! God is not like that. It is well to reflect a moment, yes more, as this world is pouring itself like some abandoned suicide, intent on passing the summit of the Niagara Falls.
On the topic of the fulfilment of the prediction about half a millenium before Christ came to earth, that Jerusalem, in the midst of turbulent military events, in which period it would turn in vast numbers to the crucified Messiah, would be cut into two (Zechariah 14:2), we cite below from SMR (slightly revised for this context).
The U.N. recommended plan of division of 1947 and the current approach to internationalisation alike, together with the actual assaults from all the (relevant) surrounding nations, commence the fulfilment of Zechariah 14: one in which the very international body of nations put forward a plan to subjugate Jerusalem, as international premises. The following actual division in 1948, takes it further to local actuality. Did 'all nations' gather to battle against it. First in word and then in fact.
This, then is the fulfilment, in terms of the fact that 'all' in such contexts sometimes (as with any ordinary speech) refers to those which are relevant and in contextual view. (Thus: Luke 2:1- "all the habitable world" should be taxed; whereas Rome did not have all in its power.
The point is idiomatically clear. It refers to all that in the context are relevant. So it is with 1 Cor. 6:12, 10:23 - 'all' does not mean anything at all. It is, rather, applicable to the moral and assumed area of concern. The focus of attention may with intelligence be taken for granted when it is utterly clear. Similarly, in II Samuel 16:22, 'all Israel' does not mean that each person in the land gained access to this sight, but that it was to the relevant point as if each had done so: all involved were affected thus.
However in this case, the matter is yet further (*7) fulfilled, amply and abundantly, in the 'world opinion' approach to diffusing the secular view of Jerusalem: this was explicitly contained in the U.N. internationalisation resolution for the city: one apparently legitimising world-wide usage and thereby directing an assault on the very Jewish integrity of the city. Roughly, it was as if Dr Goebbels had intimated to the world forum that London was actually an international city. That would be war in itself!
Such a view of Jerusalem was taken up, certainly in a partisan way, all too readily in 1948.
Turning now largely to the text of a letter sent in reply to an enquirer, some years ago, let us continue to cover this topic.
What is sure is that when the nations attacked Jerusalem as in Zechariah 14, that is past. Jerusalem was duly divided into two, as predicted. The UN and many others surrounding it, assailed it, in various ways; just as in Luke 2:1, Rome taxed ‘all the world’ (but it did not in fact occupy all of it, so obviously what is the relevant cosmos is what is in view – cf. SMR pp. 818-819). Such a view of Jerusalem as the object for the nations was taken up, certainly in a partisan way, all too readily in 1948.
Citing from SMR, in the location noted in the letter, before resuming it, we have this.
The surrounding nations, with their relatively vast resources of space and manpower, did gather against Jerusalem, with the all-nation council of the U.N. active in withdrawing from the Jews any legitimacy in the verbal part of the battle. Words, politics, arms, surrounding nations: all coincided in the assault on Jerusalem. On the other side, for the Jews, there seemed to be no allies in operation.
Poole also points out the idiom and nature of the case concerning Zech. 14 with its idiomatic limits.
Similarly, in Jeremiah 28:11, the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar is to be removed from the neck of all nations. However, it is obvious that this again refers to the contextual concept, all being here all who are in view in the operation, all whom he conquered, the relevant matrix of hostile nations. He did not conquer the unknown world, but the known one.
Accordingly, if we say, ‘all the school was assailing him,’ it would depend on context whether we meant that kids from the infants’ department were in it, or that those with relevant access! In this case, the world of those, in one way or another, voting and isolating and ignoring or repudiating Jewish claims, adverse, hostile, armed with words or weapons of another sort, with diplomacy or averted eyes while not intervening in the gross and outrageous disproportion: all were involved.
Even Bevin, British Foreign Secretary made it clear that oil mattered, and that there was a policy concerning the Middle East correspondingly. The parley with the Arabs, and the point of it, was quite explicit in this discourse. Indeed, British warships even intervened when Jewish ships tried in 1948 to make it to Palestine. Moreover, the term ‘battle’ in Zech. 14:2 means, ‘battle, conflict, eating up,' the last precisely what the UN was doing to Israel with almost incredible violence to international agreement wrought during and after World War I; while in I Samuel 17:47, we learn that “the Lord does not save with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s and He will give you into our hands.”
Battles are in many phases, functions and dimensions. In the spiritual wars, there are phases and bases which abound (Ephesians 6), and these have always been there (as in Job 1), since the very Fall (Romans 5, Ephesians 6).
The pan-national pressure was on Israel from Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the Arab Liberation Army and Arab Palestinian Forces, as historically described in Wikipedia. These surrounded Israel, just as the UN, a very multi-national body, in its desire to internationalise Jerusalem and leave disjointed bits of Palestine to Israel, had already warred on it in 1947, surrounding it with dissolution by decree, almost eliding the grant of Balfour. Their fierce darts at the land continued to bring instability, vulnerability and to scourge the Jew. How varied were the assaults and how multiple was the battle.
Let us interpolate here momentarily. before reverting to the letter, in the next paragraph. How simple and clear, however was the 1948 result of battle: Israel gained a land, and a capital, and there was ravagement and that capital was only HALF of Jerusalem, thus fulfilling all the prophecy in this phase.
There were kinds of war and degrees, but which of the nations stood for it!
Indeed, the case is irrefutable and must go further. As L.E. Snellgrove points out in his "The Modern World Since 1870":
"Wilson's League had failed because some of the largest nations had not joined and because it had no armed force at its disposal. Now all the winning or neutral countries were members."
The rest, who had lost, were as it were, in ward, under control. Thus the UN did indeed cover this world together with the actual physical troops from many nations all surrounding Israel; and what was defeated was in its control! It was this UN body which had proposed the infamous betrayal of the Balfour Declaration, and reduced Israel to a pittance without a capital of its own. It was here that the aggressive battle had been brought. It was horrendous, but even then, the Arabs did not accept the proposal. Hence they made war, and did not find peace. All the nations failed in their multi-partite battle.
It is necessary to point out that it has happened as in Zechariah 14:1. It is not a matter of "when" and "will" now. We are moving already on the fast track of Zechariah 14. Yet many seem asleep, not seeing the manifest fulfilment before their very eyes, in one of the most amazing victories of all time, that of 1948 when as witness has reported, there was indeed pillage and raping as foretold, and half of the city was taken, the other half not! It is all there.
It is rather like Christ telling the disciples that they were slow of heart not to believe, since He had fulfilled the specifications (Luke 24:25-26):
" 'O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?' And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself."
It is sad when the evident fulfilment of a prophecy is ignored, and parlayed. How many times does the Lord have to act before it is realised! The time is indeed near as events pulse towards the epochal event of Zechariah 14:5 (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5, SMR Ch. 8), namely Christ's return, and the Lord's rule on this earth as seen in what follows there, in the light of Isaiah 53, 59 - 61, 66 (cf. The Impregnable Tower Ch. 8, esp. *2, and its sub-references to symbolism and substance in Zechariah), as in Isaiah 11, 32, Psalm 72, Micah 4.
The return of the Lord (as markedly noted in Zech. 14:5, and in Acts 1:7ff., Matthew 24:50, Revelation 1:7, 19:11ff., Mark 14:62, Psalm 2:8ff. ) is growing increasingly imminent. What is to be done is not to look to this, or against that nation, in some seer-like addition to the actual words of the Bible, and to try to stir up hatred or contempt against a nation, such as the USA, which while in enormous fall, is merely coming to a common level amongst the nations!
Instead, what is needed is to look for the coming of the Lord and to be ready for HIM! (Hebrews 9:28). That is no interpretative subjectivity, but bald and blatant fact.