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Israel in the End-Time 6. Compromise
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As the time for the Messiah's coming approaches, the Spirit of God is moving in a mighty way to prepare people's hearts for this great event. However, at the same time powerful forces of deception have been unleashed to pave the way for the appearing of the false messiah. He will come before the true Messiah and try to snatch His kingdom and the throne of David from Him.
We need to be able to clearly distinguish between these two spiritual forces that are at work:
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. An this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error" (1 Jn. 4:1-6).
The spiritual forces of truth and deception represent two entirely incompatible kingdoms, i.e. the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. The one paves the way for the coming of the true Messiah, and the other one for the false messiah. It is obvious that no compromise whatsoever is possible between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Spiritual polarisation between them inevitably occurs.
Fierce struggle in Israel
The intensity of the struggle between the opposing forces of light and darkness is particularly fierce in Israel. Jerusalem is not only the city to which Jesus will come back from heaven, but also the seat of His future world government. For this reason the false messiah will make every effort to estrange Jerusalem from the control of its rightful owners, the Jews, thereby trying to prevent the Jewish Messiah to establish His millennial kingdom here. Instead, the false messiah will proclaim himself as God and universal ruler in Jerusalem.
There are different perceptions about the rising tension and spiritual polarisation in Israel. On the one hand, there are those who realise that two kingdoms are contending for supremacy in Israel and Jerusalem, and that victory must be secured at all cost for the one which they support. On the other hand, there are those who don't seem to realise the incompatibility of the two interest groups, and who do everything in their power to reach a compromise between the contending parties.
Dividing the land and the city
In order to ease the tension in Israel, a policy of compromise has lately gained much popular support among various interest groups in the struggle for the control of the land and the city of Jerusalem. The three main groups concerned are the following:
None of these parties has obviously taken any note of what God has to say about the division of the land:
"For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgement with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land" (Joel 3:1-2).
It is quite clearly not within the plan of God, neither in Israel's political, economic or security interests, to relinquish Gaza and the West Bank area to the PLO, and Golan to Syria. This will only lead to renewed pressure to transfer East Jerusalem, and eventually the entire city, to Palestinian control. Down through the ages, one of the powerful rallying cries for the warriors of the Islamic jihad was Al Quds! Jerusalem! Today, despite the peace accord, it is still one of their main objectives to conquer and control Jerusalem.
The peace accord between Israel and the PLO is bad news for all Israeli's. It will not produce the peace that everybody has hoped for. Peace accords of this nature are part of a long standing military strategy in the Islamic world. They only engage in a practice of this nature to restore their military strength for the final victory. In his Book The great deception Philistine (1995, p. 100-101), Ramon Bennett says:
"It was Mohammed himself who laid the foundation for Islam to build a history of making peace with an enemy in order to attack at a later, more opportune time. In 628, Mohammed made a peace treaty with the Kuraish tribe in Mecca in order for Moslems to worship at the Ka'abah. Two years later, when he had gained more followers and was considerably stronger, he abrogated the treaty and attacked the Kuraish people, slaughtering every male among them. This agreement between Mohammed and the infidels of Mecca is known as the Truce of Hudaybiyyah. This truce became a model and precedent in Islamic law for all agreements with infidels: never permanent, never lasting more than 10 years (with a possibility of another 10 years extension, no more). Islam is not permitted to stop its war against non-Moslems for more than this period.
"In the Arab-Islamic teaching concerning peace with non-Moslems, the peace is an entirely Islamic affair: it is initiated by the Moslems when they feel it is a necessity, and anticipate its practical benefits; and they end it at their will whenever they feel they should or can. Even when peace treaties are entered into by the Islamic people with non-Moslems, the enemy remains an enemy. In the Islamic thought and teaching, it is permissible to conclude peace treaties for practical reasons, on the road to ultimate Islamic victory. The Islamic concept of peace is therefore the cessation of hostilities until such time the conditions favour resumption of hostilities that will ultimately lead to Islamic victory.
"The truce is part of Islam's long-term policy of war it is an integral facet of Islam's drive to bring the world into complete subjection. According to Islamic law books, 'war could be interrupted, when expedient, by an armistice or truce of limited duration. It could not be terminated by a peace, but only by victory.'
"When the enemy is too strong, as Israel has proven again and again, a truce may be made for a limited time. The enemy understands such a truce as peace, but Arafat and all Arabs see peace as a weakness to exploit. The Israeli-PLO Peace Accord, therefore, is a tactical move in an overall plan."
A false sense of security
As a result of the peace accord, Israel enjoys a false sense of security. The champions of the peace accord are public heroes. However, if the large gains and deceptive strategy of the PLO is taken into account, as well as the weakened position of Israel, there is really no reason for rejoicing. The present situation is reminiscent of the peace talks in Israel just prior to the Babylonian captivity:
"They (the religious leaders of the nation) have healed the hurt of My people slightly, saying, 'Peace, peace!' when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush" (Jer. 6:14-15).
The critical factor in the present conflict is not the power and threats of the enemy, but the spiritual position of the people of God. If they truly turn to the Lord and worship Him in spirit and truth, He will not deliver them in the hands of their enemies and not allow their land to be divided (this principle is clearly explained in 2 Chron. 7:14). But if they don't repent, they must certainly know that they are facing a very dark time in their history:
"For who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem? Or who will bemoan you? Or who will turn aside to ask how you are doing? You have forsaken Me, says the Lord. You have gone backward. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am weary of relenting!" (Jer. 15:5-6).
Diplomatic and religious compromises, as well as the dividing of the Promised Land, are indeed a most expensive price to pay for a deal with those who despise the Holy One of Israel and reject His biblical covenants. A humanistically motivated peace of this nature will inevitably end up in disillusionment and disaster:
"For when they say, Peace and safety! then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape" (1 Thess. 5:3).
We are living in the end-time and we know according to the Bible that God is soon going to judge His enemies. But He is also going to severely try His people who are not reconciled with Him through the Messiah, and worship Him only with their lips while their hearts are far from Him.