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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Judenhass and Armageddon

In an article entitled “A Rare Point of Agreement”, journalist Mark Steyn points out that “ethnic Europeans and excitable young Muslims” only agree on one thing: that “all the current troubles of the world are because of … Israel”.

In fact, anti-Semitism is the only thing around which not only Europe but most countries of the world are currently able to unite. Steyn quotes Brendan O’Neill, who wonders:
“Why are Western liberals always more offended by Israeli militarism than by any other kind of militarism? It’s extraordinary.”
O’Neill continues by noting that:
“Anyone possessed of a critical faculty must at some point have wondered why there’s such a double standard in relation to Israeli militarism, why missiles fired by the Jewish State are apparently more worthy of condemnation than missiles fired by Washington, London, Paris, the Turks, Assad, or just about anyone else on Earth.”
It’s not only extraordinary; I’d contend it’s miraculous.

The irrational intensity of Jew-hatred is building to such a fever pitch worldwide that even the relatively few honest journalists left in the world are compelled to marvel at it.

In an earlier post on the subject of “failed” prophecy I mentioned several reasons why I believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God. But another reason I find the narrative of God’s word persuasive is that it gives a coherent rationale for anti-Semitism that remains opaque to the earnest journo merely looking for a story.

Amillennialism vs. Reality

I wondered aloud earlier this week if there is any thinking Christian left who continues to subscribe to the Amillennial view of Bible prophecy. For those unacquainted with the term, Wikipedia says that:  
“The amillennial view holds that … the millennium has already begun and is identical with the current church age.”
and that:
“Christ’s reign during the millennium is spiritual in nature.”
meaning the Lord rules now, metaphorically and spiritually in the hearts of believers rather than in a future day, literally and personally over the entire world from the city of Jerusalem, as the Old Testament prophets insist.

The practical difficulties involved in identifying what we presently experience with the prophesied 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth are considerable even during times of relative peace. But in the current political and religious environment, I’d estimate they are near-insurmountable to anyone not completely in denial.

But that’s one view of Bible prophecy, and historically it has been a fairly popular one.

The Alternative View of Prophecy

I, on the other hand, believe that while the Lord most certainly reigns in my heart today, he will also one day rule over the entire earth for a period of 1,000 years. I’m not alone in that; millions of other Christians see the teaching of Scripture along those lines. Prior to that time will come the Great Tribulation (also called the second half of Daniel’s prophetic 70th week), a period of war, misery, plague and devastation the like of which has never been seen in history. It will culminate in a battle at Megiddo, about 25 miles west-southwest of the Sea of Galilee in Israel, often referred to as ‘Armageddon’.

Psalm 2 speaks of these things when it says:
“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed.”
But in order for these things to take place, most of the world — the “kings of the earth” — would have to have a plausible reason to attack Israel.

Prophecy and Current Events

Hmm. Can you picture that? Maybe not this year or next, maybe not for a decade or two, though circumstances in the Middle East can shift seismically overnight. But isn’t it just a little bit conceivable that if western liberals and Muslims can find agreement on the basis of their common hatred of Israel, then a very large number of nations may also soon find a reason to work together over the same cause?

The Six-Day War of 1967 was fought between Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria. But in the four and a half decades since, millions upon millions of Arabs who want to see the end of Israel as a national entity and, in many cases, the extermination of the Jewish people, have immigrated to western nations and have begun to influence their political decisions, positions and views, whether through propaganda or plain old intimidation. The U.S., Canada and all the nations of Europe have, to varying degrees, embraced immigrants from the Middle East whose loyalties remain there.

Under these circumstances, with Europe under intense pressure to support Arab causes and historically inclined to anti-Semitism in any event; with China allied with Syria and friendly with Saudi Arabia and most other Arab and African nations; and with Russia determined not to let down its Syrian and Iranian allies, can you imagine a scenario in which the “kings of the earth” take their stand against Israel?

If you can’t, you’re not watching the news. Christians who believe their master knew what he was talking about are not stupid enough to set dates, but the end is coming.

Western journalists marvel at the volcanic intensity of Judenhass (Jew-hatred) and remain bewildered by the logical inconsistencies and blatant racism inherent in the political positions and rhetoric of Israel’s enemies.

But students of Bible prophecy know exactly where it comes from.

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