Two struggles are tearing at the hope of those who dream of world
peace and the brotherhood of mankind. One has the world's attention
riveted on the little nation of Israel and the tiny city of Jerusalem.
The other is a quiet tug of war over soul winning. Though seemingly
unrelated, the future of both efforts are hopelessly intertwined.
The major players in the Jerusalem problem are seeking a political
solution but they know full well that it really involves a collision
of religions. On the surface it appears that there are only two
protagonists in the fray, Judaism and Islam. But Satan is happily
orchestrating a third party, the false Roman "church"
behind the scenes.
For centuries the popes have conspired for control of Jerusalem.
After World War I, when world leaders began to think globally,
the Vatican began pressing for the "internationalization"
of the "holy sites" in Palestine. The League of Nations,
(forerunner to the United Nations) was recommended as the administrating
But the idea didn't fly with the superpowers and prophecy was
fulfilled when the Jews fought for and won a tiny strip of Palestine
in 1948. While Israel and the Palestinians were fighting house-to-house
over the land, the pope, the American government and the United
Nations waged a diplomatic battle to establish UN control over
Israel won both contests, but for the next 45 years the papacy
lobbied hard, but without success, at every peace conference following
each skirmish between the Israelis and Arabs. At each point, the
pope's world-wide propaganda web attempted to cast Israel as the
The Vatican stonewalled Israel by refusing formal diplomatic relations
with Tel Aviv until the 1990s. And only then after Israel had
agreed to a militarily dangerous plan to trade land for peace.
Palestinian leader Yasar Arafat has been a frequent visitor at
World opinion has been affected. A recent vote in the UN General
Assembly condemning Israel's building of apartments in East Jerusalem
came out 134 to 3 against Israel. Only the US, Israel and the
tiny Pacific island nation of Micronesia opposed the resolution.
And the pope's propaganda machine rolls on. The National Catholic
Reporter, a major US weekly, carried articles in two consecutive
issues in April condemning Israel for human rights violations
against the Palestinians.
One headline declares: "Lovely Jerusalem is Haunted by Injustice."
Calling Prime Minister Netanyahu a liar, the paper accuses Israel
of "systematic and deliberate discrimination against the
Palestinian population of East Jerusalem," as well as torturing
to death political prisoners. Palestinians are "dehumanized"
by "rampant" injustice.
Israel is characterized as a Goliath at which the impotent Palestinians
can only throw stones with their slingshots. Such pictures in
an official Roman Catholic newspaper remove any doubt which side
of the conflict the pope is on.
Twenty-five hundred years ago Zechariah wrote (12:3): "And
in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people:
all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though
all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."
When Zechariah wrote, the city lay in ruins. Only God could have
seen that it would one day be the center of the world's attention.
But "God's time clock," as Jerusalem is sometimes called
by students of Bible prophecy, is close to striking midnight when
soul winners can no longer work.
In fact, it is ironic that, in spite of the staunch support of
Israel by Bible believers, the Israeli Knesset (parliament) recently
entertained a bill to outlaw soulwinning in that country. If passed,
anyone who used a religious tract as "an inducement to religious
conversion" could spend a year in jail.
The proposed law was introduced by radical Orthodox Jews whose
religious position is similar to the Pharisees in Jesus' day.
However, it was passed in a preliminary reading in the Knesset
by a vote of 21 to 7.
The wording is so vague that "The bill has caused deep foreboding
among both Jewish and Arab believers" in Israel. One analyst
declared: "Such a bill, if made law, would render illegal
almost all evangelical activity in Israel."
Israel today is not a lot different than when Jesus was crucified.
Many different political factions jockey for power but most of
them have no regard for their Saviour and a few are violently
opposed to anyone promoting the gospel. But Bible believers must
continue to stand on God's command to bless Israel even when "blindness
in part" has come to them.
Israel was God's first ambassadors chosen to show the world how
He would bless a nation that would obey him. The Bible-believing
church is God's New Testament ambassadors, declaring to the world
Satan's defeat through the Cross of Christ.
Together they both receive the full focus of Satan's fury. His
strategy is to create a false religion and maneuver to place it
in control of the government.
Missionaries in Israel are subjected to much the same situation
as in other countries with strong connections between religion