Weekly Update: “ I will lift up my banner to the peoples”

editor - 6 March 2020

Israel’s political crisis has not been resolved by the latest elections. It seems that the country is heading for more months of uncertainty and controversy.

The Coronavirus has led the government to impose severe measures and close the country temporarily to entry by citizens from thirteen countries in Asia and Europe.

Meanwhile, Israel’s neighbor Syria continues to be the scene of growing conflict between three major powers: Russia, Iran and Turkey.

Make sure you watch Amir Tsafarti’s latest update (see link below). We are witnessing prophecy unfolding before our very eyes.

Shabbat shalom,

Andrew Tucker
Editor-in-Chief – Israel & Christians Today

Israeli elections – no clear winner, future uncertain

With 99.9 percent of votes counted, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is out front with 29.48% of the 4,602,297 votes cast and is set to win 36 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White faction is currently at 33 seats with 26.59% of the ballots. Based on the current seat totals, which are highly unlikely to change, the right-wing religious bloc supporting Netanyahu — consisting of Likud, Shas, UTJ and Yamina — has 58 seats, falling short of the 61 needed to form a government.

David Horovitz writes in Times of Israel: “In limbo for days as it awaited the results of Monday’s elections, Israel is likely to remain in limbo even as the figures are finally confirmed — with the essential character of the country potentially at stake.”
Read more..

Netanyahu gave a fiery speech at a joint meeting of the Likud, Yamina, Shas and United Torah Judaism factions on Wednesday, during which he claimed to have won Monday’s election because his “Zionist-right” bloc received more seats, 58, than the Zionist-left bloc, 47. “The Joint List, which attacks our soldiers and opposes the State of Israel, is not part of the equation,” he said. Blue and White MK Ofer Shelah on Thursday castigated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for having “declared war against [Israel’s] Jewish democracy.” Read more..

Another important development is the likelihood that laws will be passed in the Knesset aimed at ensuring Benyamin Netanyahu cannot continue as Prime Minister. Avigdor Liberman’s party Yisrael Beytenu said in a statement that it had decided support Benny Gantz’s submission of two bills to the Knesset: “The first law [will] limit the tenure of a prime minister to two terms. The second law [will] prevent an MK facing indictment from forming a government.” Read more..


Israel imposes tough coronavirus policies

 Seventeen Israelis have been diagnosed with coronavirus and tens of thousands more are in home-quarantine as coronavirus panic spreads across the Jewish state ahead of the Purim holiday. While “better safe than sorry” has been the guiding principle for public health authorities, some have questioned the restrictions which are almost unparalleled in severity.
Read more..


Turkey, Russia and Iran – conflict escalating in Syria

Ankara’s announcement this week that it is once again opening the floodgates to allow millions of refugees from Syria’s brutal civil war to travel to south-eastern Europe in search of refuge has been taken to persuade European leaders to back Turkey’s increasingly desperate situation in Syria.

Assad regime forces, backed by Russia and Iran, are waging a highly effective campaign against the Turks, which has so far resulted in the deaths of scores of Turkish troops. The Russians now find themselves in a direct confrontation with Turkish forces in Idlib province, where the Turks are trying to protect a number of Islamist militias committed to overthrowing the Assad regime. Read more..

Amir Tsarfati comments: “Some of you are probably wondering why Iran, Russia, and Turkey are at a state of war when the Bible speaks of them coming against Israel together. Well, it’s very simple. The Bible never says they need to be friends in order to attack Israel. Each of them has something to gain from the invasion mentioned in Ezekiel. Russia wants gas and oil. Turkey plans to lead the Sunni world. And Iran wants to prepare the world for the coming of the Mahdi, an eschatological redeemer of Islam and the final Imam of the Twelve Imams.”


Israel and China – a growing friendship

Wang Jin in Middle East Quarterly: China’s relationship with Israel has come a long way since its tumultuous beginnings. No longer caricatured as an oppressive, imperialist U.S. proxy, Israel is clearly seen by Beijing for what it is: a flourishing nation with a stable political and social order, a highly developed economic system, and an advanced science and technology sector. Read more..

“Focus on the future” – Video teachings
by Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer

Rev. Willem Glashouwer helps us understand God’s prophetic word, and how prophecy is being fulfilled in our generation.

Volume 3 episode 6: Has the church replaced Israel as the chosen people of God? What about fulfilling His promises to the church? What about the everlasting covenants He made with Israel? Why is Israel coming back to the Promised Land? Why are all these prophetic events in the world taking place? Will there come a Kingdom of God? How should we deal with all these confusing facts in a Biblical way?


“An altar” – Video teaching
by Johannes Gerloff

Episode 15 in the series of teachings by Israeli-based Bible teacher and journalist Johannes Gerloff:

Why did Abram build an altar to the Lord? To reconcile with God? To establish a relationship with the Creator? What is the function of an altar?

Latest weekly teaching by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Hiddur mitzvah – bringing beauty to the fulfilment of a command – goes all the way back to the Mishkan. The great difference between ancient Israel and ancient Greece is that the Greeks believed in the holiness of beauty whereas Judaism spoke of hadrat kodesh, the beauty of holiness.

I believe that beauty has power, and in Judaism it has always had a spiritual purpose: to make us aware of the universe as a work of art, testifying to the supreme Artist, God Himself. Read more..


Weekly Roundup from Amir Tsarfati

Bible teacher and commentator Amir Tsarfati gives an update on latest developments in Israel and the Middle East.


Scripture for the week: Isaiah 49:22-26

 This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“See, I will beckon to the nations,
    I will lift up my banner to the peoples;
they will bring your sons in their arms
    and carry your daughters on their hips.
23 Kings will be your foster fathers,
    and their queens your nursing mothers.
They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground;
    they will lick the dust at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
    those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”

24 Can plunder be taken from warriors,
    or captives be rescued from the fierce

25 But this is what the Lord says:

“Yes, captives will be taken from warriors,
    and plunder retrieved from the fierce;
I will contend with those who contend with you,
    and your children I will save.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh;
    they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine.
Then all mankind will know
    that I, the Lord, am your Savior,
    your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”


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