The ”Times of the Gentiles”

The ”Times of the Gentiles”
Vol: 77 Issue: 21 Thursday, February 21, 2008

Despite claims by Israeli officials that the issue of Jerusalem was not raised in a meeting this week between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and PA head Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian officials say that is nonsense.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that “the meeting dealt with all the issues pertaining to a final-status agreement, including Jerusalem.”

So, who’s lying? The Israeli government or the Palestinian Authority? The very question provides insight into how corrupt the Arab-Israeli ‘peace’ process has become.

Since 1993, there was only one way to tell if the Palestinian Authority was lying — somebody in the Palestinian Authority was speaking on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

In 1993, the Palestinian Authority agreed, in writing, to put off discussions of Jerusalem until all other issues between the two sides were settled.

Within a week, Yasser Arafat stood on the Jericho/Jerusalem road and declared Jerusalem the “capital of Palestine.”

In 2002, the Palestinian Authority claimed the IDF massacred 52 unarmed Palestinians. To support their claim, they dug up dead bodies from a local graveyard.

Helicopter footage of a funeral for one of the victims showed the ‘body’ falling from the bier, and hastily climbing back aboard to continue the procession.

The Palestinian Authority denies there was ever a Jewish presence on Temple Mount, while standing in the massive shadow of the Western Wall of Solomon’s Temple.

The Palestinian Authority stole billions of dollars in international aid, dispersed the loot among its top leadership (especially Yasser Arafat) and accused Israel of sabotaging the Palestinian ‘economy’.

There really isn’t much point in listing the official lies of the Palestinian Authority — space wouldn’t permit it anyhow — and if I have to convince you, either you just arrived back on earth after an extended trip through the solar system, incredibly stupid . . . or you are a UN diplomat. (But I digress. . .)

Indeed, for the very FIRST time since the Oslo Agreement was first signed, I am honestly in doubt as to who is lying. But somebody has to be.

Following the meeting, Prime Minister Olmert ‘denied’ discussing Jerusalem, but the ‘denial’ itself was parsed so carefully it could have been issued by a Clinton.

“The issue of postponing the discussion on Jerusalem to the end of the negotiations was not brought up in talks between me and Abbas,” Olmert said following the meeting.

Noted the Israel Insider of Olmert’s denial, “Of course, the issue of postponing the discussion on Jerusalem is a red herring: the issue is whether substantive issues were addressed. The Prime Minister did not deny this.”

Furthermore, the Insider reported, a “senior Olmert official” said that while he wouldn’t discuss what was discussed, “the issue of Jerusalem did not arise at all.”

That statement strains credulity to its limit. Palestinian negotiators have made Jerusalem the centerpiece of every negotiation since Oslo.

There are but two real issues remaining. Israel has surrendered to virtually every other PA demand — except the “Right of Return” and the division of Jerusalem.

While Israel’s Prime Minister continues to deny negotiating over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, Israeli religious leaders held a conference to discuss Jerusalem’s future.

Among those speaking were Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Israeli journalists, community leaders from Jerusalem’s Jewish neighborhoods, and Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder of the Temple Mount Institute.

From their remarks, it was painfully obvious that they also are inclined to believe, (like me, for the first time) that the Palestinian Authority might actually be telling the truth.

Assessment:

In June 1967, Israeli paratroopers fought their way through East Jerusalem to the Temple Mount. In the early 1990’s, I had lunch in Jerusalem with Gershon Salomon, the head of the Temple Mount Faithful.

Gershon was among the Israeli paratroopers who became the first Jews to offer prayers from the Temple Mount in almost two thousand years.

Indeed, it was that event that prompted Gershon Salomon to dedicate the rest of his life to bringing about the rebuilding of the Third Temple.

Gershon told me his participation in the recovery of the Temple Mount convinced him that he had been appointed by God to fulfill the prophecy of a restored Temple in the last days.

Although Gershon Salomon is an Orthodox religious Jew, he cited Jesus’ prophecy that “Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24)

Gershon was certain that the “times of the Gentiles” were fulfilled the day he first set foot on Temple Mount in 1967. Indeed, so were many Christians.

But only days afterwards, Moshe Dayan ordered the Israeli flag taken down and turned control of Temple Mount back over to Jordan’s Muslim Authority (Waqf).

Dayan feared the Israeli presence of the Temple Mount would so inflame the Muslim World that the UN would force Israel to give back all its territorial gains.

Dayan calculated that giving back control the Temple to the Muslims would mollify the UN and allow Israel to retain the newly acquired West Bank, Gaza Strip and the rest of East Jerusalem.

(The UN went along, and in response, Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas co-founded the PLO.)

Nonetheless, many prophecy watchers and scholars shared Gershon Salomon’s view that the ‘times of the Gentiles’ concluded with the unification of Jerusalem in 1967.

Some went so far as to declare it meant the return of Christ would take place in June, 2007. But it didn’t, because it wasn’t.

Jerusalem continues to be ‘trampled underfoot’ by Gentile powers to this day. It’s been forty years (plus one) since Gershon and his comrades liberated the Temple Mount and unified Jerusalem.

But the headlines in Israel aren’t about the goings-on in the rebuilt Temple. The headlines are about whether or not Olmert has already secretly agreed to give it all back.

The “Times of the Gentiles” are NOT synonymous with “the times of the Church Age”. Christians are not ‘gentiles’ in the sense of the New Testament.

The New Testament identifies three classes of human spiritual beings; Gentiles, Jews, and a “new creature” — neither Gentile nor Jew — which is the Christian.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature,” Paul writes in 2nd Corinthians 5:17.

The Bible says the ‘Times of the Gentiles’ go right through the Church Age and into the Tribulation Period.

It begins with the Destruction of the Temple in AD 70 and culminates with the antichrist taking his seat in the Temple of God and proclaiming himself to be God (2nd Thessalonians 2:4).

Israel conceivably could have retained control of the Temple Mount in 1967 and reached some kind of accommodation with the Muslims to share Temple Mount between the Mosque and a rebuilt Temple. But they did not, because it was not the time.

That doesn’t mean this isn’t the generation that will see the return of Christ. It MUST be. Jesus said that the transition from physical restoration to final redemption would take place within one lifetime.

Psalms 90:10 defines the average human lifespan this way: “The days of our years are threescore and ten (70 years) and if by reason of strength, fourscore (80) years . . .”

The sixtieth anniversary of the restoration of Israel will be May, 2008. The Times of the Gentiles could be yet ten, or even twenty years down the road without being late.

The Rapture could occur at any time before that event — maybe this afternoon, maybe in the year 2023 — nobody knows, even if they think they do.

So often I hear Christians lament, “Why not now? What is He waiting for?”

2nd Peter 3:9 tells us that “the Lord is not slack (slow) concerning His promises, but is long-suffering toward us-ward.” What does that mean?

It means that God is holding off the recall of the Restrainer (and His vessels, the Church) until the last minute for a reason. Peter says the reason is because He is ‘not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.”

Of course, God knows that not everybody is going to repent. But He knows who will. And He knows who will never bend a knee before Him in this life.

He is waiting for that last repentant sinner, that final part of the Body of Christ that will make it complete.

He is waiting for you. And for me. We still have jobs to do, and He is long-suffering, making certain we have all the time necessary to do them.

We think He should come today.

(After all, we’re saved. . . Perhaps that means we still have some selfishness issues to work on before we get to heaven? So much for Christian perfection here).

“Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” Luke 12:40

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About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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