Prophecy Letters

"Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them." Matt. 13:16-17

The Prophecy Letter is a circular letter that we send out relating to the development of latter-day prophecy.

January 2023

Iran, Turmoil in Israel, and US Support of Palestinians

TGP Prophecy Letter – January 19, 2023


Israel and Iran

Sudden, earth-shattering events grab our attention and often cause us all to look inwardly. Slow, gradual developments, on the other hand, don’t tend to spur the same excitement in the household, regardless of how important they may be. The longer something is talked about, the less emphasis and attention we give it. Such, we believe, might be the case with Israel and Iran. An imminent clash between these two countries has been talked about for years, and persistent headlines of Israeli strikes and Iranian calls for escalation can seem to be mere regurgitations of the same information.

My friends, we must fight this fleshly tendency, for it will spill over into other aspects of our spiritual life. Just as we can grow weary of the warning of “rising tensions between Israel and Iran”, so we can grow weary of hearing, “Make ready, for the Bridegroom is coming!”

How do we fight this tendency? By not simply glancing at a few headlines every now and then, but closely following the turn of events regarding Israel. Then, we will no longer have to take so-and-so’s word that things are truly progressing, but we will know it for ourselves. On that note, let’s briefly look at what’s happening with Israel and Iran:

The prospect of an Iranian nuclear deal is the culprit behind this conversation going on so long. The world has been trying to negotiate with an unnegotiable Iran to prevent them from reaching nuclear capability. In the eyes of the world, as long as there is hope for a nuclear deal, Israel should leave the Iranian issue to others.

It is possible that the hopes for a deal could end in 2023 (yes, we are already there!). A recent article from The Washington Examiner discusses many of the reasons why, but the main point is that the US is finally realizing that Iran will not budge. Biden is the one who resurrected the deal, but even he has now called the deal “dead”. What this means is that if diplomatic solutions won’t work, the only other alternatives are military ones. It seems, at the present time, that we are fast approaching the end of the fuse, and the reverberations of the oncoming blast are almost certain to stir up the entire region.

Israel’s re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is chomping at the bit to take care of the problem. Only a few weeks into his government, he has already declared the Iranian issue as his top priority and has taken clear steps in this direction by installing certain individuals in specific roles (All Israel News).

Appointing people might appear to us as a boring event of little impact, but when one considers war history compared to what Netanyahu is doing now, there is no mistaking that Israel is fervently preparing for war. Tzachi Hanegbi (pronounced Zah-chi Han-egg-bee), the head of Israel’s National Security Council, recently stated, “If we are abandoned (by our allies), Prime Minister Netanyahu will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities…The previous government also said that it was preparing the defense forces…for a situation in which we are on our own…” (United with Israel).

The US, then, is nearing the end of their stick, Israel has a prime minister who is dead-serious about neutralizing Iran, and he has appointed individuals who are motivated and qualified to make it happen. These, dear brethren, are significant developments!

Hope Amongst Turmoil in Israel

We are all painfully aware that Jerusalem will know no peace until Christ is in their midst (Jeremiah 23:5-6). There are, however, great tremors within Israel’s borders that are being felt, due largely in part to Netanyahu’s go-getter, hardline stance (US News). This trouble, however, is cause for great excitement and consolation to us believers!

A man considered as extreme and right wing, Ben Gvir (pronounced Ben Ga-vir) was handed control of the Israeli police. One of his first acts was to instruct the police to take down Palestinian flags flying in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (World Israel News). You can imagine how that went over with the Palestinians. In defiance, the banned flag popped up all over the place. We wait to see what will become of this, but the Palestinians would be wise to comply, for it is certain that they will not fly over Israel forever. Even if they successfully rebel against Gvir’s order, they will not be able to escape the Divine one which will proceed from the Lord’s lips upon his return! It is clear, however, that seeds of bitterness are being scattered all over, inciting further conflict to come.

In another bold, but common-sense, act, Netanyahu has placed sanctions on the Palestinian Authority (World Israel News). Why? Much of that money was being used for their “pay-to-slay” program, offering terrorists a salary for acts of violence against the Jews. As the aforementioned article from World Israel News explains, the sanctions will supposedly “lead to the PA’s collapse”. An enemy can be the most dangerous when they feel cornered, and these sanctions seem to squeeze the PA into a pretty tight one. In response to the sanctions, of course, 90 nations of the UN signed a letter openly demanding that Israel remove them (World Israel News).

There is also talk of civil war in Israel. This speech, though, is coming from Netanyahu’s rivals. Along with the recently-ousted Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz is one of the main voices. Gantz recently told Netanyahu, “If you continue down the path you are now taking, you will bear the responsibility for the eventual civil war in Israeli society” (World Israel News).

Some of the public is responding to Netanyahu’s government in similar fashion. Just last week, there was this report: More than 80,000 turn out for Tel Aviv protest against Netanyahu government – CNN. While this may seem to support the prospects of a civil war, the actual purpose of the protests is debated. Some see them more as defending democracy in general as compared to being directed specifically against Netanyahu, but the fact of the protest remains. The prospect of a civil war, however, is highly unlikely. We would expect one in the United States before one occurred in Israel.

More than anything, we view the warnings of civil war as mere jabs from the sore losers of the last election, using whatever leverage they can to disrupt and dismantle Netanyahu’s government. As to the public’s reaction, a hardline leader will always draw criticism and protest.

On the contrary, we believe that this right-wing religious government will grow more popular in time to come. As we have mentioned in the past, the time will come when Israel will cry unto the Lord for salvation from her enemies “when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:2). Note the response of Israel’s rulers in that day:

Zechariah 12:5-6 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God.  (6)  In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.

The NIV offers a clearer rendering of verse 5, showing the governors of Judah as saying in their hearts, “The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.

It is difficult to imagine a secular, left-wing government making mention of the Lord of Hosts, much less attributing Israel’s strength to Him. Though few realize it, He has always been the source of Israel’s strength. He alone is the reason for their miraculous victories in 1948, 1967, 1973, and countless other conflicts. The time will come, however, when the “governors of Judah” will finally confess this.

It is more likely then, in our thinking, that the current right-wing, religious government now in existence might well be the one that Jesus returns to. It would seem that the people in general are being prepared for this as well, for a recent poll among Israel’s had the following results: Israelis remain proud of identity, youth identify more as right-wing – JNS. Note some of the highlights of the article:

“The survey found that over the last 20 years, a higher percentage of younger respondents than of older respondents identified as politically right wing (73% in the 18-24 age group).”

“The poll noted a “significant overlap” between religious identity and political attitudes. In all religious groups a majority identified as right-wing…”

The strongest tension in Israeli society is between Arabs and Jews, the poll found. The Arab public viewed the tension between the two groups as the most severe in the 20 years the poll has been conducted. The Jewish public also rated the tension highest compared to most other years of the survey.”

Oh, how many arrows point to a significant conflict brewing! Arab-Israeli tensions continue to soar, and the younger generation is more right-wing and religious than those before it. Can we see how the Lord is prepping His people? Truly, they will still require humbling before Christ appears to them, but the stage is clearly being set.

We’ll finish this section with just a few other headlines that show that the next, and hopefully last, Arab-Israeli conflict is just over the horizon:

Likud MK drafting plan to apply Israeli sovereignty to Jordan Valley – Israel National News

Is annexation on the horizon in the West Bank? – All  Israel News

84% of Arabs oppose their country's diplomatic recognition of Israel – The Jerusalem Post

Palestinians: Changing status quo at Temple Mount a ‘declaration of war’ – The Jerusalem Post

The US, Israel, and the “Palestinians”

The more Netanyahu pursues his political objectives, the more criticism Israel receives from their greatest ally, the United States. Below are a significant number of headlines, but as they clearly illustrate the present circumstances, please consider each carefully:

Biden faces Israel quandary with new Netanyahu government – MarketWatch

Democratic Congressman calls Netanyahu Government “Apartheid Terrorist Regime” – Israel365 News

US stresses opposition to any policies that would undermine ‘two-state solution’ – All Israel News

US demands Israel maintain discriminatory 'Muslims only' policy on Temple Mount – World Israel News

Biden Coming For Israel – Israel Unwired

US accuses Israel of ‘exacerbating tensions’ which could ‘lead to violence’ – JNS

U.S. Sets Red Line on Illegal West Bank Outpost, Setting Up Clash With Netanyahu – Haaretz

US presses Israel not to legalize resettled Samaria town – World Israel News

While the US sends clearly negative messages to Israel, those being conveyed to the Palestinians are positive. An ancient artifact dating from 700-800 BC had been looted from the general area of the Promised Land, and the US sought to return it to its rightful owner. The problem is, nobody knows exactly where it came from, so nobody knows exactly what people it belonged to. Disregarding this essential information, the United States has decided to present that artifact not to its democratic ally, but to the Palestinians.

While that might seem a simple, small gesture, the message behind it is bold. By this, the US is communicating to the world that it recognizes the Palestinian claims to the land. The subject is discussed in an article entitled, US presents looted artifact to Palestinians, strengthening false claims to land – World Israel News. It says,

There is no indication as to what makes this object culturally Palestinian. Yet the head of the U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs, George Noll, stated that his office “is proud to facilitate the return of this rare antiquity, an example of Palestinian cultural patrimony.”

““This is a historic moment between the American and Palestinian people and a demonstration of our belief in the power of cultural exchanges in building mutual understanding, respect, and partnership,” said Noll.”

Here’s the point: If the artifact is 2,700 years old and the US gives it to the Palestinians, it in turn shows that the US is validating the Palestinians’ false claim to have ancient right to the land, something which they simply don’t have.

Unlike the Jews who are all of common descent and culture, those calling themselves Palestinians do not have an ancient, culturally unique identity. They are a conglomerate of refugees and travelers from the other Arab areas around the land. Though they claim to have always existed as “Palestinians”, it was not until the 1960s that the nationality “Palestinian” was even invented.

In 1964, the Arabs formed the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). It was not to liberate the Palestinians, but Palestine – the land which had been historically called by that name. Five years later, the PLO was headed by a notorious terrorist named Yasser Arafat. Altering the definition of the word, it was he who made the term “Palestinian” refer to a specific Arab nationality instead of the name of a land. One article explains,

“A master of propaganda, he took the name Palestine and turned it into a new group of people—Palestinians—and a new country: Palestine. They were and are Arabs, still living in an Arab dictatorship alongside one and a half million Israeli Arabs who live free in a democracy” (CBN Israel).

Please reread that quote and make sure its message is understood. “Palestine” is an old title attributed to the land, but it was never the name of a specific people or nation. Before 1969, Arabs living in the land were not called “Palestinians”.

Before Yasser Arafat, the people now called “Palestinians” were referred to as “Palestinian Arabs”, simply meaning “Arabs who live in the land of Palestine.” Before the formation of the Jewish state, Jews in the land were likewise called “Palestinian Jews,” for they were Jews who lived in the land, not country, of Palestine. The word “Palestinian” existed, but it was always appended with “Jew” or “Arab”. Before Arafat’s sly move, for one to refer simply to “Palestinians” would include all people living in the land of Palestine: Arabs, Jews, and Christians alike. Arafat tried to narrow the term to refer only to the Arabs in order to give the sense that the land of Palestine was their land.

The purpose of this invention was actually confessed by the spokesman of the PLO in 1977. Named Zahir Muhsein, he agreed to an interview with a Dutch newspaper wherein he admitted,

The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. … Today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people.”

How clear the issue is, yet how few in the world realize it! The “Palestinians” of today are simply Jordanians, Syrians, and Lebanese who want to push Israel out of the picture. Nationalizing the word “Palestinian” was simply a tool to try and achieve it.

Now, however, the US is validating Palestinian claims by their gesture with the artifact. It communicates US support that they were indeed a Palestinian people 2,700 years ago, giving credence to their false claims of ancient right to the land. It supports Arafat’s lie and is a betrayal of Israel, further showing how cold the US-Israel relationship is becoming, just as prophesied. Israel must stand alone (Isaiah 63:3). While we personally do not believe the US is currently at the point of abandoning Israel, we are certainly heading in that direction.

Concluding Thoughts

There are other things we could discuss, but time is getting short. Please, dear brothers and sisters, watch the signs carefully, for much is progressing before us. As servants of “our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil world” (Galatians 1:3-4), watching the signs should be nothing less than one of many manifestations of our love and longing for him. May he come swiftly!

Note: Our title picture for TGP Prophecy Letter reflects our purpose with it. It depicts a watchman on top of the city walls blowing the shofar to warn and announce to the people the great signs of the Lord. The wall bears the Hebrew inscription "Prophecy Letter."