A holy war has broken out – and it is not confined to Jerusalem or even Israel as a whole, currently under a barrage of rocket fire and plagued by riots, though the Jewish state is surely its epicentre.
The Temple Mount battleground is a picture of a global spiritual conflict also being played out, for example, in an English independent school whose chaplain has been reported as a potential terrorist for questioning LGBT ideology.
Palestinians throwing rocks at police is not a new phenomenon during the ‘holy’ month of Ramadan. But there has been a significant rise in tension this year, with PA (Palestinian Authority) leaders once again inciting further violence against Jewish ‘settlers’ and Gaza-based Hamas weighing in with their deadly missiles.
At the heart of the conflict is Jerusalem, and it is inexorably building up to the climax foretold in Bible prophecy of a time when the city is attacked by an alliance of nations who subsequently come under God’s judgment when Jesus returns to usher in his kingdom (Joel 3:2, Zech 14:4).
For the God and Father of our Lord regards Jerusalem as his own – the “city of the Great King” and the “joy of the whole earth” (Psalm 48:2) – and all who try to move her (i.e. change her boundaries, divide her, or claim her as their own) will injure themselves (Zech 12:3).
The devil has always wanted Jerusalem as his own, in the same way he seeks to usurp God’s place in all our hearts. But he senses that his end is nigh and is striking out with all the fury of a snake that has been trodden on.
He certainly doesn’t like being reminded, as is the case this week, that East Jerusalem and Judea – illegally annexed by Jordan in the independence war of 1948 – were recovered in the Six-Day War of 1967, which reunited the city for the first time in nearly 2,000 years, giving Israel legitimate access to all the land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, in accordance with the San Remo treaty of 1920.
The Jewish people are not ‘settlers’ in Jerusalem, or anywhere in Israel, which is theirs both by right of international law and the word of God (Gen 17:8).
The battle has even extended to the protracted problem of leadership. But the Lord watches over Israel, and will neither slumber nor sleep as he ensures ultimate protection for his chosen people, now gathered to their ancient land from the farthest corners of the globe, and soon to be welcomed into the loving arms of their Messiah.
Yes, the scene is being set for the climax of the ages – the return of Jesus, King of the Jews, which also explains the fearsome end-time battles in places like Great Britain, a Gentile nation greatly used in spreading the gospel of the Jewish Messiah.
But those who oppose the Lord’s purpose are stirring up trouble for God’s people as never before, as the Mail on Sunday has revealed with the story of an independent school chaplain dismissed for refusing to kow-tow to new LGBT policies.
Rev Dr Bernard Randall was secretly reported to the anti-terrorism Prevent programme after delivering a sermon defending the right of pupils to question the introduction of these policies. Prevent was established to identify those at risk of radicalisation, and police duly advised the school – Trent College, near Nottingham – that he posed no such risk.
With the school having a ‘Christian ethos’, Dr Randall was appointed to provide pastoral care in 2015. But then the school began implementing Educate and Celebrate, a programme run by Dr Elly Barnes who, during a training session, urged teachers to chant “Smash heteronormativity” (the normalisation of attraction to the opposite sex).
Dr Randall, who pointed out that some of the programme’s beliefs were contrary to Christian values, is suing the school for discrimination, harassment, victimisation and unfair dismissal.
The foundations of what is left of our Christian society are being undermined at every level; and the battle is essentially over gospel truth which incorporates God’s great plan for marriage.
The hordes of hell are gathering their forces against the Lord, both on the holy sites of Jerusalem and in the hearts and minds of pupils in our UK classrooms. Whose side are you on?
Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon; Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com; A Nation Reborn, available from Christian Publications International; and King of the Jews, also available from Christian Publications International.