Heresy Before Our Eyes… Beware of The ‘Four Blood Moons’ Deception….

April 16, 2014 By 

Four Blood Moons debunked and exposed |Heresy and apostasy of Mark Biltz

We learn the future from the Bible. Not from the moon.

As Passover 2014 approaches, there is great fervor and excitement about the “Four Blood Moons” predictions of Pastor John Hagee and Mark Biltz. By looking at the coming occurrence of four lunar eclipses that will occur in 2014 and 2015 that will coincide with Jewish Feast days. The Four Blood Moon Theory promotes the idea that these red moons have historically coincided with major events in Jewish history and thus “something will happen” during the current cycle. But is this theory Biblical? Is this something Christians should be concerned about? This article will show that in fact that this theory is a heresy not in line with Biblical prophecy and is actually encouraging practices that the Bible very strictly forbids.

Here is a trailer for Hagee’s best-selling book, ‘Four Blood Moons’:

A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth is directly in alignment between the moon and the sun, “blocking” the sun’s rays from reflecting off of the moon. However some sunlight filters through the Earth’s atmosphere and hits the moon, giving it a reddish color, hence the name “blood moon.” Hagee credits NASA for confirming that a sequence of four lunar eclipses, or a tetrad will occur in April 2014, on Passover, and then again in September 2014 during the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkoth.  The timing is the same for 2015 — a total of four blood moons, all appearing on Jewish feast days.

“The sun and the moon and the Earth are controlled by God almighty,” Hagee said. “He is the one that is getting them in a direct alignment on a certain day at a certain time — but each time, it’s a Passover or Sukkoth. (source). Why NASA’s confirmation matters for Biblical prophetic fulfillment is unknown. But Hagee appeals to NASA to establish his credibility.

The Blood Moon Cycle – Prophetic Warning From God?

Four Blood Moons heresy and apostasy | John Hagee Mark Biltz false teachers

According to the Blood Moon theory, the world was warned about all these events.

According to Biltz and Hagee, when this rare occurrence of blood moons falling on Jewish feast days have happened, it has coincided with a major event in Israel’s history. Therefore, since another tetrad cycle has begun, “something big is going to change” or a major event is set to take place (and Biltz originally suggested that in 2015 Jesus would make His Second Coming but has since backed off). But is this really the case?

The blood moon cycle of 1493-1494 is where Biltz and Hagee claim that the world was being warned about the Jewish people in Spain being expelled. However, when one looks at the actual dates, the Jewish Expulsion took place in 1492- the year before the blood moon cycle even started.

Similarly, with the 1949-1950 blood moon/tetrad cycle, it occurred two years after the United Nation declared Israel a nation and one year after its official formation in 1948. So again, rather than being a “prophetic warning of something major changing!”, the blood moons came after the event. So how could it be a warning?  Why would God “warn” the Jewish people about a persecution event one year after it took place?  The Bible is clear that God warns of events in detail before they take place. Additionally there are other tetrad cycles that have fallen on  Jewish holidays where no events of significance took place – a fact Biltz and Hagee readily admit. So on a basic examination, the Blood Moon Theory does not hold up.

Where Is This In Scripture?

Four Blood Moons heresy and apostasy | John Hagee Mark Biltz false teachers

Mark Biltz and John Hagee base their Bible prophecy on findings from NASA.

Hagee has pretty much based his entire premise on Joel 2:31. It is an end times prophecy that concerns the Day of The Lord – the end times outpouring of God’s wrath on the Earth in the final years before the Second Coming of The Lord Jesus Christ. It also serves at a time that God will reconcile Israel back to a believing faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Looking at the verse from Joel in context makes it clear that this pertains to the final years of this age:

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.- Joel 2:1-6.

The setting is proclaimed in verse 1: this is the Day of The Lord -thus it is in the end times. For more information on this, please see our article “The Day of The Lord – The Event That Starts The End of The World”, where we go into detail though all of the Old Testament references to Day of The Lord that confirm that it is and end times period after the Rapture and before the Second Coming of Christ to Earth. It is a very specific time where God will judge the unbelieving world with a series of supernatural punishments.

Tetrad Blood Moons exposed false teaching apostasy | End time Bible prophecy

Hagee’s promotion of the Four Blood Moons has been a huge marketing success.

As stated in our article, the Day of The Lord is also a time when unbelieving Israel will become reconciled to God. This is made clear as well in Joel chapter 2:

Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. –Joel 2:15-18.

The implication here is that Israel will begin a call to repentance. They will cry out to God for forgiveness and mercy. And the response of God will be to go into action to defend Israel.

Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things. Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things. – Joel 2:19-20.

God will then conquer the enemies of Israel and bless them with an abundance of goods.

Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.  And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.
And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. – Joel 2:22-29.

God will then initiate a spiritual revival in Israel by pouring out The Holy Spirit among the newly reconciled and repentant Israeli believers. This is established by the prophecies that will be spoken among the people. At this point, the context of Joel 2 should be clear: this is an end times revival in Israel. It is a time where God is directly intervening to carry out judgment on enemies of His people and restoring a nation that did not acknowledge Him and seeks repentance. And this is where we approach the critical verse for the Blood Moon Theory:

And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. – Joel 2:30-32.

So The Lord in His mercy provides an indicator of when this great era of Jewish revival will come to pass. “The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.” (Joel 2:31). This will be the indication that the Day of The Lord has started. Lord willing it should be clear that this sign in the heavens is not just a general indication that “something is going to happen.” Notice verse 30 says there will be signs in Heaven and Earth with “blood, fire and pillars of smoke.”Biltz and Hagee make no mention of these signs.

This passage details a very specific sequence of events culminating with the defense of Israel by God and their return to believing faith. This is emphasized as the final verse of the chapter stresses that whosoever calls on God’s name will be “delivered.” It is a time of salvation for the believing remnant of Israel. So why do we not see John Hagee or Mark Biltz mentioning the rest of the prophecies in Joel chapter 2? Why are they not talking about the mighty army that is going to ravage homes and destroy people in a manner never seen before? Why have they not mentioned these aspects and instead picking just one verse out of context? It is because they are not following Scripture but instead looking to the stars, NASA and Google for their prophetic interpretation.

Is The Blood Moon Even Mentioned In The Bible?

John Hagee and Mark Biltz false prophets | False teaching of Four Blood Moons exposed

Even Prosperity Gospel false preachers are cashing in on the Four Blood Moon frenzy.

Hagee would have his readers and followers believe that the blood moon, which is a lunar eclipse, is what is being described in Joel 2:31. In fact it is not. As explained above a blood moon is a total lunar eclipse – a moment when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon, putting the moon in a complete shadow. The moon during a lunar eclipse appears red in color because of the way light bends around the earth’s atmosphere, scattering short wavelength light (green through violet) and leaving longer wavelength light (red, orange and yellow). It’s why sunsets and sunrises generally are red. During the 20th century, there were 229 lunar eclipses and 85 of those were complete lunar eclipses which lead to the “blood moon.”

Joel 2:31 describes a sign in the sky when the moon is red and the sun is dark. The sun does not turn dark during a lunar eclipse (it looks as it would normally look on any day). The sun looks dark during a solar eclipse – which is when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun thus “blocking” the sun’s light and making it appear black. Thus what Joel 2:31 is describing is something that has never occurred before in history and could only occur by supernatural means. By putting all the focus on the Blood Moons, Hagee and Biltz have successfully ignored the very clear statement about the sun being dark at the same time, making Joel’s prophecy something far different from the naturally occurring lunar eclipse and tetrads.
The Fulfillment Of Joel 2:31

John Hagee and Mark Biltz false prophets | False teaching of Four Blood Moons exposed

The real blood moon is described in the book of Revelation.

We find the fulfillment of Joel 2:31 at the sixth seal of Revelation chapter 6:

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake;and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? – Revelation 6:12-17.

This is the one time in scripture where the sun turns dark and the moon turns to blood at the same time. It is the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. And as detailed in our the Beginning and End Rapture Series, the 6th seal is the moment when the Day of The Lord begins.  Notice the very specific events that take place: a global earthquake. All people in the world running for their lives. Stars falling from Heaven. But do Blitz and Hagee look to this prophecy and say this will all happen on Passover 2014? No. instead they make vague assertions that God is “trying to tell us something” and “something major” will happen in the Middle East.  The Four Blood Moon theory is not proper Biblical interpretation. It is instead more akin to astrology and horoscopes.

The Heresy of John Hagee and Mark Blitz

Four Blood Moons heresy and apostasy | John Hagee Mark Biltz false teachers

Sadly, some Bible teachers are linking the blood moons to the Second Coming.

And as [Jesus] sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. – Matthew 24:3-5.

To no surprise, Hagee and Blitz are both teachers of blatant heresies and Biblical errors. Here is a video for Hagee’s book “In Defense of Israel” where he makes the outrageous claim that Jesus Christ did not come to Earth to be the Messiah:

These statements amount to pure blasphemy. In Hagee’s book, he attempts to clarify his intent by stating that the Messiah was meant to be a political deliverer – a role which Jesus rejected, not a spiritual savior of souls. Here are some excerpts where Hagee explains his position:

• ..God gave Moses four signs to convince the children of Israel that he was their messiah… He knew he was anointed of God to overthrow Egypt and lead the Jewish people to the promised land.” p. 136.
• “The next two signs God gave Moses were to convince the children of Israel that Moses was their Messiah.” p. 136.

Nowhere in Scripture was Moses ever called a “Messiah.” And he did not consider himself one. We can know this for certain from the book of Hebrews:

By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. – Hebrews 11:24-27.

Moses, who was raised as a royal prince, and son of the of Pharaoh’s daughter, gave up his life of luxury to be with his own people the Israelites. Why? Because he believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ who God prophesied would one day defeat Satan (as recorded in Genesis 3:15, which was written by Moses himself). The Messiah, from the first prophecy ever made, was never a political leader. He was the “seed of the woman” who would one day conquer Satan. And thus Moses, by faith in God’s Word, was willing to suffer hardship in the name of Christ than worry about worldly power and glory – the exact opposite of what Hagee claims a Messiah would be doing. This absurd heresy should be a clear sign that Hagee is a false teacher.

The Bible affirms on more than one occasion that Jesus is indeed the Messiah or Christ (which is the Greek term for the Hebrew word “Messiah”):

One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. – John 1:40-42.

The disciple Andrew readily identified Jesus as the Messiah or Christ. Additionally Jesus identifies Himself as the Messiah:

The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.- John 4:25-26.

Despite these Scriptures, Hagee boldly proclaims in his video: “Jesus refused by word and deed to claim to be the Messiah.” Once again, the flagrant heresy should be a major red flag to anyone buying into the Four Blood Moon Theory.

Hagee also proclaims that Israel never rejected Jesus, because Jesus never offered to be Messiah. Again, the Word of God refutes this claim completely:

Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. -Matthew 23:34-39.

In a very scathing rebuke, The Lord Jesus Christ assails the Pharisees for not just rejecting the men of God sent by Jesus through the centuries of Israel’s history, but for killing them. Jesus then reminds them of His desire to gather them but they “would not.” The offer of Jesus was rejected and again Hagee is in deep spiritual error. These are major false teachings and truly blasphemous statements.

Mark Blitz – The Hebrew Roots Heresy

John Hagee and Mark Biltz false prophets | False teaching of Four Blood Moons exposed

Mark Biltz predicted the Second Coming would take place in 2015.

Mark Biltz, found of El Shaddai Ministries, is a key figure in the Hebrew Roots Movement – an unbiblical, apostate movement that seeks to return Christians to the Mosaic Law and Old Covenant. Like Hagee, Biltz believes in ethnic salvation – the idea that Jewish people, by lineage, are automatically saved and do no need to hear or believe the Gospel to go to Heaven. Here is an excerpt from a post from his website:

My goal is not to convert Jews to Christianity but to bring non-Jews to a better understanding of YHVH through a better understanding of Torah. I think most Christians do not know YHVH as He really is but know Him as they have tried to create Him in their image rather than understanding they were created in His image.

Many Christians believe they have a relationship with YHVH but they don’t. As far as “who’s in” and “who is not in” when it comes to a relationship with YHVH I have the same answer. That is above my pay grade! Who am I to say who has a relationship with YHVH and who doesn’t? I am not the door keeper. I don’t know people’s hearts and who am I to say to YHVH who is allowed in the Olam Haba (the age of the Messiah) and who is not. Sorry but that authority was not given to me neither would I want it.

As far as Yeshua goes I believe that He is the one Moses spoke of:
Deuteronomy 18:15 “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;”

De 18:18 “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”

Joseph was not recognized by his brothers because he looked Egyptian and spoke another language. Yet he was the one that brought salvation to Israel. I believe Christianity has hijacked Yeshua and has been presenting an Egyptian which is why Yeshua is not recognized. Just as Jewish children were taken, converted to Christianity and not given back to their parents after the holocaust the same has happened to Yeshua. I believe he desires to go home.” (source).

Once again, if you are a Christian who is buying into the Blood Moon fever, this should be an enormous red flag. Nowhere in Scripture are we told that Jesus “desires to go home” to the Old Testament law. Biltz does not agree with Biblical Christian doctrine and does not believe that Jews even have to believe the Gospel for salvation. He has completely ignored the rebuke Jesus gave to Israel in Matthew 23. He has ignored the fact that all people need the Gospel of Christ to be saved. He is instead preaching a works-based religion based on the law (which Beginning and End has shown is a false teaching).  For a more detailed study exposing the many false teachings of Biltz, see Dr. Scott A. Johnson’s teaching here.
Leading Christians Into The Occult?

John Hagee and Mark Biltz false prophets | False teaching of Four Blood Moons exposed

Many ministries have Christians looking to the stars instead of the Bible.

When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. – Deuteronomy 18:9-10.

The Bible contains prophecies that run through the last day of the Earth and into the New Earth that will be created by The Lord. For a believer to gain understanding of interpreting and rightly dividing Bible prophecy, it should come through study of the Scriptures, not the stars. In Deuteronomy 18, God specially referred to those who are “observer of times” – a term for trying to determine the future by looking at constellations or other heavenly bodies, an abomination. Hagee defends his looking to the stars to tell the future by citing Genesis 1:14“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” Does this verse mean that Christians are supposed to look to the starts to gain knowledge about the future and to interpret a message from God?

Here is Christian expositor Jonathan Gill’s commentary on the verse:

“..for “signs” of good and bad weather; for the times of ploughing, sowing, reaping, &c. and for the “seasons” of summer and winter, spring and autumn; for “days” by a circular motion for the space of twenty four hours; and for “years” by annual motion for the space of three hundred sixty five days and odd hours. The Targum of Jonathan is, and let them be for signs and the times of the feasts, and to reckon with them the number of days, and, sanctify the beginnings of the months, and the beginnings of the years, and the intercalations of months and years, the revolutions of the sun, and the new moons, and cycles.” (source).

Celestial bodies light our world and provide a way to track time. We can keep the calendar and know the seasons of the year from the sun, moon and stars. The beauty of outer space and its vastness provide inherent proof of God’s existence and creative power at work. But these truths are a far cry from what Hagee and Biltz are teaching – which is looking to a lunar moon cycle to try and determine future events. In the book of Daniel, the prophet was able to identify and interpret dreams of King Nebuchadnezzar through inspiration of God. When the astrologers and the enchanters failed, the Word of God was true.

Not only that, The Lord pronounced a harsh judgment for those who dabbled in occult practices such as astrology or horoscopes:

Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. – Isaiah 47:13-14.

Rather than worry that “something” may happen, we should rest on the more sure word of prophecy that we have in Scripture. Pray for Biltz and Hagee to repent of this false teaching and for Christians to use discernment when the latest prophecy craze is presented before them. Christians should indeed be interested in knowing the future and end time prophecy. But it can all be found in the pages of the Holy Bible.

 ”Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven…” – Jeremiah 10:2. 

Prophecy Before Our Eyes… Israel to Miss Out on ‘Blood Moon’ Phenomenon…

SUNDAY, APRIL 13, 2014

Ryan Jones

By Ryan Jones 
Israel Today 

The scheduled appearance of four total lunar eclipses on major Jewish holidays between this Monday night (the start of Passover 2014) and September 27, 2015 (the start of Sukkot) has the attention of much of the Christian world. But the eclipses are going to go almost totally unseen in Israel.

Data published by NASA reveals that all but the last of the four eclipses will not be visible from the Middle East, and even the fourth will only be partially visible.

Blood Moon Tetrad

BLOOD MOON TETRAD KICKS OFF APRIL 15, 2014

Total lunar eclipses—what are often referred to as “blood moons”—are not uncommon, 13 of them having occurred since 2000. And, since both Passover and Sukkot are scheduled on the full moon, both have occasionally coincided with blood moons, the last time being the start of Sukkot in 1996.

Somewhat less common are tetrads—four consecutive total lunar eclipses with no intervening partial eclipses—which has occurred 62 times since the year 0 AD.

Seven times in the past 2000 years, a tetrad has coincided perfectly with Passover and Sukkot. One of those tetrads began just prior to the outbreak of the Six Day War in 1967. Two others (in 1493 and 1949) began more than a year after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and the State of Israel’s declaration of independence, respectively. The other four occurred during times of no particular significance to the Jewish people.

Here is another great Mid – East Prophecy Report for the week ending April 13, 2014… Today he talks about how he really believes that we are the last generation. As we move closer to the Rapture of the Church!!! Maranatha!!!

PROPHECY BEFORE OUR EYES… Artificial blood ‘will be manufactured in factories’

The production of blood on an industrial scale could become a reality

It is the stuff of gothic science fiction: men in white coats in factories of blood and bones. But the production of blood on an industrial scale could become a reality once a trial is conducted in which artificial blood made from human stem cells is tested in patients for the first time. It is the latest breakthrough in scientists’ efforts to re-engineer the body, which have already resulted in the likes of 3d-printed bones and bionic limbs. Marc Turner, the principal researcher in the £5 million programme funded by the Wellcome Trust, told The Telegraph that his team had made red blood cells fit for clinical transfusion. Prof Turner has devised a technique to culture red blood cells from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells – cells that have been taken from humans and ‘rewound’ into stem cells. Biochemical conditions similar to those in the human body are then recreated to induce the iPS cells to mature into red blood cells – of the rare universal blood type O.

“Although similar research has been conducted elsewhere, this is the first time anybody has manufactured blood to the appropriate quality and safety standards for transfusion into a human being,” said Prof Turner. There are plans in place for the trial to be concluded by late 2016 or early 2017, he said. It will most likely involve the treatment of three patients with Thalassaemia, a blood disorder requiring regular transfusions. The behaviour of the manufactured blood cells will then be monitored. “The cells will be safe,” he said, adding that there are processes whereby cells can be removed. The technique highlights the prospect of a limitless supply of manufactured type-O blood, free of disease and compatible with all patients. “Although blood banks are well-stocked in the UK and transfusion has been largely safe since the Hepatitis B and HIV infections of the 1970s and 1980s, many parts of the world still have problems with transfusing blood,” said Prof Turner.

PROPHECY BEFORE OUR EYES… The Rapture (Part 22)

TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014

Andy Woods

By Dr. Andy Woods 
Sugar Land Bible Church 

My previous articles commenced a series on the rapture of the church. We began with the question, “What is the Rapture?" This question can best be answered by noting ten truths about the rapture from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. We then moved to a second main question, namely, when will the rapture take place relative to the coming seven-year Tribulation period? We offered the contention that believers can develop certainty that they will be raptured before the Tribulation period occurs for at least seven reasons. Now that we have dealt with these two questions, we began to explore some of the weaknesses associated with the other competing views that seek to answer the question, “when will the rapture take place relative to the coming Tribulation period?” At least five differing perspectives exist. We noted at the onset that it is important to understand that all of the non-pre-tribulation positions have a difficult time handling the seven arguments favoring pre-tribulationalism previously discussed in this series. In the last two articles we noted the problems associated withmid-tribulationalism. In this article, we will begin to scrutinize post-tribulationalism.

Rapture trumpet

POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE

Post-tribulation rapture theory contends that the rapture will take place at the end of the coming Tribulation period. This view typically sees no distinction between the rapture and the Second Advent and thus seeks to harmonize all references to Christ’s return as taking place at the end of the future Tribulation period. Those adhering to the post-tribulation rapture typically rely on at least one of the following four arguments to support their position.

1. According to 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:52, the rapture will take place at the sounding of the last trumpet which, according toMatthew 24:30-31, will take place upon Christ’s return at the end of the Tribulation periodFirst Thessalonians 4:16 associates the rapture with the trumpet of God. Similarly, 1 Corinthians 15:52 teaches that the rapture will take place at the sounding of the last trumpet. The post-tribulation rapture proponent believes that this trumpet is described in Matthew 24:30-31 and will be sounded upon Christ’s bodily return at the end of the Tribulation period. Matthew 24:30-31 says,

"And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other."

Those who hold to a post-tribulation rapture interpretation of this passage point to the numerous similarities between the coming of Christ in Matthew 24:30-31 and other rapture passages given by Paul, such as in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. Examples of such similarities include Christ’s coming in a cloud (Matt. 24:30), the sounding of a trumpet, and the world-wide gathering of believers (Matt. 24:31). [1] On account of these similarities, many are confident that the rapture is in view in Matthew 24:30-31.

However, the last trumpet mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:52 is not the same trumpet mentioned in Matthew 24:30-31. In fact, the trumpet of 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:52 is described much differently than the trumpet of Matthew 24:30-31. While it is possible to draw superficial points of similarity between Paul’s depiction of the rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-181 Cor. 15:50-58) and the events of Matthew 24:30-31, it is a logical fallacy to assume that similarity is the same as equality. For example, two cars can look the same. Both have seat belts, four wheels, a steering wheel, etc.. However, it is fallacious to assume that these two different cars are one and the same automobile merely on account of some similarities. Whatever simplistic points of similarity that may exist between Paul’s depiction of the rapture and Matthew 24:30-31 are outweighed by vast differences between these sections of Scripture.

For example, while the trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15:52 will be sounded while Christ is in the process of returning to the earth from heaven (1 Thess. 4:13-18), the trumpet of Matthew 24:30-31 will be sounded after Christ has already returned to the earth. The trumpet of Matthew 24:30-31 mentions Christ returning with His angels. The trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 mentions only the trumpet call of an archangel. Upon the sounding of the trumpet in Matthew 24:30-31, the angels will gather the elect. The trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 does not mention the angels gathering the elect.

Ice also observes, “In 1 Thessalonians 4 believers are gathered in the air and taken to heaven, while in Matthew 24 they are gathered after Christ’s arrival to earth.” [2] Sproule similarly queries:

Where does Paul mention the darkening of the sun (Matt. 24:29), the moon not giving its light (Matt. 24:29), the stars falling from the sky (Matt. 24:29), the powers of the heavens being shaken (Matt. 24:29), all the tribes of the earth mourning (Matt. 24:30), all the world seeing the coming of the Son of Man (Matt. 24:30), or God sending forth angels (Matt.24:31)? [3]

Feinberg further notes:

Notice what happens when you examine both passages carefully. In Matthew the Son of Man comes on the clouds, while in 1 Thessalonians 4 the ascending believers are in them. In Matthew the angels gather the elect; in 1 Thessalonians the Lord Himself (note the emphasis) gathers the believers. Thessalonians only speaks of the voice of the archangel. In the Olivet Discourse nothing is said about a resurrection, while in the latter text it is the central point. In the two passages the differences in what will take place prior to the appearance of Christ is striking. Moreover, the order of ascent is absent from Matthew in spite of the fact that it is the central part of the epistle. [4]

In order to equate Matthew 24:30-31 with the Pauline rapture passages, a reconciliation of all of these differences is needed rather than merely highlighting a handful of similarities.

Also, Showers explains how the imagery of Matthew 24:30-31 has more in common with what the Old Testament predicts concerning Israel’s eschatological regathering rather than the church’s rapture.

First, because of Israel’s persistent rebellion against God, He declared that He would scatter the Jews “into all the winds” (Ezek. 5:1012) or “toward all winds” (Ezek. 17:21). In Zechariah 2:6 God stated that He did scatter them abroad “as four winds of the heavens.” … God did scatter the Jews all over the world. Next, God also declared that in the future Israel would be gathered from the east, west, north, and south, “from the ends of the earth” (Isa. 43:5-7). We should note that in the context of this promise, God called Israel His “chosen” (vv. 10, 20)… Just as Jesus indicated that the gathering of His elect from the four directions of the world will take place in conjunction with “a great trumpet” (literal translation of the Greek text of Mt. 24:21), so Isaiah 27:13 teaches that the scattered children of Israel will be gathered to their homeland in conjunction with the blowing of “a great trumpet” (literal translation of the Hebrew)… Gerhard Friedrich wrote that in that future eschatological day “a great horn shall be blown (Is. 27:13)” and the exiled will be brought back by that signal. Again he asserted that in conjunction with the blowing of the great trumpet of Isaiah 27:13, “There follows the gathering of Israel and the return of the dispersed to Zion.” It is significant to note that Isaiah 27:13, which foretells this future regathering of Israel, is the only specific reference in the Old Testament to a “great” trumpet. Although Isaiah 11:11-12 does not refer to a great trumpet, it is parallel to Isaiah 27:13 because it refers to the same regathering of Israel. In its context, this passage indicates that when the Messiah (a root of Jesse, vv. 1, 10) comes to rule and transform the world as an “ensign” (a banner), He will gather together the scattered remnant of His people Israel “from the four corners of the earth.” [5]

In fact, contextually, the regathering spoken of in Matthew 24:30-31 harks back to Matthew 23:37. There Christ expressed a desire to gather an unwilling first-century Israel. He clearly identifies His audience as Israel in verse 37 with the twofold repetition of the word “Jerusalem.” However, although first-century Israel was unwilling to be gathered by her Messiah, a future generation of repentant Jews will be regathered by Christ upon His return at the conclusion of the Tribulation. Matthew uses the same verb “gather” (episynago) in both Matthew 23:37 and Matthew 24:31 in order to draw this connection.

When Paul mentioned the last trumpet in 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16, he had in mind the rapture occurring with the last trumpet of the Church Age. He was not referring to the final trumpet of the Tribulation period described in Matthew 24:30-31. This is the trumpet Christ will sound upon His bodily return to the earth as He gathers the Jewish survivors of the Tribulation period. All of this leads to the obvious conclusion that Paul’s description of the rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-181 Cor. 15:50-58) and Matthew 24:30-31 are speaking of two different trumpets.

In sum, having previously answered the question, “what is the rapture?”, we noted at least seven reasons that affirm the pre-tribulational rapture view. We then began interacting with the other positions on the timing of the rapture. Post-tribulationism errs in superficially connecting Paul’s depiction of the rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-181 Cor. 15:50-58) with the events of Matthew 24:30-31.

(To Be Continued…)

Revelation 6:1-8 - Waxer Tipton (One Love Ministries)This is My Pastor… Bad News Bearers!!!Maranatha!!!

PROPHECY BEFORE OUR EYES… Scientists Confirm Biblical Account of the ‘Fountains of The Deep’….

April 7, 2014 By 

Did noah's flood really happen? | Bible confirmed by science

Science is finally catching up to Scripture.

In yet another confirmation of the Bible’s accuracy, scientists have now confirmed what Scripture refers to as “the fountains of the deep.” In the days of Noah and the Ark, these large pools of water beneath the Earth’s crust burst forth onto the surface providing the massive amounts of water needed for the global flood judgment. What has once been a source of skepticism and mockery for those who doubt the Bible, has now been confirmed by secular scientists, again showing that although written over 3,000 years ago, the Bible’s description of the Earth and its natural properties are indeed accurate.

According to reports:

An international team of scientists led by Graham Pearson, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Arctic Resources at the U of A, has discovered the first-ever sample of a mineral called ringwoodite. Analysis of the mineral shows it contains a significant amount of water — 1.5 per cent of its weight — a finding that confirms scientific theories about vast volumes of water trapped 410 to 660 kilometres beneath Earth’s surface, between the upper and lower mantle.
“This sample really provides extremely strong confirmation that there are local wet spots deep in the Earth in this area,” said Pearson, a professor in the Faculty of Science, whose findings were published March 13 in Nature. “That particular zone in the Earth, the transition zone, might have as much water as all the world’s oceans put together.”
Ringwoodite is a form of the mineral peridot, believed to exist in large quantities under high pressures in the transition zone. Ringwoodite has been found in meteorites but, until now, no terrestrial sample has ever been unearthed because scientists haven’t been able to conduct fieldwork at extreme depths. (source).

 

Ringwoodite diamons found | Scientific support and evidence for Noah's Ark Flood

The chart above shows where the water beneath the Earth’s crust is located.

The vast oceans of water beneath the Earth’s crust is precisely what the Bible describes in the first book of Genesis. In fact, prior to the flood of Noah’s day, it had never rained. The waters from the fountains of the deep, the water reservoirs beneath the Earth’s crust: provided water:

And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. (Genesis 2:5-6).

This was the state of the Earth until the days of the flood judgment. And it would be two-fold: water came from the sky in torrential rain, and from the ground, as The Lord caused the huge oceans of subterranean water to burst forth and shoot onto the surface.

And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. (Genesis 7:10-11).

 

Evidence for Biblical flood from science | How did the Bible flood water cover the mountains?

A sample of the Ringwoodite diamond.

Gaines Johnson, a Christian geologist and author of “The Bible, Genesis and Geology” explains this occurrence from a scientific standpoint:

“Geysers occur when waters in underground chambers are heated by the surrounding host rock until the pressure and temperature cause them to flash to steam and erupt upwards. When the chamber is emptied, replacement water flows back into the chamber, the replacement water is heated, and the cycle repeats. An excellent example of this is seen in Yellowstone National Park’s “Old Faithful” geyser.
According to what is written in the Scriptures, the fountains of Noah’s flood may have been a similar form of geyser activity on a massive, world-wide scale, concentrated along the mid-oceanic ridge system. A careful reading of Genesis 7:6-10 seems to indicate that the flood waters were already rising for about seven days before the fountains “were broken up” (verse: 11)….
Careful parsing of the above passage indicates that great amounts of water were already being added to the Earth’s seas at least seven days before the rains even began. This means that sea level was already rapidly rising, flooding low lying coastal areas and sending panicked low-land inhabitants inland from the rising seas. Meanwhile, presumably up on much higher ground, Noah and his family took shelter on the Ark and waited, while the massive gopher wood vessel remained firmly nested in its construction frame, unmovable and secure until the rising waters lifted it from its resting place.
The great volume of water this early in the flood event could only come from massive undersea “fountains” beginning to breech the crust all along the mid-oceanic ridge system. But this preliminary out-flow was still insufficient to breech the ocean’s surface. The volume of underwater displacement would, however, be sufficient enough to generate global tsunami (tidal waves) activity, quickly drowning inhabitants who lived near the seas.


Seven days into the flood the undersea fountains broke through the crust in full fury, and the pressure of the flow sent scalding columns of superheated waters upwards, breeching the ocean’s surface and erupting skyward as a globe-encircling curtain of steam rocketing into the upper atmosphere. As the steam came into contact with the colder air it would condense and produce cloud cover and relentless rainfall on a planetary scale. This is precisely the sequence of events described in this part of the passage:
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.’”  (Gen 7:11-12 KJV)  (source).

At the end of the flood, the Bible again accounts for the fountains of the deep being ‘stopped’
and the water returning back into the ground:

And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;  And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.  And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.  And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen. (Genesis 8:1-5).

When The Lord gave the Ten Commandments to Moses he also referenced this underground water source:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (Exodus 20:4).

Ezekiel 26 is an address of judgment upon the city of Tyre. In it the Bible recounts how this island city would be destroyed by water and this Divine judgment will come from “the deep”:

 And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which wast strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it! Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure.For thus saith the Lord God; When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee; -Ezekiel 26:17-19.

Answering Skeptics

Proof of the Biblical flood | Tectonic Plate shifts

The area known to geologists as “the Ring of Fire” is a primary place for water to break through to the Earth’s surface.

Many have questioned the Biblical account of Noah’s flood since the Bible clearly states that the water was 15 cubits (approximately 25 feet) over every mountain. This would require more water than presently exists on the Earth’s surface. However, with the confirmation of the subterranean oceans, that is now possible (and Johnson also points this out).
Of note is that Johnson wrote these articles years before scientists’ recent discovery. Additionally, scientists have also just recently confirmed that large amounts of water could reach the Earth’s surface through deep sea faults. And the area of the globe with the greatest potential to do so are in the Pacific “ring of fire” volcanic region the precise area Johnson’s article identifies as the most likely source for the great geysers that flooded the Earth in Noah’s day.

Being a born again Christian is not an intellectual pursuit. It is not the result of examining evidence and analyzing data. It comes through faith. It is faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ that saves a person. But Christian faith is not blind faith. It is based on understanding and believing God’s Word. And the Bible confirms that nature itself proves God’s existence. In this way, scientific discoveries that confirm the Bible are indeed helpful and exciting. Pray for more people to look to God’s Word and believe the Gospel as science confirms the Bible – even if they are 3,500 years behind.

WHO IS OCCUPYING WHO?! MYTH vs FACT ARAB - ISRAELI CONFLICT…

MYTH

“The Jews have no claim to the land they call Israel.”

FACT

A common misperception is that all the Jews were forced into the Diaspora by the Romans after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70 C.E. and then, 1,800 years later, the Jews suddenly returned to Palestine demanding their country back. In reality, the Jewish people have maintained ties to their historic homeland for more than 3,700 years.

The Jewish people base their claim to the Land of Israel on at least four premises:

1) the Jewish people settled and developed the land;

2) the international community granted political sovereignty in Palestine to the Jewish people;

3) the territory was captured in defensive wars and

4) God promised the land to the patriarch Abraham.

Even after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and the beginning of the exile, Jewish life in the Land of Israel continued and often flourished. Large communities were reestablished in Jerusalem and Tiberias by the ninth century. In the 11th century, Jewish communities grew in Rafah, GazaAshkelonJaffa and Caesarea. TheCrusaders massacred many Jews during the 12th century, but the community rebounded in the next two centuries as large numbers of rabbis and Jewish pilgrims immigrated to Jerusalem and the Galilee. Prominent rabbis established communities in SafedJerusalem and elsewhere during the next 300 years.

By the early 19th century—years before the birth of the modern Zionist movement—more than 10,000 Jews lived throughout what is today Israel. The 78 years of nation-building, beginning in 1870, culminated in the reestablishment of the Jewish State.

Israel’s international “birth certificate” was validated by the promise of the Bible; uninterrupted Jewish settlement from the time of Joshua onward; the Balfour Declaration of 1917; the League of Nations Mandate, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration; the United Nations partition resolution of 1947; Israel’s admission to the UNin 1949; the recognition of Israel by most other states; and, most of all, the society created by Israel’s people in decades of thriving, dynamic national existence.

“Nobody does Israel any service by proclaiming its ‘right to exist.’ Israel’s right to exist, like that of the United States, Saudi Arabia and 152 other states, is axiomatic and unreserved. Israel’s legitimacy is not suspended in midair awaiting acknowledgement. . . .There is certainly no other state, big or small, young or old, that would consider mere recognition of its ‘right to exist’ a favor, or a negotiable concession.”

Abba Eban


MYTH

“Palestine was always an Arab country.”

FACT

The term “Palestine” is believed to be derived from the Philistines, an Aegean people who, in the 12th CenturyB.C.E., settled along the Mediterranean coastal plain of what are now Israel and the Gaza Strip. In the second century C.E., after crushing the last Jewish revolt, the Romans first applied the name Palaestina to Judea (the southern portion of what is now called the West Bank) in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. The Arabic word Filastin is derived from this Latin name. 

 Map of British Mandate

The Hebrews entered the Land of Israel about 1300 B.C.E., living under a tribal confederation until being united under the first monarch, King Saul. The second king, David, established Jerusalem as the capital around 1000 B.C.E. David’s son, Solomon, built the Temple soon thereafter and consolidated the military, administrative and religious functions of the kingdom. The nation was divided under Solomon’s son, with the northern kingdom (Israel) lasting until 722 B.C.E., when the Assyrians destroyed it, and the southern kingdom (Judah) surviving until the Babylonian conquest in 586 B.C.E. The Jewish people enjoyed brief periods of sovereignty afterward until most Jews were finally driven from their homeland in 135 C.E.

Jewish independence in the Land of Israel lasted for more than 400 years. This is much longer than Americans have enjoyed independence in what has become known as the United States. In fact, if not for foreign conquerors, Israel would be more than 3,000 years old today.

Palestine was never an exclusively Arab country, although Arabic gradually became the language of most of the population after the Muslim invasions of the seventh century. No independent Arab or Palestinian state ever existed in Palestine. When the distinguished Arab-American historian, Princeton University Prof. Philip Hitti, testified against partition before theAnglo-American Committee in 1946, he said: “There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in history, absolutely not.”

Prior to partition, Palestinian Arabs did not view themselves as having a separate identity. When the First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations met in Jerusalem in February 1919 to choose Palestinian representatives for the Paris Peace Conference, the following resolution was adopted:

We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds. In 1937, a local Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told the Peel Commission, which ultimately suggested the partition of Palestine: “There is no such country as Palestine! ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria.”  The representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations echoed this view in a statement to the General Assembly in May 1947, which said Palestine was part of the Province of Syria and the Arabs of Palestine did not comprise a separate political entity. A few years later, Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO, told the Security Council: “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.” 

Palestinian Arab nationalism is largely a post-World War I phenomenon that did not become a significant political movement until after the 1967 Six-Day War.


MYTH

“The Palestinians are descendants of the Canaanites and were in Palestine long before the Jews.”

FACT

Palestinian claims to be related to the Canaanites are a recent phenomenon and contrary to historical evidence. The Canaanites disappeared from the face of the earth three millennia ago, and no one knows if any of their descendants survived or, if they did, who they would be.

Sherif Hussein, the guardian of the Islamic Holy Places in Arabia, said the Palestinians’ ancestors had only been in the area for 1,000 years.  Even the Palestinians themselves have acknowledged their association with the region came long after the Jews. In testimony before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, for example, they claimed a connection to Palestine of more than 1,000 years, dating back no further than the conquest of Muhammad’sfollowers in the 7th century. Over the last 2,000 years, there have been massive invasions (e.g., the Crusades) that killed off most of the local people, migrations, the plague, and other manmade or natural disasters. The entire local population was replaced many times over. During the British mandate alone, more than 100,000 Arabs emigrated from neighboring countries and are today considered Palestinians.

By contrast, no serious historian questions the more than 3,000-year-old Jewish connection to the Land of Israel, or the modern Jewish people’s relation to the ancient Hebrews.


MYTH

“The Balfour Declaration did not give Jews the right to a homeland in Palestine.”

FACT

In 1917, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration:

His Majesty’s Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

The Mandate for Palestine included the Balfour Declaration. It specifically referred to “the historical connections of the Jewish people with Palestine” and to the moral validity of “reconstituting their National Home in that country.” The term “reconstituting” shows recognition of the fact that Palestine had been the Jews’ home. Furthermore, the British were instructed to “use their best endeavors to facilitate” Jewish immigration, to encourage settlement on the land and to “secure” the Jewish National Home. The word “Arab” does not appear in the Mandatory award. 

The Mandate was formalized by the 52 governments at the League of Nations on July 24, 1922.


MYTH

“Arabs in Palestine suffered because of Jewish settlement.”

FACT

For many centuries, Palestine was a sparsely populated, poorly cultivated and widely-neglected expanse of eroded hills, sandy deserts and malarial marshes. As late as 1880, the American consul in Jerusalem reported the area was continuing its historic decline. “The population and wealth of Palestine has not increased during the last forty years,” he said. 

The Report of the Palestine Royal Commission quotes an account of the Maritime Plain in 1913:

The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts . . . ​no orange groves, orchards or vineyards were to be seen until one reached [the Jewish village of] Yabna [Yavne]. . . . Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen. . . . The ploughs used were of wood. . . . The yields were very poor. . . . The sanitary conditions in the village were horrible. Schools did not exist. . . . The western part, towards the sea, was almost a desert. . . . The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants. 

Surprisingly, many people who were not sympathetic to the Zionist cause believed the Jews would improve the condition of Palestinian Arabs. For example, Dawood Barakat, editor of the Egyptian paper Al-Ahram, wrote: “It is absolutely necessary that an entente be made between the Zionists and Arabs, because the war of words can only do evil. The Zionists are necessary for the country: The money which they will bring, their knowledge and intelligence, and the industriousness which characterizes them will contribute without doubt to the regeneration of the country.” 

Even a leading Arab nationalist believed the return of the Jews to their homeland would help resuscitate the country. According to Sherif Hussein, the guardian of the Islamic Holy Places in Arabia:

The resources of the country are still virgin soil and will be developed by the Jewish immigrants. One of the most amazing things until recent times was that the Palestinian used to leave his country, wandering over the high seas in every direction. His native soil could not retain a hold on him, though his ancestors had lived on it for 1000 years. At the same time we have seen the Jews from foreign countries streaming to Palestine from Russia, Germany, Austria, Spain, America. The cause of causes could not escape those who had a gift of deeper insight. They knew that the country was for its original sons (abna’ihi-l-asliyin), for all their differences, a sacred and beloved homeland. The return of these exiles (jaliya) to their homeland will prove materially and spiritually [to be] an experimental school for their brethren who are with them in the fields, factories, trades and in all things connected with toil and labor.

As Hussein foresaw, the regeneration of Palestine, and the growth of its population, came only after Jews returned in massive numbers.

“Mark Twain, who visited Palestine in 1867, described it as: “. . . a desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds—a silent mournful expanse. . . . A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. . . . We never saw a human being on the whole route. . . . There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of the worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.” 

 

MYTH

“Zionism is racism.”

FACT

In 1975, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution slandering Zionism by equating it with racism. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, which holds that Jews, like any other nation, are entitled to a homeland.

History has demonstrated the need to ensure Jewish security through a national homeland. Zionism recognizes that Jewishness is defined by shared origin, religion, culture and history. The realization of the Zionist dream is exemplified by nearly six million Jews, from more than 100 countries, who are Israeli citizens.

Israel’s Law of Return grants automatic citizenship to Jews, but non-Jews are also eligible to become citizens under naturalization procedures similar to those in other countries. Israel’s policy is not unique; many other countries, including Germany, Greece, Ireland and Finland have special categories of people who are entitled to citizenship.

More than one million Muslim and Christian Arabs, DruzeBaha’isCircassians and other ethnic groups also are represented in Israel’s population. The presence in Israel of thousands of Jews from Ethiopia, Yemen and India is the best refutation of the calumny against Zionism. In a series of historic airlifts, labeled Operations Moses (1984), Joshua (1985) and Solomon (1991), Israel rescued more than 20,000 members of the ancient Ethiopian Jewish community.

Zionism does not discriminate against anyone. Israel’s open and democratic character, and its scrupulous protection of the religious and political rights of Christians and Muslims, rebut the charge of exclusivity. Moreover, anyone—Jew or non-Jew, Israeli, American, or Chinese, black, white, or purple—can be a Zionist.

By contrast, the Arab states define citizenship strictly by native parentage. It is almost impossible to become a naturalized citizen in Arab states such as AlgeriaSaudi Arabia and Kuwait. Several Arab nations have laws that facilitate the naturalization of foreign Arabs, with the specific exception of PalestiniansJordan, on the other hand, instituted its own “law of return” in 1954, according citizenship to all former residents of Palestine, except for Jews.

The 1975 UN resolution was part of the Soviet-Arab Cold War anti-Israel campaign. Almost all the former non-Arab supporters of the resolution have apologized and changed their positions. When the General Assembly voted to repeal the resolution in 1991, only some Arab and Muslim states, as well as Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam were opposed.

Writing after “Operation Moses” was revealed, William Safire noted:

“. . . For the first time in history, thousands of black people are being brought to a country not in chains but in dignity, not as slaves but as citizens.” 


MYTH

“The Zionists could have chosen another country besides Palestine.”

FACT

In the late 19th century, the rise of anti-Semitism led to a resurgence of pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe, shattering promises of equality and tolerance. This stimulated Jewish immigration to Palestine from Europe.

Simultaneously, a wave of Jews immigrated to Palestine from Yemen, Morocco, Iraq and Turkey. These Jews were unaware of Theodor -Herzl’s political Zionism or of European pogroms. They were motivated by the centuries-old dream of the “Return to Zion” and a fear of intolerance. Upon hearing that the gates of Palestine were open, they braved the hardships of travel and went to the Land of Israel.

The Zionist ideal of a return to Israel has profound religious roots. Many Jewish prayers speak of Jerusalem, Zion and the Land of Israel. The injunction not to forget Jerusalem, the site of the Temple, is a major tenet of Judaism. The Hebrew language, the Torah, laws in the Talmud, the Jewish calendar and Jewish holidays and festivals all originated in Israel and revolve around its seasons and conditions. Jews pray toward Jerusalem and recite the words “next year in Jerusalem” every Passover. Jewish religion, culture and history make clear that it is only in the land of Israel that the Jewish commonwealth can be built.

In 1897, Jewish leaders formally organized the Zionist political movement, calling for the restoration of the Jewish national home in Palestine, where Jews could find sanctuary and self-determination, and work for the renascence of their civilization and culture.


MYTH

“Herzl himself proposed Uganda as the Jewish state as an alternative to Palestine.”

FACT

Theodor Herzl sought support from the great powers for the creation of a Jewish homeland. He turned to Great Britain, and met with Joseph Chamberlain, the British colonial secretary and others. The British agreed, in principle, to permit Jewish settlement in East Africa.

At the Sixth Zionist Congress at Basle on August 26, 1903, Herzl proposed the British Uganda Program as atemporary emergency refuge for Jews in Russia in immediate danger. While Herzl made it clear that this program would not affect the ultimate aim of Zionism, a Jewish entity in the Land of Israel, the proposal aroused a storm of protest at the Congress and nearly led to a split in the Zionist movement. The Uganda Program, which never had much support, was formally rejected by the Zionist movement at the Seventh Zionist Congress in 1905.


MYTH

“The Arabs saw the Balfour Declaration as a betrayal of their rights.”

FACT

Emir Faisal, son of Sherif Hussein, the leader of the Arab revolt against the Turks, signed an agreement with Chaim Weizmann and other Zionist leaders during the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. It acknowledged the “racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish people” and concluded that “the surest means of working out the consummation of their national aspirations is through the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab states and Palestine.” Furthermore, the agreement looked to the fulfillment of the Balfour Declaration and called for all necessary measures “ . . . ​to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlement and intensive cultivation of the soil.” 

Faisal had conditioned his acceptance of the Balfour Declaration on the fulfillment of British wartime promises of independence to the Arabs. These were not kept.

Critics dismiss the Weizmann-Faisal agreement because it was never enacted; however, the fact that the leader of the Arab nationalist movement and the Zionist movement could reach an understanding is significant because it demonstrated that Jewish and Arab aspirations were not necessarily mutually exclusive.

"Our settlers do not come here as do the colonists from the Occident to have natives do their work for them; they themselves set their shoulders to the plow and they spend their strength and their blood to make the land fruitful. But it is not only for ourselves that we desire its fertility. The Jewish farmers have begun to teach their brothers, the Arab farmers, to cultivate the land more intensively; we desire to teach them further: together with them we want to cultivate the land—to ‘serve’ it, as the Hebrew has it. The more fertile this soil becomes, the more space there will be for us and for them. We have no desire to dispossess them: we want to live with them.”

Martin Buber

 

MYTH

“The Zionists were colonialist tools of Western imperialism.”

FACT

“Colonialism means living by exploiting others,” Yehoshofat Harkabi has written. “But what could be further from colonialism than the idealism of city-dwelling Jews who strive to become farmers and laborers and to live by their own work?” 

Moreover, as British historian Paul Johnson noted, Zionists were hardly tools of imperialists given the powers’ general opposition to their cause. “Everywhere in the West, the foreign offices, defense ministries and big business were against the Zionists.”

Emir Faisal also saw the Zionist movement as a companion to the Arab nationalist movement, fighting against imperialism, as he explained in a letter to Harvard law professor and future Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter on March 3, 1919, one day after Chaim Weizmann presented the Zionist case to the Paris conference. Faisal wrote:

The Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. . . . We will wish the Jews a hearty welcome home. . . . We are working together for a reformed and revised Near East and our two movements complete one another. The Jewish movement is nationalist and not imperialist. And there is room in Syria for us both. Indeed, I think that neither can be a real success without the other (emphasis added). 

In the 1940s, the Jewish underground movements waged an anti—colonial war against the British. The Arabs, meanwhile, were concerned primarily with fighting the Jews rather than expelling the British imperialists.


MYTH

“The British promised the Arabs independence in Palestine.”

FACT

The central figure in the Arab nationalist movement at the time of World War I was Hussein ibn ‘Ali, the Sherif of Mecca in 1908. As Sherif, Hussein was responsible for the custody of Islam’s shrines in the Hejaz and was one of the Muslims’ spiritual leaders.

In July 1915, Hussein sent a letter to Sir Henry MacMahon, the High Commissioner for Egypt, informing him of the terms for Arab participation in the war against the Turks. The letters between Hussein and MacMahon that followed outlined the areas that Britain was prepared to cede to the Arabs in exchange for their help.

The Hussein-MacMahon correspondence conspicuously fails to mention Palestine. The British argued the omission had been intentional, thereby justifying their refusal to grant the Arabs independence in Palestine after the war. MacMahon explained:

I feel it my duty to state, and I do so definitely and emphatically, that it was not intended by me in giving this pledge to King Hussein to include Palestine in the area in which Arab independence was promised. I also had every reason to believe at the time that the fact that Palestine was not included in my pledge was well understood by King Hussein. 

 

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