WOW! Bible In the News: Jerusalem a Burdensome Stone Will the UK move its embassy to Jerusalem?

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“Liz Truss says she may follow Donald Trump and move Britain’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem,” reported the UK Telegraph on September 22. The announcement brought immediate controversy, the Telegraph article went on to say, “Liz Truss has suggested that she could move the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, triggering warnings the Prime Minister was tearing up international law and acting “like Trump”.”

Catholic Outcry at the Prospect of the Embassy Relocating

Yesterday October 7 the Times of Israel reported that the most senior Catholic leader in England, the Archbishop of Westminster — Cardinal Nichols, had “written to new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss to urge her not to move the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.” The report states that, “Cardinal Nichols reiterated the Church’s belief the holy city should be international, and not held by either side.” The Cardinal’s letter says,

“Pope Francis and the leaders of churches in the Holy Land have long called for the international Status Quo on
Jerusalem to be upheld, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions. The city must be shared as a common
patrimony, never becoming an exclusive monopoly of any party”

“I can see no valid reason why a move needs now to be considered. I ask the Prime Minister earnestly to reconsider the intention she has expressed and to focus all efforts on seeking a two-state solution, in which Jerusalem would have a guaranteed special status”

The words of the Cardinal were clear. Jerusalem should not be under the control of any single party — in other words, the Jewish State, and the city should be “internationalized.” This would mean that it would, most likely, be under the sovereignty of the United Nations, where the Vatican and the Catholic nations of the world hold substantial sway.

In the 1947 UN partition plan, Jerusalem was proposed to be a “corpus separatum”,
a Latin term meaning, “separated body”, a body not under Jewish or Arab sovereignity,
but internationalized.

The Internationalization of Jerusalem

The idea for Jerusalem to be internationalized is not a new one. In fact, it goes back over 100 years. According to Sergio Minerbi, in The Vatican and Zionism, “Theodor Herzl had expressed the idea of the extraterritoriality of the Christian Holy Places and had discussed it with Pope Pius X as early as 1904.” (Page 81) At that meeting the Pope told Herzl that the Jewish people, “deny the divine nature of Christ. How then can we, without abandoning our own highest principles, agree to their being given possession of the Holy Land again?” The idea really came to the fore, just before the establishment of the State of Israel, in the 1947 partition plan. Initially the Vatican was not warm to the idea of the Jews establishing a homeland in what was then called Palestine at all. However, by 1947 when the partition plan was being drafted, the internationalization of Jerusalem was the best option for the Vatican. The historian Martin Gilbert, in his history of modern Israel, page 149, comments on the 1947 partition plan drafted by the United Nations special commission on Palestine, that, “It proposed the creation of two separate and independent States, one Arab and one Jewish, with the city of Jerusalem as a corpus separatum under international trusteeship.”

Abba Eban, the famous Israeli diplomat, recalled in his autobiography, when in 1947, they were accessing the support amongst the nations for a Jewish state, that: “Surely the Soviet Union would express its anti-Zionist tradition. Surely the states of Latin America and some in Western Europe would be influenced the by Vatican, which had found it theologically difficult to accommodate itself to the idea of a Jewish state.”

The Vatican’s objectives at the time were at least two-fold. One, to prevent the formation of a Jewish state altogether, and two, if there were to be a Jewish state, to prevent it having sovereignty over Jerusalem and the so called “Holy Places”.

Today the Vatican’s objectives have not changed at all, as confirmed by the outcry over the possibility of the UK moving their embassy to Jerusalem. We can’t know if Britain will relocate her embassy at this time. However, we can be sure that Jerusalem will continue to be the center of world controversy.

The Controversy of Zion — Isaiah 34:8

It’s safe to say that Jerusalem is the most controversial city in the world. Which brings to mind the words of the Hebrew prophet Zechariah, who prophesied in chapter 12 verses 2 and 3:

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”

Zechariah prophesies that Jerusalem will be an cup of trembling or staggering, one thinks of a cup causing intoxication, or the idea of a poisoned chalice. Jerusalem appears to be something that one would desire to possess and yet for the nations it is poison, causing them to stagger and tremble. The prophet continues by comparing Jerusalem to a very heavy stone, which when one lifts it breaks them.

This is the destiny of the Vatican. They will try to possess Jerusalem, coming down upon the land as Ezekiel 38 and Daniel 11 also prophecy.

Daniel 11 says that the King of the North, “…shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”

The Vatican, by championing the Palestinian Arab people, by partition plans, by peace plans, by diplomatic craft, will be unable to dispossess the Jewish people from Jerusalem and so ultimately will come down to take possession of the “holy places”, only to be smashed to pieces by the little stone power, of Daniel 2.

Thanks for listening to this weeks Bible in the News, this has been David Billington. Please come back next week to

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