What in the world is going on?
It seems like only yesterday that the world was calm, but calm is such a relative term. I find myself flashing back to the MS Achille Lauro, when on October 7 of 1985, four men representing the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) hijacked the Italian liner off the coast of Egypt, as it was sailing from Alexandria to Ashdod, Israel. One 69-year-old Jewish American man in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer, was murdered by the hijackers and thrown overboard.
In better times people were taking vacations to see places like Istanbul, Egypt or Algeria. Then the trouble starts happening?
Having finally finished reading the book, The Last Days, written by the Jewish author, Joel Rosenberg, there is a character that stands out to me, Dr. Eliezer Mordechai, the former Mossad spy chief. I will tell you up front that I have adapted many pages from this book and integrated them into my blog to make a point.
What is it that is so different about him aside from his sense of calm and his ability to understand the enemy? The man, thanks to his wife, had come to deeply understand the scriptures (the Torah and the Talmud), something that had not been that important to him as a young man. But there was something more.
After a brief period of calm, the former finance executive, now Senior Adviser to the President, Jonathon Bennett, somewhat angrily approaches Dr. Mordechai, Former Head of Mossad, and asks him, “what in the world is going on?”
Eli, knowing full well what Jonathan meant replies, “What do you mean,?”
Even I have figured out that it is sometimes best to toss the question back at the person asking, because you need to define what it is they are really asking.
Jonathon replied, “I mean, .. things are out of control. .. snipers, anthrax – suicide bombers? What is this? We’ve got a war in Iraq, a Palestinian civil war, people trying to blow up the Temple Mount. .. It’s scary, isn’t it?”
The book was written while America was still at war with Iraq. While I do not recall an overt Palestinian civil war, Hamas is busily brutalizing and killing its own people when they do not cooperate in their attempts to bomb Israel, and there is a daily rock throwing Jihad (called interfada) coming from Palestinians against Israeli troops, police and citizens. I do not know if attempts have been made to blow up the Temple Mount, but it would not surprise me considering the level of animosity shown to Jews who now have the legal right to be there.
Everyone knows that the Temple Mount belongs to the Jews, and that the temple will be rebuilt there. The Prophet Daniel speaks of this when he tells us that they shall come and destroy the sanctuary once again:
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:25-27)
After a brief break in the conversation Eli resumes. “Jon, do you believe in the supernatural?”
Bennett replied,“I don’t know. Why?” Angels, demons, Sodom and Gomorrah?” .. “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
Eli responded: “Sure you do. I am asking if you believe that there is an unseen battle going on all around us – a cosmic showdown between good and evil. That there is an all-knowing, all-powerful force in the universe that enter time and space, that can alter the course of human history, that can destroy the living and raise the dead.”
Jonathon replied: “You’re asking if I believe in God?”
Again the response from Eli: “No, no. Not just God. A God who is at war with evil. A god with a plan and a purpose. A God who has the awesome, fearsome power to achieve that plan and accomplish that purpose.”
There were others in the room, however the room went silent. These were not people that gave much credence to the irrational. These were skilled tacticians, CIA operatives, and business people, used to dealing with tangible concepts.
“I don’t know,” Bennett said finally, quietly, “I don’t know what I believe.”
Dr. Mordechai’s response: “Then I suggest you figure it out – quickly.”
“Why?” Jonathon asked.
Letting the question hang in the air for a moment, Eli replied, “Because that is the answer to your question.”
You will recall I opened with that very question, What in the world is going on?
Dr. Mordechai went on to explain: “Jonathon, I have spent my whole life lurking in the shadows, cultivating sources, paying off informants, desperately hoping I would find my enemies before they found me. Why? Because I wanted someone to put a bullet in my head? No. Because knowledge is power. Because what you don’t know can kill you. ..”
After explaining why our information pipeline shut off, a rather lengthy conversation, Dr. Mordechai says, Now I am going to tell you what you want to know. I am going to tell you why all hell is breaking loose. After several minutes of letting the room absorb what he had said about the need for spies and information Eli spoke again:
“.. in the nineties, the CIA stopped paying off ‘unsavory characters’ as sources. Why? It is a long story. The point is, America went dark. You stopped being able to see inside the mind of evil. You let evil go unchecked. And you paid a terrible price. You got September eleventh. …”
Mordechai lit a match and took a few puffs from his pipe. He then said:
“My business is all about sources. So is yours. Who you know and what they know. Maybe you cannot stand your sources. Maybe you wish they would keel over and die. You know what? It does not matter what we think about a source. The only thing that matters is whether that source is credible, whether he or she is telling you the truth, even if the truth is ugly, even if the truth does not make sense. Right?”
Bennett nodded in agreement, and so should you.
“Good” replied Eli. “Now I am going to tell you what you want to know. I am going to tell you why all hell is breaking loose. But I am going to cite you a source you may not like. That is not the point. The point is does the information make sense? Is it credible? Is it true? If it is not, don’t worry about it. Blow it off and move on. But if it is, then you have a decision to make: What are you going to do about it, and how long are you going to wait?”
Mordechai took a sip of Brandy, stared at his pipe for a moment, then began to speak:
“We are not living in normal times Jonathon. We are now living in what the Hebrew prophets called the last days.”
I would suggest at this point, that you mentally take out the name Jonathon and insert your own. This is speaking directly to you.
Bennett asked, “What does that mean?”
Eli responds with, “Remember the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls?” … “part of those scrolls contained the book of Isaiah, almost three thousand years old, written exactly like what is in the Bible today.” … “So here is what Isaiah said in chapter 2. In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.”
Bennett asked, “meaning what?”
Eli quickly said, “Meaning three thousand years ago, Isaiah said the Temple would be rebuilt in the last days. Daniel said the same thing. So did Ezekiel. In chapter 37 he predicts the rebirth of the modern State of Israel after centuries of neglect. In chapters 38 and 39 he references peace and prosperity in the land of Israel, as well as a bunch of other events… In chapter 40 onward, he talks in great detail about the Temple yet to come.”
I am including these scriptures because most of you will not look them up.
Ezekiel 37:21-22 CJB Then say to them that Adonai Elohim says: ‘I will take the people of Isra’el from among the nations where they have gone and gather them from every side and bring them back to their own land. (22) I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Isra’el; and one king will be king for all of them. They will no longer be two nations, and they will never again be divided into two kingdoms.
Ezekiel 38:8-11 CJB After many days have passed, you will be mustered for service; in later years you will invade the land which has been brought back from the sword, gathered out of many peoples, the mountains of Isra’el. They had been lying in ruins for a long time, but now Isra’el has been extracted from the peoples and all of them are living there securely. (9) You will come up like a storm, you will be like a cloud covering the land — you and all your troops, and many other peoples with you.’ (10) “Adonai Elohim says: ‘When that day comes, thoughts will well up in your mind, and you will devise a sinister scheme. (11) You will say, “I am going to invade this land of unwalled villages; I will take by surprise these people who are at peace, living securely, all in places without walls, bars or gates.
Ezekiel 39:23-27 CJB while the Goyim will know that the house of Isra’el went into exile because of their guilt, because they broke faith with me; so that I hid my face from them and handed them over to their adversaries; and they fell by the sword, all of them. (24) Yes, I treated them as their uncleanness and crimes deserved; and I hid my face from them.’ (25) “Therefore Adonai Elohim says this: ‘Now I will restore the fortunes of Ya`akov and have compassion on the entire house of Isra’el, and I will be jealous for my holy name. (26) They will bear their shame and all their [guilt from] breaking faith with me, once they are living securely in their land, with no one to make them afraid. (27) This will be after I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, thereby being consecrated through them in the sight of many nations.
Bennett pointed out the obvious. “But there is no temple.”
Mordechai responded with, “.. I am just saying there are a whole lot of people out there – Christians and Jews alike – who believe we have entered some new phase of history, and the Temple is coming….” “Remember the Bush administration’s Road Map to peace?”
“Of course, said Bennett.”
Dr. Mordechai continued, “The Scriptures lay out a road map to the last days, complete with signs that will tell us when we get there. … First, the world will hear of ‘wars and rumors of wars.’ ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.’ We will see ‘great earthquakes’ and ‘famines and pestilences in various places.’ Persecution will be rampant as the ‘gospel of the kingdom’ is ‘preached in the whole world.’ At the same time, ‘many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.’ There will be all kinds of strange signs in the skies. ‘Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world.’”… “Israel – described throughout the Jewish scriptures as the fig tree – will be restored and in full bloom. ‘Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled’ – that is, until the last days when the Jews retake control of the Holy City, and Jews from all over the world start streaming back to their homeland. And ‘when you see these things happening,’ the Bible says, ‘you know that the kingdom of God is near’ – even ‘right at the door.’”
Bennett asked, “And you think we’re passing all those road signs?”
Challenged by the fact that life is filled with war, Dr. Mordechai responded with, “Well, think about it, ‘wars and revolutions’ and kingdoms rising against kingdom.’ Just look at the twentieth century.” “Of course there have been wars and revolutions throughout time. But never anything on the scale we saw in the twentieth century.”
Bennett asked the same questions you or I would ask, “You can’t just say because we’ve had a few huge quakes .. that we are living in the last days.’”
Mordechai quoted some legitimate and sobering statistics. Should you want to look some of this information up, then go to the U.S. Geological Service website and look into it.
Eli states, “You could say the same thing about ‘famine and pestilence.’ Just look at Africa. Ethiopia, Somalia – hundreds of thousand of people died of starvation. And disease? We have ten million AIDS orphans in Africa alone, and the numbers are climbing every day. Are we supposed to do nothing? .. “Of course not. … but my point is this: number one, the magnitude of these problems, and number two, the convergence of all these signs and events in the same century and right up to the present moment – that gives us all the evidence we need. That and the fact that for the first time in over two thousand years Israel is suddenly a country again, and Jerusalem is suddenly under Jewish control, just as predicted. That is what clinched it for me.”
Eli continued: “Maybe it was 1948, maybe it was ’67. I don’t know. At some point some kind of cosmic clock began ticking. A prophetic countdown is under way, Jonathon, and for better or worse, we are right in the middle of it.”
McCoy, a CIA operative and follower of Jesus Christ, caught it first, and she said, “Dr. Mordechai – I mean Eli, I really appreciate all you said tonight. I just have a quick question before we go.” … “Weren’t some of the verses you were citing from the New Testament?”
Dr. Mordechai responded, “Most of it was the Jewish Scriptures, but yes, it was Jesus who laid out the ‘road map,’ the signs of the last days in the Gospels.”
“Jesus?” Galashnikov blurted out. “But you’re Jewish, for crying out loud.”
“So was Jesus,” said Mordechai, now cleaning his pipe.
“But I don’t get it,” said Bennett, .. “What’s the former head of the Israeli Mossad doing going around quoting Jesus?”
Pay attention now.
“Mordechai looked around at the group. “It is all about sources, my friends. And I told you already, there is only one question that counts: is the source telling the truth? If he is not, cut him loose. But if he is, you had better hold on tight and listen good, because the stuff he gives you could save your life.”
There was something else. Some time had passed. Bennett could not quite put his finger on it, still it intrigued him. McCoy had it, and so did the President. It was a sense of peace, a sense of purpose that he didn’t have. These people weren’t afraid. They weren’t scared of the future. The chose life, but they weren’t scared of death. They seemed to know exactly where they were going and who they were going to see when they got there. The more Bennett spent time with them, the more he thought they just might be right.
Mordechai certainly wasn’t the kind of person to base his faith on some slick-talking evangelist or touchy-feely emotional experience. He knew all the arguments for and against, and he’d come out for.”
“I just started studying the source documents,” Mordechai told the three of them just before they left the restaurant. “I started reading the Jewish prophets to see what they said to look for in the Messiah. I found out that Micah said the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Honestly, I had never known that. Isaiah said the Messiah would be born of a virgin, and live in Galilee. I had never read that before.” … “Daniel,” Mordechai went on, “said, after the Messiah was ‘cut off,’ Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple would be destroyed by an occupying power. King David said, ‘evil men’ would kill the Messiah in a merciless fashion, and that his hands and feet would be ‘pierced.’ Isaiah said the Messiah would be ‘pierced for our transgressions’ and ‘crushed for our iniquities.’ He said ‘the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.’ He also said the Messiah couldn’t be held down by the grave but would live again and ‘prolong his days.’ I could go on and on. But look, I am no rocket scientist. I just looked at the picture the prophets were painting, and I said, who does that look like?”
Then Mordechai said something Bennett couldn’t shake. “One day I was reading a parable that Jesus told His disciples. He said the kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold al he had and bought that field. And it hit me, Jonathon, I was that man. I knew the truth. I had found buried treasure. But what was I going to do about it? Walk away? Ignore it? Or follow Christ whatever the cost?”
Bennett kept thinking about that. He had a million questions. He wanted to research everything Mordechai had said in great detail, and in time he would. But the more he thought about it, the more he realized he didn’t need anything else to make a decision. He was ready.