As I noted last week, at the beginning of each year, it is my practice on “The Hal Lindsey Report” to review the previous year and highlight both major and minor events or developments that I believe have prophetic significance.
This week, I’ll present the second and final part of “2018: The Prophetic Year in Review.”
On May 14, 2018, Israel celebrated the 70th anniversary of its rebirth as a nation. On that day, the United States finally did what its Presidents had been promising to do for years. It officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s actual capital, Jerusalem.
Since then, several other nations have followed America’s lead or plan to do so. President Trump said the move only acknowledged “the plain reality, that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem.”
But at the end of the year, President Trump announced another move. It, too, is one that may have definite prophetic significance.
He said the United States will withdraw its military forces from Syria. The primary goal of the US had been to destroy ISIS and the President feels that has been largely accomplished.
However, by withdrawing a US presence, it leaves Russia, Iran, and Turkey as the three controlling forces there. Ezekiel 38 predicts that these three powers will form a coalition and one day invade Israel from the north. Syria and Lebanon, which is controlled by Hezbollah which is controlled by Iran, sit on Israel’s northern doorstep.
By propping up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iran has prolonged that devastating civil war. More than half a million Syrians have died and more than eleven million have fled their homes. Five million have fled the country. Most of them ended up in Europe, which is on the verge of collapse from the weight of the migrant invasion.
In 2018, Israel had better relationships with several of the Arab Muslim nations than at any time in modern history. But as the year ended, that progress was placed in jeopardy by the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
It appears he died at the hands of Saudi operatives. And they may have been acting on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
It may well be that the Crown Prince had this man murdered. It is consistent with his family’s philosophy and history. And that is an abhorrent deed.
But from the beginning, the mainstream media has deceived the public about Jamal Khashoggi. Only at the end of his life did he write a few columns for The Washington Post. But the American media claimed him as one of their own. TIME magazine made him their “Person of the Year” and called him a “guardian of truth.”
But they downplayed the uncomfortable fact that he had been a longtime friend and associate of Osama bin-Laden. He publicly blamed the 9/11 attacks on “Americans who neglected the suffering of Palestinians for half a century.”
Like bin-Laden, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood as a young man. Throughout his career he was an apologist and advocate for the Brotherhood. And, like Israel and Egypt, Saudi Arabia considers the Muslim Brotherhood its enemy.
Canada Free Press called Khashoggi “a cynical and manipulative apologist for Islamic terrorism, not the mythical martyred dissident whose disappearance the media has spent the worst part of a week raving about… [he was] not a moderate.”
Also, though he worked in the Middle East as a journalist, Khashoggi was not a supporter of a free press. According to Canada Free Press, he complained loudly that the Saudi government allowed “some journalists to report positively on Israel.”
None of that means that he should have been murdered, but it’s an important part of the story and it should have been reported.
And it’s telling that the western press took at face value the word of Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He was the first to point the finger at the Saudi government. Erdogan is a known liar and despot. After an alleged failed coup, he jailed more than 180,000 Turks. He professes to champion a free press, but more than 170 journalists are being held in Turkish prisons, on Erdogan’s orders.
Unfortunately, some national leaders in our world do despicable things all the time. Why is the American media so vehemently against Prince Mohammad, yet turns a blind eye to other global villains, like the Chinese communist government or the mullahs in Tehran? Perhaps it is because in April of 2018, the Prince became the first Saudi royal to publicly say, “The Israelis have the right to have their own land.”
But Syria and Lebanon aren’t the only places Iran is exerting a controlling influence. According to the United Nations, if the civil war in Yemen continues, that country faces the “worst famine in 100 years.”
The media blames this disaster solely on Saudi Arabia. But the Saudis did not cause Yemen’s civil war, Iran did, through their proxy, the Houthi rebels.
Iran wants to control Yemen because of its strategic location. It borders the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. That connects the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Five million barrels of oil pass through this narrow strait every day.
Iran itself sits beside the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, where even more oil passes to the world daily.
With at least partial control of both straits, Iran could disrupt much of the world’s oil supply. That could destroy the economy of Saudi Arabia, its mortal enemy. It would send the west into a deep depression.
In other words, by fighting Iran’s takeover of Yemen, the Saudis are protecting the world economy. But you would never know it if you only get your information from the western mainstream media.
In 2018, Hamas intensified its efforts in Gaza to provoke war with Israel. It convinced Gazans to participate in its “March of Return.” Hamas assured the Gazans that the March would be the beginning of the “liberation of all of Palestine, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.” In other words, the beginning of Israel’s annihilation.
So thousands of Palestinians crashed the Israeli border fence day after day. They burned thousands of tires, creating massive clouds of dangerous smoke. They threw Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers and planted explosives along the border fence.
They flew kites and balloons with incendiary devices into the skies over Israel, causing wildfires and burning thousands of acres of grassland in the process. They fired almost 400 missiles and crude rockets at civilian population centers in southern Israel.
Besieged Israeli soldiers, guarding the nation’s border with Gaza, responded with remarkable restraint. Yet the media blamed Israel for everything.
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement that put it succinctly: “The border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip separates a sovereign state and a terrorist organization.”
But the Israel Defence Forces weren’t the only ones under attack in 2018. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a series of storms, as well. He was accused of crimes. (Sound familiar?) His wife was accused of crimes. His governing coalition fell apart late in the year. It didn’t crumble because the liberal Knesset members were displeased. It fell because the very conservative Netanyahu was not conservative, or aggressive, enough for some members of his coalition.
Now, Israel is facing new elections in April, 2019.
In October of 2018, a gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shouting anti-Semitic slurs, he began firing. He killed 11 and wounded seven. It was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history. But it was only one of an increasing number of attacks against Jews worldwide.
In November, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan tweeted a video of himself from a few years ago. In it, he laughingly scolded people for calling him an anti-Semite. He said, …[when they] call me anti-Semite, stop it! I’m anti-termite!” The crowd roared with laughter.
To her credit, Chelsea Clinton publicly denounced him for it. She tweeted: “Comparing Jews to termites is anti-Semitic, wrong and dangerous. The responsive laughter makes my skin crawl.”
However, the world’s worst aggressor against Jews continued to be the United Nations. In 2018, the UN continued its unending onslaught of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic actions.
But perhaps a 2018 headline in The Jerusalem Post gave a glimpse into a future spiritual awakening among the Jews that is prophesied in Revelation 7. It read: “Study: One-fifth of Jewish millennials believe Jesus is the son of God.”
Revelation 7:4 mentions the gathering of 144,000 Jews, during the Tribulation, who will go forth into the world and preach the Gospel. They will be from all the tribes of Israel.
Obviously, these revelations from 2018 are not a fulfillment of Romans 11, but it does indicate that there is a growing awareness among some Jews that there is more to the claims of Jesus Christ than they have been led to believe. And that may be a precursor to its fulfillment. It may be one of the most definite signs yet that we are getting extremely close to the end of this age.
As I said last week, it’s past time to get ready to leave this world behind!
Happy New Year!