Monday, March 25, 2019

Mike Pompeo, Israel, God and Why Donald Trump is President

While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in the Middle East in March 2019, he was interviewed at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem by Chris Mitchell and David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network (or CBN).  In the past, Mr. Pompeo has made every attempt to ensure that the world knows his religious beliefs and how they shape his view of the world.  This interview was held after he spent time at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem as shown in this video:


Accompanied by a platoon of security personnel, Mr. Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also toured the archeological site termed the Core excavations that have been opened under the Western Wall Plaza as well as the new synagogue that has been built directly below the Western Wall.  Here is a tour of the tunnels that have exposed portions of the wall that have not been seen for generations:


Within the tunnel system, there is a synagogue.  This synagogue which took 12 years to build officially opened in December 2017 and is adjacent to the area where tradition holds that the ancient Jewish temple of Solomon was located.  The gold-coloured sphere located in the synagogue is a metal ark designed to hold Torah scrolls and is topped with a cast metal sculpture of Moses' burning bush as shown here:


...and here:


To better understand these events and, in particular, the comments that Mr. Pompeo makes in his interview with CBN, we require some background on Israel and how it relates to the beliefs of millions of American Evangelical Christians, including the current Secretary of State.  We must remember that the site visited by Mr. Pompeo is also holy to Muslims since it contains the al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam and the Dome of the Rock, the site where Mohammed prayed and went to paradise.  It is also interesting to note that the site is the location of a 6th century Christian church which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was burned by the Persians in 614 AD.  This historical site has been the source of a great deal of tension between Israelis and Palestinians over the past few decades as Israel's grip on the site has strengthened.  

Mr. Pompeo also made mention of his visit to the controversial site on his Twitter feed as shown here:


 

If you take the time to watch the video to the 1 minute mark, you will notice that the video briefly contains the image of a model.  This model is of the proposed Jewish temple that will be located on the site.  It is also known as the third temple given that the first temple which was built by Solomon was destroyed in 586 BCE by the Babylonians, and the second temple which was built by King Herod and destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.  It is the third temple that many Jewish Orthodox scholars believe will rebuilt by the Jewish Messiah on his return, an event that heralds the end of the world.  Christians also have a strong belief in the importance of the third temple in the "end times" chronology; Evangelical Christians in particular believe that the reconstruction of the temple is key to the spiritual rebirth of the world.  Here is a more through explanation of dispensationalism, the theology that divides history into spiritual ages or dispensations:

According to this teaching, when first-century Jews rejected Jesus, a new “church age” began in which Christians would act as “God’s chosen people.” This dispensation will continue until God takes Christians to heaven, leaving the “unchosen” behind for a period of turmoil. This is known as “the rapture.”

While dispensationalism teaches that God is currently focused on the Christian church, believers in this theology assert that when the last days arrive, God will draw the Jewish people back to Israel where they will rebuild the temple and eventually accept Jesus as the rightful Messiah. This will trigger the return and reign of Jesus…

In Genesis 17, God promises to make Abraham the father of a great nation, which dispensationalists believe is an ongoing covenant. They believe Isaiah 11 and 66 as well as Ezekiel 37 predict the return of Jews to Israel. The prophet Zechariah, they claim, prophesied that Jews would reoccupy Jerusalem in opposition to many nations before they finally accept Jesus’ Messianic claims. Dispensationalists also point to Revelation 7 as evidence that God still has specific plans for Israel’s 12 tribes in the last days."

Now you can understand why the location and rebuilding of the third temple are so important to America's Evangelical Christians.

What is particularly interesting about this belief is the link to the Battle of Armageddon.  This world-ending battle will take place in the Valley of Megiddo in Israel when Jesus returns to set up his Kingdom on earth.  This battle is described in Revelations chapters 14, 16, 17 and 19 and, at this battle, Jesus will deliver Israel from the destruction wrought by the Antichrist through an invasion headed by Iran (Persia) and Russia (Meschech, root word for Moscow) as described in Zechariah 14:2 and 3 and Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.  Here is a more thorough description of the final years of the world as we know it, beliefs that more or less reflect Mr. Pompeo's views on Israel and the end times.  

Now, with that background, let's go back to the Secretary's interview with CBN.  Here is what Mr. Pompeo had to say about his faith which helps us put his actions into perspective:

"So I grew up going to church on Sundays, but frankly it wasn’t a priority in my life growing up.  I went off to West Point, and as a young cadet, during my freshman year there were two young men who were juniors who were true men of faith.  And they held these little Bible study/cookie klatches on Sunday afternoons.  And they invited all the cadets to see – it was purely voluntary.  And I started showing up, and – truly remarkable.  I started going to church every weekend on my own, because I wanted to be there to learn and to grow, and at some point during that first year I really did come to have an understanding of Jesus that was different than the one that I had before.  It fundamentally changed my life...

So of course my mission as a Secretary of State, the thing I rose my – raised my right hand to do, I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.  And I’ve done that now a handful of times – first as a soldier, then as a member of Congress, then as the director of the CIA, now as Secretary of State. But in each of those missions, the task that I have is informed by my understanding of my faith, my belief in Jesus Christ as the savior." (bold mine)

Now, here is the most interesting exchange of the interview.  Here is the exchange:

Question: Jews worldwide and here in Jerusalem are talking about the fact that Esther 2,500 years ago saved the Jewish people with God’s help from Haman. And now 2,500 years later there’s a new Haman here in the Middle East that wants to eradicate the Jewish people like just like Haman did: the state of Iran.  Could it be that President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace?

Secretary Pompeo: As a Christian I certainly believe that’s possible. It was remarkable – so we were down in the tunnels where we could see 3,000 years ago, and 2,000 years ago – if I have the history just right – to see the remarkable history of the faith in this place and the work that our administration’s done to make sure that this democracy in the Middle East, that this Jewish state remains.  I am confident that the Lord is at work here." (bolds mine)

So there you have it.  Just in case you were wondering, God really did put Donald Trump into the White House so that he could protect Israel from the "Persian hordes".  At least, that's "scripture" according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Since the Bible obviously plays a very important role in Mike Pompeo's life, I'd like to close this posting with this:


"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God."  Matthew 5:9

"They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it."  1 Peter 3:11

"Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness." James 3:18

In fact, the word peace is mentioned 429 times in the King James Version of the Bible.  Funny how some people conveniently forget that, isn't it?

So much for Vladimir Putin's direct role in the Trump presidency.  It was God all along and we just didn't realize it.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post. Unfortunately, the heresy of Premillenial Dispensationalism has captured much of North American evangelicalism in the past 75 years. It has become virtually impossible to get away from this cult which has infiltrated a lot of denominations who do not support this teaching in their official statement of beliefs.
    The teachings of Premillenial Dispensationalism actually requires the rejection of great deal of Jesus' teaching and adoption of a view of Old Testament scripture which is contrary to the view of Jesus and the 1st century church. It is not so much that forget the passages of Scripture that you quote; rather, they simply state that these scriptures don't apply to Christians today but will apply to Israel in the future.
    In effect, Premillenial Dispensationalists say that Jesus failed in his first coming (and therefore cannot be the Christ/Messiah) because the Jews rejected him. The Apostle John called this position 'antichrist' in his day.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful insight. I grew up in this culture and realize how scripture can be made to fit whatever narrative your particular church adheres to. I call it toxic Christianity.

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  2. Thankyou for this informed article.

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