United Nations vs Israel
and the End of the World

ONLINE EDITION
"Jerusalem will be...
burdening the world...
all the nations of the earth
unite in an attempt..."
- Zechariah 12:3 LB

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Home
Bible Prophecies Don't Endorse Israel's Behavior
As Foretold, the Nations Are Already United and Prepared to Act
But the Bible Contradicts Itself - Doesn't It?
Many of the Prophecies Have Already Come True
Jerusalem a Problem for the Whole World
Ezekiel's Prophecy: a Coalition Attack on a Restored Israel
Will You Have Seven More Years to Decide?
God Doesn't Send Natural Disasters - Or Does He?
Anti-Semitism Foretold in Scripture
The Holocaust Foretold in Scripture?
Jerusalem, Canaan, Sodom and Today's World
"Chosen People" - Chosen for What?
Promised Seed
"Promised Land" - Promised to Whom?
"Holy City"
Promised Messiah
An Islamic Antichrist
Daniel's Beasts and the Beasts of Revelation
What Jesus Said about Jerusalem and the End of the World
How to Survive
Many "Christians" Won't Survive
What Happens Next?
America's Role
Nations United and Resolved
Why Do Churches Fail to Preach about the End?
Are You Ready?
Prophecy Timeline
About the Writing of this Book
Dedication, copyright, ISBN & Scripture references
Contact

United Nations vs Israel, and the End of the World
online edition of the book by David A. Reed
"Jerusalem will be...burdening the world...all the nations of the earth unite in an attempt..." - Zech. 12:3 LB
"Jerusalem shall be...administered by the United Nations." - UN General Assembly Resolution 181


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But the Bible Contradicts Itself—Doesn’t It?

 

 

 

‘The Bible contradicts itself!’  That is probably the most common excuse cited by people who want to ignore what it says about the coming international confrontation over Jerusalem and the end of the world—and to ignore what it says about other matters.  But, is that a valid excuse?  Does the Bible really contradict itself?  At first glance it may appear to.

For example, the New Testament reports that Jesus said that his followers should

“Take nothing for your journey—neither staffs, nor wallet, nor bread, nor money.”

—Luke 9:3

And it also reports that he told his followers,

“whoever has a purse, let him take it, and likewise a wallet”

—Luke 22:36

Isn’t that a contradiction?

Similarly, the Old Testament prophets say,

“. . . they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks . . .”

—Isaiah 2:4 KJV

But the Old Testament also says,

“Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears . . .”

—Joel 3:10 KJV

Isn’t that a contradiction, as well?

On the surface, these may appear to be contradictions.  And they were worded that way in those passages intentionally by the divine Author who inspired Scripture.  Why?  Because God inspired the Bible not only to instruct disciples, but also to separate people—to separate those who really want the truth from those who don’t care enough to probe deeply:

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

—Hebrews 4:12 NIV

 

The written word of God separates people, judging the thoughts and attitudes of their hearts, depending on how they respond to the message.  Such a separation occurred even among the audiences that heard Jesus speak in person when he walked the earth two thousand years ago.  For example, when Jesus spoke on one occasion, even many of his own followers had difficulty accepting what he said:

When the followers of Jesus heard this, many of them said, ‘This teaching is hard. Who can accept it?’ . . . After Jesus said this, many of his followers left him and stopped following him.”

—John 6:60-66 NCV

But those who sincerely wanted to know God’s will would come to Jesus privately after his public speaking, and ask him to explain what he meant:

“Jesus used stories to tell all these things to the people; he always used stories to teach them. . . . Then Jesus left the crowd and went into the house. His followers came to him and said, ‘Explain to us the meaning of the story . . .’”

—Matthew 13:34-36 NCV

In a similar way, we should read the Bible prayerfully, asking God to help us understand what we read.  And we should wait patiently for that understanding to be given to us.

So, what about the apparent contradictions noted at the beginning of this chapter?  Are they really contradictions?

Jesus really did tell the disciples to take “no wallet, no money in their purse” on one occasion, and then later told them, “whoever has a purse, let him take it, and likewise a wallet.”  (Luke 9:3 and 22:36)  But he was not contradicting himself; rather, he was giving them different instructions on different occasions under different circumstances—changed circumstances that required a different course of action on their part.

This can be best understood by reading the apparently contradictory statements in their own contexts, where the surrounding verses show what was going on at the time the words were spoken.

On the first occasion, Jesus was sending out the disciples on their first preaching tour apart from him:

He sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.  He said to them, ‘Take nothing for your journey—neither staffs, nor wallet, nor bread, nor money; neither have two coats apiece.  Into whatever house you enter, stay there, and depart from there.  As many as don’t receive you, when you depart from that city, shake off even the dust from your feet for a testimony against them.’   They departed, and went throughout the villages, preaching the Good News, and healing everywhere.”

—Luke 9:2-6

The second occasion was at the end of his earthly ministry, when Jesus knew that the disciples would have to carry on after his death, in the midst of hostility and persecution.  So, he told them to be ready for trouble—and told them it would be different from when he sent them out earlier:

“He said to them, ‘When I sent you out without purse, and wallet, and shoes, did you lack anything?’

“They said, ‘Nothing.’

“Then he said to them, ‘But now, whoever has a purse, let him take it, and likewise a wallet. Whoever has none, let him sell his cloak, and buy a sword. ’”

—Luke 22:35-36

So, when read in their full context, there is no contradiction.  Jesus gave his followers one set of instructions for one set of circumstances, and different instructions for dealing with changed circumstances later on.  They would not need a wallet or purse when he sent them out to preach during his earthly ministry because they would find receptive audiences who would provide for their needs, but after his death and resurrection Jesus’ followers would face persecution, and from then on they would need to carry their own wallet or purse.

It is much the same with other supposed contradictions that enemies of the Bible message point to as an excuse for not listening.  They are usually taken out of context.  A closer examination of surrounding verses makes it clear that differences are due to different circumstances, different audiences, or different speakers trying to accomplish different goals in different situations.  There is nothing contradictory about that.

A closer look at the apparently contradictory Old Testament quotes about swords and plowshares presented at the beginning of this chapter reveals the different circumstances surrounding each passage.  Isaiah was speaking of the peace that will prevail in God’s coming Kingdom under the Messiah when he wrote that

“. . . they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks . . .”

—Isaiah 2:4 KJV

But the prophet Joel wrote of a time before that peace is established—the fast-approaching time of conflict that we are discussing in this book—a time when all the nations will come against Israel, and when God will wage war against the nations.  In preparation for this final battle, God’s messenger challenges the nations.  He calls the nations to get ready by beating their plowshares into swords:

“‘In those days and at that time, when I will make things better for Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations together and bring them down into the Valley Where the LORD Judges. There I will judge them, because those nations scattered my own people Israel and forced them to live in other nations.  They divided up my land and threw lots for my people.  . . .’

“Announce this among the nations: Prepare for war!  Wake up the soldiers! Let all the men of war come near and attack.

“Make swords from your plows, and make spears from your hooks for trimming trees.

“Let even the weak person say, ‘I am a soldier.’

“All of you nations, hurry, and come together in that place.

“LORD, send your soldiers to gather the nations.

“‘Wake up, nations, and come to attack in the Valley Where the LORD Judges.  There I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.’

“There are huge numbers of people in the Valley of Decision, because the LORD’s day of judging is near in the Valley of Decision. . . . The LORD will roar like a lion from Jerusalem; his loud voice will thunder from that city, and the sky and the earth will shake.  But the LORD will be a safe place for his people, a strong place of safety for the people of Israel.

 “‘Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, live on my holy Mount Zion.  Jerusalem will be a holy place, and strangers will never even go through it again.’”

—Joel 3:-17 NCV

Other supposed Bible contradictions similarly disappear when examined more closely in their full context.

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