January 23rd, 2015

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This year 2014-2015 represents a significant turning point, and as noted by many a “Shemita” year in the Jewish calendar. This week marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in southwest Poland, near Krakow. An estimated 1.1 million Jews between 1942 and 1945 were murdered by the Nazis there (including several of my grandfather’s family). On January 27, the Soviets entered Auschwitz and freed the 7,000 remaining prisoners, all starving and freezing.

Not only was Auschwitz liberated but World War II as a whole came to an end, including the fighting in the Middle East and in the Pacific Rim. This is the end of an important 70-year period for Japan and the surrounding countries there as well.

Seventy years is described in the Scriptures as a period to fulfill historic prophecies and punishments (Jeremiah 25:11, Daniel 9:24). The 70-year period is related to the concept of “visiting the sins of the parents” (Exodus 20:5) and a 70 year life-span (Psalm 90:10). Seventy years more or less completes the cycle of one generation giving birth to the next, and the first generation passing away. Today the last witnesses of the WWII period are dying off. The current generation has little emotional connection to what happened then.

Since the end of WWII there has been a certain transfer of the “vision” to exterminate the Jews from the Nazis to what has become radical Islam today. This year, 2014-2015 has seen the declaration of ISIS, an Islamic State. This is a major development in the Islamic world view. All the terrorist groups, from Hamas to Hezbollah to Al Qaeda, were looking forward to the renewal of a Caliphate (world-wide Islamic empire), but did not see themselves as that empire. ISIS is declaring that the Caliphate nation has begun.

Europe and the United Nations seem to have little understanding of the danger at hand. At this time, 70 years after the Holocaust, it is only the nation of Israel that speaks clearly of the threat of Islamic Jihad in our generation, and only representatives from Israel who quote from the Bible in the General Assembly of the UN.

During the same period, we have seen major developments in the Body of Christ. The largest number of believing Christians is to be found in Asia today, not in the West. The rise of the Church of Asia is a paradigm shift of dimensions not seen in almost 2,000 years. In addition the Messianic remnant in the restored nation of Israel is slowly and sure