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Some thoughts on embassies by Aaron Hecht

The subject of embassies has been in the news a lot lately following an Israeli air strike on a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus which killed a bunch of senior Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps generals and some of their terrorist lackeys. The meeting that was going on in this "diplomatic" building was surely military in nature, and meant to advance plans for terrorist attacks against Israelis, but the fact that it was technically part of Iran's diplomatic mission in Damascus led some of the usual suspects to accuse Israel of violating the norms of international law, etc.

Iran has threatened to respond by attacking an Israeli embassy somewhere, and that has prompted security alerts at Israeli embassies worldwide.

Iran, for it's part, has violated international norms regarding diplomatic missions so often it's almost a joke for them to bring it up. Foreign embassies in Teheran have been attacked several times over the years, starting with the US embassy in 1979 and also including the British embassy in 2011 and the Saudi Arabian embassy just a few years ago in 2016.

As anyone who pays attention to Israel knows, the capital of this country is Jerusalem, but most of the world's governments don't keep their embassies to Israel in this city. Most of the embassies in Israel are located in Tel Aviv. Israel is unique for many reasons, including the fact that it is the only sovereign country in the world that declares it's capital to be one city while most of the rest of the governments of the world don't think that's where the capital should be, so they put their embassy somewhere else.

It's a very strange situation, and there's all kinds of reasons for it, most of them really messed up. But I'm going to put a pin in that thought for a moment and get back to it later in the blog.

For now it's enough to say that embassies feature in many other news stories here in the Middle East and around the world. They are, apparently, a very important part of our world.

But just what IS an "embassy"?

The dictionary tells us that an embassy is;

1) a body of people entrusted with a mission to a sovereign or government, especially an ambassador and their staff.

2) the official headquarters of an ambassador.

If a country is geographically large enough, and if a foreign country has interests in different parts of such a geographically large country, there might be additional diplomatic facilities called "consulates".

The grounds of an embassy or consulate of a foreign government in a host country are considered the sovereign territory of that country. In other words, if I take a walk here in Jerusalem to the front gate of the US Embassy, the moment I step through that front gate I leave the sovereign territory of Israel and enter the sovereign territory of the United States, just as if I'd taken a step across the border between Canada and the US.

That's why the Israeli attack on the building which was part of the diplomatic grounds of the Iranian embassy in Damascus is a bit more serious than the many Israeli strikes on, for instance, Iranian trucks carrying weapons through Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Although that building was physically in Syria, in terms of international law, it was in Iran.

There's a lot more technical, geostrategic points I could make here, but that's not the purpose of this blog.

The purpose of this blog is to give my readers a brief introduction to the role embassies play in international relations so that you can better understand the concept as it applies to spiritual matters.

Because there are, as you're no doubt aware, two spiritual kingdoms. One is the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and His angels, and the other is the kingdom of Satan and his demons.

These spiritual kingdoms do indeed have "embassies" and "consulates" here in this physical world.

Remember the dictionary definition of an embassy.

1) a body of people entrusted with a mission to a sovereign or government, especially an ambassador and their staff.

2) the official headquarters of an ambassador.

The Jewish people fit the first description. We're performing our assigned role very poorly at the moment, as we have for most of history, but we haven't been fired from that role, nor have we been "replaced" in this role by the Church. This is a big topic, much too big for this blog, but for the moment it's enough to remember this key point.

Israel, and specifically the city of Jerusalem, fit the second description of the embassy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in this world.

There are three verses in the Bible where this is made clear.

2 Kings 21:7; "Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put My name for ever”

2 Chronicles 7:16; “For now have I chosen and hallowed this house, that My name may be there for ever” 

This verse is in the context of God talking to King Solomon about the First Temple that Solomon is building in Jerusalem.

Then in 2 Chronicles 33:4, God declares “In Jerusalem shall My name be for ever”

There are probably several other passages of Scripture where this point is made but these verses say it very explicitly.

The fact that most of the really important events in the Bible, including the foundation of the original united Kingdom of Israel under David and the crucifixion, burial, resurrection and ascent into Heaven by Jesus, all happened in Jerusalem, is another hint pointing to Jerusalem being the Embassy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in this world.

This is why there is so much conflict and controversy over this city. This is the real reason why the status of Jerusalem as the political capital of the state of Israel is not recognized by so many of the world's governments. This is why the Palestinian insist that Jerusalem is the capital of THEIR country, and why some of the most important buildings in Islam were built on top of the Temple Mount in the heart of Jerusalem's Old City.

That is also the reason why there is so much anger and rage and hatred directed at Israel and the Jewish people. There is NO rational explanation for the persistence of anti-Semitism over the centuries. There is NO rational explanation for how anti-Semitism continues to be adapted to whatever the bogeyman of the moment is in every epoch in human history.

Currently, Israel is being castigated for being an example of "white colonialism" that oppresses "people of color" and its compared to the apartheid system which ruled in South Africa for most of the 20th century. Jews are also demonized as agents of "capitalism" which has somehow or other become very unpopular in the world today. In previous decades, when "Communism" was very unpopular, Jews were demonized as being the masterminds behind that.

And so on, and so on.

In today's context, we can see that all over the world, there is an utterly absurd level of rage and anger directed at Israel and the Jewish people. This tiny country of 10 million people, with a Jewish Diaspora of approximately 8.5 million (depending on whose numbers you look at, it could be as high as 10 million) attracts more protests, attacks, vitriol and anger than the entire rest of the human race combined.

It's not because of anything Israel and the Jewish people do or don't do, it's because of what we represent. It's because of what we remind people of, and what they know they'll have to do if they acknowledge us.

Many Christians love Israel because it confirms what the Bible says. We need to understand that many others hate Israel for that same reason.

Just as embassies are often attacked by people who hate the government those embassies represent because they lack the ability to attack the country itself, people who hate the Bible and the God it describes can't physically attack God, so they try to physically attack the things which remind them of these things, primarily Israel and the Jews, but also Bible-believing Christians, who have been "grafted in" to Israel, as Romans 11 tells us.

In fact, a Bible-believing church can be said to be a "consulate" of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in this physical world. I hope the church you attend is doing a good job of representing that Kingdom in whatever community He's placed you.

Beyond that, gentle reader, I don't have any specific plans or actions you and I can take to address any of this except the obvious one of prayer. Pray into these issues, and do so with an awareness of the critical issues at hand.

That's what I've got for you this week brothers and sisters. I hope it blessed someone.

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