Murders in Tekoa

Yehudit Garinkol

Murders in Tekoa

From the June 2001 Trumpet Print Edition

Some murders are much more revealing than others.

Two young Jewish boys were killed on May 9 in the town of Tekoa, Israel, located about 12 miles south of Jerusalem. The boys were playing in a cave. Later they were found with their hands tied, stabbed and bludgeoned to death with stones. The killers had smeared their blood all over the cave.

The boys were ages 13 and 14. The 13-year-old and his family had migrated to Israel from America. His relatives live in the U.S. So we are intertwined with Israel in several ways.

The rage in Israel continues to escalate. Both sides have committed violence. The Middle East is on the verge of exploding, and it is going to affect your life intensely!

You need to understand why.

More effort is expended to bring peace to the Middle East than any place on Earth. But as we feverishly reach for peace, virtually the whole world is being drawn into a war.

Is there any solution? Yes, there is.

Since these murders happened in a biblically famous city, I think it is appropriate that we look at some of Tekoa’s history. Its history reveals how to stop violence and crime in the Middle East and in other parts of our world.

Anciently, Jehoshaphat delivered a powerful message in Tekoa. “And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” (ii Chron. 20:20). The message of how to have peace and joy was thundered to the people, and it happened in the very same town where the boys were murdered.

What a paradox!

Do you believe any of our peace-seekers will look into the biblical history of Israel for a solution? Probably not. But it is still the only place they will find a solution!

All we must do to be established—nationally or individually—is believe God. If we believe God’s prophets, we will prosper. We must look to God and God’s messengers, or His prophets. The Jews are only one tribe of Israel. We have proven for many years that America and Britain are a part of Israel too. (For more information, write for our free booklet The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

But Israel has a history of stoning and killing the prophets—so said Christ (Matt. 23:37). “Religious” people have always been at the vanguard of the murderous persecution of God’s prophets.

What a powerful irony. The two boys were savagely murdered in Tekoa. And if we look in the Bible, we see that the solution to this violence today was given in Tekoa!

It’s all a matter of faith. Do we believe the Bible is God’s Word?

Many people think they believe God, but do not. Do you believe the Bible? The booklet I just offered you—The United States and Britain in Prophecy—is the single greatest proof of God’s existence and that the Bible is God’s Word.

One of Israel’s greatest prophets, Amos, was from the city of Tekoa (Amos 1:1). But his own people rejected his message from God and tried to drive him out of the area (Amos 7). His message was only a type of one to be delivered today. This latter-day message is also prophesied to be rejected. It is the last message that God will deliver (Amos 7:8) before the time of suffering the Bible calls the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:21; Rev. 7:14). (Write for our free booklet on Amos.)

As with Christ, religious people led the persecution against Amos. It is happening the same way in this end time.

The Prophet Jeremiah wrote his book for this end time (Jer. 30:1-3). Most of his prophecies revolve around the latter days. One of the strongest warnings he wrote was given in Tekoa anciently.

“O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Beth-haccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction. I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman” (Jer. 6:1-2). Zion is a type of God’s Church today. Jerusalem is a type of all Israel—including Britain and America. As Jeremiah warned, the great end-time destruction will come from the north. This refers to the king of the north mentioned in Daniel 11:40-41, Jeremiah 1:15 and many other prophecies.

This is how the Great Tribulation—the worst time of suffering ever on this Earth—will begin. World War iii will be triggered in the Middle East.

The trumpet is to be blown in Tekoa. The trumpet symbolizes a warning. And what is the warning about? The “great destruction” coming from the north.

There is also to be a sign of fire in Beth-haccerem, a high place in the Tekoa area. So there is a double warning about the terrifying destruction from the north—that the enemy is about to come, unless we repent.

The “sign of fire” symbolizes nuclear destruction in this end time. Remember, it is called “great destruction,” or the worst destruction ever (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21-22).

“Thus saith the Lord, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth” (Jer. 6:22). God raises up a great nation to punish Israel for their evil. “They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion” (v. 23). They are a “cruel” nation—against God’s own people and the nations of Israel. And that is not all. “We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail” (v. 24). They are famous for their cruelty. That is why the people will agonize as a woman giving birth to a child!

Who could that be in this end time? The same nation—Germany—that started World Wars i and ii and demonstrated the greatest cruelty we have seen to this point in time. (Write for our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)

How can we prevent this crisis of all crises? “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken” (vv. 16-17). God’s Laodicean Church and the nations of Israel were shown the “old paths” but refused to walk in them. God also set watchmen over us to blow the trumpet about the coming Great Tribulation. You are reading a watchman’s message right now! But our people said, “We will not hearken.”

What are the old paths? This applies spiritually and physically.

God’s Church had God’s truth revealed to them in this end time. But most of them have rebelled and forsaken that truth—the old paths.

The nations of Israel—mainly America, the British peoples and the Jewish nation—have a history with God. No other nation has ever been called by God to set a righteous example for the world. No other nation was ever given such a commission!

But Israel has rejected those old paths. We now lead the world in drug usage, crime, divorce, pornography and every other pathology.

This is why God will punish us as no other nation has been punished, if we don’t repent.

“Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it” (v. 19). They have rejected God’s words and law, the Ten Commandments. You can’t reject or not hearken unless God’s truth was proclaimed in your presence.

Herbert W. Armstrong preached the true gospel around the world as a witness (Matt. 24:14). God’s Word and law were taught. We now “prophesy again,” after God’s message was stopped by His own people (Rev. 10:11).

Still, the nations of Israel have rejected that message. They still act very religious—but it is not a lawful religion (Jer. 6:20). And the religions in Israel have done away with God’s law, or Ten Commandments. They also reject the government of God that teaches that law.

And now the nations of Israel seek peace in the Middle East and in their own cities. But there is no peace (v. 14). There will never be peace until they hearken to God’s words and law!

That includes peace in our nations’ deeply troubled families.

Our people continue to commit the worst abominations and are not ashamed (v. 15). America sends its pornography around the world on the Internet and in movies. It is far ahead of any other nation in spreading this filth, but still is not ashamed!

We need to wake up and see what God thinks about our sins. We were chosen by God to lead the world in keeping God’s Word and law. Instead we lead the world in rejecting God’s Word and breaking His law—the opposite of what we were chosen to do!

Strong marriages and families are the foundational strength of any nation. Drugs and pornography help to shatter this institution and destroy our nations’ godly values.

That is why we blow the trumpet. The solution to our crime and other problems is revealed in the history and prophecy of Tekoa. God has established this trumpet-blowing work (v. 27).

How bad will it get? “Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited” (v. 8). If we don’t heed God’s message, He departs. That is the worst possible news! Then the land of Israel becomes desolate—“a land not inhabited.”

A land without inhabitants? That is a description of nuclear destruction. After the attack, the remainder of our people will be taken out of their own land as slaves.

This terrifying prophecy has never happened in our history. But it is about to happen, and is prophesied in over a hundred Bible prophecies! How can a rational person not look into these warnings from God?

You are reading the same message that Amos and Jeremiah taught.

In the end, there is good news. All this terrifying destruction will unfold immediately before the greatest event of all: Christ’s return.

God has promised to protect us individually or nationally if we repent. May the great God help you to heed this urgent and terrifying message!