From Israel In Prophecy

AboutUs: Concerning the title history of this website

< Principles of Interpretation | About us | Who we are >

Reasons for changing the site format from 'html'(1998) to 'wiki' (2008)

You may wonder why we changed from html to the wiki open source code format:

  1. It allows worldwide cooperation without necessitating special Web editing software.
  2. The database stays on the server and can be accessed from any Internet-computer anywhere in the world.
  3. Anyone with a password can contribute to this site as is the case with the Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
  4. While a cooperative site makes quality control more difficult, a Bible oriented site allows the user to check the essentials for him/herself.
  5. This site reduces the risk of false Bible references as it makes use of the largest Bible Search engine on the Internet - thanks to Bible Gateway.com.
  6. Another reason is the financial consideration: we prefer content to artistry since artistry though beautiful is expensive.
  7. Web editing programs are more difficult to learn than Wiki-based web editing. Open source is less vulnerable to changes in operating systems.
  8. Wiki websites are independent of platforms - they are just as accessible on PCs as on Macs.

NOTE: Due to this transition from html to the open source code we will continue site development on this wiki site while allowing the html site to stand until all the transitions will have been made.

Reason for the original URL

The reason for choosing the original title israelinprophecy.org – (note the .org) was a disturbing experience that we had after many years of Bible translation work in Africa. For many years we had concentrated on the New Testament. When we retired and visited the United States we learned what we had never known before: Anti-Semitism is rooted in the history of the Christian Church and eventually culminated in the Holocaust, only to be continued in the Islamic opposition against the State of Israel that was born in 1948. Out of this most unpleasant discovery we decided to look more closely into the origin of this phenomenon of hatred against the Jews. We looked at all the available Bible concordances and found that neither the English nor the German nor the French concordances accessible to us contained more than history related topics on Israel and merely a few references to Jesus’ return and to the New Heaven and the New Earth. It was obvious that theological decisions must have reflected the fact that modern Israel is not seen as related to anything in Scripture. We therefore decided to use the Internet to correct this situation.

Change of URL

We changed the title of this website ‘israelinprophecy’ to ‘israel-pro’ not in order to compete with sites that are pro Israel but because we were looking for a shorter title but found that all other meaningful options were already in use by someone else. In the world of the Internet it is the law that whoever chooses a title for the URL of the site concerned must register it in order to have permission to use it. It is then no longer available to others or else the owner may be pursued in a court case. Whoever tries to escape into playing the game with a change in the dot-extension (.com/.org etc.) must take the risk of becoming suspect of a having a hidden agenda. In that case it is only fair to raise the question if the motive of jealousy led to a lack of creativity in choosing an alternative URL or if this aggressive behavior is the result of a spirit of false prophecy or plain greed.

However we may argue, our knowledge is imperfect. The last word belongs to God. Whoever claims to know the ultimate truth is suspect. Let everyone arrive at a personal conclusion on the basis of his or her study of the Holy Scripture. “do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.” (1Thess 5:20-21)

Aggressive competition

About a year after launching our website we made the astonishing observation that a Jewish Christian (at that time we did not know that he is an Adventist pastor) ‘by chance’ had chosen the same title for his own website but using the extension “.com.” For us, this was a questionable development. We had the impression that an aggressive competitor was trying to create confusion. That .com-website did not only deny the prophetic significance of today’s Israel but it tried to ‘explode’ the interpretational framework of Dispensationalism – a theological understanding of Bible prophecy for which Texas is like home in the United States. It happened in the parking lot of a Prophecy conference in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex that the original version of the now extended edition ‘The Israel Deception’ was stuck under every windscreen-wiper: “Exploding the End-Time Deception..”

This obvious aggression was not only a marketing strategy. It showed itself also in the title choice of a second website that its author, Stephen Wohlberg, had chosen to shoot at the concept of ‘Left Behind’ – a consequence of the Rapture - that bestselling author Tim LaHaye had chosen for his most successful prophecy fiction series by the same name. Wohlberg chose the title ‘truthleftbehind’ for his other website. Later, Wohlberg allowed his .com title to go on the market for sale and in 2004 launched his much more refined website whitehorsemedia.com (in reference to Rev. 19:11) in its place. Still later the URL truthleftbehind became also available on the market and in the meantime is being redirected to a website called ‘endtimeinsights.com’ with the obvious intention to attract customers of common interests despite of the fact that commercial URLs are also listed on its home page. As to the site israelinprophecy.com, it was finally bought up by a commercial firm that obviously is waiting for the best offer. No price is mentioned. Instead of allowing this page to collect dust the owners have collected a number of sites, prophecy-related and commercial ones alike that all contain the word ‘Israel’ in their URL. Speculation that the market value of the commodity ‘Israel’ is going to rise?

This market gap is in the process of being filled. A few years ago this would not have been possible. Websites related to Israel in prophecy were very few. Three years ago, we discovered a French author who several decades ago already had the same idea that generated our website. He published his topical Bible references related to Israel in prophecy in print and as his publications have gone out of print with the years we were able to include them on our French mirror site (in preparation). This helped him to re-edit his publications as reprint editions again. If Pierre Despagne, missionary and evangelist, now 85, had lived to make it for the information age this website might have been uploaded in French first.

A parallel case in UK

Using the same URL to pretend delivering the goods is like promising fish and dispensing scorpions instead. It is reminiscent of a parallel case in England where Stephen Sizer in 2004 published a book with the title Christian Zionism. The Anglican Stephen Sizer has proven himself to be a comrade in arms of the Adventist pastor Stephen Wohlberg if he uses Christian Zionism as a book title to mean Christian Anti-Zionism and participates in a website of other fellow combatants under the banner of christianzionism.org. Both Stephens are representatives of replacement theology with the difference that the Anglican uses the support of Palestinian Liberation Theology while the Adventist uses his conversion story and insights from Messianic-Judaism to lend credibility to his message. Both certainly succeed among those who are open to an ammillennialist position. Wohlberg gives the impression that he is on the premillennialist side but on closer examination his Millennium is of a different kind than what it means to Premillennialists. Both authors arrive at the unavoidable conclusion that the existence of the State of Israel and the Return of the Jews in a geographically definable land have nothing to do with Biblical prophecy.

English Publications on German mirror site

On our German mirror site we opened an archive for the writings of Abram Poljak (1900-1963). Some of his texts that were translated into English can be downloaded there such as his publication of 1945, ‘THE JEWISH CHURCH.’ In contrast to the above mentioned authors Poljak exercised rigorous self-criticism in what he wrote. We commend this Jewish Christian author for his humility – the first one on European soil who initiated a Messianic-Jewish movement before the second world-war. (The movement was dissolved after 1980 for lack of a successor. Its time in Germany had not yet come.) He published a monthly periodical until 1963. After the first ten years of his activities he wrote in 1945:

“As the organ of the Jewish Christian movement, this periodical has a prophetic-apostolic task. And as long as the spirit of the old Jewish prophets and apostles cannot be sensed in it - the magnitude of their vision, the depth of their knowledge, the fire of their faith and the purity of their soul - so long it has not reached its inner goal. Then we who are called to work on this paper have more cause for sorrow than joy. We know that we failed; for we know the measuring rod which was laid upon us, the measure of our calling, the measure of God.” (p. 41)

[For a review of Stephen Wohlberg’s book see 0ur Review. In the meantime we recommend the article on The Refiner's Fire.]

May 1 2007


< Principles of Interpretation | About us | Who we are >

Retrieved from http://www.israelinprophecy.org/wiki/pmwiki.php/AboutUs/History
Page last modified on February 28, 2008, at 04:35 AM