As we close out the year of 2004, believers in Jesus Christ
need to reflect upon God's Word which told us that Jerusalem
would once again be in the possession of the Jews in the final
years before Christ's return (read Zech. 12 in its entirety).
Just as was prophesied, Israel recaptured Jerusalem from the
Arabs in the 1967 6-Day War.
Jerusalem was also prophesied in this same prophetic passage
to become a problem on an international scale in these last days
consummating with plans for its destruction.
Since 1967, countries from all over the world constantly find
themselves being drawn into meetings discussing the necessity
for some kind of solution to the unyielding problems over Jerusalem,
which have the very real potential to expand into a global war.
Back in April 26, 1997, an article from the Gazette which
headlined, "U.N. tells Israel to stop building in disputed
area" confirmed in an undisputable manner that what we
are told in Zechariah 12:3, that all the nations of the earth
will one day be gathered against Jerusalem, is in the very near
Quoting from this article we read, "Ignoring an appeal
from the United States, the U.N. General Assembly demanded Friday
that Israel stop building Jewish housing in a disputed area of
Jerusalem. The resolution also recommends an end to "all
forms of support" for Israeli settlement activities, the
first time there has been anything remotely approaching a threat
of collective international action...The vote as was overwhelming
- 134-3, with 11 abstentions. Only the Pacific island state of
Micronesia joined the United States and Israel in voting against
the resolution...The vote...reflects widespread international
opposition to the policies of [Israel]...Israel considers Jerusalem
its undivided capital."
Men like Yasser Arafat are making sure that the controversy
is inescapable. As of Nov. 7, 04 the world waits upon the
conflicting reports about the state of Palestinian President
Yasser Arafat's condition in Paris. No where is there more consternation
than in Israel where radical Islamic leaders are already jockeying
for the leadership position in place of Arafat as Israel makes
plans to move out of Gaza in 2005.
Even before Arafat's demise a major problem being brought
before Israel for the future once again concerns Jerusalem. With
Arafat's request that he be buried on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem
Arafat has made sure both during his lifetime and then even after
his death that the issue of Jerusalem be kept in perpetual unrest.
During his life he has laid claim to half of Jerusalem for
the Palestinians while his militias wear patches displaying the
Temple Mount. Now as of Nov. 7, 04 while he lays in a bed
in Paris he has provoked major dissension between Muslims and
Jews by his request that he be buried at Israel's most holy site.
Quoting from the Nov. 6, 04 Associated Press article
from out of Jerusalem titled, "Israel limits burial sites"
we read, "Israel is determined to keep Yasser Arafat out
of Jerusalem even in death, with one Cabinet minister saying
Friday that the holy city is reserved for the burial of Jewish
kings, "not Arab terrorists."
Palestinian officials said publicly that it is inappropriate
to talk about funeral arrangements as long as their 75-year-old
leader clings to life at a Paris hospital.
One official said Palestinian leaders are hoping to enlist international
support for Arafat's burial at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in
Jerusalem, Islam's third-holiest shrine, which was built on the
ruins of the biblical Jewish temples.
Arafat is reviled by many Israelis, and seeing him interred
near Judaism's holiest site would draw public outrage. Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told his Cabinet last week that he
would not permit Arafat, his long-time nemesis, to be buried
in Jerusalem. Israeli security officials said Gaza was the only
burial option. Even a compromise initially floated by army planners
- interment in the west Bank suburb of Abu Dis, which offers
a view of Al Aqsa - has since been ruled out by the military.
Palestinian police function better in Gaza, but a funeral there
would still pose a security nightmare for visiting heads of state.
There has been increasing chaos in recent months in the coastal
strip, with groups of gunmen and security chiefs battling for
control ahead of a planned Israeli troop withdrawal next year.
Israeli military officials said they would ease travel restrictions
on Palestinians for a funeral, but if the burial is in Gaza,
only officials - not the public - will be allowed to travel there
from the West Bank to attend. If the funeral is in Ramallah,
the Palestinian public will be allowed to participate after undergoing
rigorous checks at roadblocks. Arafat's clan, the Al-Kidwas,
are originally from Gaza, although the Palestinian leader grew
up in Jerusalem and Cairo.
The family has a small plot of 25 to 30 graves in the southern
Gaza town of Khan Yonis, but it is in the middle of a busy vegetable
market and would not be considered appropriate."
In a related Nov. 6, 04 Rocky Mountain News article
from out of France it was reported that, "Palestinians are
adamant that Arafat be interred in Jerusalem, which both Palestinians
and Israelis claim as their capital.
Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been determined to ensure
that does not happen, suggesting an Arafat family plot in a Gaza
Strip cemetery instead.
Other Israeli officials were blunter.
"Jerusalem is a city where Jews bury their kings. It's
not a city where we want to bury an Arab terrorist, a mass murderer,"
Israeli Justice Minister Yosef Lapid told Israeli television."
Then thirdly is the Scripture revelation that it will be a
religious issue in Jerusalem which will lead to the granting
of far reaching power to an evil prince known to Christians as
In Chapter 9 verse 27 of the Book of Daniel one can read of
how halfway through a seven year covenant that the Anti-Christ
will confirm with Israel, he will turn on Israel and her restored
religious worship. Unlike the Temple sacrifices which will be
accepted by God during the Millennial Reign of Christ as is prophesied
in such passages as Isaiah 56:7 & Ezekiel Chapters 40-48,
the soon to be reinstituted Tribulation Period sacrifices will
be rejected by God.
Although God will use the Mosaic Law as a tutor for salvation
in His Son during the final 7 years, the Tribulation Period sacrifices
will be found inadequate as they will, in disbelief, demonstrate
Israel's continued rejection of Christ's sacrifice upon the cross
(see Heb. 10:1-18).
In Matthew 24:15-22 Jesus told His disciples that at the
time of the great tribulation at the close of the age, the Anti-Christ
and his followers (prophesied of in Dan. 9:27, 11:31 & 12:11)
will place an abomination in the Tribulation temple which will
bring about expanding desolation.
News reports from out of Israel in the past have stated that
the Temple can be rebuilt from already preassembled materials
in a year or less once the go ahead is given by the Israeli government.
A little reported fact is that since 1997, two Jews at a time
were allowed upon the Temple Mount to pray - a phenomenal occurrence
in light of the current Muslim hostilities in Jerusalem. But
something even more prenominal took place in 1997.
For the Jewish priests who will be offering the sacrifices
to enter the rebuilt Temple requires the purifying ashes of the
Red Heifer. In 1989 we shared from a "Time" magazine
article which was titled, "Time for a New Temple?"
(Oct. 16, 89).
Quoting from "Time" we read, "Two Talmudic
schools located near the Western (Wailing) Wall are teaching
nearly 200 students the elaborate details of Temple service.
Other groups are researching the family lines of Jewish priests
who alone may conduct sacrifices...Former Chief Rabbi Shlomo
Goren, who heads another Temple Mount organization, believes
his research has fixed the location of the ancient Holy of Holies
so that Jews can enter the Mount without sacrilege...One difficulty
is the requirement (as in Num. 19:1-10) that priests purify their
bodies with the cremated ashes of an unblemished red heifer before
they enter the Temple. Following a go-ahead from the chief Rabbinate,
institute operatives spent two weeks in August scouting Europe
for heifer embryos that will shortly be implanted into cows at
an Israeli cattle ranch."
Then from the May, 1997 Southwest Radio Church letter by Noah
Hutchings we shared this update, "Has a red heifer been
born in Israel? Israeli television and Hebrew newspapers recently
reported that a red heifer was born at a village in Kfar Chasidim.
The heifer, currently a year and a half old, has been meticulously
checked by the local Jewish religious authorities with a magnifying
glass in order to see if she is completely red...Ultra-orthodox
have accepted this animal as a possible candidate for being the
red heifer...A red heifer must be three years old before it can
be sacrificed. After another year and a half, the heifer will
be rechecked...Orthodox Jews strongly believe the birth of this
red heifer is another definite sign that points to the soon coming
of the Messiah and the rebuilding of the Temple." Keep in
mind that in 2005, Israel will have had 8 years to perfect their
stock of red heifers.
Quoting once more from the 2-page "Time" magazine
article titled, "Time for a New Temple?" we read, "May
it be Thy will that the Temple be speedily rebuilt in our days...That
plea to God, recited three times a day in Jewish prayers, expresses
a yearning that makes Jerusalem's Temple Mount potentially the
most volatile 35 acres on earth...Next week Israel's Ministry
of Religious Affairs will sponsor a first ever Conference
of Temple Research to discuss whether contemporary Jews are
obligated to rebuild...They are zealously making preparations
for the new Temple in spite of the doctrinal obstacles and the
certainty of provoking Muslim fury...Former Chief Rabbi Shlomo
Goren...believes..."Our task...is to advance the cause of
the Temple and to prepare for its establishment, not just talk
about it." "No one can say how, and no one wants to
do it by force. But sooner or later in a week or century, it
will be done. And we will be ready for it." He adds with
quite urgency, "Every day's delay is a stain on the nation."
It is beyond our understanding how any person could look upon
these events in light of Bible prophecy and not realize that
they are truly living in the day spoken of when God will shake
the planet and heaven and earth will be moved (Heb. 12:26).
It is our sincere belief that the Lord will soon be coming
to remove every true believer in Him as is prophesied in I Corinthians
15:51-54 & I Thessalonians 4:16-17.
Today is the day to come to God's place of forgiveness through
His Son Jesus Christ. Belief in His Holy name assures you of
salvation by His blood atonement and the promise of eternal life