When The Wall Comes Tumbling Down….
There is a large bulge in the wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Recently, it was announced that a group of Jordanian engineers would commence work on reinforcing the wall.
Obviously, the Israeli government knows that any attempt by Israel to shore up the wall, or to touch it in any way even in a sincere effort to prevent its collapse, would be met by a worldwide storm of protest from all of Islam. Therefore, the Jordanians will attempt to repair the bulge. But suppose the effort not only fails, but their work causes a collapse?
Suppose it were to occur when thousands of Muslim worshipers were adding their weight to the stone pavement atop the wall, and many, perhaps hundreds, were killed in the collapse? Who would be blamed? Israel, of course, even though they are going out of their way to insure only Muslim engineers are involved.
The Temple Mount has been under the control of the Wakf, which was formerly an organization of Islamic Palestinian Arabs who had responsibility for the Harm el Sharif, as the Arabs call the Dome of the Rock and its surrounds. After the creation of Yassir Arafat's "Palestinian Authority," the PA assumed leadership of the Wakf.
An article by Etgar Lefkovits in Jerusalem said, "A year and a half after engineering tests conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority on the southern wall of the Temple Mount showed sections are in danger of collapse, the Wakf Muslim religious trust is repairing a bulge in the outer wall," Wakf director, Adnan Husseini said.
"Our people are continually working there and have completed 20 percent of the work," Husseini said, noting he hopes the work will be completed by the end of the year.
Jon Seligman, Jerusalem regional archaeologist for the Antiquities Authority, who is nominally in charge of the site, said he is aware of the work but declined to comment further, as did Jerusalem police.
Sources said the Antiquities Authority has reached a tacit agreement with the Wakf, allowing it to repair the wall. The Antiquities Authority has kept a low profile on the issue, likely due to its sensitivity and the need for cooperation from the Wakf.
Seligman said last year, the problem needs to be addressed "as soon as possible," but "obviously cannot be done without the cooperation of the Wakf."
The decision to allow the Wakf to carry out the repair work was blasted by other archaeologists. "The same people who were responsible for the fantastic destruction on the Temple Mount are now being contracted to work outside the Temple Mount area at the southern wall," said Dr. Eliat Mazar of the Hebrew University, a member of the Committee Against the Destruction of the Antiquities on the Temple Mount. The committee has been decrying the Wakf work at the site for two years." For many years Dr. Mazar's father occupied the position now held by his son. The elder Dr. Mazar was a close friend of my father and I. He gave me a perfectly preserved little ceramic pot which was unearthed during the "Big Dig" conducted by Ambassador College and the Hebrew University. The little pot is in my study behind me as I write. It dates to the Herodian period, and was therefore being used by a family in Jerusalem during the time Jesus Christ walked its streets.
Lefkovits continued, "The Antiquities Authority conducted a series of tests in 2000 after sections of the southern wall were found to be protruding, likely due to Wakf construction over the last five years at Solomon's stables located just above the site. The Wakf is converting the area into a mosque.
"If not treated, the problem is a source of danger in the medium term, and its collapse may cause irreversible damage to the structure," the Antiquities Authority July 2001 survey states.
Work on converting Solomon's stables into a mosque was most intense in 1996 when the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned a blind eye to the activity. Construction began in earnest shortly after riots erupted over Israel's opening of an exit tothe western wall tunnel.
The bulge in the wall extends over an area of 190 square meters (2045 square feet). Its center is 30 meters (98 feet) west of the southeastern corner of the wall and 9.5 meters (31 feet) below the wall's top. The bulge is still growing.
The Antiquities Authority report states that the deformation of the southern wall is "probably relatively recent," with poor building standards or faulty drainage cited as possible causes.
Now, working tools, an elevator shaft and large steel rods can be seen along the side of the southern wall above the archaeological garden.
The site of Solomon's temple has been a site of great controversy for many centuries. Revered as the place of the "binding of Isaac" by Jewish religious sects, or the mount to which Abraham was summoned by God to sacrifice his son, the mount is also the place from which Islam claims Mohammed was assumed to heaven.
Jewish tradition also claims that the rock beneath the gold-gilded Dome of the Rock is the "foundation stone" of the earth; the place marking the original Garden of Eden.
Naturally, with such historical traditions important to the two religions, the place has been the site of controversy, and often, a site of great violence.
The Dome Of The Rock
Covering over thirty-five acres, the Temple Mount contains the world-known "Dome of the Rock," the gilded Islamic mosque which is one of the holiest sites on earth to Muslims. Centuries ago, Jerusalem became known as Al Quds, or "The Holy" to Moslems, since it was alleged to be the place to which Mohammed was brought by night, and the place from which he is believed to have "ascended to his Lord."
In 685 AD the Caliph "Abdul Malik ibn Marwan" of the Omayyad Dynasty, commenced cleaning away the debris atop the rock which was said to have accumulated during the Byzantine period.
My wife and I were allowed inside the Dome in 1966. Our Arab guide required us to remove our shoes and to be absolutely quiet, as we were taken on a tour of the structure. It is octagonal, and the huge gilded dome is supported inside by a double system of pillars and columns. The sides are supported by a series of arches and vaults, and heavily decorated with floral images. We were allowed to look down into a grotto, which was lighted, carved out of the bedrock. A stairway led down inside the rock. Inside were a number of Islamic women, worshiping.
The end of the construction was marked by a dedicatory inscription, placed there by Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan, which reads, "This dome was built by the servant of God Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan, emir of the faithful, in the year seventy-two." The year is according to the Arab calendar, which is "AH 72," or "After the Hejirah," Mohammed's famed flight from Mecca to Medina. It is alleged that the Abassid ruler, Caliph al-Mamun effected repairs to the structure from 813 to 833, and deliberately replaced tiles bearing al-Malik's name with those bearing his own as founder. Subsequently, the ruse was discovered, and the credit for the dome's erection is given to al-Malik.
The Dome of the Rock is said to be the oldest Muslim building on earth which has survived intact in its original form. The dome stretches 20 meters across, and rises to a height of 35 meters. 1 Meter = 3.28 feet, or 1.09 yards, making the structure over 1 14 feet in height.
It is an imposing, symmetrical and beautiful building, and is the dominant structure of the Old City of Jerusalem. Almost every picture of Jerusalem includes a view of the Dome of the Rock.
It was the visit of the current Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, with large police presence, to the environs near the Dome of the Rock (Sharon did not enter the mosque) which sparked massive riots and triggered the current and ongoing Intifada, or uprising. Sharon, knowing that the entire area is technically a part of sovereign Israel, and resentful of de facto rule by the Wakf, which was preventing Jews from entry, decided to stage a sy'nbolic visit. The event backfired when furious Muslims erupted in violent rock-throwing and other violent acts. The Intifada has been a great tragedy for both sides, costing thousands of lives, uncounted injuries; thousands maimed for life, and the great destruction of property. There is a web site called "Intifidaonline.com," which shows a series of heart rending pictures, which, while obvious propaganda for the cause of those maintaining it, nevertheless shows the utter futility of such ongoing strife, and how it is often women and babies who suffer.
Fighting. over so-called "holy places" by religious fanatics is as old as history.
It was strife over who controlled the holy places in Jerusalem which led to the Crimean War. If was the root cause of the Crusades. Your Bible says it is Jerusalem which will be the focal point of horrible strife which will trigger the Great Tribulation prophesied by Christ.
His "Olivet" prophecy (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) was delivered from the Mount of Olives, across the present dry river course of the brook Kidron from the Old City. Jerusalem will be the site of great, world-shaking events in the future, including the eventual site of the Beast power, the final great false prophet, and the work of the two witnesses.
The Al Aksa Mosque
The Al-Aksa Mosque was built by the Caliph al-Walid from 705 to 715, of the Omayyad Dynasty. The original mosque was destroyed by an earthquake in the middle of the eighth century, and was rebuilt by the Abassids toward the end of that century.
Today, such a visit would be impossible, since all Christians and Jews are prevented from going up to the Temple Mount by police. Both mosques are situated very closely together, and are revered by Muslims the world over as virtually on a par with the Kaaba or the black rock in Mecca around which fervent Muslims on a Haj or pilgrimage, gather to pray.
The nation of Jordan was created by Britain; which had wrested Palestine from the Turks during the final part of World War I. Called "Transjordan" (for "across the Jordan River") for many years, the population was made up primarily of Hashemites and Bedouins. The population before Israel's war of independence in 1948 was about 340,000.
In 1947, the UN attempted to bring peace to the region of Palestine by proposing the creation of two separate states: The state of Israel, and the state of Palestine. There existed no country on
earth at that time which was a true homeland for the Jews. They were called (and still are, in foreign countries) the Diaspora, or those who are dispersed.
No government in the region, from the time over 700 years before of the Caliphate of Baghdad to the Seljuk and the Ottoman Turkish Empires, had ever proposed the creation of a separate Palestinian state. Even when they were offered such a state, because of the fact that the offer was a part of an agreement which created the state of Israel, the Arabs bitterly rejected it.
Today, millions have been misled into believing the true solution for the Mideast crisis is the creation of a Palestinian state, which they naively assume would dwell peaceably alongside its closest neighbor, Israel.
Never before in history had any Arab government demanded that Al Quds or Jerusalem be made the capital city of the "state of Palestine. Today, that demand, along with the demand that the Israelis abandon all the dozens of settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, represents the major sticking point in any so-called "peace process." That, and the "return of the refugees," meaning a mass invasion of those areas, and Israel itself, by hundreds of thousands of Arabs from their camps in Lebanon - two or more generations of Arabs who did not exist when their fathers and grandfathers tried to wipe Israel off the face of the map in 1948, and again in 1967.
The surrounding Arab nations have never allowed the Palestinians to be assimilated into their indigenous populations, but have kept them in squalid ramshackle camps in poverty.
The so-called "holy places" in the Old City are ensconced squarely atop the very site of Solomon's temple. The Arabs know there are Jewish sects which want to see the mosques either destroyed, or taken apart, and a temple built. Gershon Salomon, who heads up such a sect called "the Temple Mount Faithful," stages an annual ceremony in which a huge symbolic cornerstone, loaded aboard a flat bed truck, is driven around the city seven times, to the tune of priests blowing on shofars and various rituals. There is strong indication in the Bible that a temple will exist in Jerusalem at the time of the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.
Paul warned the Thessalonians, "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
"That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
"Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).
Paul wrote in about 55 AD. It would be another fifteen years before the Roman invasion and the destruction of the Herodian temple. Since Paul said "the temple of God," it is obvious that he meant exactly what he said. Had he intended to indicate the church, he would have said so, just as he did to the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:28-31 ). Paul had no idea that the temple would be destroyed, nor did he have any inkling of an impending martyrdom.
Paul clearly expected to see the return of Christ in his lifetime (1 Corinthians, 15:50-52), and did not know of his impending demise until his second letter to Timothy. Therefore, he wrote of a great man of sin, a Satan-inspired false prophet, who would ensconce himself IN THE TEMPLE, and deceive millions who believe miracles are the test of truth.
He wrote, "For the mystery of iniquity [it is a great MYSTERY religion] doth already work: only he who now letteth will let [he who restrains, or holds back], until he be taken out of the way [or, "until it become to be, or come to pass"].
"And then shall that Wicked [one] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
"Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
"And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" (2 Thessalonians 2:7-11). This prophecy is therefore DATED in general terms, for it describes the second coming of Christ, and the final judgment of the false prophet. John wrote, "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Revelation 20:19, 20).
Jesus Christ of Nazareth is not against the death penalty for mass murderers! This prophecy describes how Christ Himself will see to it that the beast and the false prophet are cast into a lake of fire! The nominal Christian world largely rejects a conquering, war-making Christ who will "...judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked' (Isaiah 11:4).
Regardless of the outcome of the attempt by Jordanian engineers to shore up a bulge in the wall, the time is coming when not a single stone will remain atop another! Christ said, "See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down" (Matthew 24:2).
The fact that MOST of the Temple Mount was destroyed by the Romans, but that major portions of the outer wall of the Temple Mount remained intact is what has led to the current disputes.
The followers of Mohammed deliberately sought out those "holy places" of Judaism and Christianity, and then destroyed them and erected mosques in their place. Gershon Salomon, who heads up the "Temple Mount Faithful" organization, spoke about this practice when he was interviewed by my elder son, Mark Armstrong, several years ago. Here is that lengthy, incisive interview:
Question: "When was the Temple Mount Faithful movement started?"
Answer: "The Temple Mount Faithful movement was founded immediately after the Six-Day War when the Israeli army, the heroes of the Israeli army, liberated the Temple Mount in Jerusalem after two thousand years of the diaspora [the dispersion of the Jews] and the destruction of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and the historical belief that the dreams of the Jewish and Israeli people were fulfilled. Unfortunately, the Defense Minister of Israel, Moshe Dyan, decided to give back the Temple Mount to the Arab occupiers this very, very holy place of the Jewish people."
Question: "When you say give back, do you mean allow them access and control over the Dome of the Rock?"
Answer: "Yes. Gave them back the Temple Mount...the heart of our history...a symbol, more than a symbol; a symbol of every feeling of our people a religious symbol, a spiritual symbol, a morality symbol, a national symbol. And this place on the Temple Mount was [where) the prophets of Israel, [in] the Bible [taught). "The Temple Mount [represents)...all the history of the Israeli people, more than four thousand years, and now after the liberation of the Temple Mount in the Six-Day War, everyone, every Jew from every corner of the world and [here in) Israel feel that a historical dream a dream of two thousand years of terrible diaspora...was fulfilled and Moshe Dyan broke this dream in one moment. He gave back the Temple Mount to the enemies of yesterday and the enemies of tomorrow."
Question: "But Israel still controls this section of the city, still occupies it militarily. So, in a sense, it has not really been completely returned; it's just been allowed to be used for worship is that right?"
Answer: "No. It is not exactly because the day after the Six-Day War the gates of the Temple Mount [were] closed to Jews who wanted to come to this very holy place and most holy place to the Jews. The gates were closed before the Jews. They were not allowed to pray. Jews can pray today in New York, London and Paris, Tokyo and every place, even in the Red Square in Moscow, but not in the most holy place the only one most holy place of the Jewish people, the Temple Mount."
Question: "And that's up on top of the wailing wall where the Dome of the Rock sits?"
Answer: "Yes. The wailing wall, or the western wall, is not for us so holy. It [represents) a memory of the diaspora, the destruction; the land of Israel the Jews were thrown out from the Temple Mount and they prayed here because they had not another choice. [Meaning, "here," at the wailing wall). But our hearts, our feelings, everything in our life is up on the Temple Mount. To us, the Arab occupation of 1,300 years which was made by an Arab Colonialism Coalition, when they...the Temple Mount in the second century. They built a mosque and the Dome of the Rock on the place of the temple, as you can see them just now. They did it in many other countries which they occupied in imperialistic occupation, like in Istanbul they changed their church which was the eastern center of eastern Christianity. They built, in [a] very holy place for Christians, a mosque. They did it in Spain; they did it in North Africa, the Balkans, every place. To give legitimization to the Arab imperialistic occupation of those countries, they did the same thing on the Temple Mount. You must know that Arab occupation of the Temple Mount was finished after the Six-Day War and the memories of this Arab imperialistic occupation of the Temple Mount must be finished."
Question: "So you feel that the opportunity to reclaim the Temple Mount for Jewish people, for the Jewish religious people, is past since Moshe Dyan gave it back?"
Answer: "I can't say past temporarily."
Question: "Tell me, how many Temple Mount Faithful members are there?"
Answer: "We have thousands of members. We have, let's say we feel, and we know, that most of the Israeli people are with us." Question: "When you say with us, what is the goal of the Temple Mount Faithful?"
Answer: "The goal of the Temple Mount Faithful is first of all to liberate again the Temple Mount from Arab occupation. It means that Jews must come and can come again to the Temple Mount to pray and worship God."
Question: "Can the Dome of the Rock be there? Can it sit where it does under those circumstances?"
Answer: "The Temple Mount must be again as it was; this is the will of God and the will of history. The Temple Mount must be again a religious, national and a spiritual and moral symbol of the Israeli people. And of the next...to be a place of strength for all the world, but first the Temple Mount must be again a place of worship. The temple must be built on this place."
Question: "Where the Dome of the Rock sits?"
Answer: "Yes. The Dome of the Rock, as I told you is a result of Arab imperialistic occupation. The al Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock."
Question: "And the al Aqsa Mosque as well?" Answer: "Yes."
Question: "The al Aqsa Mosque is also in the way?"
Answer: "Yes. They are here in this place as a result of the Arab imperialistic occupation. I want to ask you a question. What would be the Arab reaction if one day in Mecca Christians would build a church in the middle of Mecca in the most holy place for Muslims? Would they live with such a situation? Or if we were to build there a synagogue. I can understand, they will fight against it. In the same way, I ask the Muslims, I ask Christians, everyone in the world to understand, the Temple Mount is a symbol of one place, a symbol of the Jewish people, of the Israeli people. This is a place of the temple, of the third temple.
"This was the prophecy of the prophets which says that after the Israeli people will come back one day from the diaspora to the stolen country...the land of Israel, by the will of God, the third temple will be built. Those days came just now we are living now in those days. The foundation of the state of Israel [was] in 1948. From this day until now, God helped us to win all the wars that Arabs made against us with one goal, to destroy the land of Israel to push us to the sea, and to continue the Arab imperialistic occupation of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, by the will of God, as I told you, it was finished. We came back to our country forever. And I cannot imagine an Israeli state, this country, without the Temple Mount and the third temple in the middle of it; without Jerusalem as the capital of this Israeli country.
"I wish to tell you another thing. You know we live now in a world without peace. Not only in the Middle East. Peace will come to the world only in one condition. When the terrible suffering of the Israeli people will be finished. When the Israeli people will live in its original historical country the land of Israel forever.
"We cannot give one piece of our country to our enemies. Not the Temple Mount, not Jerusalem, not Judaea, not Samaria, not Gaza. Because this country, including all those places and even TransJordan, was given, was offered us by God, by Abraham, he told him this country I'm going to give you and your people forever. No one can take the country, the land which God gave us forever. The Arabs are waging a war against us. It is a war against the will of God, against the will of Israel to win, the will of the people to succeed. And I ask them to keep up...but to do it in a way of peace. Because this little country is a country of the Israeli people. They have 22 countries [the Arabs] as they have 14 million square kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf. We live in this little, very little country including 25 thousand square kilometers only, including Judaea, Samaria and Gaza."
Question: "So it is the wish of the Temple Mount Faithful that Jordan also be reclaimed as part of greater Israel?"
Answer: "You must know the Arabs asked of us to give up this side of the Jordan. Anyone that will open the Bible and read it and know that even trans-Jordan was a part of the land of Israel..."
Question: "Is it the goal of the majority of the Israeli people that Jordan and possibly Syria...be reclaimed as part of greater Israel?"
Answer: "Not Syria but trans-Jordan is a part of the land of Israel. But at least we ask to leave us to live in this part of the Jordan which is the little part of the historical land of Israel which in the past was including the trans-Jordan, Sinai and other parts. Now we have in our hands only this little part of our historic country. I mean from Jordan to the sea. The Arabs have so many countries, so many territories. If you take the world map you almost cannot see the state of Israel, it is so little."
Question: "From a political standpoint, how far is your organization from achieving their desire to remove the Dome of the Rock and construct a third temple on the Temple Mount?"
Answer: "We believe and we know it that it must happen."
Answer: "Soon. It can happen today, it can happen tomorrow."
Question: "By what means? By political means? By force?"
Answer: "It will happen by the decision of our government... our government must decide and we believe that it must happen soon."
Question: "What do you think the reaction of the Arab world would be?"
Answer: "I think they will leave it after all, they know better than everyone that their presence on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is a temporary presence. That they hold this very holy place to the Jewish people..."
Question: "From a practical point of view you've seen in the Gulf War how Saudi Arabia and Syria, very unlikely partners in the coalition, came together for a common cause. What do you think would become of relationships between those countries and the United States, between those countries and Israel, and between Israel and the United States, if Israel were to force the rebuilding of the third temple where the Dome of the Rock and the al Aqsa Mosque, two of the holiest sites of Islam, sit on the Temple Mount?"
Answer: "First of all about Syria; I must tell you. Saddam Hussein and Assad are the same figures. The difference between them is only the name. This Assad [is] the same dictator [as] Saddam Hussein. He is a dictator which rules by force against his people on his people and he never gave up his very old dream to destroy Israel and make Israel the southern territories of Syria."
Question: "Do you believe he still holds the dream of conquering Israel?"
Answer: "Sure. For him to be in the coalition against Saddam Hussein was opportunity to fight against his Arab enemy. You must know we live in the Middle East we are surrounded by Arab countries which...is a culture of cruel violence. See what they are doing to each other...in the Persian Gulf, in Kuwait, in Iraq. See how Saddam Hussein is killing now his own people. See what Assad did in Hama (an entire Syrian city entirely destroyed by Assad's army following a public outpouring of dissent). Arabs are killing each other in Lebanon. They are doing the same in Sudan in other Arab countries. We must survive between those cruel peoples and continue our biblical culture which means peace, morality and a mission for all the world. A new order not a new order which will destroy Israel which will divide Israel make Israel a little land which cannot continue and survive this terrible area. A new order means the fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophets. Which means morality principles of the Bible which will be a part of all the world in the base of every line and every corner of the world. This means a new order."
Question: "Do you think that the implementation of your goals would affect relations between the United States and Israel?"
Answer: "I believe and I know it, that America, the United States of America felt a special mission, an historic mission for this age and in the future. I believe that God founded the United States of America special for this mission. This mission means, first of all to help the people of Israel and we believe that we and Americans are brothers. God gave the mission to help us to live again in our historical biblical country in our original land, the land of Israel. We have the same principles of morality and peace the right peace not the wrong peace but the right peace. The spirit of the Bible. The same spiritual principles. Our religious principles are very close, very close. We and you together are taking our principles from the Holy Bible, and for our common mission for good. So America has a very important task to fulfill these principles. To help the people of Israel to live this life in this country."
Question: "From a practical point of view, though, what do you think the United States' public reaction would be? Have you ever tested your plans or your goals on any leadership of the United States in order to get a reaction?"
Answer: "In the last years I met many, many leaders, Christian leaders; political leaders from the United States of America. I had with them very long and deep conversations about those goals for our people. I believe that our goals are the goals of the Israelis. And they showed me very strong support. I know that many, many millions of American Christians support the goals of...coming of the Israeli people to his historical country. The big goal of rebuilding of the third temple from this holy place of the temple. They came here, they told me they are ready and they want it they ask to help us in any way to fulfill this big goal of God and the history. They support our feelings toward Jerusalem. They support our very good feeling that Jerusalem must be again the capital of the people of the Bible. I was very excited to hear it. I felt that very strong connections more than connections I can say by the brotherhood of connections between us and America, will be the power, first of all a power of morality which will fulfill this historical presence which the prophets offer to the Israeli people for one thousand nine hundred and twenty-one years when this place, the second temple, was destroyed by the Romans. Our going through the diaspora was very temporary. We came back here by the will of God and thanks to God that we have so wonderful an ally like America which push America to...the principles, spiritual principles and the very deep belief which comes from the very Holy Bible which is common to us together."
Question: "The events of last August could you tell me a little bit about that? What was it all about? What was the purpose of your coming here on that day?"
Answer: "What happened last August was a result of Arab hostility. You must know the last 23 years..."
Question: "I would like to know first...I'm aware of their reaction, but I would like to know the purpose of your coming here and exactly what that mission was all about."
Answer: "It was the holy of Succoth. We came here to celebrate this very holy day and very natural in our most holy place on the Temple Mount."
Question: "That's not been accepted here before, has it?"
Answer: "What do you mean?"
Question: "For a religious Jewish ceremony to take place up on top of the Temple Mount."
Answer: "Yes, yes. We came here with the very deep support of every Israeli. We came here by a very act of peace to celebrate this very holy day...we did it together with the police, very carefully."
Question: "And were you planning to lay was it a symbolic cornerstone?"
Answer: "Yes. We planned to put a cornerstone for the third temple. We tried a year before one year before in Succoth." Question: "What were the means of transporting it up to the Temple Mount?"
Answer: "If we had the permission, it would be very simple."
Question: "Were you trying to transport it on that day last August?"
Answer: "No, because we had not the permission of the police or the permission of the government. Not because they are against...."
Question: "Do you believe this stone that you've chosen will be the eventual cornerstone of the third temple?"
Answer: "Sure, sure. This corner is the first cornerstone which Israelis and Jews brought to this holy place to the Temple Mount after two thousand years and it will, very soon, be the first cornerstone for the third temple. We came here, you know, with a voice of peace and spiritual act. And the Arabs reacted with hostility and violence. We had not the permission as I told you to lay the cornerstone. Not because the government or the police are against it the feelings, the principles. But because of only one reason. Not to bring the Arabs to an action of violence. Now, according to my feelings, it is an act of weakness for our government, I'm sorry to say. Because the Israeli government must be strong and continue to fulfill our historical principles, our Zionist historical principles."
Question: "But the practical outcome that day was a blood bath. Don't you think that there will be future blood baths that there will be one ongoing blood bath if in fact an attempt is made to destroy the Dome of the Rock or to dismantle and move it and the al Aksa Mosque?"
Answer: "No I don't think the Arab reaction was because of us. When this violence happened on the Temple Mount we were far from here. The police informed the Arab leaders on the Temple Mount...that they would not allow us to go in there. Even without the cornerstone, they knew that this day we will not be on the Temple Mount. They attacked very silent Jewish prayers near the western wall."
Question: "So you weren't here when that took place?"
Answer: "We were not here we were far from here down in the Shiloah Pool river which is from here one kilometer and they attacked these people."
Question: "Because they heard you were coming?"
Answer: "No, I don't think so. Maybe we were the alibi for their activities. Their intention was to bring again the public international attention of the Persian Gulf...back to here, back to Jerusalem. To bring the attention of America, of the U.N. Security Council and say the problem is not in the Gulf, but here. There is a...linkage between the Gulf and here. So no one made provocation they made the provocation. They started to throw stones from the Temple Mount to the western wall."
Question: "And the stones came down over the western wall and fell on...?"
Answer: "Thousands of stones I was here when...I came back after it started...I saw what happened here. Thousands of stones, big stones, sharp stones, which could kill hundreds of Jews here near the western wall. It is a miracle that only 20 were wounded, but none were killed. No one started to throw stones from the western wall to the Temple Mount. They started it."
Question: "Are you well known among the local Palestinian population?"
Answer: "If I am very well known, I think that they know that I am a man of principles."
Question: "Do they recognize you here?" (In vicinity of Temple Mount.)
Answer: "I think that they honor my feelings even [though] they are against them...in a just way they feel that it is the will of God, the will of history. Very deep in their hearts...real goals, real principles of the Bible and maybe of their own belief...."
Question: "You don't fear for your safety amongst the local Palestinian population?"
Answer: "No. I'm afraid only from one big God, not from any special Arabs, you know I feel that I have a very important special mission. God is with me. God helps me, God defends. So I'm not afraid of the Arabs. I think that they are afraid of me...maybe not physically...but they feel that what I am doing is the right thing which God wants."
Question: "How can they believe that when they believe in a different god altogether?"
Answer: "It was a few days before the Six-Day War. I was an officer of the Israeli army. And I defended the Israeli villages which were attacked again and again by the Syrian army. They tried to kill me in those days and they did not succeed. They are trying today to do it again and they don't succeed. I told you when we started to speak the Arabs are fighting today, not only against the Israeli people, first of all they are fighting against good, against the will of God and against the will of history. They have no chance to succeed in such a war. So you can see again and again they are failing in the wars against Israel. Not because by physical presence in this world. I feel very strong because what I am doing is principles of the prophets. It is a mission of God. The God of Israel. And as I told you, what I am doing is in the mission. They are rebuilding again for our historical biblical country, the land of Israel. They build it again the...temple. Finish the Arab occupation, imperialistic occupation from the Temple Mount. Finish the Arab imperialistic presence, violence by...as you can see...trying to kill Jews here in Jerusalem and every place of Israel, Judaea and Samaria and Gaza. Every Christian here and Muslim knows and if he don't know, please, I ask him to open the Bible which is holy for them and see that it was the city of King David...our kings, it was the city of the prophets and will be again the future as in the past. We are living now in a special danger...but not less the history of all the world. I can see that every event in the world today is connected to this little, but big country, the land of Israel. The attention of all the world is here, sometimes by supporting, sometimes against the people of Israel. Little people today in Israel four million. Against us we have enemies of 250 Arab millions which want to destroy us. No power can destroy us and stop the fulfilling of this historical mission of our people to fulfill their vision of the prophets rebuilding again this historical country for our people...to be again the country and the people which will bring to all the world the spirit of peace, belief, and biblical principles."
Question: "So you're saying that in order to fulfill your movement's goals, the Dome of the Rock and the al Aqsa Mosque would have to be destroyed to make room for the building of the third temple?"
Answer: "Not destroyed. We are not barbarians. No, the Arabs, they occupied Jerusalem before the war...they destroyed all the synagogues...we are not barbarians. What we are saying, we shall, by the will of God, we shall dismantle very carefully, with a very big respect, those two buildings, the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque, and rebuild them again in the right place, Mecca."
Gershon Salomon's organization has managed to inflame Arabs the world over.
Will The Mosques Be Destroyed?
If a temple is to be built, and the prophecies strongly indicate it will, then there are only two possibilities: ( 1 ) The mosques will be either dismantled and moved, or destroyed, or, (2) A compromise will be reached wherein a temple is built immediately adjacent, on the basis of archaeological claims that the site of the ancient temple was not precisely atop the bedrock beneath the dome.
One thing is sure. The great false prophet WILL SIT IN A TEMPLE OF GOD!
He will have vast, miracle-working power. Notice, "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb [it appears Christ-like], and he spake as a dragon [as Satan. See Revelation 12:9].
"And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him [the resurrected Holy Roman Empire; the 10 kings and their combined military], and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed [Rome fell in 476, but was restored in 554].
"And he doeth great wonders; so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men [like a counterfeit "Pentecost"],
"And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
"And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed" (Revelation 13:11-15).
Anciently, when Daniel explained the meaning of Nebudchadnezzar's dream to him, he said that the huge image the king had seen had a head of gold. The head of gold, and therefore the facial features of the image were those of Nebudchadnezzar.
This sparked the idea that caused the king to have an actual image erected. It was huge, with the head obviously that of Nebudchadnezzar. All of the kingdom was then commanded to bow down at certain times each day, and worship the image: "Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits [using the "great cubit" of Ezekiel, the image would have been 125 feet tall, or the height of a 12 story building]: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
"Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
"Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
"Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,
"That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, h ~'P, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
"And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
"Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up" (Daniel 3:1-7).
Mohammed may well have gotten the idea of this five times daily Arabic "calls to prayer" and singsong chants from this scriptural account. In any event, it was an image of the king himself; an idol, which was to be worshipped!
The coming Beast power will be WORSHIPED by countless millions! The exploits of his military; his lightning-like occupation of Palestine as a pseudo-savior (Daniel 1 1:40-44) will bring about the suggestion by the false prophet (as you read above, in Revelation 13) to create an IMAGE of the beast!
There is an historical TYPE of this image. A great false church was patterned after the pagan civil Roman empire, replete with the "great diocese" and the "collegia." But there will be an end time LITERAL fulfillment.
Which church on this earth reveres images? Which church claims miraculous occurrences surrounding images, such as perspiring, or weeping, or bleeding? Which church claims miraculous appearances by virgins and saints?
What if a great IMAGE is eventually erected in Jerusalem; an image in the likeness of the great dictator, the beast? What if that image SPEAKS? What if millions actually hear an IDOL, and image, ISSUE COMMANDS?
Notice it is the IMAGE which speaks: "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast [it will appear to be ALIVE!] , that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed" (Revelation 13:15).
By the power of Satan, the false prophet will cause millions to be martyred!
Notice further, "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
"And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
"Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six" (Revelation 13:16-18).
If you have not yet read my booklet What Is The Mark Of The Beast? be sure to call or write for your free copy. Also, it is published on our web site at "www.garnertedarmstrong.org/."
A mark is an identifying sign, or label. The right hand symbolizes agreement; accepting a covenant. The forehead signifies the frontal lobes of the brain, which control thought, reason, and decision making ability.
Halley's Bible Handbook says: "666, the Number of the Beast: Called a "man"; meaning, possibly, a set of men; or, an institution headed by a man or set of men. It seems to mean a name, the letters of which, when regarded as numerals, total 666.
"Irenaeus, a pupil of Polycarp, who was a pupil of John, understood the 666 to be the Greek word Lateinos: L, 30: A, 1: T, 300: E, 5: I, 10: N, 50: O, 70: S, 200. These total 666.
Lateinos means "Latin Kingdom." Papal Rome made Latin its official language. And it still is. Rome's canons, missals, prayers, decrees, bulls, blessings, cursings, are in LATIN." (Halley's, p. 726).
For a fuller understanding, be sure request your own free copy of the booklet.
JERUSALEM, Site Of Great Violence
Millions refer to Jerusalem as "the holy city." But it is not holy in the sight of God.
In fact, it is the exact opposite! As further indication that a temple will once again stand in Jerusalem, and for proof about present-day Jerusalem's so-called "holiness," notice the prophecy about the two witnesses: "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
"But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
"These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
"And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
"These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
"And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
"And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city , which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified" (Revelation 11:1-8). Today, and from the present until the time of the second coming of Christ, Jerusalem is considered, spiritually, "Sodom and Egypt," repositories of everything filthy and evil. It is certainly NOT the "Holy City" in God's sight today!
The two witnesses will apparently be going before the beast and the false prophet daily, with their messages of witness and warning! As did Moses and Aaron before Pharoah, their primary concern will be for those of ten-tribed Israel who will be IN SLAVERY. They will probably say repeatedly, "Let my people go!"
Notice that the headquarters of the beast will be in Jerusalem: "He [the "king. of the north" which was Antiochus Ephiphanes, a type of Hitler, and the beast] shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
"He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
"But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
"But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
"And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him" (Daniel 11:40-45}.
The "glorious holy mountain" in the time of Daniel meant the Temple Mount!
The false prophet is in collusion with the beast, as you read in Revelation 13. As a pseudo-Christ, or "prince of peace," the false prophet will claim the very powers of God. He will "sit in the Temple of God showing that he is God." Again, strong Biblical indication that a TEMPLE WILL BE BUILT IN JERUSALEM.
But unless some compromise is reached, the construction of a temple mean's the mosques will be dismantled, or destroyed.
What would cause a complete reversal of the policy of the Israeli government toward the Temple Mount? What would cause them to approve the removal of the mosques, and the building of a Temple?
Consider: In the event that Saddam Hussein should use chemical and biological weapons against Israel, and should tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands die, there would be such a frenzy of hatred, and a desire for revenge that nothing could stop the Israelis from demolishing the hated mosques atop the Temple Mount!
You and I know that there is virtual daily speculation about what Saddam Hussein would do if the U.S. and Britain attack Iraq -- including the use of such weapons against Israel.
Meanwhile, there is the eventual emergence of the "king of the south" who will "push at" the beast. Such language strongly indicates something like an oil embargo, rather than overt military action. As I write, it is not yet clear just who will emerge to fulfill this prophecy. When he does, however, things will begin to happen in swift succession!
The oil embargo, or some massive loss of life of Israel, and the threat of the complete extermination of all Jews in Palestine could lead to the lightning-like invasion of the Middle East by the Beast power, just as stated in Daniel 11:40-45.
The stage is being set for these and other prophecies to be fulfilled! The present pope of Rome is very elderly, and quite weak. He can scarcely walk, or hold up his head. Already, the political maneuvering behind the scenes in the Vatican is underway. Potential successors include, surprisingly, a JEWISH POPE, or a pope from Africa, or from GERMANY!
Watch to see what kind of a title the next pope assumes, and watch to see his connection with Germany and the European Union! The present pope has called for a United States of Europe "from the Urals to the Atlantic." A European Army, separate from NATO is already forming: While the Bible says "ten kings" remember that a king can rule over more than one political entity.
I have known for a long time, and have stated publically many times, that the final end-time resurrection of the "Holy Roman Empire" will come out of the shambles of the present-day European Union, and that it will NOT INCLUDE BRITAIN! There are deep feelings of animosity in Britain toward the European Union, and vice-versa.
When the world erupts in a nuclear, chemical and biological WORLD WAR III, and when the beast invades the land of Palestine, a great false prophet will accompany him! He will be ensconced in a TEMPLE!
Will he then command that a great statue; a huge image of the beast be raised?
Will Satan cause the image to SPEAK?
Remember, many of God's people will be murdered during the Tribulation!
Christ said, "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service" (John 16:2). He also warned, "Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also" (John 15:20).
A major feature of the Tribulation will be the same kind of pogroms against Christians which were carried out by Hitler against the Jews in Europe: "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
"And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God; to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations" (Revelation 13:4-7).
Notice further: "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them" (Revelation 14:13).
Notice the time setting! These martyrs are to be killed after the court around the temple is being "trodden down of the Gentiles"~ , after the invasion of Palestine by the beast; after the creation of the image of the beast!
John saw a vision of the great false church, depicted as a great whore, who has concourse with the civil governments of the world. She is "drunk with the blood of the saints," meaning she has murdered many of the true servants of Christ: "So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
"And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
"And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
"And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration [awe, shock, not approbation]" (Revelation 17:3-6).
Many have assumed this is in reference to the Middle Ages, not realizing. there is to be a literal, end-time fulfillment.
Just how NEAR, now, are some of these horrendous events?
One thing is sure. You and I are living in a time unique in all history! A time when the big powers possess enough nuclear weapons to utterly destroy all mankind, and make this earth uninhabitable for a million years!
Some speculate that the Al Quaeda organization may already have its hands on Russian "suitcase size" atomic bombs; that they could detonate them in the midst of a heavily populated area.
While the developments in Iraq and North ~Korea are of deep concern, so are developments in Jerusalem and Israel!
Perhaps the Jordanian engineers will be successful, and will shore up the bulge in the wall. Perhaps the removal or destruction of the mosques will not occur. Perhaps a temporary pavilion will be erected to accommodate a symbolic corner stone, which will then be like a "temporary tabernacle." Perhaps the Ark of the Covenant will be discovered, causing the Jewish state to demand a place to put it!
Whatever happens, the Bible strongly indicates that a temple WILL BE BUILT in Jerusalem! Christ tells us the PURPOSE for WATCHING these and other events is so we will be READY, SPIRITUALLY! He did not say to merely watch! He said, "WATCH AND PRAY"!
Once you have answered the BIG QUESTION; once you have repented of your sins and come to Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and soon-coming King; once you have been baptized and have received the Holy Spirit of God; once God has put you into His true church by that three-part plan of Salvation, then He expects you to be a part of the WORK of that church!
Christ prophesied that a great work of proclaiming His impending INVASION OF EARTH would be done! Christ is coming at the head of vast ARMIES OF ANGELS, not as a meek, humble Carpenter of Nazareth! He is coming in the WRATH OF GOD, to take VENGEANCE on the beast and false prophet and their armies!
Read it in your Bible: "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
"His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
"And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
"And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
"And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God [There will be no one singing "love songs to `Sweet Jesus"' during that day!]
"And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
"And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
"That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great [they will be like carrion, eaten by vultures, magpies, crows and eagles].
"And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
"And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh" (Revelation 19:11-20).
Millions today say they "Love the Lord." But they do not imagine Jesus Christ as the war making, wrathful conqueror who will SMASH the power of the beast and his satanic counterpart who will KILL MILLIONS who richly deserve death!
As Christ commands, "...take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
"For as. a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:34-36).
This publication is intended to be used as a personal study tool. Please know it is not wise to take any man's word for anything, so prove all things for yourself from the pages of your own Bible.
The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association
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Phone: (903) 561-7070 • Fax: (903) 561-4141
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