TEMPLE MOUNT AND THE BATTLE OF THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY

Jerusalem_Dome_of_the_rock

The Gold Dome is the most immediately identifiable image dominating the skyline of Jerusalem. It has stood there for 1300 years, longer in TIME than both the 1st and 2nd Jewish Temples. There is a growing movement of Jewish activist-extremists who want to see the Dome destroyed, and a 3rd Jewish Temple built in it’s place, restoring the Levite Priesthood and the animal blood sacrifice of sheep and goats in atonement for sin. A fundamental of Christianity is God’s requirement of animal sacrifice by Jews in the Temple ended when Christ Jesus, in offering his own body, fulfilled that requirement once, for all TIME, and for all humanity.

The Temple Mount is a powder keg, and arsonists have the upper hand’ This is no accidental fire. This was (and still is) an arson job. But who are the suspects? this morning’s headline reports in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

Jerusalem is up in arms again. As violence spreads from the capital to other parts of Israel, it seems the question isn’t so much whether the country is teetering on the brink of an intifada, but how the upsurge should be characterized.

Some are calling it “the Firecracker Intifada,” in honor of the firecrackers that Palestinian protesters are hurling at the police. Others are going simply with “the third intifada,” though many disagree with that moniker. In any case, the term “Silent Intifada,” previously used to describe the violence in Jerusalem, hardly seems appropriate now.

At the center of this craziness stands the Temple Mount, or Haram al-Sharif, as it is known to Muslims. The Temple Mount is the holiest site for Judaism and the third holiest for Islam. It’s one of the most sensitive religious sites in the world — a massive powder keg, if you will.

Now that this powder keg looks to be on the verge of exploding, note that this was no accidental fire. This was (and still is) an arson job.

The immediate suspects, as many observers have pointed out, are the Israeli right-wing politicians challenging the decades-old status quo on the Temple Mount, over which the Muslim Waqf trust has retained religious control since Israel took over East Jerusalem in 1967. The right-wingers are insisting that Jews be allowed to pray there; they include Knesset members like Likud’s Miri Regev and Moshe Feiglin.

These two, Housing Minister Uri Ariel and others have been key to the incredible resurgence of the Jewish Temple Mount movement in recent years, a resurgence that led to rumors that Israel sought to change the delicate status quo.

Last week Feiglin visited the site yet again, despite warnings by the police. Others like another Likud MK, Tzipi Hotovely, expressed wishes to follow suit despite charges they were fanning the flames.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon admonished them; in an interview with Channel 10, Ya’alon admitted that the current violence had at least been partly stoked by ministers and MKs who defiantly visited the Temple Mount.

If Lieberman and Ya’alon have to tell you you’ve gone too far, you can be pretty sure you’ve gone too far.

It’s not for nothing that Lieberman and Ya’alon, not to mention Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and much of Israel’s security apparatus, appear so agitated over the mount these days.

Over the years, maintaining the status quo there by prohibiting Jewish prayer was critical to preventing an all-out religious war. The status quo wasn’t perfect by any means, but it allowed a delicate balance between the national and the religious.

That balance is now eroding fast.

Tension since 1929

The history of the Temple Mount is, of course, fraught with conflict. For many years, extremists — both Jews and Arabs — have battled over, or against the backdrop of, this tempestuous holy site.

In 1929, 133 Jews were killed by Arabs partly motivated by rumors of a planned Jewish takeover of the mount. In 1996, riots broke out there following Netanyahu’s decision to open the Western Wall tunnels — a decision that again led to rumors of an imminent threat to Islamic control of the site. Seventeen Israeli soldiers and more than 100 Palestinians died, and scores were wounded.

In the 1980s, the Jewish underground, a terrorist organization formed by members of the right-wing movement Gush Emunim, almost blew up the mosques on the mount, including the Dome of the Rock. The idea was to further a messianic redemption that would culminate with the construction of a Third Temple.

In September 2000, Ariel Sharon (then opposition leader) made a high-profile visit to the mount. The day after, riots broke out there following Friday prayers, launching the second intifada.

But now, at the outset of what may or may not be a third intifada, something is different. It’s not the violence as much as the way the events are being framed.

For the most part, the movement to regain Jewish control of the Temple Mount has been limited to extremists. Sharon’s 2000 visit, for example, was seen as a dangerous provocation. Until a few years ago, any talk of change at the Temple Mount was a surefire sign of religious madness, the stuff of eccentrics and the certifiably insane.

Not anymore. These days there appears to be a wider acceptance for a Jewish Temple Mount, tracking Israel’s right-wing shift and the erosion of its resistance to messianic rhetoric.

The movement, still a minority movement, has gained mainstream recognition in recent years and won influential supporters in the Knesset. Regev, chairwoman of the Knesset Interior Committee, has chaired no fewer than 15 debates on the subject in the past year alone, hounding police officials for their “cowardly” response to the harassment of Jewish visitors to the mount.

Outlandish no more

Two weeks ago, hours before right-wing activist Yehuda Glick was shot by East Jerusalemite Mutaz Hijazi, Regev reminisced how she initially thought the Temple Mount movement was “outlandish” — before she was ultimately convinced.

Glick, now in recovery, was, as my colleague Anshel Pfeffer has pointed out, key to the mainstreaming of the Temple Mount movement. An affable, red-bearded oddity, Glick — who went on a 53-day hunger strike last year after being barred from the mount — often befriended ideological rivals and depicted his struggle as a pure freedom-of-religion issue. By portraying the issue as a civil-rights debate, he played a key role in the massive PR resurgence of the Temple Mount movement.

Glick’s affability aside, the proliferation of Israeli visits to the mount and the growing conversation about the site — much aided by opportunistic Hamas propaganda — helped increase tensions and led to the formation of local groups like al-Murabitun, self-proclaimed guardians of the site against the rumored “Jewish takeover.” The clashes that followed led to the violence we’re seeing now.

The vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians, of course, don’t want a religious war. Israel’s foremost religious authorities, among them Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, have reiterated their stance against Jewish visits to the mount. The vast majority of Israelis have never visited the place and probably have no intention of doing so. Most Palestinians, meanwhile, have more pressing material concerns.

Unfortunately for those people, it seems there are plenty of arsonists among us. And right now they seem to be enjoying the upper hand.

O JerusalemBehold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say to you, You shall not see me, until the time come when you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.                         

Luke 13:35

Those Jewish extremists provoking a confrontation with the Arabs over the Temple Mount are not doing it for God, but for the Pride of Power over Palestinians, leading to Armageddon, the climax to this religious war already underway over there. The whole world will be caught up into it by ignoring it.

Thus says the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build for me? and where is the place of my rest?
For all those things have my hand made, and those things have been, says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.

Isaiah 66 -Christian translation

Isaiah 66 – Jewish translation

So says the Lord, “The heavens are My throne, and the earth is My footstool; which is the house that you will build for Me, and which is the place of My rest? א. כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הַשָּׁמַיִם כִּסְאִי וְהָאָרֶץ הֲדֹם רַגְלָי אֵי זֶה בַיִת אֲשֶׁר תִּבְנוּ לִי וְאֵי זֶה מָקוֹם מְנוּחָתִי:
And all these My hand made, and all these have become,” says the Lord. “But to this one will I look, to one poor and of crushed spirit, who hastens to do My bidding. ב. וְאֶת כָּל אֵלֶּה יָדִי עָשָׂתָה וַיִּהְיוּ כָל אֵלֶּה נְאֻם יְהֹוָה וְאֶל זֶה אַבִּיט אֶל עָנִי וּנְכֵה רוּחַ וְחָרֵד עַל דְּבָרִי:

God is Great

This solid earth is physically moving through space around the sun at a rate of some 100,000km every hour, while rotating on it’s axis around 1675km/hour. Do you feel it? Do you sense it?

Why should it be such a great leap to believe in an invisible God who becomes visible to those who believe by Faith and look for God?

Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

John 20

In addition to the rising tensions over the Temple Mount, the following Haaretz reports detail some of the usual Israeli humiliation and provocation of the Palestinians in the 47 year Israeli Military Dictatorship in the occupied territories separate from Gaza.

Ten torched mosques, zero indictments Since June 2011, 10 mosques in Israel and the West Bank have been set on fire by presumed right-wing Jewish extremists. No charges have been filed.

When the Israeli FBI, Shin Bet, can find and kill a Palestinian suspect in hours, I can only imagine how frustrated and suffocated the Palestinians must feel with such double standards in police work and results.

 ‘Police failing to investigate Jewish hate crimes in West Bank, says NGO’

Some 92 percent of complaints filed by Palestinians are closed and the criminal never found, according to a report by the Yesh Din human rights group, which has been tracking 1,045 complaints filed through the organization since 2005.

The list of complaints includes shooting attacks, assault, stone-throwing, arson, cutting down trees, animal abuse, crop theft, construction on Palestinian-owned land, threats and attacks. All the actions mentioned in the complaints were committed by Israeli citizens.

JONAH, JESUS, ISIS AND ISRAEL

 

The last post to this Blog August 13 was on the Biblical Jonah in the Whale story, in light of ISIS the Islamic militants, the newest, greatest threat to humanity, blowing up the Islamic Mosque reportedly containing the Tomb of Jonah in Nineveh, Iraq. Jonah is revered by Jews, Christians & Islam. What is the significance of this ‘Sign of OUR Times?’

Thus says the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
For all those things have my hand made, and those things have been, says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.

Naturally, perhaps more than any other, I would find it interesting to see this article appear in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz two months later, on October 7.

This is a re-post of the Haaretz Story

Netanyahu’s misguided prophecy

Angry, hungry for the punishment of crime, incapable of managing ambiguity, lacking compassion: in short, missing a critical kind of self-consciousness. Jonah’s message for Israel’s prime minister.

HaaretzJonahIsrael

Yom Kippur, the Day of Repentance, which fell this week, makes the Book of Jonah its liturgical centerpiece. For many, Jews and non-Jews alike, the connection of this text to repentance is all too clear. Perhaps the most famous sermon on the subject, certainly the most paradigmatic, is that of Father Mapple in Moby Dick, whom Ishmael hears just before he first sets sail:

Shipmates, it is a two-stranded lesson; a lesson to us all as sinful men, and a lesson to me as a pilot of the living God. As sinful men, it is a lesson to us all, because it is a story of the sin, hard-heartedness, suddenly awakened fears, the swift punishment, repentance, prayers, and finally the deliverance and joy of Jonah.

Mapple continues, explaining why Jonah ran away.

All the things that God would have us do are hard for us to do – remember that – and hence, he oftener commands us than endeavors to persuade. And if we obey God, we must disobey ourselves; and it is in this disobeying ourselves, wherein the hardness of obeying God consists. With this sin of disobedience in him, Jonah still further flouts at God, by seeking to flee from Him. He thinks that a ship made by men, will carry him into countries where God does not reign but only the Captains of this earth. He skulks about the wharves of Joppa, and seeks a ship that’s bound for Tarshish.

Father Mapple, en passant, ferrets out of the Book of Jonah Jonah’s own idea of what a Hebrew is, someone who knows God’s power, and who knows better than to expect mercy when sins are great:

‘I am a Hebrew,’ he cries- and then- ‘I fear the Lord the God of Heaven who has made the sea and the dry land!’ Fear him, O Jonah? Aye, well might you fear the Lord God then!

We know what happens next. Jonah, admitting that the roiling seas are his fault, is tossed overboard by terrified shipmates. Then Mapple reaches his climax:

He goes down in the whirling heart of such a masterless commotion that he scarce heeds the moment when he drops seething into the yawning jaws awaiting him; and the whale shoots-to all his ivory teeth, like so many white bolts, upon his prison.

Jonah calls out to the Almighty. The fish pukes him up. Mapple says:

And Jonah, bruised and beaten- his ears, like two sea-shells, still multitudinously murmuring of the ocean- Jonah did the Almighty’s bidding. And what was that, shipmates? To preach the Truth to the face of Falsehood! That was it!

That was it. The challenge is to preach the truth in the face of falsehood. To brave the fight, and scoffers be damned. The world is made up of people who know the truth and people who either don’t know it or resist it. And the way to get people to be good, or afraid to be bad – and what’s the difference? – is through a kind of permanent regime of deterrence: We warn like Father Mapple, warn like Jonah eventually did. And we will preach a force that will find you anywhere, idiot. All the things that God would have us do are hard for us to do.

I thought of Father Mapple watching Benjamin Netanyahu explaining the struggle against militant Islam from the UN’s podium this past week. “To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it’s too late,” he said. As with Father Mapple, Netanyahu warned of two kinds of people, the peace-loving and the bloody-minded. Israeli leaders must therefore do something hard but inescapable: Bring a message of deterrence, preach the truth in the face of falsehood, bomb if you have to and the New York Times be damned. “Israel is fighting a fanaticism today that your countries may be forced to fight tomorrow.”

I felt, I confess, sadly embarrassed for Netanyahu, our sanctimonious impresario of settlements, the way I imagined Ishmael feeling a little ashamed for Mapple, whose righteousness so clearly cut against his grain. Jews have had Yom Kippur longer than we’ve had the Likud. Was this really what the Book of Jonah taught? Why, really, did Jonah run?

Actually, the people of Nineveh are not the real villains. They are not very bad: One perfunctory warning from the prophet and even the cattle are put into sack-cloth. No, it is Jonah the book is warning us about, that we should not be like him: Angry, hungry for the punishment of crime, incapable of managing ambiguity. Jonah finally admits to us, or God, the real reason why he ran, but only after God forgives Nineveh:

I pray You, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my own country? Therefore I fled beforehand unto Tarshish; for I knew that You are a gracious God, and compassionate, long-suffering, and abundant in mercy, and repent of the evil.

Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech You, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.’

And the LORD said: ‘Are you greatly angry?’

Then Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.

Jonah’s melancholy, you see, has nothing to do with fearing God’s mission. It has everything to do with fearing God’s compassion. You sort of get the feeling that Jonah builds the booth to look out onto the city in the forlorn hope that God would incinerate the sons of bitches after all. He obviously feels more comfortable far away from the people he was notionally saving—that he cares about humanity more than mere humans. He would rather die than live with the confusions brought into the world by forgiveness.

Jonah, in other words, is hardly the hero in the book. God is. What’s missing from Netanyahu’s speech, and Father Mapple’s sermon is a kind of critical self-consciousness, which is the real lesson of God’s actions. The heart to be transformed is not in Nineveh—it is Jonah’s: God acts as a kind of cosmic therapist. God then sends a plant; Jonah falls in love with it—or at least with the shade it provides. God causes the plant to wither—not to prove his power some more, but because he realizes that, as with a numbed child, you can teach compassion only step by step. God asks Jonah if he is aggrieved by the death of the plant. Again, Jonah is so aggrieved he says he would rather die than live. God asks, finally talking past Jonah’s neurosis, so then how am I to feel about the people of Nineveh, who “do not know their right hand from their left”?

Terrorism is not tolerable – that’s true. Members of my own family have been its victims. Still, the God of Jonah teaches, first and foremost, the renunciation of Manichean visions, this notion that life presents us with heroic struggles against evil forces—the idea that goodness rests merely, or even mainly, on the terrible power of good forces to intimidate the bad. How would God help Israel’s prime minister to see, to paraphrase the novelist David Grossman, the little Hamas in oneself? I suspect the future of what Jews mean by Jews will depend very much on the answers we provide to these questions.

I have spent a good deal of time with another prime minister this past year, nobody’s hero now, who himself launched two wars against “the missiles.” He can speak for himself, but my impression of Ehud Olmert is that he is not at all certain in retrospect that Israelis saw enough of what Jonah’s God would have wanted us to. When I asked him about his proudest moment of statesmanship, he told me this:

Olmert had sat in on meetings in which Ariel Sharon had treated Abbas as the representative of a defeated, insurgent enemy that needed to be intimidated. This often made Olmert cringe. So when he assumed office, and tried to set appointments with Abbas, he was not surprised that Abbas kept putting him off, determined, Olmert surmised, to avoid more humiliation. Finally, they set an appointment for a Thursday evening, and again Abbas cancelled at the last minute. So Olmert got him on the phone and said: “I understand why you might want to insult me, but why insult my wife?” Abbas was taken aback and said he did not understand. Olmert said: “When Aliza found that you would be coming, she spent the last 24 hours preparing your favorite dishes for dinner. What shall I tell her now?” Abbas came, eventually met with Olmert 36 times, and the two came closer to a comprehensive agreement than any previous leaders.

This is not the kind of approach to truth and power Father Mapple, or Netanyahu, would have respected. But I like to think that the Book of Jonah’s God would have been relieved.

Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from you.
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

1000 years to God is the same as a Day the Bible records. By that Time frame, we are at the 3rd Day when the Spirit of Christ will resurrect in the hearts of the People once again.

BIBLICAL NINEVEH – THE WORLD CITY

Ancient Nineveh World City
It is now 7 months since my last post, February 1st, on the occasion of celebrating the 39th anniversary of being “Born Again,” making me 70 going on 40. Since a Red Line was drawn in that article, and the Spirit moved me to insert “…to be continued” something I never did with any previous article, I had to pause and wait to see what would develop Spiritually and temporally in this world.

In terms of crossing the Red Line, much has happened since February 1st. On February 21, a new regime took over in the Ukraine, setting Russia and the West on a collision course over Crimea. In my assessment, neither side is backing down, and with more and more economic sanctions being placed on Russia that will have a boomerang effect, what The Kansas City Times published September 13, 1976 is now activated and coming into view, “He wanted to bring to the public’s attention an idea being put out “subtly and deceptively by the government” That “we have to get prepared for a war with Russia.”

The mini-world war in Syria is expanding into Iraq and the Middle East in General, with the Islamic State on the move, attempting to recreate the 600 year Ottoman Empire/Caliphate.

The latest murderous bombardment of the civilian population in the Gaza Ghetto by Israel is also symptomatic of the hatred and violence increasing in this world since February 1st.

This brings me to the latest ‘Sign of the Times’ we live in, and which happened since February 1. Those who keep watch, would find it interesting to note the latest move by the IS in Iraq. They just blew up the Islamic Mosque that contained the tomb of Jonah in the Whale fame, from the Jewish-Christian scriptures, recorded some 2900 years ago.

ISIS threatens Iraq’s ancient past: The lost city of Nineveh

For those who don’t know the story, the ancient Biblical World City of Nineveh was becoming wicked and violent. God chose Jonah, and told him to go tell the people of the city if they didn’t change their ways, the city would be destroyed.

Naturally, Jonah didn’t want to do that and tried to get away. This would be the same as God telling anyone today to warn the world, starting with your friends and neighbours, to change or be destroyed. Who wants to be a buzz kill like that? Jonah tried to escape by taking a cargo ship to another City. A great storm came up, and the sailors, in fear for their lives, tried to lighten the ship by throwing all the valuable cargo overboard.

Jonah escaping by boatThe terrified sailors found Jonah sound asleep in the bowels of the ship and woke him up.

So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon your God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.

And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
Then they said to him, Tell us, we pray you, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is your occupation? and where are you coming from? what is your country? and of what people are you?
And he said to them, I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which has made the sea and the dry land.
Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said to him, Why have you done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
Then they said to him, What shall we do to you, that the sea may be calm to us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.
And he said to them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.
Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.
Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech You, O LORD, we beseech you, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for you, O LORD, have done as it pleased you.
So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.

Personally, I always thought the story of Jonah being swallowed by a whale or big fish was an allegory. Spending 3 nights in the belly of a fish symbolized there is no place to hide, to run to, to escape the hand of God as Christ Jesus said 850 years later.Jonah and the Big FishJonah finally did come to his senses, and returned to Nineveh to do what God commanded. It took 3 days to walk through the City, but just 1 day into it, everyone, from the king on down, resolved to change.

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

JONAH IN NINEVEH JON 3Jonah was angry. He wanted God to destroy the City, and there are many Jonah type people among us Today.

Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from you.
But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

We now see the Sign with this recent event in Nineveh, Iraq

In searching Google images for this article, I came across this one. Everyone should understand why it would be more interesting for me than for anyone else.

Jonah_in_the_whale_detail_Verdun_altarWhat makes it more interesting to me than to any other, is the name of it, ‘Jonah in the Whale_Verdun_altar? I was born in Verdun, so I have to wonder more!

And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth

Revelation 11:18

Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.

Revelation 12:12

Everyone can see the Nations are angry, and getting angrier in this material world, but which wrath is which?

God made or man made

Thus says the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
For all those things have my hand made, and those things have been, says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.

Let ALL those who seek YOU, Rejoice and be Glad in YOU. Let SUCH who LOVE YOUR Salvation say continually, The LORD BE MAGNIFIED!