Ready To Rebuild?
Vol: 102 Issue: 26 Friday, March 26, 2010
“For a head of government to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of.
Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip viewed in Jerusalem as a humiliation.
After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisers and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman, who spoke to the Prime Minister, said.
“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House telephone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.
The above account is not from an Israeli source, but rather, from the British.
The view from Israel? “The Prime Minister leaves America disgraced, isolated and altogether weaker than when he came,” the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz said.
The meeting comes in the wake of a UN Human Rights Council decision that calls on Israel to pay reparations to Palestinians in Gaza for damages inflicted during “Operation Cast Lead” in late 2008.
The proposal by Pakistan was passed by a vote of 29-6, with 11 abstentions. It also calls on the International Committee of the Red Cross to investigate Israel’s suspected use of white phosphorous during that offensive, which ended in January 2009.
Significantly, the Council did not call on Palestinians to make similar reparations payments to Israel. Why is that significant?
Because Israel did not launch its offensive against Gaza in a vacuum. Over the course of three years, more than 6,000 Hamas rockets rained down on Israel before the Israelis launched the Gaza invasion.
It is as absurd as demanding that the British pay war reparations to Hitler for damages done to Germany — while ignoring the London Blitzkrieg. It is the absurdity of the situation that makes it noteworthy.
The rift, as we’ve discussed in previous briefs, is an invention with no substance.
Obama was said to be “livid” over Israel’s plan to construct new housing in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem. But both sides have already agreed the neighborhood would remain on the Israeli side of any eventual settlement over Jerusalem.
So it is much ado about nothing. But for some reason, the White House has elected to make nothing into something. And the Palestinian side is only too happy to cooperate.
They want regime change in Israel as much as Obama does.
Netanyahu’s humiliation in Washington was compounded by the Palestinian “Day of Rage” on March 17th. Incited by Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups, masked rioters torched tires, stoned Israeli border police and stormed Temple Mount.
Israeli Arab MK Talab El-Sana incited more rioting during a broadcast he made from inside the al Aqsa Mosque. (El-Sana is a full Israeli citizen and member of its parliament!)
“The Netanyahu government is dangerous and irresponsible, and is leading the region to a third intifada . . . There is a renewed occupation of east Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque, gunshots can be heard in every direction.”
The rioting came two days after the rededication of the Hurva Synagogue. The Hurva Synagogue is located about 800 yards from the Temple Mount.
The Hurva Synagogue was founded in the early 1700’s by followers of Rabbi Judah the Pious, but was destroyed a few years later in 1721.
The Jewish sage Eliajah ben Shlomo Zalman (aka the “Vilna Gaon” or “genius of Vilna”) prophesied that the synagogue would be destroyed and rebuilt twice and that when the Hurva was rebuilt for the third time, construction on the Third Temple would begin.
The site laid in ruins for 140 years, hence the name “Hurva” (the ruin).
It was rebuilt in 1864 and was Jerusalem’s main Ashkenazi synagogue until it was again destroyed in 1948 by the Arab Legion during Israel’s War of Independence.
In 2000, the government of Israel granted permission to rebuild the Hurva and on March 15th, the Hurva was officially rededicated.
Two days later, citing the Hurva prophecy, the Palestinians kicked off their “Day of Rage” claiming an imminent reoccupation of the al Aqsa Mosque.
Ironically, the Palestinians accuse Israel is planning to build a Third Temple while resting their territorial aspirations on the claim that the First and Second Temples never existed, therefore, it belongs to them.
Yasser Arafat reputedly denied any pre-existing Jewish presence on Temple Mount during the Camp David negotiations, infuriating Bill Clinton and prompting Israeli PM Ehud Barak to ask sarcastically, “Where did Jesus drive the money-changers from? The mosque?”
“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed:” (Genesis 12:3)
In 1993 when Bill Clinton prompted a reluctant Yitzhak Rabin to take the blood-stained hand of Yasser Arafat following the Oslo signing at the Rose Garden, America was at the pinnacle of its power and prestige.
Do you remember? The Berlin Wall had just come down. American military superiority put to the test in the Gulf War had so overwhelmed the Soviet-equipped Iraqi Army (then the fifth-largest in the world) that the Soviet Union collapsed, ending the Cold War.
The economy was well into a recovery that would lead to a balanced budget before the end of the decade. Few people in America had heard of al-Qaeda. America was healthy, wealthy, vibrant and basking in the glow of peace and safety.
The Oslo Agreement was rooted in the principle of “land for peace” or, as the Prophet Daniel put it, “dividing the land for gain.”
It purported to trade the miraculous gains made by Israel during the 1967 and 1973 wars that recovered Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria from Arab occupation in exchange for peace with the Palestinian terrorists led by Yasser Arafat who conducted the 1989-93 intifada against Israeli civilian targets.
By 1999, Israel had traded away all of its miraculous gains in exchange for empty promises of peace. Ehud Barak agreed to 95% of Arafat’s territorial demands and stunned the world by agreeing to the division of Jerusalem.
Faced with the prospect of his own irrelevancy as a terrorist without a cause, Arafat turned the deal down cold. Then, on September 13, 2000, exactly seven years after the Rose Garden ceremony, Yasser Arafat declared Oslo ‘dead’ and called for a renewal of the intifada from the steps of the Temple Mount.
Two days short of one year later, America was ‘cut in pieces’ when 19 terrorists destroyed New York’s Twin Towers and the outer ring of the Pentagon, killing more than 3,000 innocents in the process.
According to the latest Jerusalem Post polls, only 9% of Israelis view Barack Obama as “a friend” to Israel.
And according to a CNN poll conducted in the US only 39% of Americans see Israel as “an ally.” Nearly one in five Americans views Israel as either “unfriendly” or “an enemy.”
Here’s where it all comes together. The prophet Zechariah prophesied that in the days of the Messiah, Jerusalem would become a burdensome stone to all peoples, and that all who burden themselves with Jerusalem’s problems “will be cut in pieces.”
Further, Zechariah prophesied Israel would stand alone and friendless. The image of Israel alone against the whole world is a recurrent theme in Bible prophecy.
Both Zechariah and Ezekiel say that it isn’t until Israel stands alone and friendless and without a champion that the Lord reveals Himself to Israel (and to the nations) by fighting on Israel’s behalf.
The Palestinians, if not Israel itself, are convinced that the rededication of Hurva means that preparations for the laying of the cornerstone for the Third Temple are underway.
The Apostle Paul says that during the Tribulation, a third Temple will stand on Temple Mount. Paul calls it the “Temple of God” and Jesus prophesies that the antichrist will desecrate it committing what Jesus Himself calls an ‘abomination of desolation.’
We’re sitting on the cusp of all these events being fulfilled at almost the same time. All that is necessary is the catalyst to get things moving.
With that in mind, look back to Paul’s description of the Third Temple as the “Temple of God” and the Lord’s statement that the Temple can be desecrated – and is therefore regarded – by Him– as sacred.
During the Church Age, the Temple of God consists of individual believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit. (1st Corinthians 3:17)
During the Tribulation, the Jewish Temple on Temple Mount is not only operational (Daniel 9:27) but both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul declare it ‘legitimate’.
The Tribulation Period is the last of Daniel’s 70 Weeks. It is the time of “Jacob’s Trouble,” when the Lord turns His full attention to the national redemption of Israel. It therefore operates according to the Old Testament economy (the Law).
Under the Law, a properly consecrated, rebuilt Jewish Third Temple on Temple Mount would be as legitimate and as sacred as either the First or Second Temples were. And the New Testament concurs.
Paul hints at the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant being in the Holy of Holies (2nd Thessalonians 2:4).
Jesus Christ says the antichrist’s presence there is “the abomination that maketh desolate” an event that can only occur in a legitimate, operational Jewish Third Temple.
The theological problem here is that the Jewish Temple cannot be legitimate during the Age of Grace without conflicting with the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone.
The only satisfactory solution to the theological problem is the conclusion that the Age of Grace has already concluded and that the living Temples of God have been withdrawn, together with the Restrainer that indwells them, at the Rapture of the Church.
Everything is in place – all that remains is to kick over that first domino poised to start the inevitable chain reaction. It could be the Rapture itself. Or it could be something else.
But whatever starts it, I believe the Scriptures make it clear that we’ll be gone long before the last domino falls.
“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-18)
I can think of no more comforting words than those.