Up until now, one of the major barriers to the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem has been the lack of a red heifer. A qualified red heifer has not been seen in the land of Israel for nearly two thousand years, and without one it would not be possible to resume Temple worship. But now a candidate has been found that could change everything. The Temple Institute in Jerusalem has released stunning video footage of a red heifer that they believe meets the Biblical requirements. This red heifer was born in the United States, and the owners of the red heifer contacted the Temple Institute in order to receive instructions about how to care for it. It is hoped that this red heifer will eventually be transported to the land of Israel and be used for the purification of the priests and the vessels that will be used in a rebuilt Jewish Temple.
This is a very big deal, because without a red heifer the Temple would never be rebuilt. So needless to say, the video footage that you are about to see is creating quite a stir in Jewish communities throughout the world. The Temple Institute contacted a documentary filmmaker to film this red heifer, and this video was just released to the public earlier this month…
If you are not familiar with the Temple Institute, it is an organization located in the heart of Jerusalem that is dedicated to making preparations for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. The Institute has created a whole host of items that are intended to be used in a future Temple including priestly garments made to Biblical specifications, a seven-branched Menorah made of pure gold, a golden Incense Altar and a golden Table of Showbread.
But without the ashes of a red heifer, all of those preparations are in vain.
Before the Temple can be rebuilt and Temple worship can be resumed, a perfect red heifer must be found.
And now one has been discovered.
According to Orthodox Jewish authorities, a suitable red heifer cannot even have a single black hair. So finding such a creature is not easy. According to Jewish tradition, only nine such red heifers were found during the entire time when the first two temples were standing.
All of this has huge implications for world events.
Traditionally, many Orthodox Jews have believed that the spotting of a red heifer would herald the coming of the Messiah.
And if this red heifer does indeed turn out to be a suitable candidate, one of the biggest obstacles to rebuilding the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem will have been removed.
For Christians, this is an extremely exciting development as well.
The Bible tells us that there will be a Temple standing in Jerusalem in the last days, and that the Antichrist will defile it.
But that Bible prophecy could never be fulfilled until a red heifer was found.
Yes, there are still many more obstacles standing in the way of the Jewish people rebuilding the Temple. For one, the Islamic world would go into convulsions if Israel tried to build anything on or near the Temple mount at this point.
However, the Temple Institute and a whole host of Orthodox Jews are absolutely determined to make the rebuilding of the Temple a reality, and now they appear to be one giant step closing to achieving that dream.
Convert to Islam or face the sword.
That was the stark message Christians in the Syrian city of Raqqa received last year when ultra-fundamentalist Sunni extremists, proclaiming themselves to be members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), seized power and launched a reign of terror against Shiites and Christians that has included beheadings and at least three crucifixions.
Aware of ISIS’ ferocious reputation for murder and mayhem, thousands of Christians who lived in Mosul and the surrounding Nineveh Plain fled in panic when ISIS rebels captured Iraq’s second largest city from government forces on June 10. Many of those who escaped have sought refuge in this Christian enclave in the Kurdish city of Irbil, only an hour’s drive away from Mosul.
“All who are left there now are a few handicapped or sickly Christians,” said a Chaldean Catholic nun wearing a blue habit whose religious community fled Mosul on foot, walking north for four hours on June 10 along with thousands of other Christian and Sunni Muslim refugees. They all feared persecution at the hands of the insurgents, who follow a harsh seventh-century interpretation of the Koran that demands not only that women mostly stay indoors, but that church bells must never be rung, crosses must never be displayed and Christians must pay a “gold tax” in return for their lives.
There have been Christians in Iraq since the first century when two disciples of Jesus are said to have brought the Gospel here. As recently as 2003, Iraq had 1.5 million Christians. But since then there have been more than 70 attacks on churches, several priests have been murdered and the number of Christians has plummeted to less than 500,000. This latest spasm of sectarian violence will probably lead to another mass exodus.
A 72-year-old parishioner, who would only give his name as Dominique, said he had been forced to leave Mosul for Baghdad in 1960 after his father was murdered for being a Christian. When the church he attended in Baghdad was blown up three years ago, he, his wife and their son sought sanctuary in Irbil’s Christian suburb of Ankawa.
“To be a Christian in Iraq is to be subjected to terrorist acts,” said Dominique, who many years ago received a graduate degree in engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit. Dominique’s distant cousin, Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, was kidnapped from his car and murdered in Mosul six years ago.
“We move from city to city in Iraq because we have believed in the promises of the government and of Muslim clerics that we would be safe,” he said. Then he added, with grim laugh, “We now believe that we have run out of places to hide.”
The group is planning cyberattacks on oil and gas corporations in the United States, Canada, England, Israel, China, Italy, France, Russia, and Germany, and government websites in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar.
The main attack is planned for June 30.
Sunni militants have gained full control over Iraq’s main oil refinery at Baiji, south of Mosul, according to media reports.
Radicals from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS, or ISIL) have been attacking the refinery, which is responsible for supplying a third of Iraq’s oil, for the past ten days.
The militants are planning to hand over the complex to local tribes for day-to-day management, BBC quoted a rebels’ spokesman as saying, adding that the militants will continue to make their way to Baghdad.
Al-Arabiya also reported that the refinery was taken over by Sunni militants. Meanwhile three Iraqi officials also confirmed to CNN the militants had seized the Baiji oil refinery.
The ongoing offensive by the ISIS aims at achieving total dominance in Iraq by radical Sunni militants. On June 22, jihadists captured three new towns and two border crossings, one with Jordan and one with Syria.
"The epidemic is totally out of control," warns medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières of the deadly Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. "There is a real risk of it spreading to other areas...Ebola is no longer a public health issue limited to Guinea: it is affecting the whole of West Africa." As of Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the number of cases at 362 — more than any other outbreak on record. Here's everything you need to know about Ebola...
Ebola has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent and there is no vaccine and no known cure. The virus initially causes raging fever, headaches, muscle pain, conjunctivitis and weakness, before moving into more severe phases with vomiting, diarrhoea and haemorrhages.
"The epidemic is totally out of control," said Bart Janssens, MSF director of operations. "With the appearance of new sites in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, there is a real risk of it spreading to other areas."
"Ebola is no longer a public health issue limited to Guinea: it is affecting the whole of West Africa," said Janssens, urging WHO, affected countries and their neighbours to deploy more resources especially trained medical staff.
MSF has treated some 470 patients, 215 of them confirmed cases, in specialised centres in the region but the organisation said it had reached the limit of its capacity.
Patients have been identified in more than 60 locations across the three countries making it harder to curb the outbreak.
The disease has not previously occurred in the region and local people remain frightened of it and view health facilities with suspicion. This makes it harder to bring it under control, MSF said in a statement.
At the same time, MSF said, a lack of understanding has meant people continue to prepare corpses and attend funerals of Ebola victims, leaving them vulnerable to the disease, transmitted by touching victims or through bodily fluids.
Civil society groups, governments and religious authorities have also failed to acknowledge the scale of the epidemic and as a result few prominent figures are promoting the fight against the disease, the statement said.