Photos of the Temple Mount taken at Israel's recapturing of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War attest to its desolation under Islamic jurisdiction.
It was only after Israel's historic victory that the world cast its collective eye on Jerusalem once again. I rather imagine a vision of Sauron sitting in his Dark Tower discovering the location of the Ring and suddenly turning all his attention to it.
From a secular viewpoint it is remarkable that in recent years it has become such an intense focal point of conflict, drawing global attention. Why would western nations bother about what happens in a far away place? Why does the United Nations conspire to remove Jewish history from Jerusalem?
We know why.
The United Nations is an Islamic devotee. Despite the terrorism associated with Islam, its demands are appeased, and it seeks to purge Israel from the region. It is because of the Jewish presence that Jerusalem has once again become a precious jewel to be protected from the Jew.
That there will be a future temple in a physical location is supported by a straightforward reading of Scripture. Some theologians appeal to complex allegory and supersessionism, not to defend Scripture, but to protect a presupposed theology.
Jerusalem cannot be expunged from eschatology.
Zechariah refers to Jerusalem as a stumbling stone in which all who come against it shall be cut in pieces and destroyed (Zech 12:3, 9). The future tribulation is designed to show Israel that it can only trust in the Lord, not its so-called allies (Zech 14:3-4). God will answer their call when they recognize their Savior (Hos 5:15; Zech 13:9; Matt 23:39).
After the Messiah's return, Jerusalem will become the center of government of the Millennial Kingdom. See Isaiah 60:12-14, 66:20 and Zech 14:16-19.
Christians look to a Heavenly City and Kingdom at the moment, yet the heavenly New Jerusalem will descend to a physical location on the new earth. See Heb 8:1-2, 12:22; Rev 16:17, Rev 21:1-2. This location won't be in New York, Rome, London, Mecca or Paris. The headquarters of the future Kingdom of God in the Eternal State will be Jerusalem.
It is only by respecting God's eschatological plan that we can understand the dynamics which drive world events. Why is Jerusalem such a jealous hot-bed of conflict? Why do the nations constantly rage against Israel? Why is there a steadily growing desire in Israel for a Jewish Temple?
Following a purported and protracted “de facto freeze” during the Obama administration, a Jerusalem Municipal official on Sunday claimed that city hall is prepared to approve construction of 1,400 housing units in the northeastern Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, amid expectations of a thaw under the new US president.
The unidentified official told Channel 2 that President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric signaled far more favorable terms for construction in contested neighborhoods located beyond the 1949 Armistice Green Line, including the growing, primarily ultra-Orthodox Ramat Shlomo.
“Even if [Obama’s] State Department or White House condemns it, it won’t be worth much at this point,” the official said. “In Jerusalem, it’s as if Trump is already in office. The problem is that nobody knows what his policies will actually be.”
The bells have rung out after two years of silence in the Mar Korkeis church in the town of Bashiqa, some 15 km (10 miles) north of Mosul, Islamic State's last major city stronghold in Iraq.
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters retook the town on Nov. 7, ending two years of rule by the hardline Sunni group which persecuted Christians and other minorities in the Nineveh plains, one of the world's oldest centres of Christianity.
Women trilled to celebrate the moment when a new crucifix was erected on the church, replacing one that was broken by the Islamic State militants.
At a time when large numbers of people are drifting away from formal religion, one church is bucking the trend. Huge numbers of Gypsies and travellers in England now say they've joined a new movement called Light and Life. Those who join have given up drinking alcohol and fortune-telling, and many have even abandoned their traditional Catholic faith.
The movement, which is Gypsy-led, has grown rapidly in the past 30 years - it says up to 40% of British Gypsies belong to it. There's no way to prove that claim, but most Gypsies and travellers will agree that there is a surge in people joining.
Light and Life, though, regards fortune-telling as sinful. "It says in the Bible have nothing to do with sorcery and witchcraft," Diane explains.
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