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The Temple Mount Becomes a Burdensome Stone

November 10, 2014

“And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.”  (Acts 2:19–20)

The Bible states that before the Day of the Lord, there would be signs in the heavens.  

Currently, we are in the middle of a blood moon tetrad—four lunar eclipses that coincide with the Jewish feasts of Passover and Sukkot.  In the past 500 years, such tetrads have also coincided with significant turning points in Jewish history, such as the following:

  • The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, a year before the tetrad of 1493–1494; 
  • The 1948 rebirth of Israel as an independent Jewish state, followed by the war for independence that waged during the tetrad of 1949–1950; and
  • The 1967 “Six Day War,” which liberated the entire city of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount where the First and Second Temples once stood.  For the first time in 2,000 years, Jerusalem became the capital of the Jewish state.  This happened only a few months before the Blood Moon Tetrad between 1967 and 1968.
Blood Moon Tetrad coinciding with Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015

Because the moon turns red (from the reflection of all the sunsets and sunrises around the earth) as it passes through the earth’s shadow, some call the eclipse a Blood Moon.  (YouTube capture)

Though this current tetrad does not necessarily mean that the Second Coming of the Messiah will occur in the next few years (although it could), it is coinciding with significant events concerning Israel.

Since the first blood moon at Passover this year and the second at Sukkot, the situation in Israel seems to be becoming more intense by the minute, with angry Arab mobs attacking cars with stones and firebombs and other acts of terrorism occurring almost daily in Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount and throughout Israel.

On Tuesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed that Palestinians will never agree to Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, accusing Israel of dragging the region into a religious war.

“Israel’s leaders are making a huge mistake if they think they can now establish facts on the ground and divide prayer times at the al-Aqsa Mosque as they did at the Cave of the Patriarchs [burial place of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish People],” Abbas said in Ramallah during a ceremony marking the tenth anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death.  “By doing these things they are leading the region and the world into a devastating religious war.”

Praising those Muslims who are present continuously on the Temple Mount, he encouraged them saying, “Keep the extremist settlers away from the al-Aqsa mosque and our holy places.  Don’t let the our holy sites be contaminated.  Keep them from us and we will stay away from them.” (Ynet)

Cave of Machpelah Cave of the Patriarchs Hebron

A Jewish man prays near the Cave of the Patriarchs where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah are buried.

Muslim violence is not localized to the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third holiest.

On Monday, two young Israelis died in two separate stabbing incidents.  Three others were wounded.

In the first incident, an 18-year-old Palestinian repeatedly stabbed an Israeli Defense Forces soldier in a Tel Aviv train station.  The assailant was trying to get the soldier’s automatic weapon.  A passerby who intervened was also injured.  The soldier later succumbed to his wounds.

A short time later, a Palestinian man rammed into three people waiting at a bus stop near Etzion Bloc, a cluster of Jewish communities.  When the man failed to injure people he jumped from the car and began stabbing.  A 25-year-old woman died after being stabbed in the neck.

Both attackers were arrested.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to fight terrorism and defeat it. 

“The terrorism against us knows no borders.  It is aimed at all parts of the country for a simple reason:  The terrorists and those who incite to it want to get rid of us wherever we are.  As far as they’re concerned, we don’t need to be in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or anywhere else,” Netanyahu said.

Terrorism_Israel_Netanyahu-security meeting

On Monday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a security discussion at his Jerusalem office at which he ordered that a series of steps be taken against terrorists including increasing the number of security forces on the ground.

“In the past few months, Palestinian radicals have been trying to breach the status quo by preventing Christians and Jews from visiting the Temple Mount.  Palestinian rioters—incited by Hamas and the radical branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel—have attacked visitors as well as the police with stones and fireworks, using the al-Aqsa Mosque as their base of operations,” Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) stated last week.

Against a backdrop of conflict over access by Jews to Har HaBeit (the Temple Mount), self-appointed Jihadists linked with the terrorist organization Hamas have been carrying out attacks on Israeli civilians and security forces.

On Wednesday, hundreds of firework rockets were shot at police when they came under attack by mobs of youth fighting from the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

“On November 5, several dozen masked Arabs again rioted on the Temple Mount.  As the Mughrabi Gate for non-Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount opened as usual, the rioters came out of their prepared positions inside the al-Aqsa mosque and launched stones and fireworks at police stationed at the gate.  The police responded with non-lethal measures to prevent injuries.

“The rioters then returned to the al-Aqsa mosque, positioning themselves behind barricades they built the night before.  They targeted the police with hundreds of fireworks, rocks and iron bars prepared beforehand, all from within the mosque itself.  Several police officers were injured,” the MFA said.

“On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples.  All who lift it will surely hurt themselves.  And all the nations of the earth will gather against it.”  (Zechariah 12:3)

Last Wednesday, Ibrahim al-Akri was inspired by incitement, the unrest on the Temple Mount, and a vehicular attack two weeks earlier that killed an Israeli-American baby and a woman originally from Ecuador. He drove his commercial van into pedestrians and security personnel in Jerusalem near a light rail station before driving to another to do the same.

Al-Akri was a low ranking Hamas member.  He was the brother of Musa al-Akri, a Palestinian freed as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal.

Initially, he swerved his vehicle into the train station located on the corner of Bar-Lev and Shimon Hatzadik Streets.  He then continued to the next junction toward another group of pedestrians, running into them.  He then emerged from the van and using a crowbar began attacking people and cars.  At this point,  he was shot by security forces .  (JPost)

In his attack, al-Akri killed border police officer Jidan Assad, 38, from the Druze village of Beit Jaan. He also injured 14 others. Among those hospitalized were two officers who suffered serious injuries.

On Friday, a yeshiva (Jewish Orthodox school) student who was riding his bike at the time of the incident succumbed to his injuries.

Abbas-headshot-quote-Netanyahu Facebook

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas incites violence against Jews.  (Photo: PMO)

Israel blamed the murders on incitement by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

“The most recent terrorist attack (November 5) is a direct result of the incitement by Abbas and his Hamas partners.  The acts of incitement include a condolence letter sent by Abbas (1 November) to the family of the terrorist who shot Yehuda Glick [activist for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount].  In the letter that glorifies the shooter, the PA president wrote that he ‘ascended to heaven as a martyr in the course of defending the rights of our nation, its honor and holy sites,'” the MFA stated.

Immediately following the Jerusalem attack on Wednesday, Hamas praised al-Acri, who is from East Jerusalem, calling him a martyr.

“We congratulate the activity carried out by Jerusalem’s blessed heroes that targeted soldiers and security men.  This was a result of the crimes of the Zionists who continue to attack the worshipers and to violate the Palestinians’ holy sites,” Hamas said.

These attacks and violations refer to last Thursday’s second closure of the Temple Mount in a week, following the shooting of Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick.  The Mount was reopened on Friday, but not to Muslim men younger than 50 years of age.

Since the assassination attempt on Glick, rioters on the Mount and throughout Jerusalem continue to throw stones and firecracker “bombs” at police who respond with stun grenades.

Yehuda Glick

Yehuda Glick, who is well-known for advocating the rights of Jews and non-Muslims to the Temple Mount was shot twice on October 29, following his presentation at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem.   Glick began breathing without the aid of a respirator on November 11.

Hamas added to the Palestinian fury by saying, “We call on the people of Jerusalem and the West Bank and all of the Palestinians to carry out more of these activities with full force in order to defend al-Aqsa [the Temple Mount].”

The continued incitement is seeing results.  Later on Wednesday, a Palestinian rammed his small van into three IDF soldiers near the West Bank village of El Arub.  He fled the scene but later turned himself in.

In addition, a senior official of the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades announced the formation of Hamas’ new “People’s Army” that would include 2,500 soldiers.  Their purpose is “the liberation of the al-Aqsa mosque and of Palestine,” stated Mohammed Abu Askar, a Hamas official, at the recruits’ graduation ceremony.  (YNet)

Temple Mount-Dome of the Rock

The golden Dome of the Rock currently occupies the Temple Mount where the Jewish Temple was once located.  Also located on the Mount is the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is on the southern side of the Mount situated roughly where the Royal Stoa (public and commercial center in Yeshua’s time) once stood.  Though Muslims called the Temple Mount Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), it is also simply called the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

For 2,000 years, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount have never been as hotly contested among the world powers as they have Israel became a nation in 1948.  And, yet, the prophet Zechariah foretold that in the last days, this would happen (Zechariah 12:3).

One reason the Temple Mount finds itself in such a tug of war today is that even though Israel liberated the area in 1967 from Jordan, the Jordanian Waqf was granted custodianship of the entire Temple Mount area or the “Noble Sanctuary” as known by Muslims.

Jordan has now withdrawn its Ambassador to Israel “in protest at the increasing and unprecedented Israeli escalation in the Noble Sanctuary, and the repeated Israeli violations of Jerusalem,” as reported by the Jordanian state news agency.

In addition, Jordan intends to file a formal complaint with the UN Security Council regarding Israel’s actions.  (rt)

While activists like Rabbi Yehuda Glick engage in the struggle the for freedom to safely access and pray on the Temple Mount, the chief rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef urged Jews to retreat and not enter the Mount any more: “We need to stop this, only then will the people of Israel’s blood not be spilt.”

He made this appeal at the funeral for 17-year-old Shalom Baadani who died Friday from wounds sustained in Wednesday’s vehicle attack.  (YNet)

Baadani is the grandson of Rabbi Shimon Baadani, a member of the Shas Party’s Council of Torah Sages.

ewish tourists on the Temple Mount

Jewish tourists visit the Temple Mount, on which the First and Second Temples once stood.  The Dome of the Rock is thought to be located over the spot where the Holy of Holies was positioned.

It seems unthinkable to many that such a prominent Rabbi would call for Jews to not enter the sacred mountain where God says He dwells (Joel 3:17), where King David purchased the land (1 Chronicles 21:22–25), and where King Solomon built God’s first Temple (2 Chronicles 3:1).

While Jewish rights to the Mount go back to Kind David’s purchase of it, the Muslim’s see it as the “final prophet’s” launch to heaven and thus they try to lay final claim to it.

In the state of such spiritual opposition and physical violence, it seems highly improbable that any peaceful solution can be brokered between the Palestinians and Israelis regarding access to the Mount.

It seems even more improbable that a Third Temple could ever be built here, even if peaceful access were attained.  Yet, that is exactly what Daniel (Daniel 9:25–27), Yeshua (Matthew 24:1521), and the apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:14) all prophesy have to happen in the last days, before the Messianic Kingdom arrives.

“He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’  In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering.  And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”  (Daniel 9:27)

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