The Temple Mount is the focus of a greater battle than meets the eye. Most commentators agree that the struggle for sovereignty is a key factor in the dispute; and certainly some Arab leaders exploit the religion card to keep the street agitated. But this ancient battle has multiple layers of truth, including the apocalyptic—the destiny of Israel and the nations surrounding her. Its center axis pivots not so much on conflicting religious systems, but on worship: Who is worshipped at the Temple Mount? Who is worshipped at Al-Aqsa Mosque? How does this spiritual side of life impact our world?
The battle over Jerusalem has extended to higher education. A firestorm erupted over Israel’s offer to East Jerusalem Arab schools to teach the Israeli curriculum instead of the Palestinian one. The Israeli curriculum could open the door for Arab students to take the Israeli matriculation exams and study at its high-ranked colleges and universities. Many East Jerusalem parents realize that access to Israel’s colleges and universities would boost their children’s careers.To that end,the Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Ministry designated 20 million Israeli shekels (more than $5.5 million) for physical plant upgrades to the seven East Jerusalem municipality schools that accepted the option.
Israel and the Jewish people have been miraculously resilient over the millennia having survived attack after attack from her enemies near and far. Although they’ve been dispersed to the four corners of the earth, somehow they have maintained their unique Jewish identity and are now regathering in the land of Israel just as the Bible said would happen. Against all odds, the Jews have retained their ancient religion, culture and original language.
Many conservative Christians voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election due to his commitments on several issues—one being to support Israel and move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Here are several compelling reasons why this is the time to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
The story of Hanukkah is often told with an emphasis on the evil ruler, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, King of the Hellenistic Seleucid empire, who was bent on the Hellenization of the Jewish people. Had he succeeded it would have meant the demise of the Jewish faith and thereby, the Jewish people. God’s plan to bring salvation to the world through their Messiah would have died with them.
In 2005 a team of Christians traveled to Israel to join the Jewish people at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount to pray for eight hours each day for that entire year asking G-d to make peace in Jerusalem and seeking His protection for the tiny Jewish state. Soon another Christian prayer team will arrive at the Western Wall again praying for eight hours each day for blessings to be upon Israel and her people; the people G-d Himself calls the “apple of His eye.”
This past year for Israel has been a raucous one. Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu has had to skillfully wend his way politically through the innuendoes of friend and foe alike. If only other political entities were so good at providing leadership, the world might be in a better place.
Netanyahu risked a lot earlier in the year vigorously contesting the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) commonly known as the Iranian Nuclear Deal, that was prodded through by the unyielding American president. The relationship between the United States and Israel was contentious at best and arguably made worse by the Prime Minister accepting an official invitation to speak before the U.S. Congress to share his insights about the Iranian Deal.
Where are all of the Christians who should be standing for right and against wrong? Where are all of the Christians who should be standing for Israel? G-d Himself in Genesis 12:3 said, “I will bless those who bless you (Israel) and the one who curses you (does not stand) I will curse.”
A basic premise of Christian faith and roots has everything to do with Israel. To ignore Israel is to shun G-d’s word of an eternal covenant with His Chosen People, the Jews, and an eternal covenant cannot be broken. Our silence in our own countries also affects Israel, its land and people. It is imperative that Christians all over the world stand and contend for Israel.
So now the three Biblically required attended feasts for the calendar year are ended. The Shemitah year is finished for this cycle and the four blood moons have appeared. The US did not stop the Iran Deal. The Pope met with Obama during the days of awe. And the world has not ended, at least not yet.
Though these events are thought to portend a particularly doomsday scenario, they have not, just as Y2K did not. Life goes on - even in the Middle East and in Israel. Same complaints, same problems, same joy in life events. Nothing has changed. It’s the status quo.