Catholic Bishops Criticize Israel and Focus on East Jerusalem
The coming war over the holy places.
Friday, January 15, 2010
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Before the Israelites entered the land of promise led by Joshua, the God of Israel informed them through his prophet Moses that there would be a place which the LORD would choose to cause his name to dwell there (Deuteronomy 12:11), it would be there that they would offer their burnt offerings. It was not until the time of king David that this place was revealed and the temple was built on Mount Moriah, in the reign of Solomon David's son. This was to be the house of prayer for all nations, yet when Jesus came he called it a den of thieves and so it was destroyed, as Jesus prophesied, "your house is left to you desolate." God showing that he would not allow the behaviour being practised by his people to be associated with his name. This was a holy place chosen by God, yet it had been defiled by the occupants and has been down-trodden ever since.
In Daniel's vision in chapter 8 of the ram and the goat - being the Persian and Greek powers symbolized, we find a prophecy of the downtreading of the sanctuary. The word sanctuary is the Hebrew word "kodesh" or holy place. Daniel is told that the holy place of God - the sanctuary - was not to be restored after 2300 days from the start of the vision. These days symbolized years, just as Israel had to wander in the wilderness each day for a year because of their transgression, so the sanctuary would be trodden under foot for virtually 2300 years, being the length of the vision.
In the KJV Daniel 8:14 reads: "And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." The RSV reads: "And he said to him, "For two thousand and three hundred evening mornings; then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state." In other words there would be 2300 years of evening mornings before the sanctuary would be restored! No wonder Daniel fainted and was sick certain days!
Why does the KJV say the sanctuary would be cleansed, while the RSV says restored? The hebrew verb here means "to be declared just; hence to be vindicated from wrongs", says Gesenius. In fact the root of the verb means to be just and righteous. If the sanctuary is to be declared just then it is once again a holy place. If it is once again a holy place as before, it is 'restored' as says the RSV. This is part of the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21).
The destroyer of the sanctuary was the Roman power, depicted in Daniel 8 as a little horn. This same power says Daniel would stand up against the prince of princes in the later days and would be broken "without hand", just like the image in Daniel 2 would be broken by a stone cut out of the mountains without hands.
Over 250 years after the destruction of the temple by the Romans, Constantine's mother visited the land of Israel and chose many holy sites for the apostate Roman Church. These holy sites are a fraud, there were to be no holy sites in the land of Israel during the period of down treading. These holy sites became popular and fuelled the crusades and more recently the Vatican's anti-Zionist and later anti-Israel policy.
On March 10, 1919, pope Benedict XV gave a speech where he stated:
"But there is one matter on which we are most specially anxious, and that is the fate of the Holy Places, on account of the special dignity and importance for which they are so venerated by every Christian. Who can ever tell the full story of all the efforts of Our predecessors to free them from the dominion of infidels... surely it would be a terrible grief for Us and for all the Christians faithful if infidels were placed in a privileged and prominent position..."
So to the pope's mind the Jews were infidels and any of their involvement in the holy places would be a tragedy. A few days later Cardinal Gasparri explained the pope's remarks:
"The danger most fear is the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine... that they be given the rule over the Holy Places is intolerable for Christians."
The Vatican has not changed its position on Israel for the last hundred years. The reason for this is that it is a theological position not an opportunist position. Their beliefs have not changed and neither has their attitude to the Jews. However well Israel looks after the holy places the Vatican will want them out. Why? Because they are Jews and according to Catholic theology the Jews have no reason to be in the promised land - in fact there is every reason to want them out of the land.
The sanctuary will be cleansed, justified and made righteous. It will be restored to its former holiness and even surpass it. In order for the sanctuary to be holy the people must first be made holy also. There cannot be a defiled people and a holy sanctuary. Also for this to happen there must be a time of intense purging, to destory all the idols and shrines that fill the city of Jerusalem today. Commenting on this eventuality and upon the time when Christ and his sanctified ones are in the earth, working behind the scenes to establish the kingdom, John Thomas wrote well over 100 years ago in Eureka: "To abolish the Greek and Latin superstitions in Jerusalem, would set the Frogs into violent activity, inflame the two hundred millions of European papists with burning fanaticism, and throw the Autocrat of all the Russias into fierce and furious paroxysms of wrath."
So the cause of Armageddon as set out here by John Thomas is the reaction of the European Catholic nations to the destruction of their shrines in Jerusalem. It is no surprise then this week when we read in the news, "A high-level delegation of Roman Catholic bishops from North America and Europe has criticized Israeli polices in east Jerusalem." This is while Israel is guarding the Catholic holy places, what if the Jews were to begin destroying these idols after being energized by the teaching of the truth? The reaction would be exactly as John Thomas described over 100 years ago. Recently it was also reported that negotiations between Israel and the Vatican over certain properties have collapsed.
Further, is it a coincidence that it is one half of the city that is the focus? East Jerusalem. Not when we take into consideration Zechariah 14: "...half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city." So the Deliverer will come to Zion!
We can see these events on the very horizon. The exhortation is for us to purge our lives making a sanctuary that has not been defiled by the teaching of our world. Remain steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
Come back next week God willing to www.bibleinthenews.com. This has been David Billington with you.
Printed: Friday, January 15, 2010
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