The Bible Banned from Temple Mount in Jerusalem!
No Religious Freedom in Islamic controlled territory.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
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Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News brought to you this week by Paul Billington in Jerusalem, Israel. This is a city of controversy; especially religious controversy. That fact cannot be avoided when you visit this ancient city.
And nowhere is this controversy more obvious than within the Old City, and upon the Temple Mount itself. On Tuesday of this week we were able to go right up on to the Temple mount platform itself, where today the so-called Dome of the Rock stands. During the time of Christ the Temple, or sanctuary stood here, but was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. It was to be a House of Prayer for all nations said Jesus in Matthew 21:13, but today it is anything but that. The area is an exclusive Moslem patch. Jews are not permitted to go and openly pray anywhere on the Temple platform, and for that matter, neither are Christians. There is CERTAINLY no freedom of religion on the Temple mount. As we found out, even the Bible itself is banned here! Yes, before being allowed to go up we had to deposit our Bible, or even my wife's copy of the Psalms into Moslem custody lest it might offend Islamic sensibilities.
We were shown round the area by Sheik Abdul Aziz whose family came with the Ottomans. He said that there was no real evidence that Solomon’s temple ever stood here, or for that matter the Herodian temple either. And anyway, we were able to observe that any evidence that there might have been is being reduced to rubble as part of so-called "renovations." You can see a picture of this on our print version of this edition.
It is ironic that on this very spot today, Truth is being destroyed. To take up the wording of Daniel 8:12, the Truth is being cast down to the ground. It is the work of a "desolator" (Daniel 9:22, see KJV margin).
Of course the desolating power referred to by Daniel the prophet referred to the Roman destruction of the Temple. In Daniel 8:11, 12, we read of that event which was fulfilled in AD 70. " ...he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered." Daniel 8:11-12
And it was the Romans who caused the sacrifice and the oblation to cease when they made it desolate in AD 70.
But long after the Roman and Byzantine periods that desolation continued. After the rise of Islam the Holy Land came under the dominion of the Moslems, and they became the desolating power, as we see them to be to this day. Truth is still being cast down to the ground--and even though the temple area came under the control of Israel following the 1967 war, successive Israeli governments have refused to reclaim the temple area itself. Why do the Jews not reclaim the area? Largely because they fear world opinion (something which the Islamic desolators do not seem to worry about!).But Daniel 11:40-45 tells us to expect yet another change of hands when a certain "king of the north" goes forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. Daniel's words are:
"...he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain" (Daniel 11:45). In other words, in Jerusalem and the holy mountain.
This we believe to be the future work of a Russian-led European force, but it will precipitate the work of Israel’s saviour:
"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book" Daniel 12:1
So the Lord will build up Zion. HE will reclaim His Land and Holy hill. And it is from this place where the Bible is banned today, that the prophet Isaiah says,"...out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." (Isa. 2:3).
Printed: Thursday, November 16, 2006
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