Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Escape from the Fallen Planet - Pete Garcia -
Growing up, I used to listen to a Christian pop-rock band called 'Crumbacher', who released an album in the mid-80's called 'Escape from the Fallen Planet'. It was a little campy, full of keyboard riffs and cheesy 80's outfits, but looking back on it, I've grown quite fond of the concept of it as in regards to the Rapture.
So, it's not that I'm a fan of escapism, but of one day being reconciled to my Creator and becoming what I was intended to become. Not a tent of flesh, prone to sin and the fallenness of this planet, but a building from God in whom we long to be clothed with. (2 Cor 5:1-5)
As Christians, our hope, our reason for drudging on day after day lies in the reality, that Jesus is God, and He promised that one day He would return for us so that we could be where He is.
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-3
So where are we?
I've often wondered how long exactly the Lord would tarry. We know His return is imminent in the sense that it could happen at any moment, but would He stay His hand another few decades or come before the end of the month? Has the 2000 years been enough? Or does the increasing population on planet earth necessitate a longer time needed to fulfill the final harvest of men and womens' souls? No one currently alive can peak into the future, and we are explicitly told by Jesus Himself that 'no one will know the day or hour' of His coming.
So how do we gauge were exactly we are in history?
Aside from scriptures, that leaves only looking around at our current state, and looking into the past to see where we've come from. We also know, that certain prophetic events that are currently in motion, have if you will, a shelf life. They just can't continue to go on and on without some sort of finality to them.
I have a personal theory that men like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Ludwig van Beethoven, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein weren't really gifted with supernatural intelligence. God just allowed them to use ALL of their brains, unlike most of us who only use a small percentage at any given moment.
These men were sprinkled throughout history to allow mankind to progress at a set pace, but not too quickly. As we have progressed through time, more and more of these men (and women) appear on the scene to quicken the pace in which we progress.
But those times have changed, in large part due to the invention of the computer and the internet (thanks Al Gore!). The amount of information available to anyone with access to it is mind boggling. Today's average person has more information at their fingertips than the smartest men of ages past had their whole lives, which is why we keep leap frogging (technology wise) at an incredible pace. So based on that, we have a long, long, long period of time when man was limited as far as ability goes, and only just recently (last 100 years or so) have we exponentially exploded with a technological race unmatched in all our short 6,000 year history.
The questions are these; if we are physically and biologically the same people we were 500, 1000, 2,000 years ago, why did it take so long for us to get to where we are today? Why was man limited to the speed of horse up until the early 20th century? How could we go from building the Great Pyramid before the Noahic Flood to living in mud huts for the better part of 4,000 years following? What do these have to do with the Rapture of the Church?
Dispensations and Creation
Looking at the big picture, it would appear that God has allowed mankind a set amount of time. From Adam until the 2nd Coming, there is a predetermined number of years that mankind will be able to remain in a fallen state and populate this world, conducting what he/she thinks is their affairs in this realm of reality. Based solely on the history we do have written for us in scriptures, we can know generally how much time has gone by. So let's do some simple calculations and see how much time man roughly has:
If the Age of Man is divided up into Seven parts, matching the order of Creation, and the Seven Letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation marking the age of the Church, it would appear like this:
The total brings you to about 5,592 years, give or take a few.
*I'm not dogmatically holding to these numbers, just throwing these out there to give the general idea.
So based on the numbers, IF Creation were represented by one thousand years for each day, mankind would have 7000 years. But we know that the times do not line themselves up all nice and neat, and some periods are longer than others, but in the end, they would total 7,000 years. Seven, scripturally signifies perfection and completion. Since man was created on the 6th day of Creation, it signifies man's imperfection (compared to God) but also may show something else.
Man, created in the image of God, was the pinnacle of Creation. He was the highest order created within the 6 days of Creation, and the world was given unto him to have dominion over (Genesis 1:28).
We currently inhabit (somewhere near) the 6,000th year of mankind's existence here on earth that we know of, by recorded history.
At the present moment, mankind is at the pinnacle of his existence, having mastered space flight, instantaneous information, and supersonic travel. We have explored the known and unknown world, mapped the oceans, discovered the complex DNA double helix, and sent our cameras deep into space to explore the rest of the universe. We have within the past century, created weapons so devastating that we could destroy our world many times over.
We have created a level of luxury attainable by the average person that only the wealthiest royalties of ages past, could only dream of. (think ice cubes, instant meals, automobile travel, television, etc). It would seem, that man has finally reached again that time when he has dominion over the earth. Granted, man has coexisted with nature throughout our short time here, but it's only been in the last 100 years that we've harnessed electricity, divided the atom, pulled oil from the depths of the earth, etc. Man has not conquered natural catastrophes, but we have learned how to forewarn ourselves of everything from hurricanes and tornados, to earthquakes and solar storms.
If for nothing else, based on our level of achievement alone, we should realize that we are the well toward the end of the timeline, on the very trailing edge of our time left in this day and age we live in. With prophetic scriptures pinpointing exact events that would transpire coming to the forefront of the news daily showing without a doubt, both the validity and accuracy of the Bible telling us where we are.
But the earth itself is in revolt, groaning with birth pangs, awaiting it's liberation, as are we Christians.
"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." Romans 8:22-23
Maybe not the best analogy, but the only thing that comes close is in the same lines that animals can sense an earthquake before an earthquakes strikes, we (Christians) can sense that our deliverance from this fallen planet is very close at hand. We can feel it in our bones, that our time here is about done, and it makes us all the more excited. Unlike our unbelieving friends and neighbors who trudge along thinking that this life is all there is, we have something glorious and grand that we look forward to with great anticipation:
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:13-14
There is an escape off this fallen planet, and it is only attainable by the forgiveness of sins, through the shed blood of God Himself on Calvary's cross, some 2,000 years ago. Jesus died so that man could inhabit eternity with Himself in perfect harmony.
He endured allowing His creation to beat Him, spit on Him, pull His beard out of His face, and curse Him so that you and I could become the 'righteousness of God' through His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
It is only natural that we 'groan' within ourselves, longing for the redemption of our fallen bodies we inhabit, to finally attain that perfect body, which does not sin (nor wants too) to match that 'new creation' we became when we first believed (2 Corinthians 5:17, Eph 1:13-14) because of our sealing by the Holy Spirit.
If only God the Father knows, and we have received salvation through God the Son, and are currently being indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, and they all belong to the same Tripartite Godhead, it is no wonder so many of us believers sense that are redemption draws nigh.
From the beginning, Satan has been seeking to undo the Promise God made in Genesis 3:15, beginning with the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. Six thousand years is about the end of the line for man on this earth, and if for nothing else, written history can only trace back about that long, it would seem that the shelf life for fallen man is about to expire.
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 1 John 3:2-3
Abbas' Fatah Faction: Campaign For Jerusalem Has Begun, We Won't Stop Until Palestinian Victory - by Deborah Danan -
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah party on Saturday called for a campaign "to take control of the Al-Aqsa mosque."
In a statement, the party said the "campaign for Jerusalem has effectively begun, and will not stop until a Palestinian victory and the release of the holy sites from Israeli occupation."
Fatah praised Palestinian rioters who took to the streets of Jerusalem over the past week to protest the installation of metal detectors at the Temple Mount compound following a deadly terror attack at the holy site. Three Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli police.
Fatah called for three days of mourning and a general strike for the dead rioters and added that they were engaging in "initifada (armed struggle) against the enemy."
"Their acts were for the protection of Al-Aqsa and their struggle against the Israeli plans, while sacrificing souls and blood," the faction said.
Two days earlier, a senior Fatah official in charge of Jerusalem affairs said Israel's "violence will be met with violence."
"We are moving towards an escalation. The Israelis are moving towards an escalation, and we have no problem on our part that there will also be an escalation from the Palestinian side," Hatem Abd Al-Qader said. "Escalation is answered with escalation, and violence is answered with violence. Those who begin are the guilty ones, and Israel bears the responsibility."
The security measures at the Temple Mount came in response to a deadly terror attack on July 14 in which two Druze-Israeli police officers were shot and killed at the holy site. Nevertheless, Abbas claimed the installation of metal detectors was "falsely presented as a security measure" while in reality Israel wished "to take control of Al-Aqsa Mosque."
"The steps taken by Israel are leading to a religious confrontation and an evasion from a diplomatic process," Abbas was also quoted as saying.
"They don't have a right to place the [metal detectors] at the gates to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, because sovereignty over the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque is our right. ... So we took a decisive and firm stance, especially with regard to security coordination and all kinds of coordination between us and them," Abbas said Sunday, according to the Wafa official PA news site.
Abbas, who has given no response to the attack thus far, said on Sunday that he was suspending all security coordination with Israel. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman responded by saying that Israel doesn't need Palestinian cooperation on matters of security.
Fatah added that Israel's security changes were part of a "racist" ploy to "Jewify and take over Al-Aqsa."
Violent riots have erupted every day since the new security measures were put in place, with Molotov cocktails being thrown at Israeli security forces and simultaneous chants of "Allahu akbar," or "God is great."
"Remember Khaybar, you Jews, the army of Muhammad is returning," was a threat heard chanted in unison by the rioters, in reference to a seventh century Muslim massacre of Jews.
On Friday night, three members of the Salomon family from the West Bank settlement of Halamish were stabbed to death at their Sabbath table by a Palestinian terrorist who said he was avenging Israel's actions on the Temple Mount.
Iranian Missile Expansion into Lebanon Sets Stage For Conflict With Israel - By Yaakov Lappin -
Newly-built Iranian missile factories in Lebanon can produce powerful weapons for Hezbollah -- and are part of a wider trend that could set the region on fire -- according to a senior former Israeli defense source.
"There is no doubt that this is a new and very dangerous stage," the source told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), speaking on the condition of anonymity. He said that Iran has, for the first time, placed military production industries directly in Hezbollah's possession.
"This points to the fact that Lebanon is not a state, but a branch of Iran that is controlled by Hezbollah, and that Iran, after the nuclear agreement, feels that it can do everything because no one dares harm it," the source added.
Tehran's alliance with Moscow gives the Islamic Republic "extraordinary power, and hence, Iran allows itself to do what it has not dared do without the alliance with Russia," the source said.
Russia depends on Iran to safeguard the Assad regime in Syria, the source noted. And Iran is now testing Israeli red lines by arming the radical Shiite Iranian proxy, Hezbollah -- with potentially dire consequences.
"When Israel is forced to act after Iran and Hezbollah cross all of the red lines, Lebanon will be destroyed, because Iran and Hezbollah have turned it into one big weapons storage facility, and the world is silent," the source said.
"Anyone who dreams about Israel accepting, in a future arrangement [with the Palestinians], any kind of international force that will have any kind of role, should examine the utter uselessness of UNIFIL [the United Nations force stationed in southern Lebanon], which has yet to report on a single rocket or missile out of the 120,000 that exist in Lebanon," the former defense official said. "For Israel, UNIFIL is more of a nuisance than a benefit."
Earlier this month, France's Intelligence Online magazine reported that one missile factory was under construction in northern Lebanon, with a second being built on Lebanon's southern coast.
The production center in northern Lebanon was designed to make Fateh 110 medium-range missiles; that rocket puts most of Israel in range, and carries a warhead of 500 kilograms, according to the report.
The IPT interviewed defense experts about the factories in March of this year, and noted that the sites represent a disturbing boost in Hezbollah's ability to self-produce weapons.
Israeli officials have gone on record in recent weeks to confirm the factories' existence; these figures include Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, and the head of Israel's Military Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Herzl Halevi. Hezbollah is "establishing a military industry in Lebanon with Iranian support," Halevi said.
Eizenkot told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee earlier this month that the Israeli military had placed the Iranian "precision project" -- the drive to produce new guided projectiles, and to improve the accuracy of existing projectiles -- at "the top of our priority list."
The Hezbollah program is "mainly ongoing in factories in Iran and Syria, and they are trying to promote it in Lebanon," Eizenkot said.He also seemed to suggest there was a difference between the current threat posed by Iran's guided missile program, and the future potential threat -- if left unchecked.
Currently, "these abilities are very limited, and therefore, we must remain proportionate and not be alarmed. The IDF is working in regards to the [Iranian precision] project all of the time, through a wide range of tools that are best not talked about," he said. We are working with the intention of avoiding a deterioration [of the security situation]."
Emily Landau, head of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, told the IPT that the factories "signal a new escalation in Iran's weapons proliferation in the region."
Not only do they serve Iran's objective of continuously arming Hezbollah, but they are also designed to "overcome the vulnerability of transport vehicles transferring weapons from Iran via Syria, to Lebanon," Landau said, in reference to international media reports about repeated Israeli strikes on Iranian-Hezbollah weapons convoys in Syria.
Iran seems to hope that setting up missile factories in Lebanon will eliminate Israel's opportunity to attack future international weapons trafficking runs.
"All of these activities are in blatant violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 [which called on making southern Lebanon a weapons free zone, with the exception of Lebanon's official army]," Landau said. "The world seems to ignore this violation. The international community should be called out [for] turning a blind eye to what Iran is doing. This should not be Israel's problem alone."
The missile factories feed "into Iran's very problematic regional profile," Landau said, "which is connected to the nuclear deal ... and should ... be on the table in the Trump administration's Iran policy review."
For now, Israel appears to be trying to deter Iran from starting up the factories, and has reportedly issued explicit warnings to Tehran to that effect.
Meanwhile, Israeli media reports claim that Iran wants to create an airbase in neighboring Syria. Iran's plans reportedly include the leasing of a ground military base for thousands of Iranian-backed Shiite militias and a naval base.
"These steps represent a move by Iran to establish a long-term presence in Syria, and [they] pose a threat to Israel," Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a dramatic statement that rejected the ceasefire in southern Syria brokered by the United States and Russia, saying that it fails to suppress Iranian attempts to consolidate its military power in the war-torn country.
"Israel is aware of Iran's expansionist goals in Syria," Netanyahu's office said in the statement.
As Tensions Rise on God's Holy Mountain, Earth Heaves With Quakes, Cyclones and Storms - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
The recent confluence of a global rash of epic natural disasters and rapidly rising tensions surrounding the Temple Mount echoes events from 2,000 years ago, when the destruction of the Temple preceded a catastrophic volcanic eruption in a distant section of the world.
On Sunday, 25,000 people were evacuated from their homes in northeast Japan as a level eight typhoon caused massive flooding. Over the weekend, eight tropical cyclones simultaneously churned through the North Pacific, something that hasn't happened in more than four decades. This followed a freak storm that hit Japan with no warning last Tuesday, pelting the Ikebukuro area with hailstones.
Not to be outdone by the heavens above, the earth made itself known by rocking and rolling in several separate locations. On Friday, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Greece and Turkey, killing 2 people and injuring over 300.
On the other side of the globe, the Long Valley Caldera in California's Eastern Sierra was hit over the weekend by a swarm of earthquakes. More than 150 earthquakes have been detected there since the start of this month. The US Geological Survey designated Long Valley Caldera's threat potential as "very high".
The sudden onset of these natural phenomena may be spiritually connected to the recent upheaval surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman, director of Ohr Chadash, told Breaking Israel News.
Arabs have been rioting for a week through the streets of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to protest the installation of metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount following a terror attack on July 14 in which three Palestinian terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers near the Mount. The incident led to a dramatic increase in tension between Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians.
Rabbi Trugman cited the case of the Roman Emperor Titus as a compelling precedent for how events harming the Jewish people have tempted the fury of the heavens.
As the Roman military commander in Judea, Titus ordered the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to be burned to the ground on the Ninth of Av, 70 CE. When he became emperor nine years later, Mount Vesuvius erupted, destroying the thriving Roman city of Pompeii. The catastrophic event took place in the same month as the destruction of the Temple.
Titus ruled as emperor for just two years, dying suddenly just a few days before the Jewish Holiday of Rosh Hashana.
"The Talmud clearly designated Titus as suffering for his sins against the Temple in a way that brought destruction into the world," Rabbi Trugman said, calling it a "spiritual butterfly effect."
The butterfly effect is a concept holding that small events can have large and unanticipated aftereffects in seemingly distant and disconnected contexts. It was originally proposed by meteorologist and pioneer of chaos theory Edward Lorenz to explain how a distant butterfly flapping its wings could influence or even lead to the creation of a tornado.
"That is really true because everything is one, and God is one," said Rabbi Trugman, though he cautioned, "There is most certainly a connection between natural events and spiritual causes, but it borders on dangerous to give reasons for natural disasters.
"Understanding the cause and effect must be done with a great deal of humility since there is only so much we can know."
Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of the Tomb of King David on Mount Zion, agreed there is a connection between the events in Israel and global natural catastrophes.
"If lies and evil are permitted to flourish in Israel, this will certainly affect other parts of the world in a negative manner," he told Breaking Israel News.
"As we move closer to geula (redemption) this will become even more so," Rabbi Berger warned.
More Preparation - By Daymond Duck -
About two months ago, I wrote an article about the battle of Gog and Magog called "Slowly Shaping Up." God told Russia to prepare herself and all her allies for that great end-of-the-age war (Ezek. 38:7).
In mid-July 2017, three stories hit the news in three days that caused me to think this is more preparation.
First, on July 13, 2017, it was reported that Russia wants the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to deploy units of its 20,000-member Collective Rapid Reaction Force (CRRF) to Syria. These troops would come from the six members of the CSTO: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
There is no guarantee that the CSTO will agree to Russia's request, but the organization is dominated by Russia and the way some people interpret the Bible, God has already said that troops from these nations will go to Syria and five out of six of them will die on the mountains of Israel (Ezek. 39:2-6).
Two of Russia's allies are: Gomer, and all his bands; and the house of Togarmah, of the north quarters: and many people with thee (Ezek. 38:6). Gomer's "bands" and the "many people" that will be with Togarmah of the north quarters may very well include troops from the CSTO nations.
Russia and her allies will "ascend and come like a storm" (Ezek. 38:9) which appears to suggest rapid development with turbulence and destruction. It could be a few weeks or months before the CSTO agrees to ascend (and it is possible that they won't agree), but this could be a good description of how that Rapid Reaction Force will act.
Something that intrigues this writer is the fact that Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Turkey already have tens of thousands of troops in Syria. Why do they need thousands more? Are they planning to attack someone else (perhaps Israel)? Are they afraid of what the U.S. and her allies might do?
Second, on July 14, 2017, it was reported that Iran has leased an airbase in the heart of Syria, and also that Iran is trying to lease a second base and a seaport. The first base will be used for fighter aircraft and the second base will be used to house about 5,000 troops. The seaport will be used to bring in more troops, weapons and supplies.
Israel is well-aware that she is the ultimate target and has made it plain that she will not accept the permanent presence of Iranian troops in Syria. Israel has informed Russia in no uncertain terms that Israel wants all of Iran's troops and weapons removed from Syria.
Third, on July 15, 2017, it was reported that Turkey has agreed to purchase two Russian S-400 missile batteries. These are Russia's latest anti-aircraft systems and they will be delivered in the next 12 months.
Two more batteries of these missiles will be manufactured in Turkey. As a purchaser of Russian weapons, Turkey is clearly moving away from NATO and into the Russian camp.
We cannot be sure when this battle will erupt but considering the preparation that is taking place, it could break out almost anytime.
This much is certain: if this war is as close as it looks, humankind is at the very end of the age.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
The Temple Mount charade - Yaakov Katz -
There is nothing better to set the Arab world on fire than false claims that the Jewish state is altering the status quo on the Temple Mount.
"The Temple Mount is in our hands."
With those famous words, Col. Motta Gur shook the soul of a nation when he announced on June 7, 1967 that his IDF paratroopers had stormed and conquered Judaism's holiest site during the Six Day War.
"In our hands" could not be farther from reality when visiting the Temple Mount this week. I've been there a number of times in the past, but when I went on Wednesday - during a short one-hour window when it was open to Jews - it was eerily different than my previous visits.
For one, the Mount was empty. There were some tourists - one Chinese group, and another from Europe - but almost no Muslims were there. One who was there, wearing a gray jalabiya and holding an umbrella to shield himself from the sun, whizzed by on an electric wheelchair. Another Arab man, a representative of the Wakf identifiable by the walkie-talkie he held in each hand, eyed Jewish visitors suspiciously, but didn't follow.
He couldn't - there were too many police officers. Four walked in front, four in the back and three on each side. Two carried cameras, filming the entire visit in case they would need to arrest and charge one of the visitors for violating the long list of rules posted at the entrance. There, Jews and foreigners alike go through metal detectors and have their bags and identity cards inspected before being allowed to ascend the Mount.
One tourist, for example, had come to the Temple Mount after doing some shopping at the nearby Arab shuk. The guard found a wooden cross and a rosary in her bag. Those had to be left in a locker, since religious paraphernalia - at least those that are not Islamic - are not allowed on the compound.
The identity of the Jewish visitors is also carefully scrutinized. Identity cards are collected, names are punched into a computer, and if something suspicious comes up, the visitor is taken aside for further questioning.
While foreigners can visit the compound alone, Jewish visitors are gathered into groups that are escorted at all times by armed policemen. Observant or not makes no difference - all Jews are forced to stay together.
For the police, there is something strange when a random Israeli decides to visit the holy site. Observant Jews are expected. Tourists are expected. But a random non-observant Israeli? That is already something strange.
Police immediately get suspicious. Either the person is a journalist or a nut. "Don't you know where you are?" was how one police officer greeted me (I was wearing a baseball cap) on Wednesday before I told him that I was a reporter.
So while the Temple Mount is the holiest site for Jews and one of the holiest sites for Muslims, it is also the scene of one of the greatest charades of the last 50 years.
Israel might officially rule the territory that encompasses the Temple Mount, but it does not have it in its hands - that only Jewish and foreign visitors were required until this week to go through metal detectors while Muslim visitors did not, is just one example.
Another is that the Temple Mount is the primary site today in Israel where religious discrimination takes place on a daily basis.
This might be necessary due to diplomatic and religious sensitivities, but the truth needs to be said: 50 years after liberating its holiest site, Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount has declined.
The charade is amplified by the Muslim campaign to erase any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. Dennis Ross, the former Middle East envoy under president Bill Clinton, told of Yasser Arafat's position on the Temple Mount during the 2000 Camp David talks.
"The only new idea he raised at Camp David was that the temple didn't exist in Jerusalem, it existed in Nablus," Ross told Fox News a year after the peace negotiations broke down. "He was denying the core of the Jewish faith."
That denial continues today. The attack last Friday when three Israeli Arabs from Umm el-Fahm killed two policemen underscores the need for all visitors to the compound to undergo security inspection.
CCTV footage of the attack, released by police, shows how the terrorists sneaked up on the policemen from within the compound.
They had already entered with weapons, and then came out and attacked the policemen who were looking in the opposite direction toward people coming in.
The attackers knew what they were doing.
Carrying out an attack on the Temple Mount has the potential to set off a religious war.
Gideon Ezra, the late Likud minister and deputy head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), used to tell me that violence on the Temple Mount has the potential to spark a third world war. That is what the terrorists seemed to be trying to achieve.
In the immediate aftermath, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acted responsibly when he put in phone calls to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah. The voices of both those leaders needed to be heard condemning the attack in an effort to prevent further violence.
The installation of the metal detectors - which Israel on Thursday was under international pressure to remove - was justified.
They are needed to ensure that arms will not again be smuggled onto the Mount, and to show that all people are equal. Jews, Christians and Muslims: everybody goes through a metal detector.
As Seth Frantzman showed in Thursday's paper, almost all religious sites around the world - from Mecca to Rome - come with extensive security measures. At Mecca, for example, there are 5,000 CCTV cameras and more than 100,000 people employed to provide security during the Hajj. At the Temple Mount, there are some cameras on the outside walls but none installed inside the actual compound, despite an agreement reached last year between Jordan, Israel and the United States.
Why? The answer is unfortunately simple and is part of the Temple Mount charade.
The Wakf knows about last Friday's attack, and understands why metal detectors are needed. Privately, they even admit to police that they know it is in their own interest.
At the same time, the Wakf needs a cause to rally its troops around. It needs to be able to delegitimize Israel, and there is nothing better to set the Arab world on fire than false claims that the Jewish state is altering the status quo on the Temple Mount. It is a charade, and everyone knows it is, but it works every time.
Israel is in a perilous situation, caught between doing what is right and what is smart. What is right is allowing religious freedom on the Temple Mount, and permitting Jews to pray at their holiest site. But then there is what is smart, which in this case means maintaining the status quo and not giving justification for further violence.
Israelis remember violence the Temple Mount has set off in the past. In 1996, the opening of a new exit to the Via Dolorosa from the Western Wall Tunnel led to deadly riots; and in September 2000, Ariel Sharon went to the Temple Mount, a visit the Palestinian Authority later used as an excuse for launching the Second Intifada.
Will this situation ever change? Probably not. But it is time to unmask the Palestinians' grand charade that perpetuates lies, historical rewrites and hatred for Israel, starting by doing what I did on Wednesday: walking through a metal detector.
Daily Jot: The divisive face of politics - Bill Wilson -
A young man who I once hired as a reporter told me a story about his childhood. He said that his dad would treat him and his brother before bedtime. Sometimes his dad would make it a competition-something like whoever gets their clothes off, pajamas on and in bed first would get ice cream instead of a lesser treat. These competitions, he said, would get fierce. But would often reduce to one brother trying to prevent the other brother from putting his pajamas on or getting into bed. That's the sorry state of politics here in America. Brothers are fighting brothers (or for those who insist on being politically correct, Brothers and Sisters) just to obstruct the other's ability to do what they were elected to do.
We have been living this divisive nightmare since before the election, but the politics of obstruction is waxing worse and worse. Instead of working together for the good of the people who elected them, politicians are doing everything they can to prevent one another from doing their business. Progressive (Communist) Caucus member Maxine Waters (D-CA) is one example. In a closed to the media Democratic fundraiser in New Hampshire, Waters reportedly said, "Mr. President, we are organizing. And we are organizing to bring you down, and bring your agenda down." She also reportedly said that President Donald Trump was "deplorable," a "liar," "dishonest," and a "bully" who she wants to see impeached.
Waters and countless others like her are so committed to bringing down the President that they have abandoned any appearance of working collaboratively to solve the problems of the nation. A July 18 ABC News-Washington Post poll indicated that 52% of registered voters believe the only thing the Democratic Party stands for is to oppose Trump. A Pew Research Center poll released July 20 found that 35% of Democrats say that knowing a friend backed Trump during the election would strain their friendship and 68% of Democrats feel more negatively about talking politics with people who back Trump. Only 13% of Republicans felt that knowing a friend supported Hillary Clinton would strain their friendship.
These statistics are not surprising given the acerbic and vulgar nature of Democratic Party attackers and the media that reports every attack and portrays Trump in a negative light. Say something enough and it begins to stick. This is dangerous to our society. As Jesus said in Matthew 12:25, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." Politics and politicians are not the answer to our challenges. They are divisive and lack civility. And when sides oppose each other so vehemently, there can be no unity. The condition of our society must change otherwise over time we will cease to exist. Those with the light of Christ have the answer. In the truth of Christ and in the length, depth and breadth of that truth is found true freedom. We need to speak light and truth in love.
Daily Devotion: An Unlikely Leader - By Greg Laurie -
And the LORD said to Gideon, "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.'" -Judges 7:2
The Israelites lived in fear of their enemies the Midianites. The Midianites had numbers so large, they were described in the Bible as being "as numerous as locusts" (Judges 6:5). They were everywhere, and the children of Israel were greatly outnumbered.
They needed to defeat the Midianites, but they needed someone to lead them. So God found a man named Gideon. When we're first introduced to Gideon in Judges 6, he was hiding from his enemies, threshing wheat. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and said, "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!" (verse 12).
I can imagine Gideon looking around and saying, "Who? Are you talking to me?" If there was anything Gideon was not at that moment, it was a mighty man of valor. But through a series of events in Gideon's life, he was transformed and became a man of great courage. He summoned the people to go into battle against the Midianites.
Then the Lord came to Gideon one day and delivered a message that I'm sure he wasn't pleased to hear: his army was too big. Maybe Gideon said, "You're joking! I love it when You joke, Lord! Too big! We're already outnumbered, and we're too big!"
But God wasn't kidding. He didn't want anyone to say they defeated the Midianites in their own strength. So He gave Gideon a test for the men that would thin out the ranks. In the end, Gideon was left with 300 men. And with 300 men God defeated the Midianites.
You see, our numbers don't have to be large. God can do a lot with a little. And God can use little people to do big things. You are never too small for God to use, but you can be too big.
FROM THE HEART
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