Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
God's Revelation of Judgment: The Great White Throne - By Ron Ferguson -
[A]. THE PERSON AND THE BOOKS -
Rev 20:11-12 "I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away; and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds."
THE VISION - The vision came of a great white throne occupied by a figure, so awesome and so terrifying that it can only spell an awful judgment from the King of the Universe, and the ruling is against the unsaved of all ages, from Cain to the end of the Millennium. The reason for the throne is because the King sits in judgment like the eastern potentates did on rulings that they would deliver for their subjects who came before the throne. Here we have the Judge, which the Apostles' Creed would identify as the Lord Jesus Christ who "comes to judge the living and the dead." Let us just say that God the Son as the eternal Judge will occupy this throne.
John 5:22-23 "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."
It is God the Father who directs all judgment in that day into the hand of the Son of God.
John 5:27-29 "And He gave Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth - those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, and those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment."
(This is not contemporaneous - not at the same time. "God created the universe and created in me a new life." Not contemporaneous.)
THE DESCRIPTION OF THE THRONE - The resurrection of the ones to life has already happened at the Rapture that will end this Church age. That would have been over 1,007 years earlier. The throne is considered great, and that is because of the greatness of the event it presides over, and also because of the greatness of the One who sits upon it. The throne is white, and the types speak to us here. White is purity and cleanness, which is applicable to the One there. It can also speak of the absence of blood for redemption, for there is none, sadly, at that judgment.
The altar was the place of judgment in the Old Testament, and it was associated with the red of sacrifice. Here the judgment will be in association with white because there is no red of sacrifice to atone for the ones who are going to be judged here. This is serious business when the whole of the unsaved earth from the beginning of creation till the entry of this throne will stand in condemnation.
THE GREAT WHITE THRONE IS NOT FOR CHRISTIANS - Then John sees the dead standing before God, a whole multitude of all ages and cultures, all in dread fear, for there is no solid standing for them because their sins are condemning them. We cannot ever imagine what this will be like, for God has ordained that His children will never be brought into judgment, or undergo the wrath of God, which is why the Church could never be in the Tribulation. Condemnation judgment will never touch us.
Jesus was the one who stood in the place where sin was condemning Him, stood as it were before Jehovah's awful throne with the sentence of death because He was the guilty One, and condemnation was His to encounter and to be forsaken by God. He would encounter the wrath of God, and His face would be so contorted that He was unrecognizable as a son of man. All this was done for you and for me. We should have been before the great white throne, each of us, but our Lord took our place, and therefore suffered what we will never suffer. For that reason, our Substitute made sure we would never be before the great white throne.
CHRIST'S BRIDE IS WITH HIM - We may be behind the throne as His Bride, for we will be with our Lord and sharing the judgment He makes. The following verses could indicate that - 1 Cor 6:2-3 "Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, matters of this life?" Christ comes for the judgment of the nations at the Second Coming of the Lord as explained here, and His Church comes with Him, for His Bride will be with Him forever.
Matt. 25:31-33 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left."
THE THRONES - There are three thrones that will operate after the Rapture of the Church. The first of these is the judgment seat of Christ. Technically, a seat is not a throne, but I think we can say Christ's seat is a throne, for the King occupies it. It is the Bema I will do later. The second throne is the one on which the Lord sits to judge the nations (above) after the Second Coming at the end of the Great Tribulation, which is the end of the age. And the third is the great white throne of Rev 20. I think it is probable the Church will have association with all three thrones.
THOSE WHO STAND BEFORE THE THRONE - An interesting expression used in verse 12 is "the dead, the great and the small." In the use of language, we normally say "the small and the great," working upwards. God chooses the other way, "the great and the small." Why, I wonder? Well, in this world, the "great" are often those with power and influence who have risen over others and dictate what they want for themselves. We have judges, presidents, prime ministers, rulers, dictators, professors, CEOs, world sports heroes, celebrities, politicians, etc. They live privileged lives and glory often in their high and proud position. Now they all stand at the great white throne along with the peasants, the poor, the criminals, the bikers, the underprivileged, Mr. and Mrs. Ordinary Person, and those they lorded it over. Here they will have no position of privilege, but rather, will have the greater judgment.
This throne is so fearful and awesome and so dreadful that human discriminations, class, position, and power will be leveled under the immense weight of sin and the fear that hangs over the heads of the billions who are there. We cannot describe the misery, the horror and the hopelessness of that situation, and all there will have no affinity with each other, for all will be isolated because of their open sins and detached from "friends" of common destiny. The notion of the evil ones in hell having companions there and living it up in sin with the devil in control is totally erroneous and has been developed through the distortion and excesses of the Middle Ages. And so they stood before the throne, lost and despairing.
THE BOOKS - The books were opened, we are told. What are these books? Frankly, we do not know, but they have to do with the judgment, so I believe them to be a record of every individual life of every individual who is unsaved. It would seem that the deeds of every one is on account, and all the sins will be on record, all sins great and small. This will be awful, for the whole life of open and hidden sins will be openly declared to each one, one by one. They will stand condemned, for there is no remedy, no possibility of forgiveness; they will be as guilty as Adam, who hid himself from the presence of God, only that these people will not be able to hide from the presence of God. Just one sin will condemn them, for the sin stands in stark contrast to the righteousness of God, who is the Judge on this throne. These books will contain it all.
There is a television show called "This Is Your Life," which is positive highlighting of good things in someone's life. The great white throne will highlight everything, and all will stand fearful and undone and ashamed. However, here there is no hope for any of the multitude assembled. That is the part so sad.
THE JUDGEMENT DEEDS - When I was in Prep 3 or something like that at school (in those days we had the Preparatory years before the Grades), I can clearly remember one teacher telling us at school a story that for every good thing we did, a nail would be hit into a board (God's doing), and for every bad thing, a nail was removed. At the end, God would put us in heaven if there were nails in the board. In other words, if the account was on the good side. I went home that day as a 5 or 6- year-old and tried to do good things! What this teacher was ascribing to were good works and the good outweighing the bad. This is not God's way. There is no other way of salvation except through the shed blood of Christ, through repentance and acceptance of His personal redeeming sacrifice.
The dead, those not in Christ, will stand before the throne, and they will be judged according to the things written in the books. It is interesting that the expression "books" (plural) is used, and there must be lots of them. I do not know what is on record, except the account of sins will be the Prosecutor's brief and will form the evidence of condemnation. They will be judged from what is written in the books.
THE BOOK OF LIFE - We are told another book was opened, the Book of Life, and this will be used also in the judgment of these lost souls. But what is the Book of Life? And why might this book be used for this group, which is already condemned? To answer these questions, we must first try to determine what is the Book of Life, and I think it is fair to say that we cannot be sure of this one. As far as I can ascertain, there are two main views on this book, which are these:
(1). It is a book kept in the heavens where the names of all the redeemed are entered when they come into faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or when declared righteous through faith and obedience as with the Old Testament saints. This would then make the book, a book of redemption or eternal life, and I think this has been the more common view.
(2). The Book of Life contains the names (or identities) of all ever born on the face of the earth, which makes it a book of the living, or even a book of the conceived, even though the problem arises with the stillborn and even the aborted ones after conception; but this is a whole new and ethically complex subject, raising the question of when conception might lead to the soul and spirit making up a triune person. In this second view, it is thought that, for the unsaved, upon death or rejection of eternal life through unrepentance or disbelief, a person's name is removed from that book, leaving only the redeemed on the pages. This book is used as a final proof for these unsaved and condemned, in that they have no claim to God's presence and that The Lord upon the throne is just and righteous.
DEGREES OF PUNISHMENT - I now want to touch on a subject that has been occupying my mind for some time, and I hasten to say this is totally my idea. I have no evidence for it, but I shall present my thoughts on it. Before I do so, I will list a number of passages; and as we read them, I want you to see in them degrees of punishment.
Luke 12:46-48 "The master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him, and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will shall receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more."
Matt 10:14-15 "Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake off the dust of your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city."
Matt 11:20-24 "Then He began to reproach the cities in which most of His miracles were done because they did not repent. 'Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You shall descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you."
Matt 12:36-37 "I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned."
Matt 12:41 "The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this generation at the judgment, and shall condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here."
Rom 2:4-8 "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath, and indignation."
[B]. GOD IS JUST AND RIGHTEOUS - Throughout the Old Testament, God is seen as merciful, and His judgments dispensed according to the crimes and faithlessness of His people. Once they gained the promised land, when they sinned, He brought against them the Philistines. But when their sin became gross and so severe, He brought them into captivity by Assyria and Babylon with judgments so severe. In my current understanding, God's penalty is commensurate with the crime. Do you see that in the passages above?
I think it is important to recognize in God, a just penalty in judgment where sins are dealt with accordingly. The question is sometimes asked, "What about the heathen who have never heard of salvation in Jesus Christ and who died in the millennia past - are they in hell or what, and is this fair?" Then again, "What about the good person, the really lovely good person who has spent a life in going good for people?" These questions are very valid, but we must also mention that the following considerations apply:
"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). "As it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one. All have turned aside. Together they have become useless. There is none who does good. There is not even one'" (Rom 3:10-12).
Now we must try to balance all this against the great white throne judgment. It is not easy, and I don't have a perfect, satisfying solution. God is just and does it correctly.
NONE WILL HAVE AN EXCUSE - The Bible tells us in Romans 1 that the heathen world is without excuse, having the ability to see and claim God in creation. Romans also tells us that no one is really good, and goodness is measured by the standard of God Himself. No one reaches that standard; therefore, no one is good.
That being said, we know God is a just God and that He punishes according to the crime and the responsibility and accountability. For that reason, I believe the books that are opened at the great white throne will expose all the sins of those present, and they are judged according to their sins. And God, being fair, will take into account the sinfulness of each sin to pronounce a penalty worthy of that sin. Therefore, I believe that the horrendous crimes will suffer a greater punishment than the less horrendous sins. We know all unsaved end in the lake of fire, but in that place, I expect there to be degrees of punishment.
Hitler and Stalin and various popes, and especially the greatest murderer of all in history, Mao Zedong, will have the severest of penalties. Those of Tyre and Sidon and Sodom will be less penalized than the people who saw and heard Jesus' ministry, yet rejected it. It will all lie in God's hands; He is the Judge, and Abraham's prayer for Sodom and Gomorrah sets it out correctly - Gen. 18:25 "Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?" We must leave this matter there for now, leave it in the hands of the Lord.
We then have a verse which explains this scene in a little more detail, and it is this one:
DEATH AND HELL EMPTIED - Rev 20:13 "The sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them, and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds."
The people standing before the great white throne have come from the sea and death and hades. This is not difficult, for it includes all who have died through the ages, and all these had their abode in death, having died on the land or in the sea, even in space in our generation. They all were in hell, which is "sheol" in Hebrew or "hades" in Greek. Same place. The grave, death, hell, sheol, and hades are all the same. Hell used to be in two sections, hell and paradise, but no longer.
The unsaved dead of all generations will be resurrected for the great white throne; therefore, we assume they will have some type of body (though maybe not necessary) as they stand there en masse waiting their turn. For it says, "every one of them." The resurrection of verse 13 is the resurrection of the unsaved because all those in Christ Jesus are resurrected at the Rapture, and the murdered saints of the Tribulation are raised before the 1,000 years begins. Rev 20:4-6, the First Resurrection.
This same verse in Rev 20:13 says all these will be judged according to their deeds. God has a record of them, and only one sin is enough to condemn a man, as seen with Adam who was banished from the garden through one act of disobedience, and who died that day according to the promise of God; but it also began the path of physical death. These evil deeds that belong to the condemned at the judgment throne will be under consideration, and they will suffer the penalty, but the very fact that deeds are mentioned again makes me think there are degrees of punishment resulting from this judgment.
[C]. THE FINAL JUDGEMENT - Rev. 20:13-15 "The sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them: and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."
The judgment is concluded; the sentences have been passed; the condemned stand forlornly because nothing remains for them except for an eternal separation from all that is good, yea, from God Himself. Then we progress to the ultimate act of eternal death, the verdict of punishment when all those standing there, and death itself, along with Hades (the grave/hell), are cast into the lake of fire. This is eternal, but can we comprehend eternity? Can we grasp eternal death? Or, for that matter, can mortal human beings even grasp the concept of eternal life? We are mortals in time, and heirs of eternity, but our destiny is concluded in time.
WHAT IS THE LAKE OF FIRE? - But what is the lake of fire, and what is its purpose? We shall answer the second part first. This place and term are only contained in Revelation, though the idea is known to Isaiah. The first usage is Rev 19:20, where the world leader/Antichrist (beast) and the false prophet were seized and thrown alive into the lake of fire. The next, in Rev 20:10, is where Satan is thrown in there to join the duo of evil already there. Maybe these three are the only ones at that stage in this lake. The other references to the lake of fire are in the remainder of chapter 20, applying to the great white throne judgment. When you think into it, the Antichrist and False Prophet will be the only sentient human beings ever not to appear before either the Judgment Seat of Christ or the Great White Throne.
We have many shortened references to the lake of fire in the gospels and even in the Old Testament, such as "eternal punishment" (Matt 25:46), "forever and forever" (Rev 14:11), "the eternal fire" Matt 18:8), "the furnace of fire" (Matt 13:42), "unquenchable fire" (Mark 9:43).
Mark speaks of it in a statement - "where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:48). Isaiah used this term - Isa 66:24 "Then they shall go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me, for their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind."
The purpose of the lake of fire is clear from this verse - Matt. 25:41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.'" It was God's eternal intention that the lake of fire was to be the abode of Satan and the fallen angels, and that is why it was created. The outcome of that is that those who follow Satan will share that place also. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should repent, but failure to do so means eternity will be spent in the same abode as Satan.
To answer the next thought, "What is the lake of fire?" is more difficult. The lake is not hell; it's not Hades. We know it is literal and horrible, has a purpose, and is eternal. The biblical descriptions of it are all similar and use words such as these - "burning, fire and brimstone, eternal, smoke, furnace." I would leave it at that and would not get entangled about that most somber matter. "Depart from Me." It is not pleasing to write on this subject because of the seriousness of it. It is so sad.
We will continue next time with "The Christian - The Judgment Seat of Christ."
What is Iran's strategy amid Israel-Hezbollah tensions? - Seth J. Frantzman - https://www.jpost.com/arab-israeli-conflict/what-is-irans-strategy-amid-israel-hezbollah-tensions-636718
Iran expert argues that a reading of some Iranian press may hint at the regime's complex policy during the tensions.
Iran has been surprisingly quiet amid the growing Israel-Hezbollah tensions. Part of that is due to the fact that Iran is running a massive military drill off its coast, where it has been using new missiles and showing the US it can harass a model aircraft carrier.
However, Iran's real position may be more complex, because it knows the high stakes of escalation and different advisers within the government, though the ayatollah's office and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps may prefer quiet over massive conflict.
Yossi Mansharof of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, an expert on Iran, argues that a reading of some Iranian press may hint at the regime's complex policy during the tensions.
Kayhan newspaper, which is conservative and close to Ayatollah Khamenei's office, initially reported on July 27 that Hezbollah anti-tank fire had destroyed an Israeli tank, killing five IDF soldiers and injuring 13 others, Mansharof points out.
Why does this matter? Because Iranian media, close to the leadership, was seeking to claim that Israelis were killed and wounded.
"This is a newspaper close to the ayatollah," says Mansharof. "This is a signal of Iran to Hezbollah to halt the escalation and not do more."
He argues that Iran might be seeking to showcase Hezbollah's abilities and therefore prevent a larger escalation. Hezbollah had vowed to retaliate after claiming one of its fighters was killed on July 20. This meant Hezbollah must do something to show it "retaliated."
But if Iran could say that Hezbollah already "succeeded" then there would be no need for more escalation. Hezbollah has done the opposite, arguing that the incident on July 27 in which Israel said it thwarted an attack, had never happened and that therefore Hezbollah still reserves a right to attack.
Hezbollah now seems to be celebrating humiliating Israel by keeping Israel in a state of alert.
What does Iran want in all this? Mansharof says that they may want to preserve the ongoing precision-guided missile project, in which the IRGC Quds Force seeks to significantly improve the missile threat of Hezbollah against Israel.
"Kayhan seeks to present Israel as a weak country and suggests it is not a powerful player in the region," he says.
The long-term goal for Iran is to preserve Hezbollah as a major threat to Israel and to be able to use it to retaliate when Iran wants, perhaps for other incidents that Iran claims to want revenge for. That means Iran may prefer other types of strikes at Israel or Israel's interests for the moment, but not a conflict with Hezbollah.
Iran must also contend with other issues. It wants to remove the US from Iraq and to challenge US forces in the region through similar threats that Hezbollah poses to Israel. This puts Tehran in a complex place at the moment.
If Iranian media is an indication, it is not playing up the Israel-Hezbollah tensions. It might wish they would go away for now, to be raised at a later date.
Peace and Safety in Perspective - By Terry James -
The prophetic cry for peace and safety is almost always seen as involving fear generated by the threat of the breakout of war. Particularly, the prophecy is thought to be scheduled to emerge to the forefront of end-times conditions as Christ's return nears.
Further, that almost universal cry is believed by many to be centered around the fear of war breaking out because of Israel confronting its immediately surrounding, hostile neighbors.
The following prophecy by the apostle Paul frames the matter:
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3)
The apostle's use of pronouns makes it clear that he delineates between the people he is addressing (fellow believers) and "them"-those upon whom sudden judgment is scheduled to fall.
And, incidentally, this is exactly the same pronouncement Jesus makes upon the rebellious generation when He next catastrophically intervenes. (Read Luke 17:26-30.)
This means that the judgment of God is meant for those who don't know Christ for salvation and who will be crying for "peace and safety" when the "day of the Lord" is introduced by a "thief in the night" intervention.
The question then arises: Why does Paul say that "of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you"?
He then goes on to tell us that we know perfectly well that the 'thief in the night" experience will introduce the day of the Lord. He says further that this time will be marked by "they" who will be crying for "peace and safety."
This being a heads-up to us-Paul's "brethren"; that is, Christians-it is essential to understand the matter of "peace and safety." This is how we can know the general time frame of the "thief in the night" event.
Folks, that's the time of the Rapture!
We should, Paul tells us, "know perfectly well" that when they are crying "peace and safety," the Rapture is at hand. Judgment will then fall on those who aren't our "brethren," the lost who will be left behind when Jesus calls to the Church.
We've been hearing for decades the "cry for peace and safety." The efforts to bring about peace in the world, particularly, in the Middle East, are legendary. The effort has been never ending, yet there are wars and rumors of war, and the quest goes on.
I want us to consider this matter from a different perspective for a moment.
There is a cry for peace and safety by the world's populations at this very time in history. As a matter of fact, the fear of war being waged by the tiny entity called COVID-19 is so great that it shut down the entire movement of earth's peoples for the most part. It has more than 90 percent of people in America believing they must wear masks to survive the battle against the coronavirus.
Media and governments tell us we must stay sheltered and apart from each other until a vaccine is developed and vaccinations are mandated and injected. The world is crying "peace and safety" in a way never witnessed. They want freedom of fear from an enemy they can't even see.
Christians are also crying for "peace and safety." It is, however, for a much more profound sort.
Almost every email I receive from those who look at the world through the lens of Bible prophecy are expressing their wishes for Christ to Rapture His own. They want to escape the things they see about to overwhelm this judgment-bound planet. They want the peace and safety offered by the glory of Heaven. It is a righteous cry for help.
Let's take heart with great anticipation as we see that day approaching. Let's look with thoughts of the "blessed hope" of Titus 2:13 at the balance of the prophecy Paul left believers with before he departed for Heaven through the Romans' sword of beheading.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. (1 Thessalonians 5:4-11)
Jews Allowed Access to Running Water on Temple Mt Bringing them Closer to Temple Service - by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - www.breakingisraelnews.com
"He led me back to the entrance of the Temple, and I found that water was issuing from below the platform of the Temple Ezekiel 48:1 (The Israel BibleTM)
While the US is rocked by anti-racism protests, a situation exists in Jerusalem that is even more racist than the US before the civil rights movement. The water fountains on the Temple Mount were reserved for the exclusive use of Muslims while Jews were not permitted to drink at all. But thanks to a group of determined Jews, that situation is slowly changing.
Following Israel's capture of the Temple Mount in the 1967 Six-Day War, the Israeli government handed day-to-day control of the area to the Muslim Waqf religious authorities, overseen by the Jordanian government. Israel retains security control of the area. The conditions established at the time gave the exclusive right to pray at the site to the Muslims.. Jews were prohibited from bringing any religious items or books onto the Temple Mount.
In addition to prayer, Jews were prohibited from drinking at the site and, as a result, prohibited from using the water fountain in the Temple Mount Compound. For many, this prohibition was disturbingly reminiscent of the racist policy of 'separate but equal' in the pre-Jim Crow days in the southern US. But the situation on the Temple Mount was even more egregious as Jim Crow allowed for separate water fountains for blacks whereas on the Temple Mount, there were no fountains designated for use by Jews.
Michael Miller, a tour guide at the site and an activist of the "Students for the Temple Mount" movement, was detained by police on Monday after videoing a young Jewish man drinking from the fountain.
"Even up to one year ago, Jews were not even permitted to touch the faucets and the police physically prevented Jews from approaching the fountain," Miller said. "Jews who attempted to do so were arrested and detained."
"There was a concern that this would provoke Muslim violence. Christians were allowed to drink from the fountain because there was also a concern because before a Jew drinks water, he has to say a blessing, thanking God, and this was strictly forbidden. This was too much like prayer, which the Muslims find offensive. Even mumbling, moving your lips, closing your eyes, or holding your hands in a prayer-like manner would get a Jew arrested and ejected, sometimes even banned."
Miller explained that the current policy is that the police must either allow Jews to use the water fountain or they must provide them with bottled water. The situation is currently at an ambiguous in-between state.
"There is nothing illegal or any official policy prohibiting Jews from using the fountain. That would be absurd and indefensible. But at the same time, the police are trying to prevent the Muslims from rioting so they keep it low-key. Jews are now being permitted to drink and even eat on the Temple Mount but not in sight of the Muslims. If it becomes too obvious, the police will take people aside but they can't kick us off or arrest us."
A case concerning this injustice was brought in 2017 to the Israeli High Court by the Friends of the Temple organization, headed by Yaakov Hayman. Iris Edri, the lawyer representing Jewish rights, emphasized that during the American Civil Rights movement, the police protected black children on their way to learn at white schools because of the principle of equality.
"If there is violence, the police should relate to the source of the violence, and not the victim," Edri told Breaking Israel News. "On the Temple Mount, the police are relating to the Jews as an enemy, as a security threat."
"Jews are by inclination sheeplike but we have the Biblical requirement not to be," Hayman said, citing the Book of Numbers.
They crouch, they lie down like a lion, Like the king of beasts; who dare rouse them? Blessed are they who bless you, Accursed they who curse you! Numbers 24:9
" When Jews stop act like the Bible tells us too, things begin to change in a Biblically positive direction," Hayman said. "More Jews are going up to the Temple Mount all the time. The barriers are going to fall. It is inevitable and it is prophesied."
Rabbi Mordechai Makover, the former director of the Temple Institute and head of the Mikdash (Temple) Educational Center, sees the recent developments as a mixed blessing.
"It is undeniable that recently we have seen many positive and necessary developments on the Temple Mount," Rabbi Makover said. "In order to perform the Temple service, Jews must eat and drink on the Temple Mount. It has deep spiritual significance connected to bringing sustenance and peace to the world."
But Rabbi Makover also warned that these developments might represent a harmful precedent and the beginning of a path that can only end in disaster for the entire world.
"It is destructive and demeaning that we are only 'permitted' these basic things by the Muslims," Rabbi Makover said. "It is as if they are the masters when we are forbidden from having any master besides Hashem, especially in His house. This is the wrong path. The main message here has to be that no other nation or religion can establish the rules in God's House of Prayer."
"Are the Muslims the masters that permit the slaves to drink? God brought us out of Egypt and we serve him. He provided water in the desert, He provides water for the entire world. Hashem is the master of all the water."
The Israeli High Court established equal rights for Jews to pray at their holiest site in a 2015 case decided in favor of Rabbi Yehudah Glick, a former member of Knesset, stating that it was the duty of the police to protect the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount. It is only recently that this right is being upheld in practice, though in a semi-clandestine manner with the grudging acceptance of the police.
Miller reported that Jews are now permitted to pray quietly in a quorum in areas that are out of sight from the Muslims. This is done in accordance with the Health Ministry guidelines. If Muslims appear or complain, the prayer is stopped and the Jews are removed from the site.
Anti-Jewish inequality is still very much the status quo on the Temple Mount despite the law mandating against it. Jews are required to undergo rigorous security and background checks before entering whereas Muslims refuse to pass through metal detectors of the type found outside every public building in Israel. Jews must be accompanied by police as they perform a strictly limited circuit of the site. Jews are also limited in the times they visit and their time on the site is also strictly limited.
Daily Jot: Your guide to COVID-19 vaccinations - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
A July 27th post on the White House website cites President Trump as saying "Vaccines are coming along really well. Likewise therapeutics. Moving faster than anticipated." Through Operation Warp Speed, the government has invested in more than five vaccines and teamed up with multiple pharmaceutical companies to safely produce as many effective vaccines as possible, according to the White House. These pharmaceutical companies include AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer, some of which have the backing of the controversial Gates Foundation. The same day, another group of doctors on Capitol Hill were telling a far different story of how successful COVID 19 treatments were censored for political reasons.
Health Impact News reported the Monday news conference held by a group of doctors calling themselves America's Frontline Doctors. Since the news conference their website has been taken down and video of their statements has been banned by Twitter and other social media outlets. The doctors said that nobody needs to die from COVID because all of them are successfully treating patients with effective cures that are being censored for political reasons. Health Impact News reported, that Dr. Stella Immanuel from Houston, Texas "stated that she studied medicine in Nigeria where she used Hydroxychloroquine for malaria patients, and is therefore very experienced with this medication, and that she has now treated over 350 COVID patients in Texas with Hydroxychloroquine, and none of them have died."
In yet another video, Dr. Carrie Madej, an internal medicine specialist in McDonough, Ga with 19 years experience, raised red flags on the companies, including AstraZeneca and Moderna, developing the COVID vaccines. Skipping animal trials and going straight to human trials, she says, is bad science that may result in permanent DNA alterations, several types of cancer for vaccine users, and other exponentially accumulated and toxic side effects. Questions you should consider before taking ANY vaccine include: Does it include engineered, synthetic, genetically modified cell lines or materials; Does it have DNA nanotechnology; Does it contain immortalized, MRC5 bordered fetal cell lines from aborted fetuses; Does it contain aluminum and/or mercury derivatives? The answer of YES to any of these questions is cause for great concern.
For me, another question is about effectiveness. How effective is the vaccine? A lot will say 50/50..but it does this or that. Not good enough. Big pharma plus big government plus fear equals incalculable disaster. As Christians, we should have healthy discernment about what goes into our bodies and why. Consider 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, which asks: "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are." Toxins, aborted baby cells, cancer cells, nanotechnology, DNA alterations in a vaccine for the flu? We are going to have some choices to make. Choose wisely.
Daily Devotion: Just Turn It Off - by Greg Laurie -
Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. -Ephesians 6:11
One morning many years ago, our sons Christopher and Jonathan were sitting at the table eating breakfast and watching cartoons. Christopher was around 11 or 12 at the time, and Jonathan was still young enough to be in a high chair.
Christopher was running behind schedule, so my wife, Cathe, said, "Christopher, turn off the TV, go upstairs, make your bed, and get ready for school."
But he just kept eating cereal and watching the cartoon. So Cathe told him, "Christopher, did you hear what I said? Turn off the TV, go upstairs, make your bed, and get ready for school."
Christopher ignored her again, so she said it a third time.
But before she could come back for the fourth time, Jonathan climbed out of his high chair, walked over to the TV, turned it off, and then said to his brother, "Go make your bed!"
And amazingly, Christopher got up from the table and walked upstairs.
Sometimes the best thing to do is just turn it off.
Temptation starts in the mind, so be practical. Did you know that if you're sitting in a movie theater and something comes on that you shouldn't watch, you can actually get up and walk out?
Or, more likely these days, if you're watching TV and a scene comes on that you shouldn't be seeing, don't watch it anymore. Turn it off.
And if you're married and considering an adulterous fling, here's what you need to know: your sin will find you out (see Numbers 32:23). You're headed down a road that will lead you to a miserable end.
If only we would think these things through and take practical steps to protect ourselves.
We need to keep our spiritual armor on at all times. We need to keep our guard up and be aware that the enemy can hit us at any time.
FROM THE HEART
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