The most volatile issue in the world today is Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. This is clearly predicted in Bible prophecy for the last days. Virtually all of the predicted signs that herald the imminent return of Jesus Christ are already fulfilled. But chief among these signs is the accelerating conflict over ownership of the Temple Mount.
The Hebrew prophets predicted that a conflict over Jerusalem between Israel and the surrounding nations, which are all Muslim today, would be a great burden to the whole world. The prophet Zechariah predicted that this conflict would ignite the last war of this present world (Zechariah 12:2-3).
In the light of this, what the Muslim mufti of Jerusalem recently announced is of utmost importance. According to the Jerusalem Post, Sheikh Ikrema Sabri declared in last Friday's sermon in the Al Aqsa mosque, "The Temple Mount belongs only to the Muslims, who will not allow anyone to interfere in their internal affairs, including the Israeli authorities. The Israeli government and Jerusalem municipality have been attempting for years to establish new facts on the ground in the Haram al Sharif (Temple Mount) with the aim of taking control of it."
To those familiar with Bible prophecy, these words are like throwing a match into a gasoline reservoir. These words could actually set the stage for Armageddon.
For decades there had been a relative calm concerning the Temple Mount. When Israel re-captured old Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in June of 1967, they were respectful of the Muslim holy sites. In fact, the conquering general, Moshe Dayan, turned over the keys to the Temple Mount to the Jordanian authorities who had traditionally kept watch over the site. He only specified that all religions should have equal access to their holy places and their religious rights unhindered. This was made a matter of Israeli law governing Jerusalem.
This all began to change into increasing conflict when Yasser Arafat appointed Palestinian Sheikh Sabri as grand mufti of Jerusalem and head of the Temple Mount guardians called the Waqf. He has incited violence from the beginning of his appointment.
But this latest announcement is something that has brought Islam into direct conflict with Israeli rights that go back 3,000 years in history. From the time that King Solomon built the First Temple, the site has been the heart and soul of Judaism.
For at least the last nine years, the Muslims have illegally tried to remove all archeological evidence of a historical Jewish presence on the Temple Mount.
Since the Palestinian authority took over the Temple Mount, they have illegally changed the status of the Temple Mount. According to the Jerusalem Post, "In 1996, Palestinian Islamic clerics changed the accepted status quo that had been preserved for generations and converted two ancient underground Second Temple period structures into a new large mosque. Both structures, known as Solomon's Stables and the Eastern Hulda Gate passageway, were never mosques before. The new mosque extends over an area of 1.5 acres and has become the largest mosque in Israel, able to accommodate 10,000 people."
The intentions of the Waqf are clear: They plan to make the whole Temple Mount into a mosque so that a worldwide Jihad can be declared if anyone seeks to share the site. They are defying both Jewish and Christian rights to this area. They totally discount Biblical history concerning Jewish and Christian rights to Jerusalem.
God predicted through Moses that Israel would be destroyed and dispersed twice in its history (Deuteronomy 28). But Moses and other prophets predicted that they would twice be restored. After the second restoration, Israel will build the Third Temple just before the Messiah, Jesus, comes to set up God's kingdom on earth. Jesus himself predicted the event that will touch off the final war. It will be the placing of an ultimate sacrilege in the holiest place of the Temple. This is technically called in prophecy the "abomination of desolation" (Matthew 24:15 & 21-22).
For this "abomination" to happen, there has to be a Jewish temple rebuilt on its ancient site. Since the Muslims have now elevated Jerusalem to be a holy site equal to Mecca – and since the Israelis have a religious passion for Jerusalem that predates the Muslim claims by at least 2,300 years – a catastrophic conflict is guaranteed.
If you want to know what time it is on God's prophetic clock, keep your eyes on the Temple Mount. The timetable for all of these events to take place was significantly advanced by the mufti's declaration and actions.Hal Lindsey is the best-selling author of 20 books, including "Late Great Planet Earth." He writes this weekly column exclusively for WorldNetDaily and maintains a website where he provides up-to-the-minute analysis of today's world events in the light of ancient prophecies.By Hal Lindsey;
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