The Signs of the Times (24): Holy Place

editor - 2 December 2018

But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and He will give you rest from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety. Then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for His Name.”
Deuteronomy 12:10-12 (NIV)

That place that “the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for His Name” is Mount Zion/Moriah, the Temple Mount, in the heart of Jerusalem. The place where the Lord promised to bless His people, and where He would listen to their prayers, and accept the blood of innocent sacrificial animals to cover the sins of guilty people – prophetically referring to the blood of the Lamb. In that place there are now two mosques.

In the year 638 Islam conquers the Holy Land, and on the site of an octagonal Christian church from the Byzantine era, Caliph Abd al-Malik builds in 691-692 his octagonal Dome of the Rock. The mosque of Omar, or whatever they name it – like Haram al-Sharif – with its dome covered in gold leaf. Clearly visible in all the pictures of the panoramic view of the city of Jerusalem.

Upon this mosque there is a quotation from the Koran, saying several times: “Allah has no son,” clearly directed against Christians and against John 3:16, where it is written: “… For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…” (NKJV). Jesus is God’s only begotten Son, but Allah has no son, the Prophet Muhammad says.

From the other mosque located on the former Temple Square, the Al-Aqsa mosque, hatred is preached against the Jews every Friday, whereas the Bible says that Israel is God’s firstborn son (Hosea 11:1 and Exodus 4: 22-23). Hatred is being preached against God’s firstborn son and hatred against God’s only begotten Son.

In the Old Testament Jerusalem is mentioned 667 times by name; in the New Testament 144 times. In the holy scriptures of Jews and Christians, Jerusalem is the city of the great King, and with this earthly City of Jerusalem the LORD God made an everlasting Covenant – to make His Name dwell there, Psalm 132: 13-14, Ezekiel 16:62, Isaiah 2:2-4.

But what about Islam? There is no mentioning of Jerusalem in the Koran. Why is there such uproar about Jerusalem in the current Islamic world? Sometimes the impression is given that Jerusalem is just as important to Islam as it is for Judaism. But this is not true.

Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran. Although the name ‘Al-Quds’ (holy place) is mentioned, it is not undisputed that this means Jerusalem. It could very well refer to another Islamic holy place in the Southeast of Arabia, farthest removed from Mecca.

Why then is Jerusalem so important to Muslims, even so much that many are willing to give their lives for it? Why did Arafat repeatedly call for “jihad” for the holy Jerusalem? Why are children indoctrinated to give their blood for the liberation of Al-Quds? And how could Arafat in 1994 in a mosque in Johannesburg go so far as to call Al-Quds (in clear contradiction to the Koran and Islamic tradition) the most sacred place of Islam and all Muslims?

I can only find one explanation for this: because the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has chosen that place as a dwelling for His Name. And because the Jews are back in the Promised Land of Israel and have declared the city of Jerusalem to forever be the eternally undivided capital of the Jewish State of Israel.


The Signs of the Times
Many people are afraid of the future. Will the turmoil in the world lead to World War III? Or is there still hope? What do the ancient prophecies of the Bible teach us? Are we at the beginning of the end of this world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Could Israel be a sign of hope? In this new series Rev. Willem Glashouwer looks at 52 of the many signs of the times that are mentioned in the Bible. The English edition of ‘The Signs of the Times’ will be published by Christians for Israel International in the coming months.

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