Excerpt, Part I, From "News from Israel," August 2010
But I couldn't help but notice that gray mosque not far away, with the silverish dome, despite it being cast in the shade of the limelight and attention focused on the Dome of the Rock.
What does the author mean by "Myth?" Now, after all these years, I have through this article come to know the significance of the lesser Moslem structure and what it means to Moslems.
To me the structure and its location speak of the traditional and on-going aggressive Moslem strategy to destroy all Christian sites and substitute their own triumphalist mosques and shrines--and they have the money from vast petrodollar incomes to do it! Why? Novitzky gives the history, that tells how the mosque is squatting on the ruins of a historic church! That was news to me. I thought the Temple Mount had been only Jewish, but did not know of any churches built there, unless they were Crusader-era churches which later on were destroyed by the Moslems. Yet the earliest church on the site was built by Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine in the 4th century.
What does this matter today? For one thing, the Moslems are rigorously, even violently restricting any use of the Mount for Christians (except for guided tours, on which you must not pray!), not to mention Jews--which is hardly their right to do, despite the laws that restrict the authority over the site to Moslems (laws approved by the Israelis who conquered the site in the 1967 war from the Kingdom of Jordan which had earlier seized it).
But do Christians have any prior right to the site, even so? That is a good question. Just because the Christian foundation predates the Moslem's on this revered site of the Jewish temple, does that justify any Christian claim to it? Or does God only recognize the Jewish claim to it, and everyone else, Moslem and Christians, are Gentile usurpers?
I don't have answers to these truly burning questions over which so much blood and lives have been expended for centuries and will continue to be shed until Christ comes and establishes his 1,000 year Reign of Peace. I just recall that Jesus said Jerusalem would be "trampled by the Gentiles" for a certain period. Well, it indeed has been trampled and mauled and spoiled and desecrated and defiled and destroyed and neglected and and in every way blasphemed by us Gentiles--Christians, fire-worshiping Zoroastrians from Persia, and Moslems of many different empires and nations and peoples, Perhaps you have the answers--and more power to you if you understand what is going on here! But this article excerpt should help me and others like me who don't know much about Moslem agendas to gain more understanding, so that we can deal with the central issues represented by the presence of the Al-Aqsa mosque (not to mention the Dome of the Rock)on the hotly disputed Temple Mount.
I don't care what the gawky tourists with the nifty cameras think they see there. The Temple Mount is like a witches' cauldron of foul-smelling, toxic elements always threatening to boil over. Where did this all start anyway? Well, the scriptures, particularly the words of Christ, tell us precisly it all began here:
"And as he went out of the temple, one of the disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here? And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." (Mark 13: 1-2)
Can you just pause a moment with me, and try to imagine the effect that statement had on the disciples? This temple was the greatest and most beautiful edifice in the entire world! Yet Jesus said there would come a day when not one stone would set upon another, and all would be thrown down! Surely, they must all have felt like they had been kicked in the stomach! All that glory and seeming favor of God utterly destroyed and swept away? Was Jesus mad? That thought must have crossed more than one mind. Wasn't he being sacrilegious too? It was almost a blasphemous statement, to say such a thing against the holiest place on earth, the Temple of God at Jerusalem. But Jesus said it--and we know it came to pass exactly as he said it would, through the Romans in 79 A.D.
The methodical, ferocious, vengeful, pagan, idolatrous Romans (who hated Jews as much as the Jews hated heathen Romans) did such a good job of erasing the Temple, in fact, that the Moslems today can point to the site and say there never was a Jewish temple, since there is no evidence of it, not even the slightest ruin. As for the Wailing Wall, the "Kotah" of the Jews where they say their prayers, that is a supporting buttress-wall for the platform, not a wall of the Temple Mount itself. So the Second Temple is gone--vanished from the site, and the Moslems are in control of the site, with two shrines and mosques dominating the area. Jerusalem is, to all appearances, a Muslim Arab city which they call Al-Quds, but of which a portion is "occupied" by the Israelis temporarily while they garner sufficient world opinion and power in order to oust the Israelis forever so that it can become the capital of a Moslem Palestinian State.
Can we understand how this came about, ever got to this point? Novitzky's article will no doubt give us some genuine insights from history itself.--Ed.
Just to remind you: after the Jewish/Arab War of 1948, and the restoration of of Israel in accordance with the prophetic books of the Holy Scriptures, a UN resolution was proposed for the. internationalism of Jerusalem. But Jordan did not adhere to this and annexed off the East part of the city, including the Temple Mount. After this, neither Jews nor Christians had access to this territory with its holy sites [Jordan's King Hussain was not really the friend of the West he was portrayed to be, for he hated Israel and attacked Israel every chance he got, he was the one who destroyed Jewish synagogues in Jerusalem, as well as kept Jews from reaching the Wailing Wall, and even destroyed the Jewish quarter of the city, which had been Jewish for untold centuries before Jordan was even a gleam in the eye of UN officials. The curse of God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, on this wild, pricking, bloody thornbush of Jordan for this! Yet God has a plan for Jordan even it cannot guess: it will serve as the sanctuary for Jews fleeing the sack and destruction of Jerusalem by the Anti-Christ during the Tribulation. Petra, which is in south-eastern Jordan in the desert wilderness, is the best site for the Jewish refuge which will preserve the last remnant of Israelis who have fled the Anti-Christ. I recall touring part of Jordan, and even the children seemed hostile in spirit, which shows that the ancient spirit of enmity to God's people, Jewish and Christian, is flaming in Jordan's people and will draw destruction upon them if they do not repent.
Also, at a meeting of Christians in Amman, the capital of Jordan, I got to meet some Christian leaders there, and they spoke of how difficult it was there, how they faced persecution from the Moslems in their work. I and my group were staying at a very nice hotel, but we spent a restless night there despite our comfortable beds and attractive rooms, for there is no rest at all in that demon-oppressed land, thanks to the hostility Jordan has for Christians and Jews. Jordan's King, by the way, covered the Dome of the Rock with gold. Why? That handsome little tinpot king set up by Great Britain, Hussain from the Hashemite family of Arabia, clearly wanted to make it the premier Moslem shrine in that city, to mark the city with Islam's splendor and glory, to say to all Christians and Jews, "This is our temple mount forever, and you shall never build upon it again, if we have anything to say about it!" So he took gold his impoverished little kingdom of mostly desert sand and rock could scarcely afford and plated the huge Dome of the Rock--and every bit of that gold is contaminated with Moslem spite and hatred, with anti-semitic cursing, with religious falsehood, with evil and outright blasphemy. Can you imagine how that beautiful dome looks like in the holy eyes of God Most High? Hussain might as well have plastered it with manure, not gold, and saved the gold, for it is probably no different in God's eyes. All that shimmering blue beauty of the exquisitely decorative tile-work on the walls and the shining, extravagant gold of the dome shall be blown away to dust someday, how I do not know, but the Scriptures say that the wicked, and their works, will be swept away like chaff in the wind! Praise be to God, that Christ is coming to set all things straight that man has messed up so terribly with sin and error!--Ed.].
Only after the liberation of East Jerusalem, as also Judea and Samaria (generally called the "West Bank" today), by the Israeli army in the Six-Day War in June 1967, were the holy and unholy sites open to all, including Muslims. After the successful battle between the Israeli commanding officer, Moshe Dayan, and the Muslims responsible for the mosque on the Temple Mount, however, a fateful agreement was reached which is not contested to the present day: Israel only had the political and military supremacy over the Temple Mount, and let the religious supervision to the Arabs [a fatal mistake by Moshe Dayan, a secularist Jew who really cared little or nothing about the religious significance of the site, which has brought endless woe!--Ed.].
The City of the Great King
According to the Bible, which is as relevant now as then for Jews and Christians, the whole of the land of Israel (in Hebrew called "Eretz Yisrael") belongs to God (Lev. 25:23, Hosea 9:3, Psalm 83:12, John 1:11, and many others). Its borders are determined, among other places, in Gen. 13:15 and Exodus 31:13, and the land has been given to the Jewish people as an "eternal posession." (it is noteworthy that the Qu'ran also confirms the fact in the Surahs 5:24 and 7: 137, only it was Allah who gave "the children of Israel the "East and West of the land," meaning the land east and west of Jordan," as heritage.") [But have you ever heard the Palestinians quoting Surahs 5 and 7? No, they would rather drop dead than quote their own scriptures guaranteeing the Jews possession of Israel! Think of this! Are you as amazed as I am--that they have it written in their own scriptures that the Jews belong to this land and it belongs to them, yet they constantly seek to destroy the Jews and take the land away from them, all the while claiming it is theirs by right! By what right? They have no right whatsoever to it. They can live in Jerusalem if they want (and 80,000 Arabs do), but they can't seize and rule over it with their Sharia law and treat it as a Moslem land, for it was never a Palestinian state on its own, it was only a conquered Jewish kingdom and later a Byzantine Christian province before the Moslems came storming up from Arabia. That shows their basic hypocrisy and animus for the Jews and their land given them forever by God. They contradict their own scriptures in the Q'uran, they resist their own tradition, by claiming land that is not theirs and attacking the Jews who are the rightful owners. Then the international community does the same thing--and there is no excuse, as the United Nations voted and established the State of Israel back in 1948, something it did not do for any other country or people. Going back on its own act, the United Nations is just as guilty as the Moslems and the Palestinians who deny Israel its right to existence, which has been affirmed by the Almighty God in the Bible, affirmed by the UN vote in 1948, and even affirmed by Q'uran and Mohammed!--Ed.]
Jerusalem and the temple are expressly emphasized as the center of this tiny land, and simultaneously the central point of the worship of God in the Bible. The angel of the Lord has shown King David the plot of land for the building of the temple on Mount Moriah (2 Samuel 24 and 2 Chronicles 3:1). This land belonged to Araunah (also called Ornan) the Jebusite, who wanted to give it to the king, but David insisted on buying it, and paid him 600 gold shekels for it, around 6 kilos of gold (1 Chronicles 21: 25), as well as the threshing floor for 50 silver shekels, around 500 g. of silver (2 Samuel 24:24). In connection with the present conflict over the possession of the Temple Mount, this was an important act!
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, David prepared for the building according to a heavenly plan (I Chron. 28, cf. Hebrews 8), and passed on the plans to his successor. The temple was built under King Solomon, and the building was completed in 955 B.C.
Jesus Himself called Jerusalem the "city of the Great King" in Matt. 5:35. For more than 3,000 years, Jerusalem has not only been the city of the particular worship of God, including for people fromother nations (remember the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26ff), but she is also therewith the most holy site and center of Judaism. It is incontestable that this is not the place of worship fo the ancient Arabian Moon God, Allah--a fact that can be proven both historically and theologically [Since God cannot be Allah, for God is the God of the Bible not the Q'uran of Mohammed, what is "Allah" but a fictional moon god worshiped by Arabians since before the 7th century, along with a host of other gods in that idolatrous, polytheistic society. Sickened by the idolatrous practices, Mohammed "reformed" and purged the Arab religion, however, choosing monotheism of a sort, though by choosing Allah the Moon God and denying the godship of all other Arab gods that did not legitimize Allah in the least. Polytheisms, long before Mohammed, were known with these reforming leaders. Egypt, at one time, led by the Pharaoh Ikhnaton, reformed its gross, sickening polytheism for a time through worship of the sun-god, but that was not a true monotheism, it was one god being made supreme over the others, which the pharaoh and his priests used to suppress the others. In the same way Mohammed suppressed the hundreds of really gross and despicable Arabian gods while exalting Allah the Moon God as the one and only God of Arabia and Islam. Yet that isn't monotheism, as there is only One True God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not the Allah of the Q'uran, which George Bush and many misguided, ignorant Protestants with him has even imagined is the same God as the God of the Bible, something our glorious God could never, never be, since He has a glorious Son, Jesus Christ, and the Moslems declare every day that Allah their god has no son!--Ed.].
For more than 1,000 years, Jerusalem was also the capital of Israel, i.e. Judea, before the Romans under Titus in 70 A.D. destroyed the second temple built by King Herod and the greater part of the city. Yet in the hearts of the Jews Jerusalem never lost its significance, which is expressed movingly in Psalm 137. After its destruction, the city was rebuilt in the course of time. Apart from a few exceptions during the time of the Romans, the population was mainly Jewish, even after the Arab conquest in 638 A.D., six years after the death of Mohammed.
[Presently, the more fanatical "Palestinians" are denying there was any Jewish Temple whatsoever, much less a Second Temple--such blatant ignorance and hypocrisy has to cause even the angels to draw back while God prepares his coming judgment, as folly that refuses to listen to anything--the witness of history, the witness of archeology, the witness of ancient writings, the witness even of its own scriptures, the Q'uran, on the subject--such a great folly only God can deal with, there is no remedy known to man.]
During the Roman supremacy Jerusalem was, however, characterized first by pagan Roman and Greek temples and then, from the 2nd century on, by Christian places of prayer. On the Temple square there stood a church, built by Emperor Justinian I (527-565). Justinian I, the last emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, restored the political unity of the Eastern Empire with Italy and Africa from Constantinople. He is regarded as the greatest church builder after the Emperor Constantine. The rebuilding of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople [which I toured in 1968, finding its interior full of glaring gold and green emblems and Moslem inscriptions, which in themselves proclaim that it is a Moslem shrine, a captured Christian church which Islam has taken as its own shrine, while the Islamic inscriptions have never been translated for the Christian public, I have to wonder why!--Ed.] is his greatest work; it was for many centuries the most beautiful and the largest church of the Occident. This example and other church buildings were to be seen everywhere in the Eastern Roman Empire.
Emperor Justinian, who was not kindly disposed towards the Jews [could we say he was no friend of the Jews?], had the Basilica or Church of St. Mary with its three ships built ont he southern side of the Temple Mount. The halls of Solomon and the two underground southern entrances to the region of the temple once stood on this site. It was the place where the church of the first Christians, i. e. Messianic Jews who had come to believe in the risen Jesus, gathered daily (Acts 2:46). And it was also the place from whence the Gospel spread over the whole of the then-known world, and ultimately today the whole earth. The first purely Gentile Christian church in Jerusalem can only be traced back to the year 135 A.D. [which is at least 35 years after the Apostles, for John, the oldest surviving Apostle, lived to only about 100 A.D.--Ed.].
We can find very little about St. Mary's Basilica, although from the original plans it can be seen that it was no less in beauty and size than other churches that the emperor had built [please go to the end of the page for a picture of a basilica built by Constantine in Rome, which may have been the pattern for the Jerusalem church he built.--Ed.].
Consequently, the fate of Jerusalem changed continually. In the year 638 A.D., six years after the death of Mohammed, the "prophet" of Islam (which means submission), the city was conquered again by Caliph Omar (634-644) and temporarily integrated into the territory of Islam. In the years 691 and 692, Omar's son and successor, Caliph Abd el-Malik built the Dome of the Rock (the Omar Mosque [sic]). By doing this he wanted to increase the trading/political value of the city, as Jerusalem lay on the border of the realm of Islamic power and had no particular significance [it is not named once in the Q'uran!--Ed.]. In the Q'uran, Jerusalem (in Arabic "al-Quds") is therefore not mentioned--in the Bible, but Jerusalem, in stark contrast, is mentkioned over 800 times!
The Dome of the Rock was built on the place where once the temple stood. They were not able, howevr, tobuild on the site of the former Holy of Holies. As the archeologist LeenRitmeyer was able to prove, this most holy place was outside of the area now built on. The intended desecration of the temple area by the Muslims, a supposed victory over the "unfaithful" and hated Judaism, was not achieved. On the Mosque admired by tourists today are Surah verses in beautiful Arabic calligraphy that are directed against the "infidels," above all, Jews and Christians.
The ruins of St. Mary's Basilica left behind by Khosrau II were, after the reintroduction of the patriarchy of Jerusalem in 617, restored again and used as a church until 711. Only in that year did the son of the Caliph Malik, Abd el-Wahd (705-715), desecrate the house of God and turn it into a mosque by erecting a typical mosque dome on the roof of the Basilica--20 years after the building of the Dome of the Rock and 79 years after Mohammed's death! Symbolically, this meant also a victory over the "unfaithful" Christians--in the exact place. The Basilica of St. Mary was therewith a "place of prostration" (or mosque) before Allah. Allah was already worship in pre-Islamic times in the Ka'aba at Mecca as the highest deity amongst 300 other gods. Abd el-Wahd gave the new mosque the name el-Masjid Al-Aqsa, which means "the farthest mosque." Therewith he was referring to a verse of the Q'uran (Surah 17:1): "Most glorified is the One who summoned His servant (Mohammed) during the night, from the Sacred Masjid (of Mecca) to the farthest place of prostration, whose surroundings we have blessed, in order to show him some of our signs." His intention was clear: the Al-Aqsa Mosque was to be interpreted as the "farthest mosque" as it is mentioned in the Q'uran.
Early in the morning, a young Arab came running out of the al-Aksa mosque on the Temple Mount, screaming "Fire,fire!" The Jerusalem fire-fighters could not do their job because hundreds of Arabs were crowded inside, insisting on performing the fire-fighting and rescue themselves. They were very angry and the security forces chose not to clash with them. The fire caused heavy damage to the mosque. There were very harsh reactions from the Muslim world against Israel [any surprise here?--Ed.], charging it of deliberate arson. Moshe Dayan was put in charge of the investigation, which revealed that the fire had been caused by an eccentric [non-Jewish] Australian called Michael Rohan.