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End of time and Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem?

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US President Donald Trump speaks alongside US Vice President Mike Pence (L) about the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the United States in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, December 6, 2017. President Donald Trump on Wednesday recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — a historic decision that overturns decades of US policy and risks triggering a fresh spasm of violence in the Middle East.SAUL LOEB / AFP

“Then, when the second promise came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to make your faces sorrowful and to enter the mosque (of Jerusalem) as they had entered it before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that fell in their hands” (Quran 17: 7)

During the past week, I have received several messages which were written in response to the sermon of last week which centred around the inglorious recognition, by Mr Trump, of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As is customary in situations like that, some of the comments were patently steeped in ignorance; others were hinged on sound reasoning and argument. Yet there were others which deliberately ignored the pluralism of opinions on the issues and therefore insisted that only the Biblical perspective to the matter is valid.

In other words, while in my last sermon I affirmed the triadic of claims to Jerusalem – the Judaic, the Christian and the Islamic- some of my compatriots argued that only the Jewish story is valid; while it was my reasoned argument that the three Abrahamic faiths have legitimate claims to Jerusalem particularly given the presence of al-Quds in East Jerusalem, some of our readers would want me, and everybody else, to know that only the Biblical perspective and solution can withstand the text of time.

Since I am not, do not and would never claim an expertise in such a slippery field as Biblical studies, I thought the interventions from our readers furnish an opportunity to widen my horizon in religious studies.However, among many others, I found the perspective below, which is largely unedited, to be highly uncanny. “Your Friday sermon of 15th December, 2017, refers. The solution to the Middle East problem is purely Biblical. As you rightly mentioned, it was not an accident that prophet Ibrahim had two sons, Ismail and Ishaq… In accordance with the Jewish inheritance law, the first son is entitled to double portion of the inheritance. (See Deuteronomy 21:15). If the Middle East is divided into three (3) where would Jerusalem fall into? Will it be in the two-third (2/3) that belong to Ismail or the one third (1/3) that belongs to Ishaq? You answer is as good as mine. The promised-land you mentioned in paragraph five, line two of your sermon, has nothing to do with the Christians. The promised-land was meant for the Israelites who left Egypt to Canaan after slavery. Biblically, Christianity started after the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. (See Acts20:26)… In view of the foregoing, Christians have nothing to do with Earthly Jerusalem. See Galatians 4:21-31. In fact it is a misnomer for Christians to go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem (See Matthew 6:5-13 and John 4:19-25). If the Jews and the Christians will accept the Biblical injunctions, the Middle East problem between Israelis and the Palestinians will became history. Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel Biblically will lead to the destruction of Jerusalem and by extension hasten the end time (See Luke 21:5-37) with emphasis on verse 20. Thanks”

It is axiomatic that our compatriot no doubt has a passion and zeal for the Biblical. I do not intend to explore the underbellies of the totality of the claims he made in his message to me. But I disagree with his argument that Christians should not concern themselves with “earthly Jerusalem” for two reasons: one, it gives a wrong sense of the Christian as a subject who is expected to show little or no compassion for the oppressed and the dehumanized, no matter their race or creed. Two, his opinion appears hinged on the lack of awareness that Christians constitute an integral part of the around eight million population of Israel today.
 
In other words, whereas it is true that Jews constitute nothing less than seventy percent of the Israeli population, Christians (around two percent) are found in various numbers in parts of northern Israel. Father Pietro Felet, of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land once said: “We are a mixture of Arab Christians, Hebrew-speaking Christians and Christians from the former Soviet Republic. About 45% are Catholic, 40% are Orthodox and 20% fall under the category of ‘other.” The cities with the largest Christian populations are Nazareth, with 22,400, Haifa with 14,400, Jerusalem with 11,700 and Shfaram with 9,400. Thus the suggestion that Christians should not concern themselves with the Jerusalem today might have no basis in reason and indeed revelation.

Now with reference to whether Mr Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel would lead to the destruction of the city and hasten the end of time as contained in Luke 21: 5-37), the Quranic perspective is highly instructive. “And we decreed for the children of Israel in the Scripture, that indeed you would do mischief on the earth twice and you will become tyrants and extremely arrogant!” (Quran 17: 4-8).

The Almighty says further:  “So, when the promise came for the first of the two, We sent against you agents from us given to terrible warfare. They entered the very innermost parts of your homes. And it was a promise (completely) fulfilled. Then we gave you once again, a return of victory over them. And We helped you with wealth and children and made you more numerous in manpower. (And We said): ‘If you do well, you do good for yourselves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves’.(ibid)

Now the Almighty issues the final warning: “Then, when the second promise came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to make your faces sorrowful and to enter the mosque (of Jerusalem) as they had entered it before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that fell in their hands (ibid).

Those imbued with knowledge and discernment know that whenever it is time for a nation to experience liquidation, two different types of processes are usually set in motion; the internal and the external. Could it be that Mr. Trump is indeed one of the signs of the “last hour” for America? Is his unpopular decision one other sign of the end? It is only he who cares not what becomes of the world that would grant the sacred to the profane, that would take what belongs to the Almighty to the cathedral of debauchery and faithlessness.
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