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Should Christians Be Concerned About UN Security Council Resolution 2334

The situation in the Middle East is, of course, very complex and at times puzzling. In fact many, if not most, would say it is just downright confusing. This in part is a failure of Christians from the pulpit, from elected and appointed positions of leadership (such as the ERLC) and in their personal witness (Acts 1:8) to shove aside the fog created by political correctness.

This article will look at three aspects of the implications of the Recent UN Resolution 2334 from the UN Security Council. This is information that should be common knowledge among practicing Christians. If you do not already know the information being presented, isn't it time for you to ask why? The three areas are:

  1. What is important about the United Nations Resolution. One specific issue will be covered – The Temple Mount in Jerusalem
  2. What is the Islamic claim based upon. It will be demonstrated that the Islam Claim is historically unfounded and heretical. You and I know that it is not factual.
  3. Conclusion. Very simple, similar to sun rises in the east!

Let’s start by looking at the Christian implications of the recent UN Resolution on Israel and what message the Obama Administration has sent to the world while we watch in silence.

The United Nation’s Resolution 2334

The two page United Nation’s Resolution 2334 passed by the UN Security Council on December 23, 2016, (note the US abstained and did not veto, thus giving its indirect stamp of approval). Then Secretary of State [sic] John Kerry delivered a long 70 minute speech to double down on the Obama Administration message. This Resolution contained what at first glance is an obscure paragraph as follows:

1.       Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

Notice the inclusion of East Jerusalem. This in effect is a clause re-enforcing the Islamic claim to not only the city of East Jerusalem but the Temple Mount.

An example of the Islamic claim to the Temple Mount is in the October 13, 2016 Resolution from the UN UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) concerning the Temple Mount and surrounding area. One section is labeled:

I.B Al-Aqṣa Mosque/Al-Ḥaram Al-Sharif and its surroundings

This resolution is recognizing an alleged Islamic claim to the Temple Mount and ignoring the Jewish history and association to the Temple Mount. The reader can confirm this statement by reading the full text of this and other similar resolutions and statements from the UN and Islamic entities.

Whatever your position on Middle East issues this is the epitome of hypocrisy. There is no question that the Temple Mount contained both the First and Second Temples! The destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans under General Titus is very well documented. The historical arch in Rome celebrating the success of the conquest of Jerusalem in 70 AD still stands in Rome!

The Jewish history connected to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem should be as clear to a Christian as the rising of the sun in the East.

Map Of Temple Mount in JerusalemNow let’s look at the Islamic claim on the Temple Mount

Since it is an historical fact that Mohammed never came to Jerusalem - why is the Temple Mount considered holy to Muslims?

As we will see there is no factual historical claim but one that came after the fact and grows as is politically expedient.

One passage from the original Koran is used to link Mohammed with Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. It is the seventeenth Sura, entitled "The Night Journey." In this Sura - Mohammed is carried by night:

...from the sacred temple to the temple that is more remote, whose precinct we have blessed, that we might show him of our signs.

Mohammed died in 632 AD. In 632 AD Jerusalem was part of the Byzantine Empire and was thus a Christian city and there were no mosques or Islamic buildings in Jerusalem. This passage does NOT name either Jerusalem or the Temple Mount.

However, after the fact the more remote temple became associated with Jerusalem and the mosque that did not exist when Mohammed was writing his so called holy book. In fact, over time this has grown to the point where it is repeated over and over that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are the third holiest site in Islam.

But let’s continue looking at the Islamic claim to the Temple Mount which has become more detailed over time. One well-known historical account contains the following details:

The great mosque of Jerusalem, Al Masjid al Aksa, the " Further Mosque," derives its name from the traditional Night Journey of Muhammad, to which allusion is made in the words of the Kuran (xvii. 1): "I declare the glory of Him who transported His servant by night from the Masjid al Haram (the Mosque at Makkah) to the Masjid al Aksa (the Further Mosque) at Jerusalem" - the term "Mosque " being here taken to denote the whole area of the Noble Sanctuary, and not the Main building of the Aksa only, which, in the Prophet's days, did not exist.

According to the received account, Muhammad was on this occasion mounted on the winged steed called Al Burak "the Lightning" and, with the angel Gabriel for escort, was carried from Makkah (Mecca), first to Sinai, and then to Bethlehem, after which they came to Jerusalem. "And when we reached Bait al Makdis, the Holy City," so runs the tradition, "we came to the gate of the mosque (which is the Haram Area), and here Jibrail (Gabriel) caused me to dismount. And he tied up Al Burak to a ring, to which the prophets of old had also tied their steeds." (Ibn al Athir's Chronicle, ii. 37.) Entering the Haram Area by the gateway, afterwards known as the Gate of the Prophet, Muhammad and Gabriel went up to the Sacred Rock, which of old times had stood in the centre of Solomon's Temple; and in its neighbourhood meeting the company of the prophets, Muhammad proceeded to perform his prayer-prostrations in the assembly of his predecessors in the prophetic office Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and others of God's ancient apostles.

 From the Sacred Rock Muhammad, accompanied by Gabriel, next ascended, by a ladder of light, up into heaven; and, in anticipation, was vouchsafed the sight of the delights of Paradise. Passing through the seven heavens, Muhammad ultimately stood in the presence of Allah, from whom he received injunctions as to the prayers his followers were to perform. Thence, after a while, he descended again to earth; and, alighting at the foot of the ladder of light, stood again on the Sacred Rock at Jerusalem. The return journey homeward was made after the same fashion - on the back of the steed Al Burak and the Prophet reached Makkah again before the night had waned. Such, in outline, is the tradition of the Prophet's Night Journey, which especially sanctifies the Rock and the Haram Area in the sight of all true believers.

As you can see this has been greatly expanded and now includes amazing detail, especially since Mohammed dies before Islam came to Jerusalem by conquest. So now to put this in perspective, the Islamic claim to the Temple Mount (and thus the city of Jerusalem) is based upon something that you and I know did not happen!

How can any Christian do anything except absolutely reject and refute this claim?

When were Dome of the Rock and Mosque constructed?Dome of the Rock

In the 633-637 timeframe Islamic Arabs conquer Syria and Iraq, followed by Egypt, then Persia in 640-643 - as part of the charge they believe was given to them by Allah through his prophet Mohammed. Arab armies moved into the Holy Land and were in full control there by 638.

Historian Steve Runciman recounts the conquest of Jerusalem:

On a February day in the year A.D. 638 the Caliph Omar entered Jerusalem, riding upon a white camel. He was dressed in worn, filthy robes, and the army that followed him was rough and unkempt; but its discipline was perfect. At his side was the Patriarch Sophronius, as chief magistrate of the surrendered city.

Omar is said to have been shocked at the filth and rubble that lay strewn about the Temple Mount. Because the holy site had been neglected, he made the Christian Patriarch Sophronius grovel in the muck.

Another translation of the Koran provides the following which includes the term futherest mosque:

Glory to He who took His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the furthest mosque. (Subhana allathina asra bi-'abdihi laylatan min al-masjidi al-harami ila al-masjidi al-aqsa.)

When this Qur'anic passage was first revealed, in about 621, a place called the Sacred Mosque already existed in Mecca. In contrast, the "furthest mosque" was a turn of phrase, not a place. Some early Muslims understood it as metaphorical or as a place in heaven. And if the "furthest mosque" did exist on earth, Palestine would seem an unlikely location, for many reasons. Some of them:

Elsewhere in the Qur'an (30:1), Palestine is called "the closest land" (adna al-ard).

Jerusalem had not yet been conquered by the Muslims and contained not a single mosque.

The "furthest mosque" was apparently identified with places inside Arabia: either Medina or a town called Ji'rana, about ten miles from Mecca, which the Prophet visited in 630.

The Qur'anic inscriptions that make up a 240-meter mosaic frieze inside the Dome of the Rock do not include Qur'an 17:1 and the story of the Night Journey, suggesting that as late as 692 the idea of Jerusalem as the lift-off for the Night Journey had not yet been established.

The first extant inscriptions of Qur'an 17:1 referring to Jerusalem date from the eleventh century.

Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiya (638-700), a close relative of the Prophet Muhammad, is quoted denigrating the notion that the prophet ever set foot on the Rock in Jerusalem; "these damned Syrians," by which he means the Umayyads, "pretend that God put His foot on the Rock in Jerusalem, though [only] one person ever put his foot on the rock, namely Abraham."

All Islamic sites in Jerusalem were built after the death of Mohammed. The Jerusalem interpretation was advanced by the earliest biographer of Muhammad – Ibn Ishaq between 761 and 770 AD, around 140 years after Mohammed was supposed to have his mystic journey. In his mystic journey he also does not seem to notice the disarray on the Temple Mount reported by Omar.

How can any Christian do anything except absolutely reject and refute the Islamic claim that there is no Jewish link to the Temple Mount? How can any Christian do anything except absolutely refute the Islamic claim that Mohammed met Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist and Jesus and was then ascended into the seven levels of heaven and returned?

Inscriptions inside Dome of the Rock

The Inscriptions inside the Dome of the Rock are very informative about the nature of Islam.

From the Muslim point of view the Dome of the Rock was an answer to and a denial of the attractions of Christianity and its Scriptures, providing the "faithful" with arguments to be used against Christian theology. The inscriptions are seven hundred and thirty-four feet long in all, amongst the lengthiest inscriptions in the world. There is a great amount of repetition and many quotations from the Koran.

The following extracts are relevant:

Inner Face: South Wall. In the name of Allah the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no God but Allah alone; he has no co-partner. He is the Kingship and His the praise. He giveth life and He causeth to die, and He hath power over everything.

South-East Wall. Verily Allah and His angels pronounce blessing upon the Prophet. O ye who have pronounced blessings upon Him and give Him the salutation of peace. O, People of the Book (Jews and Christians, are referred to as such by the Muslims) do not go beyond the bounds in your religion and do not say about Allah anything but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is but a messenger of Allah and His word which he cast upon Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe only in Allah and of his messenger, but do not say "Three" (Trinity) and it will be better for you. Allah is only one God. Far be it from His glory that he should have a son.

North Wall. The Messiah will not deign to be in the service of Allah nor will the angels who stand in his presence. O Allah; pray upon Thy messenger "the servant Jesus - (N-W Wall) the son of Mary and peace be upon him the day of his birth, the day of his death and the day of his being raised alive." That is Jesus, son of Mary - a statement concerning which YOU are in doubt. It is not for Allah to take for Himself any offspring, glory be to Him. 

West Wall. Allah bears witness that there is no God but Him, likewise the angels and the people possessed of knowledge (S-W WALL) - Upholding justice. There is no God but He, the Almighty and All wise. Verily, the religion in Allah's sight is Islam.

Outer Face: West and North-West Walls. In the name of Allah the Merciful and Compassionate. There is no God but Allah alone. Praise be to Allah who hath not taken to himself offspring. To Him there has never been any person in the sovereignty. Mohammed is the messenger of Allah, may God pray upon Him and accept his intercession.

Praise be God who has not taken unto himself a son and who has no partner in sovereignty nor has He any protector on account of weakness.

All Christians reading this need to focus on one inscription briefly:

“The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is but a messenger of Allah and His word which he cast upon Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe only in Allah and of his messenger, but do not say "Three" (Trinity) and it will be better for you. Allah is only one God. Far be it from His glory that he should have a son.”

Once again, not only the falsehood in this inscription but also the intent should be obvious as the sun rising in the east! How any Christian who has been informed of these heretical inscriptions can do anything except absolutely reject and refute the message is beyond me.

Conclusion

This has just been an overview of the very complex situation. I am not a scholar but do believe that the warning issued by the Prophet Hosea applies to us today, just as it did to the Northern Kingdom:

 Hosea 4:6 (KJV)

 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

From this brief look at just one facet of the current situation in the Middle East – one thing should be obvious. Christians are not being informed adequately about the true nature of Islam. Is this part of the “falling away” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 or is it the result of leadership that supports or is in fear of “political correctness?”

In the Southern Baptist Convention to which I belong, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), currently under the direction of Dr. Russell Moore would have the responsibility (duty?) to present timely and Biblical information on such issues. So far the ERLC has remained silent on the UN Resolution 2334 but was willing to support via legal brief the waiver of building code permits for a mosque. Those of other denominations should also determine your denominational situation.

In conclusion, every Christian who believes in the Divinity of Jesus Christ (which should be each and every Christian) should reject the Islamic claim to the Temple Mount (and thus Jerusalem) and renounce the UN heretic and anti-Christian actions and all who support such either directly or indirectly.

This was a brief overview. Stay tuned for more …