Saturday, March 3, 2018

Why Jerusalem is not Islam's 3rd holiest site

Dear friends and readers,

Peace and grace to all of you in Jesus Great name!

Periodically I find an article by another author that I realize says it all and I could not do a better job. This weeks article is about truth. I have received permission to reprint the article listed above written by a well known author by the name of Joseph Farah. Further I sincerely recommend that my readers subscribe to this mans work.

If you really want to know how important the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is to the Muslims/Islam this article will tell the tale.

Link to the Original Article by Joseph Farah at

You’ve undoubtedly heard that Jerusalem represents the third holiest city in Islam.

That is provably untrue.

Or, perhaps you’ve read in Wikipedia or heard on CNN that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest place of worship in Islam.

That, too, is a provable lie.

Or, maybe you heard about the vote by UNESCO in 2016 that denied any Israeli connection to the Temple Mount, referring it only by the Islamic name, “Haram al-Sharif.”

Before I get to the history of these myths, these aberrant legends, these anti-Semitic fictions from hell, let me tell you why anyone with a clear head and objective, rational mind can see the truth in spite of the powerful delusion that has cast a spell upon the world – deliberately, with political purpose and very recently, too.

Everyone should recognize the No. 1 holy site in all Islam is Mecca, the Qaba, which draws millions of pilgrims annually – perhaps more than any other religious shrine in the world. For instance, while some 5 million visit the Vatican City every year, 18 million Muslims visit Saudi Arabia and, almost all of them, go to Mecca, which doesn’t allow non-Muslims to enter the city. The annual five-day Hajj, alone, attracted more than 2 million in 2017.

Spiritual pilgrimages are a big deal in Islam, and the No. 2 holy site in all Islam is probably Medina, where Muhammad is buried.

But after Mecca and Medina, there is actually much dispute, even among Muslims, as to which would be Islam’s third holiest city. Why? Because while Mecca and Medina are considered holy to all Muslim followers of Muhammad and Allah, not all of them are Sunni. Sunni Islam adherents represent about 80 percent, or roughly 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide. But another 20 percent are Shia, representing as many as 300 million. And Shia Muslims revere shrines in two other cities in Iraq – Najaf and Karbala.

How many make pilgrimage from Najaf to Karbala annually during the Shia Arba’een Pilgrimage? Hold on to your burqa or keffiyeh. Some accounts put it at 30 million from as many as 40 countries, often braving attacks from Sunni terrorists and usually traveling barefoot. That’s right. This Arba’een Pilgrimage, is a much longer one than the five-day Mecca Hajj and, according to many sources, much larger in sheer number of participants.

Now let’s consider Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock and Jerusalem.

How many Muslims make pilgrimage to Jerusalem? Israel hosts a total of about 2 million tourists from all over the world every year, but only a tiny fraction are Muslims. Israeli tourists are diverse ethnically but almost all Jewish and Christian. And please don’t tell me Muslims are not welcome, because they are. In 2014, the latest statics I could find, showed 26,700 tourists from Indonesia; 23,000 from Turkey; 17,700 from Jordan; 9,000 from Malaysia and 3,300 from Morocco. And those were the biggest numbers.

And maybe you think Muslims stopped coming to Jerusalem, their “third holiest city,” after Israel reunified it in 1967. Quite the opposite. There was scarcely any interest in Jerusalem when Jordan controlled Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. Even King Hussein never visited Jerusalem during the time he controlled part of the city for two decades.

If you want to go back further, before the first Zionist Aliyah, you can see what the Dome of the Rock circa 1875 looked like – abandoned, in total disrepair, unvisited. In fact, it didn’t get its famous gold-plated roof until the 1950s under Jordanian control, and it had to be redone in 1993 under Israeli authority.

While we’re starting to travel back in history, let’s look for Jerusalem in the Quran. Let me save you some time. You can stop looking. You won’t find it. It’s not there, though a passage we read in the Quran did indeed inspire the building of Al-Aqsa.

The Muslim “claim” to Jerusalem is based on what is written in the Quran in Sura 17:1, which says, “Glory be unto Allah who did take his servant for a journey at night from the Sacred Mosque to the Furthest Mosque.” How did this “Furthest Mosque” become the one visited by Muhammad in a dream in which he rode a flying camel or horse?

In Muhammad’s lifetime, Jerusalem was occupied by the Byzantine Empire. While Muhammad died in 632, Jerusalem was captured by Muslims in 638. When they came, of course, there was no mosque and no Dome of the Rock anywhere in Jerusalem, only churches. One of those churches is believed to have been built atop the Temple Mount. It may have even been converted into the Al-Aqsa Mosque. In fact, both the dome and the mosque display undeniably noticeable Byzantine architectural influences.

When rivals of Muhammad’s successors captured Jerusalem from the Christians, they first built the Dome of the Rock, a shrine the conquerors believed to have been the site of the Second Temple, destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 A.D. The dome was completed in 691 and the Al-Aqsa Mosque some 20 years later, or some 80 years after the death of Muhammad. The “ascension” of Muhammad from the rock under the dome is believed to have been conjured during this period by Khalif Omar, who sought to construct a new holy site to rival the one in Mecca.

Nevertheless, the idea of establishing this shrine and the Al-Aqsa mosque atop the old Temple Mount as permanent Islamic holy places did not catch on, as we can see by comparing them to others in Mecca, Medina, Najaf and Karbala.

In fact, not through the entire time of the Islamic Ottoman Empire, which controlled Jerusalem until World War I, and not until 1929, did the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque stir any passionate interest in Islam. And that was thanks to Adolf Hitler’s Muslim friend, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, who reminded his radical followers of Muhammad’s “Night Journey.” He stoked the myth to initiate riots that year.

Then, another dreamer, after the 1967 Six-Day War in which Israel reunified Jerusalem under its control, Yasser Arafat, used the shrines to stir Islam’s claim to the city, which he called “Al-Quds.” Arafat also launched the lie that no Jewish Temple ever rested atop the Temple Mount, though that is precisely why both the dome and the mosque were built there on what Omar believed to be the Temple’s very foundation.

On one level, the propaganda coup has fooled most of the world – to such an extent that most Muslims believe the Al-Quds myth. They riot for it all over the world. They commit terrorism in the name of “liberating” it. They boycott, divest, impose sanctions, throw stones, launch missiles, start intifadas and more.

But, one thing they don’t do? They don’t visit. They don’t do pilgrimages. Go figure.

Get a glorious preview of the coming kingdom of God from Joseph Farah in his latest autographed best-seller, “The Restitution of All Things: Israel Christians, and the End of the Age”

Thanks again to Mr. Farah for this most excellent article.

God bless,
Pastor Rance.
P.S. My ministry of PSI receives no royalties for printing Mr. Farah's article. We are doing so here simply because he is an excellent author and is telling the truth.

Monday, February 12, 2018


Dear friends and readers,

"PEACE BE UNTO YOU!  These words were spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ to His Apostles/Disciples just after His resurrection from the dead. Recorded in the book of John chapter 20 verse 19, His immediate followers were gathered together in an upper room in Jerusalem and the doors were shut (presumably also locked) because they were afraid of the Jews. One moment they were alone and the next Jesus was standing in their midst. Then He breathed on them and said "RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT".

The text does not clearly tell us whether Jesus simply appeared to them from thin air or if He was able to walk through a solid wall (as most people assume today). Really it is less important than the fact that Jesus came to His disciples when they needed Him most. When they were obviously confused, rattled  and afraid.

I marvel at the entire event. Imagine these very men walking with Him during His physical ministry upon this earth. They saw Him raise the dead, restore vision to the blind, heal the sick, drive leprosy from unclean people and a veritable plethora of absolutely impossible signs and wonders never before seen by mankind. They absolutely believed that Jesus was the Messiah of Israel, that He was the Son of God and also that He was God in human form. We must remember that the Jewish people had been praying for the advent of their Messiah for literally eons. But there is evidence to suspect that the Jewish religious leadership viewed the Messiah as a political and military leader sent by God and that He would subjugate the Roman legions and sit upon His throne as King of Israel. But that is not what they got. Instead they received a Lamb on a journey to save all mankind who would place their faith and trust in Him. They expected a Lion but  received a Lamb. I can understand their confusion.

There was not then nor is there now an understanding among many Jewish people (except for the Messianic church) that the Messiah would come twice. Once as a Lamb as demonstrated in Isaiah chapter 53 (the suffering servant passages) and that He would also come a second time as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). Although it must be recognized that in the days of Jesus first advent, John had not yet recorded the events of the final days in the book of Revelation. Also The only real mention of JUDAH in connection to a LION is recorded in Genesis 49:9-10 ("Judah is a Lions whelp------"). There was little if any concept in those days of Lamb and Lion theology.

So here they were at the time of Jesus arrest and subsequent death on the cross of Calvary. Even though Jesus had told them what was in His immediate future, they were shocked beyond belief when the very person they placed all their confidence in was now dead. These guys were afraid, confused and perhaps even a bit bitter. Then Mary Magdalene discovers that Jesus is no longer in the tomb and she actually sees and speaks to this previously dead man, and then she tells the disciples that Jesus is really alive. Please picture that scene and ask yourself how you would handle that kind of information overload? That same night you are locked in a room petrified and confused and suddenly Jesus appears among you? He not only breathes the Holy Sprit upon you but did something always thought impossible for mankind. He gave you the power and the authority to forgive sin. That act alone would have been blasphemous among the Jewish religious leadership because until then ONLY GOD could forgive sin.

World changing events to be certain! I seriously doubt that our generation has experienced anything even close to what Peter, John and the guys did during those events. But now here we are---our generation,  in what may be a lead up to the very end of the end times. There are some really scary things happening in the world these days ranging from another developing cold war, to a Middle East in full melt down, threats of trade wars, a wildly erratic stock market, long standing wars that have now consumed 7 Trillion dollars in 17 years, new and terrifying nuclear threats and the list goes on and on.

For those of us who are followers of Christ, the question is how do we handle it all? You know I have been asked by a very sweet young wife if she and her husband should even consider having children? Others are worried about investments or retirement accounts. Health issues, family problems, loss of loved ones and once again the list goes on and on.

Some find their consolation in the up coming rapture of the church although truth be told no one actually knows when that will take place or even if it will happen during our physical lifetime. Some find assurance through the Word of God and their church fellowship. A great thing to do by the way.  But in the back of the mind of many is the thought that tomorrow is so dangerously uncertain. How should we proceed? Maybe that sweet young wife has a point?

For me, I have come to the point in life that no matter what happens I do not question God's supremacy over all world events. Nothing is a surprise to Him! That does not mean I am not concerned about disturbing world events because I am.

An example: Many times in my church we have prayed for the sick according to scripture and had the absolute pleasure in seeing some of those people walk away healed. Others were not. I don't question that because God is sovereign and I am not. Many times I have prayed for something for a person but God has answered in unexpected ways. I don't question that because He is sovereign and I am not. I simply do not blame God for anything (which many Christians regrettably do) and I do not second guess Him.

That gives me a kind of peaceful liberty in this world that many do not have. For me,  along with the faith to know that He is in absolute charge, comes the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). And I think that I also understand a bit about how the original Apostles and followers of Christ must have felt when He stood among them in the upper room and said "PEACE BE UPON YOU". I find solace in Paul's words in 1 Corinthians chapter 16 verse 13 "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong". And also his words to the Ephesians while speaking of the armor of God in chapter 6 verse 13 when he tells them that when they have done all that they can, "withstand in the evil day, and having done all, TO STAND"!

Easy for me to say? Lest you think I am some sort of spiritual giant, nothing could be further from the truth. I am a father of a handicapped child, the husband of a wonderful wife and we live in what some people still refer to as a third world country. I have concerns and fears just like anyone else. There are drugs, there is violence, there is crime just like in most countries of the world today. My position as a pastor requires me to handle death, sick babies, divorce, arguments, rumors and all sorts of unpleasant problems and drama commonly experienced among mankind (good stuff to by the way).

No, I am just a man who has CHOSEN to believe the Bible and every single word that is printed in it. I CHOOSE to depend upon my God who says to me "FEAR NOT, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age". I don't have to understand why things happen the way they often do. I just CHOOSE to accept that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ really is God and that He really is in control. Including in charge of my life, my sons life, my wife's life, my friends lives and my congregations lives. I choose to stand. I choose to have faith in someone much greater than I.

Just a normal everyday guy who CHOOSES to know for certain that nothing in this life or in the events of the world today are a surprise to the God who created me.

That is the only consolation I can offer to anyone reading this who is afraid or even extremely concerned about dangerous events in todays world. Me too!

God bless,
Pastor Rance.