The Word:  

Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of My people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. (Isaiah 10: 1-2)

A prophecy: The word of the Lord concerning Israel:

‘The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.’  (Zechariah 12:1-5) 

 Pointers for prayer:  

•    Once again, as you read through this week’s report, please pray in line with the Word of God over these issues.
•    The enemy wants to deny Israel their right (both Biblically and legally to the Land of Israel). In many ways, the Islamic nations can argue and war all they want... UNESCO can vote all they want... but the Word of God is everlasting and whoever tries to take Jerusalem away from Israel will rupture themselves! (Zechariah 12:3).Pray for Truth, and ask the Lord to bless in abundance His people Israel (Numbers 6:22-27).
•    Pray that the Church worldwide would sit up and take note of the disturbing vote by UNESCO (see below).Pray that there would be a worldwide condemnation of this vote against Israel and Judaism, for if the sites of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall were exclusively Islamic, as UNESCO are declaring by their vote, then the Gospels are invalid, as they cannot be true!

Woe to those who make unjust laws
(Truth is nowhere to be found part 2)   

As you will remember if you read last week’s report, the 58-member Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted two weeks ago to approve a resolution tabled by no other than Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority, declaring that the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City has no historic ties to Judaism.  Other areas such as Rachael’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarch’s in Hebron have also been labelled, ‘irrelevant to Jewish history’. The vote was led by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan – ALL Islamic countries - with 24 countries voting in favour of the resolution, 6 countries against and 28 abstaining.  Well, the main news currently dominating the headlines in Israel is still this issue of the UNESCO vote, however there have been new twists to the story, even threats made and, as I write, more voting.

The threats have come from the Palestinian Authority, along with the Jordanians.  Both groups warned the member states of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee not to oppose or abstain from a Jerusalem resolution on Wednesday in Paris or else “worse things will happen.”  The resolution, which refers to the Temple Mount solely by its Muslim name of ‘Al-Haram Al Sharif,’ was expected to be approved by the committee at its 40th session (there will be an update at the end of this report as another vote is taking place as I write).

Following the initial vote, the new twists in this matter started to happen, as first, the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called the resolution adopted by UNESCO, “shocking” and “inconceivable,” and said he was summoning Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni to find out why Italy abstained instead of voting against it. “To say that the Jews have no link to Jerusalem is like saying the sun creates darkness,” Renzi stated after the vote.   Following this, the Mexican foreign ministry launched an internal investigation to examine why Mexico’s UNESCO representatives voted in favour of the resolution against the instructions of the Mexican president.   Then, in Brazil, a government spokesperson, which voted in favour of the resolution, also said that Brazil now regrets the Palestinian-orchestrated vote.  So why did Brazil vote in favour in the first place?

Lawmakers in the Czech Parliament’s lower house condemned UNESCO, passing a resolution in Prague condemning “hateful, anti-Israel” campaign at the United Nations which “fuels international anti-Semitism.” Only the four members of the Communist Party voted against the motion.   And so, in light of the public statements on such resolutions made by Italy, Mexico and Brazil, the Arab Palestinians want the resolution to pass by consensus, with the full support of all 21 member states of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) or else they have promised “worse will come”. 

Last Monday, Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (and remember there is still no official State or country called ‘Palestine’), along with what was Trans-Jordan (another twentieth century invention), sent out a poisoned letter to committee members telling them to submit their positions on the resolution by noon Tuesday (October 25, 2016) with a clear threat.  The letter stated, “We want the resolution to pass by consensus, with the full support of all 21 member states of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) otherwise, the delegation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the delegation of Palestine would and according to the rules of procedure be obliged to consider other options,” they stated.  Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen stated, “Without pledges of a consensus approval, the Palestinians and Jordanians plan to resubmit a text with language that was even more problematic to Israel… They are broadcasting a message that says don’t abandon us or we’ll burn the house down with extremist anti-Israel resolutions.” said Shama-Hacohen.  He added that such resolutions would only cause tremendous damage to UNESCO, under whose umbrella the World Heritage Committee (WHC) operates.  He went on to state that such threats and ultimatums only serve to reveal the true face of the Palestinians as “thugs and liars,” Shama-Hacohen said. 

I pondered as to why the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called the resolution by UNESCO, “shocking” and used the expression “inconceivable”.  Could it possibly have had anything to do with what was filmed on October 21, 2016 in Rome?  Muslims held prayers next to the Colosseum in Rome to protest of a shortage of mosques.  Maybe Renzi was suggesting that Pope Francis should take note; otherwise Rome might also be declared as an Islamic heritage site with no connection to ancient Rome or Catholicism, just as Jerusalem was declared by UNESCO to have no connection to Judaism or ancient Jerusalem. 

You can view the Muslims holding prayers next to the Colosseum in Rome here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX5W8IQUu0A&feature=share .

Now of course most of the Church is completely disinterested in this issue (either that or they have not been informed).  Many within the church who embrace replacement theology might openly state, “We don’t care, as the church has replaced Israel.”   So should Christians who have no place in their heart for Israel be concerned?  Well yes, of course they should.  Why? Well let’s hear what Daniel Juster (author and advocate of Messianic Judaism) has to say on the issue.  Daniel Juster states, “I am writing a few words about the UNESCO of the United Nations to declare that the Temple Mount and the Western Wall are exclusively Muslim sites, and Jews (and by implication Christians) have no historic rooting there.  It is George Orwell's 1984 on steroids. For Orwell, Communism would seek to erase history to establish its revisionist history. But even Orwell could not anticipate something this level of extreme history denial!!!”

Now, for all Christians reading this report, please pay attention and make sure your Minister/Vicar/Pastor etc. know this: If these sites (The Temple Mount and The Western Wall) were exclusively Islamic, as UNESCO are declaring by their vote, then the Gospels are invalid, as they cannot be true! As Daniel Juster states, “So let's note. King Herod did not build the retaining walls of the Temple Mount for his rebuilt Temple as Josephus and others record [state] - so much for the historical Josephus. The Pre-Muslim Talmudic testimony does not exist or have any effect. Yeshua [Jesus] did not teach on the Temple Mount. The Holy Spirit was not poured out on this Temple Mount as declared in the NIV notes in Acts 2. The believers did not meet in Solomon's Portico in the Temple. Paul was not arrested there. The Muslims re-write history just by a fiat of the vote of Muslim states and their enablers in the Non-Muslim countries that vote for this to curry their favour. Truth does not matter. Of course, Muslim history did not start in Jerusalem until the seventh century and the Temple Mount site was already there and had been for centuries. So how did it become always Muslim? Did Yeshua build the Al Aksa Mosque and was he really a Muslim? Folks, how can we have peace with folks like these?” 

The Director of the Israel Antiquities Authority (who is himself a Jewish refugee from Damascus) strongly criticised UNESCO for its resolution on Jerusalem last week, saying that “what the UN cultural body was doing by diplomatic means to Judaism and Israel was what Islamic State [ISIS] jihadists had done by physical means in their destruction and looting of hundreds of archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq.”  As I stated in my report last week, this vote by UNESCO erasing the Jewish identity of the Western Wall – the remaining outer wall of Solomon’s Temple, along with the Temple Mount and other areas of Israel - needs to be denounced by all who stand with Israel.  It needs to be also denounced by the entire CHURCH, and all who stand for truth. 

I referred last week to Isaiah 59:12-15, were we read, ‘Rebellion and treachery is against the Lord, we are turning our backs on our God, inciting revolt and oppression, uttering lies our hearts have conceived. So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.’ However, in the above Scripture reading of Isaiah 10: 1 (at the top of this report) it states, “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees…”  Oh how this is the case for the United Nations! Remember… the Koran says nothing about Jerusalem... not one jot.  Yes, the Koran mentions Mecca hundreds of times. It mentions Medina countless times, but it never mentions Jerusalem once. And with good reason: There is no historical evidence to suggest Mohammed ever visited Jerusalem.  

Update: And so, after hugely embarrassing itself last week, UNESCO – who apparently didn’t consider itself sufficiently ridiculous, was set to vote again on Wednesday October 26, on yet another resolution delegitimising Israel, Jewish, Christian and world history. This latest resolution entitled, “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls” again only referred to the Temple Mount by its Islamic name. A panel at UNESCO on Wednesday (today) approved the controversial resolution that ignores Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount.  At its annual meeting in Paris, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee adopted Draft Resolution 40COM 7A.13, entitled “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls,” by a large majority, with 10 countries voting in favour, eight abstaining and two opposing the text. Eight “yes” votes were needed for the resolution to pass. How pathetic is this!  How wrong is this?  So even if you wanted to take Israel out of the scenario… even if you want to forget that this is a Jewish issue… this decision must surely awaken the church to stand to attention and DO SOMETHING!  For by this vote, the United Nations have declared that the Gospel writers, and therefore by implication ALL the New Testament is untrue, inaccurate and full of fables – as Jesus could not have done what the Bible proclaims. 

After all, the Temple Mount holds huge significance for Christians as the place where Jesus issued his challenge against the Temple authorities (Matthew 21:12-16).  The Temple Mount also holds significance for Christians as the place where Jesus attended festivals as a child. The Temple steps, which endure even to this day, were almost undoubtedly trodden by Jesus and his disciples. And of course, Jesus prophesied the destruction of the Holy Temple, so when the actual destruction was carried out by Titus of Rome, it was seen by Christians in subsequent years as a fulfilment of that prophecy.   Please do pray about this whole issue and please bring this to the attention of your leaders. 

It’s almost as if this next story was written for such a time as this.  It’s as if the Lord Himself is mocking the nations (Psalm 37:13, Psalm 2:1 – 4).  An amazing discovery of a very rare ancient papyrus, dating to the First Temple Period (yes UNESCO – there was a Jewish Temple!) 2,700 years ago, has been found to bear the oldest known mention of Jerusalem in Hebrew. Yes… that’s Hebrew not Arabic! 

Radiocarbon dating has determined it is from the 7th century BC, making it one of just three surviving Hebrew papyri from that period, and predating the Dead Sea Scrolls by centuries.  The item of papyrus is small and has two lines of Hebrew script which appear to describe a dispatch note recording the delivery of two wineskins “to Jerusalem,” the Judean Kingdom’s capital city.  The fact that the note was written on papyrus, rather than cheaper clay ostraca or potsherd, suggests the consignment of wineskins may have been sent to a person of high status.  Details concerning the papyrus and its significance were announced at a press conference in Jerusalem by Israel Prize-winning Biblical scholar Shmuel Ahituv on Wednesday. Ahituv studied the papyrus after its acquisition by an individual who has requested anonymity. The fragment’s preservation over the last 2,700 years suggests it was stored and discovered in an arid, cool location, possibly in a cave near the Dead Sea. 

Recently, a leading member of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ UK branch) took ill and is in a life threatening condition.  I have been in touch with ICEJ and with their permission post what I feel is an important prayer request for a brother in the Lord.

A week ago, David Elms, Branch Director of ICEJ UK had a ruptured aneurism and survived an emergency operation.  He was given a 20% chance of survival so we praise God that he came through that without complications.  Despite setbacks and being in a very critical condition he is slowly improving.  However he is still in great need of prayer. 

This week, Joanne Lokuta on behalf of ICEJ UK wrote, “It has been a week since we wrote and asked you for prayer for David Elms.  During this time we have seen breakthroughs and setbacks as David remained in a critical condition. We have however held firm in our prayers and petitions, as have many of you along with many more from around the world. In the last couple of days he has shown signs of improvement for which we praise God. Please continue to stand in the gap for David.  We believe he has much more work to do for the kingdom of God.  Thank you for your many messages of faith, support and assurance of your prayers. David's family are overwhelmed by the love they have received and are being upheld by your prayers.”   So please do pray for a complete recovery of David Elms.  May he know the Lord’s mighty hand of healing upon him even now. 

David Soakell
CFI WoZ News Report Correspondent 

Tweet me @David_CFI 

PLEASE NOTE: The CFI Watching over Zion reports are not written to stir up hatred or ill feelings against the Arab people, Muslims or anyone else; but to help deal correctly with the difficult issues faced by the people of Israel and their neighbours. The intention of these reports is to help people better understand the situation in Israel and the Middle East, so as to be able to pray on an informed basis. As Christians we endeavour to examine our own hearts and let compassion be our motive. Without love, we are nothing more than a ‘clanging cymbal’ (1 Corinthians 13).

Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel, Israeli Embassy London,  i24news.tv/en/ & Israel National Radio

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