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eNews For The Week Of July 02, 2013


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Revealed: Iran’s Secret Nuke Deal with China, N. Korea

June 30, 2013

Iran is well launched on two programs with North Korean and Chinese help to develop nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems with the goal of having both ready in less than a year, according to an intelligence officer of the regime.

WND


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Articles And Commentary

Tisha b'Av and The Coming Temple

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The Hebrew month of Av begins Sunday night, July 7th, and Jews will mourn through the final nine day of The Three Weeks of grief that began with the Fast of Tammuz and end with Tisha b’Av—the day commemorating the destruction of the Jewish temples.

All public transportation will be silenced, all restaurants will remain closed in Jerusalem the evening of July 15th as the sun sets. The Hebrew day of great tragedies, Tisha b’Av, will begin at sundown. In remembrance of the destruction of both the First and Second Temple on the 9th of Av hundreds of years apart, tens of thousands of Jews will gather at the Western Wall to pray and petition the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Jewish hearts around the world will long in unison for the future Temple, the one to be established when the Messiah comes.

The Temple Mount

These next weeks, Jews look toward the Temple Mount with even more longing than normal. Israel has technically controlled the Temple Mount since the Six-Day War in 1967, but the Waqf, a Muslim council, manages the site. The Temple Mount is noticeably dominated by the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Israeli law is supposed to protect free access to the site, but the Israeli government enforces a ban on any non-Muslim prayer on the site in order to avoid Muslim riots.

Many Jews look forward to the day when the Messiah will come, when the Temple will once again rise up on the Temple Mount. A video by The Temple Institute shows a little boy and girl playing on the beach and building a replica of the Temple in the sand. The end caption reads, “The Children Are Ready.” The video had more than 400,000 views on YouTube after it was released last year.

Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute has long promoted this as a time of expectation for the Temple, rather than a time of mourning. This year in an article on the Fast of Tammuz and the beginning of the Three Weeks of mourning, Rabbi Richman wrote recently in The Jerusalem Post:

The fabricated tears of Tamuz are the romanticization of pain; being comfortable with the pain because it is what we are used to. This is what Maimonides alludes to. We can become so stuck in a place, so part of the cycle, that there is no way out of it.

But the whole idea of Tamuz is for us to confront those idolatrous forces within our own psyche. Parts of the Jewish mindset have been taken over. We have been lobotomized by the pagan mindset of weeping over Tamuz. The verse in Ezekiel [8:14] alludes to the weeping over our own lives, the tragic aspects of our lives, because self-pity feels so good. So we do it again and again, year after year.

Mourning for the Temple is not about crying over the past, or obsessing about something we cannot change; it is about becoming motivated to rise up from mourning, to transform this world into a place for the Divine Presence.

Holy Ground

While many patiently anticipate the coming Temple, not all Jews want worshipers, Jewish or Muslim, flooding the Temple Mount. Nobody is certain exactly where the Holy of Holies in the Temple was located, and these faithful Jews do not want the unwitting visitor to tread on that spot. Worshipers must first be cleansed with the ashes of the red heifer as required in Numbers 19 before Jews can worship freely in the Temple area.

East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount have been points of major contention in past efforts to negotiate a two-state agreement. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, and the Jews do not want to give up this location that is so precious to Judaism. The world would never expect the Muslims to hand over control of the Kaaba in Mecca in order to keep peace, but the Jews are not free to worship on their holiest site because they fear Muslim violence.

Tisha b’Av

Many disasters have befallen the Jews on the 9th of Av throughout history. According to Jewish tradition, this was the day that God told the Children of Israel they were prohibited from entering the Promised Land because of disbelief. They were forced to wander in the desert forty more years until that adult generation had died out. That tragic day was just the beginning…

On the 9th of Av in:

The day has continued to be associated with grief for the Jewish people throughout history. For example, Pope Urban II declared the Crusades on the 9th of Av in 1242. Accordingt to the Alhambra Decree, the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492 on this day (the same day that Columbus left on his westward route to the Indies). On the 9th of Av in 1942, the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were mass deported to the Treblinka extermination camp in Poland. Thus the 9th of Av, Tisha B’Av, has become a symbol of all the persecutions and misfortunes of the Jewish people, for the loss of their national independence and their sufferings in exile. Above all, it is a day of intense mourning for the destruction of the Temple.

A Day of Mourning… And Future Joy

Tisha b’Av is marked with sadness and fasting from food and drink. Observant Jews avoid bathing or washing clothes or enjoying entertainment like music or movies. On this day the Jews are reminded of their tragic history.

Yet, this day is also expressly linked with Israel’s glorious destiny. The Jews also look forward to the ultimate rebuilding of the Temple, to a time when Tisha b’Av will become a day of joy and gladness (as it was foretold in Zechariah 8:19).

We do know that the Temple will be rebuilt because Jesus, John, and Paul all make reference to it (Matt 24:15; Rev 11:1, 2; 2 Thess 2:4). We also know that a future Temple will be desecrated by the Coming World Leader when he sets himself up to be worshiped (2 Thess 2:3–4). It is possible this prophetic event will also take place on Tisha b’Av—and may happen in the not-too-distant future.

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Is Polygamy Next?

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Many homosexual activists claimed that Christians were promoting a “slippery slope” argument that did not exist, that legalizing homosexual marriage would lead to legalizing other forms of marital unions which, today, are outside of the mainstream. They contend that just because homosexuals would be able to marry, that does not mean that polygamous (same-sex) or polyamorous (many mixed-sex partners) unions would eventually become legal.

They are sadly mistaken.

Both polygamists and polyamorous activists celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act), claiming the move to promote same-sex marriage in the U.S. promotes polygamy as well.

The Supreme Court voted to declare The Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and not hear further arguments regarding Proposition 8 in California, which sought to ban any redefinition of marriage.

Many have suggested that the move heavily favors same-sex marriage prospects for the rest of the U.S., and now polygamy advocates have said the idea of traditional “family values” is dying. “I was very glad… The nuclear family, with a dad and a mom and two or three kids, is not the majority anymore,” said Anne Wilde a polygamy activist. “Now it’s grandparents taking care of kids, single parents, and gay parents. I think people are more and more understanding that as consenting adults, we should be able to raise a family however we choose.”

Gay rights advocates have long sought to distance themselves from polygamists in order to undermine social conservatives’ slippery-slope argument, but their arguments have become hollow as more people realize the ramifications of defining marriage and the traditional family.

As talk radio host Bryan Fischer tweeted on Twitter: “The DOMA ruling has now made the normalization of polygamy, pedophilia, incest and bestiality inevitable. Matter of time.”

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor seems to agree. During the hearing for the case, Justice Sotomayor asked, “If you say that marriage is a fundamental right, what state restrictions could ever exist, meaning, what’s the restriction with respect to the number of people that could get married, the incest laws—mother and child. What’s left?”

What is left indeed?

Polygamists in the United States have taken cues from the homosexual rights movement, and have tried to position themselves as freedom-minded advocates trying to ally themselves with conservatives. The media—both news programs and entertainment venues such as the TLC reality show Sister Wives—have tried to convince the American public that their lifestyle can be wholesome and normal.

While some same-sex marriage advocates have attempted to distance themselves from polygamists by saying the “slippery slope” argument is a myth, others have abandoned all pretense. Slate writer Jillian Keenan argued in her article “Legalize Polygamy!” that the practice is “no better or worse than homosexual marriage.”

“Legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist and sex-positive choice,” she wrote.

A number of Christian advocates have been pointing out for years the link between the unbiblical redefinition of marriage and the harder-to-defend practices such as polygamy, self-marriage, and the end of marriage altogether.

“Redefinition has no logical stopping point. Its logic leads to the effective elimination of marriage as a legal institution. This will harm women, children and society as a whole,” Ryan T. Anderson, a William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at The Heritage Foundation, wrote for The Christian Post.

Though DOMA has been repealed and calls for same-sex marriage and polygamy may increase, Christians are continuing to try to stem the assault on God’s institution.

“Marriage has been defined between one man and one woman for over a millennium, and it is our view that the courts should not get involved at this point in time and fundamentally change the institution of marriage,” said David N. Bossie, President of Citizens United whose National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer filed a brief in the DOMA case.

Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, says that striking down the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman delegitimizes the moral argument against polygamy. “It opens up Pandora’s Box in how you define marriage in this country,” he says. “Why not have three men and two women marry if they love each other? Why limit it to two people?”

Mark Goldfeder, a law professor at Emory University, believes that DOMA had a significant impact on the future of polygamy in the United States. Goldfeder, who specializes in the intersection of law and religion, says that the courts will need to find other justifications to keep anti-polygamy statutes in place.

“It’s one hundred percent likely that these polygamist cases will come, but they will no longer turn on whether a relationship is immoral,” Goldfeder says. “The court will look at whether these relationships cause third party harm.”

But others believe that time and society is on their side.

According to Wilde, “I’m not a fortune-teller, but it seems like if more people are accepting of gay marriage, it would follow that polygamist marriage wouldn’t be criticized quite so much. … Let’s not pop the corks just yet.”

We need to work to keep the champagne in the bottle.

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Twenty-Four Hours and Counting

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There is just one short day before a game of chicken, which will possibly determine Egypt’s future political direction, will come to an end. This dangerous game pits Cairo’s present regime, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the military of Egypt against each other. Everyone involved is scrambling to secure as much influence and support as possible.

Over the last year President Morsi’s popularity has steadily degraded. At one point, to head off the negative momentum, He tried to take actions that would have meant an end to Egypt’s new democratic state and ushered in a more extreme Islamist system. Executive powers were to be increased and the legislature dissolved. The streets of Egypt filled with protests which resulted in a “backing away” from these provocative moves.

This didn’t set well with the population, and ever since there has been a growing resistance to any plans the Morsi regime has put forth. Just this last week planned peaceful demonstrations were held. As with all such emotions in the Mid-East, the conflict culminated with the demonstrators attacking and looting the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Cairo. This success has led to more people in the streets and the promise for more violence. It appears the protestors’ demands are simple—they want President Morsi gone and new elections.

Through this, Morsi has been staunchly resistant to their demands, threatening violence if the demonstrations don’t end. This only served to increase the numbers in the streets.

On Monday, the most senior general of Egypt’s military delivered an ultimatum to the President’s regime. Peacefully resolve this instability or the military, much like in the days of the previous president, would take over and start a new process that would include presidential elections.

The next day, the President called on the military to withdraw its ultimatum and called for pro-regime supporters to rally at the same time. As these two opposing factions turn into the streets, the probability of a violent collision increases with every passing hour.

The pressure to resign has continued to build since the issuance of the ultimatum. Reportedly as many as six cabinet members have resigned since June 30th, including Foreign Minister Kamel Amr. On July 2, the Egyptian judiciary, no friend of Morsi’s, upheld its ruling removing the Prosecutor General, a Morsi appointee, and reinstated the office’s predecessor.

Meanwhile, CNN is reporting that President Obama has jumped into the middle of this “no win” political situation. The Administration is apparently trying to put pressure on Morsi to step down and call early elections. He has also warned the Egyptian military that any action on their part could have a negative effect on U.S./Egyptian relations going forward, including the suspension of $1.5 billion in aid. The State Department denies it has issued any such threat.

These intrusions into Egypt’s internal conflicts will not be taken well. Time and again the Obama administration has shown a lack of understanding of the Mid-East mindset or has ignored it. These warrior cultures, on both sides, know the rules of such conflicts and they don’t include acquiescing to outsiders. They know they can live on much less, and have done so; consequently, money has little sway.

They also understand that the most committed group wins the war, so threats from those who have shown themselves to be weak are of little effect.

By the time this update is released, the initial 48 hours will have passed and some of the outcome will be apparent and in the headlines. It will be interesting to see who, if any, gives in to avoid the collision.

There are two takeaways from this present situation:

First is the action of our present administration. We continue to get involved in situations that we don’t understand. I say “we” because “we” allowed them to be elected. There are long-term consequences to not respecting or understanding your enemy. There are unavoidable consequences to these immature actions. Clearly, the present administration is progressively putting us at greater and greater risk.

Second, we must remember that the foundation of these conflicts in the Mid East is tribal in nature. They can’t be “solved” in the common understanding. These blood feuds between Shi’ite and Sunni have been going on for centuries. Their differences are no longer resolvable. The only time they cooperate is when they ally against a common enemy. Having had little success against Israel, their loosely held alliances have started to fall back into old habits.

The Mid East is truly on the precipice of all-out conflict in which not only nations will be at odds but families within them as well. Stay alert and informed. The next few days and weeks may be historic. Be sure to follow all the latest from our Twitter feed at: @kiresearch.


Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in these articles, enews and linked websites are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views held by Koinonia House. Koinonia House is providing this information as a resource to individuals who are interested in current news and events that may have an impact on Christian Life and Biblical trends. Koinonia House is not responsible for any information contained in these articles that may be inaccurate, or does not present an unbiased or complete perspective. Koinonia House disavows any obligation to correct or update the information contained in these articles.

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