I know this must sound crazy, but I believe the fate of the world will be determined by an ancient feud over 35 acres of land. As we look at all of the threats and dangers facing our planet, and evaluate how the major powers and nations fit in, it seems incredible that one small nation, which contains a plot of 35 unusual acres, holds the key to all our futures.

This may sound arrogant at best, and insane at worst, but I believe there are sound, logical reasons behind my opinion. You may not agree with the following history, but the important thing is, the feuding participants do.

Back on the edge of known history, this area is first mentioned. A priest came to bless Abraham, the forefather of both the Israelites and the Arabs. It was written, “Melchezidek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.” Salem was an early name for Jerusalem, which was a town in Canaan. The major part of this town was a special place called Mount Moriah. This was the beginning of our knowledge of this place.

About 40 years later, Abraham was directed by God to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice on this very same mountain. When God saw that Abraham would by faith obey Him, He stopped the sacrifice and provided an animal as a substitute. In response, Abraham named the mountain, “The place where the LORD will provide.”

About one thousand years later, in approximately 1005 BC, Israel’s King David finally captured this city, which was then called “Jebus” and renamed it Jerusalem. Soon after that, David offered a sacrifice of repentance on Mount Moriah. He announced that God had directed Him to build a permanent temple of worship there.

David’s son Solomon did build a temple there that became the center of Israel’s spiritual life. Israel’s prophets soon began to warn future generations that their decline in faith and rebellion was going to bring a judgment that would destroy the Temple and Jerusalem. The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah even predicted that this judgment would come through Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

Jeremiah predicted that the Israelites would be taken and held captive in Babylon for 70 years. Isaiah predicted that afterward a Persian King named Cyrus would allow them to return and begin the reconstruction of the Temple. This prophecy was made 200 years before Cyrus was born, and at a time when Babylon ruled the known world.

All of this happened precisely as it had been predicted. The Temple was rebuilt on the same site of Solomon’s Temple.

Then, a little more than 400 years later, Jesus of Nazareth exploded on the scene and began to claim that He was the long awaited Messiah of which Israel’s prophets had all spoken. He showed signs and wonders and pointed to the many prophecies that were fulfilled in His life, works and teaching.

When it became evident that He was rejected by the rulers, he made this prediction about the Temple and Jerusalem: ” … There will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people, and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:23-24). Jesus was crucified on the edge of Mount Moriah, the very spot Abraham had named, “Where the Lord will provide.”

Thirty-seven years later, the Roman Tenth Legion under Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. The Israelites were scattered throughout the whole world for the next almost 2,000 years. But as predicted throughout by their prophets, they have returned and become a nation in their ancient homeland — all of this against incredible odds.

In the interim period, in the seventh century A.D., a descendant of Ishmael, Abraham’s other son, founded a new religion. Mohammad founded the Muslim religion, which swept across the Middle East and even to the gates of Europe within 150 years.

But most important to this subject, the Muslims captured Jerusalem early in their conquests. Then some 60 years after Mohammad’s death, the teachers of Islam proclaimed that Mohammad traveled on his winged horse to the “Furthest Mosque” (Al Quds in Arabic) and ascended to heaven from a great rock on top of the ancient Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock Mosque was soon built over the spot that stands there until this day.

This set the stage for what the Hebrew prophets predict will be the final conflict that will escalate into a global war apocalyptically called Armageddon.

The Muslims fanatically believe that Jerusalem, especially the Temple Mount of 35 acres, is their third holiest place on earth. Some today even place it almost equal with Mecca.

On the other hand, the Jews have always passionately believed that this same place is the heart and soul not only of their national identity, but of their religion.

So here we have two of the world’s great religions in essence claiming that the same 35 acres of land is the indispensable heart of their religion. Both sides believe that there is no possible compromise on this issue. They believe it’s worth any sacrifice to have.

So where will all of this lead? The same prophets, who have had 100 percent accuracy in their past predictions, tell us exactly where it will lead.

Zechariah clearly foresaw where this conflict would lead, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”

The first stages of this prophecy have already been fulfilled. In June of 1967, once again in spite of great odds, Israel recaptured and kept control of Jerusalem. From that time onward, Jerusalem became the center of a conflict that has increasingly involved the nations of the world. All of the surrounding nations, which are today Muslim, are intoxicated with hatred. Many world military experts now realize that this is the main spark that could ignite a global war.

What is the answer? The answer is a personal one. If you are curious, come to HalLindsey.com and find the only answer I know.

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