War COULD break out again in the Middle East. If it does, will the Israelis repeat their astonishing victory? Swift-moving events are under way there that will soon alter the course of the whole world. Here, from Jerusalem, is a sobering picture!
Jerusalem, Israel KING HUSSEIN WAS WATCHING the unloading of 54 American-built tanks for Jordan at Aqaba recently. At the same time top United Nations officials were in the Middle East. So were advisers to State Department of the U.S. Government. They were on fact-finding tours. But in spite of the talks about peace — in spite of the demands of the United Nations — in spite of pressures from the big-power capitals of the world — the people who could settle the peace in the Middle East remain impervious to outside pressures.
The whole face of Israel has dramatically changed as a result of the huge slices of real estate to which she fell heir after swift victories over her Arab neighbors in June of 1967. But little else has changed. Almost daily, Al Fatah infiltrators slip across the Jordan river into Israel. Artillery duels break out along the Suez, or elsewhere along the long frontier. While the established collective farms of Gan, Dafna, and Ein Gev, in the Galilee area, are no longer under hos tile bombardment and frequent commando attacks, Israel finds itself guarding much greater territory than ever before — and one just as explosive, if not more so. The Arabs demand Israel accept a United Nations resolution calling for Israel to abandon all captured territories. To do so would mean two totally unacceptable realities to Israel First, it would appear to be tacit admission Israel acted as an aggressor in the June war. And it would appear to be giving back illegally acquired territories. Second, it would allow her Arab neighbors to once again occupy the deadliest and most formidable strategic areas along the frontier — the Golan heights — and would allow the same hopeless, untenable situation to develop that had occurred before; namely the continual harassment of Israeli Kibbutzim by Arab shell fire and commando infiltrators. Israel is simply determined not to return to what she feels is such an unacceptable and disastrous position. On the other side of the coin, Israel calls upon the Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and all others, for that matter, to deal directly with the Israeli Government to reach some solid and lasting agreement that could mean peace in the Middle East. To do this, the Arab nations would be admitting the political fact of Israel — which they have again and again proved unwilling to do. When here in the Middle East two years ago, I was struck by the seemingly childish act of literally gluing two pages of an almanac together (it was for sale in a Lebanese bookstore) so the reader could not open it to the page with information about Israel. But it was no childish whim, Arab neighbors deeply hate political Zionism — and scream out "Slaughter the Jews" in their battle cries. Regardless of two serious and humiliating defeats at Israeli hands, many have only smarted and smouldered — biding their time, and building toward some future date when they still hope to wipe the nation of Israel off the map. Once again, Arab neighbors stage commando raids, trade artillery shells across hostile borders; while Israeli commandos stage counter-raids, and the Israeli Air Force bombs suspected Al Fatah villages. Today — Israelis no longer react only by artillery or punitive measures within their borders, whether conquered territory or former borders — they follow Arab commando units into Jordan from time to time. The USSR has again armed the Arabs — is keeping Soviet advisors dose to the missiles, sophisticated MIG 21's, and other Soviet military hardware. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union wages a political campaign to "halt the Middle East Arms Race." Nasser visits the Kremlin — calls for more Russian aid. Russia is cool to the proposals — obviously wishing to avoid any repetition of the embarrassment of Russian tanks and missiles being paraded down Israel's streets. McGeorge Bundy and UN Ambassador Ball visit the Middle East — and Mr. Ball is stoned in Beirut by enraged student mobs — slightly injured in his left hand, with his automobile windshield smashed by rocks. Meanwhile, I witnessed the gun flashes of artillery fire above the Golan heights, to the southwest from Tiberius, and received the report from our Jerusalem office that Israeli jets were flying overhead toward the northwest, and had been for more than 20 minutes. The next day, word came that 13 more members of the Arab Al Fatah had been shot just a few miles northeast of here — after they had crossed the Jordan, and entered the nearly uninhabited areas to the north and west of Jericho. In their possession was a collection of automatic weapons, and explosives in "brick" disguise for use in commando missions. (Only recently, two Arab schoolchildren, playing in refuse near a hotel only blocks from here, picked up what appeared to be a pencil stuck into a bar of soap. One child completely disintegrated — the other was horribly injured and lay near death.)
Not Giving God the Credit?
After the victorious and surprising victory of June, over a year ago — Israel is themselves could scarcely believe their victory. There was a carnival-like atmosphere of jubilance — mixed with deadly purpose, and the ever-present realization that another round would surely come unless some unforeseen circumstances intervened. The Western press, in particular, gave prodigious coverage of Arab retreats — of the horrible Arab debacles at the Mitla Pass, and in Sinai. Israelis rejoiced. Victory was sweet. Overnight, air force pilots, soldiers, and especially leading generals (chief among them all-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan) were elevated to the rank of national heroes. Then came a stern warning from the leading Rabbi of Britain. He said too many Jews were taking credit upon themselves — becoming hero conscious — hero worshippers — instead of giving the credit to God, where it rightly belonged. He said Israelis seemed to be making a miracle into a strategic military victory. Wise words. And, in viewing the Golan heights, and many areas where the actual battles were fought — having seen the prodigious amounts of military equipment in the hands of the Arabs; and knowing the hopeless odds against the Israeli army, I, too, would say only unseen Divine intervention could have been the decisive factor in such amazingly swift and decisive victories as in that June war. But there was no religious revival in Israel. No return to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. No deep national repentance, unity of purpose, settling of old religious divisions, and re-dedication to forgotten principles. Instead, the Jews are as confident as ever. Whether this confidence is justified will perhaps remain to be seen. But one thing is sure. The revival of a modern Israel is NOT a return to the "faith of the fathers" of your Bible. It is NOT a national religious movement, returning to the laws, principles and way of life of such famous men as Abraham, David, Elijah, or Hezekiah. What this portends goes deeper than you realize.
Temple to Be Built Soon?
Immediately after the "June War" of 1967, rumors began flying thick and fast that a Temple was about to be rebuilt. Magazines in the United States, religious ones in particular, speculated about the construction of a Temple. An article appeared in Britain which stated stone had already been ordered from a quarry in the United States for the construction of a Temple in the old city of Jerusalem. The source seemed completely reliable. We sent our own photographers, and members of the editorial staff to obtain interviews and pictures from the alleged stonecutters. We could find no proof such an order had been given. Every stonecutting company in the reported area denied any such preparations were under way. In South Africa, a reader of The PLAIN TRUTH, friendly with El Al Airlines pilots, reported a Jewish pilot had given him a tiny piece of stone that had come from stocks already in Israel which were deposited there for use in building the Temple. He, in turn, gave the piece of stone to the manager of our offices in South Africa — and it is still in his possession. This took place before the war of 1967. Since that time, the informant reports the Israeli pilot to be completely non-communicative on the subject. All of these smack of rumor, intrigue, and speculation — and are certainly not substantial evidence any planned stockpiling of material for the building of a Temple is under way. However, a San Francisco newspaper article, written in 1964, which is also in our possession, reported the final legal settlement of a wealthy woman's estate — and that she had left a sizable fortune behind and specified in her will it was to be used in the construction of a Temple in Jerusalem. Now to the present. No Temple is being built. The Israel is have changed the face of the old city — particularly around the wailing wall, where three additional layers of the huge stones, said to be portions of the original foundation, have been unearthed. A large, dusty parade and assembly ground has been cleared away as past pictures in The PLAIN T RUTH have shown. Today, ultra-ultra-Orthodox Jews, Reformed Jews, and members of various other sects of Judaism come to the wailing wall as their most sacred religious site. Above and beyond the wall is the famous Arab Mosque, the "Dome of the Rock," where Muslims come to weep and pray. In almost any direction from these two sites are the various "Christian" sites, such as the Church of the Ascencion, the Via Dolorosa, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the like. And so Jerusalem is the place of most intense religious fervor to three of the major religions, with all their sects, splits and divisions, on earth today. But Jerusalem is under JEWISH control. And while the Jews have not, as some speculated they might, destroyed Muslim shrines — neither have they built new shrines of their own. Now to the important point! Bible prophecy specifically states that there WILL BE A TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM. Every indication of scripture is that it will be built on the approximate site as the ancient Temple, meaning right NEXT to the Dome of the Rock, and probably comprising part of the wailing wall, either as part of its very foundations, or part of its interior. Read, with your own eyes, the plain statements Paul was inspired to write in II Thessalonians the 2nd chapter. "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come [the day of the RETURN of a LIVING Jesus Christ to RULE this world with a rod of iron!] except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he, AS GOD [as IF HE WERE GOD] sits IN THE TEMPLE Of GOD, showing himself that he is [CLAIMING that he is] God." Remember, at the time Paul wrote, the Temple then standing was a literal "Temple OF GOD" standing in Jerusalem of the 60', A.D. It was the Temple built during Zerubbabel's day and rebuilt by Herod — the same Temple of which Christ spoke in Matthew 24. This reveals clearly that the TEMPLE of which these prophecies speak must be a temple IN JERUSALEM — on the same site as the one in which Christ spoke; the same site on which Solomon's Temple had stood. This cannot be some other "temple" in some other area — it must be a temple IN JERUSALEM — or the prophecies of your Bible fail! The "man of perdition" of the prophecy is called a great false prophet in Revelation 19:20 — a false religious leader. He is shown to be in direct alliance with a great MILITARY, POLITICAL leader, who is described as a " beast" in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. This man — a great, HUMAN religious leader, will take unto himself the very tit les of GOD HIMSELF! He will SIT IN A "TEMPLE OF GOD" — ON THE TEMPLE SITE — IN JERUSALEM!
Prophecy Rushes to Fulfillment
But time is fast running out for some of these most shocking events to begin developing! The 17th chapter of Revelation plainly describes a spiritual-political union of TEN KINGS, ten military/political leaders, and a great spiritual leader. For decades, this magazine and The WORLD TOMORROW program have been proclaiming the eventual creation of some form of united Europe — showing the many difficulties to be resolved, the ancient nationalistic antagonisms, the memories of Germany's neighbors of World War II, and the various religious barriers. We have proclaimed repeatedly that the ultimate unifying force would be religious. We have shown how the prophecies of your Bible proclaim a great universal religious fervor will finally break down all remaining barriers to a full economic-political-military-religious union in Europe! Meanwhile, AS THIS GREAT THIRD POWER BLOC IS BEING CREATED, we have shown how God is dealing with the United States and Britain — how our peoples, including those of South Africa, Australia, Canada — are being stricken with growing internal problems. Economic disasters, both real and threatening, are sinister problems for Brita in and America. Growing anarchy, violence and crime threaten the very continuation of our Western civilizations. Growing pollution, disease, drug addiction, mental illness afflict us while mounting weather upsets, drought, crop destruction, floods, tornadoes, and other weather disasters weaken our agricultural capacity. ALL THESE THINGS ARE COMING TO PASS ON SCHEDULE. In the crucial prophecy of Matthew 24, Christ warned of an "abomination of desolation" standing " IN THE HOLY PLACE." He said THIS would be the final warning sign just before what your Bible calls GREAT TRIBULATION — a time of world troubles of unparalleled intensity — would begin. But in Luke's account of this famous prophecy, "armies surrounding Jerusalem" are mentioned In the same context (Luke 21). The Bible interprets the Bible — it needs no man to interpret it. Luke includes one important part of the prophecy — and Matthew includes another important part. Putting them both together, you see a picture of what WILL happen in Jerusalem within only a few short years. The ancient "abomination" of which Daniel wrote was a sacrilegious desecration of the Jewish Temple. It saw prior, typical fulfillment in the sacrificing of swine's blood in the Holy of Holies — and in the setting up of a statue of Jupiter Olympus by Antiochus Epiphanes in the Temple. But the modern fulfillment — while it MAY INCLUDE that very same statue, or one of Simon Magus, also includes a HUMAN spiritual leader, proclaiming HE IS GOD, as Paul's inspired statements make plain. JUST HOW NEAR ARE WE, TO THESE EVENTS? In one sense, armies EVEN NOW are once again massed in the Middle East. Arabs continue to arm — Israelis continue to remain on constant military guard. But armies are not yet SURROUNDING JERUSALEM. A TEMPLE is not yet in existence. No human religious leader has seated himself in a temple in this city, and proclaimed HE IS GOD. But the stage is being set. When the TEMPLE IS BUILT — and it most certainly WILL BE BUILT — SOON — THEN WATCH, as you have never watched before, developments In the Mideast, and in Europe! We are MUCH nearer, now, to the final SOLUTION to this world's ills — the final emergence of a happy, wonderful, JOYFUL world of PEACE — of the very government of GOD! World events are rushing toward that inevitable climax!
If War Broke Out Here, Then What?
IF another Mideast war should beg in — IF some series of events again ignites these smoldering borders, then COULD the big powers AFFORD to remain uninvolved? If the Russian-equipped Arabs were this time partially SUCCESSFUL, and if it appeared the most sacred religious shrines of THREE MAJOR WORLD RELIGIONS were in danger — would not the big powers almost surely INTERVENE in the Mideast — to STOP any such destruction from occurring? They are intervening, in a sense, already. The United Nations, and officials representing various governments, talk to Israeli and Arab government leaders almost weekly — attempting to find some common ground for a relaxing of tension, and a creation of lasting peace in the Mideast. From time to time, religious organizations speculate about creating a "UNIVERSAL CITY" out of Jerusalem. But the mere proclamation would not be sufficient — such a universalization of the religious shrines of Jerusalem would have to be ENFORCED, by means of TROOPS! One thing is sure, Christ's prophecies WILL BE FULFILLED. Once a temple is built — through whatever means — the stage will be dramatically set for the final fulfillment of some of the most shocking events ever witnessed by man. Keep your eyes on Jerusalem! WATCH, as Christ said to watch — world conditions and trends. Keep reading The PLAIN TRUTH magazine for HOPE — for TRUTH about world affairs, and for the final solutions! We're NEARER, now, than ever before, to the emergence of a lasting PEACE and prosperity for all mankind!