The Hijacking of 'The Temple Mount!'

The Western (Wailing) Wall

The Western (Wailing) Wall...

Shalom Partner and Friend of Israel,
If one would want to explain in a nutshell what all the strife at present is all about in and around Israel, spiritually speaking, then the answer would have to be: There is an enormous battle about the possession of "who gets" the heart of the city of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount. (J.W. v.d. Hoeven - Director, International Christian Zionist Centre)

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem has today become the centrepiece of the political conflict in the Middle East. It is a holy site over which is threatened a holy war.

If there's any place in the world where belief in the ‘End Times’ is a powerful force in real-life events, it's the Holy Land. The territory today shared and contested by Jews and Palestinians is the stage of mystery in Christianity, Judaism, and even Islam. When a great drama is played out here, the temptation to match events with the script of the Last Days can be irresistible. For a century just such a drama has been acted out, compelling the world's attention and firing the expectations in all three religions among those who hope for the End Time events.

The struggle for the Temple Mount… is the battle for the possession of that holy ground over which Islam claims exclusive sovereignty as its third holiest site and over which Israel (since 1967) has exercised sovereignty and upon which Orthodox Judaism believes a Temple will be rebuilt in the last days.

It is a battle that is just beginning even though it has been brewing for decades…!

It is a battle whose roots stretch backward in time to the days of Israel's King David and whose branches weave throughout the history of the nations to climax with the final kingdom on planet earth. It is a battle that today is being waged more often with words, but sometimes also with stones, tear gas, and guns. This battle is predominantly religious, yet it is inseparable from the political quest for peace in the Middle East. It is a conflict over a site in a city most people in the West have never seen… yet it is linked with the events of 9/11 which forced the West into a war against terrorism and committed western troops to the blood-soaked soils of these ancient lands.

Ultimately, this confrontation over a holy site is at the heart of a conflict and battle of belief that has been raging since the dawn of time and will be resolved only at the end of days. It is, therefore, a drama that has a place as much in prophecy as in politics. And because the future develops from the present, it is appropriate that we consider the prophetic events of the Bible in light of present experiences.

The recognition here is that God has, and will bring to pass, a purposeful program for the Jewish people. A purpose which, on the other side of the battle, will see the Temple Mount fulfilling divine destiny (Isaiah 19:16-25; Zechariah 14:16-19).

Since Biblical times, religious Jews have prayed three times a day towards the site of the ancient Jewish Temple. But sadly since the Mount had came under the sovereignty of the Jewish State, 44 years ago… NO Jew has been officially permitted to pray at the site!

Today the Muslim authorities that were permitted by Israel in 1967 to control the Temple Mount now declare that no Temple ever existed there. They further claim that the city of Jerusalem, and even the entire Land of Israel, never had a Jewish history!

Unquestionably the focal point for Islamic terrorist groups in their on going war with Israel is the city of Jerusalem and especially the holy site of the Temple Mount. They warn that any attempt to counter these claims and impose a Jewish presence at the site will start a cataclysmic war with two billion Muslims worldwide.

The greatest LIE ever told about Jerusalem…

Goebbels one of Hitler’s generals once said that "If the lie is big enough and told often enough, it will be believed."

There were no mosques in Jerusalem in 632AD when the prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam died... Jerusalem was (then) a Christian city.

The Muslim "claim" to Jerusalem is based on what is written in their Koran, even though Jerusalem is not mentioned even once. Nevertheless it mentions in Sura 17:1, of the ‘furthest mosque;’ "Glory be unto Allah who did take his servant for a journey at night from the sacred mosque to the furthest mosque." But is there any foundation to the Muslim argument that this "furthest mosque" refers to what is today called the El-Aksa mosque in Jerusalem? The answer is; NONE whatsoever.

Before the days of Mohammed, Christian conquerors had occupied Jerusalem (within the Byzantine Empire). Bringing one's religion into battle demonstrated that both their armies and their religion were superior to those of their victims when they won. So, they usually built their holy places on top of their victims' holy places, which they did on the Temple Mount, to absorb the strength of their conquered adversaries and to convert them to their religion. Even under the threat of the sword, the Jews refused to convert and allow their lineage to be absorbed, which would in effect, transfer God's Covenant.

In the days of Mohammed (who died in 632 AD), Jerusalem was a Christian city within the Byzantine Empire. Jerusalem was captured by Khalif Omar only in 638 AD, six years after Mohammed's death. Throughout all this time there were only churches in Jerusalem, and a church stood on the Temple Mount, called the "Church of Saint Mary of Justinian," built in the Byzantine architectural style.

Jerusalem, despite Mohammed's rejection, was still looked upon in the then Arab world as a powerful symbol where the ancient Jews had placed their faith. The Jews considered Jerusalem the centre of the world and the earthly dwelling place of (HaShem) God. It was not surprising that the Arabs and other nations wanted to own and control this source of power.

The El-Aksa Mosque was built 20 years after the Dome of the Rock, which was built in 691-692 by Khalif Abd El Malik of Syria in a first effort to turn Muslim prayers toward his structure. He wanted to demonstrate Islam's superiority over the Christians and Jews they had driven from Jerusalem. This was primarily for political purposes, not necessarily religious. The name "Omar Mosque" is therefore false. In or around 711, or about 80 years after Mohammed died, Malik's son, Abd El-Wahd - who ruled from 705-715 - reconstructed the Christian Byzantine, Church of St. Mary and converted it into a mosque. He left the structure as it was - a typical Byzantine "basilica" structure with a row of pillars on either side of the rectangular "ship" in the centre. All he added was an onion-like dome on top of the building to make it look like a mosque. He then named it El-Aksa, so it would sound like the one mentioned in the Koran.

This myth of Jerusalem as Islam's third holiest city based upon the mythical ascension of Mohammed from Al-Aksa to Heaven has grown exponentially in the recent telling since 1967. When you tell a Big Lie and repeat it often, it achieves credibility and legs of its own.

Both claims by the Muslims that either the Temple Mount or Jerusalem is holy to Islam are false based upon irrefutable historical evidence. The late Arafat, Abbas the present President of the Palestinians and the Arabs today found it quite easy to tell the Big Lie since they received such positive support from the Nations and the Media. Strangely, they also received support from the Catholic Church who was willing to cut off the branch upon which their religion rested. If, as the Palestinians claim there was no Jewish Temple, then Yeshua (Jesus), the Jew, could never have thrown out the money changers from the Temple (Matthew 21:12), nor could He have studied there or even existed!

After the Jews revolted against Roman rule, the Romans under Titus destroyed and burned the Second Temple beginning on the Ninth of Av (Tisha B'Av), 70 AD. The Romans sent the Jews into exile again for 1,878 years. However, for all that time there was always a Jewish presence and those dispersed across the globe prayed daily ~ "Next Year in Jerusalem!" The City and the Temple have always been central to Jewish thought and identity. Despite the Arab and Palestinians claim that there was no Jewish Temple, the Romans memorialized their capture of the Jews and their Temple in 70 AD by carving it in stone and parading the sacred Temple vessels, including the great Menorah (Candelabra).

In Islam, telling a lie to infidels for the sake of enlarging your own believers' faith or defeating the infidel is acceptable, even desirable!

Therefore it is crystal clear that Mohammed could never have had this mosque in mind when he compiled the Koran, since it did not exist for another three generations after his death. Rather, as many scholars long ago established, it is logical that Mohammed intended the mosque in Mecca as the "Sacred Mosque," and the mosque in Medina as the "Furthest Mosque." So much for the Muslim claim based on the El-Aksa Mosque.

With this understood, it is no wonder that Mohammed issued a strict prohibition against facing Jerusalem in prayer! This practice was tolerated only for some months in order to lure Jews to convert to Islam. When that effort failed, Mohammed put an abrupt stop to it on 12th February, 624.

Jerusalem simply never held any sanctity for the Muslims themselves, but only for the Jews! 13th Century Arab biographer Yakut noted: "Mecca is holy to Muslims; Jerusalem is holy to the Jews."

Where were the Arabs in 1875 when this picture was taken… the Islamic Dome of the Rock stood alone, abandoned and in overall disrepair and lack of use?

It seems amply clear that for centuries the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aksa Mosque were left unattended, without the flood of Muslim worshipers who would have come "IF" this was indeed the third holiest site in all Islam. The buildings show decay and lack of repair. The weeds and grass grew up between the stone flooring, proving that few Muslim feet trod the Temple Mount. (Recall that Jews were prohibited by their rabbis from walking across the surface of the Jewish Temple Mount since, without intent, they might tread on the place where the Holy of Holies stood with the Ark of the Covenant).

The Temple Mount was held by the Muslim Turks for several hundred years. Nothing was done to repair the walls or the roof tiles on the Dome of the Rock or the El-Aksa Mosque.

There are no records of high Muslim clerics or kings paying homage to Jerusalem by visiting El-Aksa or the Dome of the Rock nor is there evidence of caretakers or clerics to greet or preach to Muslims coming to worship during those hundreds of years. Granted the Temple Mount was a magnet for conquerors seeking its power but, once in hand did not give up her secrets. Only the Jews seemed to want to stay and bask in its spiritual glow.

The Islamic claim to the Temple Mount is very recent…Jerusalem's role as "The Third Holiest Site in Islam" in mainstream Islamic writings does not precede the 1930’s. It was created by the Grand Mufti Haj Amin al Husseini (Hitler’s Mufti!). Most problems surrounding Jerusalem can be traced to two areas of dispute: One is the political area that asks Jerusalem to be the capital of both Israel and the now claim for Palestine by the Arabs. The other and most contentious problem is the holiness of Temple Mount to both Judaism and Islam.

The role Jerusalem has in the Hebrew Scriptures is well known and not open to debate! But there are varying opinions on the holiness of Jerusalem, specifically the Temple Mount to Islam. Many if not most opinions that counter Islam’s claim point out that Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran and did not occupy any special role in Islam until recent political exigencies transformed Jerusalem into Islam's third holy site. Jerusalem's role as "The Third Holiest Site in Islam" in mainstream Islamic writings does not precede the 1930s.

It wasn't until the Jews recaptured the Temple when they reunified Jerusalem in the 1967, Six Days War that the Arabs paid any attention to the area. King Hussein of Jordan previously held the area for 19 years but did nothing to reclaim it. His only interest was to destroy the 58 Jewish synagogues, desecrate the ancient Mt. of Olives, Jewish cemetery and drive the Jews out of what is now called East Jerusalem by the Arabs. King Hussein (along with Arab nations who had lost the wars they started to annihilate the Jewish State) vented his fury by destroying everything Jewish… and continues today!

Defying all logic… the Temple Mount a 35-acre landmass surrounded by ancient walls is ground zero to the end-time dreams and fears of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. God calls Jerusalem: "the navel of the world ... situated in the centre of the world, Ezekiel 5:5; 38:12."

The Meaning of ‘Temple’… In defining the concept of a temple, the languages of the Bible employ various terms. The general Hebrew term for temple, although rarely used in the Bible, is the word "hekal" meaning "big house."

The preferred description in the Bible, to describe the Jerusalem Temple is Beit ‘Adonai (the "house of the Lord"), or Beit 'Elohim (the "house of God"). This expression better denotes the basic idea of the Temple as "a place where God dwells" - a connotation expressed by the earliest Hebrew term for God's abode, Mishkan ("dwelling place; Tabernacle"). Therefore, the term Temple has in view the permanent aspect of God's dwelling with His people, which include all intermediate and future forms… Leviticus 16:33 Psalm 74:7; 96:6; Isaiah 63:18; Lamentations 1:10; 2:7, 20; Ezekiel 5:11; 9:6.

The Jewish Temple begins… with God's choice of Mount Moriah in Jerusalem for an altar and a place for the testing of Abraham's faith with his son Isaac, the heir of the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 22:2). Mount Moriah was established as the place where God would provide for His people through His provision of a sacrifice in substitution for Isaac, thus preserving the boy's life, upon which depended the future of the Jewish nation (Genesis 22:13-18).

Next, the Lord delivers Israel from its bondage in Egypt and instructs Moses to take the people to the place established for His Sanctuary (Exodus 15:17). At Mount Sinai, Moses receives the heavenly blueprint for the Sanctuary and its vessels (Exodus 25:8- 9, 40). The Tabernacle is constructed as a portable and temporary dwelling place for God's presence (Exodus 40:36-38; 2 Samuel 7:6) and remains Israel's Sanctuary for 485 years through the periods of the conquest of Canaan and the settlement in the Land.

This period of settlement, ends in the time of King David who destroys Israel's enemies and captures Jerusalem thus making possible a political and spiritual centre for the nation in the place of promise. David's desire to build the First Temple qualifies him to begin the financial preparations for the project (2 Samuel 7:2; 1 Chronicles 17:1; 29), but he was NOT allowed to build it because as a warrior, he was not a fitting symbol of God's peaceful program (1 Kings 3:3-14; 5:3). That privilege went to David's son Solomon.

After 374 years as Israel's Sanctuary, the First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. After 70 years of Babylonian exile, a Jewish remnant of about 50,000 returned to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel the priest to begin building the Second Temple (Ezra 1-6), which was completed and dedicated in 515 B.C. After another 500 years, the Second Temple was in severe need of repairs. The reigning Judean king, Herod the Great, refurbished it completely, doubling its height and greatly expanding its size. Yeshua (Jesus) prophesied of its imminent destruction (Matthew 24:2; Mark 13:2; Luke 21:6, 20-24) and the sentence was carried out 586 years after the dedication of the original Second Temple and 76 years after its reconstruction, in A.D. 70, by the Romans under Titus, son of the Roman Emperor Vespasian.

Although the Jewish people attempted to re-build the Temple a number of times none were successful or lasting.

The Bible clearly teaches that a new temple ~ which WILL BE called "The Third Temple" ~ will be built in the future…

The prophecy of a future Jewish Temple in Jerusalem is a key part of the biblical restoration promise made to national Israel for the last days. This promise was made by prophets who prophesied at the close of the First Temple period and was renewed by the prophets who prophesied after the return from captivity (Daniel 9 - 12; Haggai 2:5 - 9; Zechariah 8 - 14; Malachi 3 - 4). Therefore, just as the Second Temple was a result of national repentance, so the Third Temple will be restored once a new national repentance is secured (Zechariah 12:10 - 13:2; Romans 11:25 - 27).

This raises the question as to precisely when the temple will be rebuilt… The Bible does not reveal the answer to this question. All it says for certain is that the temple will be in existence when the Antichrist reveals himself (Thessalonians 2:3-4), and that will be in the middle of the Tribulation (Daniel 9:27). Since this will be only three and a half years into the Tribulation, many have concluded that the temple will likely be rebuilt before the Tribulation begins, because; how could such a magnificent building be constructed in such a short period of time?

But this conclusion overlooks the fact that the temple can be literally resurrected overnight! That's because the Jews plan to erect a tent temple like the Tabernacle of Moses, and they are ready to do so at any moment. Everything has been prepared. Once this temporary temple is put up, they will resume the sacrifices and then start building a more permanent structure around and above the temporary one.

There is a distinct possibility that the ancient temples were not located where the Dome of the Rock currently sits. There is strong evidence that their location was to the north of the Dome and that the sacrificial altar inside the Dome was the one that Solomon built in "the middle of the court" to handle the thousands of special sacrifices which he offered to the Lord on the day The First Temple was dedicated (2 Chronicles 7:7). If that is so, then The Third Temple could be built north of the Dome of the Rock, putting the Dome in the Court of the Gentiles! This may well be the solution the Antichrist will come up with when he negotiates a peace between the Jews and the Arabs (Daniel 9:27).

Currently there are two major obstacles to the reconstruction of The Third Temple… First is location. The next temple can only be built where the two previous temples stood because the Holy of Holies must be on the exact same spot. But no one knows for sure where the previous temples were located on the Temple Mount. Most scholars believe that they stood where the Dome of the Rock currently stands. The only way to prove this is through archaeological excavations on the Temple Mount, something which is currently prohibited by the Muslims. If The Third Temple is to be built where the Dome of the Rock now stands, then that Muslim structure must first of all be removed either by Man or God.

The second obstacle is the attitude of the Jewish people and their leaders. Only a handful of ultra-Orthodox Jews have a passion for The Third Temple and have made all the preparations. But they have no popular support. Something will have to happen to create a surge of nationalistic pride that will demand a new temple. This catalytic event could be the discovery of the Ark of the Covenant.

Now, with increasing pressure from just about every world power, Israel is being forced to fight for its real estate, and ultimately, its very existence!

Shimon Peres, at 84, became the President of Israel. He has been one of the principal brokers of land for peace, and may be the one who finally sits down with Abbas’ for an East Jerusalem (and by default; a Temple Mount solution)."Peres" is the Hebrew word for "divided." It is the word the Prophet Daniel saw in Belshazzar's court when his kingdom was divided. Peres may play a prophetic role by permanently dividing Israel by declaring a Palestinian State. If not Peres and the Quartet it will certainly be somebody eventually.

To summarize, there is definitely going to be a third temple. It will most likely be erected at the beginning of the Tribulation in the form of a tent temple, like the Tabernacle of Moses. A more permanent structure will then be built around and above it. The Antichrist will desecrate this temple in the middle of the Tribulation.

The Tabernacle and the Temple functioned as witnesses to God's covenants with Israel. The presence of God in the Temple presupposed a covenant relationship. This was God's plan for the Temple from the beginning – the restoration of a relationship so that a kingdom of priests could be formed to reflect God's holiness on earth (Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7).

The Third Temple will be destroyed at the Second Coming of Yeshua (Jesus). The great earthquake at that time will radically change the topography of Jerusalem and all the earth (Revelations 6:12-17). In Jerusalem it will result in the provision of a very large level area where the Millennial Temple will be constructed. This is the temple from which Jesus will reign over all the earth. It is described in detail in Ezekiel 40-46.

God has a future for the nation of Israel in His plan, and that plan is to be realized in the same place as it was in the past, and then the Temple, as a prominent symbol of that nation's past failure, should be expected to be a part of its future restoration. This indicates that God has had and still has a purpose for the Temple, a purpose that will conflict with all plans not submitted to His own and therefore bring about the battle for the last days' Temple.

The most striking similarity between Solomon’s temple and the millennial temple is the presence of the "Shekinah" glory of the Lord. This glory departed from the earth before Solomon’s temple was destroyed BUT will return after the millennium or Kingdom temple is built by the Messiah (2 Chronicles 7:1 - 3; Zechariah 6:12 - 13 and Ezekiel 43:2 – 5). Maranatha Lord Yeshua!

We hope that you enjoy and become more informed by our work. We serve an awesome God and we are humbled by this opportunity to bring you this information.

With Shalom to you and your family always,
Alf & Julie Saunders

08th December, 2011

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