Israel Asks UN to
Control Holy Site
by: J. R. Church
War has broken out in Israel! The fighting that started on Rosh HaShanah,
September 29, has erupted in a "holy war" effort to destroy Israel. At the
time of this writing, hundreds are dead and thousands are injured. The
battleship USS Cole was damaged by Arab terrorists. If you have kept up with
the nightly news, then you are familiar with the details.Ezekiel Describes the Holy Site
We have been expecting this Middle East powder keg to explode for several
months. It seems to have started right on schedule. It all started on the
first day of the seventh millennium in the Hebrew calendar. That is the time
the prophets called the "day of the Lord." The current conflict may be the
predicted prelude to the battle of Gog and Magog.
Just prior to the outbreak, Israel asked the United Nations to assume
sovereignty over the Temple Mount, hoping the five permanent members of the
UN Security Council - Russia, China, France, Great Britain and the United
States - would assume control over the Holy Site.
The Palestinians rejected the idea of UN control, saying that the site
needed to come under full Palestinian sovereignty. For several months, the
Palestinians have been engaged in building projects on the Temple Mount. In
June, after opening a large prayer hall for 3,500 Moslems in the underground
Solomon's Stables area, the Palestinian leadership laid claim to their
possession of the Temple Mount as being permanent and said that no Jews
would be allowed to pray anywhere on the mount. Israel has been unsuccessful in getting the Palestinians to compromise on the issue of Temple Mount sovereignty. Yassir Arafat demanded that Israel relinquish all claims to their ancient Temple Site.
The only way Israel could ever hope to establish Temple Worship on the mount
would be if the UN could send troops to stand between the warring factions.
Such a move seems to fit perfectly with several biblical prophecies about
the Temple Mount being under the control of "Gentiles." In the book of
Revelation, John is told that Gentiles will control the Temple Mount during
the Tribulation Period: "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship
therein. "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not;
for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under
foot forty and two months" (Rev. 11:1,2).
The term "Gentiles," may refer to a plurality of nations, rather than just a
single group of Islamic Palestinians. The current suggestion that the United
Nations be given Temple Mount sovereignty seems to be in keeping with the
prophecy. In light of recent claims made by the Palestinians, it seemed that Israel
would be forever banned from the Temple Mount. We wondered how the Jews
would ever be able to establish Temple liturgy if the Holy Site were turned
over to a new Palestinian nation. However, if the UN were given custody of
the area, the Security Council might try something Solomon once suggested
and divide the "baby" right down the middle! Under such an arrangement, Israel might be given the northern half of the Temple Mount for the erection of a sanctuary, while the southern half - from the Mosque of Omar to the Al Aksa Mosque - be retained by the Moslems. Amos predicted that the future sanctuary would be a tent - the Tabernacle of
"In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and
close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will
build it as in the days of old:
"That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which
are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this" (Amos 9:11,12).
This passage is quoted in Acts 15, giving an alternative translation -
perhaps from the Septuagint or Greek translation of the verses:
"After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David,
which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will
set it up:
"That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles,
upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things"
Instead of possessing the "remnant of Edom," as the Amos passage is
translated, Peter refers to it as "the residue of men might seek after the
Lord." It seems likely to me that the "remnant" refers to the Jews who have
returned to their ancient land. Also, Amos spells the Hebrew term,
translated as "Edom," the same as "Adam." The "remnant" may well be a
reference to the Jews returning from their long exile among the nations.
Secondly, the Amos passage mentions all the "heathen, which are called by my
name," whereas, Peter translates it as "all the Gentiles, upon whom my name
is called." This appears to be a reference to Gentile Christianity. I know
of no other Gentiles who bear the name of Christ. The prophet Isaiah noted that the future place of Jewish worship would be centered in the Tabernacle of David, rather than the Mosaic Tabernacle. He suggested that it will be set up on the Temple Mount, and that the Kingdom throne will be established in it:
"And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in
truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting
righteousness" (Isaiah 16:5).
I cannot feature Jesus setting up His Kingdom and using the Mosaic
Tabernacle. Christ represents Grace - the priesthood of the Abrahamic
Covenant, and would never revert back to the Mosaic Law as symbolized by the
Mosaic Tabernacle. It seems quite clear that the ancient tent used by David
to house the Ark of the Covenant will be restored and used as a place of
worship. It is there that the Antichrist will commit the "abomination of
desolation" in the midst of the Tribulation Period. Jesus told the
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by
Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him
"Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains" (Matt. 24:15,16).
Jesus referred back to a passage originally given to Daniel by the angel
Gabriel. Daniel was told that at the end of a series of sabbatical cycles, a
final seven years would be observed. The Antichrist would first "confirm a
covenant with many," then abrogate the covenant and commit the abomination
"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst
of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for
the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the
consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Dan.
Later, Daniel is told that the Antichrist will take control of the Temple
Mount and establish his own palace there:
"And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the
glorious holy mountain" (Dan. 11:45).
If Temple Mount sovereignty were turned over to the United Nations, it would
be more likely that such a desecration could take place. Paul also spoke of
this time when the Antichrist will take control of the sanctuary and declare
himself to be the messiah:
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except
there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of
"Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is
worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself
that he is God" (II Thes. 2:3,4).
This can only take place if a Jewish sanctuary is allowed to be constructed
on the Temple Mount. Under present circumstances, Jews are not allowed on
the Holy Site, but if the UN is given control, then a compromise may be
Ezekiel gives us the best description of the future Temple Site. He begins
by referring to a tent or "tabernacle" being set up on the Temple Mount just
prior to the invasion by Gog and Magog:
"Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an
everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them,
and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
"My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they
shall be my people. "And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore" (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
In the opening verses of chapter 38, Gog leads an invasion force against
Israel. Perhaps the current war over Temple Mount sovereignty will
eventually involve Syria and bring about the Russian invasion. As we have
seen in recent days, it doesn't take much for the Palestinians to be enraged
over Jews coming up to the Temple Mount. The battle of Gog and Magog will bring about great changes for the world. Upon their defeat, Israel will spend the next seven years burning the weapons. These "seven years" conform to the years of the Tribulation Period, the end of which will see the final conflict, followed by the birds eating
the flesh of the slain upon the battlefield. Ezekiel takes us to the end of the seven years in chapters 40-48. He specifies the time as Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and shows us what the Temple Mount will look like when the Messiah arrives in power and great
glory. He opens his description with a vision of the sacred hill:
"In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the
year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the
city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me, and
brought me thither. "In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south"
(Ezekiel 40:1,2). If one looks to the south of the Temple Mount, there are the archeological excavations - the ruins of ancient Jerusalem. Ezekiel describes them as "the
frame of a city on the south." All that stands today are what is left of the
walls - just outlines framing where the buildings once stood in
first-century Jerusalem. Next, Ezekiel comes to the Eastern Gate - not the gate that stood in his day, but the gate that actually stands today. Note the accurate description
of today's gate - proving that Ezekiel was transported into the future to
view the scene of today's Temple Mount:
"Then came he unto the gate which looketh toward the east, and went up the
stairs thereof, and measured the threshold of the gate, which was one reed
broad; and the other threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad.
"Then measured he the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and the posts
thereof, two cubits; and the porch of the gate was inward" (Ezekiel 40:6,9).
Note the panoramic picture of the Eastern Gate (page 4) and see the
similarity with Ezekiel's description. The prophet saw two gates, each
measuring about 10 feet, six inches, with the porch of the gate on the
inside. He also describes the stairs shown to the right of the picture.
Seven verses later, Ezekiel describes the narrow windows and little
chambers: "And there were narrow windows to the little chambers, and to their posts
within the gate round about, and likewise to the arches: and windows were
round about inward" (Ezekiel 40:16). Then, Ezekiel describes the sanctuary as a tent or tabernacle: "Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts, six cubits
broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the
breadth of the tabernacle" (Ezekiel 41:1).
These measurements of the front of the tent do not conform to the Mosaic
Tabernacle, which was ten cubits wide. This tent was 12 cubits wide, with a
post in the middle. The Mosaic Tabernacle had five posts across its front.
Therefore, it seems likely that Ezekiel could be describing the Tabernacle
of David. Next, the prophet measures the courtyard of the sanctuary and notes that a
wall has been constructed across the area to make a separation between the
Jewish house of worship and a "profane place" located on one side of the
Temple Mount: "He measured the south side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed. He turned about to the west side, and measured five hundred reeds with the
measuring reed. "He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the
sanctuary and the profane place" (Ezekiel 42:18-20).
I am convinced that the Mosque of Omar is that "profane place" described by
Ezekiel. Also called the Dome of the Rock, it will remain, along with the Al
Aksa Mosque, at the end of the seven years - the very day when the Messiah
returns in power and great glory. Carefully read the following lengthy
"Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the
east: "And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east:
and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his
glory" (Ezk. 43:1,2). "And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. "So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.
"And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.
"And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of
the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of
Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile,
neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcasses of
their kings in their high places. "In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed
them in mine anger" (Ezekiel 43:4-8). Note several things about this passage. First, the Jewish sanctuary seems to be located directly west of the Eastern Gate. The glory will come across the Kedron Valley from the Mount of Olives, cross directly over the Eastern Gate and enter the house. Next, the Messiah speaks to Ezekiel and complains that the profane place still stands on the Temple Mount. Christ notes that their threshold stands
next to His threshold with a wall built between them. Note also, that Christ
says that they have been consumed in His anger.
When Ezekiel asks why the Eastern Gate was closed, he was told that it will
remain shut. It is shut today:
"Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which
looketh toward the east; and it was shut.
"Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be
opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of
Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut" (Ezk. 44:1,2).
Only a governing body like the United Nations can make the Temple Mount
available for a Jewish presence. The government of Israel has never
attempted to secure the area for Jewish worship. Religious Jews have had to
content themselves with the outer wall on the west side of the hill. Nor is
the Israeli government likely to try - not in the face of fierce Palestinian
opposition. The call for United Nations control may well set the stage for
the Tribulation events predicted in the Bible.