Focus On Jerusalem


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.

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 David:

"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" (Acts 15:16,17).

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 disciples:

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

"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 of desolation:

"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. 9:27).

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 perdition;

"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 forthcoming.

Ezekiel Describes the Holy Site

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 description:

"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.

Share this page with your friends.

Articles Grace

Links Email Introductin

Subscribe Books Subscribe

Map Library Home

Study Webmaster