From: Messianic Bible
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2012 1:21 PM
“For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
This past weekend, the former Muslim mufti of Jerusalem, Ekrama Sabri,
told Palestinian media that Jewish groups planned to break into the mosques
that occupy the holy compound to desecrate them, and exhorted local
Muslims to protect the mosques from “the Israeli conspiracy against the city
and its holy places.”
The Dome of the Rock occupies the Temple Mount
and towers over the Western Wall below where
Jews pray because God chose this spot as His
dwelling place in the time of King David.
Contrary to Sabri’s unwarranted provocation, no Jew has ever
committed an act of desecration or disrespect for Muslim holy places
on the Temple Mount.
Israel’s Safeguarding the Holy Places Law protects Muslim places of
worship from such desecration. Furthermore, the Scroll of Independence
of the State of Israel guarantees freedom of worship and access to all the
holy places in Israel, whether a person is Jewish, Christian or Muslim.
Nevertheless, on Sunday, a group of Christian tourists on Jerusalem’s
Temple Mount were stoned by a mob of Palestinian Muslims.
Israeli police arrested 11 of the 50 Palestinians involved in the attack, and
three Israeli officers were wounded by the Arab stone-throwers.
On Monday, Christians atop the holy compound were once again stoned.
One police officer was injured and two Muslim assailants were arrested.
The Foundation Stone, or Rock (Sakhrah), which
is the rock beneath the Dome of the Rock in
The Dome of the Rock was erected between 689 and 691 CE, after
Muslims captured Jerusalem from the Christian Byzantines in the
It was deliberately built on the place where the Second Temple once stood
to protect the sacred rock, although many Muslims now insist that the Holy
Temple never existed.
Muslim’s believe that Mohammad made his night journey ascension to
heaven from this spot.
According to Jewish tradition, the Dome of the Rock covers the location
where the Holy of Holies stood in the Temple.
And within the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant that housed
the Ten Commandments. Only on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement)
was the High Priest allowed to enter the Holy of Holies to meet with God
and offer the blood atonement and the incense.
Model of the Tabernacle with the Menorah, the
Table of the Showbread, and the Incense Altar.
One of the greatest tragedies of Israel’s history was the loss of the Holy
Temple in Jerusalem. When the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 AD,
the focal point of Israel’s spiritual life disappeared along with it.
The First Temple
“When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up
your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will
establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name,
and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Samuel 7:12-13)
David, the shepherd boy who fought Goliath and became King, desired to
build a permanent dwelling place for God. But because he had been a man
of war and had too much blood on his hands, the task of building the First
Temple was given to his son Shlomo (Solomon), whose name in Hebrew
That first Temple, built by King Solomon around 1000 BC, was destroyed
by the Babylonians in 586 BC on Tisha B’av (the ninth day of the Hebrew
month of Av), and the Jews were exiled in Babylon.
Women praying in the Western Wall tunnels, which expose an additional
485 metres of the Wall. This is a spot in the tunnel where Jewish women
can be physically the closest to where the Holy of Holies once stood.
As prophesied by Jeremiah in the 29th chapter of Jeremiah, the
Jewish people returned to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon
(today Iraq) after 70 years. This prophecy was fulfilled after the
death of Jeremiah:
“This is what the Lord says: ‘When seventy years are completed for
Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back
to this place.’” (Jeremiah 29:10)
And about 100 years earlier Isaiah prophesied the name of the
the Persian King who would enable the Jewish people to return to
Jerusalem, specifically to rebuild the Temple.
This Prophecy was given about 100 years before King Cyrus was even born!
Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd
and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,”
and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’
Model of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem
When the Jews returned to Jerusalem from their Babylonian captivity, they
re-built the Temple, which was expanded four hundred years later by King Herod and
called ‘The Glorious Temple.’ Today we call this the Second Temple.
However, this Temple also did not stand.
In 70 AD (586 years later), on the same terrible calendar day of Tisha B’Av
(the ninth day of Av) that the First Temple was destroyed, the Roman army,
led by General Titus, annihilated Jerusalem, razed the Second Temple to the
ground, and sent the Jewish People into exile.
For the next nineteen centuries, Jews in exile longed not only to return to the
Promised Land, but also to see the Temple rebuilt and standing once again
on the Temple Mount.
Since Israel was re-born in 1948, and the Jews are now back in the Land,
all that is left to accomplish is the building of the Third Temple.
Devout Jews still pray three times daily: “May it be Thy will that the Temple
be speedily rebuilt in our days.”
Finally, after such a long wait, Bjoern, our generation may live to see
the Temple standing in Jerusalem and the Messiah return!
Model of the Second Temple
The Third Temple: Preparations Underway
Many people would be surprised to find out that extensive preparations for
the building of the Third Temple are already underway by an organization
called The Temple Institute, which is located in the Jewish quarter of
Jerusalem’s walled Old City.
It is an Orthodox organization dedicated to the controversial endeavor of
establishing the Holy Temple of God on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem,
something they view as a Biblical imperative.
As part of its mandate, the Temple Institute is actively working on the
restoration and construction of the sacred vessels necessary for use in
service for the Holy Temple. These are no mere replicas or models, but
authentic vessels, made from gold, copper, silver and wood.
Included among these are gold and silver vessels used in the incense and
sacrificial services, the tziz zahav (golden crown) of the Cohen HaGadol
(High Priest), and the Levitical musical instruments.
The three vessels most vital to Temple service have also been completed
and stand ready: the menorah (a seven branched candelabra), the Table
of Showbread, and the Incense Altar—all made of gold.
The choshen (breastplate), ephod, and tziz (crown) also stand ready for
service in the Holy Temple.
Currently underway and nearing completion after years of painstaking work
and research is the sacred uniform of the Cohen HaGadol (High Priest).
This solid gold menorah is one of three vessels vital to the Temple
service. Wailing wall in foreground, and Mount of Olives in background.
Rabbi Yisrael Ariel: Founder of the Temple Institute of Jerusalem
Who is the mastermind and spearhead behind this surprising project?
The Orthodox Jewish Rabbi, Yisrael Ariel, founder and head of the Temple
Institute, is a renowned Biblical scholar and author of several Hebrew
books, including the Atlas of the Biblical Boundaries of the Land of Israel.
He believes that each and every generation of Jews is obliged to do all they
can to rebuild the Holy Temple.
Rabbi Ariel’s convictions run counter to some Orthodox Jews who believe
that we must wait patiently for the Messiah (Moshiach) to come before the
Temple may be rebuilt.
Nevertheless, Rabbi Ariel is zealous about his convictions and dedicated
to his cause.
As a soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces’ paratrooper brigade, he was one
of the first soldiers to reach the Temple Mount when it was liberated by
Israel in the Six Day War of 1967.
On June 7, 1967, for the first time in almost 1900 years, Jerusalem came
back under Jewish control, and Rabbi Ariel was there.
At that time, he says, the vision was birthed in his heart to do all in his
power to assist in the rebuilding of the Holy Temple.
Twenty-one days later, on June 28, 1967 the Knesset passed a decree
annexing East Jerusalem, thereby bringing the entire city of Jerusalem back
under Jewish control.
Israel Defense Force paratroopers advanced
through the Old City toward the Temple Mount
and Western (Wailing) Wall on June 7, 1967, in
response to Jordan’s continued attacks and
occupation of the UN Headquarters in Jerusalem.
“It is so very difficult to describe the feeling that filled us during that
extraordinary time in the life of the nation. The words ‘ringing the bells of
the Messiah’ express in a limited way what was being felt in the heart,”
Rabbi Ariel writes in his Siddur HaMikdash (Holy Temple Prayerbook).
“This led to a certain sense of letdown that so many of us experienced. After
all, we have arrived at the threshold of the Holy Temple: we are standing at
the Western Wall – where is the Messiah?”
He explains that over time he realized expectations were “misplaced” and
that God expected the Jewish People to be proactive in the rebuilding of the Temple.
“Through the years, the more I studied the more I began to understand that
we had only ourselves and our own inaction to hold accountable: God does
not intend for us to wait for a day of miracles. We are expected to act.
“We must accomplish that with which we have been charged: to do all in
our power to prepare for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, and the renewal
of the divine service (Siddur HaMikdash, page 526).”
Kohanim discussing ritual purity in anticipation of the rebuilding of the Temple.
“Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and
rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be
seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a
trench, but in times of trouble.” (Daniel 9:25)
The fact that these amazing preparations are already well underway for the
rebuilding of the Third Temple has great prophetic significance for those
who await the return of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).
Although some controversy exists over the role that the Temple will play in
end-time prophetic developments, Scripture indicates that the Third Temple
will be standing on its original location on the Temple Mount before
Another key prophetic development has already taken place.
The fact that Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948 is one of the indications
that this generation is an end-time generation, Bjoern.
Yeshua said that when the fig tree (a symbol for Israel) blossoms, His return
is imminent – He is right at the door.
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and
its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see
all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.”
The Temple project is a clear prophetic sign that we are living at the very
end of the last days.
Yeshua spoke of the existence of a “holy place” in a future Temple.
He warned that in the Great Tribulation of the last days, those who are in
Judea are to flee to the mountains when they see the abomination of
desolation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet standing in the holy place.
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes
desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader
understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
What is this abomination of desolation? The prophet Daniel said that it
would stand in the Temple of God in Jerusalem.
“His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will
abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that
causes desolation.” (Daniel 11:31)
The remnants of Robinson’s Arch at the southern end of the Western Wall
in the Jerusalem Archaeological Park: Once a massive stone span along
the retaining walls of the Temple Mount, this arch was built during Herod’s
reconstruction of the Second Temple and provided access to the Mount.
You may be asking, if Yeshua was our sacrifice why will there be sacrifice in
the Third Temple?
We must remember that in the Book of Acts, the “Jewish Believers” were
still going to the Temple and following the Torah. They still kept the Biblical
feasts and fasts such as Yom Kippur, as well as Jewish tradition.
That is why in Act 21 we find Paul in attendance at the Temple undergoing
ritual cleansing with four fellow Believers.
We can understand then from these prophecies, among others, that the
Temple will be rebuilt before the Messiah comes to defeat the man of
lawlessness, the anti-Messiah, who will set himself up in the rebuilt Temple
and proclaim himself to be God.
“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until
the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man
doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over
everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in
God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
A view of Temple Mount (above/at the top of the Wailing Wall) where you see
the green trees. The people walking in front of the wailing wall is below the
Temple Mount. The Gold Dome of the Rock sits on the Temple Mount.
Opposition and Challenges to Rebuilding the Temple
So what mountains stand in the way of the building of the Third Temple?
Of course something of this magnitude does not come without strong
opposition and formidable practical, religious, and political challenges.
The most obvious obstacle to the rebuilding of the Temple is that the Temple
Mount upon which it needs to be rebuilt is now under Muslim control. It is
the Islamic holy site of the Dome of the Rock and Islamic mosques and shrines.
You may be asking yourself: If Israel liberated and regained control of
Jerusalem including the Temple Mount during the Six Day War in 1967,
then why was control of the Temple Mount, the site of the holiest place for
the Jews, given over to the Muslims?
The answer to this question is both clear and tragic.
After such a hard-won, against-all-odds, spectacular Israeli victory, General
Moshe Dayan, a secular Jew (who did not believe that the Bible was the
Word of God), and then minister of defense met with the five leaders of the
Supreme Muslim Religious Council at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Six day war: Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin,
General Rehavam Zeevi (R), and General Narkis in the old city of Jerusalem.
At this meeting, General Dayan, who obviously did not appreciate the
tremendous religious and historical significance of the Temple Mount,
ordered the removal of the Israeli flag which IDF soldiers had risked their
lives to hang from the golden dome.
Dayan also handed over administrative control to the Arabs (a Jordanian-
controlled Muslim trust called the Waqf). This policy – that Arab
authorities control and police Israel’s most sacred site – remains unchanged
Although Jews are permitted limited access to the site of the Temple Mount,
the reading of Jewish Scriptures or praying by either Jews or Christians is
prohibited, despite the fact that access to holy sites is guaranteed under
Because Muslim authorities do not permit Jewish prayer on the Temple
Mount, the custom of praying near the Western Wall developed, since it
was the site nearest to the Foundation Stone, which is covered by the Dome
of the Rock.
On Top of this, the chief rabbis have warned Jews not to pray on the Temple
Mount because they might desecrate the Holy of Holies, by unknowingly
standing on this place where only the High Priest was allowed to enter.
[When the Temple stood, access to the site was limited by a complex set
purity laws, and entrance was only permitted for the fulfillment of a
The Holy Mandate
“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.”
God has never withdrawn His command that Israel build Him a Sanctuary.
In fact, the prophet Haggai rebuked the people for neglecting the work of
rebuilding the Lord’s house.
“Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai. ‘Is it a time
for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house
remains a ruin?’” (Haggai 1:3-4)
Under the leadership of Zerubbabel, the work of rebuilding the Temple began.
“So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor
of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the
spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work
on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God.” (Haggai 1:14)
The Dome of the Rock atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, with men
praying below at the Western (Wailing) Wall.
Today, with Israel surrounded by a sea of hostile Arab neighbors bent on
her destruction, and with the Dome of the Rock sitting defiantly on the
Temple Mount, rebuilding the Holy Temple may seem like an impossibility.
However, Yeshua assures us that what seems impossible to man is possible
with God. (Matthew 19:26)
While we don’t know where on the Temple Mount the Third Temple will be
built, or how soon this will take place, we do know that all of the events taking
place with Iran, Syria, and Arab uprisings, that we approaching the Days of the
coming of Messiah.
God has a plan for Israel in these end times, and His plans will be accomplished
to fulfill His Word! Be a part of what God is doing at this moment in history!
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