Thursday, October 10, 2013 marked yet another incident in Jerusalem at the Temple Mount. Three Jewish men were arrested for praying on the site. Jews are allowed to pray there, but police can arrest anyone for praying there if their presence somehow contributes to a “disturbance to the public order.” The men were part of a larger Jewish group praying there, but the arresting officers took the men into custody for not following some prescribed guidelines.
The Temple Mount and the Al-Aqsa Mosque along with the Dome of the Rock continue to be a bone of contention between Muslims and Jews in the Middle East. A female minister of the Knesset (MK) noted today about the arrest incident that “[t]he Temple Mount issue will only be resolved through a peace agreement that will recognize it as a sacred place for the three religions – and only then can we allow all three religions to respectfully pray there and carry out their beliefs with pluralism, equality and mutual respect.” The MK may not be aware of this, but her words are aligned with what the prophets, Jesus, and the apostles predicted.
There are many who hate the idea of Israel having any claim to Jerusalem and the idea of them having a temple there. Many have tried to dismiss the Biblical prophecies of a temple being erected in the last days in Jerusalem as just figurative language not to be taken literally because, they say, God has no use for the Israelis having a physical temple any more. But, of course, that’s what was said by those who did not believe a physical nation of Israel would ever return to the Middle East. Then in 1948, God turned their doubts upside down and shook the doubters to their very foundation when Israel returned.
Daniel tells us that a peace agreement will one day be hammered out by associates of the Antichrist to erect a temple for Israelis. In Daniel 9:26-27, we are told that the “people of the prince” who destroyed Jerusalem after the Messiah’s death would “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…” The prince who destroyed Jerusalem was Titus and his people were the Romans.
A peace agreement will be established and confirmed for the Israelis with Rome’s help for “one week” of years, or seven years. During that time, the Antichrist will begin his ascension to power by wars and one war in particular will turn him completely against the people of the “holy covenant,” and “he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits,” Daniel 11:30-32.
As mentioned in Daniel 9 above, this act of war to make sacrifices in the temple stop to set up the abomination of desolation in the temple will occur midway through the seven year period of agreement which is 3 1/2 years into the covenant. But this ceasing of sacrifices and display of the abomination Jesus also warned about (Matthew 24:15-22) will only last 1290 days (about 3 1/2 years) according to Daniel 12:11.
What is this abomination that maketh desolate? Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2 that it is the moment when the Antichrist “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, shewing himself that he is God.” Yes, even Paul acknowledged there would be a physical temple in the last days. Ezekiel and the angel that accompanied him gave the physical specs for this temple in Ezekiel 40-44. This third temple is also mentioned in Revelation 11 when the apostle John is commanded to measure it and he is told to omit measuring the outer court where Gentiles will be allowed to congregate for 3 1/2 years, no doubt as part of the peace agreement.
It’s also interesting to note that during this first 3 1/2 years for 1260 days, the two witnesses will preach their message of repentance and judgment. Suffice it to say, Israel will one day have its temple as a condition of the Middle East peace agreement the whole world is anticipating.
Harry A. Gaylord