Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” Isaiah 56:7 NKJV
As a result of recent events, I believe most everyone by now understands that the area in Jerusalem known as the Temple Mount is by far the most contentious piece of real estate in Israel. The attempted assassination of Yehudah Glick, a Rabbi who has long advocated for allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, has brought new and increasing tensions to an already volatile area of the Middle East. Riots and protests have been the order of the day for the past week or so and only in the past few days have we seen a calming of the tensions surrounding the mount.
Yet might this simply be the calm before the real storm? I enjoy reading quotes in the news from both Islamic and Jewish officials arguing over the Temple Mount, especially when they choose to use the term “ownership”. From conversations I have, sometimes I think I am the only one who has noticed this? In the prophecy of Isaiah, it seems to me that God chooses to address this very argument by four times stating exactly who the real owner is. Of the Temple, God says “My holy mountain”, “My house of prayer”, “My altar”, and “My house”. I think you could make the case here that He settles the ownership issue rather emphatically if not completely.
Yet in spite of the opposition by those opposed to an place of worship for the Jews, the Bible makes it very clear in many places, including the Isaiah passage, that there soon will be a rebuilt Temple in Israel for worship and for sacrifice. I am sure you will recall this passage from Daniel referring to the coming desecration which will occur in the Temple by the antichrist at the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:27 NKJV
Paul the Apostle also refers to this same event in his letter to the Thessalonians.
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NKJV
So if there obviously will be a rebuilt Temple sometime in the near future, it seems logical that as watchers we should be sensitive and cognizant of any and all developments surrounding the Temple Mount and the movement to allow the Jewish people a place to worship. How soon might all of this play out? Most scholars believe that it is the antichrist who manages to convince all parties to agree to the construction of the future Temple in Israel. This will obviously be quite an accomplishment yet there is a possible answer to the “how” part of this question which I think might surprise you, and the key to that is found in the following prophecy from Ezekiel.
“by the border of Judah, from the east side to the west, shall be the district which you shall set apart, twenty-five thousand cubits in width, and in length the same as one of the other portions, from the east side to the west, with the sanctuary in the center. “The district that you shall set apart for the LORD shall be twenty-five thousand cubits in length and ten thousand in width. “To these—to the priests—the holy district shall belong: on the north twenty-five thousand cubits in length, on the west ten thousand in width, on the east ten thousand in width, and on the south twenty-five thousand in length. The sanctuary of the LORD shall be in the center. Ezekiel 48:8-10 NKJV
Exactly what is this passage telling us? Well, I think I will take that up next week but in the meantime I will leave you with a few links which I hope will give you some idea as to the situation in Jerusalem right now and the seriousness of the tensions surrounding the Temple Mount.
We’re Ready to Rebuild the Temple
Trudy Rubin: Pull back, before Armageddon
Violence leads Israel to close contested Temple Mount-Al Aqsa site
Tensions continue at Jerusalem holy site
Muslim Internet 'list' targets Temple Mount activists