Chapter 72 - The Future of Jersalem

Israel lost their temple in 586 BC and were taken into Babylonian captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, just as Jeremiah had prophesied.

In 539 BC, Cyrus of the Persians sent them back to Jerusalem to rebuild their Temple, just as Isaiah had prophesied.

In 168 BC, Antiochus Epiphanies of the Greek Empire in Syria (the Seleucids) desecrated the temple and ended Jewish sacrifices, but was resisted by Judas Maccabeus who then cleansed the Temple to restore the daily sacrifice in 164 BC, just as Daniel had prophesied.

In 70 AD Titus and the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, dismantled the Temple, and scattered the Jewish people, just as Jesus had prophesied.

Since that time, history has seen almost 2,000 years of Gentile (Roman, Byzantine, Muslim, Crusader, Ottoman, British) domination of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, and the people of Israel themselves, just as Jesus told us would happen:

This is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. - Jesus in Luke 21:22-24

This verse sums up well what all the photos, images and descriptions in this book testify to. What Jesus said would happen has been exactly the situation in Jerusalem from 70 AD until now. Even today, when Israel is again a nation, the Temple Mount continues to be “trampled on by the Gentiles” and their pagan religion. Today we watch Jerusalem, waiting for the Age of the Gentiles to be fulfilled.

Even though many of the words and set times spoken of by men like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Jesus, and others concerning Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple have come to pass, many of their words are about days yet in the future. They spoke of events that have yet to be fulfilled: a Temple that has not yet been built, sacrifices that have not yet been restored, a whole generation of people who have not yet lived their lives. There is yet a future for Jerusalem that includes a Temple to the Lord on the Temple Mount and a Jerusalem filled with Jews who are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Even prophets of the New Testament and members of the church age attest to this fact in scripture.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans concerning the future of Israel:

I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! . . . Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring! . . . For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? – Romans 11:1, 11, 12, 15

Why do we watch? Why do we wait? Because the “fullness” of Israel and their “acceptance” of God’s plan in Jesus the Messiah, will result in “greater riches” and “life from the dead” (that is, the resurrection into the Kingdom of God).

So, what will happen between now and the time of the Jew’s national acceptance of Jesus spoken of in the book of Zechariah?

I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look to me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child . . . On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. - Zechariah 12:10; 13:1

My Image

This is a photo of the Golden Candle Stand prepared by The Temple Institute specifically for use on the Temple Mount in the next Temple. All the furniture, utensils and clothing required for the operation of the Jewish Temple have been prepared by The Temple Institute and are ready to be moved to the Temple Mount when the time comes. This includes the recently completed stone altar that is waiting to be moved to the Temple Mount even before the Temple is built, so that sacrifices may begin as soon as possible.

First, the Temple of God will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount. This Temple will still be standing when Jesus returns, as Paul describes in 2 Thessalonians:

He (“the man of lawlessness” from v.3) 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 . . . and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.- 2 Thessalonians 2:4, 8

Initially, after the Temple Mount is secured and the Temple of God is built, the Jews will resume their daily sacrifices and embrace a national peace compelled by global events. They will believe that God has led them into a golden age of peace through their faithfulness, political pragmatism, and the recent appearance of key leaders in Israel and the world. This simulated peace will not last long, and its collapse will usher in the worst days the world has ever seen. This will all be done in preparation for the Lord’s return. Paul describes it this way:

For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.- 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4

Daniel had predicted the events of 165 BC. He wrote centuries earlier about the days of the Macabbees, when Antiochus Epiphanes would set the altar of Zeus in the Temple, which was overlooked by the Akra fortress:

His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. They will set up the abomination that causes desolation. - Daniel 11:31

Likewise, Daniel also spoke of a similar event for a future day, and Jesus confirmed it would happen. Once again in the future, the Jewish Temple sacrifices will be interrupted and an image will be set up to defile the Temple, making it unclean for Jewish worship. First note that the words of Daniel describe this vile image, but also notice he mentions the unsuccessful peace that had seemingly been secured by a covenant:

He will confirm a covenant with many for one seven. In the middle of the seven he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. - Daniel 9:27

Jesus understood these words to be yet in the future and connected them to his Second Coming in Matthew:

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 . . . For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equaled again.- Matthew 24:15, 16, 21

This broken peace and the violation of the new Jewish Temple will bring back to the world age-old anti-Jewish sentiments that call for the destruction of the Jews.
(I am compelled to point out that this has been the prevailing attitude throughout the ages - from the Pharaohs of Egypt, the Midianites and the Philistines, from Assyria, Babylon, Edom and the Seleucids. It was continued by the Romans of Titus’ day, and then again by Hadrian who believed he could end the Jewish presence in Jerusalem, and even on the earth. After the Romans, Jerusalem was overrun by Islam, which was followed by persecution and rejection from the Christian Crusaders. The Catholic influence on the Reformers, combined with the Reformers’ own ignorance, led them to again renounce the Jews and discount them a place in eschatology. Instead of seeing what the scriptures say, the Reformers’ hubris inspired them to create an allegorical theology that replaced literal references to the Jews with an allegorical meaning of “the saints” - and the literal Jerusalem with “the church.” Even today the constant cry of the Muslim world is for the removal of the Jews from Israel and the return of Jerusalem to full Muslim control.) This wicked attitude is found to have again permeated the world in the final chapter of Zechariah, and it will continue until it is ultimately dealt with by the Lord:

I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley . . . On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in the summer and in winter. The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place . . . It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.- Zechariah 14:2-5, 8-10

Isaiah and Ezekiel also describe Jerusalem after Jesus’ return as a mountain that sets above all others:

In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. - Isaiah 2:2-3

In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city. - Ezekiel 40:2

Ezekiel goes on to describe another new Temple that will be built in Jerusalem on this mountain (Ezekiel 40-47). It is in this Temple that the Lord, Jesus the Messiah, will rule during the true golden age of the Kingdom of God on earth. Jesus spoke of this time when he said:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. - Matthew 25:31

In a vision of the future Ezekiel saw the Lord coming toward this Temple as he crossed the Kidron Valley from the Mount of Olives after having returned to earth:

I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory. . . . The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east. The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. - Ezekiel 43:2-5