This last week I shared the idea with a Christian lady of starting a fund to rebuild the lost Jewish Temple in Jerusalem on the site of the Temple Mount. I asked her, "Is this cause something you would support with a donation?"
She replied, "No." I charitably thought, She has no money to give to construct a house for God. So I then asked her, "Perhaps you would spread the word about this good news."
She said, "No, I will not." She then asked for a Bible and read to me this passage:
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace [be] on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God" (Galatians 6:15, 16).
She told me that Christians are the New Israel, implying there is no need for a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
I am sure his Christian lady was well-meaning, but unfortunately her theology has misinformed her, and for her and kindred millions of like-minded sincere believers along the spectrum of Christianity, has led to real-world consequences. By assuming themselves to be the New Israel, Christians have often become anti-Semitic in their attitude and behavior toward ethnic Jews and Judaism.
In the Epistle to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul addressed Gentile converts. He assured them they constituted Israel as much as their ethnic Jewish brethren because these Gentile believers demonstrated the true spirit of Judaism. Ethnic Jewish coverts had challenged the standing of Gentile converts, a problem that would persist in the Diaspora until Gentile converts outnumbered their Jewish brethren in the universal Church. Paul noted that Gentile converts had received the Holy Spirit, proof of their adoption into the family of God.
By referring to Gentile converts as Israel, Paul INCLUDED them in Israel rather than EXCLUDED Jews from their rightful heritage. Christians who deny that the literal nation of Israel and the Jewish people have an unfilled part in the prophetic scheme, have turned the faith upside down and usurped the role of the Chosen People.
Paul wrote, "Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. . . . God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew" (Romans 11:1, 2). There is no clearer statement of Paul's theology. Some Christians would have us believe that Paul was inconsistent, yet perhaps they themselves are mistaken in their interpretation.
Apologists err who use their brand of religion to wage a war of words or worse against the Jews, claiming that because a majority of Jews rejected Jesus Christ two thousand years ago, He Himself showed a kindred, vengeful spirit and rejected them and bade His followers to do likewise. There is nothing further from the truth and spirit advocated by Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?" (Matthew 21:42).
Treatment of the Jews is a test of Christian fidelity. Individuals and nations will stand and fall in relation to this.
There are ways to address where the Jews themselves as a people have erred, as for example, in their treatment of Palestinians, the important strangers within their gates. But these methods do not include Holocaust denial, threats to drive the nation of Israel into the ocean, or exporting state-sponsored terrorism. Such efforts have sullied the noblest aspects of other religions.
It is doubtful that all Christians can be reasonably persuaded that God regards the literal Jews as the apple of His eye and intends to fulfill His covenant promises to them. The Book of Revelation is concerned in its entirety with the Restoration of national Israel and predicts possible conflict between the Jewish Good Antichrist and Christian obstructionists as the natural outcome of a failure by some Christians to comprehend this truth. In Revelation 13:7 we read, "[I]t was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations". Christians are not bidden by Jesus Christ to interfere with the natural progression of God's prophetic plan. Hopefully, only few will disobey God.
The 14.4 hectare (35-acre) Haram Ash-Sharif or "Noble Sancturary", popular known as the Temple Mount, is probably the most contested spot on earth.
The eyes of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are centered there, where according to the prophet Isaiah,
"[I]t shall come to pass in the last days, [that] the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (2:2-4).
If done according to the plan of God, the effort of building the Temple of God on the Temple Mount as a house of prayer for ALL people (Isaiah 56:7; Mark 11:17) can be the means of uniting the houses of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. If attempted outside the plan of God, meddling on the Temple Mount would likely inflame the violent passions of millions of religious zealots, possibly culminating in the event popularly known as Armageddon.
God designs that His messiah build Him a House so that He may dwell among His people.
When Paul wrote that the Good Antichrist, the second of the two biblical messiahs, resides in the "Temple of God" (2 Thessalonians 2:4), the Apostle could not possibly have meant the Vatican in the city of Rome. Looking with the prophetic eye down the stream of time, Paul foresaw the restoration of God's House in Jerusalem. The setting is the eschatological Day of the Lord (1:7-10), when we can expect the Second Advent of Jesus Christ (2:1, 2). There is no internal evidence within the epistle that would lead us to believe that by "temple" Paul meant the mystical body of Christ; i.e., the Christian Church.
Paul wrote two epistles to the Thessalonians, a community of Christians residing in ancient Thessalonica. A miracle in the form of a vision appears to be the direct cause of Paul's evangelism there. This miracle is recorded in Acts 16:9, 10, "And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a [M]an of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them".
The Man of Macedonia is likely an allusion to the latter-day messiah, who is raised for the specific purpose of restoring the Jews to their homeland and re-establishing the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. This work appears to be the outcome of a new treatment of the meaning of Gospel to include the ancient biblical truth regarding Dual Messiahs (Revelation 14:6, 7).
The restoration of the Gospel of Dual Messiahs (Revelation 14:6, 7) coincides with 1) the occupation of the Temple Mount by the Good Antichrist Lamb (verse 1) and, 2) the prophetic heavenly voice coming from a place known as Many Waters (verse 2).
Ethnic Macedonian descent is one of many biblical clues regarding the identity of the true prophetic Good Antichrist and is confirmed by numerous other proofs, which I will not here recount. Between the years 1941 and 1943, Adolph Hitler deported 49,000 Jews, the majority of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, to Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. It is estimated the community suffered a 96.5 percent mortality. Like Herod of old, Hitler did not succeed in destroying the legitimate contender for the position of universal power to which he himself aspired.
Today, Thessaloniki, or Thessalonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the nation's largest region, Macedonia.
FEATS OF THE MESSIAH
In 2 Samuel 7:1-13 the prophet Nathan foretells the peace of Israel, which he associates with the restored Jewish Temple. His prophecy suggests the following:
1) A messiah would arise from among the Jews;
2) This messiah would NOT be sinless;
3) He would rebuild the Jewish Temple;
4) He would restore the Jews as a nation;
5) He would orchestrate peace between the Jews and their national neighbors such that they live side-by-side with the Jews in peace;
6) The kingdom he founds would last forever.
In order for the prophecy of Nathan to be fulfilled, the Temple must be built on the same site as the Al-Aqsa Mosque. According to tradition, this general site is the place where Abraham offered Isaac. Making the Temple Mount a seat and House of Prayer for all the monotheistic religions requires a latter-day messiah who can marshal a supernatural authority that is found only in religion. I propose this messiah is at once the Jewish Messiah, Christian Good Antichrist (of the Dual Messiahs), and Muslim Mahdi. Only thus could he fulfill the conditions of this prophecy.
STATUS OF JERUSALEM
Some peace advocates have proposed that Jerusalem be granted the status of an International City. Leaving aside the disposition of the larger territory of Jerusalem, is it warranted to consider converting the 14.4 hectare (35-acre) of the Temple Mount into the sovereign territory of a latter-day messiah?
For example, if committed to the administration of a democratic Israel, would not the Temple Mount become the object of the ceaseless disputation characteristic of democracies? Should not religion be above political and sectarian wrangling?
Perhaps verse 14 of Nathan's prophecy (2 Samuel 7) offers guidance: "I [God]will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him . . .". We learn that this messiah is 1) not morally infallible (thus discounting that this messiah is Jesus Christ) and, 2) God personally chastises him, suggesting that his sovereignty is beholden to none.
By referring to Gentile converts as Israel, Paul INCLUDED them in Israel rather than EXCLUDED Jews from their rightful heritage. Treatment of the Jews is a test of Christian fidelity. Individuals and nations will stand and fall in relation to this.
God designed to return the Jews to their historic homeland in the Latter Days, when under the leadership of the messiah they would build a house for God to dwell among His people.
Is it not suitable to begin a fund for the construction of a House of God on the Temple Mount? Sincere believers -- Jews, Christians, and Muslims -- are encouraged to morally and materially supporting this effort.