Goodnews Christian Ministry
"I will restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem and build them again as they were before." ---Jeremiah 33:7
"The people shouted, the trumpets sounded.
When they heard the sound of the trumpet, the people raised a mighty war cry and the wall collapsed then and there."
"All these things you are staring at now -- the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another: everything will be destroyed." (Lk.21:6).
When Jesus predicted the destruction of the Jewish temple and all of its buildings in Jerusalem, most of his words came true within just 40 years. The Roman army in 70 A.D. pulled down every building and portico on the temple compound.
Yet, a few stones were left intact and stand to this day. What remains standing in Jerusalem today from the time of Christ are not buildings, but a wall.
Called 'Herod stones' because they were designed and carved by Herod's master architects, the hewn rocks which compose this wall constitute the fine stonework that adorned the structures and foundation platform upon which the temple and all of its adjacent buildings once stood.
While nothing is left of Herod's temple itself, some of this foundation wall is still in place. The western wall -- called the 'wailing wall' by the Jews -- is actually a part of this foundation platform. It had little to do with the temple itself, but because the muslims now firmly control the actual rock upon which the temple was constructed, the Jews today are resigned to this wall.
It is called the 'wailing' wall because of the intense remorse Jewish people associate with the loss of their temple and the rock of Abraham on which the temple was built -- two of the holiest shrines in the Jewish religion.
Both are gone -- the rock and the temple -- and, according to prophecy, they are gone forever because God gave them away. He left the Jewish nation only this wall -- a wall that has now become, in effect, the Jewish temple in absentia.
While Christians believe that Jesus is the true temple of God and that Peter is the actual 'rock' on which God's Church is built, the Jews still focus on the rock of Abraham. That is why the temple and the boulder on which it stood are so important to them.
Because of this importance, when the day recently came for the restoration of Jerusalem in fulfillment of Joel's prophecies, one of the very first Jewish priorities was the repair and restoration of the wailing wall.
For several years, however, they could not get at it. The Palestinian Arabs who controlled this part of Jerusalem had built their houses right up to the wall, blocking many portions of it and severely limiting Jewish access to it.
After the six-day war in 1967 when the Jews finally gained control of this sector of Jerusalem, they pulled down those Palestinian houses and opened up a large square in front of the wall.
In his prophesy about the restoration of Jerusalem, Isaiah foresaw this event: "You counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you pulled down houses to strengthen the wall." (Is.22:10).
Isaiah's words warned the Jews that their rejoicing at this restoration was untimely, because it was leading to a day of panic and rout (Is.22:1-14), and that during this rout the walls of Jerusalem would be thrown down.
"For this, a day of panic and rout is from the Lord God Almighty. In the valley of Hinnom a wall is thrown down, they are shouting for help on the mountains. Persia takes up his quiver, Aram mounts his horse and Kir fetches out his shield. Your fairest valleys are filled with chariots and the horsemen take up positions at the gates; thus falls the defense of Judah." (Is.22:5-8).
Added support for Isaiah's warnings are clear in the prophecies of disaster which Jeremiah and Ezekiel announced would sweep the nation of Israel as the days of the End unfold.
These warnings are not veiled and they are uniquivocal. The defense of Judah is destined to crumble in the last days under the onslaught of Persian invaders.
As we have seen, the Jews have been restored to Jerusalem by God for the purpose of repenting in the mercy He has offered to the world through Jesus Christ -- a mercy the early Jewish leaders rejected.
God has returned His people to Jerusalem to hear again the Gospel, the living water of heaven which has power to save this world.
But Jewish ears are still tuned to Moses. Ignoring Jesus Christ, they have attempted to rebuild the old traditions there instead. Scripture has termed this misconstruction, 'plastering the old wall' rather than 'rebuilding' a new one. (Ez.13:10).
A 'new' wall would be one created by the encompassing power of the Holy Spirit --a power that could only be obtained through faith and baptism into Christ. This is a wall far different than one emplaced by the whitewashing of Herod stones.
The old traditions were quite militant, and the renewal of these traditions has follow suit. Not content to stay within the confines of the boundaries set for them by the United Nation's mandate, a powerful Jewish contingent has undertaken a concerted campaign to regain the ancient boundaries which Israel enjoyed at the time of Solomon.
Successful at war, Israel has expanded its borders into the neighboring countries of Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon -- occupying a part of each.
Until it rolled its tanks into Lebanon, the Jewish fighting had been predominately defensive in nature, but the Lebanese invasion was aggressive; and it steeled, as never before, the muslim world's resolve against them. Because of this, it has focused new attention on the pronouncement of the ancient prophet, Habbukuk:
"The cup from God's right hand comes round to you, and disgrace will overshadow your glory. For the violence done to Lebanon is going to overwhelm you, so will the slaughter of terrified beasts, for you have shed men's blood and ravished the country, the city and all who live in it." (Hab.2:16-17).
The slaughter of the 'terrified beasts' under Jewish forces in Beirut was so inhumane it actually went to trial.
Before Israel invaded it, Beirut was considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Called by many the 'Switzerland' of the Middle East because of its wealth, it boasted a fervent modernity unsurpassed in the civilized world. After the war, its ruins became the planet's specter for Armageddon. Habbakuk's prophecy warns that this image is to a be for Israel, a vision in a mirror.
In conquering and destroying Lebanon, the Jews brought to an end Christian rule in that country and caused the entire balance of power in the Middle East to shift away from the Arabs and into the hands of the Persian Shiites of Iran.
Not content to live legally under the protection of God in faith, the Jewish nation has embarked, instead, on a military solution to it's problems.
In pursuing that kind of remedy, they have invaded and confiscated lands in violation of the mandate of freedom given to them by the powers of Babylon -- a legal reprieve (approved by God) from the binding terms of the diaspora.
It is this conquest and occupation -- the usurping of lands that do not legally belong to them -- that has brought the nation of Israel to the brink of disaster in the last days.
For ordinary nations, the rules and spoils of war go to the strongest power, but the nations of God are judged by a higher authority. (Amos 3:2).
This is doubly true for the current Israel because it resides in Palestine today only by virtue of a treaty it had been bound by the nations to keep -- a codicil to the treaty Christ sealed with Babylon at the cross.
This is why Hosea's prophecy has such meaning today: "Because you have trusted in your chariots, and in your host of warriors, turmoil is going to break out in your towns, and all your fortresses will be laid waste..." (Hos.10:13-14).
Most Christians understand that the restoration of Jerusalem is for the purpose of the Jewish meeting with God's chosen king, Jesus Christ. But the Jews who went to Palestine had no intention of attending any such meeting.
They went there instead, with the single mind of returning to the old covenant and to the old boundaries.
Isaiah warned that such an event would happen: "In the middle you made a reservoir between the two walls for the waters of the old pool." (Is.22:11). The cisterns they have constructed are for Mosaic waters, not for the living waters Jesus offered. Any Jew who believes in Jesus is denied Israeli citizenship outright and must be deported.
Isaiah predicted that the Jews would misconstrue God's purpose in restoring them to Jerusalem and that, as a consequence, the conflagration of the last days would catch them unrepentant and sweep most of them away. (Is.22:5-14).
"Instead of my people rebuilding the wall, these people come and slap on plaster." (Ez.13:10).
God created, at the time of Christ, a wreckage in Jerusalem as a signal so that people everywhere would understand their need to rebuild their lives, not in walls and buildings, but in the grace of the Holy Spirit through faith in the king of Peace, Jesus Christ.
Instead of rebuilding themselves in the integrity of God's Gospel, however, the Jews have returned to Jerusalem with an idea of restoring the stones of king Herod.
As a sign to the world that the true wall of God is a life of integrity and not Herod stones, during the disaster of the last days the Bible states that the wall of king Herod will come crashing down.
"When I have exhausted my anger against the wall and those who plastered it, I shall say to you: The wall is gone, and so are those who slapped it over with plaster, these prophets of Israel who prophesy about Jerusalem and have visions of peace for her when there is no peace." (Ez.13:10-16)
Another wall is also destined to fall in Jerusalem. This is the eastern wall which faces the Mount of Olives. This is the wall housing the sealed Golden Gate, which is the last of the eight gates leading into the Palestinian city of Jerusalem.
The other seven gates were left open by the muslims when they rebuilt the city and its walls many centuries ago, but this eighth gate they sealed because they felt that by closing it off they could prevent the Jewish Messiah from coming through it in fulfillment of the Rabbinical traditions.
Neither the muslims nor the Jews believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Both look for someone else.
Jewish tradition taught that the Messiah would come into Jerusalem through a portal called the 'Golden Gate' which faced east toward the Mount of Olives. When the muslims learned of this, they sealed the eastern gate to prevent anyone entering at this location. It has remained sealed to the present day.
At the end of time, when Michael the Archangel appears on the Mount of Olives, the sealed golden gate will be opened by God, and it is to this opening that Michael will procede on his journey to Jerusalem, heralding the second coming of Jesus Christ, whose brilliant re-appearance will follow right afterward, just as soon as Michael calls out the command. (1 Thes.4:16).
For this reason, when the western wall comes down and the golden gate is made open to the east, it will be a sign to the whole world that the return of Jesus is imminent.
It will be just the same then as it was in Jericho when the people of the Lord shouted the war cry: "The people shouted, the trumpets sounded. When they heard the sound of the trumpet, the people raised a mighty war cry and the wall collapsed then and there." Joshua 6:20).
In this same way, the stone and mortar seals on the eastern gate will crumble and fall away when Michael is near.
Because they encompass the city of Jerusalem, each one of these eight gates have a symbolic meaning -- a meaning which points to Jesus -- the true master of Jerusalem.
The seven open gates of this city stand for the seven churches of Christ. By preaching Jesus -- these churches are the seven gates to the Gospel (which is Jesus -- the temple of the Lord). Seven is a symbolic number standing for the sum total of Christian worship on earth.
The eighth gate -- the sealed gate -- stands for Judaism. Together they represent the two Houses of Israel.
Spiritually, the eighth gate was sealed by God long before the muslims came. This sealing took place in fact when the Jewish blindness was first decreed -- a decree announced by the Apostle Paul. For this reason, the opening of this gate points to the restoration of Jewish sight and to their reunion with the Lord at the end of time.
This is why the golden gate will tumble open at the end -- to show the Jews that the One they have been waiting for all these years is about to re-appear.
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