The question of whether the Temple in Jerusalem must be physically rebuilt before the Messiah returns and the End Time comes is a subject hotly debated by some Jews and Christians. The dispute arises from predictions about the end of the world found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and the New Testament, particularly the Revelation to John. All the predictions agree that the defeat of Satan/evil in the End Time will lead to a time of peace. People who believe in these predictions tend to think the time of peace will validate their own religious beliefs, i.e. Jewish or Christian, so they are anxious to support these events.There is a major difficulty for those who believe that a third Jewish Temple must be built at the same site in Jerusalem where the first two stood before the prophecies can be fulfilled. The Islamic Dome of the Rock is situated where the first two Jewish Temples were located and has been there for over a millennium. A new Temple could not be built unless the Dome of the Rock was removed by a natural disaster or human agency. An attempt to remove the building would pretty much guarantee war.Though this issue may seem unimportant to many, beliefs about what will and will not lead to the End Time and the return of a Messiah underlie the positions individuals and nations take on the issue of control of Israel and Jerusalem and can have a dramatic effect on peace in the Middle East in the twenty-first century. This paper will examine the history of the Temple Mount, modern efforts to bring about a third Temple in Jerusalem, and how these views can influence politics.
[...] A Southern Baptist cattle breeder from Mississippi decided to help, because he too believed the Temple must be rebuilt before Jesus returns and the Christian-dominated time of peace can occur. He bred red heifers and shipped them to Israel for breeding there. A red heifer was born in Israel on April and has been declared kosher by rabbis. Some perceive this as a step toward rebuilding the Temple and a sign from God that he wants the Temple rebuilt. V. [...]
[...] From that time Jerusalem remained a Christian city for 288 years, until first the Persians and then Caliph Umar conquered the city. Umar built a mosque on the temple mount and then replaced it with the Dome of the Rock. The Temple mount has special significance in Islam, because it is believed to be the place from which Mohammad ascended to Heaven to see a vision of God. A golden ladder is said to have appeared on the mount and Mohammad climbed it through seven heavens to receive instructions from Allah. [...]
[...] This paper will examine the history of the Temple Mount, modern efforts to bring about a third Temple in Jerusalem, and how these views can influence politics. II. The Two Temples and the Dome of the Rock The place where the two Jewish temples were built has a long and interesting history, with the earliest traces of settlements in the area dating back to 3000 BCE. Archeological evidence shows that the settlement there was called Urusalim, which means “Foundation of God.” Around 1000 BCE the Hebrew king David, who had united the kingdoms of Israel and Judea, conquered the area and renamed it Jerusalem, meaning “City of Peace.” This became the capital of David's new kingdom, and in about 955 BCE, the sacred Ark of the Covenant that the Hebrews had built during their years in the desert was taken there. [...]
[...] The formation of Israel as a state has also encouraged both Jews and Christians who believe that a third Temple must be built before this flawed world will end. In the hands of terrorists, these beliefs can substantially increase the risk of violence and provoke conflict if the Dome of the Rock is attacked. However we may feel about biblical prophecy, in looking at events and situations in the Middle East, we have to keep in mind that beliefs about prophecy have contributed and will continue to contribute to political positions relating to Israel as a nation. [...]
[...] During that time the of the ruins of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher built by Constantine and Helena were rebuilt, and the Dome of the Rock was turned into a Christian shrine called Templum Domini or “Temple of the Lord.” Christians, who have controlled the city for less than 400 years in total, do not claim a right to control it now, but many important Christian shrines are located there and many Christians are interested in events there, because they believe those events can determine when the End Time will arrive. III. [...]
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