A Great Day!!
The last day of site seeing before we began our long trip back home. They saved the best for last, this day was to be jam packed full with experiences. We can remember watching Zola Levitt back in the 80's and we would watch him go around Jerusalem and talk about the upcoming prophecies. Zola was special because of the great music that he had accompanying the videos his crew made. Most of those songs he wrote himself. Before the Lord called him to his ministries, Zola was trained as a music composer. We would watch Zola around the temple mount/Haram al-Sharif as he explained the facts, but never did we seriously think that someday we would actually visit here. Zola made an appearance at our church years ago before the new millennium arrived.
The Bible is clear that a tribulation temple will be built in the future just after the Gentile Church age is completed, we just don't know how soon or distant that will be. We know that the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in the Tribulation period because Jesus, Paul, and John all mention it as standing when the Coming World Leader will desecrate it.
As soon as the church age is completed, and the last seven years of Daniel's prophecy restarts, things will happen immediately. Israel has a modular temple prefabricated, just waiting for the green light to assemble it. Also, their priest are trained with all the necessary articles ready to use.
Ron Wyatt located important Biblical items and locations back in the 1980's. Many researchers today use his discoveries as a guide. For a very interesting and informative understanding please look at the following web page:
Tradition has the Jewish Temple located on the temple mount/Haram al-Sharif near the Muslim Shrine "Dome of the Rock". The latest archaeological evidence places it 200 yards south of Haram al-Sharif near the Gihon Spring. It will be interesting to see if tradition or archaeological evidence wins out as to where the Jews will erect the next one. If you wish to see more information about the temple location site, click on the links below. The eyes of the world will be focused on this temple mount more intensely as the future unfolds. Even today most of the world is aware of this location. The discussions are heating up - the eyes of the world are being drawn to look precisely here.
To return to the trip after watching the links just click the back arrow when the video finishes.
Ezekiel 5:5 "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her."
Luke 24:44 He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.Luke 24:45 - 47 Then he opened their minds so that could understand the Scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written: the Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in this name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. "
The details of this site of the temple location being chosen to be the place for the temple of God is found in 1 Chronicles chapters 21 & 22. The story is very interesting and includes the angel of the LORD with his sword drawn, David's sin of pride, God's judgment, and his mercy. The Jewish Temple was erected on site of the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. The angel of the LORD was standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. David said to Araunah the Jebusite, "Let me have the site of your threshing floor so I can build an altar to the LORD, that the plague on the people may be stopped." In 1 Chronicles 22:1 David says, "The house of the LORD God is to be here, and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel."
Muslims can enter the temple mount anytime from the Muslim quarter. All other faiths must enter through the elevated ramp at the Wailing Wall. Olga repeated our instructions: We are guest of the Muslims who control the Temple Mount. Women must dress modestly. No prayers or scripture reading from other faiths. No showing of intimacy while on the Temple Mount. She made sure we followed our host's rules.
As we ascended the ramp, I thought of the past years I had seen these sites on the TV. What a special time this is to be near where the Temple of God once stood and will stand again soon.
Walking up the ramp takes you over the Wailing Wall where the Men and Women of Israel "pray for the peace of Jerusalem."
Children's coming of age ceremonies are also held in this area; Bar Mitzvah for the boys at 13 and Bat Mitzvah for the girls at 12. Remember the men and women are separated at this section of the wall. Those families who choose to be together have a platform farther down the Western Wall to the south. Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah mean "sons and daughters of the commandments." They become responsible for obeying he commandments. Notice the Hyssop growing out of the temple wall everywhere.
As you make entrance into the Temple Mount from the West Wall you pass a Muslim Museum on the right and then beyond that is the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third most holy site in Islam. This building has stood since the year 1035. After Jerusalem was captured in 1099 as part of the First Crusade the building was used as the royal palace. The Crusaders thought it to be King Solomon's Temple and they thought the round Dome of the Rock was the Temple of the Lord. IN 1119 the Knights Templar used it as their headquarters until Saladin conquered the city in 1187.
This is the al-Kas ablution fountain for Muslim worshipers on the southern portion of the lower platform.
Looking from the fountain up to the elevated platform of the "Dome of the Rock".
Studying their faith
The view looking south while ascending the steps going up to the Dome of the Rock.
When we get to the top we will angle right towards the east side of the temple mount.
In 1993, the golden dome covering was refurbished following a donation of $8.2 million by King Hussein of Jordan who sold one of his houses in London to fund the 80 kilograms of gold required. Because of some problem, they coated the dome with dulling agent to tone down the glow.
For the Jews, their most favorable site for Jewish prayer is the spot that is nearest the Foundation Stone. The Dome of the Rock sits over this stone. Because Muslim authorities refused to permit Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, the custom developed of praying near the Western Wall, since it is the site nearest to the Foundation Stone. According to Jewish tradition, the stone is the site where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. Muslims believe it was Ismael, not Isaac, who was to be sacrificed.
We are standing South of the Dome of the Rock looking Northwest to its left.
Here our group is heading to the east side of the Temple Mount. The structure on the right is "The Dome of the Chain." It is used as a Muslim prayer house. It was used as a Christian chapel under the Crusaders, and then restored as an Islamic prayer house in later years.
These open canopies worked well in keeping us cool. Closed canopies are in the background.
Looking west through canopies to the Dome of the Chain and the Dome of the Rock.
Looking off the Temple Mount east towards the Churches on the Mount of Olives. The golden domes on the Church of St. Mary Magdalene Church are exquisite.
Muslim Children chanting loudly as they passed by.
The Dome of the Winds (Dome of the Tablets) marking where many in the 80s believed the Holiest place of the Jewish Temple once stood. The Spirit of God hovered over the mercy seat where the 10 Commandment tablets were held.
Olga repeated our instructions: We are guest of the Muslims who control the Temple Mount. Women must dress modestly. No prayers or scripture reading from other faiths. No showing of intimacy while on the Temple Mount. She made sure we followed our host's rules.
Now since I'm home looking at the pictures I can share my thoughts as we were in the area where many believed the most holy place in the Jewish temple stood.
When Jesus Christ died on the Cross, the veil separating the Arc(Mercy Seat) from the rest of the temple was ripped open from top to bottom. We can now boldly go before God's throne of grace by Jesus Christ to receive mercy when we need it. Jesus Christ is our High Priest, we need no other.
Hebrews 4:14-16 "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Jesus Christ, by his sacrifice, paid the penalty for our sins. Those who trust in his work on the Cross will not have God's wrath and judgement fall on them, instead they will receive God's mercy and grace. God honors our faith! Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
He wants us to simply believe what He says in His word. Faith is believing to the point of taking action.
1 Peter 3: 18 "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God."
Colossians 1: 19 -20. "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."
Looking inside the Dome of the Winds. This is believed by some to be the location of the most holy site of the second temple. In the past temples the high priest could go inside this area once a year to make atonement for the sins of the people.
1 Peter 1: 17-21 "Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb with blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God,who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God."
Through faith in Jesus Christ we come into an imperfect family of believers who all have in common a perfect loving Heavenly Father.
The Lord has taught me this following scripture by experience.
Hebrews 12:6 "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."
How wonderful to live in the Gentile Church Age when there is no need for a temple building. Christians are now where the Holy Spirit resides. This age is quickly approaching its end and then the Tribulation Temple will come. The Jewish Temple will be rebuilt and animal sacrifices will startup again. The last 7 years of Daniel's "70 Weeks of Years" prophecy will resume.
We know that the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in the Tribulation period because Jesus, Paul, and John all mention it as standing when the Coming World Leader will desecrate it. Revelation 11:1 and 2 state "I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months."
There is a good possibility that the temple will be rebuilt just north of the Dome of the Rock. There is room for both, and the foundation site of the Jewish Temple is believed to be in line with the Golden Gate with the Temple of Winds being the site of the Holy of Holies. The latest archaeological evidence points to it being 200 yards south of the temple mount/Haram al-Sharif near the Gihon Spring.
The beginning of the Seventieth Week of Daniel will bring about dramatic changes in world events. The Prophecies of Revelation Chapters 6 - 18 will begin to unfold.
The Blood of Christ Hebrews 9:11-14 "When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living god!"
Directly west of the Dome of the Winds is a small dome called the "El-Khader" resting on six tall columns. The name EL-Khader (the "Green", meaning the Holy man) is known as the 4th century St. George, a Christian hero. According to tradition, George often prayed on the temple mount.
West side of the Dome of the Rock
We exited through these arches off the raised platform going down the steps to the north.
We are walking to buildings that now are Muslim schools for children that are on the area where the ancient Roman Antonio Fortress was located.
Looking South towards the Dome of the Rock.
After this picture we walk in the direction of the tower, then left out the exit into the Muslim quarter.
Now we are arriving at St. Anne's Church. This church was built around 1135 and is dedicated to Anna and Joachim, the parents of Mary the mother of Jesus. According to tradition, the Crusaders believed this to be birthplace of Mary, mother of Jesus. Currently the church belongs to the French government and is administered by the White fathers, an order of the Catholic Church named for the color of their robes.
Mary and her mother Anne. One thing western Christians miss out on is early church history. Overseas there is much more tradition known that we have no clue of most of the time. We miss the continuity of early church knowledge.
Of all the churches we went in while in Israel, this one impressed me the most. Maybe it was finding out that Mary's mother was named Anne. Perhaps it was the acoustics, maybe the beautiful singing from our group. Olga described the priest in charge here as the "kindest man in Jerusalem." Being in here was a memorable experience.
These dear people blessed our hearts singing in this beautiful church.
This is Malcolm, one of our tour guides, in his bright hat. He wanted to be sure his group could spot him as we wound along the Via Dolorosa.
Looking up from the Pools of Bethesda toward St. Anne's Church.
The "kindest Father in Jerusalem."
Olga holding up her flower (our signal to find her) as we walked along the old part of town.
Sharyla blessed our hearts singing "Via Dolorosa" in the Chapel of Flagellation. In the future, when we see people from this trip singing in our church, our thoughts will immediately move back to these churches here in Israel.
A side street in the Muslim quarter. The ramps are for carts.
Where is Olga and her flower? There she is - we are not lost yet!
We went past this corner several times while in the old city.
Stopping at a station of the Cross.
Christ leads forth as we follow Him bearing our own crosses. Revelation 12:11 "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death."
We had no idea that the lady whom Christ healed from the issue of blood in Mark 5:25-34 was named Veronica. This is the sixth station of the Cross.
A shoppers paradise! As we followed the Via Dolorosa, there were shops everywhere along the route.
Notice Olga in the background holding up the flower saying "come follow me!" The Via Dolorosa path is lined by shops everywhere. It would be real easy to get distracted looking at something to buy and then have the group walk away. God bless Olga - she took good care of us her sheep.
We are on our way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. At the end of the street we walk through an opening and immediately the church grounds open up. The Via Dolorosa consists of 14 stations of the Cross, the last five are within this Church.
Passing by a carpet shop with beautiful rugs.
The Church of the Holy Sepuchre, also called the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, or the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians. This church is within the Christian Quarter of the walled Old City of Jerusalem just steps away from the Muristan area. Some believe that this was the site of Calvary, where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected.
Today it is shared between several Christian churches.
According to tradition, the Roman emperor Hadrian, in the 2nd century, built a temple here in order to bury the cave in which Jesus had been buried. In 325 the Christian Emperor ordered that the temple be replaced by a church. During the building of the Church, Contantine's mother, Helena, is believed to have rediscovered the Cross.
A precession of priests leaving the church after a service.
We ate pizza at lunch very near the church.
This is Christ Church near the Joffa Gate.
They were giving away copies of the Bible in Hebrew. It is a great souvenir, but we can't understand one word in it!
The church had beautiful stained glass windows.
We all thought this was cool but we have no idea what the significance of the elephants is for. We are in the Armenian Quarter headed back to one of gates to leave the old city.
We are just south of the Temple Mount walking towards the house of the High Priest Caiaphas.
Looking east towards the Mount of Olives.
The Mount of Olives where Jesus will return to Jerusalem.
The city of David, located between the High Priest's House and the Temple Mount.
Notice the Rooster on top of the building. Some call it the "Church of the Cock-a-doodle doo"!
Olga pointing to Christ's pointer finger which is raised from door. The lacquer was worn off because everyone that walked by would reach out and touch it.
Here is a statue of Peter denying Christ three times and then the rooster crows. In the past, before pictures and books, for the vast amount of common people who were illiterate, statues were an important way to communicate facts. That is one reason why there are so many statues in Catholic churches. Protestant churches are relatively recent after the time of the printing press invention.
Tradition says that Jesus was lowered into a pit to prevent him from escaping during his time with Caiaphas.
Inside the Church.
Walking down to bottom of the pit.
Today most modern scholars accept the Garden Tomb as the true place of Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection.
The guide giving us the facts and history of the Garden Tomb area. Looking out from the area above, we could see the face of the scull below.
More recent information led scholars to look in the area of Jeremiah's Grotto for clues to the location of the tomb.
Major-General Charles George Gordon. who visited Jerusalem in 1883, popularized this point of view.
Ironically the site of Golgotha is right next to a modern day bus station. Can you recognize the resemblance to the face of a scull?
Walking through the grounds of the Garden Tomb
Walking around the beautiful grounds of the Garden Tomb.
Here we are arriving at the Garden Tomb.
Everyone went inside to see where Jesus lay before his resurrection.
Here we had a special communion service that was so moving led by Dr. David. God's spirit was so close here.
Luke 24: 1 - 8 "On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the round, but the men said to them, Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. Then they remembered his words."
Our last moments before leaving the Garden Tomb. What a day, jam packed with huge life time memories.