Today was a good day besides the fact that I have come down with some sort of cold. I am seriously bummed out about this since I may not be able to go to the sites we are visiting tomorrow. I really want to go, however tomorrow is a long day and if I am getting sick I don’t want to overexert myself and get more sick ruining more of the trip for myself. Depending on how I feel tomorrow morning will determine whether I go or not.
We visited the Temple Mount today. You know, that place where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac, or where the Solomon built the first temple, or where Herod built the second temple. Basically this place is very important. It is the place where God’s presence dwelt during the Old Testament.
It is important to understand that this is not a Mosque. This is simply a shrine for the Muslim people. There is a Mosque on the Temple Mount which is called, the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This is the Mosque that many Muslims pray in and around. The way Islam works is based around works. I’m not very well versed in the religion yet but I do understand that if you do certain things you can pray outside of a Mosque. A Muslim usually prays facing Mecca. Another very interesting fact is that the Temple Mount is its own Autonomy, ruled by a sect of Muslims.
The common question of, “Why don’t the Jewish people tear down the Dome of the Rock and build another temple?” is easy to answer when you understand the conditions of the region and the Jewish people.
First of all, the Jewish nation is not a theocracy. It is more like America and favors no religion. There is freedom of Religion in this country. Muslims worship at Mosques, Jews worship at Synagogues, and Christians worship at Churches. All three monotheistic Religions are represented in this Country. Unlike America where Atheism is a big deal, nearly everyone conforms to a monotheistic religion.
Another reason the Jews do not take over the Temple Mount is because it would most likely start an all out war. I assume this war would span into a new World War. So whether one believes that Israel does not bother with the Temple mount because of religious freedom, or believe that Israel does not bother with the Temple Mount because it would start a war, both are logical conclusions. I believe both opinions may be valid and taken into consideration.
Jews also do not tear down any Holy site to any Religion. Some believe the Jews would make an exception for the Temple Mount since it is so valuable but usually the Jews keep their hands off other Religious buildings.
Inside of the Dome of the Rock is an important Rock. This rock is called the Foundation Rock. I would encourage you to research this special rock to help you understand why this specific spot on the Temple Mount is so important.
Getting onto the Temple Mount was a decently long process. We had to go through a Metal detector, they had to check our bags, we had to put our bags through a bag checky thingy, and we had to leave our Bibles. The Muslim authorities in charge of the Temple Mount do not want any Christian to bring their Bible.
I have already mentioned that I had the opportunity to visit a Mosque, which was a great experience. Something I learned today is that if you take your shoes off when you enter a mosque you are validating the Islamic Religion. When I went to a Mosque, I did take my shoes off. However that was only after I walked inside with my shoes on. They had to tell me to take my shoes off. I do not want to be rude, but I do not want to let them know I concur with their beliefs. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. I am not ashamed of Jesus Christ and I want Muslims to know that not because I am arrogant but because I don’t want to withhold the most important truth from them.
Our tour guide today was Hannah who is a Messianic Jew. I like Hannah. Their have been a few times where what she said sorta irked me but overall I think she is a very knowledgable person who knows the scriptures very well. Today she pointed out something very interesting on the Dome of the Rock’s outside wall.
I don’t know if you see this but it could be considered looking like a demonic face. At the very least it is creepy. I’m not sure whether I agree with Hannah or not. She believes everything happens for a reason and does not believe in coincidence. I am not saying I disagree with that statement but I am not sure that simply saying that everything happens for a reason verifies this as a demonic representation on the Dome of the Rock. It is very interesting though. I definitely don’t like it. It gives me the creeps. Even putting this on my blog was questionable for me.
What you see above you is the Eastern Gate of the Temple mount. This gate is no longer in use since the Muslims have closed it off. Many believe this is fullfilment of biblical prophecy in Ezekiel 44:2-4 which says,
The Lord said to me, “this gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it. The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the Lord. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way.”
Prince in the Old Testament is referring to the coming Messiah. It would take a paper to analyze this entire prophetic scripture. However there are a few things we can conclude from this and those include the fact that the Messiah is mentioned who is Jesus, the Prince or Messiah is the only one who can sit inside the gateway and eat in the Lords presence, and he is to enter by way of the portico (a covering) of the gateway and will go out the same way. Whether this has happened yet or not I still have to deliberate on. On thing is certain, the East Gate was closed by the Ottoman empire, who are Muslims, around the 16th Century because they do not want the Jewish Messiah to come through that gate, either for the first time for the Jews or the second coming for the Christians. The Muslims did not stop here. They began to put grave sites outside of the Eastern Gate. When a Jewish person walks over a grave they are considered unclean. They put graves out there so no compliant law bidding Jew would walk through the gate for fear of becoming unclean. Islam confuses me. Maybe its because I don’t understand it enough. Why they would be fearful of a Jewish Messiah if they truly believe their Religion is correct?
As we were walking around the Temple Mount this big golden dome which is 3 millimeters thick with Gold was observable from nearly every spot. It stuck up in the sky like a skyscraper. It is massive. Then I realized from some previous studies that the Temple Herod built, that was later destroyed in 70 AD would be more than double this size. If you were to take another Dome of the Rock and set it on top of the current one it would still not be as tall as Herod’s Temple.
One dangerous solution to bringing peace in the Middle East is Ecumenicalism. This is something the tour guide discussed today. The Dome of the Rock, believe it or not, used to be a church for 80 years when the Crusaders were ruling Jerusalem. If in fact the Jews built a Temple on the Temple Mount next to the Dome of the Rock which is right across from the Al-Aqsa Mosque peace may be possible. Maybe the Muslims would even hand over the Dome of the Rock to Christians. That is something I highly doubt though. At this point there would be either a Temple and a Mosque on the most Holy site in the world, or a Temple, Mosque, and a Church. Could this be one of the ways the Anti-Christ would bring peace? If so, America would jump on board since America has been infected with this inclusivism disease for years.
Don’t get me wrong, I am huge proponent for peace. Just not false peace.