|Rabbis quizzed on Temple Mount prior to peace conference|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Sunday, 04 November 2007 10:36|
This link from my friend Kevvie. Israel's Chief Rabbis Yonah Metzger and Shlomo Amar and Chief Rabbi of Haifa She'ar-Yashuv Cohen have been invited to the White House to discuss Judaism's connection to the Temple Mount. It is believed that the US administration is trying to gauge what Israel's "red lines" are ahead of the upcoming international peace conference in Annapolis. The Chief Rabbinate left for the White House yesterday, as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was arriving in the region for a last-ditch attempt at building consensus between the two sides. According to Arutz 7, this latest invitation for talks on the Temple Mount follows a similar meeting, which took place two weeks ago in Jerusalem. At that meeting, Rabbi Cohen told Rice he was completely opposed to any Israeli withdrawal from the Temple Mount.
Quote: "Rice said, at the conclusion of the meeting, that she understood that religious matters were at the root of the disagreements ahead of the conference. “If this matter is not solved, then nothing will be solved,” she said. Those at the meeting reported her demeanour as tense. As a follow-up, the invitations to the Chief Rabbis to the White House for three days of meetings were issued. The meetings, which will be attended by members of the Islamic Wakf and Christian leaders, will reportedly deal with a proposal similar to that floated by Vice Premier Chaim Ramon (Kadima). According to the proposal, the Jerusalem “Holy Basin” – meaning the Old City and surrounding areas – would be administered by a joint committee and not remain under Israeli sovereignty. According to Ramon’s plan, the Western Wall and Temple Mount would remain under Israeli control, but the Americans are reportedly pushing to see the Temple Mount relinquished as well.
The Temple Mount is central to Judaism, but it is not central to Islam or Christianity. For in Judaism, without the Temple Mount there is no sacrificial system, and without a sacrificial system there is no forgiveness of sins. Some Jewish people do practice the bloody sacrifice of "kaparot", in which a chicken is killed to atone for their sin on Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement. But this sacrifice is not condoned by many Jewish leaders, and it is not found in Scripture. The Bible makes it clear, a lamb was to be brought for a sin offering, a picture of the coming Lamb of God who would bear away the sin of the world (John 1:36). The Scriptures do indicate that the status of the Temple Mount will play a major part in the establishment of a peace agreement between Israel and the nations in the last days. The book of Daniel states that half way through the seventieth week - the final seven year period before the Second Coming of Christ, the Antichrist will stop the Jewish sacrifice and oblations (Daniel 11:31). In order for the sacrificial system to recommence the Jewish Temple must be rebuilt, for this is the only place in Scripture where God commanded the Jews to offer sacrifice to God. Following this act, the Antichrist then defiles the Temple by placing his image in it and claiming to be God.
2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4
Some Christians believe the Dome of the Rock must be destroyed in order to make room for the Jewish Temple to be rebuilt. Others think that the place where the Dome of the Rock presently stands may not be the actual site of the original Temples, but that it may be located to the north side of the Mosque. The Messiah was prophesied to enter through the Eastern or Golden Gate (Ezekiel 44:1-2), and it is believed this gate would have been directly facing the original Temple. This is not the case when it comes to the Muslim Mosque. It is also thought that the Dome of the Spirits may be the place where the Holy of Holies was once located, and this lines up with the Eastern Gate. It is interesting to note that in the book of Revelation, John is told not to measure the outer court of the future Temple, for it was given to the Gentiles for a 3.5 year period.
Why no outer court, and why the mention of the division of Jerusalem as prophesied in Zechariah 14:2? Perhaps the reason is because the area where the outer court should be constructed may be already occupied by the Islamic Dome of the Rock, the custodians of which will also occupy the eastern half of the city. As we can see, the Temple Mount is at the very centre of end time prophecy, and we can only expect that as Christ's coming for His Church draws near, this issue will continue to become more and more prominent in the news in the days ahead.