Pt. 4


After his defeat at the battle of the Nile, in the spring of 1779, Napoleon Bonaparte led his forces north to Palestine. British, French, and Turks were leagued against him. Mixed wins and losses soon halted his progress, and he sent out an appeal to the Jews to join him in retaking Jerusalem. He offered to share all Palestine with them. Nothing came of it; so, by June, he had left the New East forever.

But now it is time that we turn our attention to the Jews themselves. Gradually they were to become increasingly important in the history of Jerusalem. No, they would never again regain supreme authority over the Temple Mount, but they would regain a measure of political control over portions of Jerusalem and Palestine.

The Jews were expelled from England in 1290, so they went to France. A hundred years later, they were blamed for the bubonic plague (the story was that they caused it by poisoning the wells and rivers) and were expelled from that land. Many went to Spain, but Ferdinand and Isabella issued an edict, in 1492, giving them three months to leave the country. Large numbers then settled in eastern Europe where, by 1875, 75 percent of world Jewry was concentrated. But, in 1881, organized massacres of Jews began. The exodus from Russia took them to America, and some went to Palestine.

Askenazim Jews of eastern Europe, Sephardim Jews from the Mediterranean, and Jews from Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan began turning toward Palestine. A new movement was about to be born: It would be called "modern Zionism."

With the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1840, many people began taking a renewed interest in Palestine and Jerusalem. Rail links were established, chapels were built on the Mount of Olives, and General Charles Gordon found what he claimed to be Gordon's Calvary and the Garden Tomb. Before the 19th century had ended, for the first time in 1,800 years Jews had become a majority in Jerusalem. According to the British Counselate, of the 18,000 living there in 1865, over 9,000 were Jewish.

Moses Hess, in 1862, and Leo Pinkser, in 1882, called for the Jewish dilemma to be solved by a mass migration from Europe to Palestine. But it was Theodor Herzl, a Viennese journalist, who brought it to the attention of Jews throughout Europe. On August 29, 1897, 197 delegates attended the first Zionist Congress, which convened in Basel, Switzerland. By the turn of the century, Zionist federations had been established throughout the world; and, of the 50,000 in Jerusalem, 30,000 were Jews.

The first decade of the 20th century brought more pogroms against Jews in Russia; and by 1914 there were 90,000 Jews in Palestine, and 43 new agricultural settlements. More waves of immigration followed (aliyas) , and flourishing orange groves and productive farms took shape. Tel Aviv, originally a suburb of Jaffa, was to become the largest Jewish city in the world, with a population of over 500,000.

World War I spread from Europe to the Near East; and, on December 25, 1917, Turkish forces surrendered to the British general, Allenby. On December 11, Allenby announced a religious status quo for the entire region. Part of the proclamation, written in English, French, Italian, Arabic, and Hebrew, said this:

"Every sacred building, monument, holy spot, shrine, traditional site, endowment, pious bequest, or customary place of prayer, of whatsoever form of the three religions, will be maintained and protected according to the existing customs and beliefs of those to whose faiths they are sacred."

That position, which, of course is quite fair, is also the position of the modern Jewish State of Israel. But it dooms any hope of rebuilding the Temple on the Temple Mount. The Balfour Declaration did likewise.

On November 2, 1917, the Balfour Declaration was issued. At last, a European nation had officially placed itself in favor of a nationalized Jewish state:

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object; it being understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine."

By the Treaty of Sevres, Turkey renounced sovereignty over Palestine; and, at San Remo in April 1920. the Allied Powers delegated the mandate to Britain, the decision being confirmed two years later by the League of Nations.

By that time the Hebrew University had been started on Mount Scopus, just north of Jerusalem, and Hebrew had been accepted as one of the official languages of the country. Violence erupted in the 1920s as Arabs resisted the increasing Jewish presence in Palestine. But Hitler's activities in the 1930s greatly increased the number of Jews who immigrated to the New East.

In May 1939, Britain issued a white paper that virtually cancelled the Balfour Declaration. Jewish immigration to Palestine was drastically reduced, and the British Government no longer wanted a Jewish state in Palestine. Yet this announcement came at the very time when millions of Jews in Europe were facing destruction. On September 3, when Britain declared war on Germany, David Ben Gurion, head of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, said that his people would fight on the side of the British.

When peace came in 1945, the full horror of what Hitler had done came to light. Six million Jews had been killed. Forever gone was any timidity the Jews might have had about returning to their ancient homeland. From 1940 to 1946, about 40,000 illegal immigrants arrived in Palestine. On August 12,1946, the British issued orders for this to stop.

The port city of Haifa was made a Royal Navy base, and Jewish refugees who tried to land were captured and sent to camps on the island of Cyprus. Soon 33,000 were interned there. Soon violence erupted. Jewish guerrillas destroyed the radar station at Haifa used to identify the refugees' boats. Bridges were blown up so the Jews could not as easily be pursued when they landed.

In Jerusalem, British authorities imposed curfews and imprisoned and hanged terrorists. Every month conditions worsened. In 1947 Britain had had enough, and told the United Nations that the British mandate to govern Palestine was being relinquished. On November 29, the General Assembly endorsed a partition plan that would give the Jews a coastal strip from Acre to the south of Tel Aviv, Eastern Galilee, and most of the land south and west of Beersheba down to the Gulf of Aqaba. Jerusalem would at that time come under a Trustee Administration of the United Nations.

All sides looked forward to August 1, 1948. On that date the British mandate would expire, and no one knew what would follow. The Jews had accepted the partition, for it was better than nothing. But the Arab League announced that they would fight to the end to keep the Jews out of Palestine.

By the spring of 1948, near-anarchy prevailed. Pockets of Jews and Arabs fought throughout the land. The Old City of Jerusalem was divided by barbed wire from the New City. British officials hid in one area of the city, hoping to survive the ordeal. Men with guns holed up in various areas shooting at one another. Arab strongholds straddled the only supply route from the coast to the city. A vital water pipeline was cut. Jerusalem was again under siege.

At midnight on Friday, May 14, 1948, British civil and military authority in Jerusalem was declared to be at an end. In the Municipal Art Museum in Tel Aviv, 200 people were present. Beneath a portrait of Theordor Herzl, David Ben Gurion rose to his feet and solemnly read the following announcement:

"In the land of Israel the Jewish people came into being. In this land was shaped their religious and national character. Here they lived in sovereign independence. Here they created a culture of national and universal import, and here they wrote and gave the Bible to the world. Though exiled, the Jewish people remained faithful to the land, never ceasing to pray for their return. . This has now come about.

"They reclaimed the wilderness, revived their language. . they sought peace, yet were prepared to defend themselves. They brought the blessings of progress to all inhabitants of the country. . By virtue of the natural and historic right of the Jewish people and of the resolution of the general Assembly of the United Nations, we hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called the State of Israel. "

The declaration of independence nullified the British White Paper, announced that any Jew that wished to could come to the new nation, and appealed to Arabs to accept it peacefully. War began at dawn on May 15. While Egyptian planes bombed Tel Aviv, soldiers from the surrounding nations of 40 million Arabs, invaded Israel from every direction except the sea. Yet there were only 650.000 Jewish settlers in the land and 35,000 trained troops. In addition, the Jews had three airplanes and homemade mortars.

Arab artillery bombarded the city from the Mount of Olives. Back and forth flowed the battle of Jerusalem; first one side would win an engagement, and then the other. On May 27, Arab forces captured the city, and blew up the beautifully-designed Hurva synagogue. Trapped in the New City were 100,000 Jews, and food supplies were about gone. Then a little-known shepherd's path, which bypassed Arab checkpoints, was rediscovered. At first it was used to haul in food; but later, during the first cease-fire, ammunition and arms were brought in over it.

The first cease-fire came on June 11, to be followed by a 30-day truce. Without it, the Jews probably would have perished. When the war started again on July 9, the New City was crammed with food, weapons, and ammunition. Ten days of fighting followed, in which strong advances were made by the Jews.

But Jerusalem-the Old City and the Temple Mount-was not retaken. Only hours before the second cease-fire, a three-pronged attack was launched by the Jews. Another couple of days might have given them the entire city. Then came the 5 a.m. deadline on July 17.

Later that year, additional fighting erupted elsewhere in Palestine, and the Jews won even more territory. On the south, the Egyptians retreated from Beersheba. opening the Negev to Israel. In the north, the Syrians were driven back to their own land.

On December 10,1948, the United Nations recognized the existence of the State of Israel. Early the next year, when the armistice was signed, Israel had 23 percent more territory than had been allocated to it by the 1947 partition plan. It had been seven nations against one very small one, yet it had won.

But it had not won the original Jerusalem: the Old City and its Temple Mount.

In January 1950, the New City of Jerusalem became the capital of the young nation. Six months later the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) passed the Law of Return, by which any Jew had the right to immigrate to Israel. Jews were back in the land, and more were on the way. But was the Scripture broken? They still did not have the Old City or the Temple Mount. So they could not rebuild the Temple.

Soon immigrants were arriving in various airlifts at the rate of a thousand a day. By 1951, 1,425,000 of the 1,600,000 in Jerusalem were Jews. The prayer of Jews for long centuries had been, "Next year in Jerusalem." They could not go there yet, but at least now they could live next door in the New City.

(The Old City has always been the heart of East Jerusalem. It is surrounded by stone walls almost 40 feet high and 2V2 miles long. Most of the walls were built during the 1500s, but parts of them are much older. Within the walls of the Old City are four neighborhoods or "quarters": the Armenian on the southwest, the Christian on the northwest, the Jewish on the southeast, and the Muslim on the northeast. The New City lay to the west of the Old City.)

Jerusalem was to remain a divided city for many years, with intermittent firing across the no-man's-land, which separated the two areas.

The Old City was the eastern ancient part of Jerusalem. It included the Temple Mount on the eastern side; beyond which was the Kidron Valley and the Mount of Olives. The New City, to the west, was now in Israeli hands. It immediately began making rapid growth; houses, shops, and small businesses of all kinds sprang up. But, farther south in the Gaza area, Egyptian forces maintained a constant border warfare, killing Israeli settlers as they worked their fields. In 1950, Nasser became premier of Egypt. He hated the Jewish state and determined to put an end to it. By the end of 1955, Soviet MIG jets and Stalin tanks were arriving at Egyptian ports. By October 1956, Egyptian terrorist commandors had penetrated as far as the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Nassar felt he was ready to finish off Israel; so, on October 25, Cairo radio called for a holy war of all Muslims against Israel. The armies of Egypt, Syria. and Jordan were placed under a single command. The order to march was given. A devastating victory was expected by the Egyptians. And that is what followed.

This Sinai Campaign carried Israeli forces to the Suez Canal in three days. Egyptian airfields were bombed, with help from France and England. Four months after it began, it was over. Israeli troops headed home again, with $80 million in captured Soviet arms and 6,000 prisoners. Each prisoner was found carrying an Arab translation of Hitler's vicious book, Mein Kampf. Egyptian raiding bases had been destroyed, and Israel now had access to the Red Sea port of Eliat. The 1956 war was over.

Eleven years of peace followed, in which settlements, hospitals, and businesses were established, and desert land transformed into agricultural marvels.

But, in Egypt, Nasser had been preparing for years; and by May 1967, he thought he was ready. The time had come to at last wipe the young nation off the map.

To the south, an armored division of 50,000 Egyptian troops was gathering along the Gaza strip. to the north, 12,000 Syrians were amassed along Israel's northern frontier. At the request of President Nasser two days later, the U.N. peace-keeping forces were withdrawn from the Gulf of Aqaba. Immediately, Nasser blockaded the Port of Eliat, cutting off Jewish exports through the Red Sea. Both the Arab world and Russia supported him, when, on May 27, Nasser declared by radio that he was about to destroy the Israelis totally.

Before dawn, on Monday, June 5, over a thousand Egyptian tanks, plus other armored vehicles, began rolling. The Sinai attack had begun. By noon, Jordanian artillery was bombarding the New City. On the north, Syrians were shelling Israeli positions. Surely, with such a force, it should not take long to finish the job. And that was right, but in reverse.

As soon as the war began, Israeli planes took to the air and destroyed 400 Egyptian planes before they left the ground in Egypt. Two-thirds of the Egyptian air force had been quickly erased. By Thursday, Egyptian armor in the south had been knocked out, and Jewish forces were on the east bank of the Suez Canal.

In the north, the Syrians were driven from a network of fortifications in the Golan Heights, which they had controlled for 19 years. As in the south, the road to Cairo was ready to take; so, in the north, the road to Damascus-only 40 miles away-was wide open.

Both Egypt and Syria were on their knees, fearing what would come next and desirous only of cease-fire. But our attention is concerned with what happened in Jerusalem in those few days.

On Monday and Tuesday, the Israelis took the Old City from the Jordanians as far as the old walls surrounding the oldest part of the city. On Wednesday, they broke through the Stephen's Gate-and suddenly the Temple Mount was in their hands! Men were blowing the shofar (the ram's horn), normally heard only on the Day of Atonement. People were weeping and laughing at the same time.

With the exception of a short period in AD. 135, for the first time since A.D. 70, the Jews had possession of the entire city of Jerusalem!

The Six-day War (June 5-10, 1967) was over. Syria, Jordan, and Egypt feared to have it continue even a day longer. They would rather lose Jerusalem to the Jews than their own nations as well. Jewish casualties were 700 killed and 2,500 wounded. Arab losses were estimated at 10,000 to 30,000.

In less than a week, Israel had gone from 8,000 to 26,000 square miles. Israel now controlled the east bank of the Suez Canal, the Gaza Strip, Sharm-el-Sheik on the Gulf of Aqaba, Judea, and Samaria (including the West Bank), the Golan Heights, and all of Jerusalem.

All but the Temple Mount. To the present day, no Israelite dares to worship the God of heaven on top of the Mount. That would be defilement in the eyes of Islam. It would also be defiling for the Jew to worship in an Islamic building.

In addition, no Israelite government would dare erect a Jewish synagogue or temple on that mount.

And more, no Knesset would DARE tear-down the Islamic temple over that rock slab. But there was no other place the Jewish Temple could be built.

The Jews had the city, but they did not have the Temple Mount. They never would; and, because of it, they will never rebuild the Temple, and reinstitution the Jewish Temple services. The men of Israel must content themselves on the annual Day of Atonement with waving chickens about their heads; they are not permitted by rabbinical law to sacrifice a goat; that can only be done at the Temple which does not exist.

On June 29, 1967, by order of the Knesset, the two sectors of Jerusalem were merged into a single city. The barbed wire was pulled down and all the gates of the city were opened. Every holy place in Jerusalem were under Jurisdiction, and, by government order, every one of every race and religion could enter any of them. Four days after the end of the war, the festival of Shavuot fell on June 14. That day was a riot of happiness for the people of Israel. But they gathered not on the Temple Mount. Instead, they went to the Wailing Wall-some 250,000 of them, where they prayed, and laughed, and wept.

Six years after the six-day war, an even more deadly strike was made. By September 1969, Russia had rearmed Egypt. Nasser was determined to decimate the Jews and retake Jerusalem. But the next year he died, and so it was not until October 6, 1973 that the attack began.

It was an outstanding day for a sneak attack: Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), the most important yearly gathering of the Jewish people. A massive movement of men and material went south into the Golen Heights, and the other across the Suez Canal. But most of the Jews were back home in their local synagogues. There were only the regular Israeli troops-11,500 of them-to withstand the first wave of attack.

Heading toward them were 800,000 men, over 2,000 tanks, 150 antiaircraft missile batteries, and 500 airplanes. It was a complicated battle on two fronts, Syrian and Egyptian. It was one of the largest tank battles in the history of warfare. The most intense part of the war was fought between October 14 and 19; and, after a brief cease-fire on the 22nd, there was warfare again until a second cease-fire on the 24th. By that date, the Israelis were deep into Egyptian territory-only 60 miles from Cairo. On the north, they were within 20 miles of Damascus.

But then came peace; the 1969 Yom Kippur War was over.

In 1967, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, senior chaplain to the Israeli forces, declared at the Wailing Wall, "We have taken the City of God. We are entering the messianic era for the Jewish people."

That statement is not being fulfilled for the Israelis. The following words, made by David Ben Gurion, first prime minister of Israel in his later years, will not be fulfilled either: Our people "standing on the threshold of the Third Temple would not be as patient as their fathers." No more temples will be built by the Jews on Temple Mount. Never again. Soon He will come whose right it is-and the entire mount, the entire land, the entire world will be given to Him.

"And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end. Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high.

"I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him."-Ezekiel 21:25-27.

Another Bible prophecy says this: "Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is THE BRANCH. . He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne." Zechariah 6:12-13.

The first Temple was destroyed in 586 B.C.; the second in AD. 70. There will be no third Temple on this earth before the second advent of Jesus Christ.

Millions upon millions of Arabs believe that Muhammad ascended to heaven from the slab of rock, now beneath the Dome. They would never permit the defiling Israelis to build an altar, much less an entire Temple on that sacred place of Islam. The Jews know it, the West knows it, and the Arabs who control the world's oil reserves know it.

For nearly 2,000 years, every Jew has prayed, "Next year in Jerusalem."

After 1967, he no longer need pray that prayer. Henceforth he can, go there any time he wants to.

Now he can pray, "Next year, the Temple." But that prayer will never be answered. No Israeli-made Temple will ever be reared in Old Jerusalem.

Because of that fact, the Scripture remains unbroken. The Jew has not and never will return to former ownership and possession of Old Jerusalem, there to worship there in the Temple. He may manage the land, but he will never possess it. That rule will be shared with the sons of Ishmael till He come whose right it is.

Over the years, we have erred in thinking that the Jews could not return to Jerusalem. The keynote of the prophecies was that they would remain scattered among the Gentiles, not that they had to remain away from Palestine.

If Is of Interest to collect the various Bible statements about the retribution to come upon the Jews because of resolute disobedience. The ultimate retribution Is always the same: to live together with the heathen, and finally die there.

Yet, to this day, that prophecy remains fulfilled. Even though they are now In their own land, they live among Gentiles-Christians and Muslims. They are still scattered among what they consider heathen. And only the heathen worship In their holy place.

"I will scatter them also among the heathen." Jeremiah 9:16. 

"My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto Him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations,"-Hosea 9:17, "Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I shall drive them." Ezekiel 4:13.

I lifted up Mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries."-Ezekiel 20:23. "And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries."-Ezekiel 36:19,

"For, Lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations,"-Amos 9:9.

"Will He go unto the dispersed [Jews] among the Gentiles?"-John 7:35,

"But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."-Luke 21:23-24.

The "times of the Gentiles" will not be fulfilled until Christ brings the New Jerusalem down from heaven. Then His people will enter and live in it. Their God will then dwell among them again. Then Jerusalem will be holy, and no strangers to God's love will be there.

Then will be fulfilled the promise:

"So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more."-Joel 3:17,

One mistake gives rise to another, A recent time-setting theory maintains that the six-day war won by the Israelis in 1967, marked the date when probation for our denomination ended, It is keyed to the idea that the prophecy of Luke 21:24 was fulfilled when on June 7, 1967, Jerusalem was retaken by the Israelis.

"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."-Luke 21:24. According to this theory, because the Jews had returned to Jerusalem In 1967, that event marked the end of probation for the Adventist Church. But, as we have seen, the wording of Bible prophecy and the history of Jerusalem does not support this position. Here are several additional points:

(1) there are several basic flaws in this theory, Let us consider the first: For long centuries, the burning question was whether the Jews would ever return to Jerusalem after they were driven from it in A.D, 70 and again in 135. Actually, in the centuries, which followed, the Jews did return to Jerusalem on several occasions. Several times, under various rulers, they were permitted to live in or near it. But such a return could not be what is meant by the Jews "returning to Jerusalem," At issue here is governmental authority. The Jews could not be considered to have returned to Jerusalem until they returned to full governmental authority over that region.

The truth is that, in this latter sense, the Jews have never returned to Jerusalem! They may have fought the six-day war, and they may have retaken the city and its environs, but they have never returned to the governance control they had prior to the A.D. 66-70 war with the Roman Empire.

Forty years ago, a Bible teacher at college told the present writer of a visit to a Jewish synagogue. While there, he asked the rabbi why the Jews do not sacrifice the Iamb at Pasach (Passover) and the goat at Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). In pained solemnity, the rabbi replied that the Jewish people could never again sacrifice the Iamb and the goat at their annual services, until they had returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the Temple on the Temple Mount.

And that has proved true. The Jews have never really "returned to Jerusalem;" and, before the second advent, they never will. Bible prophecy declared they would remain scattered among the heathen through all future time, and so it will remain until Jesus returns.

Yes, they have a beachhead in Palestine, but it is U.S. dollars that keep them there, always on the brink of extinction by surrounding Arabs. They do not have internationally accepted possession of the full land (the West Bank is a large chunk of the Promised Land), and they do not genuine rule over Jerusalem. The Jews live there and manage it, but Jerusalem still is not really theirs.

They do not have ownership and control of Jerusalem as the French have control of Paris and the Egyptians have control of Cairo. In reality, the Jews are only managers of the place; they share ownership of Jerusalem with the Arabs. And all sides know it. The Scripture has not been broken; the Jews have not returned to autonomy in Jerusalem; they never will.

The problem is with the Temple. Every rabbi will tell you that the services on the Temple Mount must be restored in order for the religious services of the nation to begin in full again. And, by Orthodox Jewish law, the Temple can only be rebuilt on that Mount. Yet heathen edifices dedicated to Muslim worship were there when the Jews arrived; they are still there, Never will the Israelis dare to tear down those two Muslims shrines so the Jewish Temple can again be placed there! The third most sacred place in all Muhammedanism is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, In contrast, today the most sacred place in Jewry is the Wailing Wall just below the Mount. But all that is there are giant temple foundation stones, dating back to Solomon's time, Below the Mount, the Jews have the foundations of the Temple; on the Mount, the Arabs have profane worship centers.

Why is the Temple Mount considered so sacred to the Arabs? Only 65 years after Muhammad's flight (Hegira) from Mecca, in A.D. 687 Abet-al-Malik began construction of the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhra) on the desolate Temple Mount, where the Jewish Temple stood until its destruction in A.D. 70. Malik hoped to divert pilgrims from the two most sacred Muslim worship centers: Mecca and Medina. This double octagon of exquisitely patterned marble tiles was completed in 691. It encloses a stone slab. According to Muslim tradition, it was from that sacred stone that Muhammad ascended to heaven on his black horse. Because of this, Jerusalem became the Arabs' third most important City, and they named it al-Quds (the Holy City). As for the flat-topped Temple Mount, it received the name, Haram es-Sharif (the Enclosure of the Noble Building).

The Jews well-know that they must rebuild the Temple on the Temple Mount (ancient Mount Moriah) in order to properly reestablish themselves. That is where Abraham offered Isaac, and where Solomon's Temple stood. The large cleared space-down below the Mount-by the Wailing Wall (the western supporting wall of the Temple Mount) is surely not the place to put it. The symbolism of all this is terrific. Here are the Jews standing outside the wall, denied entrance by the Arabs who control it!

The Israelis want to regain those thirty acres (the flat top of the Temple Mount), but they know not how to do it. On September 17, 1974, about a year after the Yom Kippur War, plans were initiated for the building of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue, touted to be "the first large central house of worship since the destruction of the temple in AD. 70," It was to be located in the heart of the city, next to the Heikhal Shlomo, Israel's chief rabbinical offices. Holding 1,700 people, it was to cost $10 million. Its promoters were quick to mention that the project in no way implied restoration of the Temple. They dare not frighten the Arabs into starting a never-ending, devastating warfare.

Sporadically, several different Jewish plans have been proposed for rebuilding the Temple on the Mount. But, each time, the thought of the immense bloodshed it would bring has killed the project. The Temple services will never be restored; the Jews will never really own their land. The Temple Mount will continue to remain in the hands of their bitterest enemies to the end of this evil world.

By Orthodox law, no Jewish synagogue-no matter where it is located throughout the worldcan sacrifice a Iamb or goat on an altar. According to rabbinical rules, the Temple must be restored on Temple Mount before that can happen. So, instead, faithful Jews observe the Seder on Passover evening each year. They go to a meat market and purchase a leg of Iamb, and serve it at home with bitter herbs, unleavened bread, parsley, mixed nuts, apples, and wine. At home, each family observes the Day of Atonement at the dinner table as the father waves a dead chicken over his head.

Who is in charge of the city? Without possession of the Mount, they do not really possess Jerusalem.

Now do you see why it is that the Jews have never truly returned to Jerusalem? Decades ago, a small booklet was published by our church, entitled David Dare. That book contained several fulfilled Bible prophecies, such as the desolation of the original cities of Tyre and Babylon. Another prediction was stated to be that the Jews would never return to Jerusalem.

After 1967, our denomination stopped publishing that booklet. But its principles still hold true, for the Jews have not returned to genuine, total governance of Jerusalem, much less the former Jewish territory of their ancestors. Yet the Bible prophecies emphasized that they would always be scattered among the heathen-the Gentiles,-regardless of where they might live. Both predictions still apply: they have not fully returned, and they dwell among Gentiles who will tread upon their holy place.

(The word "Gentiles" means "the (other) nations;" that is, all non-Jews.)

(2) Which brings us to a second basic flaw in the "times of the Gentiles" theory: Jerusalem is still being trodden down by the Gentiles. It has not stopped. Indeed, it has greatly increased since 19671.

Prior to 1967, the Arabs would permit no Jew to step foot on the Temple Mount. If one did, several nearby Arabs would draw near, slip daggers from their long robes, and then walk away as he crumpled to the ground. They permitted no other non-Muslims there either.

One of the first actions by the Jewish government after winning the war was that everyone-Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or whatever-could freely go up onto the Temple Mount and enter any building there. This law, which guaranteed the Arab the right to worship at their third holiest place, was made to assure that the entire Muslim world would not shortly rise up as one man and utterly wipe the Israelis from the face of the Near Eastern map.

As a result, more Gentiles are treading the holy place of the sacred Jewish Temple Mount than ever before in history-without any exception! The prophecy of Luke 21:24 requires that the feet of the Gentiles STOP treading that Mount. That surely did not happen in 19671 Since 1967 Gentile footsteps have increased a thousand fold. Every day of the week, thousands of gawking tourists pour across the Temple Mount. Yelling children run around; scantily-clad women stroll across its sacred premises; men with cameras snap pictures; and swarthy, Jew-hating Arabs gather in groups to discuss the next time they will rain rocks down upon the Jews gathered below by the Wailing Wall. None of this would have been permitted if the Jews had autonomous control of the city. These facts provide indelible evidence that the times of the Gentiles in Luke 21:24 is still in effect.

Those feet will continue to defile the sacred Mount until the second coming of Jesus Christ. Death will bring an end to the footsteps. But, after the millennium is over, the feet will again revive, and weapons of war will be prepared. But no profane feet will tread down that holy place then.

For, at the time of His third advent, Jesus will alight on the Mount of Olives, and it will become a great plain, stretching out in every direction. We are told that His feet will purify the entire area, which will become the base of the Holy City when it shortly afterward rests on the earth. Thus, we see a clear fulfillment of the end of the Gentile treading of Jerusalem at the third advent of Christ.

(3) A keystone prophecy was given us in Ezekiel 21:25-27. It is parallel to Luke 21:24, and helps explain it. That brief prophecy in Ezekiel, stretching from 605 B.C. to the second advent of Christ, is longer than the 2300-year prophecy!

"And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end. Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high.

"I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him."-Ezekiel 21:25-27.

The Jews would experience three "overturnings," which would result in destroying the Temple, and scattering the Jews among the nations. That condition would never be reversed until "He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him."

The Jews will never return to Jerusalem; only spiritual Israel will; at the third advent the New Jerusalem shall forever be theirs.

"To the 'profane wicked prince' [the last king of Judah] had come the day of final reckoning. 'Remove the diadem,' the lord decreed, 'and take off the crown.' Not until Christ Himself should set up His kingdom was Judah again to be permitted to have a king. 'I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it,' was the divine edict concerning the throne of the house of David; 'and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.' Ezekiel 21:25-27."-Prophets and Kings, 451:2.

The prophecy of Ezekiel 21:25-27 points to the "final overthrow of all earthly dominions, not to a six-day war in 1967.

"The final overthrow of all earthly dominions is plainly foretold in the word of truth. In the prophecy uttered when sentence from God was pronounced upon the last king of Israel is given the message: " 'Thus saith the lord God, Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: . . exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.'-Ezekiel 21:26-27). "The crown removed from Israel passed successively to the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. God says, 'It shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.' "-Education, 179:1-3.

"It shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him. II Never again would the Jews rule their own land. Today they still do not. Actually, no one does; Jews and Arabs continually contest that ownership amid bloodshed. But soon, He will come whose right it is. 

CONTINUE PART 5 - Luke 21:24 and Other Matters