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Sermon No: 1094-Prophecy of the Eastern Gate



Gavin-Paynter/20130106_Prophecy-of-the-Eastern-Gate.jpg

SERMON TOPIC: Prophecy of the Eastern Gate

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 6 January 2013

Topic Groups: EASTERN GATE, PROPHECY, GATES OF JERUSALEM

Sermon synopsis: The current Eastern Gate (also called the Golden Gate) is the oldest of all the gates to Jerusalem. In Jesus' day, the gate was the main entrance into the Temple courtyards from the Kidron valley. And so the Eastern Gate was the one Jesus entered, in what is known as his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. But why has this gate been sealed for centuries and who did the Muslims hope to prevent from entering Jerusalem through this gate?
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The Eastern Gate

Most of the current gates of Jerusalem were either built or renovated by the Ottomans in the 16th century. However, in some cases these gates were built upon the foundations of earlier gates, perhaps dating back to the days of Nehemiah and even Solomon.

Perhaps the most intriguing of the gates of Jerusalem faces the cardinal direction of the rising sun, East. East was the direction the Jewish Temple faced and opened up to. The Golden Gate was located along the eastern walls of Jerusalem, facing east towards the Kidron Valley and Mount of Olives. It is the closest of the gates of Jerusalem to the Temple Mount, and as such would take on special significance throughout the history of Jerusalem. 1

1 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html">http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html

GATES OF JERUSALEM

Note in this model of Jerusalem in the time of Christ (situated in the Israel Museum) how the gate on the Eastern Wall of the city would have provided convenient access to the Temple.

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EASTERN GATE

The current Eastern Gate (also called the Golden Gate) is the oldest of all the gates to Jerusalem, with its exact timeline debated by scholars and archaeologists.

EASTERN GATE

The Eastern gate could also be the one mentioned as the ‘Beautiful Gate’ in Acts where the crippled man healed by Peter and John used to beg. 1

1 Acts 3:2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.

BEAUTIFUL GATE

Biblical Archaeological Review suggest that the term ‘Golden Gate’ may be derived from the Vulgate.

In the earliest Greek New Testament, the word for ‘beautiful’ is oraia. When Jerome translated the New Testament into Latin in the 4th Century he changed the Greek oraia into the similar sounding Latin aurea, rather than to the Latin word for ‘beautiful.’ So the Latin Vulgate text read ‘Golden Gate’ instead of ‘Beautiful Gate.’ 1

1 BAR, Jan/ Feb 1983, p.27

GOLDEN GATE

Jerome in His Study by Domenico Ghirlandaio.

A gate was located on the eastern side of King Solomon’s temple (10th century BC), and called the “east gate” (“Kadim” in the Hebrew Bible). Its location was probably at the vicinity of the Golden gate, inside the temple. 1

1 Chron 26:13-14 Lots were cast for each gate, according to their families, young and old alike. The lot for the East Gate fell to Shelemiah.

In the time of King Hezekiah, the gate still existed.

2 Chron 31:14 Kore son of Imnah the Levite, keeper of the East Gate, was in charge of the freewill offerings given to God…

1 "http:// www.biblewalks.com/ Sites/ GoldenGate.html">http:// www.biblewalks.com/ Sites/ GoldenGate.html

FIRST TEMPLE

The second temple was built in the 5th century BC by Zerubbabel after the decree by Persian king Cyrus (2 Chron 36:22-23). The gate located on its eastern side, was called the East Gate and also Shushan (or Susa), named after the ancient Persian capital.

While Nehemiah was in the city of Susa, his brother Hanani, came from Judah and informed him that, “The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” (Neh 1:3)

He subsequently obtained permission from Persian king Artaxerxes to return and rebuild the walls.

Nehemiah refers to the East Gate, “Next to him, Shemaiah son of Shecaniah, the guard at the East Gate, made repairs.” (Neh 3:29)

SECOND TEMPLE

It’s quite feasible that Nehemiah built the East Gate upon the foundations of the earlier gate of Solomon’s First Temple.

The 2nd temple was extensively renovated by Herod the Great in the 1st century BC.

This reconstruction 1 shows the Eastern gate circled.

1 "http:// www.biblewalks.com/ Sites/ GoldenGate.html">www.biblewalks.com/ Sites/ GoldenGate.html

HEROD’S TEMPLE

It’s also quite feasible that the current Eastern Gate was built on the remains of the gate from Herod’s Temple. An article in Biblical Archaeological Review says of the current Eastern Gate that “Monolithic stones in the wall just above ground have been identified as 6th Century BC masonry from the time of Nehemiah.” 1

In fact, Josephus states in his volume titled Wars, that the eastern wall is the only wall that king Herod did not rebuild during his massive construction projects and building of the Second Temple. This is a fascinating bit of information, for in 1969 a remarkable discovery was made only to be buried by the Muslim authorities and forgotten. 2

1 BAR, Mar/ Apr 1992, p40 2 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html">http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html

PRESENT EASTERN GATE

In the year 1969 Jerusalem archaeologist James Fleming was investigating the Eastern wall of the Temple where a Muslim cemetery has long been located. It had rained heavily the night before and the ground remained soggy the next day. As he investigated the area immediately in front of the Golden Gate, the ground beneath his feet gave way and he dropped into a hole about eight feet deep. Fleming found himself “knee-deep in bones” and became suddenly aware he had fallen into a mass burial site. 1

1 Biblical Archaeological Review, Jan./ Feb. 1983, p30)

PRESENT EASTERN GATE

Dr. James Fleming

It appeared he had discovered an ancient gate under the present Golden Gate: “Then I noticed with astonishment that on the eastern face of the turret wall, directly beneath the Golden Gate itself, were five wedge-shaped stones neatly set in a massive arch spanning the turret wall. Here were the remains of an earlier gate to Jerusalem, below the Golden Gate, one that apparently had never been fully documented.” 1

1 Ibid

Fleming’s 1969 photo from inside a grave on the outside of the Eastern Gate looking at the arch of an ancient Eastern Gate.

Unfortunately Fleming, 1 was prevented from further investigation by the Muslim authorities (who still have jurisdiction over the Temple Mount). 2

Many scholars believe Fleming’s gate may actually date from the time of King Solomon and the First Temple period! Or, perhaps, at least date from the time of Nehemiah. Based on the trend to build gates on top of previous gates, as seen with both Hadrian and Suleiman, it is not unlikely the gate underneath the Golden Gate was Nehemiah’s East Gate mentioned in Nehemiah 3:29. 3

1 Dr. James Fleming has been Professor of Archaeology and Biblical Geography at the Ecumenical Institute for Advanced Theological Studies and Lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. 2 Shortly after this discovery the Muslims covered the chamber, cemented over the top, and surrounded the mass grave with a protective iron fence. 3 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html">http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html

PRESENT EASTERN GATE

An artist representation of today's Eastern Gate, and the location of James Fleming's photo. (Biblical Archaeological Review)

The current gate is located in the middle of the eastern side of the Temple Mount. In Jesus’ day, the gate was the main entrance into the Temple courtyards from the Kidron valley. Today you can still see the close proximity of the gate to the “Dome of the Rock” which is built on the Temple Mount.

Eastern Gate

Dome of the Rock

And so the Eastern Gate (or rather the one below the current gate) was the one Jesus entered, in what is known as his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

Note in the model of Jerusalem in the time of Christ how the Eastern Gate is shown directly opposite the Temple.

Let’s look at some of the passages in the gospels regarding Christ’s Triumphal entry.

John 12:12-13 … the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!”

In the context, the crowd referred to by John is in Bethany.

Bethany is about two miles east of Jerusalem, on the east slope of the Mount of Olives.

During the Passion week, Jesus was staying overnight in Bethany and returning to Jerusalem in the day.

TRIUMPHAL ENTRY

Map source: Gordon Smith "http:// www.ccel.org/ bible/ phillips/ JBPhillips.htm">http:// www.ccel.org/ bible/ phillips/ JBPhillips.htm

Mark 11:1-3 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples…

Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.

Mark 11:4-6 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway.

What are you doing, untying that colt?

The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.

Mark 11:7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.

Mark 11:8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.

Blessed is the King of Israel! (Jn 12:13)

Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! (Mk 11:9)

Luke 19:37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen.

Mark 11:11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple.

Zechariah prophesied the entry of the Messiah into Jerusalem riding on a donkey’s colt, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zech 9:9)

Matthew 1 and John 2 tell us that this prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem through the Eastern Gate.

1 Matt 21:4-5 This took place to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

2 John 12:14-15 Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”

COMING OF ZION’S KING

The crowd of disciples had shouted “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matt 21:1-12). Note the words of the Messianic Psalm 118, which speaks of Jesus’ triumphal entry, the boughs, the praise, the procession to the temple and Jesus’ subsequent rejection:

Psalm 118:20-27 This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone... Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you. The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.

COMING OF ZION’S KING

Days later the King was rejected by his subjects (Jn 19:12-16).

We have no king but Caesar

Shall I crucify your king?

THE KING REJECTED

On his approach to Jerusalem for the Triumphal Entry, Jesus had wept over the city and prophesied it’s future destruction because it did not recognize it’s Messiah. (Luke 19:41-44)

If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes… They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.

Jesus states that he will enter Jerusalem at a later date, and that this time they would recognize him as Messiah and echo his disciples’ anthem: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matt 23:39)

For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’

In the Olivet discourse, after warning about false Christs in the end times, Jesus seems to imply that the true Christ will be recognized by his coming from the East (a possible reference to his entrance through the Eastern Gate):

Matt 24:26-27 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

In the well-known passage in Isaiah 63, 1 the Messiah comes to Jerusalem from Bozrah in Edom, after defeating the enemies of Israel, because he “was appalled that no one gave support”. Bozrah was the capital of Edom (current day Jordan) which is east of Jerusalem.

Isa 63:1-6 Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson?... “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save… For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.”

FROM THE EAST

But the gate through which Jesus is to enter Jerusalem again is currently bricked up and completely closed.

Here is a brief history of the Eastern Gate and of the walls of Jerusalem since the time of Jesus, and how it came to be sealed.

ca AD 29: Jesus enters Jerusalem via the gate in his Triumphal Entry.

AD 70: Roman general Titus destroys Jerusalem after a long siege.

After the Fall of Jerusalem, the walls were destroyed. 1 The Eastern (Shushan) gate was destroyed by the Romans during the destruction of the temple in 70AD. 2

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gates_of_the_%0BTemple_Mount">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gates_of_the_ Temple_Mount 2 "http:// www.biblewalks.com/ Sites/ GoldenGate.html">www.biblewalks.com/ Sites/ GoldenGate.html

Titus (AD 41-81)

HISTORY OF THE GATE

What is today known as the “Old City” was laid out by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century, when he began to rebuild Jerusalem as a pagan city. In 130, Hadrian visited the ruins of Jerusalem remaining after the First Roman-Jewish War of 66–73. He rebuilt the city, renaming it Aelia Capitolina in 135 AD. 1

The walls were partially restored during the Aelia Capitolina period. 2

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ History_%0Bof_Jerusalem">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ History_ of_Jerusalem 2 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ %0Bwiki/ Gates_of_the_Temple_Mount">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gates_of_the_Temple_Mount

Hadrian

AELIA CAPITOLINA

The Byzantine Emperor Constantine rebuilt Jerusalem as a Christian centre of worship, building the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 335. 1 But there is no record of him doing anything further regarding the walls or gates.

The walls were extensively renewed by the Byzantine Empress Aelia Eudocia. (c. 401–460) 2

Scholars debate whether the gate, in its present form, was built in the 6th or 7th century AD, and whether the architects were the last of the Byzantine emperors, or the first of the Arab conquerors, perhaps the Ummayid caliphs. 3

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ History_of_Jerusalem">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ History_of_Jerusalem 2 SOURCE: "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gates_of_the_Temple_Mount">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gates_of_the_Temple_Mount 3 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html">http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html

PRESENT EASTERN GATE

Some believe the Golden Gate may have been built in 520 AD as part of Justinian I’s building projects in Jerusalem. 1

This gate is believed by many to have been built on top of remains from the East Gate of Solomon’s First Temple, and from Nehemiah’s rebuilt Jerusalem, and of Herodian Jerusalem in the Second Temple period. 1

1 Ibid

PRESENT EASTERN GATE

Justinian the Great (527–565) contemporary portrait in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna

The gate has been in its present form since at least ca. 630 AD, when the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius entered Jerusalem via the Golden Gate. 1

After the defeat of the Persians (629-630 AD) … Heraclius entered, barefoot as a Christian pilgrim, through the gate with the remains of the true cross, 2 which he recovered from the Persians and returned to the Church of Holy Sepulchre. This event is ever since celebrated as the Elevation of the Holy Cross celebration… 3

1 Ibid 2 A relic found by the Helena, Constantine’s mother, alleged to be part of Jesus’ “true cross”. 3 "http:// www.biblewalks.com/ Sites/ GoldenGate.html">http:// www.biblewalks.com/ Sites/ GoldenGate.html

PRESENT EASTERN GATE

In the 6th/ 7th C Byzantine map from Madaba, the eastern gate is shown in the top centre (eastern side in the ancient map), and is circled in orange. It is seen connected by a street to the secondary Cardo.

Jerusalem was one of the Arab Caliphate’s first conquests in 638 AD; according to Arab historians of the time, the Rashidun Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab personally went to the city to receive its submission, cleaning out and praying at the Temple Mount in the process. 1

In 692 AD the Dome of Rock was built by Caliph Abdel-Malik on the top of the Temple Mount. It’s believed that it was right around that time when Muslims sealed off the Golden Gate with 15 foot thick stone structure in order to prevent the fulfilment of Zechariah’s prophecy and keep the Jewish Messiah from entering the Temple Mount. 2

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ History_of_Jerusalem">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ History_of_Jerusalem 2 "http:// jerusalemonmymind.com/ Jerusalem%20gates%202.html">http:// jerusalemonmymind.com/ Jerusalem%20gates%202.html

A SEALED GATE

Other sources suggest that the Golden Gate was walled up by the Muslims in 810 AD.

In 1033, most of the walls constructed by Empress Eudocia were destroyed by an earthquake. 1

During the Fatimid period stretching from 969 - 1099 AD, Paltiel, a Jewish doctor, secured the right for Jews to pray at the Golden Gate. 2

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gates_of_the_Temple_Mount">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gates_of_the_Temple_Mount 2 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html">http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html

A SEALED GATE

After the Crusader conquest in 1099, the walls were rebuilt. 1

The Crusaders opened the Golden Gate twice a year. Once for the ceremony of the Elevation of the Holy Cross, and the second time being to celebrate Easter and Christ’s Triumphal Entry through the East Gate. 2 This gate has not been unblocked since the Crusaders lost control of Jerusalem. 3

CRUSADERS

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gates_of_the_Temple_Mount">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gates_of_the_Temple_Mount 2 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html">http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html 3 "http:// www.generationword.com/ jerusalem101/ 5-gates-today.html">http:// www.generationword.com/ jerusalem101/ 5-gates-today.html

Jerusalem itself was recaptured by Saladin in 1187. 1 The walls were destroyed again during the conquest of Saladin. 2 After the Crusader defeat by Saladin… the Golden Gate was closed. 3

Saladin’s nephew, Almllach Almatma Issa, ordered the reconstruction of the city walls, but later on changed his mind after most of the watch- towers were built, mainly because he feared that the city walls would mainly assist the Crusaders if they managed to reconquer the city. 2

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ History_of_Jerusalem">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ History_of_Jerusalem 2 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gates_of_the_Temple_Mount">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gates_of_the_Temple_Mount 3 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html">http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ gates-of-jerusalem.html

A SEALED GATE

In 1219 the walls of the city were razed by order of al-Mu’azzam, the Ayyubid sultan of Damascus. This rendered Jerusalem defenceless and dealt a heavy blow to the city’s status. The Ayyubids destroyed the walls in expectation of ceding the city to the Crusaders as part of a peace treaty. 2

In 1229, by treaty with Egypt’s ruler al-Kamil, Jerusalem came into the hands of Frederick II of Germany. In 1239, after a ten-year truce expired, he began to rebuild the walls; these were again demolished by an-Nasir Da’ud, the emir of Kerak, in the same year. 1

In 1243 Jerusalem came again into the power of the Christians, and the walls were repaired. 2

1 "http:// www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ jsource/ Peace/ jerutime.html">http:// www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ jsource/ Peace/ jerutime.html 2 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ History_of_Jerusalem">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ History_of_Jerusalem

A SEALED GATE

1250 AD – During the Mamluk rule, a Muslim caliph dismantles walls of Jerusalem. 2

In 1517, Jerusalem was taken over by the Ottoman Empire and enjoyed a period of renewal and peace under Suleiman the Magnificent, including the construction of magnificent walls of what is now known as the Old City of Jerusalem (however, some of the wall foundations are remains of genuine antique walls). 1 … Suleiman … decided to fully rebuild the city walls on the remains of the ancient walls. The construction lasted from 1535-1538 and these are the walls that exist today. 3

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ History_of_Jerusalem">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ History_of_Jerusalem 2 "http:// www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ jsource/ Peace/ jerutime.html">http:// www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ jsource/ Peace/ jerutime.html 3 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gates_of_the_Temple_Mount">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gates_of_the_Temple_Mount

A SEALED GATE

Despite Suleiman I rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem it appears that he subsequently sealed off the Golden Gate in 1541.

While this may have been purely for defensive reasons, in Jewish tradition, this is the gate through which the Messiah will enter Jerusalem and it is suggested that Suleiman the Magnificent sealed off the Golden Gate to prevent the Messiah’s entrance. 1

Suleiman I (the Magnificent )

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ %0Bwiki/ Golden_Gate_%28Jerusalem%29">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Golden_Gate_%28Jerusalem%29

During the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, there were 4 gates to the Old City, one on each side. The current walls, built by Suleiman I, have 11 gates, but only 7 are open.

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Lion’s Gate

Herod’s Gate

Eastern Gate (closed)

Jaffa Gate

Zion Gate

Dung Gate

Damascus Gate

New Gate

Double, Triple (Huldah) & Single Gates (all closed)

TEMPLE MOUNT

Muslim quarter

Armenian quarter

Jewish quarter

Christian quarter

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Christian quarter

According to Jewish belief based on Ezekiel 44, the Messiah will enter the Temple Mount through the Eastern Gate.

The Muslims also built a cemetery in front of the gate, in the belief that the precursor to the Messiah, Elijah, would not be able to pass through the Golden Gate and thus the Messiah would not come. This belief was based upon two premises. First, according to Islamic teaching Elijah is a descendant of Aaron, making him a priest or kohen. Secondly, that Jewish priests are not permitted to enter a cemetery. 1 Ironically in sealing the gate, they unwittingly fulfilled another aspect of the prophecy in Ezekiel 44, which says that the gate will be sealed until the prince comes.

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Golden_Gate_%28Jerusalem%29">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Golden_Gate_%28Jerusalem%29

MUSLIM CEMETERY

Muslim cemetery

Today the Temple Mount, just west of the Eastern Gate, is under Muslim control. As such it is very closely guarded. The interior corridors of the gate are exceptionally beautiful and well-built according to published reports. Sadly, visitors to the Temple Mount today are not allowed to inspect the interior of the gate.

EASTERN GATE TODAY

Interior chamber of the Golden Gate (1900)

Dr. David R. Reagan relates, “When the Six Day War broke out, because I was a professor of International Law and Politics, I followed that Six Day War very carefully. I'll never forget that when the war was over I read a very interesting news article one day that said that when the Israelis decided that they were going to take the Old City which was under the occupation of the Jordanian forces, the logical way to do it was to hit it from the West over at the Jaffa Gate, but certainly not at the Eastern Gate because all that territory was under Jordanian control. The Israelis, always relying on surprise, decided, ‘No, we’re going to hit from the eastern side. We'll come around under the cover of darkness and hit from that side.’” 1

1 "http:// www.lamblion.us/ 2012_09_01_archive.html">http:// www.lamblion.us/ 2012_09_01_archive.html

TILL MESSIAH COMES

“While they were discussing that they also discussed the possibility of blowing open the Eastern Gate with satchel charges and catching the Jordanians by surprise. Then the article revealed that when that suggestion was made an Orthodox rabbi was there who said, ‘No, you’ll do that over my dead body, because that gate is supposed to be closed until the Messiah returns.’ I had no idea what the rabbi was talking about. I had grown up in a church that did not teach Bible prophecy. I knew nothing about Bible prophecy. So, I got out a concordance and I looked up the word ‘gate’ and I started looking at verses. Guess what? I discovered Ezekiel 44 which has a prophecy that says the Eastern Gate is going to be closed and it will not reopen until the Messiah comes.” 1

1 "http:// www.lamblion.us/ 2012_09_01_archive.html">http:// www.lamblion.us/ 2012_09_01_archive.html

TILL MESSIAH COMES

Ezekiel 44:1-3 Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, and it was shut. 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.”

TILL MESSIAH COMES

According to Ezekiel the Eastern Gate was to be sealed up and no man would ever again be permitted to enter through it until after the Lord Himself once more enters it in glory during the Millennial Reign.

True to Ezekiel’s prophecy, the Eastern Gate is still sealed. The gate will remain sealed until the day when the promised Messiah will enter into His Kingdom.

The truth of the matter is that there is absolutely no force in all of creation which can stop nor hinder the fulfilment of God’s prophecy.

ATTEMPTS TO OPEN

Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives:

Acts 1:9,12 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight… Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk.

The disciples were informed that he would come back in the same way i.e. back to the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:10-11).

Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.

The Mount of Olives is east of Jerusalem. So when Jesus returns “in the same way”, he will descend on the Mount and use the Eastern Gate to enter the city.

For centuries Christians have associated the Eastern Gate with Palm Sunday and also with the Second Advent. But religious Jews also link the Messiah’s arrival to this gate.

RETURNS FROM EAST

The Mount of Olives: Jesus ascended from here and will return again here

According to a Jewish website ("http:// www.beitorot.org/ ">www.beitorot.org), “The Mount of Olives has traditionally been revered as the site from which the Redemption of the Dead will begin in the end of days (Bereishit Rabah 33:11 and Bavli Ketubot). This is one of the reasons why Jews have always wanted to be buried in Jerusalem, and particularly on the Mount of Olives.”

In the Middle Ages Jews were forbidden to bury on Mount Moriah (where the Eastern Gate is located). So instead they buried their dead opposite and to the South of the gate on the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives is prime property for burial of Jews today and a plot there can cost as much as $50,000! According to tradition, when the Messiah comes, the souls in these tombs will be first to be resurrected.

MESSIAH MT OLIVES

Eastern Gate

Mt. of Olives

Jewish cemetery

When Jesus’ feet stand on the Mount of Olives (after battle with the nations and just before his Millennial rule), it will split in two.

Zech 14:3-9 Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel… On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The LORD will be king over the whole earth

MT OF OLIVES SPLITS

Faults within the Earth’s crust result from the action of tectonic plate forces, with the largest forming the boundaries between the plates. Over the years pressure builds up as the plates attempt to slide past one another. When the joint finally slips the tension that has built up is finally released resulting in an earthquake!

EARTHQUAKES

During the 7-year tribulation, after the two witnesses are killed and resurrected, John describes an earthquake which destroys a tenth of Jerusalem and kills 7000 people.

Rev 11:8-13 Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified… But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them… At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

EARTHQUAKES

And in Revelation 16, after Armageddon - where Jesus battles the nations - there is an earthquake that splits “the great city” (possibly Jerusalem 1) into 3 parts.

Rev 16:16-19 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon… Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.

1 In Revelation 11 “the great city” is an explicit reference to Jerusalem. The immediate allusion to Babylon here though, allows for possible identification with both Babylon and Rome.

EARTHQUAKES

As we saw earlier in Isaiah 63, the prophet Zechariah also describes the LORD defeating the nations of the world in battle.

Immediately after this Zechariah describes a great earthquake in the last days (at the end of the 7-year tribulation) when the feet of the LORD stand on the Mount of Olives. It will cause a great rift to open, along a known fault line. The resultant valley will run from the Mediterranean Sea in the West through Jerusalem to the Dead Sea in the East. The Mount Of Olives, East of Jerusalem, will be split in half.

MT OF OLIVES SPLITS

Seismologists have identified a fault line, the position where two tectonic plates meet, running through the Mount of Olives just outside Jerusalem.

In 1967 a U.S. Geophysical survey team analysed the Mount of Olives. They discovered a geological fault line running from the Dead Sea behind the Mount of Olives all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. So an earthquake along this fault line could cause an open fault line to appear, just as prophesied 2500 years ago by Zechariah.

MT OF OLIVES SPLITS

The specific fault line, which passes through the Mount of Olives, can be seen in this map.

The positioning and orientation of this seismic fault line meets the exact requirements of Zechariah’s prophecy

So it is also possible that the Eastern Gate may be opened as a result of the earthquake which splits the Mount of Olives on Jesus’ return.

EASTERN GATE OPENED

Three consecutive Psalms speaks of the past, present and future activities of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 22 speaks of his death in the past.

Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.

Psalm 23 speaks of his present ministry shepherding his people.

The LORD is my shepherd…

Psalm 24 speaks of his future triumphant return though the Eastern Gate.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates…. and the King of glory shall come in.

EASTERN GATE OPENED

Psalm 24:7-8 Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

So the King enters through the ancient gates and – as in Isaiah 63 and Zech 14 - he has just come from battle.

The glory will then return to the newly built 3rd temple and Jesus will set up his Millennial kingdom reigning from Jerusalem for 1000 years:

Ezek 43:1-7 Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory… The glory of the LORD entered the temple through the gate facing east. … While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me from inside the temple. He said: “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever.”

THIRD TEMPLE

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)




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