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Temple Mount
Showdown or Solution?
By John Stembridge

"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His Temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts" (Micah 3:1).

"And they that are far off shall come and build in the Temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God" (Zechariah 6:15).

Recently a friend from Michigan phoned to tell me that the Temple Mount Faithful are planning to lay the Corner Stone for the Third Temple in Jerusalem during the High Holy days this year. Gershon Solomon has been in the United States speaking about this planned happening.

These plans are not new. This group has tried to accomplish this task unsuccessfully in the past. Will they be successful this time? Only God knows.

A couple of months before this call, my Israeli friend, Ben Cohen, and I spent an enlightening evening with Avi Granot, Second in rank at the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C. During our extended discourse of many topics, I asked Mr. Granot whether there have been any secret or open discussion during the Oslo and Wye accords concerning the Temple Mount being opened by the Moslems for Jews and Christian Zionists to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. His answer was: No, and that only the Messiah will solve that problem.


The water pouring ceremony of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) performed on the symbolic cornerstone of the Third Temple

With all the talk in the Oslo and Wye accords about the settlements in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), nothing is being discussed about the most important geographical spot in all the earth, the Temple Mount. What a shame.

Most High’s Choice

Out of all the earth, God did not choose the White House, Buckingham Palace, the Kremlin, the Vatican, the Phanar (Istanbul), Mecca, the Forbidden City for His dwelling place on earth with His people; He chose only the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for Himself. For all of the hoopla and fanfare over Israel being a State with Jerusalem as its capital, God is not allowed to this day to meet with His people on the Temple Mount at His appointed times.

Those appointed times are the weekly Shabat (Sabbath), the New Moons, the Special Sabbaths during Pesach (Passover), Shavu’ot (Pentecost), Rosh Hashanah (Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), Sukkot (Tabernacles). Out of all the 365 days in a year, God has only kept these 70 days for His people to assemble corporately together with Him.

In like manner out of all the earth, God has chosen only one geographical spot for His dwelling among His people. That spot is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Sadly today, neither Jews nor Christians are allowed on that holy mountain to meet and worship with YAH – the Eternal God. Are there no tolerant Moslem clerics who understand the holiness of that Mount to Jews and Christians? Maybe its time to inquire of them concerning this. In fact, I’m hopeful of doing a mission to Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem soon for such a purpose.

Ben Cohen, my Israeli friend, has an explanation why we are not allowed. That explanation is that the Holy places in Israel, the Temple Mount, Hebron, Samuel’s mountain, Bethlehem – are in receivership to the Moslems – because Israel is in default to the terms and conditions of the Sinai Contract.

When YAH married Israel at Sinai, the greatest real estate contract ever initiated was there. He gave His wife, the Jewish people, the choicest land in all the earth, Mount Zion. However, the contract was similar to a pre-nuptial agreement. He puts terms, stipulations and conditions upon her living in the Land of Promise (Deut. 28).


Model of the Second Temple.
May we see Israel's King reigning on the Temple Mount.

Simply put as long as Israel heard His voice and kept His commandments she would dwell safely in the land. However, if she became unfaithful; stopped hearing His voice, obeying His commandments, chasing after other lovers (gods), she would be evicted from the land and be exiled among the nations.

Sheriffs: Nebuchadnezzar and Titus

According to Ben, God raised up two sheriffs: Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and Titus of Rome, to evict the Jewish people from the Temple Mount and the land. Today the practice of Judaism is without the Temple Mount, the Levitical Priesthood, the sacrificial system for the atonement of sin according to Torah Law. And the twelve tribes are yet, for the most part, scattered among the nations.

Also, according to Ben, the only solution to the problem of the Temple Mount is repentance. When God sees His prodigal wife repenting of her unfaithfulness to Him, His laws, His covenant and returning to Zion, He will run to embrace His beloved – II Chronicles 7:14.

The Scriptures say, "Praise awaits you in Zion, O YAH." How can YAH send His anointed, the Messiah, to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem until it is cleansed and filled with a repentant cleansed people who are full of His praises according to Psalms 149 and 150?

Repentance, or the lack of it, has always been Israel’s and the goyim’s (nations’) problem when they have no fellowship with a Holy God. Somehow I humbly believe that when Israel makes peace with her God by returning to Zion, like Jacob after his exile, He will cause all of her enemies to be at peace with her. Proverbs 16:7: "When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." Like Esau, after Jacob made peace with God, God made Esau to be at peace with Israel (formerly Jacob). God sovereignly changed Esau’s heart from wanting to kill Jacob to unconditional love for his new brother Israel.

"If my people who are called by my name [YAH] will humble themselves and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways [repent] THEN WILL I HEAR FROM HEAVEN; FORGIVE THEIR SINS AND HEAL THEIR LAND" (II Chron. 7:14 – writer’s emphasis). The New Year of 5760 beginning at sundown September 9, 1999 is designated as the Year of Repentance by Jewish sages.

Will the upcoming High Holy Days: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, be the ultimate time of Israel’s and the Arab and Gentile nations repentance? Will this be the time God cleanses the Temple Mount and His people so that their high praises, as commanded in Psalms 149 and 150, can bring His anointed to rule and reign upon the earth in truth and holiness from that Holy Mount? Let’s believe and hope for it with all of our hearts. Olivi (May it be so)!

If it is not, soon all nations will be gathered against Jerusalem with nuclear, chemical and biological warfare like history has never seen, according to all the Major Prophets in the Bible. That is the time YAH will arise and destroy those invading armies and initiate the Messianic Age.

"And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched: And they shall be an abhorring to all flesh" (Isaiah 66:23-24).

The National Unity Coalition for Israel, representing 200 Jewish and Christian organizations with 40 million American members, has issued a call for prayer for the land and people of Israel beginning the eve of September 9 through 30th (Rosh Hashanah – Yom Kippur – Sukkot). All synagogues and churches are asked to devote at least one service to unite us all in prayer for the Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, during the High Holy Days. You may call NUCI at 913-432-7900 or fax 913-432-7997 for more information and materials to help you organize such an event.

In addition to this, I am asking all who can, to fast from sundown September 19 to sundown Yom Kippur September 20, 1999 for the cleansing of the Temple Mount so that every person – Jewish, Arab or Gentile – who loves and worships the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is free to worship Him there, for "the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose [and live in] Jerusalem" (Zechariah 1:17b).