Could the attacks on Israel lead to an established place of worship for the Jews on the Temple Mount and set a major prophetic milestone for the end of this age?
The Rapid Reversal of Progress
While we pray for peace in Israel, we should also seek to understand the roots of the conflict and its place in Biblical prophecy. The Temple Mount is the key to understanding this.
Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have been rising since Ramadan began, fueled by Hamas' propaganda, but the red line was the Al-Aqsa mosque. When videos were posted showing Israeli police clashing with the crowds inside the Al-Aqsa mosque, Arabs in Jordan and Israel called for all to come and defend the mosque.
On Monday, May 10, Iranian proxy Hamas gave an ultimatum: "Withdraw from Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah or '100 times' more rockets will be fired at 6 p.m. towards new targets."
Israel did not withdraw, and Hamas fired over 3,500 missiles into Israel.
These events were a jarring reversal of goodwill. Just months ago, Arab nations were lining up to normalize relations with Israel. At the same time, record numbers of Jews were ascending the Temple Mount, and for the first time, police were not intervening in Jewish prayer on the Mount.
Maybe we should have expected this. These historic breakthroughs were bound to meet significant demonic resistance. However, in the past, when Israel's enemies tried to take from Israel, God did the impossible.
So as Arabs try to take Jewish rights to the Temple Mount, may God provide a reversal of fortune? And may this bring about prophesied end-times events that seem impossible today?
The Temple Mount Is at the Center of the Conflict
Both extremist groups and rioting Israeli Arabs have clearly expressed that Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and particularly, the Al-Aqsa mosque are at the center of this conflict. Here is a sample out of many such statements.
— International Union Of Muslim Scholars (IUMS; funded by Turkey and Qatar): "the Muslims' foremost duty is to wage jihad by sacrificing their souls" for Al-Aqsa.
— Fatah - Nablus branch: "set the ground on fire under the occupation's feet" and "escalate the resistance on the seam lines with the occupation [of Al-Aqsa] and with the settlements."
— Israeli Arabs in Nazareth: "We don't want to see a Zionist, with spirit and blood we'll redeem Al-Aqsa."
Is prophecy unfolding before our eyes? Zechariah prophesied, "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup of reeling before all the surrounding peoples. And when there is a siege against Judah, it is also against Jerusalem. And it will be on that day that I will set Jerusalem as a weighty stone to all the peoples. All who carry it will surely gash themselves" (Zech. 12:2-3a).
Notice that it is the people who will reel over Jerusalem. It is the people who try to take it from the people of Israel and are deeply cut as a result. These first two lines refer to the people (Hebrew: am) of the surrounding nations, not the nations themselves (goy). The people gather first, then the nations follow, eventually leading to the War of Gog and Magog.
But will this attack on Israel backfire? Could these events actually lead to a greater Jewish presence on the Temple Mount?
Could Today's Events Lead the Way for the Covenant With Many and a Third Temple?
From a spiritual perspective, the attacks appear to be in response to an increasing Jewish presence on the Temple Mount.
Until recently, Jews have remained content to worship at the Western Wall, rarely ascending the Temple Mount. But over the past few years, this has changed. Record numbers of Jews have been ascending the Temple Mount. And more and more, the police seem content to let them pray— something that they would have immediately stopped not much more than a year ago.
Surely, we know there will be a temple on the Temple Mount in the days to come (Rev. 11, 2 Thess. 2:4). Satan knows this as well. The recent increase in the Jewish presence on the Temple Mount was sure to meet demonic opposition.
But in 1948 and 1967, when Arab nations tried to take land from Israel, God delivered the impossible. As the peoples stand against Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, will He not surely gash those who try to carry Jerusalem? May He give Israel greater rights to the Temple Mount?
Resolving the Conflict
Once the conflict is over, how will Jews and Arabs reconcile the inflamed issue of the Temple Mount? Will they work out a solution for both Arabs and Jews to worship on the Mount?
Some are already calling for reconciliation. Dr. Saleh Nujeidat, an Arab Israeli and journalist, said, "There is need to improve their relations and adopt a strategy of bridge-building and coexistence, to ensure that both can live in equality, security and peace."
Others, such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, are calling for splitting the administration of Jerusalem among the three faiths of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. "At this point, we believe there's a need for a separate arrangement on Jerusalem. To achieve lasting peace and tranquility in Jerusalem, ... it would be the most correct and consistent course of action for Jerusalem to be administered by a commission of representatives from the three faiths."
These statements are surprisingly fitting with Biblical prophecy.
We know that Temple Mount will be divided at the end of this age. Revelation 11 describes both a temple where the Jews worship and a court given to the nations. We also know there will be a covenant of many made with Israel (Dan. 9:27).
The third temple and the covenant are significant milestones in the sequence of events at the end of this age. Many commentators speculate that these two prophecies are related and that the covenant with many may grant Israel the right to build a third temple.
It is certainly possible, though uncertain, that the events unfolding today could lead to these incredibly significant prophetic events and provide us with a sign that Jesus is returning very soon.
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