Temple Denial

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Psalm 102

13  Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.

14  For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.

Archaeologists are busy in Israel doing just this, sifting through the dust and then re-sifting, and some wonderful proofs of Israel’s past history are coming to light.

Recently The Israel Antiquities Authority unveiled a very exciting find, an ancient clay seal that helps prove the bond of the Jewish people to Jerusalem. This little seal, discovered in an excavation near the Temple Mount  is thought to have been used to certify the purity of ritual objects used in the Second Temple, It is tiny, the size of a button, and stamped with an inscription consisting of two lines – which read "Pure for G-d" (God). It is suggested that it was used to guarantee that certain items brought to the Temple were ritually pure.

And just two weeks after this, a further astonishing proof of the ancient and never-severed connection between Jews and the 

Ancient seal Second TempleLand of Israel was announced. This time, it was a 1,500 year old tiny stamp discovered near the city of Akko (Acre) in Western Galilee. It bears the image of the seven-branched Temple Menorah (the Candlestick used in the innermost part of the Temple) and was most probably used in a Kosher Jewish bakery during the 6th Century AD to stamp bread etc., to authenticate that the food stamped was Kosher.

The stamp is important because it proves that a Jewish community existed in a settlement close to Acre, a region that was definitely Christian at this time, in the Christian-Byzantine period.

The significance of these finds is great to the Nation of Israel as it helps to counteract the belief now being promulgated by many Arabs that Israel has no ‘roots’ in the land, no historical past. Israel’s enemies have particularly concentrated on the Temple at Jerusalem in an attitude currently known as ‘Temple Denial’

Temple Denial

Since taking Jerusalem in the Six Day War, Israel has allowed the Muslim Community (Waqf) to continue to have religious and some security control over the Temple area. Past negotiations have faltered on Palestinian denial that the Jews have any religious or historical connection to the Temple Mount.  During the July 2000 negotiations at Camp David, Yasir Arafat refused to acknowledge Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, claiming the Jewish Temple never existed there. When talks resumed later that year, the Israelis agreed to full Palestinian sovereignty on the Temple Mount, but requested Palestinians acknowledge the sacredness of the Temple Mount to Judaism. They refused. 

The term "Temple Denial" was coined by Dore Gold, former Israel Ambassador to the United Nations. According to Gold, in the wake of Arafat's remark at Camp David, Temple denial "spread across the Middle East like wildfire," and even "subtly slipped into the writing of Middle-East based western reporters."

Since 1967, there has been a growing attempt by Palestinians to use the religious fervor of the Arab and Muslim world to wrest Jerusalem from Israeli control.  Historian Dr. Yitzhak Reiter stated that Palestinian efforts while denying the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount also include reinventing history to create an Arab connection to Jerusalem prior to the Jewish one. 

Even now, there are mounting accusations that the Muslim Waqf is deliberately destroying ancient Jewish artifacts and structures from the First Temple period under the guise of renovations on the Temple Mount in order to erase any archaeological evidence of Jewish existence there.

The Future of Israel

There is no doubt that to some Muslim countries the presence of the Nation of Israel is a festering sore which can only be removed by surgery- just as the Jewish people have clung to the desire of the Messiah reigning in Jerusalem- so the Arabs cling to their hope of driving Israel into the sea.

And yet this goes against God’s will as shown in Bible prophecy. Israel has returned to the Promised land in fulfilment of many Biblical statements, for example Ezekiel 36:22-24

22  Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.

23  And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

24  For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

And we note here that God said He would do this- not for their sake, but for His Holy Name’s sake, that He might vindicate His Name by fulfilling His promises. Promises He has made over 4000 years since He first selected Abraham; promised to make him a great Nation and give him the land which Israel now inhabit.

God has promised the land of Canaan, as it was then called, to Abraham and his seed forever. Galatians 3:16 explains that the Lord Jesus is in fact the promised ‘seed’ and that all those who love and obey him will share these promises v 14 ‘ That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ’. Jesus will claim his Kingdom when he returns, and then as promised to Abraham it will stretch over a much larger area -from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates. Because the Jews failed to be faithful to God, He cast them out of the land, but as we have seen in Ezekiel 36 He will bring them back. And we have been privileged to see the start of this return.

The establishment of Modern Israel and its continued existence through four wars against the might of the Arab world are sure and certain signs that God will never forget His promise to establish Israel in the land and send His Son, Jesus to reign over it. At this time another wonderful promise will become a fact, - the blessing of all Nations ; ‘In thee ( God declared to Abraham) shall all nations be blessed’ (Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:8).

A House of prayer for all people (Isaiah 56:7)

One of the blessings promised can also be found in Ezekiel, for, at the return of Christ, when he has brought complete peace to the world a 3rd Temple will be built, and this time it won’t be just for the Jews but ALL nations will go up to Jerusalem to worship there and the Jew will be respected not hated.

Zechariah 8:22  Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.

23  Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.

Psalm 102, with which we started, promises:

13  Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.

14  For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.

15  So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.

16  When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.

The time to favour Zion by the return of their Messiah must be very close. Even so come. Lord Jesus.