‘Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near.’ Lk 21: 29-30.
As stated in the previous studies, there are four main areas that indicate the signs of the times. What is taking place, especially since the turn of the 21st Century, is not necessarily about a single particular sign. As we consider these four areas, it will be observed that there is a strong convergence of numerous signs that are taking place simultaneously. There is a clear acceleration of these signs, but many Christians are ignorant of the days we are living in.
Here at Ezra, we are clearly not in the business of wanting to cause fear or to ignore the daily needs around us and focus on the future only. We are very proactive in supporting the persecuted church in the Middle East right now, and are very much aware that the hostility towards Christians and Jews will continue to rise alarmingly. Sadly there is tremendous ignorance of what is happening to Christians not only in the Middle East but throughout the world.
Many are aware of the hostility that ISIS has imposed upon Christians, yet there is growing hostility from the Haredi, [Ultra Orthodox Jews]. As stated in the Study III, these are those who have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge (Rom 10: 2). The Apostle Paul, when he was known as Saul, was hostile to the church due to his misguided zeal (Acts 8: 1, 9: 1-2). He honestly believed he was doing God’s will, until he met Jesus on the Damascus road. The overarching issue for Paul before he encountered the Lord Jesus is that the Jews, who were acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah, were guilty of outright blasphemy due to teaching that Jesus was God. This misguided zeal is clearly evident in the Haredi today.
As we consider the Fig tree, which is representative of the Nation of Israel, the zeal that the Haredi demonstrated is pushing an agenda that will soon acknowledge a messiah. The reason is they are passionate about seeing the third Temple rebuilt which they believe their Messiah will achieve.
As the prophetic metaphor of the fig tree speaks of buds budding, there are numerous buds that can be identified since 1948. What is more startling is the success that the Haredi had achieving their goals, to be in a position to literally have the third Temple built in a matter of months rather than years. Of course there is still the big issue of the Temple Mount and being allowed to construct a Temple alongside the Dome of the rock.
Many outside of the Haredi, believe that the Dome on the rock is the location where the First & Second Temples stood. Many Christian Zionists are of the opinion that God will destroy this idolatrous real estate to make way for the third Temple.
Note the position of the Golden gate and how the Dome of the Rock is located where the court of the Gentles would have been originally.
The Temple institute are actually playing a political game on this single point, as their literature states that the position of the temple stood where the third most holy place in the Moslem world now stands. Yet the Haredi, who have significant influence within the Institute claim to know the true location of the Holy of Holies. This is also reinforced by their close association that the Institute has with the Sanhedrin. The true location of the Temple is based on the accounts of Festus Josephus and suggestions from the Talmud. These accounts clearly suggest that the Temple was immediately adjacent to the Golden gate, also known as the Shushan or Hakohan gate. Their confidence is striking, as with the claims that the Ark of the Covenant was never lost. They openly boast that the ‘Ark’ remains hidden in the place where the prophet Jeremiah hid it prior to the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BC.
The Golden gate of Jerusalem is not the original gate, as it was destroyed in AD70. This East gate was possibly built by Justinian I in the 6th Century, but was blocked up in 1541.
To amplify how fast things are developing, members of the Sanhedrin, only a few months ago measured and mapped out the boundaries of the city of Jerusalem. They modelled this on the actions performed by Ezra and Nehemiah. This has a practical application, for Jews are permitted to only eat their paschal sacrifice and undertake other Temple activities within the official boundary markings of Jerusalem.
Many buds are budding, but some may consider the whole construction of a third Temple more of a “red herring”, than any significant ‘red heifer’. The facts remain; the only thing preventing the building of a third Temple is the lack of political will. The practicalities are that it is clearly possible to build and complete the construction of the Temple in six weeks.
This complex in Hebron covers the cave of the Patriarchs, including the double tombs of Abraham & Sarah, Isaac & Rebecca, Jacob & Leah. Rachel’s tomb is located just outside Bethlehem.
There is significant interest growing by secular Jews, who have often denounced such plans, due to its potential explosive nature on the West Bank. Yet, with the on-going attacks by the UN, in particular the latest over the history of Hebron has now pushed it up the political agenda. This open attack which is challenging the very existence of the Jewish people being in Israel, is putting the Israeli government under incredible pressure to ensure and protect their legitimate claims to the territory, including Jerusalem itself.