One of the keys to End Times Prophecy is that the Jews must have a Temple—something they haven’t had since it was destroyed in 70 AD. That’s because during the last 2000 years since that time, the Muslims built and took total control of the Temple Mount. If you want to start World War III, put a shovel into the ground on the Temple Mount and see what happens.
Well guess what: I don’t believe that the Temple was ever on the Temple Mount. There is compelling evidence to suggest that the Temple was actually in the City of David, below the Temple Mount. Back in the fourth century, long after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, people sought the location of the Temple, and finding the Western Wall, believed it to be the remains of the Temple. And, being the highest place in the city, it seemed to make logical sense.
In fact, the only thing that doesn’t make sense just on glancing at it is the fact that the Romans would have left a wall of the Temple standing. When they destroyed a rebellious people’s culture, they started by completely destroying their indigenous worship. So why would the Romans have left that wall standing?
A careful reading of the scriptures reveals a few things that place the Temple elsewhere:
- As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down,” (Mark 13:1-2, emphasis mine).
If the Western Wall is part of the Temple, then Jesus’ prophecy in Mark 13 hasn’t been fulfilled, which, as I pointed out, doesn’t fit the Roman way of dealing with rebellious people—they would have destroyed their religious building as a way of defeating both the Jews and their God.
- Historian Flavius Josephus wrote that the Temple was so completely destroyed that if he had not personally been in Jerusalem during the war and witnessed the demolition of the Temple, he wouldn’t have believed it ever existed.
The foundation wall that we call the Western Wall was most likely the remains of the Roman fortress.
Josephus also wrote that from the north side of the city of Jerusalem it was impossible to see the Temple. The Temple Mount is visible from everywhere in Jerusalem, but the City of David and Mount Zion are to the south, and would therefore be impossible to see because the Temple Mount blocks the view of the City of David from anyone in the northern part of Jerusalem.
- Now look at 2 Chronicles 3:1:
Now Solomon began to build the temple at the house of the Lord at Jerusalem…at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
According to this verse, the temple was to be built in the City of David at the place of the threshing floor—it cannot possibly have been on the Temple mount.
- As a practical matter, because of washing rituals and large amounts of blood, the Temple had to have a plentiful and reliable source of water. The Temple Mount didn’t have any source of water until the Romans came in and built two aqueducts to it, coming from south Bethlehem. But the City of David has always had the Gihon Spring, a natural spring, giving it a good source of water.
The Bible confirms that the Temple has a plentiful source of water in Joel 3:18 and also in Ezekiel 47:1.
- The Bible says: “David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David,” (2 Samuel 5:7, emphasis mine). Again and again the Bible says that the Temple is in Zion (Psalm 2:6, 9:11, 65:1 & 4; Isaiah 2:3, 24:23, Joel 3:17 & 21,
- 1 Kings 1:33 says: “Take your lord’s servants with you and have Solomon my son mount my own mule and take him down to Gihon,” (emphasis mine). Why would David have Solomon taken down to Gihon to be anointed king and thwart his brother’s uprising? Only one reason: that’s where the Temple was.
- Acts 21:30-35 places the Temple below the Roman fortress:
The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
The commander came and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done. Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers.
Where could the Roman commander run down from if the Temple was on the highest place in Jerusalem? And he takes Paul to the steps. What steps? The steps leading back up to the Roman fortress.
- You can see some fascinating images of an excavation in the City of David that could be the ancient Temple: Search for the Temple.
If all this is true, then there is nothing to prevent the Jews from rebuilding the Temple. And like I said, there has to be a Temple during the Tribulation.
Of course, there doesn’t have to be a Temple before the Rapture. The Rapture could literally come any day now, and I believe that it will be very soon. If you aren’t ready, watching, and waiting for the Rapture, you won’t go in the Rapture. That’s all there is to it.
If you want to go in the Rapture, the first step is to get right with God. If you’ve never made Jesus your Lord and Savior, it’s as simple as making that decision. Just tell Him: “I believe You died for me on the cross, and I want You to be my Savior. Please help me to live for You and to be ready for the Rapture. Thank You, Jesus! Amen.”
If you want to know more about the Rapture, I’ve written a lot about it on my blog and in my books. Don’t let anybody deceive you. Just because a giant, worldwide Rapture has never happened before doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. Be ready! God is good!