In a fantastically liberal feature by Kerry Bolton for Foreign Policy Journal titled “US Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital: A Travesty of History,” the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is depicted as an arch-Zionist Jew that, along with Donald Trump and his evangelical advisors, views the USA and Israel as synonymous in terms of policy objectives and prophetic destiny.[i]
Bolton’s increasingly familiar animosity toward evangelicals and their biblical mandate to be a blessing to Israel results in his lament that “the Zionist dream for Palestine is based on three primary aims that are of messianic intent: (1) Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates rivers, (2) Rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon on the site of the present al-Aqsa mosque, (3) Jerusalem not only as the capital of Israel, but as the central seat of universal law.”[ii] He then quotes the Temple Mount Faithful’s website, which confirms:
Consecrating the Temple Mount to the Name of G‑d so that it can become the moral and spiritual center of Israel, of the Jewish people, and of the entire world according to the words of all the Hebrew prophets. It is envisioned that the consecration of the Temple Mount and the Temple itself will focus Israel on:
(a) fulfilling the vision and mission given at Mt. Sinai for Israel to be a chosen people separate unto G‑d, a holy nation, and a nation of priests (Exodus 19:6), and
(b) becoming a light unto all the nations (Isaiah 42:6) so that the Name of G‑d may be revered by all nations and the biblical way of life may be propagated throughout the world.[iii]
Bolton concludes: “Regardless of what any Israeli government states, these are the ultimate objectives which messianic Zionists believe are ordained by their God. They will never be relinquished.” For example, the first prime minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, a “moderate” and a socialist, asked by Look to describe his vision of the future, alluded to this:
In Jerusalem, the United Nations (a truly United Nations) will build a shrine of the prophets to serve the federated union of all continents; this will be the seat of the Supreme Court of Mankind, to settle all controversies among the federated continents, as prophesied by Isaiah.[iv]
Other secular writers appear similarly suspicious that Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the US embassy there extends end-times “messaging” to his conservative Christian base, which has not gone unnoticed by the appropriate members of his audience. Enlisting the well-known craft of “actions in place of words,” the president was viewed as having encouraged his compatriots in Armageddon-planning to probe beneath the surface of his exploits where, sotto voce (“under voice”), he was telling them he understands and sympathizes with their eschatological worldview and that, when the time is right, he will offer full-throated voice in support of the Third Temple.
Nancy LeTourneau for the Washington Monthly suspected as much too, writing: “The most obvious gesture he’s made towards Israel since he became president was to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. That was targeted at his base of support among white evangelicals, and it isn’t because they have so much affection for Jews.” LeTourneau cited what Diana Butler Bass, a theologian, wrote:
For decades, conservative evangelicals have been longing for this recognition. They believe it is necessary in order to regain control of the Temple mount. That is important because rebuilding the Temple is the event that will spark the events of the Book of Revelation and the End Times.… They’ve been waiting for this, praying for this. They want war in the Middle East. The Battle of Armageddon, at which time Jesus Christ will return to the Earth and vanquish all God’s enemies. For certain evangelicals, this is the climax of history. And Trump is taking them there. To the promised judgment, to their sure victory. The righteous will be ushered to heaven; the reprobate will be banished to hellfire.[v]
Let me take a moment to make issue with LeTourneau and Bass, as I’ve been at the center of mainstream evangelical Christianity for five decades and have been blessed to personally know many leading prophecy scholars and theologians and have yet to meet a single one who wants “war in the Middle East. The Battle of Armageddon, at which time Jesus Christ will return to the Earth and vanquish all God’s enemies.” We simply believe what Jesus taught, that “when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28). Movement toward the construction of a Third Temple could signal the imminent return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and that is what we “want.” While the objectives listed by the antagonists above do reflect some of the accomplishments many Jews and Christians anticipate, it is not for the reasons they insinuate, as they obviously don’t seem to comprehend the “blessed hope” Christians have for the Second Coming of Jesus, which a Third Temple could signal, or that which Jews have for their final redemption and Messianic era.
Having said that, any successful attempt at garnering support for a reconstructed Temple in Jerusalem will indeed require enough multicultural and international support. Thus, prejudices by Bolton and the other writers quoted above aside, their feelings about behind-the-scenes discussions and deals that could witness the materialization of a Third Temple is warranted, and, in this writers’ opinion, they certainly should be suspicious that a plan is under consideration wherein international players are quietly moving chess pieces clandestinely toward a sooner-than-later realization of a rebuilt Temple.
In the parlance of Sherlock Holmes, the game is afoot!
Who might some of these powerful players be? My investigation leads to include:
- Trump, of course, and his Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner, who worked behind the scenes on aspects of a Middle East peace deal.
- Influential rabbis in Israel, some of whom have already recognized Trump as a source of inspiration for the Third Temple.
- And then there are right-wing Knesset members, the Yeraeh organization, Temple Mount loyalists, and other advocacy groups.
- Shockingly, even some Muslim scholars believe the Third Temple can now become a collaborative effort between them and the Jews. This include Zia H Shah MD, chief editor of the Muslim Times.[vi] Yehuda Glick, a prominent Jewish advocate for the Third Temple, is even actively nurturing such interfaith dialogue, and recent reports claim progress to this end has been made with Muslim authorities.
- Some believe Brazil’s recent election of Jair Bolsonaro—who unabashedly embraces Christianity and supports Israel—could mark the beginning of the Third Temple, “which some believe will be initiated in South America in a process that has already begun.”[vii] Evangelicals wielding voting power across Brazil and Latin America are not hiding the fact that they believe “Jews should rebuild their biblical temple in Jerusalem, which is a key step in a series of events that will lead to a second coming of Jesus Christ on Earth.”[viii]
- The powerful Jewish Sanhedrin also recently showed their hand, advising Jerusalem mayoral candidates “to include in their plans for this city the rebuilding of the third temple.”[ix]
The list above could go on and on, but our probe into the issue suggests that things go much deeper than these headlines suggest and are in fact far more intriguing, including actual espionage and subterfuge by two of the very entities that could actually make a rebuilt Temple happen: 1) the United States, with back-channel negotiations originally initiated between the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia that could result in Riyadh replacing the Jordanian Waqf’s management of the Temple Mount; and 2) the Vatican. The Islamic Waqf is the religious trust that controls and manages the current Islamic edifices on and around the Temple Mount, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The king of Jordan supplies funding needed for operations by the Waqf, and in one form or another, they have governed access to the sites since the Muslim reconquest of the kingdom of Jerusalem in 1187.[x] Tensions between Jews and Muslims involving access to the mount where Israel’s Temple once stood continually flow over often because, as stated earlier, Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount is completely forbidden. “Jews may enter only to visit the place, and only at limited times. Muslims are free to pray on Temple Mount, however, Christians and Jews may only visit the site as tourists. They are forbidden from singing, praying, or making any kind of religious display.”[xi] Why does such overbearing oversight of the Temple Mount exist? Why such restrictions on Jews and Christians? After spending several chapters in his books The Great Inception and The Last Clash of the Titans outlining why the Temple Mount is biblical Zion and the very place where Armageddon will be initiated, Derek Gilbert explains what’s really behind the ancient—and future—struggle over this sacred plot of land. This is where the capital of God’s kingdom on Earth will exist—Jerusalem and the Temple Mount—and thus why the energies of evil are focused on it! As Derek notes:
The faith of Abraham, the dynasty of David, and the divinity of Jesus were established there. At the heart of this plateau is the hill on which Yahweh, the Creator of the universe, established His “mount of assembly.” The temples of Solomon and Zerubbabel were built there, and a prophesied Third Temple will someday occupy that place.[xii] The long war by the Fallen against their Creator is ultimately for control of God’s mount of assembly, Zion. That’s His prize jewel, and that’s why the enemy wants it: “For the Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place: ‘This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it’ (Psalm 132:13–14, ESV). Plenty of other verses support this idea, but you get the point. God’s holy mountain, His mount of assembly, is Zion—the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.[xiii]
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO:
FLASHBACK! GARY STEARMAN INTERVIEWS DR. THOMAS HORN ON THE SECRET PLAN TO BUILD THE THIRD TEMPLE!
These implications and anxieties surrounding the building of a Third Temple at Zion are not lost on ardent students of prophecy. They know the contest over this consecrated plot of land reflects profounder malaise that cannot be superficially perceived. Principalities and powers manipulate earthly governments, and the forthcoming construction project sits in the navel of an end-times clock that, once initiated, will quickly count down to the arrival of Antichrist, Armageddon, and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. That’s the real reason secret meetings over control of the Temple Mount are proceeding outside the public’s view. Yet for the perceptive—those “with eyes to see and ears to hear,” as the Bible puts it—we clearly understand what is behind Palestinian and Muslim news agencies worried over the fact that “‘Saudi Arabia is currently investing a great deal of behind-the-scenes effort into taking away from Jordan its guardianship of the holy sites of Jerusalem,’ a senior official in the Palestinian Authority (PA) told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. The pressure seems linked to the Saudis’ friendly relations with the United States, and with President Donald Trump’s desire to win Arab support for his Middle East peace plan, which Jordan has not backed.”[xiv]
Until the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi—who publicly opposed the policies of Saudi Arabia’s new heir, Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman—the Saudi prince had been assiduously cultivating a relationship with Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner (who spent dozens of hours in phone calls and private meetings with the crown prince cementing a personal relationship with him[xv]) to guard the pursuits of his administration and Arabian interests in the US Congress and around the world. In trade for—or as part of—this diplomacy, the prince spoke publicly in support of Israel having a right to their own land,[xvi] and he even met in 2018 with American evangelical Christians “as the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom seeks to open up more to the world and repair an image of religious intolerance.”[xvii] Now that the CIA believes the Saudi prince may have played a role in the murder of Khashoggi, it is unclear what effect this may have on future US relations.
Regardless, I am told and do believe that placing management of the Temple Mount into the hands of Saudis and progressive or “secular” Muslims and the US administration would be, by design, intentionally inching the world toward one aspect of Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” for Middle East peace (though the Third Temple negotiation could be part of a separate agreement) that cannot yet be uttered involving compromises that could ultimately allow for construction of the Third Temple. Even the secretary-general of the Muslim World League recently took “the unprecedented and potentially controversial step of urging Muslims to form a delegation alongside Christians and Jewish religious leaders to visit Jerusalem as a step toward peace.”[xviii]
Besides Muslim authorities, the United States, and Saudis, another powerful player that has shown interest in controlling the Temple Mount will assuredly play a role in the eschatology surrounding it. Let’s consider this force from Rome.
The Vatican, the Third Temple, and the Burdensome Stone
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. (Zechariah 12:3)
As investigated by myself and Cris Putnam in our bestselling book Petrus Romanus, there is ample evidence to suggest that the Vatican has had a long-running interest in controlling Jerusalem and, by extension, the Temple Mount—with possibly the objective of a Third Temple.
Over the last ten years alone, surreptitious negotiations have included Netanyahu seeking to give David’s Tomb to the Vatican,[xix] claims that the Vatican is hoarding Second Temple treasures until geopolitics allow for a rebuilt Temple under their control,[xx] and even efforts by the United States via Secretary of State John Kerry involving plans “for eastern Jerusalem that calls for an international administrative mandate to control holy sites in the area” including the Temple Mount. Kerry’s plan recommended a coalition under Vatican oversight with Muslim countries such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.[xxi]
The possible Vatican connection to a rebuilt Temple is intriguing when one considers Peter Goodgame’s convincing argument that the Roman prince seen in Daniel 9:27 who sets up the Abomination of Desolation is the False Prophet rather than the Antichrist.[xxii] He cites Revelation 13:14, in which the False Prophet “deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live” (emphasis added), and Daniel 11:31, which prophecies, “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate” (boldface added; italics added). These passages clearly show it is the confederates of the Antichrist who set up the desolating image connected to a rebuilt Temple. Goodgame also argues that because Daniel refers to the Antichrist as a king (Hebrew melek) in 7:24, 8:23, and 11:21–35, it seems unlikely that he would call him a prince (Hebrew nagiyd) in 9:26–27. We can safely assume that he is Roman by the phrase, “And the people of the prince who is to come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” (v. 26; boldface added), which necessarily refers to the Roman sacking of Jerusalem in AD 70. Goodgame’s exegesis and reasoning are sound and compelling.
In line with Daniel 9:27’s prediction of a covenant for one week, Goodgame argues that this infers that a pope will broker an agreement over Jerusalem.
This final seven-year period will begin when the future Roman prince “confirms a covenant” that will involve the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, which many evangelical scholars connect to a “deal” resulting in the building of the Third Temple. This has led to the belief that this future Roman prince will be the False Prophet of Bible prophecy, and that he may indeed be a leader of the Roman Catholic Church. It is clear from Scripture that the False Prophet will be a powerful and well-respected global spiritual leader, and there is none more powerful or more respected in religious matters than the Roman Catholic Pope.[xxiii]
Even some Catholic scholars have connected the current Pope Francis with the rise of the False Prophet and Antichrist. [xxiv]
To some, this may seem like a scenario lifted right out of the Left Behind novels, but it coheres nicely with Malachi Martin’s finishing assertions about the role the Vatican will play in assisting Antichrist. As far as Jerusalem and the coming Third Temple, formally classified US State Department memos have been obtained that suggest “religious figures, non-governmental people” should be put in charge of the Holy City.[xxv]
NEXT: Why The Vatican Wants to Lay Its Hands on Jerusalem
[i] Kerry R. Bolton, “US Recognition of Jerusalem’s Capital: A Travesty of History,” Foreign Policy Journal, May 24, 2018, https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2018/05/24/us-recognition-of-jerusalem-as-israels-capital-a-travesty-of-history/.
[iii] “Objectives of the Temple Mount Faithful,” http://www.templemountfaithful.org/objectives.php.
[iv] Bolton, “US Recognition,” https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2018/05/24/us-recognition-of-jerusalem-as-israels-capital-a-travesty-of-history/.
[v] Nancy LeTourneau, “Trump’s Support for Israel Doesn’t Negate His Anti-Semitic Dog Whistling,” Washington Monthly, October 29, 2018, https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/10/29/trumps-support-for-israel-doesnt-negate-his-anti-semitic-dog-whistling/.
[vi] Ziah H. Shah, “How Can We Build the Third Temple Together?” Muslim Times, April 20, 2017, https://themuslimtimes.info/2017/04/20/how-can-we-build-the-third-temple-together/.
[vii] Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, “Will Brazil’s New President Call to Build the Third Temple?” Breaking Israel News, October 29, 2018, https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/116040/brazils-election-signal-first-stage-temple/.
[viii] Tupac Pointu, “Evangelicals Wield Voting Power across Latin America, Including Brazil,” Times of Israel, October 6, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/evangelicals-wield-voting-power-across-latin-america-including-brazil/.
[ix] “Armageddon Predicted as Jews Call for Third Temple to Be Built,” Sputnik News, November 11, 2018, https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201811111069715673-armageddon-jews-jerusalem-temple/.
[x] “Jerusalem Islamic Waqf,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_Islamic_Waqf.
[xi] “Temple Mount Entry Restrictions,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Mount_entry_restrictions
[xii] Derek Gilbert, The Great Inception (Crane, MO: Defender Publishing, 2017) 241.
[xiii] Derek Gilbert, Last Clash of the Titans (Crane, MO: Defender Publishing, 2018) 179, 180.
[xiv] Rasha Abou Jalal, “Is Ryadh Really Pushing for Control of Jerusalem Holy Sites?” July 2, 2018, Al-Monitor, https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/07/saudi-arabia-holy-sites-jordan-jerusalem-pa-guardianship.html.
[xv] David A. Andelman, “One Man’s Disappearance Risks Bringing Down the Saudi Crown Prince,” Channel News Asia, October 18, 2018, https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/jamal-khashoggi-journalist-saudi-arabia-crown-prince-mbs-10835902.
[xvi] Ben Hubbard, “Saudi Prince Says Israelis Have Right to ‘Their Own Land,’” New York Times, April 3, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/03/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-mohammed-bin-salman-israel.html
[xvii] “Saudi Arabia Hosts Rare Visit of US Evangelical Christian Figures,” Reuters, November 1, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-christians/saudi-arabia-hosts-rare-visit-of-u-s-evangelical-christian-figures-idUSKCN1N6675
[xviii] Holly McKay, “Islamic Group Chief Calls for Muslims to Join Christians, Jews in Jerusalem Meeting,” Fox News, October 5, 2018, https://www.foxnews.com/world/islamic-group-chief-calls-for-muslims-to-join-christians-jews-in-jerusalem-meeting.
[xix] Hezki Baruk, Gil Ronen, “Netanyahu Seeking to Give David’s Tomb to Vatican?”Israel National News, January 5, 2014, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/180149.
[xx] Shimon Cohen, “Claim: Vatican Hoarding Second Temple Vessels,” Israel National News, May 28, 2014, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/181146.
[xxi] Aaron Klein, “US Plan Gives Jerusalem Holy Sites to Vatican,” WND, December 15, 2013, https://www.wnd.com/2013/12/u-s-plan-gives-jerusalem-holy-sites-to-vatican/.
[xxii] Peter Goodgame, “The Biblical False Prophet,” RedMoonRising, last accessed November 11, 2011, http://www.redmoonrising.com/21Defense/biblicalFP.htm.
[xxiv] Hannah Roberts, “‘Heretic’ in the Vatican,” Politico, May 28, 2018, https://www.politico.eu/article/pope-francis-heretic-vatican-liberal-conservative-war/.
[xxv] “Minutes from Bilateral and Trilateral US-PAL-ISR Sessions Post Annapolis, Tuesday, 29th July 2008,” viewable here: Al Jazeera, last accessed February 7, 2012, http://www.aljazeera.com/palestinepapers/.