About 2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel received a vision of the glorious appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ezekiel 10: 18–19; 11:23; 43: 1–5; 44: 1–2; 46:12). In Ezekiel 43 we read:
Then he took me to the gate, even the gate that faces east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. And his voice was like a sound of many water. The earth shone with its glory. And it was after the vision I saw appeared, even after the vision I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision I saw on the Chebar River; and I fell on my face. And the glory of the LORD came into the house through the gate, the view of which is to the east. (Ezekiel 43: 1-4)
It seems reasonable to suggest that Jesus Christ be entered over the Temple Mount East gate in one of the most significant events in human history (the second coming)!
The east gate
The East Gate (also known as the Golden Gate) is one of eight gates built into the walls that surround the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The east gate offers the just Entrance from the east and it is also the just Gate that provides the most direct access to the Temple Mount. The east gate was destroyed during the Roman conquest of Jerusalem and the subsequent destruction of the temple in AD 70, fulfilling Christ’s prophecy “Not a stone will be left on top of the other” (Matthew 24: 2). But sometime in the sixth or seventh century, the Byzantines rebuilt the east gate and made it the oldest of all city gates. In 1969, the Jerusalem archaeologist James Fleming confirmed that the old gate is located directly under today’s east gate. While examining the east wall of the temple, he suddenly fell into a mass cemetery and clearly saw five large wedge-shaped stones embedded in a massive arch.
|James Flemings photo from 1969 from a grave on the outside of the east gate with a view of the arch of an old east gate.|
The east gate was closed in 1540-41 AD on the orders of Suleiman the Magnificent, a Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, with 15 feet of cement. The reasons for this remain unclear, but it is likely that the Muslim Suleiman became aware of the prophecies that predicted the Messiah’s entry through the East Gate and, as a result, tried to thwart the Messiah’s plans. And in the event that a sealed entrance did not prevent the Messiah from coming, the Muslims even built a cemetery just outside the gate, thinking that a Jewish saint would never defile himself when he walked through a Muslim cemetery.
However, they knew little about fulfilling the prophecy. Ezekiel predicted the closure of this gate even around 600 BC. BC, more than 2100 years before Suleiman actually closed the gate:
“Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east, but it was closed. And the Lord said to me:”This gate should be closed; it should not be opened and no one should enter through itbecause the LORD God of Israel entered through them; therefore it should be closed “(Ezekiel 44: 1-2)
There are eight gates in modern Jerusalem, but only seven are open. The east gate and it alone has remained sealed, as the Lord proclaimed Ezekiel over 2,600 years ago!
It is a miracle how the East Gate has survived in Israel for almost 500 years and despite numerous well-documented attempts to open it. Four times in the last century an attempt to open the sealed east gate failed …
The first attempt was made on December 9, 1917 during the Battle of Jerusalem. The Muslim leaders who controlled Jerusalem wanted all but one of the gates sealed to keep the approaching Allied expeditionary army under the leadership of British General Allenby. The only gate chosen to stay open happened to be the East Gate. On the very day that the workers were preparing to tear down the mysterious sealed gate, Allenby’s plane flew over the city and told the Arabs to flee. Miraculously, the enemy soldiers fled the city without a shot being fired. The city was handed over to Britain and the gate remained sealed, as Ezekiel had prophesied.
A second attempt was made in 1967. King Hussein of Jordan, who had control over the ancient city of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, decided to build a hotel for Arab pilgrims on a section of the western wall to block the area from Jewish worship forever. The hotel was to be built above the Magreb Gate, with which the Muslims entered the Temple Mount. This meant that another gate had to be opened so that the Muslims could still get to the El Aksa Mosque (on the site of the Jewish Temple Mount). King Hussein chose to open the sealed east gate. But on June 5, 1967, as the workers were preparing their air hammers to break the giant stones that sealed the east gate, an intimidating line of Israeli planes flew over them. The Six days of war had begun and the workers turned off their tools. At the end of the Six Day War, the workers could not resume their project because the Jews had managed to recapture their old capital, Jerusalem. What a coincidence!
At around the same time there was another unsuccessful attempt. When the Six Day War broke out, some members of the Jewish military proposed to catch the city’s Jordanian defenders unprepared by inflating the sealed east gate. But the leader of the group, an Orthodox Jew, protested vehemently against the idea and explained it “The east gate can only be opened when the Messiah comes.” After a heated debate, they launched an attack on the lion gate instead.
As early as October 31, 1997, the Denver Post had extraordinary news that made headlines “Israel plans to change the wall.” Here is an excerpt from the article:
“Israel’s Ministry of Housing wants Open a sealed gate in the wall surrounding the old city of Jerusalem… The plan to break through the 15-foot stone wall – part of a project to build the Jewish quarter and increase population – is likely to anger the Palestinians, who are opposed to changes in the eastern sector of Jerusalem. “”
Whatever came out of this plan is unknown, but today, according to Ezekiel’s prophecy, the east gate remains sealed.
The gate remains sealed until the day the promised Messiah will enter his kingdom. Its sealing is clear evidence that we live in the end times, and given the astonishing accuracy of this prophecy, we have no reason to doubt that it will remain closed until the Lord’s return when that prophecy comes true.
“Raise your heads, oh you gates! And rise, you eternal doors! And the king of glory will come in. Who is this king of glory? The Lord is strong and powerful, the Lord powerful in battle. Raise your heads, o You gates, lift up, you eternal doors! And the king of glory will come in. Who is this king of glory? The lord of hosts, he is the king of glory. Selah “(Psalm 24: 7-10)
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