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The Golden Gate


Every word in the Bible is inspired. All the Hebraic directions (east, south, west and north) have their special Biblical meanings only when Jerusalem, the Holy City of God, is placed at the centre. Living in the midst of a generation with no sense of direction and purpose in life, the way to regain our directional and spiritual bearings is returning to the Holy God Of Israel – the Centre of our lives. The only cure for ungodliness is godliness.

As we are approaching the end of times, Israel will again take centre-stage with all other nations playing supporting roles. The centre of the earth is Israel; the centre of Israel is Jerusalem; and the centre of Jerusalem is the Temple Mount where the Temple of God once stood and will stand. That’s why all the world leaders today, both spiritual and political, are either united or split over the sensitivities and issues taking place daily on the Temple Mount - the hottest property on earth.

At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. Jeremiah 3:17

The main entrance to the Temple of God is the East Gate. It is also called the Golden Gate, the Gate of Mercy and the Gate of Eternal Life. The gate has two doorways. The southern part is known as the Gate of Mercy, and the north part as the Gate of Repentance. Centuries ago, Jews prayed opposite this gate, facing the Temple. They began praying at the Gate of Repentance before proceeding to the Gate of Mercy to ask God for mercy. The Christians later called this gate the Golden Gate. The Arabs in the Middle Ages named it as the Gate of Eternal Life. They also called this gate the Mercy Gate. According to the Islamic Koran, the just will pass through this gate on the Day of Judgment.

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The Golden Gate is the oldest of all the gates in Jerusalem today. It is one of the most beautiful gates in the Holy City. The present gate was built in the 5th century AD. On the eastern side of the Temple Mount, this gate is the closest gate to the Temple site. It was actually the main entrance to the Temple. It is on the eastern wall of the Old City, facing the Mount of Olives and the Jewish cemetery. The gate has a beautiful decorative double arched doorway supported by wide columns set into the stonework. Inside the gatehouse are two massive pillars. According to Moslem tradition, these were brought by the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon. Although its builder was unknown, this gate still exists today.

Unlike the other gates, this gate has no visible signs of entry. The Arabs believe that since the Jews expect that their Messiah would come through this gate, they would try to prevent any possibility of His return. So, Moslem leader Saladin had it sealed in 1187 AD. The East gate was walled up by its Moslem conquerors, the Ottoman Turks, with great stones in 1530 AD. Bricked in solid from top to bottom, it is now adjoining with the wall itself so that no one can enter or leave through its portals. And a cemetery was planted in front of it thinking that the pure and holy Jewish Messiah could not set foot in an unholy and dead cemetery, and therefore would not be able to come. This was done in vain to prevent the coming of the Messiah through this gate as foretold by the Old Testament prophets. However, Ezekiel prophesied the shutting of this gate itself around 600 BC, more than 2100 years before the Moslems actually shut the gate:

Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the east, but it was shut. And the LORD said to me, "This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the LORD God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut. Ezekiel 44:1-2

This gate was shut by God Himself, not the Moslems. This sealing took place when the Jewish hearts were blinded by a veil during the time of their visitation when they rejected Christ their Messiah:

But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 2 Corinthians 3:14-16

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins." Romans 11:25-27

Ezekiel saw the glory of the LORD departing from the First Temple, built by King Solomon, through the East Gate:

Then the glory of the LORD departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD'S house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. Ezekiel 10:18-19

Through the East Gate, the glory of God departed, and through the East Gate, His glory would return. Ezekiel prophesied that Messiah would come back through this Golden Gate:

Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw-- like the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face. And the glory of the LORD came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east. Ezekiel 43:1-4

Jesus entered Jerusalem on a humble donkey through the East gate around 30 AD, about 1500 years before it was sealed by the Ottomans. His triumphant entry into Jerusalem began at the Mount of Olives before He entered the Temple (Luke 19:28-48). The original gate in the wall, which our Lord entered through, was destroyed with the city by the Romans in 70 AD.

At the Temple in Jerusalem, Jesus proclaimed that He would not be seen again until Jerusalem acknowledges Him as their Messiah:

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!'" Matthew 23:37-39

Today the Temple Mount is under Moslem control. As it is just over the Golden Gate, it has been guarded very closely around the clock. This East Gate is presently considered by the Arabs to be their exclusive property. It is still sealed up and blocked off.

In the foreground of the Golden Gate, there are remains of the Moslem cemetery that cover the eastern Temple Mount hillside up to and surrounding the East Gate and toward the Kidron Valley. Moslems expect Allah to come through the Golden Gate for the final judgment. Moslems wanted to be buried as close as possible to the Golden Gate with this hope that the dead in the immediate vicinity would be the first to be raised. Jewish and Christian cemeteries exist on the south side of the Mount of Olives and lie at the bottom of the Kidron Valley. They have a similar but blessed hope:

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thes 4:13-18

Michael the Archangel will herald the second coming of our Lord . He will sound the trumpet of God. The dead in Christ will rise first! And the Golden Gate will be opened as the people of Israel shout and welcome their King and God, "Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord! Baruch Haba B’shem Adonai!"

The Golden Gate will break forth in pieces and praises as the King of Glory returns to the Holy City! The latter glory of the Temple will be more glorious than the former glory! Israel will once again have God as their Centre and Focus of their lives. Holiness and godliness will be restored. The Church, both Jews and Gentiles, will be glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, and she will be holy, without blemish (Eph 5:27)