The Golden Gate

 Jamma Mokhriby


Back in October 31 of 1997 the Denver Post had an extraordinary news item which headlined "Israel plans to alter wall."
Quoting from this article we read, "Israel's Housing Ministry wants to reopen a sealed gate in the wall ringing Jerusalem's Old City...The plan to break through the 15-foot-thick stone wall - part of a project to build up the Jewish ‘Quarter and increase its population - also is likely to anger the Palestinians, who oppose any changes in Jerusalem's eastern sector."
Besides the stated purpose for wanting to open the Eastern Gate to grant easier access to East Jerusalem by Jews, we could not help but consider the possible religious motives behind the planned venture if this indeed referred to the Eastern Gate of prophecy.
Benjamin Netanyahu had been strongly supportive of the Religious Right's agenda for Israel and the religious implications of opening the Eastern Gate were intriguing to say the least. Unfortunately the article gave no date as to when Israel planned to break through the gate.
Thousands of years ago the prophet Ezekiel was shown in a vision the present-day state of the Eastern Gate at Jerusalem. We read from this prophecy in Ezekiel 44:1-2, "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; because the Lord God of Israel has entered it: therefore it shall be shut."
Quoting from page 393 of the Pulpit Commentary we read, "The "Golden Gate" at Jerusalem, on the eastern side of the temple area, looking towards the Mount of Olives, is now built up, so that it can only be traced by means of the form of the arches and carved work embedded in a line of wall. Tradition associates this now inaccessible archway with the gate which Ezekiel said should be shut till the prince passed through it. There is a striking symbolism in Ezekiel's description of the shut gate."
This Eastern Gate, also known as the "Golden Gate" has a fascinating history. The Romans occupied Israel during the day the Lord Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem through this gate of destiny.
In 395 AD they were displaced by the Byzantines who remained until the Arabs overthrew them in 636 AD.
The Arabs held this ground until 1099 AD. It was during this time of the Arabs occupation when the Eastern Gate was with great malice of forethought, sealed up. The reason being that the Arabs were trying to prevent the arrival of the Jewish Messiah to Jerusalem. They too were aware of the biblical prophecy that foretold that the Messiah would enter Jerusalem through the Golden Gate (see Ezek. 46:1,2 & 12), and having joined the Jews in their rejection of Jesus wanted to thwart the fulfillment.
Over the many years Arabs have contemptuously buried their dead in front of this Eastern Gate. Their reasoning is built on a hapless misunderstanding. They believe that the Messiah will be restrained from entering Jerusalem by this route because they believe He will be bound by Old Testament laws which prohibit Him from coming in contact with the remains of the dead.
The truth of the matter is that there is absolutely no force in all of creation which can stop nor hinder the fulfillment of even one of God's prophecies. According to the record of the Prophet Ezekiel's words, the Eastern Gate was to be sealed up and no man would ever again be permitted to enter through it until after the Lord Himself once more enters it in glory during the Millennial Reign.
Of that day we read in Ezek. 43:4 & 7, "And the glory of the Lord came into the Temple by way of the gate which faces towards the east. And He (the Lord) said to me, "son of man this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever."
Only after Jesus has returned will an appointed prince go in and out through this Eastern Gate. It will be opened for him on especially designated days during the millennium according to Ezekiel 46:1, 2 & 12.
The historical record since the gate was sealed fully demonstrates why Bible prophecy teachers are in awe of prophecy during our present age.
Let us review the incredible developments which took place on the two documented dates when men have tried to usurp prophecy and open the Golden Gate.
The Ottoman Turks gained possession of Jerusalem in what was then known as Palestine in 1516. They held possession over this land until the fateful day of Dec. 12, 1917. This was the very day history records that the Turks were preparing to have the Eastern Gate opened.
On that very day Britain's General Edmund Allenby surrounded Jerusalem and demanded the Turks surrender. The Turks surrendered without a shot being fired.
In 1922 the British conquerors divided the territory into two sections, thus creating the Arab emirate known as trans-Jordan. Falling into Jordan's control was the eastern portion of Jerusalem which included the Golden Gate.
It was on another fateful day on June 7th, 1967 that Jordan's King Hussein had made plans to open up the Eastern Gate in an apparent attempt to disprove Bible prophecy.
It was also on this incredible day that the famed 6-Day War ended and Israel regained possession of the eastern portion of Jerusalem. This included the Eastern Gate.
That Israel's Housing Ministry has made plans to reopen the Eastern Gate since October of 1997 causes one to ponder what the ramifications will be both on earth and from heaven. Since the Jews still await their Christ and prophecy indicates many will consider the Anti-Christ to be the Messiah then some caution seems wise when reviewing Ezekiel's prophecy.
There remains the likelihood that this prophesied man of sin, found in II Thess. 2:3-4, who will attempt to impersonate the Messiah might attempt to enter Jerusalem at some time through the Golden Gate in order to add weight to his powerful deception.
It is significant that he is called the Anti-Christ in the Scriptures. This title in the original language not only means one who opposes, but also one who tries to stand in place of Christ.
II Thessalonians 2:7 & 10-12 God warns all those who reject the truth found in His true Messiah Jesus, that He not only plans to remove the restraint on the man of sin, but will even facilitate the delusion so many want in place of His only begotten Son.
The Scriptures give us a portrait of the false Messiah and reveals to us that he will imitate the true Messiah in at least 6 ways:
1. He will come to the Jews with overtures of peace (Dan. 9:27).
2. He will come portraying a great king (Rev. 6:2).
3. He will come to the Temple in Jerusalem (Dan. 9:27 & II Thess. 2:4).
4. He will perform many great signs and wonders (II Thess. 2:9).
5. He will have a forerunner much like Elijah who is prophesied to come before the true Lord (Mal. 4:5 & Rev. 13:11-13).
6. He will even imitate the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rev. 13:3 & 12).
This one thing we can be sure of, if any man attempts to open the Eastern Gate before the Lord Jesus Christ returns from the heavens riding a flying, white horse while accompanied by ten thousands of His Saints doing likewise, then that man is a fraud and very possibly the Anti-Christ himself (see Rev. 19:11-19 & Jude verses 14-15).
It is for certain God's Son Jesus Christ is returning soon for every true believer in Him. The removal of God's true Church described in II Thess. 4:15-18 or one's final heartbeat could be a matter of just seconds away. This is why God declares that today is the day of salvation. Another day to come to Jesus for forgiveness is never promised on this earth.
This moment you can be assured of an eternal place in God's Kingdom by coming to Him in the name of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Jesus shed His blood on the cross almost 2,000 years ago so that none of us need perish.