|Jesus and Eternal Life|
Jesus and Eternal Life
Some background on the East gate (or Golden Gate) of Jerusalem.
Photos: Gates of the Old City | Jerusalem Gate | Locating the original City of David
The Romans destroyed Jerusalem and completely razed it and the Temple after ending the Jewish revolts in 70 and 135 A.D. as Jesus foretold around 33 A.D. (Mat. 24) They rebuilt Jerusalem as a Roman city which they called Aelia Capitolina (the rest of Judea was renamed Palestina), leaving only part of the Temple's outer west wall and two Herodian guard towers from the original buildings. "The sealed gate on the eastern side was built approximately 640 A.D. either by the last of the Byzantine rulers [who would have rebuilt it opened at that time] or by the first of the Arab conquerors [around 810 A.D.]." Gates of the Old City
The Ottoman Turks conquered the city around 1500 A.D and completed construction of the city walls. The British entered Jerusalem in 1917 during WW I. The League of Nations and later the United Nations mandated British administration until the UN voted and approved a partition arrangement for the Jews and Arabs in the land, granting independence to Israel in 1948. Arab armies invaded from the surrounding countries and Jordan took possession of the Old City. Israel ultimately defended and extended its territory and established its sovereignty by 1950, but without the Old City which no Jews were allowed to enter.
In the 1967 Arab/Israeli 6 day war Israel defeated the attacking Jordanian army (along with all other Arab combatants) and entered East Jerusalem, taking possession for the first time since the Hasmonean (Maccabean) dynasty was ended in 63 BC by the Roman general Pompey. Israel declared Jerusalem it's eternal capital and allowed people of all faiths access. However, Israel has allowed the Muslims to maintain control over the temple mount, the eastern wall and gate, and other parts of Old Jerusalem.
Israel has since done extensive clean-up, archaeological research and restoration in much of the Old City, as well as building over decades the modern city of Jerusalem often referred to as New Jerusalem. The Old City's construction over the last 2000 years since the final Roman destruction of 132 A.D. (interspersed with long periods of neglect and decay) consists of Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusader (Catholic), Turkish, Armenian, British, and Israeli construction and restoration.
From Visiting the Temple Mount, by Lambert Dolphin
"The present walls around the Old City were built from 1537 to 1541 by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent after the Ottoman conquest of Israel [then called Palestine, ke]. At that time most of the ancient walls were reduced to rubble. Suleiman ordered that Jerusalem be fortified to protect its people against marauding Bedouins.
"The walls were rebuilt upon the foundations of the walls constructed during the time of the Second Temple and the later Roman expansion. For the most part, the modern gates of the city are not closely related to the walls and gates that existed in Roman times or earlier. There is some debate about the correct location of some of the ancient gates and walls. However visitors to the recently restored Jewish Quarter in the Old City can see an uncovered section of the wall built by Nehemiah at the time of the return from the Babylonian exile [around 550 B.C.].
. . .
The Golden [East] Gate
"The Golden Gate is the most important and most impressive gate in Jerusalem, and the only visible entrance to the city of Jerusalem from the East. This oldest of all the gates to the city was the only one not rebuilt by Suleiman the Magnificent in AD 1539-42. Monolithic stones in the wall just above ground have been identified as 6th Century BC masonry from the time of Nehemiah (Biblical Archaeological Review [BAR], Mar/Apr 1992, p40).
"The Golden Gate was walled up by the Arabs in the year 810. It has remained closed now for nearly 12 centuries.
. . .
"The Golden Gate has long interested many Muslims, and most Jews and Christians as the place of the Last Judgment. Historically, judgments were rendered in the gates of the city (Gen. 19:1, 23:10, for instance). Since the Messiah was to come from the East (Matthew 24:27), it was concluded that his judgment would be at the eastern gate. This is one reason for the many Muslim, Christian, and Jewish graves on the Eastern slopes of the Temple Mount, in the Kidron Valley, and on the Western slopes of the Mount of Olives
"Some Muslims place Allah's final judgment at this location also. Jews link the Messiah's arrival with this gate and Christians have for centuries associated the Golden Gate with Palm Sunday and also with the Second Advent (Luke 19:35-38).
"Jews expect the Messiah to come through the Golden Gate, Muslims also expect Jesus to return to our world at the end of the age to participate in the final judgment. Christians believe it will be Jesus Christ who will conduct that final judgment. Zechariah 14:4-5 clearly states that the Messiah of Israel will return to Jerusalem from the summit of the Mount of Olives and then surely proceed into Jerusalem from the East, in the direction of the Golden Gate.
. . .
"Because of the Messianic association with the Golden Gate - which clearly symbolizes both judgment and mercy because of the Arabic names attached to the gate - adherents to all three faiths have wanted to be buried as close as possible to the Golden Gate. The assumption was that the dead in the immediate vicinity would be the first to be raised. In the Middle Ages the Jews were forbidden to bury on Mount Moriah. Instead they buried their dead opposite the gate and to the South on the Mount of Olives. This Jewish cemetery is the oldest in continuous use anywhere in the world. ...The Muslim burial area covers the eastern Temple Mount hillside up to and surrounding the Golden Gate.
"At the end of the First Temple period the eastern gate was closed (see Ezekiel XLIV, I. "Then he brought me back the way of the outer gate of the sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut.")... [A vision recorded by Ezekiel in Babylon around 600 B.C. MCM website editor].
. . .
"The New Testament (Acts IlI 2) calls this the Beautiful Gate; it may therefore be assumed to have existed during the period of Aelia Capitolina [after the final Roman destruction in 132 A.D.]. However, its present beauty was not attained until the reign of Justinian, in honour of the Christian tradition which fixes this as the site of Jesus' entry to the Temple courtyard. The gate was probably open during the Byzantine period, and the Emperor Heraclius entered through it after taking Jerusalem in 629. After the Muslim conquest, when the Dome of the Rock and the EI-Aksa Mosque were built, it was blocked to prevent unsupervised access to the mosque area.
"...In the time of the Crusaders it was opened twice a year on Christian festivals: once in the spring, on Palm Sunday, recalling Jesus' triumphal entry to the city through this gate (St. Matthew XXI, 1-8); and once in the autumn, to commemorate the entry of the Emperor Heraclius. The gate was finally closed under Turkish rule.
"Charles Warren examined the gate in 1867-69 and found a wall descending 13 m (42 ft) below the level of the gate, the wall of the Temple Mount at this point is thus 20 m (65 ft) high. 80 m (87 yds) further north Warren found the base of the wall at a depth of 40 m (141 ft). Schick cleaned the gate in 1891. It is to be hoped that this magnificent gate will again serve its original purpose, making possible pilgrimages to the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. (Menashe Har-El, This is Jerusalem, Canaan Publishing House, PO Box 7645, Jerusalem 1977)
From "Visiting the Temple Mount" by Lambert Dolphin
"The Golden Gate is the oldest of the current gates in Jerusalem's Old City Walls. It was probably built in the 520s CE, as part of Justinian I's building program in Jerusalem, on top of the ruins of an earlier gate in the wall. An alternate theory holds that it was built in the later part of the 7th century by Byzantine artisans employed by the Umayyad khalifs.
"In Christian literature, the gate is referred as the Golden Gate, but in Arabic it is known as the Gate of Eternal Life. Jews used to pray for mercy at the gate, hence the name Sha'ar Harachamim, the Gate of Mercy.
"The gate is located in the middle of the eastern side of the Temple Mount. The portal in this position was believed to have been used for ritual purposes in biblical times.
"In Jewish tradition this is the gate through which Messiah will enter Jerusalem. It was sealed off in 1541 by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I..."
From Wikipedia, The Golden Gate
For a brief history of Palestine/Israel and Jerusalem, see History of Jerusalem and Israel History - Foreign Domination.
You can see in the photos of the East Gate above that it is sealed shut. "According to Jewish tradition, when the Messiah comes, he will enter Jerusalem through this gate. [The reason for the Muslim burials in front of the gate appears to be for the same hope in their resurrection at Messiah's return as the Jews have who are buried by the thousands directly across the valley on the Mount of Olives. MCM Editor] (Jewish Virtual Library) However, the shutting of this gate itself was prophesied by Ezekiel around 600 B.C. -- that it would be shut "because the LORD (Jehovah or Yahweh), the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut."
Jesus entered Jerusalem through the East gate around 33 A.D. (long before the more recent gate was blocked by the Muslims) as he came down from the Mount of Olives and entered the temple according to our understanding of Luke 19:28-48. He would have entered through the original gate built by Nehemiah and enhanced by Herod which, along with the city, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. and again in 132 A.D. Ezekiel says concerning this gate that it "shall be shut," that "it is for the Prince" (which the Messiah is often called throughout the Old Testament and Jesus is called in the New Testament), and that he shall enter it again.
Ezekiel 44 (A vision Ezekiel recorded around 600 B.C. in Babylon)
1 Then [the LORD] brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut.
2 Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.
3 It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.
Jesus entered the Temple in Jerusalem around 33 A.D. Speaking to the Jews, he said that they would not see him until they acknowledge Him as their Messiah by declaring the well known Messianic reception from Ps. 118:14-29, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD." (See Matthew 23:37-39.)
Matthew records Jesus' words to the Jews in chapt. 23,
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Will his chosen ones in Jerusalem and from the rest of the nations acknowledge Him as their Messiah, Lord and Deliverer? See Zechariah 12, and his return to Jerusalem according to the prophet: Zechariah 14:1-11 (written approximately 500 B.C.), and according to Jesus: Matthew 24:14-31. Or All passages together.
See Jerusalem's Destiny for the prophetic scriptures regarding the destiny of Jerusalem.
For a more complete and updated version of this article, go here.
JESUS AND ETERNAL LIFE
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I came as a Jew to believe in Jesus in June, 1974, after a long struggle not to believe or have anything to do with him or any religion. He completely changed my life, continues to change my life and has given me eternal life. It's a story in itself, which will have to be told elsewhere. What I know now is that he is everything he and the gospel writers said he was, "the son of David," "the Son of God", "the Messiah", the king of Israel and of all the nations, and the savior of all who believe in him. (Old Test: Isaiah 9:6,7; Micah 5:2 and New Test: John 8:52-59; Rev 1:4-8)
1. The proclamation of the redemption preached by Jesus and the Apostles, which is the central content of Christian
Messianic: 1. Of or relating to a messiah: messianic hopes.
Messiah: 1. The anticipated deliverer and king of the Jews.
Excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation; further reproduction and distribution in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.
Who is Jesus?
How to Come to Saving Faith in Christ
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The following websites are some of my favorite relating to the things concerning Jesus and eternal life. I have come to find that true fulfillment is in Jesus Christ (or Y'shua ha Mashiah). There are many religions, but only one risen Son of God (Ben Elohim) who gives eternal life.
There many good websites that talk about the Savior. These are a good start, until I can get around to organizing others that should be added. I don't necessarily agree with everything on all of these sites. I do believe that the most important truths about God and Jesus Christ are well presented.
The Sites to See
(All links open new windows!)
What if a Man...?
Who is Jesus?
Isaiah 53; Micah 5:2-4; Prov. 30:1-4: What the Old Testament prophets said around 700 BC (plus a proverb).
Jesus Project: 55 Olt Testament prophecies (1400 BC to 400 BC) about Jesus Christ.
The Glory of the Gospel: Message given by Dr. Mary Craig in Jerusalem
Jews for Jesus: Why believe? . . . How to Believe . . . Jews who believe . . . Full Articles Index
Memory's Gate: The testimony of a little girl who was murdered at age 14, regarding her faith and assurance of heaven. The poem was written by her mother.
SeekGod.org: I highly recommend visiting this site when you have time to dig. There's a lot to see here.
True Christian Faith: This one covers a lot of territory. If you have serious questions (whether you're a believer or not) and you are looking for answers, this place will be a great help. (Note: The author's view that salvation can be lost is not accurate. One who is truly born of God cannot be lost. One who has the appearance of salvation, but falls away was never truly saved. Mat. 7:21-23; Jn. 6:37-40; Jn 10:27-29; Jn 17:11,12; 2Pet. 2:20-22; 1Jn. 2:18,19 and others. I suspect we might ultimately agree on this question if looked at in depth.)
Institute for Creation Research: What is the scientific evidence for the creation account in Genesis? What is the scientific evidence for the theory of evolution? Start here to see what creation oriented biologists, physicists, paleontologists, archeologists, geologists, and other scientists are discovering through continuing research.
Creation Research Society: Peer reviewed journals and articles on the issue of creation vs. evolution.
Center for Scientific Creation: "Compelling evidence for creation and the flood." Comprehensive research presented by a former evolutionist.
Reasons.org: "Whether you are looking for scientific support for your faith or answers to questions about God and science, Reasons To Believe exists for you."
AnswersInGenesis.org: The thousands of articles and media programs on this site answer questions about creation/evolution, dinosaurs, and much more.
A word about creation vs. evolution websites: There are well done and convincing sources and websites on both sides of this issue. Creation scientists make mistakes and have sometimes been unwilling to admit them. Evolutionary scientists have come to numerous false conclusions over time and have at times clung for years to disproven theories. They are all human, and have their faults.
Since the purpose of this section is to present the truths and evidence for those truths revealed in the old and new testament scriptures, I have only listed creation oriented websites. As a former unquestioning evolutionist, I am convinced that the theory of evolution is hopelessly flawed and erroneous, and that the account in Genesis is the true account given by Moses of creation and our redemption in the style and manner of the Hebrew/Egyptian culture and mindset. I believe that current scientific research bears out the veracity of this account.
Keep in mind that the entire Christian faith hangs upon the reality of Jesus Christ, who he is, what he did, and his physical resurrection from the dead. If this account is fabricated (either by Christ or the authors), if the resurrection did not happen, then everything else regarding the faith can and should be thrown out. However, if the accounts of Jesus are true, and the resurrection did happen, then so is God's assurance of our own resurrection and eternal life, as well as the account of creation in Genesis. The scriptures in Paul's words make this very argument. (1 Cor. 15) The fact that there is overwhelming scientific evidence for creation is icing on the cake, though it should be expected if God created the universe. (Paul is more emphatic Rom 1:19,20)
True, saving faith in Jesus Christ must, in the end, come to just that -- faith -- even after all the evidence is examined. Evidence alone cannot give you faith (though it can lead you to it) -- only God can. For Paul's statement about evidence in creation, see Rom. 1:16-23. For the resurrection account, see John 19 -21; Luke 23-24; Acts 1; 1 Cor.15:1-18.
The gospel account of God's son, who himself is God (the son), dying on a cross and rising from the dead is utter foolishness to human ears. That is the way God has chosen to accomplish salvation and eternal life, so that none of us will be saved by our intelligence or wisdom, but by childlike faith in God and his atoning sacrifice of his son on our behalf. "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (1 Cor. 1:21) Jesus, who himself is Wisdom, and had knowledge beyond any, said, "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." See the statements of this in: Mark 10:13-16;1 Cor. 1:17 - 2:14.
Koinonia House Interactive: Bible, science, prophetic, multimedia . . .
Lambert Dolphin's Resource Files: God and the laws of physics - A physicist's search
ChristianAnswers.net: Questions, answers and lots of other good stuff
Really Walking Sober: How a hopeless alcoholic was set free
The Problem With America's Roots
Mary Craig Ministries - Prophetic Page: Messages for America, Israel and the nations
Mary Craig Ministries - Healing, Deliverance & Eternal Life
The Gospel According to Luke: The story of Jesus according to a contemporary. (Luke was a physician at the time of Jesus).
ICLNET - Christian Literature on the Internet: Links to online Christian literature and resources.
ICLNET - Early Church Documents: Early Christian documents online.
Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Christian Classics online.
Biblehub.com: Easy-to-use Bible study tools, resources and reference works. The best, most comprehensive Bible study site overall on the Internet (except for specialty sites).
StudyLight.org: More tools right at your fingertips with your search results.
Bible Gateway: An excellent bible research tool with multiple versions and languages. This is the one used extensively throughout this website.
Who is God and Who are You?
Eternal Life According to Jesus
Advanced favorites: Some of my "advanced" favorite links are listed here, on Mary Craig Ministries' website, including free Bible software.
Jerusalem's Destiny: The history and destiny of Israel and Jerusalem according to the Bible.
Faith of Our Fathers: The history, background and faith of our founding fathers and of the United States of America.
Awesome Worship Songs
Jesus' words concerning "the end of the age" and a "new heaven and new earth"...
From Jesus Christ (according to Matthew) (Mat. 24,25; Acts 1)
From John (The Revelation of Jesus Christ to John) Rev. 20-22
See also Ezekiel 38,38 (550 BC) (Note that "Rosh," "Meshech," and "Tubal" in these passages are thought by many bible scholars to refer to the tribes that now make up Russia.), and Zechariah 12-14 (500 BC)
To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever!
Worship and song given at the throne of Jesus Christ (the Lamb) Click here for the whole passage...
The Bible starting in Genesis or go to the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, etc.
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