Friday, November 13, 2015

Rafael Cruz on the Dangers to America: Voting Biblical Values

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

Does the Bible actually have anything to teach about voting?

We asked this question on Christ in Prophecy of our special guest, Rafael Cruz, the father of one of the United States senators from Texas and presidential candidate, Ted Cruz. He joined us to discuss what he believes are some of the greatest dangers to American democracy and freedom.

[Note: Lamb & Lion Ministries does not endorse any particular presidential candidate. The following interview has been lightly edited for grammatical purposes.]



The Freedom of Worship Switch

Nathan Jones: Mr. Cruz, what do you think about the dangers to Christianity in the way of our government limiting our freedom of religion. I hear President Obama frequently saying that we have the freedom to worship, but he never says freedom of religion. There is a big difference, right?

Rafael Cruz: Oh, there is a huge difference. Every Communist country around the world has freedom of worship. The way they define worship is that worship is what you do inside of a house of worship. Inside of a church in Cuba you can worship and you can evangelize, but only inside of the Church. Of course, Cuba has spies there in the churches monitoring what you're saying.

Dr. Reagan: One thing you can't do is get up and deliver a sermon that criticizes the government, right?

Rafael Cruz: No, you cannot criticize the government. That is why they have spies in all the churches. And, if you share the Gospel in the streets, you are put in prison. It is very, very purposeful that the Obama Administration talks only about freedom of worship. Under freedom of worship you may even be put in jail if you have a Bible study in your home.

Dr. Reagan: Freedom of worship sounds so good. Our President says over and over, "I believe in freedom of worship." But, that's not what the Constitution says. The Constitution says we have the freedom to exercise our religion, and that means taking it into the marketplace. It means taking it where you work. It means that you don't keep your faith inside of a building.

Rafael Cruz: Jesus said, "You are the light of the world, but you know light is worthless unless you point it at the darkness." So, Christians have got to take our faith outside of the four walls of the church and take it out into the marketplace.

Dr. Reagan: That's so true! Yes, we had at our ministry's annual conference this year Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association. Tim made the comment like, "There are so many Christians who think it is improper to get involved in politics in anyway because it is such a dirty thing... Isn't it amazing that we as Christians say, 'As good Christians we must obey the law,' but we'll let pagans make the laws!"

Rafael Cruz: Proverbs 29:2 says, "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice. When the wicked beareth rule, people mourn." What happens is this, if the righteous are not running for office, and if the righteous are not even voting, what is left? We get the wicked electing the wicked. And, we get what we so deserve.


Voting Biblical Values

Nathan Jones: Mr. Cruz, I was reading in the Wall Street Journal that you made this quote which goes, "The Bible tells you exactly who to vote for." Is that correct? Where did you get that idea?

Rafael Cruz: Absolutely. Let me put it into context. Moses has just crossed the Red Sea and now is in the wilderness trying to govern over a million people. Moses is going bananas! Here comes his father-in-law, Jethro, who says, "Moses, what are you doing trying to judge people from morning to night. What you are doing is not good." In Exodus 18:21 God speaks to Moses through Jethro and He says, "You select from among the people." Now note, God doesn't say, "I will appoint." No, no, no! "You select which..." It is the same as "you elect."

Go next to Deuteronomy 1:13 and God commands, "Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you." So, go elect.

Then God gives four qualifications for these rulers: able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness. Let's take them one at a time.

"Able men and women," what does that mean? That simply means to elect men and women who are capable of doing the job. Let's stop electing the village idiot! Qualifications, please.

Number two, "such as fears God." Well, if you fear God, you obeys God's commands. We call that in America Judeo-Christianity. What is Judeo-Christianity? First of all, it is a moral code of conduct depicted by the last six commandments in the Decalogue, the horizontal commandments. They are honesty, integrity, hard-work, individual responsibility, the rule of law, and yes, free enterprise and limited government. The Bible speaks a lot about all of those.

Number three, "men of truth." Let me ask you this, aren't you sick and tired of men and women who are full of lies in government? I mean, they tell you one lie to cover up the previous lie. Whether it is Fast and Furious, or the IRS, or the NSA, or Ebola, or missing e-mails, or money from foreign governments, or Planned Parenthood — it's all lies upon lies upon lies.

Let me ask you another question. Have you come across a candidate for public office telling you all of these wonderful things that they are going to do for you, only to get elected and do exactly the opposite? We see that again and again, don't we?

That one is easy to fix if you just follow this rule: stop listening to their rhetoric and start looking at their record. Stop looking at what they say and start looking at what they do, and what they have done. Jesus put it this way, "Ye shall know them by their fruit." It is about time we do some fruit checking!

So able men, such as fear God, men of truth, and number four is "hating covetousness." There's something very interesting about covetousness in government. It is not really about money, but about power and control. Politicians covet power, and they covet the control that power gives them over we the people. That's why we have politicians in Washington who have been there for 30 years and they want to be there another 20. They just don't want to relinquish their power.

Dr. Reagan: You're advice is wonderful! It is so desperately needed in the Church today. I have been so upset over the fact that professing Christians decide how they are going to vote on the basis of the race of the person, or on the basis of the party affiliation, or on the basis of anything in the world except biblical principles. They need to ask themselves where do they stand on abortion? Where do they stand on homosexuality? Where do they stand on Israel? The biblical principles are what matters.

I know of a church in the Dallas area where the pastor got up during this last election and said, "I want to tell you how to vote." He didn't tell who to vote for, he just said, "You need to vote for people according to these biblical principles." As the congregation afterwards is walking out of the sanctuary, one of the deacons of the church says in a very loud voice in the lobby, "Well, I'll tell you what, I'm going to vote for who my union leader says to vote for!"

That's why this nation is in the sorry condition that it's in. So, yes, vote for godly men.

Rafael Cruz: We need to vote conviction, instead of voting tradition.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rafael Cruz on the Dangers to America: Christianity and Democracy

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

How critical is Christianity to the success of Democracy?

We asked this question on Christ in Prophecy of our special guest, Rafael Cruz, the father of one of the United States senators from Texas and presidential candidate, Ted Cruz. He joined us to discuss what he believes are some of the greatest dangers to American democracy and freedom.

[Note: Lamb & Lion Ministries does not endorse any particular presidential candidate. The following interview has been lightly edited for grammatical purposes.]



Christianity and Democracy

Dr. Reagan: Let's look at what Clay Christensen, a renowned professor at the Business School at Harvard University, had to say:

Some time ago I had a conversation with a Marxist economist from China. He was coming to the end of a Fulbright Fellowship here in Boston. I asked him if he had learned anything that was surprising or unexpected, and without any hesitation he said, "Yes, I had no idea how critical religion is to the functioning of democracy. The reason why Democracy works is not because the government was designed to oversee what everybody does, but rather Democracy works because most people, most of the time, voluntarily choose to obey the law. In your past, most Americans attended a church or synagogue every week, and they were taught there by people who they respected." My friend went on to say that, "Americans follow these rules because they had come to believe that they weren't just accountable to society, they were accountable to God."
My Chinese friend heightened a vague but nagging concern I've harbored inside, which is that as religion loses its influence over the lives of Americans, what will happen to our democracy? Where are the institutions that are going to teach the next generation of Americans that they, too, need to voluntarily choose to obey the laws? Because if you take away religion, you can't hire enough police.

Dr. Reagan: "If you take away religion, you cannot hire enough police." Mr. Cruz, what is your response to Professor Christensen's statement?

Rafael Cruz: What happens is when you destroy, I would say Christianity more than religion, what takes its place is another religion which is called Secular Humanism. Secular Humanism basically says there is no God, for you are your own God. On that premise there are no moral absolutes. As a matter of fact, their mantra is, "If it feels good, do it." Secular Humanism embraces a lot of chaos, a lot of immorality, and a lot of corruption. It causes a situation that deteriorates more and more and more. That's exactly what we seeing happening in America today.

Dr. Reagan: You are of the age where we have witnessed in our lifetime the deterioration of America. When I was a kid growing up, we did Bible readings in school. We prayed in school. Our English Reader was made up of Bible stories. We were taught morality.

In 1956, when I graduated from Waco High School, on any given day there were a hundred pickup trucks in the parking lot, and every pickup truck had a gun rack. There was a deer rifle, there was a shotgun, there was a 22 rifle, and usually a pistol in the glove compartment. Nobody was worried about those guns being on the school campuses. Today we have moral pygmies killing each other over tennis shoes!

This erosion has to do with the fact that we have simply eroded our Christian standards. As that has happened, we have increased violence in the schools. We have violence in society. We see society falling apart. What I can't understand is why people who are non-Christians cannot recognize the connection.

Rafael Cruz: What has happened is this so-called religion of Secular Humanism started as far back as 1933. There was a document printed in America in 1933 called the Humanist Manifesto. One of the principle authors was John Dewey who was considered the Father of American Education. He was also a member of the American Communist Party. He was our so-called our top educator! Then in 1962, prayer is removed from school and in 1963 the Bible is removed from schools. The consequence of those two abominable decisions of the Supreme Court was that teen pregnancy skyrocketed over 500%, and so did violent crime.

But, the sad thing is the Church remained silent. They called it a political issue. How can you call prayer a political issue? How can you call Bible study a political issue?

Dr. Reagan: I remember under the military dictatorship in Poland at one point the government decided they were going to take the crucifixes out of every classroom in Poland, for every classroom had a crucifix. The people went into the streets and declared, "You will do that over our dead bodies!" The Communist regime backed off.

In contrast, the Church didn't stand up to keep the Bible and prayer in the classrooms. We didn't speak out. This moral slid has has happened over a long period of time.

One of the Supreme Court decisions the just infuriates me is when they threw the Ten Commandments out and ruled that schools cannot even the Ten Commandments posted on the walls of the schools in America. They said the reason is because the children might read the Ten Commandments and decide to obey them. They actual said that in the decision!

Nathan Jones: In the Fall of 2015, the Oklahoma City government in the middle of the night snuck the Ten Commandments Monument off of the capital building.

Rafael Cruz: The thing that amazes me is that if these Atheist really don't believe in God, why are they so afraid of the cross? Why are they so afraid of the Ten Commandments?

Nathan Jones: Because they know there truly is power in the cross.

Rafael Cruz: There is power in the cross, and they know it.

Dr. Reagan: It's really strange the way things have developed in this nation, a nation that was founded on Christian principles. America is a nation that has been blessed like no other nation since ancient Judah. And yet, we have turned our back on God. We are shaking our fist at God. I think we are just begging for the destruction of God.

Rafael Cruz: Absolutely! But, I am still very, very encouraged. I think America's best days are still ahead, because I believe there is a point when the people of God are finally going to say, "I can't take it anymore!" I think the decision on June 26, 2015, to legalize homosexual marriage, I think the Devil overplayed his hand there. Now, all of a sudden, we have a frontal attack on the family, and the family is the fundamental unit of society. It is the very first institution that God created. As the family goes, so goes the nation.


In the fourth and last segment of our interview of Rafael Cruz, we'll look at what the Bible has to teach about voting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rafael Cruz on the Dangers to America: Losing Our Freedoms

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

How are Americans losing their freedoms?

We asked this question on Christ in Prophecy of our special guest, Rafael Cruz, the father of one of the United States senators from Texas and presidential candidate, Ted Cruz. He joined us to discuss what he believes are some of the greatest dangers to American democracy and freedom.

[Note: Lamb & Lion Ministries does not endorse any particular presidential candidate. The following interview has been lightly edited for grammatical purposes.]



Americans Losing Our Freedoms

Dr. Reagan: Mr. Cruz, you lived under two dictatorships. One was a Fascist dictatorship under Batista, and the other a Communist dictatorship under Castro. You know first-hand about tyranny. Based on your personal knowledge about tyranny, what warnings would you give to the American people about dangerous trends that are adversely affecting America today?

Rafael Cruz: In a sense you could say I was fortunate in that I saw my freedoms taken away just like that — snap! Here in America our freedoms are being eroded a little at a time. It's like the old story of the frog. You put a frog in a pot of hot water and he'll jump right out, but if you put a frog in a pot of cold water and put it on the stove, you can slowly boil that frog to death. That is what is happening to Americans. Our freedoms are being taken away a little at a time. And, we just keep taking it!

I remember in the late 70's here in America, I saw our government begin to institute policies that reminded me of that bearded dictator in Cuba. During the Carter years there were 22% interest rates, double-digit inflation, double-digit unemployment, and a government so weak in foreign policy that Iran had captured 52 Americans and kept them hostage for 444 days.

Dr. Reagan: Our response was to say we wouldn't participate with Iran in the Olympics!

Rafael Cruz: It was because I saw the Socialism in Jimmy Carter's time that I became very involved in an organization called the Religious Roundtable. The Religious Roundtable was a Judeo-Christian organization that together with the Moral Majority, that was Jerry Falwell's organization, mobilized millions of Christians in America to help elect whom I consider the greatest President since Abraham Lincoln — President Ronald Reagan. I would say my son, Ted, was nine years old at the time. Our conversation around the dinner table every day was as to why we have to get rid of this Socialist, Progressive Jimmy Carter and replace him with a Christian Constitutional Conservative like Ronald Reagan. My son got a good dose of Conservative politics from a Christian worldview every day for a year when he was nine years old.

Dr. Reagan: You game him a Christian worldview. I find most Christians don't even know what a worldview is, much less what a Christian worldview is. How would you define a Christian worldview?

Rafael Cruz: The Bible says if our foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The wonderful thing about America is that it was founded on the Word of God. I submit to you that the reason our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence have lasted over two centuries is because those documents were forged on the knees by our Framers.

Dr. Reagan: They were. These documents recognized fully the sin nature in Man. Our Constitution recognizes the true nature of Man in that Man cannot be trusted to always do what is morally right. There has to be checks and there has to be balances. Our Founding Fathers did not trust Man because they were men steeped in the Scriptures, and the Scriptures say man is essentially evil. In opposite, Humanists claim Man is basically good and can be trusted to do what is right.

Most of America's Founding Fathers were very wealthy men, and so it's amazing that they didn't found an oligarchy or government structure of that nature. No, they didn't even trust themselves to remain moral when given power. Our nation's founding documents were based upon Christian viewpoint of the inherent sinfulness of Man.

Rafael Cruz: One of my favorite quotes from President Thomas Jefferson is, "The Constitution is like chains to bind the mischief of government."

Nathan Jones: And that's why we have the Second Amendment concerning the freedom to bear arms. A lot of people think that gun control will stop crime, but isn't the Second Amendment actually more about protecting the people from their own government?

Rafael Cruz: Absolutely, and we just have to look at history. Mexican General Santa Anna once said, "If we fail to learn the lessons of history, we are doomed to repeat it."

Look at all the tin-horn dictators who have taken guns away. Stalin took the guns away and killed 20 million people. Mao took the guns away and killed like 50 million people. So did Pol Pot, and so did Castro and Hitler. Every dictator who has taken guns away has used guns against their own population.


In the third segment of our interview of Rafael Cruz, we'll look at how critical Christianity is to Democracy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Rafael Cruz on the Dangers to America: Life Under Communism

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

What is life like living under a Communist regime?

We asked this question on Christ in Prophecy of our special guest, Rafael Cruz, the father of one of the United States senators from Texas and presidential candidate, Ted Cruz. He joined us to discuss what he believes are some of the greatest dangers to American democracy and freedom.

[Note: Lamb & Lion Ministries does not endorse any particular presidential candidate. The following interview has been lightly edited for grammatical purposes.]



Life Under Communism

Nathan Jones: Mr. Cruz, let's begin by sharing your incredible life story. I want to hear about how you escaped Cuba after living under two dictators.

Rafael Cruz: I grew up under a very oppressive military dictatorship. During the seven years Batista was dictator he killed over 20,000 people! The Revolution started in the high schools and the universities. I remember during that time there was this young, charismatic leader talking about hope and change. His name was Fidel Castro. I got involved in the Revolution, and as a result of that, I was arrested, imprisoned and tortured.

Even though I did not know God, He knew me. By the grace of God I was able to leave Cuba legally on a student visa. I came to the University of Texas late in 1957 still thinking that Castro was a good guy. Well, in 1959 when Castro took over, I went back to Cuba at the end of the summer. Did I have a great shock, because this same man that had been talking about hope and change was now talking about how the rich were evil, about how they oppress the poor, and about the need to redistribute the wealth. Castro began confiscating private property. He began attacking the freedom of the press. He began attacking the freedom of religion.

To give you an idea of Castro's methods, his soldiers would come into a kindergarten class and they would say to the kids, "Alright, kids, close your eyes and pray to God for candy. Where's the candy? No candy." Then his soldiers would say, "Alright, close your eyes again and pray to Fidel for candy." While the kids had their eyes closed, very quietly the soldiers would place candy on all the desks.

I mentioned this story a few years ago at a meeting and a lady from Romania told me that Ceausescu did identically the same thing. Communism, Socialism, Marxism — it's all the same, so let's not get caught in the semantics. These ideologies need for government to become your god, and in order to do that, they must destroy the concept of God.

That's the motivation for what's behind all these attacks on Christianity that we are seeing today in America.

Dr. Reagan: I had the opportunity to go to Cuba a few years ago to teach at a seminary. I have been all over Eastern Europe and all over Russia before Communism fell, and yet I never saw a society so depressed as Cuba. People there just feel like they have no hope. They are living in mass poverty. The middle class was destroyed by Castro. People don't understand that when he came to power he confiscated everything.

Rafael Cruz: Absolutely. Most people don't really understand the myth about everybody being equal in Communism.

Nathan Jones: Under Communism the people are all equally poor, right?

Rafael Cruz: That's right, though there are really three classes. The first is the government where they all live like millionaires because they've confiscated everybody's wealth. Second, you have the army who are the enforcers. Then, third, you have the people. It is true, though, the people are all equal — they all equally starve!

Dr. Reagan: When I was at the Cuban seminary, I looked across the street and I noticed there was a little grocery store. Next to the grocery store there was a sign on a door that talked about how this was the neighborhood watch. I don't exactly remember the title of the watch. I asked somebody what this meant and they said that is where the person has his office who watches their neighborhood. They watch everything in the neighborhood. All of Cuba is divided under these watches. If they see anything that changes, and anything that looks like people have some money that they shouldn't have, they report it and get rewarded for doing so. You've got somebody watching you all the time in Cuba.

Rafael Cruz: Absolutely, yes, Cuba has a person on every block who is the Castro's spy for that block. Then every six blocks they have one guy watching those six guys! It's all that way across the country.

As a matter of fact, Cuba even has food police. Everything is rationed in Cuba. To give you an idea, meat is rationed to a half a pound per person per month. We eat a half a pound of meat in one sitting. But, that is the monthly ration. And, you still have to buy your meat! What happens is people hoard food, or they trade food, and so forth. If the watchers catch you with additional food, you'll be put in jail. They call that hoarding.

Dr. Reagan: Mr. Cruz, one of your comments that you make over and over, and I've read this many times, you are quoted as saying, "I am standing up against certain dangerous trends in America, because if America goes the way of Cuba, there's no place to flee to."

Rafael Cruz: Absolutely. I must have told my son, Ted, that a dozen times. When I lost my freedom in Cuba, I had a place to come to — America. If we lose our freedoms here in America, where are we going to go? There is just no place to go.

Dr. Reagan: Where is there another place like this country that you came to all that time ago, where you, as an immigrant, arrived with $100, and you started going to school, and you were given all of the opportunities that you've had, and then you have a son running for President of the United States? This nation is unbelievable!

Rafael Cruz: That is the greatness of America. America is the greatest country on the face of the earth. How dare our current President say that the United States is not an exceptional country. This is the most exceptional country on the face of the earth!

Dr. Reagan: President Obama spends most of his time going around the world apologizing to everybody for America. We are the ones after all who in World War II defeated the Nazis, and yet we are apologizing?

Rafael Cruz: I love America so much. This is the only country on the face of the earth founded on the Word of God. It was founded by men and women seeking the freedom to serve God. We've seen how God has used America. America has evangelized the rest of the world.


In the second segment of our interview of Rafael Cruz, we'll look at how Americans are losing their freedoms.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Jewish Temples: Warning Signs

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

I will now finish analyzing a book written by Robert Cornuke titled, Temple: Amazing New Discoveries That Change Everything About The Location Of Solomon's Temple. This book's startling thesis asserts that the Jewish Temples (Solomon's and Herod's) were located south of the Temple Mount in the ancient City of David and that the entire Temple Mount was the Antonia Fortress where Roman troops were garrisoned.


Warning Signs

Something Cornuke did not mention in his book is that two warning signs have been discovered that clearly indicate the Temple was located on the Temple Mount. These are signs that warned that non-Jews could not cross the stone balustrade that separated the sacred Temple area from the Court of the Gentiles. These signs are mentioned in the writings of Josephus.16

The first of these signs carved in stone was found in 1871 near the Lion's Gate located at the northeastern corner of the Temple Mount, nowhere near the City of David. A second one was discovered in the 1930's near the same location.17

Temple Warning Stone

The Temple warning stone that is now in the Museum of the Ancient Orient in Istanbul, Turkey.


The Size

One of the most devastating arguments against Cornuke's theory relates to the size of the Temple platform on which the Temple sat. According to both Josephus and the Mishnah (a collection of rabbinical oral traditions), the Temple platform was 500 by 500 cubits in size. The cubit used by Solomon was the long royal Egyptian cubit which was 20.67 inches long.18 That would make the Temple platform 861 feet square.

There is simply no way that this platform could have fit in the City of David. Again, the City of David was a tiny village when David conquered it. It consisted of only 13 acres and was 400 feet wide by 1,800 feet long. The placement of a temple platform 861 feet square in the village would look like the diagram below.

Temple Mount

As you can see, the Temple platform would have stuck out over the deep Kidron ravine, hanging in the sky! In Cornuke's book, he has some drawings he commissioned showing the Temple sitting in the City of David, but they are very misleading because they are not drawn to scale.


Concluding Thoughts

Cornuke offers some other arguments in behalf of his theory, but I have covered all the main ones.

I think it is important to note that the leaders of the Temple Mount Institute in Jerusalem are the world's leading experts on the Jewish Temples. They have spent their lives studying the ancient manuscripts related to the Temple, and their conclusion is that "...there is no doubt that the Dome of the Rock is the location of the First and Second Temples..."19

One of Christendom's foremost experts on the Temples, Randall Price, agrees with this conclusion. He further observes, "...while evidence of the First Temple's construction is scarce... evidence for the Herodian Second Temple is replete, both in the original documentary sources and the archeological remains."20 And he then points out that the Bible explicitly states that the Second Temple was built on the foundation of the First (Ezra 2:68 and 9:9).

The cover of Cornuke's book has a superscription above the title which reads: "Could History Be So Stunningly Wrong?" The answer is a resounding "No!"


References

16) Josephus, Wars 5.193-194 and Antiquities, 15. 417.

17) Franz, page 23. Also, Randall Price, "Where Was the Temple Located?" http://www.worldofthebible.com/Documents/Where%20was% 20the%20Temple%20Located2.pdf, pages 8-9.

18) Wikipedia, "Cubit," https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubit#Ancient_Egyptian_royal_cubit, page 1.

19) The Temple Institute, "The Location of the Temple and the Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount: The Present Dome of the Rock is the Location of the Temple and the Rock Which is Under the Dome of the Rock is the Location of the Holy of Holies," http://templemountfaithful.org/articles/temple-location.php, page 12.

20) Randall Price, "Where Was The Temple Located?" http://www.worldofthebible.com/Documents/Where%20was%20the%20 Temple%20Located2.pdf, page 2.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Jewish Temples: Excavations

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

I will continue analyzing a book written by Robert Cornuke titled, Temple: Amazing New Discoveries That Change Everything About The Location Of Solomon's Temple. This book's startling thesis asserts that the Jewish Temples (Solomon's and Herod's) were located south of the Temple Mount in the ancient City of David and that the entire Temple Mount was the Antonia Fortress where Roman troops were garrisoned.


The Stones

One of Cornuke's cornerstone arguments that he emphasizes repeatedly is that Jesus prophesied that the entire Temple complex would be destroyed to the point that "not one stone will be left upon another" (Matthew 24:2). He then points out that the retaining walls of the Temple Mount remain standing to this day. Therefore, he concludes that the Temple could not have been located on the Temple Mount. In contrast, he points out that nothing is left of the Temple in the City of David.

This argument is nothing but hot air. Jesus did not prophesy the destruction of the Temple complex, and the reason there is nothing left of the Temple in the City of David is because it was never there.

You can find Jesus' prophecy in three places: Matthew 24:1-2, Mark 13:1-2 and Luke 21:5-6. In all three places it is very clear that His prophecy relates only to the buildings on the Temple Mount and not to the retaining walls around the Mount. Consider Matthew 24:1-2 —

1) Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.
2) And He said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down."

As you can clearly see in this passage, the prophecy relates to the Temple buildings, and not the retaining walls.


The Coin

Cornuke makes a big deal out of a coin that archaeologists found at the base of the southwest corner of the Temple Mount retaining wall. He says the coin was dated 20 AD and it proves that the walls were not completed by that date. He concludes that the western wall was not built by Herod, and therefore Herod's Temple could not have been located on the Temple Mount.

The fact of the matter is that the construction of the Temple complex continued long after King Herod's death. John 2:20 says that the building of the Temple complex took 46 years — until about 27 or 28 AD. And recent archaeological excavations have revealed that although the Western Wall, where Jews pray today, was built in Herod's lifetime, the southwest corner of the Temple Mount where the coin was found, was not completed until around 30 AD.14 In fact, Josephus reports that the Temple complex was still receiving further embellishments and repairs right up to the time that the First Jewish Revolt broke out in 66 AD.15


The Debris

One important point that Cornuke overlooks is that there is tons of debris on the east and west sides of the Temple Mount. This rubble was piled up when the Roman soldiers pushed the stones of the Temple buildings off the top of the Temple Mount.

This debris is so deep that when people stand at the Western Wall (or "Wailing Wall") today, they are actually standing 50 feet above the base of the wall where a street was located in the time of Jesus. On the eastern side of the Temple Mount, the debris is so deep that it covers the top of the ancient Eastern Gate which exists directly below the present gate.

This leads to a crucial question: If the Temple Mount was the location of the Roman fortress, why did the Roman soldiers tear down their own fortress and then go to the enormous trouble of pushing the remains over the top of the Temple Mount? It just makes no sense.

Eastern Wall

This is a photo of the eastern wall of the Temple Mount, taken from the Mount of Olives, looking west over the Kidron Valley. The red line starts at the southeast corner of the Temple Mount retaining wall, and as it moves to the right (north) it rises steeply, indicating the amount of debris that is piled up against the wall. The arrow points to the current Eastern Gate which is located on top of the ancient gate.


Excavations

Since 1967, when the Israelis reconquered the Old City in the Six Day War, they have excavated the southern end of the Temple Mount. They found the steps leading up to the entrance to the Temple complex. And they uncovered huge ceremonial baths (mikvahs) which were used for spiritual cleansing before entering the Temple.

The discovery of these baths solved a mystery that appears in Acts chapter 2. That chapter records the first Gospel sermon that the Apostle Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost — a sermon he presented on the Temple grounds. We are told that 3,000 responded to the sermon and were baptized. Scholars have always wondered where that many people could have been baptized in Jerusalem. Now we know.

The Israelis have not carried out excavations on the east side of the Temple Mount because a Muslim cemetery is located there. The graves are located on top of the tons of debris that is piled up against that wall.

On the west side, they are unable to conduct excavations because buildings have been built over the debris right up to the wall. The only open space is the Western Wall where Jews go to pray, and it is considered to be a sacred and untouchable area. But excavations have been conducted at the southwest corner of the Western Wall. The photo below shows that corner and some of the huge stones that were pushed off the top of the Temple Mount.

Western Wall

In the midst of the rubble that has been left at the southwest corner of the Temple Mount is a stone that is inscribed with the words, "To the place of trumpeting." It marks the spot at the top of the Temple Mount where the priestly trumpeter would have stood to sound the trumpet signaling the beginning and end of Sabbath days and festivals. This stone clearly indicates that the Temple Mount was a Jewish sacred place, and not the site of a Roman fortress.

The Trumpeting Stone

Jerusalem

Note: An artist's very acurate rendition of Jerusalem at the time of Solomon. The original City of David is at the bottom. The Ophel is right above it. This is the incline that leads up to the Temple Mount. The Temple is shown on Mount Moriah. The steep ravine on the right is the Kidron Valley. The Mount of Olives is to the right across the Kidron Valley. The shallower valley on the left is the Tyropoeon Valley. (Source: http://theworldnewsmedia.org/20
10%20Watchtower%20Library%20Maps.)


In the sixth and last segment, I'll conclude with some devastating arguments against Robert Cornuke's claim that the Jewish temples resided in the City of David.


References

14) Gordon Franz, "Was King Solomon’s and Herod the Great’s Temples Built Over the Gihon Springs in the City of David?: A Factual Review of Robert Cornuke’s Temple," draft article shared with the author by Randall Price, page 19.

15) Flavius Josephus, Antiquities, 20.219.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Jewish Temples: The Water

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

I will continue analyzing a book written by Robert Cornuke titled, Temple: Amazing New Discoveries That Change Everything About The Location Of Solomon's Temple. This book's startling thesis asserts that the Jewish Temples (Solomon's and Herod's) were located south of the Temple Mount in the ancient City of David and that the entire Temple Mount was the Antonia Fortress where Roman troops were garrisoned.


The Water

Cornuke's third major argument relates to the Jewish Temple's need for abundant water in order to wash away the blood of animal sacrifices. He asserts that because of this need, the Temple had to be situated in the City of David over the Gihon Spring. He cites two biblical passages — Joel 3:18 and Ezekiel 47:1-7 — to prove that the Gihon Spring was under the Temple.

The passage in Joel says, "...and in that day the mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah will flow with water; and a spring will go out from the house of the LORD to water the valley of Shittim." Similarly, the passage in Ezekiel says that water will flow from under the threshold of the Temple. The water will form a river that will flow to the Dead Sea, and when it reaches that point, it will refresh the sea and bring it alive with "living creatures."

The problem with these passages is that they are both presented in a Millennial context, and therefore they have nothing to do with the biblical temples. The verses are talking about the Millennial Temple which will be built after Jesus returns. And keep in mind that the Bible says that when the Second Coming occurs, there will be the greatest earthquake in history — one that will impact the entire world (Revelation 6:12-17 and Revelation 16:18-20). Every island will be moved. Mountains will be lowered, plains will be lifted, and the topography of Jerusalem will be drastically changed (Zechariah 14:10). So, there is no way that Cornuke can prove that these verses are talking about the Gihon Spring.

The fact that the topography of Jerusalem is going to be radically revised is attested to by the size of the Millennial Temple that is described in Ezekiel 40-48. Bible prophecy expert Dr. John C. Whitcomb describes it this way:11

The area of the Temple courts (500 x 500 "reeds," or about one square mile) would be larger than the entire ancient walled city of Jerusalem, and the holy portion for priests and Levites (20,000 x 25,000 reeds, or about 40 x 50 miles) would cover an area six times the size of greater London today and could not possibly be placed within present-day Palestine, that is between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea (Ezekiel 47:18), to say nothing of the "portion of the prince" on either side of this area (Ezekiel 45:7, 47:21). The Millennial Jerusalem would be about 40 miles in circumference and thus ten times the circumference of the ancient city. Furthermore, it would be somewhat north of the present site of the city, and the Temple area would be about ten miles north of that, on the way to Samaria!

The map below (figuire 5) shows the size of Millennial Israel and the gigantic size of the Temple area. As you can see, the Temple area will be so big that it will extend over the Jordan River as it exists today.12

Millennial Israel

It is true that the Temples required a lot of water for the cleansing of the sacrificial altars. But that water was supplied by an aqueduct that Solomon built about 950 BC. It transported water to the Temple Mount from the Spring of Atan which was located near Bethlehem.13


In the fifth segment, I'll analyze Robert Cornuke's cornerstone argument that the Jewish temples resided in the City of David.


References

11) John C. Whitcomb, "The Millennial Temple of Ezekiel 40-48," www.middletownbiblechurch.org/proph/templemi.htm, page 4.

12) Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice, Charting the End Times (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2001).

13) The Interactive Bible, "The Jerusalem Water Aqueduct 12km from the Solomon's Pools," www. bible.ca/archeology/Biblearcheology-jerusalem-temple-mount-threshing-floor-aqueduct.htm.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Jewish Temples: The Threshing Floor

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

I will continue analyzing a book written by Robert Cornuke titled, Temple: Amazing New Discoveries That Change Everything About The Location Of Solomon's Temple. This book's startling thesis asserts that the Jewish Temples (Solomon's and Herod's) were located south of the Temple Mount in the ancient City of David and that the entire Temple Mount was the Antonia Fortress where Roman troops were garrisoned.


Bringing the Ark Up to the Temple

Further biblical evidence that the Temple was located above the City of David on Mount Moriah can be found in 2 Chronicles 5:2 where it tells what Solomon did after he completed the building of the Temple:

"Then Solomon assembled to Jerusalem the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers' households of the sons of Israel, to bring up the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion."

This passage makes it clear that the Temple could not have been located in the City of David. In order for the Ark of the Covenant to be placed in the Holy of Holies, it had to be taken out of the City of David and brought up to the Temple. And what was the Ark doing in the City of David? It's where David placed it in a tent when he brought it from Kiriath-jearim to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 16:1).

Study the diagram on below (figure 4). The City of David is the small finger of land at the bottom, from the dotted east-west line to the south. During Solomon's reign, the city started growing north up the Ophel (the slanted rise from the City of David to the Temple Mount). Where the Temple is located on this diagram is Mount Moriah, which today is usually referred to as the Temple Mount. And, again, notice how small the area is. The Temple Mount is 400 yards wide, but when you go south, the walls taper down to a width of less than 200 yards.

City of David

Returning to Cornuke's basic thesis that the Temples had to be located in the City of David because it is referred to as Zion, it is a thesis that cannot be sustained.


The Threshing Floor

Cornuke's second main argument is that the threshing floor which David purchased for the location of the Temple was situated within the City of David (2 Samuel 24:18-25). This is also a bogus argument.

Again, Cornuke's only basis for this assertion is that since the Temple was located in Zion, the threshing floor had to be in the City of David. But the Bible says otherwise in 2 Chronicles 3:1 —

Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

This verse makes it very clear that the threshing floor on which the Temple was built was located on Mount Moriah, and not in the City of David. Furthermore, threshing floors in biblical times were never located inside cities. Instead, they were located on high places in agricultural areas where the wind could catch the chaff.9

Cornuke makes the bizarre claim that the threshing floor that David purchased was actually located over the Gihon Spring in the City of David. But as one of his critics has put it:10

The reason the Temple was not built on top of the Gihon Spring is the same reason people do not put a toilet in the middle of the kitchen table where food is eaten. The temple was built on a threshing floor. Threshing floors are dirty and were never built near springs. The particles would contaminate the water as the chaff from the wheat was blown away from the husk.

All these factors make it clear that a threshing floor inside the tiny City of David is just not a possibility.


In the fourth segment, I'll analyze the third of Robert Cornuke's arguments that the Jewish temples resided in the City of David.


References

9) Leen Ritmeyer, "Where the Temple Didn’t Stand," World of the Bible News, Summer 2001, volume 3, number 4, page 2.

10) Steve Rudd, "Temple is not located on top of the Gihon Spring," www.bible.ca/archaeology/bible-archaeology-jerusalem-templemount-ophel-gihon-spring.htm, page 1.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Jewish Temples: A Revisionist Proposal

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

I will continue analyzing a book written by Robert Cornuke titled, Temple: Amazing New Discoveries That Change Everything About The Location Of Solomon's Temple. This book's startling thesis asserts that the Jewish Temples (Solomon's and Herod's) were located south of the Temple Mount in the ancient City of David and that the entire Temple Mount was the Antonia Fortress where Roman troops were garrisoned.


The Temple's Location

Over the years, and continuing until today, there has been a running debate among scholars as to where the Temple was located on the Temple Mount. The majority opinion among both archaeologists and Jewish experts is that the Temple was located where the Dome of the Rock stands.4

A few have postulated that the Temple was located at the south end of the Temple Mount near where the Al- Aqsa Mosque stands today.5

The strongest alternative is the one that was proposed in 1983 by an Israeli physicist, Dr. Asher Kaufman. He believes the Temple was located about 200 feet to the north of the Dome of the Rock, and he has presented some very solid arguments for his view.6

But the bottom line is that no one knows for certain where the Temple was located on the Temple Mount, and its exact location will not be determined until archaeologists are allowed to conduct explorations on top and under the Mount.


A Revisionist Proposal

In the year 2000, a man by the name of Dr. Ernest Martin made the startling proposal that the Temple was not located on the Temple Mount at all. In his book, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, he presented the theory that the Temple Mount was in fact the location of the Antonia Fortress where Roman troops were garrisoned, and that the Jewish temples were located to the south of the Temple Mount in the City of David.7

Robert Cornuke has simply popularized Martin's thesis, and he acknowledges this in the introduction of his book.8 Let's take a look at his arguments in behalf of his thesis.


The City of David is Zion

Cornuke's first argument, and his basic one, is that the Jewish Temples were located in Zion, and that Zion was a name for the City of David. As proof of this, he quotes 2 Samuel 5:7 which says, "...David captured the stronghold of Zion, that is the city of David."

It is true that at the time David conquered the Jebusite city of Jebus, the Jews who subsequently occupied the city changed its name and started referring to it as The City of David or Zion, and ultimately they gave it the name of Jerusalem. But the term, Zion, is not used in the Bible to refer exclusively to the original City of David. Over a period of time, it became an alternative name for the whole city of Jerusalem as it grew north to Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount) and then started spreading west across the Tyropoean Valley.

Evidence of this can be found in Isaiah 2:3 where it says, "And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.' For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." The last phrase of this quotation is a classic example of Hebrew parallelism whereby the second part of the phrase says the same thing as the first part, but in different words — equating Zion with Jerusalem. This sentence was written in the 8th Century BC, long after Jerusalem had grown beyond the original city of David.


In the third segment, I'll analyze two more of Robert Cornuke's arguments that the Jewish temples resided in the City of David.


References

4) The Temple Mount Faithful, "The Location of the Temple and the Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount: The Present Dome of the Rock is the Location of the Temple and the Rock Which is Under the Dome of the Rock is the Location of the Holy of Holies," http://templemountfaithful.org/articles/temple-location.php.

5) Lambert Dolphin and Michael Kollen, "On The Location of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem," www.temple mount.org/theories.html.

6) Joshua Schwartz, "The Temple Mount: Where is the Holy of Holies?" (A review of Asher Kaufman’s book by the same name), www.biblical archaeology.org/reviews/the-temple-mount.

7) Ernest Martin, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot (Portland, OR: Associates for Scriptural, Knowledge, 1994).

8) Cornuke, page 14.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Jewish Temples: Analyzing Cornuke's Claim

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

I have been receiving a lot of inquiries recently concerning a book written by Robert Cornuke that is simply titled, Temple.1 The sub-title is, "Amazing New Discoveries That Change Everything About The Location Of Solomon's Temple," which reads like a Madison Avenue advertising slogan.

The thesis of this book is startling. It asserts that the Jewish Temples (Solomon's and Herod's) were located south of the Temple Mount in the ancient City of David and that the entire Temple Mount was the Antonia Fortress where Roman troops were garrisoned.

The author, Robert Cornuke, touts himself as a "former FBI-trained police investigator."2


Geographical Information

Before I take a look at his arguments in behalf of his radical thesis, let's take a look at the city of Jerusalem and its historical development.

The diagram below shows what the Old City (the walled city) of Jerusalem looks like today.

The Old City

The walls you see on this diagram were built by Suleiman the Magnificent between 1537 and 1541. The walls did not enclose Mount Zion which is located directly south of the Armenian Quarter, despite the fact that the Mount had always been included within the walls in previous years.

The story is the two architects of the walls cheated on the job and pocketed the money that should have been spent on the construction of the walls to encompass Mount Zion. They were executed for doing so, and their tomb can be seen today just inside the Jaffa Gate.3

What comes as a surprise to contemporary pilgrims is that none of the ancient City of David, the original Jerusalem, is enclosed within the walls as they exist today. That tiny Jebusite village that David conquered consisted of a little finger of elevated land of only 13 acres that was located directly south of the Temple Mount. Its exact location in relation to the Old City that exists today is indicated in figure 2 below.

The Temple Mount


Background Information

The Bible says that in anticipation of building a temple, King David bought a threshing floor to serve as its site (2 Samuel 24:24). The traditional, historical and archaeological views have been that the threshing floor was located immediately north of the City of David on a much higher elevation called Mount Moriah. It is the opinion of most biblical scholars that this area on top of Mount Moriah, called the Temple Mount, is where Solomon's Temple was built.

Solomon's Temple was destroyed in 587 BC by the Babylonians who took the surviving Jews into captivity. Seventy years later, the Jews returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt what is known as The Second Temple. According to Ezra 3:10-13 this was a much less elaborate temple than the one that Solomon had built, due to the poverty of the returning refugees.

Five hundred years later in about 20 BC, King Herod the Great decided to magnify the beauty of this temple. Part of his plan was to enlarge the Temple Mount platform. To do so, he built an incredible retaining wall all around the mount and filled it with dirt to produce a very large, level platform of 36 acres. The sacrifices continued in the Temple courtyard throughout this construction process, and therefore, Herod's Temple continued to be known as The Second Temple.

Herod's Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and the Temple Mount stood vacant until the late 7th Century when a Muslim shrine, called the Dome of the Rock, was built by the Umayyad Caliph, Abd al-Malik. It was completed in 691 AD. It was supposedly built on the site of the Jewish Temple and was therefore considered to be a symbol of the triumph of Islam over Judaism. It was also considered to be a symbol of Islam's triumph over Christianity since it stood higher than the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

In the early 8th Century an Islamic house of worship was built at the southern end of the Temple Mount, called the Al- Aqsa Mosque. Today, the Temple Mount looks like the diagram in figure 3.

Ancient City of David

In 1967, at the end of the Six Day War, the Israelis conquered the Old City and gained sovereignty over the Temple Mount for the first time in almost 1,900 years. But in order to placate the Muslim masses, Moshe Dayan, the Israeli Defense Minister, immediately announced that the Muslims would be given administrative control over the Mount.

So, today, the Muslims control the Temple Mount although Israel retains sovereignty over it. Because of the Muslim control, no archaeological research is allowed. The Israelis have dug up the area to the south of the Temple Mount and have revealed the steps leading up to the entrance gates to the Mount that were used by the general public at the time of Christ. They have also uncovered huge mikvahs (baptismal pools) that were used for ceremonial cleansing before entering the Temple complex.

Because the Temple Mount is under Muslim control, and because the Muslims are intolerant of all other religions, there are strict rules of conduct for those who are allowed on the Temple Mount. Men and women cannot hold hands. No Bible reading is allowed, and groups are not allowed to pray.


In the second segment, I'll analyze Robert Cornuke's claim that the Jewish temples resided in the City of David.


References

1) Robert Cornuke, Temple: Amazing New Discoveries That Change Everything About The Location of Solomon’s Temple (Charlotte, NC: LifeBridge Books, 2014).

2) Ibid., back cover.

3) Galyn Wiemers, "Temple Mount of Solomon," www.generationword.com/jerusalem101/21-temple-mount-of-solomon.html.