Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Will the Stones Still Fall?

A thought just came to me while I was editing some photos I took in Jerusalem this summer. Lately, I have been investigating the Preterist view of eschatology in response to some ridiculous comments made by certain individuals concerning my eschatological views. (By the way, this has led me to a Hank Hanegraaff book called "The Apocalypse Code" which is an illogical explanation of eschatology built on a random misalignment of facts and unassociated points. The book disappointed me and convinced me that Hank Hanegraaff is indeed the Bible Answer Man and nothing more. He may know some facts, but demonstrates his inability to construct a rational argument with his scattered collection of information. Although, that may be more the fault of the failed eschatological position that is being defended, then Hank himself. I have ordered several other Preterist books including RC Sproul's. I have been promised Sproul is less angry than Hank and much more logical and exegetical.)

My thought concerned Jesus' words:

Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down. Matthew 24:2
Jesus was referring to the Temple Mount complex that Herod had built beginning in 19 BC and was in a state of continuous construction up until Jesus' ministry and after. Most eschatological views (including both Hank and myself) consider this to have been fulfilled in 70 AD when the Romans broke through the walls of Jerusalem to burn the city and the temple. In the months that followed the Tenth Roman Legion systematically tore down everything on the Temple Mount including most of the Temple Mount walls. This is my point. A lot of Herod's ashlar stones used to build the Temple Mount walls and gates are still in position. I saw and photographed stones that Jesus walked by in the south wall including one stone with the door jamb of the Beautiful Gate. In the Rabbinic Tunnels along the north section of the west wall we saw several courses of the same Herodian ashlars in near perfect condition still in place. One particularly large stone was too large for the Romans to dislodge. Their efforts to break it one piece at a time can still be seen in the upper right corner of the stone. Yet, this stone still sets as the master course stone holding the wall together with its enormous weight. The Western Wall Prayer Plaza has seven Herodian courses above ground and seventeen untouched below ground. I could mention many more including the lintel above the Double Gate.

If Jesus was talking about buildings on the Temple Mount being totally removed then this was accomplished in 70 AD and the events that followed. But, if Jesus was talking about every stone associated with the Temple Mount then there is still some work left to be done. My point is this: Are we still waiting for a more complete and greater destruction of this Temple Mount that will result in literally saying "there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down?"

This could be part of Jesus' words that may have a double meaning:
Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. John 2:19
There will be a Temple built on this very Temple Mount someday that is not built be human hands. (Ezekiel 40-48)

I am not making a doctrinal statement, nor am I even saying I believe anything less than Jesus' words were completely fulfilled in 70 AD. But, I am wondering if Jesus is going to finish the removing of all these stones before the next phase of eschatology begins?

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