Many of those who have visited Jerusalem will have seen the Eastern Gate to the Old City – this happens to be the only gate into the old city that is bricked up and it is the only gate that leads directly onto the Temple Mount. The Bible contains hundreds of prophetic passages detailing future events – some are very clear, some are a little obscure, some have already been fulfilled with spectacular accuracy, others await fulfilment. For us, these prophetic passages provide the strongest authentication that the Bible is indeed a message from our Creator God that affects all mankind. This gate also happens to be the subject of a seemingly mysterious prophecy in a large section of Ezekiel that describes the temple in the Millennial reign of Christ:
Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory. The vision I saw was like the vision I had seen when he came to destroy the city and like the visions I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown. The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east. Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me from inside the temple. He said: “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. The people of Israel will never again defile my holy name—neither they nor their kings—by their prostitution and the funeral offerings for their kings at their death. (Ezekiel 43:1-7, emphasis added)
Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, and it was shut. The Lord said to me, “This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it. The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the Lord. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way. (Ezekiel 44:1-3, emphasis added)
There is clearly something very special about this gate and these passages suggest it is to be specifically reserved for use by Jesus Christ. This gate was bricked up on the orders of Suleiman the Magnificent when the Turks conquered Jerusalem in 1517. It is unclear why he did this, but it is reasonable to suggest he became aware of the prophecy that suggested the Messiah would enter the Temple area through this gate and he wanted to end hopes of this. Respected Bible prophecy teacher David Reagan has written an article about this gate. He highlights passages concerning the return of Jesus Christ such as Zechariah 14 where we are told the Messiah’s feet will touch the Mount of Olives when he returns which is on the East overlooking the Eastern gate.
It seems reasonable to suggest that Jesus Christ will enter the Temple Mount via the Eastern gate and that this gate is being reserved to witness one of the most momentous events in the history of mankind. It is ridiculous to believe that bricking up the gate will prevent the arrival of the Creator of Earth and the Saviour of mankind! For us, it is astounding that 2,600 years ago the prophet Ezekiel predicted the shutting up of the Eastern gate. Given the amazing accuracy of this prophecy, we have no reason to doubt it will remain shut until the return of the Lord as this prophecy reaches its fulfilment.
We were fortunate to able to visit the Temple Mount recently and we took these photo’s from the inner side of the gate:
This is one of hundreds of prophecies that may seem obscure individually, but anyone seeking the truth will surely be convinced that the Bible is divinely inspired and that its prophetic words are a precious gift to those who read with an inquiring heart and mind.
Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty—he is the King of glory. (Psalm 24:7-10)