THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM
By Blessed Hieromonk Seraphim Rose
Then there is the sign of the abomination of desolation and all that relates to the Temple in Jerusalem. For the first time in history, this has now become a possibility. The rebuilding of the Temple was tried only once before, in the fourth century. Knowing about this is a very good example of how reading Church history enlightens one. We can find several sources about it from the fourth century: St. Cyril mentions it, as do several of the Church historians at that time. Julian the Apostate, because he had such a passion to overthrow Christianity, decided that, since Christ had prophesied that not one stone of the Temple would be left on the other, if he rebuilt the Temple, he would prove that Christ was an impostor, and therefore paganism could be restored. So he deliberately invited the Jews back to Jerusalem, and they began building the Temple with the blessing of Julian the Apostate. They would build a little in the daytime, and the next morning they would come and all the stones would be on the ground. They tried again and balls of fire began to come out of the earth. All the historians agree on this. In fact, modern rationalist historians, because they see that they cannot deny the texts and that something did actually happen, begin to say things like, "They must have struck oil," or "There were underground gas flues." It was obviously a miracle of God to keep the Temple from being built, because it was not the time—the Temple is to be built only at the very end of the world. Anyway, they finally failed in their attempt and gave up the operation. Of the few stones that remained, not one was left on the other. So the prophecy was fulfilled in the time of Julian the Apostate.
But now, since 1967, the site where the Temple was before is now in the hands of the Jews. Therefore for the first time, it becomes quite possible that the Temple could be built. The only thing interfering is the great mosque which the Moslems have there. If that's destroyed, there will probably be a war.
Only since 1948 has there been a separate state of Jews in the Holy Land. It is to the unbelieving Jews that the Antichrist will come. He will come first to the Jews and then to the whole world through the Jews; and only as this is happening will the faithful remnant of Jews finally be converted to Christianity in the very last times.
So this sign of the Temple is a very big one. When we see the Temple being built, then we know that the time is at hand, because that is definitely one of the signs of the very end. So far, of course, it's not being built, but there are all kinds of rumors that plans have been laid, that stones are being gathered, etc. It's obvious that the Jews are thinking about it.