Temple 24 at Chacchoben

Temple 24 at Chacchoben


Questions and Answers about the Temple Lot in Independence, Missouri


At a certain place in Independence, Missouri, a rectangle of land is surrounded by an amphitheater, a visitors’ center, a peace plaza, a mission office, hundreds of parking spaces, three meetinghouses for congregational worship, and the headquarters for an international church.

The rectangle measures about 300 feet by 200 feet (90 meters by 60 meters). It has nothing on it but grass, a few trees, six small stone markers, and a sign. Compared to nearby structures, it doesn’t look like much. But it is one reason those structures are there.

The buildings are operated by three churches: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Church of Christ, and Community of Christ. Members of all three churches—and other churches in the area—feel a special attachment to that little rectangle of land. They believe it was once dedicated for the construction of a temple in the center place of Zion, in preparation for the Savior’s millennial reign.

Every year, thousands of Latter-day Saints go to the visitors’ center in Independence. Many of them ask about the temple lot. This brief article answers some of their questions.

Where is the temple lot?

The temple lot is in the western portion of the city of Independence. It is one of the highest points in the area, overlooking the metropolis of Kansas City, Missouri, about 9 miles (14 kilometers) to the west. People who visit the Independence Visitors’ Center can see the lot when they exit through the front doors. It lies immediately to the northwest.

On January 2, 1831, several months before revealing the location for the temple, the Lord said that He would give His people “a land of promise.” He declared, “I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance, if you seek it with all your hearts. And this shall be my covenant with you” (D&C 38:18–20). On June 6, 1831, the Lord commanded Joseph Smith and others to preach the gospel in the state of Missouri and to prepare for a conference there. He promised that if they would be faithful, “the land of [their] inheritance” would “be made known unto them” (D&C 52:5).

As Joseph and his fellow servants journeyed in Missouri, they were anxious to learn of this promised land. Joseph expressed their hope: “When will the wilderness blossom as the rose when will Zion be built up in her glory, and where will thy Temple stand unto which all nations shall come in the last days?” 1

On July 20, 1831, the Lord revealed His answer to Joseph:

“Hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, who have assembled yourselves together, according to my commandments, in this land, which is the land of Missouri, which is the land which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints.

“Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion.

“And thus saith the Lord your God, if you will receive wisdom here is wisdom. Behold, the place which is now called Independence is the center place and a spot for the temple is lying westward, upon a lot which is not far from the courthouse” (D&C 57:1–3).

When the Lord revealed the location of the lot, the land was west of the city of Independence. Since then, the city has expanded to include the temple lot. The courthouse mentioned in this revelation no longer exists. It was replaced in 1836 by the building now known as the Truman Courthouse.

When was the land dedicated as a temple lot? Who pronounced the dedication?

John Whitmer wrote that on August 3, 1831, eight elders “assembled together where the temple [was] to be erected.” Those eight elders were the Prophet Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Peter Whitmer Jr., Frederick G. Williams, William W. Phelps, Martin Harris, and Joseph Coe. John Whitmer recorded: “Sidney Rigdon dedicated the ground where the city is to stand, and Joseph Smith Jr. laid a stone at the northeast corner of the contemplated temple in the name of the Lord Jesus of Nazareth. After all present had rendered thanks to the great ruler of the universe, Sidney Rigdon pronounced this spot of ground wholly dedicated unto the Lord forever.” 2

On this same day, the Church claimed the site so they could purchase it someday. 3 The United States government did not make the land available for purchase until December 1831, and Jones H. and Clara Flournoy bought it. 4

When did the Saints acquire the temple lot?

On December 19, 1831, Bishop Edward Partridge purchased 63.27 acres from the Flournoys. 5 That land included the area that had been dedicated for a temple.

What did the early Saints plan to do with the temple lot?

As the Lord continued to reveal His will to Joseph Smith, the Saints came to understand that the temple lot and the land surrounding it were to be used for more than one sacred building.

In June 1833, the Prophet Joseph and his counselors in the First Presidency prepared a plat for the city of Zion—a plan for the layout of the city. President Frederick G. Williams drew the plat, which called for bishops’ storehouses and 24 temples in the center of the city, surrounded by blocks divided into property for residences. 6 The plat called for a square mile of land—more than 10 times the amount of property Bishop Partridge had purchased.

The plat included a brief explanation of the 24 temples. They were to correspond to quorums and functions of the priesthood. Twelve of them corresponded to the Melchizedek Priesthood, and the other twelve corresponded to the Aaronic Priesthood. 7

The plat did not specifically explain the kinds of activities that would take place inside the temples. However, the Saints’ use of the Kirtland Temple from 1836 to 1838 suggests that the temples in Independence would have been used for worship, teaching and learning, priesthood ordinances and blessings, Church administration, and community functions. Each temple was to bear the inscription “Holiness to the Lord.” 8

In August 1833, the First Presidency prepared a revised plat for the city of Zion and a revised plan for the temple that was to be built first. The plan for the temple included the following explanation, written by Oliver Cowdery: “Those patterns previously sent you, per mail, by our brethren, were incorrect in some respects, being drawn in great haste. They have therefore drawn these, which are correct. The form of the city was also incorrect, being drawn in haste. We send you another.” 9

The revised plat called for a larger city—one and one-half square miles—with more lots for residents. It no longer featured storehouses in the city’s center, leaving only temples in that part of the city. It also shifted the temple blocks in their orientation, from north–south to east–west.

Both versions called for one certain temple to be built first. This temple was to be a “house of the Lord for the [First] Presidency.” 10 In the first version, that temple was labeled with the number 5 and then with an X. In both versions, it was to be built on the spot now referred to as the temple lot. In the final plan, it was “to be 97 feet long, and 61 feet wide [about 30 meters long and 19 meters wide] within the walls.” 11

Although the two versions differed from each other in significant ways, their focus was essentially the same. Both centered on sacred buildings in the heart of a covenant community. Both were patterns to be followed in stakes of Zion as the Church continued to grow.

Did the Saints build any of those temples?

Soon after the Lord revealed plans for the city of Zion, the Saints were forced to leave Jackson County. They did not build any of those 24 temples, but they did not forget the plat of Zion—a pattern for a community centered on holy temples, worship, covenants, unity in faith, and consecrated service. They followed this pattern in other settlements, such as Far West, Missouri Nauvoo, Illinois and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Who owns the temple lot today?

Community of Christ owns most of the 63.27 acres purchased by Bishop Partridge. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns the next-largest portion.

The smallest portion of the land—including the spot dedicated for a temple—is owned by the Church of Christ, once known as the Church of Christ (Temple Lot). This church was founded by Granville Hedrick, a former Latter-day Saint who chose not to go to the Salt Lake Valley when the Saints left Nauvoo, Illinois. Granville Hedrick and his followers returned to Independence in 1867.

What buildings are near the temple lot today?

As shown in this photograph, the building closest to the lot is a meetinghouse owned by the Church of Christ. Other nearby buildings are owned by Community of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Why is the temple lot significant today?

To answer this question, we return to words of revelation. “This is the land of promise,” the Lord declared, “and the place for the city of Zion. . . . The place which is now called Independence is the center place and a spot for the temple is lying westward” (D&C 57:2–3).

We do not know exactly how, when, or where these words will be fulfilled, but we do know that that rectangle of land in Independence is sacred. It has been dedicated to the Lord. The Lord’s revelations about that land—and the principles of gospel living that are woven into those revelations—are part of His people’s past, present, and future.


Temple 24 at Chacchoben - History

THE TABERNACLE OVERVIEW

emember when the Hebrews were taken into Egyptian bondage for 430 years? In Exodus Chapter 3 God hears the cry of His people and calls a man named Moses. God speaks with Moses at the burning bush and says for him to go to Pharaoh of Egypt and simply tell him to, "let My people go."

Exod 3:12 So He said, "I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain."

Notice it says that it will be a sign that they will serve God on Mount Sinai. So Moses goes as the Lord instructed and after a series of 10 plagues the children of Israel were released from Egypt. They were led through the wilderness by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night and when they came to the Red Sea the Lord parted the waters and they passed through and when the Egyptian army attempted to cross it the waters came back down on them and they all drowned. The Lord sustained them and provided for them and then they came to Mount Sinai exactly as God had told Moses and something happens.

In Exodus chapter 19 we pick up the story. All of the 2 or 3 million Hebrews were standing at the foot of Mount Sinai and God comes down in all of His glory and says that He wants them to sanctify themselves for three days and then come and stand before Him. So they do this and God displays His power and might.

Exod 19:16 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.

They trembled at His Presence saying, "Let not God speak to us lest we die," and they didn't want to go before Him again and so they elected Moses to be their permanent spokesman even though the Lord had wanted them to be a "kingdom of priests" (Ex. 19:6).

This is when the Lord commands them to build the structure called the tabernacle.

Exod 25:1-9 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.

This is what it looked like:

The Tabernacle of ancient Israel

The Tabernacle was a portable tent with a wooden framework to give it stability. The entire sanctuary consisted of three parts:

  1. An outer court enclosed by curtains supported on pillars. It was oblong in shape and the entrance was on the east side.
  2. The altar of sacrifice (bronze altar) was within the court, facing the entrance.
  3. The Tabernacle itself was located at the western part of the court. The Tabernacle was divided by a veil or hanging curtain into two chambers. The first chamber was called the Holy Place, it contained the Table, Lampstand, and Altar of Incense. Only priests were allowed into this section. The second chamber was called the Holy of Holies, it contained the Ark of the Covenant. The High Priest the Holy of Holies only once a year on the Day of Atonement.

The objects closest to the Holy of Holies were constructed of precious metals and cloths. Those farther off were made of bronze and ordinary woven materials. The Tabernacle was covered by a tent and additional cloth covers.

The Tabernacle area was 150 feet long and 75 feet wide. There was a 7 1/2 foot curtain made of fine white linen which were fastened to 60 supporting pillars of bronze surrounding it with one entrance through the eastern gate. Within the outer court were two articles of furniture, the bronze altar of sacrifice where all of the sacrifices were made, and the bronze laver of cleansing where the priests washed their hands and their feet.

The Tabernacle building itself stood at the West end of the court and was a wooden structure overlaid with gold 45 x 15 feet divided into two parts by a heavy curtain called the "Veil." The entrance was a multicolored curtain door hanging on 5 pillars. The bigger part (30 x 15) of the tabernacle building was called "the holy place" and contained three golden articles of furniture. The golden lampstand that shined on the shewbread on the left, the table of shewbread that represented the people of God on the right, and the golden altar of incense that spoke of ever ascending prayers in the back. The smaller part (15 x 15) of the tabernacle building was called "the holy of holies" and contained only the ark of the covenant (the box that contained the two tables of the Law) and its lid, the mercy seat where the blood was sprinkled once per year by the high priest on the day of atonement.

Everything in the tabernacle was portable so that if the cloud of glory (Heb. Sh'chinah) moved, they moved with it and the ark would lead the way:

Num 10:33-36 So they departed from the mountain of the LORD on a journey of three days and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them for the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them. And the cloud of the LORD was above them by day when they went out from the camp. So it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said: "Rise up, O LORD! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You." And when it rested, he said: "Return, O LORD, to the many thousands of Israel."

They needed to learn that it was Yahweh who was camping with them. As the Israelites marched in the wilderness, the Levites (priestly tribe) would disassemble the Tabernacle, and, the ark carried by the priests on two poles would lead them as they went, with the glory cloud hovering over them. There were three principle families of the tribe of Levi who were responsible for the transporting of the tabernacle items. The people of God were to realize that they were pilgrims here and when God said move, they needed to be ready. There are some very important things to realize about the condition of man when studying the tabernacle.

After the breakdown of their faith God created something that would strikingly appeal to their 5 senses so they would remember that they were the people of God. Throughout the Old Testament God had to stimulate the senses because after Adam, and up to the time of Jesus, man was spiritually dead. God is Spirit, and all man knew was the 5 senses (what he could see, touch, taste, hear, and smell). The Lord would begin here at the tabernacle to enshrine the people of Israel with ceremony and rituals so that they would remember Him. God would begin to tie a sense ruled people with something spiritual so that they would have faith simply by what they saw. If you think about the covenant of circumcision, each time a man would go to the bathroom he would remember the covenant. And what was the covenant? That one day Messiah would come of the nation that God raised through the first Hebrew, Abraham. This Messiah would be the savior of the whole world.

He would start by giving them a physical structure called the tabernacle with all its furniture, and priesthood, and offerings. Then He would give them daily rituals (reminders) and prayers, weekly Sabbaths, feasts and festivals, clean and unclean foods, and many other chosen ceremonies and laws that would all be physical reminders that would all point to the one Man who would come, who would be the Messiah. God enshrined them with so much ceremony that when He came they wouldn't possibly miss Him. And guess what? When He came they missed Him. They were so involved in their traditions and rituals that when Jesus came, Who was the fulfillment of all the ceremonies, they were completely in the dark and didn't recognize Him and ended up forcing Roman governor to crucify Him. But God, in His wonderful foreknowledge knew this and planned it from the start. That is why He instituted blood as the means of redemption.

So the tabernacle was the beginning of the visible reminders of a Spiritual God and His plan. Everything in the tabernacle was a type of Jesus. That is why God was so specific as to what they were to construct it with. They could not use one ounce of human imagination "Lest they die." Gold, silver, bronze, the fine white linen, the four colors, the anointing oil, the incense, it all pointed to the One who, "became flesh and dwelt (literally tabernacled) among us." Jesus said, "I have not come to destroy the Law and the prophets but to fulfill them." It is no wonder that when He hung on the cross Jesus cried, "It is finished." and the veil of the temple was ripped in half. What was finished? The entire Old Testament ceremonial, moral, and civil law was nailed to that tree outside of Jerusalem. He came to be the very embodiment and fulfillment of the Law itself.

Notice what Jesus said to the two men on the road to Emmaus after His death:

Luke 24:25-27 Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! "Ought not the Messiah to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

Also when Jesus appeared alive to His disciples after His death:

Luke 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."

Remember what the Word says, "all Scripture is given by inspiration (God-breathed) of God. " When we look at the Bible we must remember that it is completely God-breathed. When we look at each Word we must remember that every Word is specifically God-breathed. That was the view of Christ when it came to the Scriptures, that was the view of the apostles, and that must be our view. This is the very Word of God. It doesn't just contain the Word of God, or just point to religious experience, this is the Word of God.

Is it any wonder then that each and every detail and Word about the tabernacle has spiritual significance? As we look to the tabernacle structure itself and its unique pieces of redemptive furniture there is great symbolism and typology found in them. Remember, everything was a finger pointing to the Messiah. The tabernacle, as a type, designed specifically and in detail by God, would point to the character and aspects of the ministry of Christ. When Jesus was accusing the Jewish authorities He said, "You have made My Fathers house into a den of thieves," and by saying "My Father" they knew He was claiming Messianic authority over the temple, and so they said, " what sign do you show us seeing that you do these things?" and notice what He said:

John 2:19-21 Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

They were looking at the physical structure (Heb. Mikdash) of the temple but He said, "Destroy this temple" He used the word in Hebrew 'Mishkan' which was the word used in the Old Testament of the Presence that lit the holy of holies on Yom Kippur in the tabernacle or temple. Jesus said I am the temple (Mishkan) of God. When the glory (Heb. Sh'chinah) would come down like a tornado or funnel right through the roof of the holy of holies and the Presence would manifest on the mercy seat between the cherubim after the blood was sprinkled, that was the mishkan. That Presence was what Jesus said dwelt within Him. And in fact Paul said about the church, "Know ye not that you are the temple (Mishkan) of God?" We, as the body of Christ, have the same Presence dwelling within us. God doesn't dwell in buildings now but within His people. Romans 10 says that If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Yahweh and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. It's that easy. At that point you become the Mishkan of God. When God said, "Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them," He literally said 'in' them. God's ultimate goal has always been to dwell within His people (Jer. 31:31-33) and to put His Spirit within us. When you accept Jesus you become the Mishkan of God.

So as you begin this rich and wonderful study of the tabernacle remember that it is all pointing to Jesus Christ. Everything was a picture of Him. If you can grasp this incredible study it will add an element of new strength and joy in your devotion to the Lord.

John 1:12-14 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.


Temple 24 at Chacchoben - History

2000 Abraham meets Melchizedek, King of Salem and Priest of "God most high" (El Elyon), Genesis 14:18 -20, Hebrews 6:20-7:22). Abraham journeys three days from Beersheba or Gerar to Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice in obedience to God's command. God provides a ram as a substitute. (Genesis 22, Hebrews 11:8-19). Mt. Moriah is the site of the Temple Mount.

1400 After setting up the Ark at Shiloh near Shechem, Joshua launches the conquest into Jerusalem (Joshua 10:23)

1000 The Jebusite stronghold in Jerusalem is captured by King David. The city of David is built south of the Temple Mount. David reigns thirty-three years in Jerusalem after a 7 year reign in Hebron (2 Samuel 5:1-15). The Ark of the Covenant is returned by David into Jerusalem and placed in the Tabernacle Moses built there. (2 Samuel 6:1-18, 1 Chronicles 15:1-16). David plans to build the First Temple but is not permitted because he is a man of war. He purchases Araunah's threshing floor and erects an altar of sacrifice on Mt. Moriah. This is the site of the First Temple.

950 Solomon with the help of Hiram of Tyre and 183, 600 workers builds the First Temple and royal palace. He uses local limestone, cedar from Lebanon and great amounts of gold and silver. (1 Kings 5:9, 2 Chronicles 2). Solomon also enlarges the city. (1 Kings 7:1-12). Building of temple takes seven years.

935 Civil War. The Kingdom is divided into North (Israel) and South (Judah). Ten Tribes are part of the Northern Kingdom while only two (Judah and Benjamin) belong to the southern.

910 Solomon's Temple is plundered by Shishak (Sheshonk) Pharaoh of Egypt. Much gold and silver are taken. (1 Kings 14:25-28, 2 Chronicles 12:1-11).

835 Joash repairs the Temple, establishes maintenance fund, and brings period of revival and reform to the southern kingdom. (2 Kings 12:5ff).

720 Ahaz king of Judah dismantles Solomon's bronze vessels and places private Syrian altar in the Temple (2 Kings 16:1-20, 2 Chronicles 29-31). He later stripped the gold to pay tribute to Sennacherib.

716 Hezekiah, king of Jerusalem, with help of God and the prophet Isaiah resists Assyrians attempt to capture Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 32). Wells and springs stopped up.

640 King Josiah repairs the Temple and brings about national religious reforms (2 Chronicles 34-35). Last mention of the Ark of the Covenant.

606 The Babylonian Period. The approaching "times of the gentiles" is signalled by Nebuchadnezzar's conquest of Judah. Jerusalem is taken and the first wave of Jews carried into captivity, Daniel among them. Jerusalem will soon be lose her national sovereignty as a self-governing entity from the time of the Babylonian captivity until the end of the great tribulation period. The Babylonian dominion of Israel is the head-of-gold period (Daniel 2:36-38 2 Kings 24:1 2 Chronicles 36:5-6 Daniel 1:1-2 Luke 21:24).

598 Jerusalem is plundered by Nebuchadnezzar for a second time.

597 King Jehoiachin is carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar and the second wave of Jews is taken into Babylon, Ezekiel among them (2 Kings 24:10-16 2 Chronicles 36:10 Ezekiel 1:2).

587 Zedekiah rebels against Nebuchadnezzar. He is blinded and taken to Babylon where he dies. Zedekiah is the last king in the line of David to reign in Israel until the Messiah reigns during the millennium (Ezekiel 34:23-24 Jeremiah 23:5 2 Kings 24:18-25:21 2 Chronicles 36:13-21 Jeremiah 9:1-8).

586 9th of Av. Nebuchadnezzar burns the city, and destroys the Temple. He murders many of the inhabitants and carries off a great number into captivity. (2 Kings 24-25, 2 Chronicles 36). The destruction of Jerusalem is the starting date for the "Times of the Gentiles"--Yeshua said, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the gentiles until the times of the gentiles are fulfilled" (Luke 21:24 ). Messiah's return in glory will close this period of Israel's history.

573 Prophet Jeremiah predicts a seventy year captivity in Babylon. The prophet Ezekiel, a captive in Babylon, receives a vision from God giving great detail of a future Temple that is to be built.

553 Belshazzar desecrates the Temple vessels in Babylon. Handwriting on the wall seals his fate that night as Babylon is taken by the Medes and Persians. (Daniel 5)

539 Cyrus, having established himself in control of the Medo-Persian empire in 549 B.C., captures Babylon, and the second world empire to dominate the Jews during the times of the gentiles comes upon the world scene. This is the breast-and-arms-of-silver period (Daniel 2:32, 39 6:1-3).

538 The edict of Cyrus opens the way for the Jews in Babylon to return to the land (Ezra 1:1-4).

536 The seventy years of captivity are over. Cyrus the Persian gives the decree as the prophet Isaiah had predicted 170 years earlier.

517 Through the leadership of Nehemiah and Zerubbabel, the Second Temple is completed despite fierce opposition and delays. An altar of sacrifice is built on the Temple Mount. Temple is completed after a fifteen year delay.

332 Flavius Josephus records that Alexander the Great's invading army is met by priests outside of Jerusalem. They convince him not to destroy Jerusalem by showing prophecy contained in Scripture concerning him. Alexander spares city and the Temple.

515 The second temple is dedicated in Jerusalem (Ezra 6:15-18).

539 Fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians.

539-334 The Persian Period. The Jews are in the land but are under the control of the Persians (Josephus, Antiquities 111:7).

538 First return to build the Temple, (Ezra Chapter 1).

536 Feast of Tabernacles kept in Jerusalem, and foundation of temple laid, (Ezra 3). Then Temple building stopped for 16 years

515 Temple finally finished

458 Nehemiah goes to Jerusalem. Rebuilds the walls of the city in 52 days (Nehemiah 6:15), August/September

445 Decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus starts the 70 weeks of Daniel running (Daniel 9:24 Neh 2).

334-332 Alexander the Great

320 Jerusalem is captured by Ptolemy Soter.

314 The city is taken by Antiochus the Great.

301 Jerusalem is captured by Ptolemy Epiphanes.

170 Jerusalem is captured by Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus murders Jews and plunders Jerusalem. He offers a pig on the altar and carries off the Temple treasuries. Worship and sacrifice is halted.

166 Judas Maccabaeus leads a Jewish revolt that gains back Jerusalem. Temple is cleansed and sacrifices are restored. (1 Maccabees 4)

164 Jerusalem is besieged by Antiochus Eupator.

141 The Roman fortress is conquered by the Maccabees freeing the Temple from pagan supervision.

126 Jerusalem is besieged by Antiochus Soter.

65 Jerusalem is besieged by Aratus.

63 Jerusalem is captured by the Roman general Pompey. Pompey enters the holy of holies in the Temple and is disappointed to find it empty.

40 Jerusalem is captured by the Parthians.

38 Taken by Herod the Great a cruel ruler who was a ruthless murderer. It was he who ordered the slaughter of the innocents at Bethlehem. (Matt. 2). Herod ordered the Temple enlarged. A new Temple is rebuilt over the sight of Zerubbabel's Temple. Temple and courts rebuilt until A.D. 63. City and walls under construction for 46 years (John 2).

334-167 The Hellenistic Period. The Jews, in the land, are under the successive dominion of the Greeks, then the Ptolemies of Egypt, and then the Seleucids of Syria. This is the third great world empire to dominate the Jews during the times of the gentiles. It is the belly-and-thighs-of-brass era (Daniel 2:32. 39 Josephus, Antiquities 11.7-12.6 Daniel 11:2-20).

175-163 The reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes whom Daniel saw as a type of the coming Antichrist (Daniel 8:1-2 11:21-35 Josephus, Antiquities 12.5-9 1 Maccabees 1:16:16 2 Mac. 4:7-9:28).

167-63 The Maccabean revolt and subsequent Hasmonean dynasty in Judea. A short time of Jewish independence. This is the little-help period of Daniel 11:34. (Josephus, Antiquities 12.6-14.4).

New Testament Events (6 B.C. to A.D. 60)

Luke 2: Jesus was circumcised and dedicated in the Temple.

Luke 2: Jesus at age twelve visits the temple. At Jesus' temptation, the Devil takes Him to the pinnacle of the Temple.

John Jesus cleanses the Temple.

Matthew 24 Jesus pronounces judgment on the Temple.

Acts Peter and John heal a lame man at the gate beautiful.

Acts Herod puts James to the sword.

29/30 The first Pentecost after the death and resurrection of Jesus sees the coming of the Holy Spirit to create the church by baptizing believers into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The age of the church runs its course within the times of the gentiles between Pentecost and the rapture. This is the great parenthesis. The age of the church is never seen in the Old Testament. The course of the church age is pictured in Matthew 13 and Revelation 2-3. The close of the church age is seen in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 2 Timothy 3:1-5 4:34 and 2 Peter 2:1-3 3:3-4.

29/30 The Messiah Prince is cut off on the cross, and the sixty-ninth week of Daniel's prophecy ends. The prophetic time clock stops for Israel and will not resume again until the tribulation (Daniel 9:26).

40 Roman Emperor Caligula orders an image of himself to be placed in the Holy of Holies. Order is not carried out and Caligula soon dies.

63-70 The Roman Period. This is the fourth great world empire to dominate the Jews in the times of the gentiles. It is the legs-of-iron-and-feet-of clay era of Daniel 2:33 (Josephus, Antiquities 14.4-20.11).

63-70 The time of Israel's travail (Matthew 24:4-8) includes the great revolt against Rome, the coming of the people of the prince, and the fall of the second temple in 70 AD (Daniel 9:26 Matthew 24:2 Josephus, Wars 2:17-7:11).

70 Roman General Titus lays siege to Jerusalem destroying inhabitants, city, and Temple. The Temple is set afire.

132-135 The Jewish revolt of Bar Kokba against Rome.

135-1948 The second exile of the Jews (the diaspora).

135 The city of Jerusalem is sacked by the Emperor Hadrian.

395-636 Byzantine rule in Palestine.

614 Jerusalem is taken by the Persians.

629 Jerusalem captured by Heraclius.

636 Beginning of Arab rule in Palestine.

637 Jerusalem captured by the Saracens under Omar ibn al-Khatab.

691 The Dome of the Rock is completed on the temple mount where the Jewish temple previously stood. Until this day it dominates the only spot on earth where sacrifices can be offered according to the Torah.

1076 Atsiz takes Jerusalem from the Caliph al-Mostanther Billah.

1095 al-Afdhal ibn Bedr captures the city for Egypt after a 40 day siege.

1099 The Crusaders take Jerusalem. Christians rule in Palestine intermittently from 1099 to 1244.

1099 The Crusaders, under Godfrey de Bouillon, capture Jerusalem.

1187 Jerusalem captured by Salah-ed-Din the great Moslem conqueror.

1244 Sacked by the Mongol Hordes.

1247 Jerusalem captured by the Carizmians.

1517 Ottoman Turks under Saladin conquer Palestine. The present walls that surround the old city of Jerusalem are built.

1517 Selim I takes the city bringing it into the Ottoman Empire.

1822 Jerusalem taken by Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt.

1897 The first Zionist Congress meets in Basel.

1917 Jerusalem captured by General Allenby of Britain. He humbly walks into the city of Jerusalem.

1948 War between newly established Israel against Jordan and Egypt in Jerusalem after which part of the city remains under Israeli rule and part under Jordan.

Other Events A.D.

1897-1948 This is the great era of Zionism's aliyahs in which many Jews return to the land-but in unbelief. This is as predicted in Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones (Ezekiel 37).

1917 The British capture Palestine from the Turks in World War I. Death of the last Czar in Russia and last Kaiser in Germany. End of one form of old Roman Empire, (Revelation 17:10).

1922-1948 The British rule Palestine under a mandate from the League of Nations.

11/29/47 The United Nations General Assembly adopts partition plan for Palestine, providing for the establishment of a Jewish state.

5/24/48 The new state of Israel is proclaimed. Open immigration now permits vast numbers of Jews to return to the Land. The second exile ends (Ezekiel 11:14-17).

June, 1967 The Six-Day War. Jerusalem is liberated from Jordanian control and for the first time in nearly two thousand years the Jews are in complete control of Jerusalem. Control of the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and Judea/Samaria (West Bank) by Israel.

6-24 Oct. 1973 The Yom Kippur War. U.S. and Russia send massive air lifts to their allies.

1992 Aliyah of at least 500,000 Jews from Russia. 16,000 Falasha Jews airlifted to Israel from Ethiopia.

Other Recent Events

The following is a more detailed chronology since the Old City of Jerusalem was regained by the Jews in 1967.

June 7th The Old City of Jerusalem falls into Israeli hands. Israeli paratrooper Mordehai Gur, mounted on a half track, takes the Temple Mount on the third day of the Six Day War. The Temple Mount is regained but authority is turned back over to the Muslims.

June 28 Prime Minister Levi Eshkol meets Moslem and Christian leaders from both side of the pr-war border and pledges free access to all holy places and the government's intention to place the internal administration for the holy places in the hands of the respective religious leaders. The same day the barriers came down between east and west Jerusalem.

August 1 Jerusalem police take on the maintenance of public order at the holy places in the Old City at the request of Moslem and Christian authorities who claim of improper behavior by visitors at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Temple Mount.

August 8 A committee headed by the ministry of religious affairs Zerah Warhaftig is given cabinet responsibility for the Holy places in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

August 15 IDF Chief Chaplain Aluf Shlomo Goren, and fifty followers including other army chaplains hold a service on the Temple Mount. Goren contends that some parts of the compound are not part of the Temple Mount and therefore the ban against Jews stepping on the Mount until the Temple is rebuilt does not apply. He said his measurements were based upon Josephus, Maimonides, Sa'adia Gaon and archaeological evidence. He also declared that the Dome of the Rock is not the site of the Holy of Holies.The defense ministry criticizes Goren noting that he is a senior army officer. Goren claims he first met with Warhaftig and that the Moslem authorities consented to his prayers.

August 17 An Israeli Defense Forces spokesman reveals that the arms cache was found during the fighting in the Al Aksa Mosque.

August 22 The Chief Rabbinate puts up signs outside the Compound noting the religious ban on visiting the Temple Mount area.

Sept. 9 Muslims protest against the abolition of fees to enter the Temple Mount area. The Defense Ministry says that the Wakf can only charge fees to enter the Mosques.

July 15 The President of the Moslem Court of Appeals turns down a request by an American Masonic Temple Order who asked permission to build a $100 Million "Solomon's" temple on the Temple Mount.

Dec. 19 Hanukkah prayers are offered by a group of nationalistic Jews on the Temple Mount.

April 15 State Attorney Zvi Bar Niv responding to an order against the Police Minister Shlomo Hillel, explains that Jews should not be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount because "premature prayer" by Jews on the Temple Mount would raise grave security and international political problems. The plaintiff is the Faithful of the Temple Mount.

August 21 A fire at the Al Aksa Mosque guts the southeastern wing. Brigades from West and East Jerusalem fight the blaze together for four hours while an angry Moslem crowd chants "Allah Akbar" and "Down with Israel." A curfew is imposed on the Old City. The president of the Moslem Council claims arson and charges deliberately slow response on the part of the fire brigades. Arab states blame Israel.

August 23 A non-Jewish Australian tourist, Dennis Michael Rohan, identifying himself as a member of the "Church of God" is arrested as a suspect in the arson. East Jerusalem and major West Bank towns go on general strike as an expression of grief and sorrow over the fire. Police use force to break up a demonstration at the compound exit. Angry demonstrations break out in Arab capitals.

August 27 Rohan tells the court he acted as the Lord's emissary" in accordance with the Book of Zechariah. The Temple Mount is closed to non-Muslims for two months.

Dec. 30 Court convicts Rohan but declares him not criminally liable by reason of insanity.

Sept. 9 High Court of Justice decides it has no jurisdiction in matters connected with the right and claims of different religious groups. Therefore it won't interfere with the position of the government prohibiting Jewish prayer on the Mount.

March 11 Altercation on Temple Mount occurs when students led by Gershon Salomon, a leader of the Faithful of the Temple Mount try to hold prayers on the site.

August 8 Despite police warnings, Rabbi Louis Rabinowitz and Knesset Member Binyamin Halevi pray on the Mount. They are removed.

October The Yom Kippur War. Israel is attacked by four nations. Israel gains territory in the Sinai and Golan Heights. Temple Mount is not affected.

Jan. 30 Magistrate Court Judge Ruth Or rules that Jews are permitted to pray on the Temple Mount. She acquits eight youths who were accused of disturbing public order by holding prayers on the site against police orders. Police Minister Shlomo Hillel says he will continue to bar prayers.

Feb. 1 Yitzhak Raphael, Minister of Religious Affairs, says praying on the Temple Mount is a religious law question and not in his jurisdiction.

Feb. 9 East Jerusalem high schools protest the court decision. The protests continue nearly two week with over 100 arrests. Shopkeepers strike and riots occur in West Bank towns. Security services impose inter-city travel ban.

Feb. 11 The January Magistrate Court decision of January 30th is appealed.

March 4 Kurt Waldheim, ex-Nazi and UN Secretary General, pledges to take up Islamic complaints about Israel interference with Moslem holy places and worshipers in Jerusalem.

March 8 A group of young people many non-religious led by Rabinowitz and Salomon are barred from the Temple Mount by police. The police say they are acting in accordance with the High Court decision of September 9, 1970 decision.

March 11 Ramallah Birzeit and El Bireh councils join Nablus in resigning to protest against police action against Arab demonstrations protesting Judge Ruth Or's Temple Mount decision.

March 17 Magistrate Or's ruling is overturned by Jerusalem District Court. The Court rules that eight Betar youths who attempted to pray "demonstratively" on the Temple Mount were guilty of behavior "likely to cause a breach of the peace." The court also rules that Jews have an "unquestionable historical and legal right to pray on the Temple Mount, but that these rights could not be exercise until the authorities had adopted regulations fixing the time and place for such prayers. Such regulations were necessary, said the court, in order to maintain public order. The court notes that the Religious Affairs Ministry had "good reason" for not yet setting the rules.

Aug. 10 The attorney general appeals to the Supreme Court on its Temple Mount ruling. Religious Affairs Minister Yitzhak Raphael will not rule on district Court jurisdiction until there's a Supreme Court decision.

June 28 Interior Minister Joseph Burg, given the police is a part of his purview, notes that those trying to pray on the Mount are "not exactly from the God-fearing sector." He states "the law will be kept. That is taken to mean that the Jews would continue to be barred from attempting to pray on the Temple Mount on the coming Tisha B'Av.

August 14 (Tisha B'Av) An attempt by 30 members of the El Har Hashem (To the Mount of God) to pray on the Temple Mount is foiled by the General Security Services. At a press conference, the group led by Gershon Salomon, emphasizes the ties of the Jewish people to the site and claims it is "absurd" that Jews were forbidden from entering the compound.

March 25 Rumors that followers of Meir Kahane and Yeshiva students would attempt Temple Mount prayers cause a general West Bank strike and bring 2,000 Arab youths with staves and rocks to the compound. They disperse after police intervention.

August 3 Land of Israel movement "Banai" and other nationalists, are prevented from praying on the Temple Mount.

August 6 The High Court is asked to revoke ban on prayer on the Temple Mount, in light of clause three of the new Jerusalem Law, which guarantees freedom of access.

August 10 300 members of Gush Emunim try to force their way onto the Temple Mount and are dispersed by police.

August 28 Religious Affairs Ministry workers are found digging a tunnel under the Temple Mount. The work began secretly a month earlier when water began leaking from a cistern under the Temple Mount and had to be drained. Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren closes the dig because of the issue's sensitivity.

August 30 Former Deputy Prime Minister Yigael Yadin protests quasi-archaeological activities of Religious Affairs Ministry north of the Western Wall.

Sept 2 Jews and Arabs clash with stones and fists in a tunnel north of the Western Wall. The Arabs had attempted to seal the cistern. A group of Yeshiva students under orders from Rabbi Getz, rabbi of the Western Wall, knocked down the wall. The two groups were separated by police after a scuffle. Police inspector-General Arye Ivtzan says the cistern will be sealed to restore the previous situation until there is a legal ruling. Ivtzan is praised by Mayor Teddy Kollek, and condemned by Goren, who says the cistern was part of the Second Temple and had nothing to do with Islam. The next day the cistern is sealed. Goren is quoted as saying the cistern was a tunnel that could lead to temple treasures "including the lost ark."

Sept. 4 A strike by the Supreme Moslem Council closes shops and schools in East Jerusalem to "protest against excavation under the Temple Mount."

Sept. 10 The Waqf seals the cistern from the other side to prevent Jewish penetration. Meanwhile archaeologist Dan Bahat discounts theories the cistern was connected with the Temple.

Sept. 15 Attempt by the Temple Mount Faithful to pray in compound thwarted by Moslem opposition. The High Court decides that the right of the Jew to pray on the Mount is a political issue upon which the government must decide. The Jerusalem Law doesn't cover the issue, rules the court.

April 11 Israeli soldier Alan Harry Goodman, a U.S. immigrant goes on a shooting rampage on the Temple Mount. He kills one and wounds three. The incident sets off a week of rioting in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza and angry reaction internationally against Israel. At his trial Goodman told the court that by "liberating the spot holy to the Jews," he expected to become King of the Jews. A year after the incident Goodman is convicted and sentenced to life plus two terms of 20 years.

Various factions join together July 25 Yoel Lerner, member of Meir Kahane's Kach Party, is arrested for planning to sabotage one of the mosques on the Temple Mount.

Oct. 26 Lerner convicted of planning to blow up the Dome of the Rock. Previously he had served a three year sentence for heading a group that plotted to overthrow the government and establish a state based upon religious law. He was sentenced to two and one half years in prison.

Dec. 9 Knesset Member Geula Cohen charges that the Arabs have arm caches on the Mount.

March 10 Police arrest more than forty people suspected of planning to penetrate the Temple Mount. Police had found four armed youths trying to break into the underground passage known as Solomon's Stables. Working on the basis of intelligence reports, the police surround the home of Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, former head of the Yamit Yeshiva. There, the others are arrested and a search of his apartment and others reveals several weapons and diagrams of the Temple Mount.

May 11 High Court allows Faithful of the Temple Mount to hold prayers at the Mograbi Gate on Jerusalem Day, after police had earlier denied them a license. A similar decision is handed down for Tiasha B'Av.

May 22 SRI's seven man was thwarted from performing the first scientific study of the Rabbinical Tunnel. Muslims called the Israeli police to stop scientific expedition.

Sept. 17 On Yom Kippur the police try to prevent former chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren from holding prayers in a room beneath the Temple Mount. Goren claimed he had the consent of IDF chief of staff Rav-Aluf Moshe Levy. Levy showed up for the prayers. Police then allowed the prayer to take place.

Sept 21 The Temple Mount 29 are acquitted of all charges against them. The police are reprimanded by District Court Judge Ya'acov Bazak and describes the 29 as "amateurish" But he does not rule on the legality of prayer on the Mount.

Oct. On Jerusalem Day, Temple Mount Faithful unfurls banner on Temple Mount. A riot breaks out leaving over twenty Palestinians dead. United Nations censures Israel for this act but says nothing as to those who started the riot. Press erroneously report that group was about to lay a foundation stone on the Temple Mount.

FUTURE EVENTS

The rapture of The church. The dead in Christ are raised and the generation of living believers is translated. The judgment seat of Christ is set and rewards are given to believers for faithful service (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 2 Corinthians 5:10-11).

Daniel's seventieth week begins as Israel enters the tribulation period (Daniel 9:27). This time period is seven years in duration. Israel's "time of Jacob's trouble" (Matthew 24:9-14). This is the first three and one-half years of the seven-year period comprising Daniel's seventieth week (Revelation 6:1-9:12).

World chaos occurs as a result of the rapture of the church which makes possible the rise of a new world leader, the Antichrist (2 Thess. 2, Revelation 6:1-16). The ancient Roman empire revives as the political Antichrist arises out of the midst of the ten-nation confederation. This is the feet-part-of-iron-and-part-of clay period of the times of the gentiles (Daniel 2:33, 41-42 7:24).

Apparent world peace for 3.5 years. Many come to Christ world-wide spiritual awakening during the last part of the tribulation period, the latter rain of the Spirit, (James 5:7-8 Joel 2:23 Zechariah 10:1 Hosea 6:3). During this time the 144,000 Jewish missionaries are saved and sealed (Revelation 7:1-8) they preach the gospel during the entire tribulation period (Matthew 24 14). Many others, both Jews and gentiles, are saved and make up the saints of God who are martyred by the Antichrist (Daniel 7:21, 25 Revelation 7:9-17).

A covenant is made between the Antichrist and Israel. The temple is rebuilt and the Levitical system of priesthood and offerings begins again (Daniel 9:27). The apostate Christian church flourishes during the first half of the tribulation period (Revelation l7:1-7).

Israel feels secure under the protection of the Antichrist's covenant until she is invaded at Midtribulation by Syrian and Russian armies. The Antichrist comes to Israel's defense. Russia is defeated and the Antichrist becomes a world ruler (Ezekiel 38-39).

At Midtribulation the Antichrist breaks the covenant made with Israel and the great tribulation period begins. (Daniel 9:27 Matthew 24:15-28 Revelation 11:1-18:24).

Antichrist is now manifest as the First Beast of Revelation 13. His image is set up in the third temple in Jerusalem and he demands worship as god (Matthew 24:15 2 Thessalonians 2:4 Revelation 13:1-10).

The second beast, the false prophet in Israel appears to aid the beast and cause the earth-dwellers to worship him as god (Revelation 13:11-18).

Two godly witnesses (probably Moses and Elijah, but perhaps Enoch and Elijah) appear on the temple mount and prophesy during the great tribulation period, until they are killed at the close of the period, after which they are resurrected and raptured. (Revelation 11:1-12).

Israel, faithful to her orthodox faith, is severely persecuted by the Antichrist during the great tribulation period (Jeremiah 30:57 Daniel 12:1 Zechariah 13:8 Matthew 24:21-22). Many in Israel flee and are protected by the nations (Matthew 24:15-20 Revelation 12:6,13-17).

The fall of commercial Babylon toward the close of the great tribulation (Revelation 18:1-24). The apostate church is destroyed (Revelation 17:1-6).

The kings of the Orient invade Israel and hostilities erupt between them and the forces of the Antichrist. The battle of Armageddon and the doom of the Antichrist (Daniel 11:44-45 Revelation 16:12-16 2 Thessalonians 2:8 Revelation 19:19). One third of the Jewish people recognize Jesus as Messiah and are rescued, Zechariah 12-14, and two thirds will be cut off.

The second coming of Christ ends the times of the gentiles (Daniel 2:44 7:9-13, 22-28 Revelation 19:11-16). Jesus returns to the Mount of Olives bringing the faithful remnant of Jews from Edom, Isaiah 63, and the church, Revelation 19:11ff, Zechariah 14.

Antichrist and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 19:20-20:10).

The gentile nations are judged on the basis of their treatment of God's covenant people Israel, during the times of the gentiles (Matthew 25:31-46).

Jesus rules the nations, "with a rod of iron" for 1000 years. Satan and his evil angels are bound and removed to the abyss, Revelation 20.

Jesus said, "Take heed that you are not led astray for many will come in my name, saying, `I am he!' and, `The time is at hand!' Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified for this must first take place, but the end will not be at once." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be a time for you to bear testimony. Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. (Luke 21:6-28)


Vacant Masonic temple has rich, vibrant history

In its time, the Grand Masonic Temple was a hub of retail, commerce and more for the local African-American community. Though the building sits empty, many locals hope that this storied structure will one day be restored to its former glory. (Special to The Commercial)

The next time you're in downtown Pine Bluff, pause for a moment at the corner of East Fourth Avenue and State Street. Take a good look at the building with the words "Masonic Temple" above the front doors.

From the early 1900s to the 1980s, the Grand Masonic Temple was ground zero for business and commerce for African Americans in Jefferson County and Pine Bluff. The first floor of the building contained retail space.

The second floor contained offices for lawyers, doctors and dentists. In fact, names of well-known African American professionals from that era can still be seen on the doors inside. One is doctor C.E. Hyman, a beloved obstetrician and gynecologist who delivered more than 7,000 babies in his second-floor office.

The upper floors housed offices and meeting facilities for the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Arkansas, the state's Black Masonic order. Those meeting facilities also served as a ballroom which entertained some of the best musicians in Blues and Jazz. If you're not familiar with Masonic organizations (and many people aren't these days), a little history will give you some context.

With a history stretching back to stonemasons of the 14th century, Masons are fraternal organizations that work to improve the moral character of their members. The first Black Masonic organization in Arkansas was the J.M. Alexander Lodge No. 4 established at Helena in June 1866 by the Grand Lodge of Missouri. On March 28, 1873, representatives from the three Black Masonic lodges met in Little Rock to form a Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in Arkansas. By the 1880s, a movement began to construct a Grand Lodge building.

A group headed by Wiley Jones initiated efforts to persuade the Grand Lodge to be located in Pine Bluff. Jones bought two lots on East Second Avenue and presented them to the lodge. Edwin Cook, a local architect, drew plans for a building. When the Grand Lodge met in Pine Bluff in August 1891, after a "stormy session," the organization gave approval to locate the temple in Pine Bluff.

By 1902, the Grand Lodge had accumulated enough money to buy a lot and start the building. On March 24, 1902, the Grand Lodge bought Lot 3, Block 40 of Old Town Pine Bluff for $7,000. Gibbs and Sanders, Little Rock architects, were employed to design the building, and on July 7, 1902, W.S. Helton, a Pine Bluff builder, was given a contract to construct a four-story brick and stone structure.

As part of a Grand Lodge meeting, the cornerstone of the building was laid on August 14, 1902, with elaborate ceremonies that involved local dignitaries as well as officials of the Grand Lodge and the Order of the Eastern Star. When it was completed in 1904, the Masonic lodge was the tallest building in Pine Bluff. It served as the meeting place for the Masons and Order of the Eastern Star and other Masonic houses until 2005.

The Grand Masonic Temple was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It is also an African-American Heritage Site. But those designations weren't enough to stop the effects of passing time and changing fortunes.

Today the building sits empty. Doors are shuttered and windows boarded. Local Masons have been considering ways to turn the building into a museum and cultural center. We are hopeful that, like many other historic buildings in Pine Bluff, it will be restored to something approximating its former glory.


Carter Reynolds Blog – 2/16/2020

Most of the little amount of work I’ve done over the course of this week has been focused on reading the secondary sources I’ve gathered. I fear I may not be ready to adequately produce a historiography section by Wednesday, at least not one I would be proud of, but I will have to try. I had made plans for last Thursday to meet with the research librarian, had made an appointment and everything. I had forgotten I had moved another Thursday appointment to the same time as the research librarian. Generally I feel like I’m well behind where I should be for my project – a feeling I have for all my classes at this point.


Anyone who knows Ramyana knows Ramesawaram, the illustrious temple located at the tip of Indian Peninsula in Tamil Nadu. It is one among the 12 Jyotirlinga’s and one of the crucial part of “Char Dham Yatra”(holy Piligirimage) in Hindu religion.

Every tiny piece of Rameswaram is associated with Ramayana, it is the land of Rama. It is believed that Lord Rama has worshipped Shiva here, it is one place in India where both Shaivism and Vaishnavism worship. It is the most important pilgrimage in the Hindu Religion and throught the year tourist throng the place to take bath in the famous “Tirthams” of Rameswaram. These Tirthams’ irrespective of the year, weather conditions are eternally full. And according to the “Skanda puranamam” there are 64 Tirthams’ in and around Rameswaram, but 24 of them are the most important of them which give penance to the man from his sins.

Among the 24 Tirtham’s two are outside the Ramanatha swamy temple and the rest 22 are inside the premisies. It is believed that the 22 wells represent the 22 arrows in Lord Rama’s Quier. Let to know some more about the temple and the Mysterious Tirthams’ of Rameswarma.

Ramanathaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva located on Rameswaram island in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is also one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples. It is one of the 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where the three of the most revered Nayanars (Saivite saints), Appar, Sundarar and Tirugnana Sambandar, have glorified the temple with their songs. The temple was expanded during the 12th century by Pandya Dynasty, and its principal shrines sanctum were renovated by Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan and his successor Gunaveera Cinkaiariyan of the Jaffna kingdom. The temple has the longest corridor among all Hindu temples in India.The temple is located in Rameswaram considered a holy pilgrimage site for Shaivites, Vaishnavites and Smarthas. The presiding deity, the Lingam of Ramanathaswamy (Shiva), is believed to have been established and worshiped by Rama, an avatar of the god Vishnu, to absolve the sins created during the Ramayana war at Sri Lanka.

The temple and the island of Rameswaram have acquired this name because, Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva, the God of Gods here on return from Sri Lanka. According to legend, after killing Ravana Lord Rama returned with his consort Goddess Seetha to India first stepping on the shores of Rameswaram. To expiate the “dosha” of killing a brahmin, Lord Rama wanted to offer worship to Lord Shiva. Since there was no shrine in the island had despatched Sri Hauman to Kailash to bring an idol of Lord Shiva.

Between 1897 and 1904, the ALAR family of Devakottai completed the imposing eastern tower of nine tiers 126 feet in height from Thiruppani funds. The Temple has the world’s largest Corridor.

24 Tirtha’s of Rameswaram

Rameswaram Temple Tirthas are the holy wells situated inside the Rameswaram Temple in Tamilnadu, India. There are sixty-four Tīrthas (holy water bodies) in and around the island of Rameswaram. According to Skanda Purana, 24 Tirthas in Rameswaram are important and taking snan (bathing) in them are considered equivalent to penance. Twenty Two Thirthas are inside Ramanatha Swami Temple.

1) Agni Theertham – It is located in the beach east of Ramanathaswamy Temple

2) Setu Teertham – It is located at Dhanushkodi

Other 22 Tirthas inside temple are

1) Mahalakshmi Tirtha – according to the legend King Yudhistra took bath here and became rich

2) Savithri Tirtha – It is said that Kashyapa got rid of his curse after taking a holy dip in this theertham

3) Gayathri Tirtha – According to the legend King Kasibar had got rid of his curse after taking bath in this Tirtha and

4) Saraswathi Tirtha – King Kasibar got rid of his curse after the Gayatri Tirtha

5) Sethu Madhava Tirtha – If one takes bath in this well it is believed that the persons will be blessed by Mahalakshmi and get purified of impure thoughts.

6) Gandhamadana Tirtha – according to the stala purana if one takes bath in this well he will get rid of poverty.

7) Kavatcha Tirtha – this Tirtha helps one get rid of sins and will not go to hell

8) Gavaya Tirtha – According to the Purana’s bathing in this well will get shelter under Karpaga Virutchaga or Kalpa Vriksha tree.

9) Nala Theertham – the person who takes bath in this Tirtha will be blessed by Lord Surya and reach heaven.

10) Neela Tirtha – According to the Skanda purana, taking bath in this well is equivalent to having performed various yagnas and will obtain Agni Yoga

11) Sanku Tirtha – It is believed that Sage Vatsanabha got rid of his sin of ingratitude by takig bath in this Tirtha.

12) Chakkara Tirtha – According to the legend the Sun God had got his hand turned golden after bathing in this Tirtha.

13) Brahmahathi Vimochana Tirtha – Bathing in this Tirtha will help to get rid of Brahma Hathya Dosham

14) Sooriya Tirtha – According to the puran’s bathing in this temple helps to obtain knowledge of the past present and the future

15) Chandra Tirtha – bathing in this Tirtha too helps to obtain knowledge of the past present and the future

16) Ganga Tirtha – According to the stala puranmam, Gananasuruthi Rajah attained wisdom after taking bath in this well.

17) Yamuna Tirtha – Gananasuruthi Rajah attained wisdom

18) Gaya Tirtha – Gananasuruthi Rajah attained wisdom

19) Siva Tirtha – Completion of Bhaira Brahmahathi

20) Sadyamirtha Tirtha – According to the legend Emperor Bururoonu got rid of his curse after taking bath in this Tirtha.

21) Sarva Tirtha – It is believed that Sutharishna got prospered after getting rid of his blindness (from birth) and illness after taking bath in this Tirtha.

22) Kodi Theertham – According to the Skanada Purana, Lord Sree Krishna got rid of his sin of killing Kamsa here after taking bath in this Tirtham.


Temple 24 at Chacchoben - History

Golconda Temple History

Golconda, is the name given to a city in India which was formerly a center of the diamond trade. Golconda also denotes a "rich mine or any source of great wealth". The city of Hyderabad is famous for its breathtaking monuments. The majestic and imposing monument which lies on the West outskirts of Hyderabad City - Golconda Fort, unravels with it the 400 years of the rich cultural heritage of this city. Built by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah in 1525, the Golconda Fort epitomizes the opulent new culture of the time. Shepherd's Hill or "Golla Konda", as it was popularly know in Telugu, has an interesting story behind it. One fine day, on the rocky hill called Mangalavaram, a shepherd boy came across an idol. This was conveyed to the Kakatiya King, who was ruling at that time. The King got a mud Fort constructed around the Holy spot. Over a period of time this lowly construction was expanded by the Qutb Shahi Kings into a massive Fort of granite which has been a silent witness to many historic events. Every nook and corner of this splendid monument echoes the unparalleled history of a bygone era. The impregnable Fort was cradled by many Dynasties and it was of strategic importance to most of the rulers. In 1518, when the Qutb Shahi Dynasty was found, Golconda was made its capital. The subsequent generations saw Golconda being fortified further with several additions and the formation of a beautiful city within. By the 17th Century, Golconda was famous as a Diamond Market. It gave the world some of the best known diamonds, including Kohinoor. The magnificent architecture of the Golconda Fort is manifest in its acoustic system, the structural grandeur of the palaces and ingenious water supply system.

Golconda Temple No. 24

Golconda was charted in 1907 in Newark, New Jersey. Throughout our illustrious history, Golconda continues to give extensive Charity to their community. At the 118th Imperial Session, Golconda was recognized as being the number one Temple in the world for its Charity disbursements. Some of the Charity includes but is not limited to scholarships, feeding the community, visiting hospitals, working with youth, and being leaders in their communities. At Imperial Session, annually Golconda is well represented with their award-winning units such as the Chanters, Marching unit, Bowling, Golf and Bicycle. From yesterday to today Golconda Temple remains strong and united. As Golconda continues, they grow stronger and more determined. Currently Golconda has over four hundred Nobles as members. This fact makes them the largest Temple in the Domain. This could never have been accomplished without the proper leadership!

Please click here to meet some of Golconda Temple's Past Illustrious Potentates and Honorary Past Potentates.

The opinions and pages of this site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, or policies of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of North and South America and its Jurisdictions, Inc., Prince Hall Affiliation its officers, Constituent Temples, and Members


One thought on &ldquo History is Repeating Itself at Standing Rock &rdquo

The same week President Trump attempts to advance the KXL Pipeline and the DAPL, two major pipeline spills were reported. One in Iowa,

140,000 gallons of diesel, and one on First Nations lands in Saskatchewan, Canada with

53,000 gallons of crude oil. The Iowa spill came from a pipeline owned by Magellan, a company that recently reached an $18 million settlement with the EPA over Clean Water Act violations in 3 states caused by pipeline spills.

“According to a ProPublica report, America’s 2.5 million miles pipelines ‘suffer hundreds of leaks and ruptures every year, costing lives and money,’ and these lines are only getting older. Not only that, the report notes that pipeline accidents have killed more than 500 people, injured more than 4,000 and cost nearly $7 billion in property damages since 1986.”


Katarmal Sun Temple – Interesting, Intriguing, Invisible

A passerby mentioned the name ‘Surya Mandir of Katarmal’ when I was whiling away my time in Kasar Devi near Almora in Uttarakhand. I had earlier thought that Konark was the only Sun Temple in India but over a period of time it was known that there are Sun Temples in Modhera, Gujarat, Martand, Kashmir and also in the small town of Osian in Rajasthan.

Katarmal is a small village that lies on the Ranikhet road in Kumaon and the temple can be accessed by a 20 minute walk from the main road. We set off on a Royal Enfield Motorcycle from Almora in the morning and were pretty famished by the time we reached the hamlet of Kosi. I was quite excited about the prospect of seeing this 12th Century wonder that was said to be left half built.

Legend says that ‘It was built by the Pandavas in one night and when the first rays of the morning lit the sky, the construction was halted and it has remained so ever since. This is the land of the lores of Pandavas. That and the fact that the terrain of this region has proved to be uninviting for the invaders. Except for an abortive attempt by a Rohilla chieftain and the Anglo-Tibet war, Kumaon has not witnessed any major battles. Though the region has always been engulfed by internal strife between the Kumaonis and the Garhwalis.

A dilapidated signboard by the ASI on the dirt track increased the sense of wonder and the first glimpse of the temple complex did not disappoint at all. It was a grand and colossal structure that oddly reminded me of the Parthenon in Greece!

There were 44 small temples surrounding the main shrine but none of them had any idols inside them. Some of them seemed to have been damaged in an attack but as I have mentioned there is no history pertaining to the same. Some of the smaller shrines seemed to be leaning, while one of them was only balanced on a single pillar. I wondered if the Archaeological Survey of India did anything other than just putting up 3-4 boards in and around the temple complex.

From 7th Century AD to 12th Century AD Kumaon witnessed a sustained period of great temples being built by various rulers. The Katyuri dynasty has been credited for most of them, and even this Sun temple was built by the Katyuri king Katarmalla. The main deity of the sun temple is Surya – called Vraddha Aditya (Old Sun God) here.

Vraddha Aditya or Surya, the main deity. Picture courtesy: Mr Niraj Kumar Verma

The temple is perched at a height of 2100 m on a small hillock with an endless view of the valley on the front side. It has been designed such that on few days especially during the equinoxes, the first rays of the sun fall on the deity inside the Garbhagriha. There’s a small hole punched in one of the temples from where the first light permeates through and casts its light on the idol making it a glorious sight .

An azure sky behind the main temple creates a perfect backdrop. The setting is quite spectacular with a cool breeze blowing even on an otherwise hot day in May. Various temple pieces like the Amalakas are found scattered in the courtyard. There is a spectator too, a lone tree that continues to witness the glories and vagaries of time.

The temples of Kumaon from this period used huge stones instead of bricks, some of them so humongous that only the Gods are believed to have carried them so far ! (Perhaps thats why the local legend of so many of these temples to have been built by the Pandavas). These stones were quarried from the nearby valley and hauled upto the site where they were cut and carved. This temple is said to be one of the biggest and tallest in the entire Kumaon region. The style of architecture of the temple is Nagara style.

The temple had intricately carved wooden doors and pillars that were shifted to the National Museum in Delhi after the theft of a priceless 10th century idol from the temple premises.

The wooden door and pillars of the Katarmal Sun Temple displayed at the National Museum in Delhi. Pictures courtesy: Mr Niraj Kumar Verma

What really surprised me is that inspite of being both a rare and renowned heritage site with close proximity to the very touristy Almora, we met no other visitor during the time that we were there. There was no restaurant or dhaba near the temple and it sure looked like a place that no one cared about. As a nation, we really don’t seem to be quite proud or caring of its rich heritage and culture. The same tourists who go gaga on seeing monuments when in a western country are not even aware of the rich architectural heritage that lies in their vicinity. Although I must admit the monuments in our country are rarely well maintained and even basic facilities sometimes don’t exist at heritage sites.


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