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Last Days Prophecy

HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.

www.lastdaysprophecy.org

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The Jerusalem Temple

Past, Present and Future

The ancient Temple was a large and very impressive building, but also it was the religious, social, political and economic center in Israel. Three times a year every able bodied man traveled to Jerusalem and presented himself before the Lord in the Temple. These three times were: the Passover, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles.

The Tabernacle preceded the Temple. It was the dwelling place for God’s Divine Presence while the Israelites wandered in the wilderness. Exodus 25:8-9 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. [9] According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it. [KJV] The Tabernacle was actually a tent which was divided into two areas: the large outer room was called the Holy Place, and a smaller, inner enclosure was called the Holy of Holies. The entire structure was surrounded by a large courtyard, with an outside entrance facing the east.

Inside the Holy Place (the larger room), was the Menorah (a seven branched candelabrum made from a solid block of gold, the Alter of Incense, and the Table of Showbread.

Inside the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant. The gold-plated lid of the Ark was known as the Mercy Seat. Over the Mercy Seat were the figures of two cherubim, with their wings spread.

Inside the Ark was:

  • The two stone tablets of the Law. Deut. 31:26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. [KJV]
  • A golden pot with a sample of manna. Exodus 16:33 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the Lord, to be kept for your generations. [KJV]
  • Aaron’s rod that budded. Numbers 17:10 And the Lord said unto Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not. [KJV]

Hebrews 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; [KJV]

Once the Israelites settled in the Promised Land, they built a permanent structure in Jerusalem to replace the portable and aging Tabernacle. King Solomon built the first Temple on the Temple Mount, which was Mount Moriah. According to tradition, the Ark of the Covenant rested on the very stone where Abraham had offered his son, Isaac, centuries before (Gen.22:1-14). According to what I can gather, God considers Jerusalem the center of the Earth (Eze. 5:5). And the Jews believe this large, flat stone marks the center of the world.

The First Temple

Solomon’s Temple was the first Temple, built about 966 BC. It was a magnificent work of art. It took 180,000 workers and artisans 7 years to complete it. The massive structure was on over 37 acres of land. People came from far and wide to see its beauty. It was destroyed in 586 BC.


Solomon’s Temple was pillaged many times during the course of its history, (1) 1 Kings 14:25-26; (2) 2 Kings 14:14; (3) 2 Kings 16:8, 17-18; (4) 2 Kings 18:15-16. At last it was pillaged and completely destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:13; 2 Chron. 36:7). He burned the temple, and carried all its treasures with him to Babylon (2 Kings 25:9-17; 2 Chron. 36:19; Isaiah 64:11). These sacred vessels were at the end of the Captivity, restored to the Jews by Cyrus (Ezra 1:7-11).

The Second Temple

The second Temple was built on the foundation of Solomon’s Temple when the Jewish remnant returned from the 70 year captivity in Babylon (about 516 BC). When Zerrubbable first rebuilt the Temple, it was small and unadorned, and when the older Jews saw it they cried, for they remembered the glory of the first Temple. Ezra 3:12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: [KJV] Haggai 2:3 Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? [KJV]

The temple erected by the exiles on their return from Babylon had stood for about 500 years, when Herod the Great became king of Judea. The Temple had suffered considerably from natural decay as well as from the assaults of hostile armies. Herod, wanted to gain the favor of the Jews, and proposed to rebuild it. This offer was accepted, and the work was begun (about 18 BC), and carried out at great labor and expense, and it rivaled the splendor of Solomon’s Temple over 1000 years earlier.

This second temple did not have the Ark, the Urim and Thummim, the holy oil, the sacred fire, the tables of stone, the pot of manna, nor Aaron's rod. As in the Tabernacle, there was in it only one golden lamp for the Holy Place, one table of shewbread, and the incense altar, with golden censers, and many of the vessels of gold that had belonged to Solomon's temple that had been carried to Babylon but restored by Cyrus (Ezra 1:7-11). This second Temple also had numerous “trees planted in the courts of the Lord,” where there were none in the first. Haggai 2:9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts. [KJV] The glory here predicted is spiritual glory and not material splendor. Christ Himself, present bodily in the temple on Mount Zion during His life on Earth, present spiritually now in the Church, present in the Holy City, the heavenly Jerusalem, of which He is the temple, is the glory here predicted.

Jesus And The Second Temple

During His three year ministry, Jesus spent much time in the second Temple. He cleansed the Temple, turning over the tables of the crooked money changers (John 2:14-15). He celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles in the Temple (John 7:14). He went to the Temple during the winter Feast of Dedication, which is today known as Hanukkah (John 10:22). Religious leaders were surprised when Jesus was not in the Temple during Passover (John 11:56).

Jesus’ Prophecy of the Second Temple

Matthew 24:1-2 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. [2] And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. [KJV] No one really knows exactly what this temple looked like, but it must have been beautiful. Next to the inner temple, where the sacred objects were kept and the sacrifices were offered, there was a large area called the court of the Gentiles. This was where the money changers and merchants had their booths. Outside these courts were long porches. Solomon’s porch was 1,562 feet long; the royal portico was decorated with 160 columns stretching along its 921-foot length. Gazing at this glorious and massive structure, the disciples found Jesus’ words about its destruction hard to believe. But the temple was indeed destroyed only 40 years later when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70.

Jesus’ Prophecy on Yet Another Temple

Matthew 24:15-16 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) [16] Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: [KJV] What was this “abomination of desolation” mentioned by both Daniel and Jesus? It actually is any deliberate attempt to mock and deny the reality of God’s Presence. Daniel’s prediction came true in 168 BC when Antiochus Epiphanes sacrificed a pig to Zeus on the sacred temple altar (Daniel 9:27; 11:30-31). Jesus’ words were remembered in AD 70 when Titus placed an idol on the site of the burned temple after destroying Jerusalem. In the end times (the Tribulation) the Antichrist will set up an image of himself and order everyone to worship it (2 Thes. 2:4; Rev. 13:14-15). These all are “abominations” that mock God.

Will The Temple Be Rebuilt Again?

Yes. It is necessary in order to fulfill prophecy. 2 Thes. 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. [KJV] As God was in the Temple of old, and was worshipped there, and is in and with His church now; so the Antichrist that will come, will attempt to seize God’s authority in the Tribulation.

Rev. 13:14-15 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. [15] And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. [KJV] Antichrist will have an image placed in the Temple. This will be the abomination of desolation of which Jesus spoke in Mat.24:15. This prophecy cannot be fulfilled without a Temple.

The Third Temple

From my understanding, the third Temple will most likely be built just before the Tribulation period, or during the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation. Rev. 11:1-2 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. [2] But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. [KJV] This verse tells me that this will be mid-way during the Tribulation period. The Temple will be taken over by the Antichrist and he will install his image in the Holy Place. He will “tread underfoot forty and two months” (3 1/2 years) the Holy Temple of God. Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. [KJV] This verse confirms the time frame. One week = 7 years. Antichrist will arrange a peace treaty with Israel for 7 years. In the middle of the 7 years, he will turn on Israel, breaking the peace treaty, and setting up that dreadful image in God’s Holy Temple.

There is a Temple implied in both the above Passages. There has to be a Temple, and as of today, there is none. There are plans for the rebuilding of the Temple. So, this Temple could start at any time. There is however, a Muslim mosque on the Temple Mount.

As stated in Daniel 9:27, the Antichrist will put an end to Israel making sacrifices and offerings in the Temple. The Jews will not be able to worship in the Temple. It will be then, that he will set up the abomination of desolation.

There are organizations in Israel today who are devoted and dedicated to rebuilding the Temple. Two of the larger ones can be found on the internet. www.templemountfaithful.org

These groups are even training priests to serve in the future Temple. Clothing for the priests are carefully being woven to the strict requirements of the Law. The thread in these robes has been fashioned from strands of flax (linen), just as they were 2000 years ago. They even believe that they have found the secret and rare formula of the blue dye used in the priest’s garments, which comes from a small snail-like sea creature.

The Red Heifer

Numbers 19:2 This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke: [KJV] The heifer was to be totally burned. This typified the painful sufferings of our Lord Jesus, both in soul and body, as a sacrifice made by fire, to satisfy God’s justice for man’s sin. These ashes were to be laid up as a purification for sin. They were only to purify from ceremonial uncleanness, yet they were a type of that purification for sin which our Lord Jesus made by His death. The Blood of Christ is laid up for us in the Word and sacraments, and is our only Fountain of merit. By our faith we may have constant access for cleansing our consciences. Hebrews 9:11-14 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; [12] Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. [13] For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: [14] How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? [KJV] The red heifer looked forward to Christ.

Numbers 19:6 And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. [KJV] The priest was to sprinkle the blood of the heifer “seven times” (verse 4) before the tabernacle. Every part of the heifer then was consumed by fire except the blood used in sprinkling. The ingredients mixed with the ashes were the same as those used in the sprinkling of lepers (Lev.14:4-7). It was a water of separation . . . that is, of “sanctification” for the people of Israel.

Each time a red heifer was sacrificed in ancient times, the ashes were kept in a special clay container, in three different locations in the Temple. These ashes were used to make a water of separation (Num.19:9) used in purification. These special ashes were used very sparingly and often lasted 100 years. According to Jewish tradition there have been only nine of these perfect red heifers in Israel’s history. Each heifer had to be sacrificed while there were still some ashes from the previous heifer still available because the alter and the priests had to be purified before they could sacrifice another. If the ashes were completely deleted, there would be no way to purify the alter and priests so they could sacrifice the next animal.

Orthodox Jews believe that the Messiah’s coming will be preceded by finding the 10th red heifer. She will have to be perfect and completely red in color. She cannot have any blemish whatsoever, and she cannot have any different colored hairs anywhere on her body.

Where are the Ashes of the Red Heifer?

Where is the Ark of the Covenant?

According to traditional sources, King Josiah ordered the Ark and other holy items to be hidden in an underground vault for safe keeping. It is supposed that this underground hiding place was constructed for King Solomon. Some think it is underneath the Temple Mount. There are rumors that two rabbis were digging and they supposedly found the Ark of the covenant. Both men denied seeing it. Read “The Coming Last Days Temple” by Dr. Randall Price for more information.

The Ark of the Covenant is one of the most important of all the Temple items. There are many theories about what happened and where it is. Some believe that the Vatican has it. Titus took several Temple artifacts back to Rome with him. The Temple Institute wrote a letter to the Vatican in 2002, demanding that the golden menorah be returned to them. The Vatican claims it has no Temple treasures. There are many authentic, historical records and popular legends that affirm that there were many sacred Temple objects taken to Rome by Titus when he destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. This would not include the Ark of the first Temple.

Some claim that the Ark is in Ethiopia. Tradition records say that King Solomon, being the wisest of all men, knew that the Temple would be destroyed, and he built a vast system of mazes, chambers and corridors underneath the Temple Mount and that is where the Ark is. Today, the Temple Mount is under control of the Palestinians.

It is said that the Jews know exactly where the Ark of the Covenant is. The Palestinians claim there never was a Holy Temple. To find and reveal the Ark would prove them wrong, thus proving the Jews have the right to claim the Temple Mount. As it stands today, the Muslims state the Jews have NO right to the Temple Mount.

Where to Build the Third Temple

Jewish authorities agree that the Third temple has to be built over the foundation of the first and second Temples. There are three views on where the second Temple was located and therefore where the third Temple must be built:

  1. The Muslim Dome of the Rock sits on the location of the second Temple.
  2. The second Temple was located to the north of the Dome of the Rock.
  3. Radar and infrared studies seem to indicate the previous Temples were located south of the Dome of the Rock, near the El Kas Fountain. The vast majority of Jewish scholars and archaeologists think it is the first view, that the Dome of the Rock is the correct location.

If this is the case, then the Dome of the Rock must be destroyed or moved before a Jewish Temple can be built there. Jewish scholars and rabbis seem to think that the Messiah will come soon. It seems strange that these Orthodox Jews and also the Christian Evangelists (opposites) agree that Christ will indeed come soon. May our Lord give us wisdom to discern the signs of the times (Mat.16:3), so we will not be caught off guard or sleeping when He sounds the trumpet (1 Thes.4:13-17). www.templeinstitute.org

The Millennial Temple

The fourth Temple, the Millennial Temple is described in detail by Ezekiel (40-48). It will be the largest and most elaborate Temple of all.

Reinstitution of the Ancient Sacrificial System

Some people think it is sacrilegious to even think of such a thing. They say there is only ONE Sacrifice that is capable of cleansing the soul from sin . . . . and that is Jesus! And they are correct. But, the Bible clearly states that there will be sacrifices offered in the Millennial Temple which will most likely be built and supervised by Jesus Himself. If it is wrong to offer sacrifices, why would Jesus permit it?

Ezekiel 40:38-43 And the chambers and the entries thereof were by the posts of the gates, where they washed the burnt offering. [39] And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side, and two tables on that side, to slay thereon the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering. [40] And at the side without, as one goeth up to the entry of the north gate, were two tables; and on the other side, which was at the porch of the gate, were two tables. [41] Four tables were on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate; eight tables, whereupon they slew their sacrifices. [42] And the four tables were of hewn stone for the burnt offering, of a cubit and an half long, and a cubit and an half broad, and one cubit high: whereupon also they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the burnt offering and the sacrifice. [43] And within were hooks, an hand broad, fastened round about: and upon the tables was the flesh of the offering. [KJV] This will be an actual Temple to be rebuilt during the millennial reign of Christ. If the sacrifices are to be reinstituted in the last days, then would Christ’s final sacrifice not have been final? The New Testament makes it clear that Christ died once and for all (Rom.6:10; Heb.9:12; 10:10, 18). Our sins have been removed; no further sacrifice is needed. In Ezekiel’s day, however, the only kind of worship the people knew was the kind that revolved around the sacrifices and ceremonies described in Exodus through Deuteronomy.

But, let’s consider this. When Jesus was resurrected, did He warn His disciples to stop following Temple practices? No. If He did, I don’t know where it is. If animal sacrifices had become sinful and wrong with the event of His death and resurrection, don’t you think He would have told the disciples . . . . and us? Temple sacrifices never did remove sin in the Old Testament, and they will not remove sin when they are resumed in the end times. Ezekiel 43:13-27 clearly states that there shall be a reinstituted sacrificial system that will include burnt offerings and sin offerings.

Paul, the other apostles, and others offered sacrifices to God. Several verses speak of this. Luke 2:24; Acts 24:17; Mat.21:12; Mk.11:15; Rom.15:16; John 2:15, etc. If it were wrong, Jesus would have corrected them.

What the Bible condemns is putting our faith in legalistic works such as animal sacrifices, instead of Jesus’ once and for all Sacrifice on the cross. Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. [KJV] Jews, just like Gentiles, become right with God, not by doing what the law commands, but by faith in Jesus Christ. All people must believe in Christ Jesus, that we might be accepted by God because of our faith in Christ . . . and not because we have obeyed the law. NO one will ever be saved by obeying the law.

Christianity started with Jews. Jews were the first Christians. Some say there is no such thing as a Christian Jew. They are wrong. There are many. I personally believe that a Christian Jew is doubly blessed. I have had the privilege of knowing one, Charles Halff, founder of the Christian Jew Foundation in San Antonio, Texas. He was a dear man who is with the Lord Jesus now. He greatly encouraged me in our ministry. He was interested only in reaching lost souls, Jews or Gentiles.

The Fourth Temple

There will be a fourth Temple one day. It is described in Ezekiel 40-48. It will be constructed by the Messiah Himself on His return after the Great Tribulation period.

It will be the Millennial Temple. There will be no Temple in Heaven (New Jerusalem). Rev. 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. [KJV]

ISRAEL

Israel, Things About

Israel, Beginning of

Israel, God's Chosen People

Israel, These Bones Shall Live

Israel's Promised Land

Israel's Tribes

Jerusalem's Temples

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