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Before the Second Coming ?
Compiled by Rachel Cory-Kuehl, March 21, 2014
Scripture is from New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
JERUSALEM - THE PLACE OF HIS NAME
Deuteronomy 12:5-7 “But you shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go. There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. And there you shall eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which the LORD your God has blessed you.”
1Kings 14:21 “Jerusalem, the city which Jehovah had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there:”
2Chronicles 3:1 “Now Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.”
Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (2Chron. 36:19). Jeremiah the prophet wrote, “The LORD has spurned His alter, and He has abandoned His sanctuary” (Lamentations 2:7).
After 70 years of captivity a remnant was allowed to return and rebuild, but the Ark of the Covenant was missing from the Most Holy Place. No fire descended from Heaven to consume the sacrifice at the dedication of this Temple.
The Temple of the return was later enhanced by King Herod. It was finally destroyed by the Roman General Titus in 70 CE, on the same calendar date as the destruction of the first Temple. Since that time, the prophecy of Yeshua has been fulfilled.
John 4:21 “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.’”
This prophecy foretold a period of time during which there would be no Temple at Jerusalem. For almost two millennia there has been no Temple of Yahweh on Mt. Zion. The apostle Paul wrote, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1Cor. 3:16). Today we worship in spirit - but not in physical presence. Our High Priest Yeshua Messiah presently ministers as High Priest of “the True Tabernacle, which is Heaven itself” (Heb. 8:2). The Temple on earth was only “a copy”.
There are many prophecies which point to a restored Temple of Yahweh on Mount Zion. Is it possible to sort through them, to say which prophecies pointed to which Temple? I believe so.
PROPHECY POINTS TO ANOTHER TEMPLE
The prophet Ezekiel wrote for the Jews taken captive to Babylon. Jeremiah also lived during this period, some 500 years before Christ. The people obviously longed for a return to their own country, and the restoration of the Temple. It would mean the restoration of God’s favor. From the prophecies of Ezekiel and Jeremiah, the people of the captivity would draw hope. Later generations would become proud and arrogant thinking the prophecies promised both Israel and the Temple were indestructible. Was Ezekiel a false prophet? Or were Ezekiel’s prophecies pointing beyond this age, to the forever kingdom of Messiah?
Ezekiel 37:15-27 The LORD will gather the children of Israel. Judah and Israel will be joined into one kingdom - never to be separated again, with one King - from the line of David (v.24). The Lord will then make an everlasting covenant of peace with those He has gathered (v.26). “My tabernacle also shall be with them; . . . The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, WHEN My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
Here we see Israel returned to the land, and His Sanctuary (the Temple) restored in the midst of “the nations,” who KNOW (who see - because of this) that the LORD has indeed chosen Israel. In the vision, Ezekiel saw, the “whole house of Israel” (to include both Israel and Judah) resurrected, gathered from all the nations, and returned to “the land” (Ezekiel 37:11). The true fulfillment of this prophecy must include all of the faithful dead. The true fulfillment must include the faithful of Israel - the 10 Northern tribes who were taken captive by Assyria, and scattered to the four winds, never to be identified again. The current return of Jews to the present nation called “Israel” does NOT fulfill this prophecy.
Ezekiel was shown “a city,” and “a temple.” The Temple shown to Ezekiel has never been built. Ezekiel’s Temple measures 210 feet high. The technology for such high rise building did not exist in Ezekiel’s day, nor in the days of Ezra and Zerubbabel, or Herod. No. Ezekiel’s prophecy points to a Temple in the far distant future.
According to Ezekiel, “the glory of the LORD departed from” the Temple built by Solomon (Ezek. 10:18), and would not return until the future Temple (the one shown to Ezekiel) was dedicated (Ezek. 43:1-7). The prophet Isaiah was also given a prophecy concerning the “house” of Jehovah.
Isaiah 2:1-4 “And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top of the mountains [above all kingdoms], and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many peoples shall go and say, ‘Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths:’ for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. And he will judge between the nations, and will decide concerning many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (ASV) (Also see Micah 4:1-2.)
NOTE: The involvement of “many peoples” is obvious. “All nations” flow up to Jehovah’s house. “He will judge between the nations.” This is the reign of Messiah over the whole earth.
Obviously, the “House of the God of Jacob” will be restored on “the mountain of Jehovah”. But when?
Will Messiah reign over the earth during the 7th millennium?
Will Messiah reign during the 8th millennium?
I personally believe Messiah will reign over “the nations” at the 8th millennium.
ANOTHER TEMPLE - BEFORE JESUS RETURNS ?
Before we get to the millennial reign of Christ on earth - before Jesus returns in glory, will another Temple of Yahweh be restored on the Mount at Jerusalem? I believe so. But who will bring this about? That is the question.
Many folks already see the LORD at work in the present nation called “Israel.” They believe the LORD has resurrected Israel and brought the “chosen people” back to “the land”. I cannot personally agree. The LORD promised to bless those who acknowledge Him, and obey Him. Only a small portion of the Jewish people currently living in the nation of Israel, (less than 10%) actually worship the God of the Torah, much less God’s only Son Jesus. Most are secular. How can I believe the LORD is pouring out His blessings for them?
Satan knows the prophecies - very well. To accomplish his purpose (that all mankind worship him) he can make it appear that prophecy has been fulfilled. Israel is returned to the land! Then a Temple of Yahweh is restored on Mount Zion! Then he (as Messiah) suddenly and gloriously appears in that Temple. Would most folks realize that he is really the Evil One? Probably not!
I’ll come back to the Temple of Antichrist in a few minutes. First, let’s look again at the final and forever Temple.
NO TEMPLE THERE
Revelation 21:22 [John wrote of the New Jerusalem] “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”
The New Jerusalem measures 345 miles on a side and 345 miles high. “Its length, breadth, and height are equal” (Rev. 21:16). It is enormous - compared with Ezekiel’s Temple. It will more than cover the land area promised to the chosen descendants of Abraham.
Between now, and that forever Temple of the New Jerusalem - we must place Ezekiel’s Temple - somewhere. But where?
EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE - ANOTHER TEMPORARY HOUSE
When sin is completely cleansed from the earth, and mankind is perfectly reconciled to the Father - there will be “no Temple”- just God and the Lamb (Rev. 21:22). Why then - the Temple which was shown to Ezekiel?
If you have read my studies about the coming “8th Day” kingdom of Messiah on earth, you know I believe Ezekiel’s Temple represents another temporary House. The people raised at the 8th millennium will not yet be ready to enter directly into the presence of “the One who sits on the Throne.” They will still have mortal physical bodies - not immortal spiritual bodies. They will still need a buffer (as it were), a place where they may approach the LORD, (just as Ancient Israel once did) while they are shielded from His glory. Ezekiel’s Temple will serve this purpose.
But what about the blood sacrifices? I realize that animal sacrifice was seen by Ezekiel in the vision of this Temple, but I believe it symbolizes the continuing blood covering of Christ for the people who are raised at “The 8th Day”. The morning and evening sacrifice “covered” sins of ignorance. The sins of “the nations” were sins of ignorance. These are people who lived and died in ignorance of Yahweh and His Son. I believe they will be raised to continue their lives in the Kingdom of Messiah on the earth, where they will learn the ways of the LORD. Then they will choose whom they will serve. Those who rebel against the reign of Christ will die at the Battle of Gog & Magog.
For additional comments concerning animal sacrifices, as seen by Ezekiel, see the studies
“A Kingdom of Priests” and “The END of Sacrifices” at prophecyviewpoint.com.
I have done my best to demonstrate the impossibility of life on planet earth during the 7th millennium. In the study titled “Millennium,” I cover the effects of the trumpet judgments and the final 7 last plagues.
I have explained why I do not believe that the “return” of biological descendants to the current nation called “Israel”, fulfills the prophecy of return for “the whole house of Israel”. The Israel of the redeemed, today includes all of those who believe in God’s Son. Gentiles (non-Hebrews) who come to believe, are “grafted in” to the Israel of God, and those who refuse to believe are “cut off” from Israel. Please see the study “Israel - the People of God”.
I believe that redeemed Israel will go to Jerusalem in the earth made new again. They will go up to worship the LORD, at the New Moons, for the 7th Day Sabbath, and for the “Feasts of the LORD” (Isa. 66:22-23). They will celebrate the great events in the plan of salvation. And as “priests of God and of Christ” they will teach “the nations”.
Ezekiel’s Temple will be built after the resurrection and return of the “whole house of Israel” to the land. That would put it after the Second Coming. But what about other prophecies that predict the Evil One will stand in the Temple BEFORE the glorious return of Christ? Let’s take a look at those prophecies.
AN ENEMY IN MY HOUSE
1Samuel 2:32 “And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel.”
Matthew 24:15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand),”
“The holy place” was The Temple Mount.
Daniel 11:31 “And forces shall stand on his part, and they shall profane the sanctuary, even the fortress, and shall take away the continual burnt-offering, and they shall set up the abomination that maketh desolate.” (ASV)
2Thessalonians 2:3-4 “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
This is important!!!
The only person who was allowed to sit in the Temple courtyard was the anointed King - from the line of David (2Sam. 7:18; 2Chron. 17:16). This alone should tell you who the “son of perdition” is pretending to be. Yes - Yeshua Messiah - the anointed King of Israel. He will make fire come down from heaven (Rev. 13:13). This was the sign of the LORD’s presence for ancient Israel (Lev. 9:24, Num. 16:35, I Ki. 18:38, 2Chron 7:1). The “fire” consumed the sacrifice on the alter in the court of the Temple. This scenario requires a Temple, and the restoration of animal sacrifices.
I believe that a third Temple will be raised up on the mount in Jerusalem. It will be modeled after the Temple shown to Ezekiel in vision. I personally believe the Ark of the Covenant will be found, under the Temple Mount. A Temple will be required, to house the Ark. But this coming Temple will not be Ezekiel’s Temple. It will be a counterfeit!
Ezekiel’s Temple is NOT raised up until the “whole house of Israel” is resurrected and returned to the land - including all of those who have died in faith.
The coming one will be all things to all people. To the Hindu, he will be the 10th great Avatar - to the Muslim, the Imam Mahdi - to the Jew, Messiah - to the Christian, Christ - and to the atheist, a beneficent alien. UFO sightings have dramatically increased. Our Star Trek generation is prepared for the appearance of a beneficent alien. It will be easy for many to believe that he visited our planet two thousand years ago. He was crucified, but was beamed up to his star ship and revived. Now he has returned because the planet is in chaos and on the verge of collapse.
The “false prophet” of Revelation 13:11-18, is a religious figure who will encourage all men to cooperate with the Beast system. This “false prophet” will breathe life into the false messiah. He will “prepare the way” for the false messiah, just as John the Baptist prepared the way for Yeshua.
“ALL who dwell on the earth WILL worship” the false Messiah - the image of the Beast -“whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:7-8, 16). To achieve such a complete, worldwide, deception - to bring people of every nation to the place where they would serve “the Beast” power, the deception would have to be perfect. I don’t see the current Islamic Jihad achieving such a stunning deception.
A spate of recent books have labeled Islam as “the Beast”. While I can agree that Islam is certainly against Christ, I do not believe Islam will be the final manifestation of the Beast power, before Jesus returns. I could definitely see Islam as a counterfeit Beast. The Evil One could then show up to save the world from Islam, saving Jerusalem from this “Antichrist” power. Pretending to be Christ come, sitting in the Temple, receiving worship, the whole world would bow before him.
ARE YOU READY FOR SUCH A DECEPTION?
Satan will deceive the whole world. He will likely incite a counterfeit “Battle of Armageddon,” a Gog-Magog type battle for Jerusalem. Islamic forces along with Russia and perhaps others may attack Jerusalem, and they may even rule from the Mount. Islam will be labeled the “Beast” or the “Antichrist”. Satan must empower a counterfeit Antichrist, so He can then appear to “save” Israel.
NOTE: I have heard teachers recently saying that the Gog-Magog Battle will take place before the Second Coming, but according to Revelation 20:8, that battle does not take place until after the 1000 years of the 7th millennium.
I believe that Satan will use the current nation of Israel as the focal point of his grand deception. Many believe that the present nation of Israel is the fulfillment of the promised return. They see Israel as “dry bones” brought back to life (Jer. 16:14-21, Jer. 23:3-8, Ezek. Chapter 37). But the present nation of Israel does not fulfill the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
The “return” of Jews to the land which became the modern nation of Israel following WWII, was not an event brought about by miracles which rivaled those of the first “exodus” from Egypt. We saw no plagues, no opening of a “red sea,” no water brought from a rock, no manna from heaven. We saw only a persecuted, war weary people fighting their way into a portion of the ancient homeland of their ancestors. The throne has not been restored to the Son of David. The lion does not lie down with the lamb. No. We must look to the future for a full and forever deliverance and return of the “whole house of Israel.”
Up to this point, those Jews who admit to belief in Jesus as Messiah are actually denied immigration. And what of the dead? Daniel was to receive his inheritance (Dan.12:13) but there has been no resurrection.
Those who believe that:
Messiah will reign on earth, during the approaching 7th millennium -
Messiah will rule the nations who survive the last plagues -
The faithful should offer animal sacrifices at a restored Temple at Jerusalem -
ARE BEING SET UP!
The LORD is not there.
He will not return to His Temple until it is fully consecrated at The 8th Day.
Please know that I do believe that those of Hebrew descent deserve to have a homeland. They have been persecuted and despised for almost two thousand years. It is right and appropriate that they be given at least some portion of their ancestral home.
I also know that most Jews living in Israel today are secular (non-believers). This has left them open to being used of Satan for his purpose of deception. His deception will be so perfect that ONLY those whose names are “written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” - who are illumined by the Spirit of Christ - will see through the deception and refuse to worship the Beast or to take his mark (Revelation 13:7-8, 16). Many will die for the truth.
Remember - Satan must empower a counterfeit Antichrist (probably Islam), in order to deceive the whole world into worship of the real Antichrist.
MILLENNIUM - Earth desolate and without inhabitant
Battle of Gog-Magog - nations rebel against the rule of Christ.
Land is cleansed following the battle.
JEREMIAH - A TYPE OF THE LAST WITNESSES
Jeremiah was thrown into a pit and left to die, as punishment for his message to the king and priests - the ruling elite of Judah - just before the Babylonian destruction. He may be a type of the “two witnesses” who prophesy in the streets of Jerusalem just before the Glorious Return of Jesus (Rev. 11:3-12). His message will be their message, and it will infuriate the rulers of Jerusalem who have just restored a Temple on Mt Zion.
Jeremiah 26:6 [The LORD speaking] "then I will make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.”
See Jer. 7:9-16, Josh.18:1, 1Sam. 4:10, & Psa. 78:60 regarding the destruction of the Tabernacle at Shiloh.
Jeremiah 26:9 [Rulers of Jerusalem speaking to Jeremiah] “Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without an inhabitant’?”
A CLEAN NEW HOUSE - BUT WHO WILL MOVE IN ?
Matthew 12:43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
The generation who see the House at Jerusalem, swept clean and “put in order,” will see the Son of Perdition “sit in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2Thess. 2:4).
UNLESS THE LORD BUILD THE HOUSE
Psalm 127:1 [A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon] “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;”
Yeshua Messiah must be the cornerstone (Matt. 21:42, Acts 4:11, Eph. 2:20, 1Pet. 2:6-7). If He is not - the “house” will fall.
HE HAS PREPARED A PLACE
John 14:2 “In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
Hebrews 11:16 “But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
NOTE: The word translated as “prepared” is the same in both verses.
Yeshua LEFT earth. He returned to “where He was before” (John 6:64). He came “from Heaven”to earth (John 3:13) and returned to sit at the Father’s right hand. He has “prepared” a place for His “bride”. That PLACE is “a city” - the Holy City New Jerusalem.
Hebrews 11:10 “Abraham waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
The New Jerusalem is presently “in Heaven”. It will not descend to earth until Christ has cleansed every trace of sin from this planet. Those delivered at the Second Coming will spend the 7th millennium at this City of God - in Heaven. They will not return to this earth until they are prepared to serve as “priests of God and of Christ”. When they return to “the land”, they will restore the Temple of God on the Mount where Jerusalem once stood. They will build Ezekiel’s Temple. Then a massive resurrection will take place! The “rest of the dead” (Rev. 20:5-6) - all of those who died in ignorance, will be raised from death. Those redeemed from the first resurrection (at the Second Coming) will then teach “the nations”. The “law will go forth from Zion” (Isa. 2:3, Mic. 4:1-8).
Many from “the nations” will come to know the LORD, but the majority (as always) will rebel against the rule of Christ. The “fire of God” will strike every rebel dead at the Battle of Gog-Magog and the cleanup will take 7 months. Only then - after every rebel is gone - will the New Jerusalem descend from Heaven to a “cleansed” earth.
THE HOLY CITY
Revelation 21:1-7 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’”
21:9 “‘Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife.’”
21:10 “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. . . . The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: . . .”
21:21 “The twelve gates were twelve pearls:”
I SAW NO TEMPLE THERE
21:22-24 “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.”
21:25-27 “Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means, enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.”
NOTE: The city is perfectly square. At the base, its perimeter is 12,000 furlongs, or 1,500 miles. (A furlong is 1/8th mile.) Each side is 375 miles long. It is also 375 miles high. (Is it a portal to Heaven? I believe so.)
A wall 144 cubits, or 216 feet high surrounds the city. This wall is made of jasper and is nearly 20 stories high. In the wall are twelve gates (three on each side) which appeared to John as giant pearls. The wall has twelve foundations, each one a different precious stone, so that the city will appear as a shining rainbow, lit from within by the glory of God.
Revelation 22:1-5 “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.”
1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
We pray this study will prove a blessing.
Haggai 2:6-9 “For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; [at the Second Coming] and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts . . . ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
NOTE: The presence of Christ in the rebuilt Temple of Herod’s day, did bring “greater glory” to that House. But there has been no peace, as yet, in Jerusalem. For this peace, we must look to the coming kingdom of Messiah. Notice the “latter temple” of this prophecy, will not be built until after the LORD shakes “heaven and earth, the sea and dry land” - something that happens at the Second Coming.
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