MINI-DESPATCH. June 18, 1999.
Part II
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Many Christians today venerate the Holy Land. They see Israel and Jerusalem through shining eyes. We need to see the Holy Land and its people through God’s eyes, not our own. God gives us so many prophecies about the Holy Land in the Tribulation period, before Christ Jesus ‘ Glorious Appearing. We see in prophecy a land given over to perversion and spiritual adultery, why would we imagine that Israel is a nation of godliness and virtue at this period of history? No, it is not until they pass through the discipline of the Lord that the nation finally repents and accepts Christ Jesus as Saviour, God and King. The following quote is a commentary from Henry M.Morris on the verse - Revelation 11:8. The time slot in prophecy is right in the middle of the Tribulation, after the two Jewish witnesses to Christ ( Moses and Elijah, or perhaps Enoch and Elijah) have been slain by the Antichrist:

“ ‘And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.”

Morris writes:
‘The Lord Jesus said at one time, in sad irony: ‘I must walk today, and tomorrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem’ (Luke 13:33). ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killeth the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee...Behold, your house is left unto you desolate’ (Matt.23:37,38).

Jerusalem, the holy city, the city of peace and the temple of God, is also the city where God’s prophets will die and their Lord is crucified! These two greatest prophets must also die in Jerusalem, their testimony refused even by God’s chosen people. It is there the armies of the beast finally will apprehend and slay them and leave their bodies unburied in the street for all their enemies to see.

An indication of the moral degeneracy of Jerusalem at this time is indicated by its ‘spiritual’ name, Sodom and Egypt. The same word (pneumatikos) is used elsewhere only in I Cor.2:14, where the things of God’s Spirit are said to be ‘spiritually’ discerned. The holy city of Jerusalem, even with its rebuilt temple and renewed worship, has become so wicked that it is called by the Holy Spirit and all spiritually-minded believers by the name associated with its terrible behaviour - “Sodom and Egypt.’ Sodom, whose very name has been identified for 4,000 years with sexual perversion, and Egypt, associated ever since Moses with the persecution of God’s people, indicate pungently the wicked character which the city of Jerusalem had taken on, even in the brief period since its great deliverance from the armies of Gog.

The city had also probably become an international center by this time, filled with commercial speculators and political adventurers of every stripe, together with a deluge of tourists and tourist-oriented entertainment complexes, with all their associated evils. All of this may well have vexed the souls of the religious Jews in the city, even as with Lot in the days of the original Sodom (II Peter 2:7,8), but they no doubt enjoyed the resulting prosperity and managed to rationalise it. With all their rejoicing over God’s deliverance and the renewal of the ancient religious system, they still had not repented of their rejection of Christ. And now, in the same streets through which Christ had long ago walked to His crucifixion, the bodies of His two faithful witnesses lay dead.” (End of quote).

“The Revelation Record” by Henry M.Morris. p.p.201,202. Pub. Tyndale House.

“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.”
(Revelation 11:1).

This verse is set in the context of the Tribulation. It shows John, the writer of the book of Revelation, being commanded by the Lord God to spiritually measure or evaluate the temple in Jerusalem. This is the temple which Israel is seeking to build even now. The site for this temple is already occupied with the Moslem Dome of the Rock at this period. God will allow this new temple in Jerusalem to be built, but it is not a temple which is authorised or approved of by the Lord.  What does Scripture say?

1. The reconstructed temple in Jerusalem will be authorised by a treaty made by the Israeli government with the head of a confederation of European nations. This powerful leader is the Antichrist himself, who will confirm a seven-year covenant with the Jewish leaders. This will allow  them to build the temple, bring in to play again their ancient worship, which will include sacrificial offerings. The treaty itself will begin the Tribulation, at the beginning of the first three and a half years. In the middle of the week of years the Antichrist will cause their worship and sacrifice to cease. (Daniel 9:27).

2. Orthodox Jews have been dreaming of rebuilding the temple, after disposing of the Dome of the Rock, for decades. The desire is to complete the temple, and reinstate the OT Levitical rites and offerings. Perhaps after the Lord miraculously defeats Russia and her Moslem allies, in the war described in Ezekiel 38, the Dome of the Rock will be rapidly removed. The blood of bulls and goats will offered again in the Trib. by the unrepentant Jewish leaders, right in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. Many of the Jews, as they are today, will be secular people, and atheistic in the early part of the Trib., it is doubtful if these will all participate.

3.  By the time the temple is finished being rebuilt much of the first three-and-a half year period will be over. Revelation 11:1,2 are verses in this time slot when God commands John to measure the temple. He is to measure the temple, and the altar and the worshippers. We can see that this is to evaluate these things, not just physically measure, because the worshippers are to measured, obviously as to their spiritual state. The whole process is to see what the temple, the altar and the worshippers are in reality, under God’s standards spiritually. Do they conform to God’s criteria? Note that the Gentile court is not measured, this is the time of the Jews being judged by the Lord, see Revelation 11:2. Gentiles were allowed to enter the outer courtyard, but never the temple itself in Jewish tradition.

4. The reconstructed temple is found, by those who search God’s Word, to be based on a treaty made with a godless, evil dictator. The new altar is in actuality an insult to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, Who was the Sacrifice of God;

“ But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.   Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.  For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;  Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. “(Hebrews 7:24-27).

5. The worshippers and temple can only be found to come short of God’s standard! Under God’s measuring rod they who set up the temple have rejected Christ Jesus, and joined forces with the Antichrist.

6. In the middle of the Tribulation the Antichrist takes over the temple in Jerusalem, and stops all sacrifice, and makes himself out of be God. He then makes all people worship himself as God. This is the “abomination of desolation:
“ 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) “
(Matthew 24:15. See also II Thessalonians 2:3-8).

7. Israel enters into the time of her greatest suffering, it will be the Great Tribulation or the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), see Matthew 24:21. The details of the judgment yet to come for Israel is already outlined by the Old Testament prophets  i.e. Zechariah 14:1-5.

8. The 144,000 witnesses in the Tribulation, and the two witnesses, will be Jews, A great multitude will be converted, both of Jews and Gentiles, by their ministries. See Revelation 7 and Revelation 11.

In the Church Age we need no temple, neither Jew or Gentile believer who trusts in the Lamb of God’s sacrifice. For we ourselves are the Temple of God
“ What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (I Corinthians 6:19).
See Ephesians 2:19-21.

In the millennial temple there will be sacrifices offered again, but as a memorial to Christ Jesus as the Lamb of God. Not as the Tribulation temple offered sacrifices of the old Law system. (Zechariah 14:21).

The sanctuary is to be built on the site of ancient Shiloh, where the Tabernacle was set up by Joshua (Joshua 18:1). it reImagesed there till the death of Eli. See the sanctuary in Ezekiel 45:1-6; 48:21.

(Acknowledgement given to “The Revelation Record” by Henry M. Morris).

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