Perhaps the most visible confirmation of prophecy being fulfilled will be the rebuilding of the temple for the 3rd time, in Jerusalem, at the outset of the tribulation period. We have in another section explained how the prophecies of Daniel and Ezekiel make the rebuilding of the temple an event that initiates the 7-year period of tribulation. If you are a “pre-tribulation” believer, you believe the “body of believers” will not be here when Temple number three is rebuilt.
There is no need, in a book written primarily to the Jews, to amplify the pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation and post-tribulation arguments. Suffice it to say that intelligent people disagree on whether the Church, that group of believers filled with the Holy Spirit, will go through any portion of the 7 year period of tribulation described by Daniel.
I would say that if the “pre-tribulation” view is correct, the reader of this letter should realize that Christians, at least those who are, in the judgment of Jesus, true believers, will not be here. They will have been “caught up in the clouds.” If the rapture of believers occurs before the rebuilding of the Temple, and you find yourself still here, then you are going to have no choice but to go through the tribulation. You will endure both the joy of the Temple being restored and the tragedy of it being defiled and desecrated. You will, during these last 3½ years of tribulation, have your opportunity to declare your faith in God or to capitulate and worship the Antichrist.
The 3rd Temple will be built in Jerusalem, soon. Listen to this quotation by the leader of the Temple Mount Faithful movement. “My call to all the enemies of Israel is to obey the Word of G-d and to accept His end-time plans for Israel. The redemption of Israel leads to their own redemption. The march of the G-d and people of Israel to accomplish redemption is irreversible. The climax of this march, the rebuilding of the Temple on Mt. Moriah, will come very soon.”
Again, prophecy is very clear. The third Temple will be rebuilt. It will be destroyed 3½ years later by the Antichrist, the one who earlier struck the compromises it took to get it rebuilt. The 4th Temple will be built after the Battle of Armageddon. It will be the millennium Temple. It will endure for 1000 years. There will not be another Temple in New Jerusalem, heaven.
Listen to what Haggai says about the rebuilding of the 4th Temple. This must be a prophecy regarding the 4th Temple because Haggai says it will be a place of peace and it will come after the nations have been “shaken.” Notice then, after the shaking, they shall come to the Desire of All Nations. Those capital letters refer to our Lord. The Lord, after the purging of sinners, is the Desire of All Nations.
Haggai 2:6-9 (NKJ)
6 “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;
7 ‘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.
8 ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts.
9 ‘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.”
Scripture places Israel, at the end of the great tribulation, in a privileged position, a position to which all history seems to point. I can not, in this brief presentation, do any more than generalize about history, but bear with me and consider the possibilities.
It is common knowledge, at least in Jerusalem, that preparations for the rebuilding the 3rd Temple and the re-institution of sacrifice are being made. Listen to this quotation from a newsletter of the Temple Mount Faithful Movement:
“The Movement Will Continue with the Preparations for the Temple: Our center has received more items for the worship in the Third Temple — vessels, priestly garments, incense, the silver half-shekel, a model of the golden altar of incense and other items. Soon we shall have two silver trumpets that the priest will use in the Third Temple. We also have the twelve stones of the breastplate of the high priest. These preparations are continuing. ”
“Construction of the Seven-Branched Menorah: Our wonderful friends continue to donate gold and jewelry for this purpose. Each piece of donated gold brings its construction closer.”
These preparations are a necessary condition in order to apply Daniel’s subsequent prophecy to the current situation.
Daniel 12:7-13 (NKJ)
7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”
9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10 “Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
12 “Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.
13 “But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.”
Here Daniel is told that during the last period, many will be purified, made white and refined and that others will do wickedly. He is also told that daily sacrifice will be taken away. To be taken away, sacrifices would have had to commence. Doesn’t this astonish you? Can you envision animal sacrifices in the Temple? You will have to read most of this book for a better understanding of why God instituted the ritual of sacrifice in the beginning and how it all pointed to the “final sacrifice” of God’s only Son for the atonement of our personal sins. One can not enter into God’s presence, as a sinner. We know that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Animal sacrifices, as a means to redemption, were not sufficient in history nor will they be in the future.
Listen as God spoke through the Psalmist regarding sacrifice.
Psalm 50:8-23 (NKJ)
8 I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are continually before Me.
9 I will not take a bull from your house, nor goats out of your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness.
13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.
15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
16 But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to declare My statutes, or take My covenant in your mouth,
17 Seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you?
18 When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and have been a partaker with adulterers.
19 You give your mouth to evil, and your tongue frames deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son.
21 These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was altogether like you; but I will rebuke you, and set them in order before your eyes.
22 “Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver:
23 Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”
Psalm 51:1-19 (NKJ)
1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight– that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; you do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart– these, O God, You will not despise.
18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering; then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.
Sacrifices will resume, but properly understood, they need to be preceded by a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, then they shall be sacrifices of righteousness. You need to first be able to say, “Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”
But, if in your opinion the Messiah has not come, what do you intend to do to atone for your sin? God has spoken through the psalmist who says (You, Lord) do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; you do not delight in burnt offering? What does God delight in? Your salvation, your redemption, your cleansing and your declaration of faith, all available by His Grace, and because of His love for you, personally.
Again, corporate worship is good and desirable, but your salvation is a personal issue, not a corporate issue. You stand alone, before God. You can either choose to do so in “your righteousness” or in the Righteousness of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. You can not redeem yourself by acts of kindness or by sacrificing animals. Only the Messiah can present you blameless before the Father.
These sacrifices will cease 1,290 days (3½) after they start. Then the Antichrist will require the world to worship him.
Daniel 11:36-39 (NKJ)
36 “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.
37 “He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.
38 “But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things.
39 “Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.
The words you just read are very explicit. They define the character and mission of the one who will blaspheme God, honor a false god, oppress God’s people and prosper in the process. He will regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women and exalt himself above all. You should have no problem identifying this person.
These prophecies reach their fulfillment just before the beginning of the Kingdom Age, that 1000 year period referred to by John in Revelation 20:1-8. The Kingdom Age is the period of time right after the end of the great tribulation described in Daniel. If you believe that Daniel’s most precise prophecy is accurate, then you probably agree that the last half of the 7-year tribulation will end up being the worst time of persecution that the Jews have ever faced.
The Kingdom Age will be the fulfillment of a great many prophecies in which God finally redeems His chosen people. Let’s consider the events leading up to the period of great tribulation. I believe that “consensus” exists among those who study the Bible, regarding the following events:
There will be a scattering, then gathering of Israel. There will be a rapture of believers at some point in time. There will be declarations of peace and safety in Israel. There will be a new treaty that includes the resolution of the problem regarding the precise location of the foundation for the 3rd Temple. The Temple will be rebuilt for the 3rd time. The reinstitution of sacrifices in the new Temple will commence.
Still, the recognition of such events or times except as God visits your heart and confirms it with you personally, may not “register” with you. You will have to invest great time and energy in studying the Holy Scriptures themselves, in order to more fully understand all that God wants to reveal to you. This brief time “in the flesh” represents a test for you. If you fail this very short test, called life, your spirit will spend an eternity separated from God and all those souls He has redeemed or will yet redeem.
Yet, this brief time is the only time we have been allotted. Upon the fulcrum of this short test, your eternal existence rests. Thank God you need only “finish well.” Our lives have been and are imperfect, but even now God extends His Hand of redemption. The door is open but as it was with the Ark, the door did close. The Scriptures say, “redeem the time.” Seek rebirth now. Be a new creature in Christ in the days or hours that remain.
Do you want to know how much time that God spends thinking about you? Focus on this Psalm, particularly verse 5.
Psalm 40:1-13 (NKJ)
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.
2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.
3 He has put a new song in my mouth– praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened; burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.”
9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly; indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O LORD, You Yourself know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O LORD; let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart fails me.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; O LORD, make haste to help me!
God’s thoughts toward you are more than can be numbered. Let that sink in! Our Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent Father loves you constantly, seeks to commune with you and thinks about you in ways you can not comprehend. Listen to these words.
Psalm 139:17-18 (NKJ)
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.
Ezekiel, in chapters 40-46, tells of the vision God gave him, while in exile. Ezekiel’s vision was of the restored Kingdom, the precise dimensions of the Temple, rules regarding who would serve whom, the role of the prince (King David), the boundaries of the tribes, the Holy Festivals, rules regarding sacrificial offerings and the commencement of healing waters flowing east and west from the temple, with the eastward flow, “curing the waters of the Dead Sea.”
This vision, given the unfulfilled prophecies that lie within it, has to be of the Kingdom to be established after the battle of Armageddon. Listen.
Ezekiel 40:2-7 (NKJ)
2 In the visions of God He took me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain; on it toward the south was something like the structure of a city.
3 He took me there, and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze. He had a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand, and he stood in the gateway.
4 And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and fix your mind on everything I show you; for you were brought here so that I might show them to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see.”
5 Now there was a wall all around the outside of the temple. In the man’s hand was a measuring rod six cubits long, each being a cubit and a handbreadth; and he measured the width of the wall structure, one rod; and the height, one rod.
6 Then he went to the gateway which faced east; and he went up its stairs and measured the threshold of the gateway, which was one rod wide, and the other threshold was one rod wide.
7 Each gate chamber was one rod long and one rod wide; between the gate chambers was a space of five cubits; and the threshold of the gateway by the vestibule of the inside gate was one rod.
God told Ezekiel there “was,” and then went on to describe “what was,” in great detail, with precise measurements. This prophecy implies that the Temple will be provided, not built, or it at least does not say who would build it. It may be too much a reach for you, but consider this. This temple will not be built with human hands. Listen.
Zechariah 6:12 (NKJ)
12 “Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: “Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the temple of the LORD;
Mark 14:58 (NKJ)
58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’ “
Now we agree, I am sure, that the Temple is the dwelling place of God, but there is in a sense, a “fixed” Temple and a “mobile” Temple. Listen.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NKJ)
16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
Now, moving back to Ezekiel, his vision includes the “chambers for the singers.”
Ezekiel 40:44 (NKJ)
44 “Outside the inner gate were the chambers for the singers…”
We will make a small digression by pointing out that our God is a God of joy and celebration, One who has told us to expect joy to be a “condition” of our eternal existence. Listen to what Moses had to say about the absence of joy and gladness.
Deuteronomy 28:47-48 (NKJ)
47 “Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything,
48 “therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you.
Here we find Samuel and Zadok, the priest who anointed Solomon, witnessing a celebration that sounds extremely joyful.
1 Kings 1:39-40 (NKJ)
39 Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they blew the horn, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!”
40 And all the people went up after him; and the people played the flutes and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth seemed to split with their sound.
When David returned the ark, great joy overflowed.
1 Chronicles 13:7-8 (NKJ)
7 So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart.
8 Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.
As the Ark came to rest David added new instructions.
1 Chronicles 15:16 (NKJ)
16 Then David spoke to the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers accompanied by instruments of music, stringed instruments, harps, and cymbals, by raising the voice with resounding joy.
The second time the Temple was rebuilt, after the captivity in Babylon, Ezra tells of us how it effected the people.
Ezra 3:10-13 (NKJ)
10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel.
11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: “For He is good, for His mercy endures forever toward Israel.” Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy,
13 so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off.
When the 4th temple is rebuilt, as prophesied by Ezekiel, he tells you who the priests are. They are the Sons of Zadok, the same priest who anointed Solomon when the first Temple was built.
Ezekiel 40:45-46 (NKJ)
45 Then he said to me, “This chamber which faces south is for the priests who have charge of the temple.
46 “The chamber which faces north is for the priests who have charge of the altar; these are the sons of Zadok, from the sons of Levi, who come near the LORD to minister to Him.”
Doesn’t it amaze you how God’s plan comes together? Centuries and centuries change nothing. The scriptures say:
Psalm 90:4-6 (NKJ)
4 For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.
5 You carry them away like a flood; they are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up:
6 In the morning it flourishes and grows up; in the evening it is cut down and withers.
Even today we hear of water emerging from the area of the foundation of the original Temple. The reason it is significant is based on Ezekiel’s vision and prophecy, as well as Joel and Zechariah.
Joel 3:18 (NKJ)
18 And it will come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drip with new wine, the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; a fountain shall flow from the house of the LORD and water the Valley of Acacias.
Zechariah 14:8 (NKJ)
8 And in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; in both summer and winter it shall occur.
The waters will “heal” the sea (Dead Sea) and fish will return. The trees will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.
Ezekiel 47:1-12 (NKJ)
1 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.
2 He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.
3 And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles.
4 Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist.
5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed.
6 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.
7 When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other.
8 Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.
9 “And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.
10 “It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many.
11 “But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt.
12 “Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”
These prophecies will be fulfilled. Listen to God’s word. Read it as one thirsting. This verse must continually be before you. The Word is the Bread of Life.
Hebrews 4:12 (NKJ)
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.