Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Third Temple And Zion

Could the Third Temple be constructed in an area other than the Temple Mount?

Before I share my thoughts on this subject, let me first lay some groundwork. It's safe to say that most Jews have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah (Mashiach), and because of that, they believe that there are two different outcomes in biblical prophecy concerning His arrival. In one scenario, scripture describes Him humbly entering Jerusalem on a donkey. In the second scenario, scripture describes Him arriving triumphantly in the sky on a cloud. In order to bring some sort of sense to what seems to them to be conflicting scripture, many Jews see these as two separate but linked prophecies. They believe that their Messiah will arrive in one of these two ways, but they don't know exactly which prophecy will be fulfilled. Many Jews believe that these two prophecies hinge on the status of the Third Temple (Third Bet-Hamikdash) at the time of the Messiah's arrival.

The Jews also have the same issue with the scriptures that describe the Third Temple as they do with the scriptures describing the arrival of the Messiah. To the Jews, there seems to be a conflict in scripture, and the way to reconcile that is for the Jews to believe that God will choose which prophecy will be fulfilled. Many Jews believe that if they build the Third Temple, then the Messiah will return triumphantly. If they do not build it before the Messiah's return, then the Messiah will return as a meek and gentle ruler on a donkey and, as Messiah, will order the Jewish nation to build the Third Temple. The Jews are so conditioned to understanding God's interaction with them through the physical Temple, that they don't recognize that these scriptures relate to a more personal relationship. An actual physical presence of the Messiah outside the confines of a man made temple. That is one of the reasons they rejected Yeshua as their Messiah. They either didn't understand the scriptures or they were so entrenched in tradition that they ignored scripture in favor of their own traditions, which they made equal with scripture, and completely missed who Jesus was.

There was a recent article published entitled, "Holy Alter Constructed For The Third Jewish Temple." This article explains that the alter of burnt offerings has been completed and that everything is ready for the rebuilding of the Third Temple right here and right now. There are just two obstacles preventing this, one of which is the right to free and unencumbered access to the Temple Mount. This is where we take a turn and head down another path.

I've just finished reading a book "Temple" by Robert Cornuke. It deals with old and new discoveries about the placement of the First and Second temples. The author discusses his belief that the First and Second Temples weren't constructed on the Temple Mount, but in the lower part of Jerusalem known as the City of David. Yes, that idea made my mind swim with questions and possibilities that I had never entertained before.  The author quotes scripture that describe where the First Temple (Solomon's Temple) was to be placed (hint: It wasn't built in the area commonly known as the Temple Mount). The Second Temple was then built upon the site where the First Temple had been. The Second Temple (Herod's Temple) was the one that was standing when Yeshua was here on earth. The Romans, in 70 AD, destroyed the Second Temple, leaving no visible traces of it behind. What were Jesus' prophetic words when discussing the Second Temple? 

"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." Matthew 24:2

I've underlined those words because they are very important... not one stone would be left upon another... they would all be thrown down. Certainly Jesus didn't mean there wouldn't be any stones left stacked one upon another, did He? Maybe just a few? Maybe 50? 20? 7? 2? If we take Yeshua's word as truth, there would be none. NONE! If that is the case, how do you explain the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem? How can it be part of the Second Temple if Jesus himself stated that "There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down"? Either Jesus was a false Prophet, or the Western Wall isn't part of the Second Temple. That's when I began to understand that the Jews have been worshiping and preparing to build their Third Temple on the wrong plot of land!

How could they (and we) get it so wrong? Well, we need to remember that the Jews were absent from the land for hundreds of years (generations upon generations). The Romans had undertaken the destruction of the Second Temple and in doing so, utterly destroyed any visible trace of where it had been built. They had done such a thorough job of dismantling the Temple and using the raw materials for other building projects, that there was no trace above ground (hint) of where the Temples may have been located. Also add to that the ravages of time upon the land where wind, rain and overgrowth had stripped the land of any discernible signs of where the Temple had once stood, and we can understand why the Jews, upon their return to the land so many generations later, had difficulty pinpointing exactly where the Temples had once stood.  

After investigating the lay of the land, the Jews eventually arrived at a list of four possible areas where they believed the Temples may have been located. It was more of an educated guess and not based on scripture or physical evidence. Some time later, the words of one highly respected religious leader put the seal of approval on the Temple Mount. His word was so respected and his conviction so strong, that the Temple Mount officially became recognized as the place where the Temples had once stood, even though they had no proof to make that claim. It seemed the most "logical" choice at that time because they believed the large stone wall (the Western Wall or Wailing Wall) was so grand that it must have been part of the Second Temple. What they didn't (and still don't) realize was that the place they deemed holy was actually a place built by their oppressors. It is not part of the Second Temple. Not even close! When you find out what the "Wailing Wall" really is, your mind will be blown. I know mine was. Want to know what it is? Read the book...lol. If I told you what it was, then I'd have to spend a long time explaining what the book seems to do so well.

I'm also not going to venture into a deep explanation of all the other scripture references and archaeological discoveries that have been made to support the idea that the First and Second Temples were actually located in the city of David, a name which is synonymous with Jerusalem. That would take up too much time, making this article far too long, and it would rob Robert Cornuke of the opportunity of sharing his discoveries through the book he worked on so diligently.

I know that some of you may be asking, "But isn't Zion Jerusalem?" Jerusalem and the City of David are synonymous. David captured Jerusalem by capturing it's seat of power ("the castle of Zion" 1Chronicles 11:5), which came to be known as the city of David. The Jerusalem that we know of today didn't exist at that time.  The city of David (or Jerusalem) expanded in the 8th century BC under the rule of King Hezekiah, making it necessary to build a protective wall around the area which expanded to the hill west of the city. This is the area we now call the Old City. The "city of David" and "Jerusalem" were one in the same. Time passed and the population shifted. Unfortunately, by medieval times, the original area known as the city of David was left abandoned while "Jerusalem" remained. This may be how it erroneously became known as two distinct cities, but that is historically and biblically inaccurate. "Jerusalem" is the city of David. Where does the bible state that Zion is located? Look here...

"And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land.  5 And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither.  Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David." 1Chronicles 11:4-5

"And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither; thinking, David cannot come hither.  7 Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David."  2 Samuel 5:6-7

"Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared unto David his father in the place that David had prepared in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite." 2Chronicles 3:1

These scriptures can be confusing if you don't realize that the words "city of David" and "Jerusalem" are interchangeable.  They mean the same thing. So, where is Zion? Zion is within the original boundaries of the city of David. Zion is where the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite was. It was never within the boundaries of modern Jerusalem, it has always been and always will be within the original boundaries of the city of David. 

Because the location of Zion was lost to history, modern historians eventually started a new tradition that was going to become just as entrenched in the Jewish psyche as the Temple Mount would become. They moved Zion from the city of David, to the southern portion of the "Western Hill," which is called Zion to this day. They did this for no apparent scriptural or historical reason.

The Temple Mount has been burned into the minds and hearts of the Jewish nation as being the place where the Temples were built in the past. It is a religious tradition that is deeply ingrained, so much so that even the rest of the world has been convinced that it must be true. If the author of "Temple" is correct, as many Christians, scholars and archaeologists believe that he is, then the Third Temple should be built in the city of David, just below the heights of Jerusalem.

It seems impossible that the Jews would ever accept an alternate place to build the Third Temple, but then again we believe in biblical prophecy which states that the Third Temple will be built at the beginning of the 7-year Tribulation. With the tensions on the Temple Mount, how can this be accomplished? I don't believe that the Muslims will agree to allow the Jews to build on the Temple Mount (besides, it wouldn't technically fit there anyway). What I think will happen is that the Third Temple will be built where it belongs, in the city of David.  

Much needs to happen before the Jews would even consider such a thing. The Jews would have to be willing to let go of their long held belief that the Temple Mount was the site of the two previous Temples. They would have to be willing to look at the evidence unearthed by archaeologists in the city of David who have excavated much of the evidence needed to prove that the previous Temples were located on that very site (Again, you'll need to read the book to find out exactly what they've discovered). They would need to cede the fact that Zion is not where recent historical tradition says it is and would then need to re-designate the city of David as Zion in total agreement with scripture. I believe that once the Jewish people have grasped the truth and have come to terms with the error of their long held traditions concerning such matters, it will be only a matter of time before they abandon the Temple Mount in favor of the city of David and commence major work on excavating the site and begin actual construction of the Third Temple.  

It could happen at any time.  The Temple instruments, robes, high priest crown, menorah, trumpets, alters, etc... are ready to go once the Third Temple has been built. There are only two things standing in the way. 

The first is access to the Temple Mount. I believe that God has placed this stumbling block before them because this is not where He wants the Third Temple built. I believe that eventually the Jews will understand that the Third Temple needs to be constructed in the city of David.

The second is the the need for the ashes of a red heifer. The waters of purification need to be made from these ashes, and as far as I am aware, a red heifer has not been born that meets their strict requirements. We have seen in the past how archaeologists have discovered items pertaining to the Second Temple. I'm referring to the anointing oil (made from trees that no longer exist and an oil thought to be lost forever) and the blue dye used for the priest's robes. You can read about those amazing discoveries here. Could the ashes of the red heifer be hiding in a cave waiting for the Lord to direct someone there to discover them just as they discovered the anointing oil and the blue die? As the previous link proves, it can happen.

Zion, the city of David, the original place of the two previous Temples... who will bring this new revelation to the Jews in a way that will cause them to finally see the truth and change their minds? Could it be the one who is prophesied to enter the world stage at this critical time in earth history? Could it be the one who brokers a peace agreement with Israel and her neighbors? Could it be the one who born again believers know by the names "Antichrist" and "Beast?" It's possible. Satan knows where the previous temples were located. He could easily influence events and use the Antichrist to solve the most pressing problem in the Middle East today. Imagine being the "one" who brought peace to the Middle East by convincing the Jews to abandon their claim to the Temple Mount in favor of building the Third Temple in the city of David. The Muslims would have their Temple Mount and the Jews would have their Third Temple. Both would be indebted to such a man.

One thing is sure, God will allow the Jews to fulfill their desire to build the Temple. It must be there as end-time prophecy unfolds. It is the same Temple that the Antichrist will defile 3.5 years into the peace agreement, which will usher in another 3.5 years of what is known as the Great Tribulation.

That is a part of history that we will not be witnesses to when it happens. If you believe, as I do, in a pre-Tribulation Rapture, then we'll be gone before the building of the Temple even begins. That will be a story best told by those who are left behind and who live through such a time.

I know you have questions and you have your own personal ingrained beliefs that seem to be in direct conflict to what I am sharing. All I can ask is that you read the book. Get it from the library, borrow it from a friend or purchase a copy for yourself. Then pray and ask the Lord to open your mind and your heart to the possibility that the Temple Mount is not the area where the first two Temples were built. God bless!


Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!
TribulationHarvest.net

Thursday, March 05, 2015

An Eternity In Hell - It's Not As Much TIME As You Think

God is eternal, and with that, we understand that "time" is an anomaly. Time is something that God created in which the universe, including mortal man, would exist. Time is temporary and will be done away with at the end of the millennial reign of Yeshua.

When we think about eternity, whether it is in reference to spending eternity in heaven or in the lake of fire, our mind perceives eternity as a length of time. The concept of eternity is difficult for us to comprehend because we're creatures who have always existed in a universe where time exists... where there is a beginning and end to everything. "Forever" means a future which is never ending, but eternity encompasses more than just future time. There is no adequate explanation of what eternity is.  Many brilliant men have attempted to understand the vastness of what eternity encompasses, but they have come up short.

Have you ever wrestled with the thought of people spending eternity in hell where they will experience never-ending suffering without the possibility of reprieve? The concept of someone suffering not for a hundred years or a thousand years, not for a million years or a billion years, but suffering forever and without end makes us uncomfortable and can cause us to question how God could put someone through that much pain for so long a period of time. If it's difficult for born again believers to comprehend, it's no wonder that Atheists and agnostics don't understand this and use this as a defense in rejecting the existence of the Judeo-Christian God of the bible.

Ahhh, but there we go again trying to reconcile the concept of eternity with the only thing we know...time. We know that eternity has no beginning and no end. God has always been and always will be. He has no beginning and no end. No one created Him because He has always been. 

"Hast thou not known? has thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary..." Isa 40:28  
"But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations." Ps 102:12  
"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth or the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God." Ps 90:2

Surely eternity had a beginning, no? No, and because we can't possibly comprehend that, it's no wonder we are having difficulty grasping the concept of an eternal hell. Eternity is a state to which time has no application. In other words, in eternity, time just doesn't exist. Whether we're talking about eternity in heaven or eternity in hell, the concept of time has no meaning. To equate spending eternity in hell with spending all future "time" in hell would be erroneous. Our experience of a time based existence has distorted the meaning of the word eternity in reference to God. How many times have we said, or heard others say, "This is taking an eternity," when time seems to be moving as slow as molasses? Eternity, in our human minds, is referring to time. That is not what eternity means when we refer to God, who transcends time, but who exists both inside and outside of time.

When we're thinking about an eternity of suffering, we're talking about a level of existence that we have no experience with. How do we explain and come to terms with that?  What is eternity in hell? It's as difficult to explain as eternity in heaven.  If we can even partially comprehend one of these, then we should be able to apply that knowledge to the other. Eternity in heaven is existence without having a concept of time. You won't be thinking, "Gee, I wonder how long I've been here," because eternity doesn't operate that way.  You and I will be living in an eternal state without the limitations of time. The same is true of eternity in hell. The individual experiencing judgment will have no concept of time because it will no longer exist for them. They too will be in an eternal state. Their thoughts will not be consumed with how long they have been suffering because time will not pass for them just as time will not pass for those in heaven.

Living in eternity is living in a state of being that is not constrained by the concept of time. When we question the existence or concept of an eternal hell, we need to apply our limited understanding of what eternity actually means. It is an existence that just is and exists without the passing of time and that has no end.

Although we may be grateful knowing that time will not seem to pass for those who will exist for all eternity in the lake of fire, it doesn't lesson the grief we feel for those who will never believe, repent, and spend eternity in heaven. Only by God's grace have you and I been given the opportunity to receive such a wonderful gift... the forgiveness of our sins and the promise of our salvation.

Praise be to God who was, and is and is to come... the God who is the same yesterday, today and forever! 

I hope that this article is a blessing for those struggling with the concept of an eternal punishment. Although this article may not answer all of your questions, we may be confident in knowing that His ways are perfect and that once we have been released from this fleshly body and can see past the veil that covers our eyes, we will understand.  

The Lord laid this on my heart and I thought I'd share it. Please leave your questions and comments below. God Bless!


Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!
TribulationHarvest.net

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

What Is The Mark Of The Beast?

Most Christians and many non-Christians have heard about the "mark of the Beast," but what exactly is it and why is taking this mark detrimental to our spiritual welfare? Let's begin by answering the first half of this question.

What Is The Mark Of The Beast?
Many believe that this mark isn't a mark at all. Many believe that it is a technology based system that will be tied in to a database that will have access to an individual's financial information, medical information, employment information, firearm registrations, social media accounts, etc... and that a simple scan of an individual's eye, hand or implantable device will give the host access to the individual's personal information. Many individuals have their finger scanned in order to clock in and out of work every day. It's a cool piece of technology that actually scans the blood vessels beneath the skin, but some would prefer not to use this device since it is set up to scan a finger on an individual's right hand.

Then there are the implantable chips.  We've all seen the picture. This, too, is seen as something to be avoided, since it is recommended that it be implanted in the skin between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand (standard placement for uniformity purposes and for ease of use if you're going to use it to control personal devices like the lock to your front door).  

What does scripture say about the mark of the Beast? “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.”  (Rev. 13:16-18)

It appears, in my opinion, that since the mark can be either the "name of the Beast or the number of his name," it most likely is referring to an actual mark that is placed on the forehead or right hand of an individual who has decided to receive it of his/her own free will. Whether it's visible or not is the question, but from my understanding of scripture, it doesn't seem like it has anything to do with an implantable microchip or the scanning of the blood vessels beneath the skin of your right hand.

Sometimes we as Christians read too much into what God is trying to convey to us through scripture. Admit it, sometimes we make it more complicated than what it should be. Could we be complicating this issue by making the mark into something it's not? Let me give you an example as to how simple this "mark of the Beast" system could actually be.

In this scenario, the mark of the Beast has now become mandatory. No one can buy or sell without it. You were warned by Christians before the Rapture not to take the mark if it was ever offered to you because it would mean an automatic ticket to hell if you took it. As a new born again believer, you have quietly refused to receive the mark. The mark had been optional for a little while, so you've decided to just go about your day hoping no one would notice that you hadn't received yours. 

Since the Rapture and the judgments handed out by God during the first half of the Tribulation, many things have been difficult to come by. You go to the government-run store to try to stock up on some much needed items. You approach the checkout and place the items on the belt. You feel relieved that in a few minutes you'll be on your way home. Unknown to you, the mark has now become mandatory. You must show your mark before receiving any services. The clerk greets you and quickly glances at your forehead to see if you have the mandatory mark. Not seeing one, the clerk then says, "Excuse me, may I just see the back of your right hand so that I can begin scanning your items?" You hesitantly present your hand to the clerk, at which point the clerk can clearly see that you do not have the mark. "I'm sorry, the mark is now mandatory and it's against the law and store policy for me to scan your order if you don't have the mark. I can hold these items for you here at the register if you want to go down the street to the processing center and receive your mark." Of course, at this point you might be turned over to the government goons looking for people without the mark, but that's a subject for another article.

Simple, right? No hand scan, no implanted microchip, no retina scan...  just one human visually inspecting your right hand and forehead. Understand, for the worldwide system to work as flawlessly as possible, the system has to be as simple as possible. This human visual inspection works whether the individual is purchasing their item(s) using cash, credit, checks, bitcoins, precious metals, SDR's, or whatever the physical or electronic currency the world will be using during the Tribulation. Human visual inspection works here in the states and in every other country in the world. It bridges all nationalities and all languages. One world government security forces will also need to be able to check your mark on the streets at a moment's notice, so a visual scan can be done easily. 

NOTE: This marking system could also work with an invisible ink tattoo that is only visible under ultraviolet light. People get invisible tattoos all the time. The only piece of equipment that would be needed at the checkout would be ultraviolet lights, which are plentiful, inexpensive and portable. Just install them at each register and place them at an angle so that it shines on the customer, making their mark visible without ever having to take the time to use the device manually to scan them. One world security forces could also use a battery operated hand held ultraviolet light to illuminate this mark as well.

So when it comes to new technology, born again believers need to remain level headed and not allow these things to freak us out. It just makes us look bad. Remember, the "mark of the Beast" is the personal mark of the Antichrist and will be used by him to weed out the enemies of this new world system. I don't believe it has anything to do with the implanting of a microchip. It is a mark that has yet to be revealed and won't be revealed until the Antichrist is in control.

We need to use wisdom. We must be careful not to perpetuate the idea that technology involving the right hand is innately evil. That would be false. We do, however, need to be aware that although this new technology isn't the actual "mark of the Beast," it does add to the desensitizing of the public concerning the insertion into the body of the latest technology. It also encourages them to accept inclusion in the herd mentality.

What's So Bad About Receiving The Mark Of The Beast?
In order to save some time, let me direct you to another article I wrote about just that very thing. You can read that article by clicking HERE. Let me just briefly explain that those who do receive the "mark of the Beast" will suffer the wrath of God during the Tribulation while born again believers, although they do suffer, they will not experience many of the judgments that God will mete out during this time. Receiving the mark also automatically puts you on the losing side. At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus will return as King of Kings and Lord of lords... as the Lion of Judah, and all those who have opposed Him and have received the mark of loyalty to the Beast will be defeated.

Please take the time to leave a comment and to share this article with others who may be interested in it's content. God Bless!!!


Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!
TribulationHarvest.net