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 Jesus 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 read a book entitled, "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. 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 (Here's a 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 Jesus 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're 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 Jesus' 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 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 and they've discovered so much more since the book was written). 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 begining 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. It's my humble opinion that God has placed this stumbling block before them because this is not where He wants the Third Temple built. I also believe that eventually the Jews will understand that the Third Temple needs to be constructed in the city of David.

The second thing standing in the way, 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, although they're currently in the process of trying to breed a red heifer without spot or blemish. 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.

HEADLINE UPDATE: Temple Institute Announces Birth Of Red Heifer

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 brokered 7-year peace agreement (the first half of the Tribulation), which will usher in the next 3.5 years of what is known in biblical prophecy 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'll be a story best told by those who are left behind and who live through that part of biblical history.

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!

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Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!

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. Of course, those technologies weren't around at that time, but if you read on, you'll see my reasoning as to why implanted chips aren't the way to go in this coming worldwide system.

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.

Just picture 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. Unbeknownst 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 if you would like to go to the in-store processing center and receive your mark." Of course, at this point, if you refuse, you will probably be turned over to the government goons who are approaching the register while this whole situation was transpiring.

Simple, right? This system requires no hand scan, no implanted microchip, no retina scan...  just one human visually inspecting your right hand and forehead for the visible mark. 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 making their purchase utilizing 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 be able to check you for your loyalty mark on the streets at a moment's notice just by looking at your face or asking to see your hand.

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 point of sale or for security forces on the street, would be an ultraviolet light. They're plentiful, inexpensive and portable. Just install them at each register and you're good to go. One world security forces could also use portable ultraviolet units light to illuminate your mark as well. It's an inexpensive system that can be set up worldwide, just as the visible tattoo mark, albeit, the visible mark doesn't require any additional equipment to see it, like the invisible ink tattoo would.

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!!!

If you like this article, or any of the other information on this web site, please consider following me. You'll be one of the first to be notified when I create new content! You'll find the section at the top of the right hand column on this page. It says, "Follow Tribulation Harvest by Email." After entering your email address, you may be prompted to sign in to your Google account. Thank you!!!

Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!