My 6/22/14 post explained the significance of the perfect red heifer that is being kept in a secure location. There are varying reports about whether it is in route to the Temple Institute in Jerusalem. Whatever the facts are at the moment, this provides a good opportunity to help educate my readers, and that is my primary goal.
I filled in some historical blank spaces with facts that we need to pull together and get a grip on if we are going to be able to comprehend what is coming, as described in ancient Bible prophecy. Let me restate …
- The descendants of Jacob (also called ISRAEL) first worshiped the Lord their God in a specifically designed tent called THE TABERNACLE or Tent of Meeting.
- Generations later, a building was erected according to specifications given to King David and his son Solomon called THE TEMPLE. It’s location: the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
- The FIRST TEMPLE was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. and the southern kingdom of Judah (the “Jews”) was taken into captivity for 70 years. (Dubbed “the Lost Tribes of Israel” the northern kingdom of Israel was taken captive earlier by Assyria and dispersed throughout the known world.)
- After the 70 years was completed a majority of the exiled Jews returned to Jerusalem and built THE SECOND TEMPLE on the foundation of the destroyed first temple.
- THE SECOND TEMPLE was destroyed in 70 A.D. (as foretold by Jesus) and the Diaspora began when a majority of the Jews who had lived in Jerusalem were persecuted and dispersed into other countries. But God promised that they would one day return to the Promised Land.
- 1948 Israel was once again declared a nation! But the THIRD TEMPLE has not yet been built.
So how can we know that the third temple WILL BE BUILT eventually? Because prophecy given through Daniel and Jesus tells us it will….
DANIEL 9:27 foretells, “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!
“Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.” (Matthew 24:9-25, NIV 2011)
Many Bible scholars believe that the “covenant with many” spoken of through Daniel will be a peace treaty of some kind. The term “one ‘seven'” refers to a period of seven years. “In the middle of the ‘seven’ — around the 3 1/2 year point, “he will set up an abomination that causes desolation” at the temple (some translations say “on a wing of the temple”), and when that happens, Jesus said “there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again.”
Scholars, pastors and Christians who believe in the Pretribulation Rapture Theory say that we can expect to be taken up (as described in Matthew 24:39-41, Luke 17:34-35, and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) at any moment. THAT’S NOT WHAT JESUS SAID!
Jesus said this:
“IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE DISTRESS OF THOSE DAYS
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
“THEN WILL APPEAR THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN IN HEAVEN. And THEN all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24:29-31, NIV)
Christians who think that Scripture promises escape from “great distress” when that time comes, may find that they are ill-prepared to meet the challenges of that event.
Jesus promised that we can find peace IN HIM: “I have told you these things, so that IN ME you may have peace. In this world YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)