Haggai and the Tribulation Temple
The book of Haggai is the book about the building of the Second Jewish Temple. It has become very contemporary since the Jews have returned to the Holy Land. A study of the book of Haggai is a wise approach to any study of the tribulation Temple.
Expectations were High
It was June 7, 1967 when expectations rose that God had given Israel the open door to build the next Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount. Israeli soldiers liberated Old Jerusalem from Islamic Jordan. In the process the Wailing Wall, and the Temple Mount came under Israeli control.
Consider Your Ways
Thirty five years have passed. Almost one full generation, and the same expectation God had for the generation of Haggai is again being anticipated of this generation of Jews. The same exhortation about procrastination is as relevant today as when given by Haggai - "consider your ways!" I'm sure Israel will respond to the call, but the exhortation must come from God through a real prophet. There must be divine authority and revelation behind a kosher building, and kosher worship. The one thing I know is that the Judaism of today is apostate. The rabbis are all lost in sin, and have as much chance of doing something under God's authority as would the Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses. I do not see the next Jewish Temple being built by apostates. A dispensational change is needed before an acceptable Temple, and acceptable Temple worship can become reality.
The Jews of today repeat the words of those who were expected to build the Second Temple. "The time is not come," and it is true! The time is not come - yet! The Church of all the born again Christians must be taken out of the way. A theological impasse must be removed first. A dispensational change must take place before the Holy Spirit can move upon the hearts of Jews as Jews. They will not become Christians. They will become Biblical Jews. The book of Leviticus will become center to Biblical Judaism as the sacrificial blood of Christ will be presented to the world again as was the plan from the beginning. In the days of Haggai the Levitical sacrifices of the Second Temple looked forward to the coming Messiah. In the days of the Third Temple the book of Leviticus will look back in remembrance of the blood sacrifice of Christ.
The next Jewish Temple must be built by the midpoint of the seven year tribulation period. The antichrist will stop the kosher Levitical sacrifice of the Biblical Jews at that time. The Temple will be desecrated, and the Spiritual Jews will flee the Temple, and Jerusalem into the wilderness for the last part of the tribulation.
Temple Desecration, and Murder of Two Witnesses
It should be no surprise that the midpoint of the tribulation is also when the Two Witnesses of Revelation chapter 11 are killed by the antichrist. The two events of the desecration of the Temple, and murder of the Two Witnesses flow together. It seems clear that the Two Witnesses are linked to the Temple. Revelation Chapter 11 begins with the Temple having been constructed, and worship in operation. The altar for Levitical blood sacrifice is in place as the Two Witnesses are introduced by John. The purpose of the Two Witnesses must be the building of the tribulation Temple which John prophetically saw so clearly!
(Notice the Gentiles will tread under foot the Temple for 3 1/2 years [last half of the tribulation]. That can only mean the Temple, and Temple worship before the midpoint of the tribulation is considered by God as kosher. A secular Temple built by apostate Jews would never pass muster. The Bible does not say how long it will take for the Temple to be built, but it is quite clear that the building will have been completed, and proper worship will have been established before the midpoint of the tribulation. During the time of the Two Witnesses, and in their 3 1/2 years of ministry before the midpoint.)
Biblical Judaism and the Two Witnesses
It is just so obvious that the Two Witnesses are intricately linked to the Third Jewish Temple. It is also clear that the divine revelation needed to build a kosher Temple, and establish kosher worship would be available to these two prophets. There are none more qualified in the Bible to build the next Temple then these two special Witnesses who appear at the beginning of the next dispensational change. They will lead the Jews into a return to the Bible. Their ministry is centered in Jerusalem. They will have the power to thwart any attempts to stop them from building the Temple on the Temple Mount. They will not be corrupted by fame, and like John the Baptist they will be clothed in sackcloth. I can almost hear their message as the Temple walls rise. "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand!" What a visual they will be building to go with that message! A Kingdom that will have their Temple from where the Lord Jesus Christ will rule at His second coming.
Zerubbabel and Joshua - Two Olive Trees
Haggai exhorted a faithful builder, and a faithful priest to take up the challenge of the Second Temple. Zerubbabel was the contractor, and Joshua son of Joesdech was his High Priest. One to build a kosher Temple. The other to establish kosher worship. When the prophet Zechariah spoke of these same two kosher ministers, he called them two olive trees.
Two Witnesses - Two Olive Trees
It is no wonder that John referring to the two witnesses of Revelation calls them by the same unique title. There are only Zerubbabel and Joshua, and then the Two Witnesses who are called two olive trees in all the Bible. The link to building and establishing Temple worship is certain.
The Finished Testimony
The task that must be finished before the antichrist can kill them can only be the completion of the Third Jewish Temple. Their testimony would then be finished. Acceptable Levitical blood sacrifice on its altar as a remembrance will have begun. Were their testimony limited to just the gospel message as some seem to think, that is one testimony that can never be finished. The gospel message is eternal. All witnesses will never stop telling it even in scenes of glory to those who know it best. However, Temple construction can be finished. Kosher worship can be caused to cease.
Haggai tells us that Zerubbabel and Joshua had a remnant of the people to help them in their task. The Two Witnesses will also have a remnant of helpers. One hundred and forty four thousand to be exact. Everything related to Biblical Judaism will be centered in the blood! When the Church is gone, the Biblical Jews who will be the foundation of the next dispensation will be mandated by God to build the Temple. Secular Judaism will be forced to step aside as these Spiritual Jews who's hearts will turn to the coming Messiah make their mandate known. Only then will Temple construction begin. Only then will the word go out to all Israel to "consider your ways" in relation to the procrastination around the present Temple Mount.
The World Turned Upside-down by The LORD of Hosts
There was great opposition to the building of the Second Temple by Israel's neighbors. Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the remnant had their hands full, but they built the Second Temple. The same will be true for the Two Witnesses and the remnant when they announce God has given them a mandate to build a Third Temple on the Temple Mount. I fully expect the announcement will turn the Islamic world upside-down. I would expect apostate Christianity which is the only Christianity that will be left after the rapture to oppose the Jewish Temple with vigor. The UN and EU will see these Two Witnesses as threatening world peace with such a proposal. Without divine protection, and guidance the task would be impossible. The LORD of hosts who provided for the Jews of the Second Temple will again manifest His power for the builders of the Third Temple.
The Earth Shattering Event
A dispensational change will need an earth shattering event to cause the world to know God is bringing in the Kingdom age. That event is found in Ezekiel 38 & 39. The forever end of Islamic influence on world affairs will cause both secular Israel, and the heathen nations to know God has taken control of world events when bringing the Kingdom into fruition. A last Jihad invasion of Israel will be met by death for Islam in the mountains and fields of the Holy Land as God's wrath is manifested. There will be no doubt that God is at work establishing the place of the throne for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The purpose of Ezekiel 38 & 39 is no secret. The God of the Bible declares to all the world that: "I will be known!"
The Peace of the Antichrist
I'm sure the world will not lift a finger when the hordes of Islam invade from North, East, and South. It will not be until the heathen Islamic hordes are destroyed in the mountains and fields of Israel that the world will take note. The antichrist will be in control of a ten nation Western Confederacy which will probably include the USA. As leader of the Western World with all the control it presently has as the dominant world power, he will make a treaty with Israel. He will be wise enough to know not to challenge God at this time after what God will have done to Islam. The signing of that treaty will signify the beginning of the seven years of Biblical tribulation. The antichrist breaks the treaty in 3 1/2 years at the midpoint of the tribulation. This antichrist will seduce the world with the sweet talk of peace, but his peace will be false only leading to Armageddon.
The Chronology of Ezekiel
The tribulation Temple is Ezekiel's Temple. Ezekiel 37 is the repeated prophecy of the dry bones coming to life in this second return of the Jews to the Promised Land just as they did at the first return. Next in the chronology is the last Jihad of Ezekiel 38 & 39 that never occurred at the first return, but remains unfulfilled to this very day. The very next thing in the Ezekiel chronology is Ezekiel's Temple chapters 40 - 48 that has never been built. The chronology of Ezekiel demands the tribulation Temple is Ezekiel's Temple. The divine direction will be given the two olive trees of Revelation.
The Throne in Ezekiel's Temple
Ezekiel's Temple will be unique to all other Temples because this Temple will have a throne. A throne where the antichrist will sit usurping the kingship of the Lord Jesus Christ. His worldly reign will be a short 3 1/2 years. He will lead the world into the self-destruction of Armageddon. Only the return of Christ will save mankind from total annihilation. Christ will rule for a thousand years from Ezekiel's throne.
The Flow of Life
There will be one major improvement to Ezekiel's Temple when Christ returns. His feet will touch on the Mount of Olives and it will split in two. He will cross the Kidron, and enter the Temple. It is at this point I expect a flow will begin from under the altar on the South side. A flow for cleansing. First the cleansing of the blood from the altar, and then the mixture of blood and water flowing as a cleansing flood bringing life back to a polluted post tribulation world. The power in this blood will never be diluted. The flow will turn into a mighty flood. A great river of life will cleanse the earth as the Kingdom takes form.
A Fisherman's Paradise
It is a glorious beginning to the Kingdom dispensation. The river will be full of fish, and I expect to be sitting often on the shore with pole in hand. I know my dad will be there. Oh, what a joy that will be! The two of us fishing together again. I hope to see you also. There is only one way to enter this Kingdom. It is through Christ, and Christ alone. It is not by good works, but by grace paid for with the blood of sacrifice. It is offered freely to all who will come, but you must come. This mighty King is gentle and kind. He never refuses the lost sinner who casts self before Him in humble submission. We must come with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our might. No hypocrite can come before Him who can see the heart, but when we come fully submitted we find a sure hope in Christ. He is more then the King in the Temple, but He is the High Priest. The anchor of our soul who has interceded for us with His blood in order that we might have eternal life.
Hope to see you there?
Edited by DDSrail - April 20, 2002
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