REBUILDING THE TEMPLE
WHAT ASTOUNDING CLUE, REVEALED IN REVELATION 11:2, DEALING WITH A PRECISE, ALLOTTED 42 MONTHS PERIOD, INDICATES WHEN ISRAEL’S 3RD TEMPLE SHOULD BE ERECTED? FURTHERMORE, WHAT DID GOD REVEAL THROUGH ZECHARIAH & HAGGAI, HIS TWO (2ND) TEMPLE RESTORATION PROPHETS IN 512 B.C. CONCERNING A LATTER HOUSE AS WELL AS TWO MIGHTY PROPHETS BEING ON THE SCENE WHEN ISRAEL REBUILDS HER TEMPLE? WHY WERE THESE TWO PROPHETS SINGLED OUT TO REVEAL SUCH AN ASTOUNDING PROPHECY CONCERNING A 3RD HOUSE?
PART 1 - THE PALACE OF DEITY
Each day Gentiles the world over, visit the old Solomon temple grounds in Jerusalem located in the very center of the earth and spread over the sacred historical Mt. Moriah, famed for its role in the day of Abraham where the patriarch was ready to sacrifice his only son to the glory of Almighty God. Genesis 22:2, and where, according to II Chronicles 3:1, the first temple stood, completed in the year 960 B.C. by King Solomon.
WHAT IS A TEMPLE?
First, what is a temple? It is a building set apart for the worship of a deity. With the rebuilding of the temple as shown in Revelation 11:1-2, sometime shortly before the ushering in of the millennium, Israel will have seen three separate temples built at Jerusalem, each bearing the name of the temple as well as all three being built upon the same site, along the same general pattern! The Hebrew term for temple, hekal, is an old Akkadian word signifying palace, a large building frequently joined with Jehovah and denoting THE PALACE OF DEITY! The Greek term for temple is naos (shrine) and hieron (a sacred place).
MOUNTAIN PEAK IS SACRED ROCK
Today all that appears visible standing above ground on the holy spot of Jerusalem which has any connection with the original Solomon temple, destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 B.C., is the sacred rock altar used in Israel’s animal sacrifice which actually is not simply a rock sitting on top of the ground some 5½ ft. high, but instead is the top of a mountain peak, showing this stationary rock can never be moved! Even though two Jewish temples have been destroyed on this 31 acre site, spread out over Mt. Moriah, nevertheless for over 2,550 years this unmoveable rock has remained as it is throughout some 23 separate times Jerusalem has changed Gentile hands, from the beginning of the day of the Gentiles in 587 B.C., when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, carrying away the last of the people into captivity and Jerusalem lay in total ruin and waste 70 years.
7TH CENTURY DOME OF THE ROCK
Today, high above this protruding mountain peak or sacred rock looms the dome of the Mosque of Omar, better known as THE DOME OF THE ROCK. When Arabs captured the city of Jerusalem and Palestine, the Arab or Moslem leader Calip Omar first built a temporary house of Moslem worship in the temple area. Then in 691 A.D., some 50 years later, the present Dome of the Rock was built on the site of the old Solomon temple grounds and has stood since that day bearing the name of Omar, although during this period of time it has undergone many changes.
WESTERN WALL DATES BACK TO 2ND TEMPLE
In passing, we might also mention something else connected with the old temple grounds which is the Western Wall surrounding the court area and the rock (or mountain peak), this wall better known as the Wailing Wall today is Israel’s holiest shrine, and to the Jewish world as well. The wall itself is a section of the defense rampart (or court wall) which encircles the temple court in ancient times. The rows of large stones date from the 2nd temple. However, over the course of centuries, debris of successive wars and destruction was thrown here, thus resulting in a great part (or 21 layers) of the wall through time, being covered with soil, in so much that the large portion of the wall itself (21 layers) is hidden beneath ground level. The lower part of the Western or Wailing Wall actually dates back to the time of Solomon’s temple.
Capturing the old city of Jerusalem in 1967 brought the control of all Jerusalem into Israeli hands for the first time in 2,554 years! The meeting at the Wailing Wall June 7, 1967, by various Israeli forces who participated in the capture of the Old City was the climax of the 6 day war. Immediately following the 6 day war the large square in front of the wall was cleared of shabby shacks and poor houses cluttering the area. Today the wall is the most hallowed site of all Judaism. Official mass ceremonies are held here, as well as young recruits for the Israeli army take their oath here. Pilgrimages to the Wailing Wall or Western Wall are made, seeing this is all they have to remind them of the old temple and has been a featured sight in Jewish life for many generations. The Jews believe the divine presence of God rests eternally upon this Wailing Wall and on the eve of Tisha be-Av, legend declares that in the dead of night a white dove, the divine presence, appears and coos sadly with the mourners. At night the stones are covered with drops of dew, which tradition declares to be the tears the Wailing Wall sheds while weeping with all Israel.
For a number of years archeological expeditions have been carried out along the southern wall of the temple site. Many remains of the Herodian period are being uncovered, as well as the reins of a Moslem structure (dating back to the 7th and 8th Century.) A large stone engraved with a Hebrew inscription carrying the words of Isaiah’s prophecy, “And when ye see this your heart shall rejoice and your bones shall flourish like young grass.” (Isaiah 66:14)
DAILY ALTAR SACRIFICE CEASES 70 A.D.
Titus surrounded Jerusalem in April of 70 A.D., and a month later captured half the city, where at this time the daily sacrifice ceased upon the holy sacred rock altar and has not been in use by an Israeli priest since that hour. In August of 70 A.D., the second temple went up in flames and after 143 days of siege, on September 4, the Holy City fell with the perishing of some 1,000,000. However, with all that perished the one thing that did not perish in the siege or could not be torn down was that Wailing (Western) Wall, but was left to stand. After the Roman siege, the old, bedraggled, the sick and crippled, which had been left to mourn the plight of the city, those who were in no condition to be chained and hauled away and sold throughout the Roman Empire, were the poor souls left to throw themselves against the only visible thing that could remind them of the glory of God and the magnificent temple and there wail, mourn and cry excessively over the ruins of the city and over the holy temple, their pride and joy. No doubt asking themselves certain heart searching questions, WHY HAS OUR GOD LEFT US? LOOK WHAT HE HAS DONE TO US! WHY HAS HE ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN TO OUR MAGNIFICENT TEMPLE? And no doubt they mourn the loss of the most beautiful building throughout the Roman Empire, the holy temple. This beautiful, magnificent, enlarged, elevated temple which had only finished receiving its complete face lifting in 64 A.D., six years before Titus destroyed it, was first built by the exiled Jews returning from Babylon as a simple, plain, modest structure and remained so for 500 years before Herod the Great began work on it. (19 B.C.)
CYRUS ORDERS 2ND TEMPLE BUILT
Cyrus the Great, who gained control of Babylon in 539 B.C., gave a proclamation permitting the captured people of Judah who had been deported by Nebuchadnezzar to return to Palestine and rebuild the temple of God, II Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-4. Only this temple that was rebuilt was by no means an extravagant, luxurious, decorated temple as was Solomon’s, who spent 7 years in building and decorating the first temple. No, these returning Jews simply did not have that kind of money or assistance to build such a fabulous temple, seeing the only money they had was donated from the treasury of Cyrus the Great. The returning Jews were given vessels of silver and gold as well as animals and precious things (Ezra 1:6). Cyrus even returned to them the holy vessels taken from the Solomon temple by Nebuchadnezzar 70 years earlier, (Ezra 1:7-8). However, the Jews could only afford to build a plain, modest temple which stood for some 500 years unto the time of Herod the Great, who won the favor of the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus in 37 B.C., and was awarded the crown of Judea to serve as king over that territory.
HEROD REMODELS 2ND TEMPLE
Herod sought desperately to win the confidence of his people by giving royal charity in the time of famine and other means, but all in vain! The people of Judea deplored him, seeing he only used the throne of David as an usurper. The main reason Herod was disliked as King was the fact the Herodians were not of Jewish stock, instead descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob. Their second reason for disliking Herod was he turned to the Romans for support and seemingly he could not understand nor get along with his subject people.
However, there was one good point in Herod’s favor which finally won the approval of the Jew and that was his extravagant taste in architecture. This article is not concerned with Herod’s rebuilding such cities as Samaria nor his own magnificent Herodian palace, but the fact Herod in 19 B.C., began an extensive long range project on the modest temple which actually was not totally completed until six brief years before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Yes, the thing Herod did was take the plain, modest temple which had been erected by the returning Jews from Babylon, some 500 years earlier, and enlarge, elevate and beautify it beyond words.
Since we are discussing what the Jews are wailing over since 70 A.D., and because continually throughout the gospel writings we hear much concerning the extravagant beauty of the Herodian temple which John 2:20 described as having already required 46 years in the building program, yet wasn’t completely finished until 64 A.D., briefly before the destruction by the Romans. Although the main part of the temple, beginning in 19 B.C., only required 18 months to complete, yet the final touches were still being added even in the days of Christ and was not totally completed until 64 A.D.
In order not to offend the sensitive feelings of the Jews and to win their favor, Herod, who wanted to repair, rebuild and glorify the present modest temple, chose 1,000 priests, many of whom were trained to be stone cutters and carpenters, to enlarge and beautify the temple whereby no profane hands would have touched the shrine of the inside of the temple. Herod, with a solemn promise not to disturb their present worship in any manner, began his extravagant building program on the temple. Although it occupied the same ground plan as that of its predecessor, Herod did increase its elevation by 100 cubits and Josephus tells us it was constructed of glistening white marble stone.
HEROD’S REMODELING, NOT ANOTHER TEMPLE
No, by no means can Herod’s temple be looked upon as a third temple, because according to Herod’s own words his plans called only for beautifying and enlarging the present temple. The temple and its courts repaired and redecorated by Herod, this vain extravagant man, Josephus said, occupied an area of one stadium of 500 cubits (Talmud) which was arranged in terrace form, one court being higher than the other with the temple itself the highest of all, whereby it could easily be seen from any part of the city thus presenting a very impressive appearance, Mark 13:2-3.
TEMPLE PLACED ON HIGHEST TERRACE
We can by no means linger long upon the extravagant building program of Herod who sought to win favor with the Jews as he beautifies their 2nd temple other than to say, the temple itself after his elevation program was finished, stood much higher than even the court of the priests and the altar required a flight of 12 steps to reach the temple itself! According to Josephus, the Jewish historian, the new foundations were of massive blocks of white marble, richly ornamented with gold both inside and out. Some of these stones were 45 cubits long, 6 broad and 5 high. Yes, truly Herod, this vain man, a builder of many cities and heathen temples, glorified this sacred mountain peak of Moriah beyond measure! The ancient men of Israel said, he who has not seen the building of Herod has never seen a handsome building in his life. Is there any wonder that on several occasions the disciples of Christ approached Him discussing the beauty of the temple, only to hear Jesus say in Matthew 24:2, “Verily I say unto you, the time will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another.” (Speaking of the hour Titus in 70 A.D., would destroy this magnificent structure).
The grandeur of the building consisting of gleaming white marble was on the eastern side covered with plates of gold which reflected the rays of the rising sun. This area, twice as large as that of Zerubbabel’s temple, was 26 acres in size and surrounded by a high wall. Around the outside of the walls ran porches, the finest one being on the south side called the Royal Porch, which had four rows of dazzling white marble columns of Corinthian style, or 162 columns in all. The eastern porch was called Solomon’s, John 10:23, Acts 3:11, 5:12. One thing must be mentioned which was added to Herod’s temple, not applicable to the other temple was the various fortresses located upon the walls to protect the magnificent temple area from the enemy. Around the temple itself was the court of the priest where stood the rock altar of burnt offerings (which stood in front of the temple) and the laver which was accessible to men worshipers only. Above the entrance of one of the porches, Herod placed a golden eagle, an unclean bird which was the Roman emblem and was most distasteful to the Jew. However, shortly before his death it was destroyed.
Beloved, had Herod not taken it upon himself to remodel and beautify Zerubbabel’s temple, this plain, modest temple building would have been standing in the day of Christ, and the Jews would not have bragged and been filled with such pride concerning its beauty. Memories of its towering, glistening beauty tortured and plagued that Jew’s pride as they mourned the loss of such a magnificent temple, now laying in utter ruin! Yes, Jews left behind after 70 A.D., came to the Western Wall or Wailing Wall (the only thing left standing on the location) to mourn their loss of both temple and city! Undoubtedly Herod’s temple, as it was now called, was the most extravagant building in wealth of the entire Middle East and Europe as well seeing Athens nor Rome, two contemporary cities of that period, had nothing to offer in comparison to this second temple once it was redecorated, elevated and beautified through Herod’s architectural genius. More than once Christ’s own disciples showed their spellboundness toward its magnificent beauty and wealth only to hear the Master’s words ringing back, every stone upon another shall be torn down!
WALL BLOCKS VIEW - NOT PART OF TEMPLE
In the light concerning the prophecy of Christ (Matthew 24:2) prophesying of every stone being torn down within the temple itself, Gentiles whose frame of thinking has been geared to understand that the Wailing Wall or Western Wall is a part of the temple itself (which is not true), wonder why the Wailing Wall stands since Christ prophesied that no stone would be standing? It must be understood that the Western Wall is by no means a part of the old temple building itself, instead is only a portion of the old court wall which surrounded the temple area to keep out heathen Gentiles from observing the Jews worshiping their God around their altar of sacrifice. The temple, as you recall, was only the building divided into two rooms, while the court walls were something entirely separate from the building proper enclosing the vast 31 acre court area where the temple stood. The wall served much the same purpose as would a palace fence built around a kings palace enclosing all the palace environment such as servant quarters, etc.
ALTAR STANDS IN FRONT
Directly in front of the temple stood the altar of sacrifice which was the first thing seen as one entered the Eastern or King’s Gate. In Solomon’s day this King’s Gate, Eastern Gate or gate called Beautiful which now for hundreds of years had been sealed by the Moslem’s, led out of the temple area down the gradual sloping valley of Jehosophat (sometimes called Valley of Kidron) which faces the Mt. Of Olives, a distance of approximately ¾ mile. The road leading from the little village of Bethany which lays several miles off the Eastern slope of the Mt. Of Olives ran through Bethany, over the Mt. Of Olives down the sloping valley of Jehosophat, ascended up the gradual slope of Jehosophat straight through the Eastern Gate on to the temple grounds itself.
ARCHED BRIDGE SPANS VALLEY
However, because of numerous ancient architectural drawings concerning the period of Solomon, it is believed he erected a huge arch bridge from the King’s Gate which crossed above the Valley of Jehosophat bringing the flow of traffic directly from the Mt. Of Olives straight on to the arched bridge, through the Eastern Gate on to the temple area. While crossing the bridge, the traffic looked directly through the Eastern Gate to the temple grounds and the first thing the visitors eyes fell upon was that great rock altar, of animal sacrifice, standing in front of the temple.
HISTORY OF MT. MORIAH
Therefore, we recognize the fact that this altar of sacrifice is the top of Mt. Moriah (which the Jews refer also to as the stone of foundation) and the fact in Solomon’s day the temple grounds, along with the temple, the Eastern Gate and altar were all on eye level as one entered the Eastern Gate. What a tremendous amount of work must have been involved in bringing all this ground on to an eye level with the Kings Gate! The altar of sacrifice, which not only the Jew believed to be the center of the earth as well as the very spot Abraham offered Isaac, but also according to them the word Moriah, which is derived from Mora (Hebrew) means awe, and from that mountain, they feel, went forth the fear of the Lord to all mankind. Another Jewish word in connection with Moriah may be derived from Orah, meaning light, Therefore, when the Almighty commanded, let there be light, the Jews believe it was from that mountain light first shown forth to all mankind. To the Jew Mt. Moriah has quite a history!
MELCHISEDEC, HIGH PRIEST AND KING OF SALEM
Jerusalem, the city where the holy temple or palace of God was to be located, came first into the Bible spotlight around 1900 B.C., when Abraham, having returned from a victorious battle with much spoil, met Melchisedec, King of Salem, who brought forth bread and wine and was the priest of the most high God, to whom Abraham gave his tithe and he blessed Abraham. Genesis 14:17-20, Hebrews 7:1-4, sheds more light on the picture concerning this high priest of Salem named Melchisedec calling him king of righteousness, King of Salem and king of peace who had neither father nor mother, without descent (Melchisedec was none other than God in a theophany form who received Abraham’s tithe and gave him communion.)
HOLY CITY JERUSALEM
The city of Jerusalem, which is located high up in a mountain chain called Mt. Zion, is some 2,700 feet above sea level. After a fortress to the Jebusites fell into the hands of David who captured the mountain area around 1101 B.C. He made this area to be his capitol of Israel calling it Zion and the city was held exclusively by David and his successors for 400 years, at which time the period known as “the day of the gentiles” began once Nebuchadnezzar, in 587 B.C., became the first gentile king, overran the holy city thus destroying both city and (Solomon’s) temple and hauling away the people captive for 70 years.
Mt. Moriah, which lays in this chain of mountain called Mt. Zion, standing some 2,700 feet above sea level being in the center of the earth, was the ideal spot for Solomon to place the holy temple. II Chronicles 3:1, then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in Mt. Moriah where the Lord appeared unto David his father. (Genesis 22:2) Around the middle of the 18th Century B.C., Abraham is instructed to take his son Isaac into the land of Moriah, upon a mountain of which he would later be shown and sacrifice his son, Joshua, around 1300 B.C., when entering the Promised Land, did not take Jerusalem, however in 1010 B.C., David captured the stronghold of the Jebusites making Jerusalem the capitol. From that time on Jerusalem is in the historical spotlight and plays the most important role being the city where God locates His most holy temple which Solomon builds in 950 B.C.
What a spectacular sight this must have been from the valley below where villages were located, stretching all the way down to the Dead Sea roughly 40 miles away to the lowest point in all the earth, 1300 ft. below sea level, when at night this magnificent holy temple area was well lighted. Naturally, from the highest level of the city Jerusalem on top of Mt. Moriah, the brilliant light reflected on the skyline which could be seen for many, many miles away as the people in towns and villages below the holy city level looked up and saw the lights of the holy city of Jerusalem.
Beneath all this mountainous area where Jerusalem sets are vast networks of mined out tunnels which were brought about when Solomon mined great quantities of granite rock out of the mountains, using it to erect his magnificent temple. Removing this rock left networks of tunnels below the old city and throughout her hundreds of years before the Babylonian captivity and total destruction of the city, these tunnels served Jerusalem to house livestock, garrisons of troops and especially in Solomon’s day, housed his armored chariots and over 1,000 horses. Naturally, the entrance of all tunnels was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 B.C.
PLAIN, SIMPLE TEMPLE
70 years passed from 587 B.C., until finally Cyrus the Great, the Persian leader, released the Jews whereupon some 50,000 (Ezra 2:64) returned to rebuild the temple inspired by the prophecies of Zechariah as well as Haggai, two prophets who had been sent back to encourage and strengthen the Jew during their 20 year period of rebuilding the temple. However, due to many hindrances of the enemy (Ezra 4:13, 4:21, 4:6-7) it was not until some 20 years later, around 536 B.C., before the second house of God was actually completed, and although not very much is actually known from scripture concerning the building of this simple, plain temple other than the fact that according to Ezra 4:1, the adversary halted the work of rebuilding the temple for many years by sending a letter to the King of Persia, it was only through the encouragement and prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah that the people finally arose and rebuilt the temple in the year 516 B.C. (Ezra 5:1, 6:15)
PROPHECIES REVEALING LATTER HOUSE
It was during the process of rebuilding the temple (built on a much simpler scale than the original) that these two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, through their prophecies and visions reveals an astounding thing! THIS TEMPLE WILL BE DESTROYED AND SOMETIME LATER ANOTHER WILL RISE UP IN ITS PLACE! Yes, these prophets positively show a third temple will be erected at a later date. Later in this article we will discuss more thoroughly those precious eye opening prophecies and visions which bring forth two mighty revelations concerning the future plans of God for a new temple to be erected once again, sometime after Israel has again been driven out of her homeland (70 A.D.) And later returned (1948) once again becoming a nation of people!
TEMPLE ON EXACT FOUNDATION, THOUGH NOT WALLS
It should be added that although after 16 years of hindrances this 2nd temple was finally erected and furthermore on the exact foundation as that of the Solomon temple, although the temple court walls which surrounded the temple were not built upon their exact original foundation as before in Solomon’s day! Nevertheless, they did build walls and they were set back as close to the new temple and sacrificial rock as the people were to determine from certain traces of the old original court walls as to where they should go. Historically, today it is only the lower layers of the Western or Wailing Wall which extend back into this period, however, it is not built on the original first foundation site of the court wall itself. Isn’t it interesting further to note that according to Revelation 11:1-2, in the rebuilding of the 3rd temple, which John is instructed to measure, he was told to leave out the measurement of the court walls altogether!
WALLS ENCLOSE TEMPLE AREA
Beloved, Israel has never been without walls around her temple and worship area. No, not even in the days when she followed the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. There was always walls around her worship area, yet here John in Revelation 11 is instructed not to measure any court walls. WHY? Because beloved, this 3rd temple would go up in such an hour that it would run so close to the time the anti-christ would take over for his last 3½ years before the millennium, and even though there would be time to erect a temple, though maybe not in its completeness before the anti-christ took over, there simply wouldn’t be enough time to transpire to build the court walls which normally keep Gentiles out from observing Israel’s worship as she stands around her altar of sacrifice. Once Israel gains her holy spot and receives the sacrificial rock and begins sacrificing to God and is in the process of erecting her temple, before those court walls could go up something dreadful will happen in Jerusalem leaving her with only 3½ years before the millennium (Daniel 9:27, 12:11, Matthew 24:15-22). No, there simply won’t be enough time to bother erecting these walls because it won’t keep the Gentiles out anyway seeing they will tread down the holy temple area as well as the holy city for a space of 42 months or 3½ years.
WALLS KEEP GENTILES OUT
Recall, the court walls only prevent the Gentiles from viewing Israel in her worship service around the altar in the priest’s court. Something is going to happen allowing the Gentiles to tread down this sacred area as well as the holy city itself for 3½ years. Please note, it is in this special 3½ years where lies the clue as to the period when this 3rd temple will be erected! Surely there is no one who thinks that in the first 3½ years of the millennium, Gentiles will be allowed to tread down the holy temple area, while it is true Gentiles will continually be coming to Jerusalem according to prophecy (Zechariah 14:16-20) to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts; but there is not a verse in the Bible to indicate any Gentile, during the millennium, will ever be treading down the holy temple ground as well as the holy city for 3½ years! Therefore, sometime before the millennium begins something is going to happen in Israel that shall bring into focus the prophetical setting of Revelation 11:2.
PART 2 - REVELATION 11:2 PROVIDES CLUE
WHEN & WHERE TEMPLE IS BUILT
Having briefly observed the historical setting of Solomon’s as well as Zerubbabel’s temple (the 2nd temple), which was redecorated extensively by Herod some 500 years later only to be destroyed in 70 A.D., we are now ready to approach the following question from the scripture: WILL THERE BE A 3RD TEMPLE ERECTED? IF SO, WHEN AND WHERE WILL IT BE ERECTED? For all three answers we turn to Revelation 11:1, as we hear the angel instruct John, who is in the Spirit, to take a reed (like unto a rod) and measure three things: (1) the temple of God (2) the altar (3) them that worship therein, (or round the altar). As already stated, the only place Jews could ever worship God, seeing they are never permitted to enter into the temple for worship as that temple was designated strictly for the office work of the priest only, was always standing around the altar of sacrifice within the court area.
WHAT KIND OF TEMPLE IS MEASURED?
The year is 96 A.D., and the aged Apostle John is fully aware Israel’s temple no longer exists in Jerusalem, but has laid in ruins for some 26 years and furthermore since 70 A.D. Israel has not even had a daily animal sacrifice offered on her rock altar. Titus destroyed Jerusalem along with her (2nd) beautiful temple, however, here in Revelation 11 in 96 A.D., John is being instructed to measure not a new city, seeing the hour he has been projected into Jerusalem has already been rebuilt, but he is instructed to measure a new temple. What kind of temple do you suppose John is going to measure? Will the temple be the church as some think the temple of God is referred to in Revelation 11:1? If the temple of God is the believer which he is to measure, how would anyone ever measure the altar if it too is spiritual, seeing the only altar the Christian has ever had is where the Lamb of God was slain and offered once and for all, (Hebrews 10:10-12) several hundred yards outside the Damascus gate at Jerusalem on a hill called Calvary. Why go and measure that altar, it will never again be used!
GRACE AGE TEMPLE BUILT FROM LIVELY STONES
True, I do not deny that during the grace age the temple of God is the believer in Christ as clearly shown in I Corinthians 6:19, II Corinthians 6:16, nor do I deny that during this marvelous grace age we have a covenant with God, and not only is the believer the temple of the Holy Ghost, but furthermore, Hebrews 12:22-23 teaches us we have even come (in this grace age) to our Mt. Zion, unto our spiritual city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn. All this is true for the Gentile grace age, but Revelation 11:1-2 is not dealing with the grace age, it is dealing with Israel at the end of the age!
Scripture such as John 2:19 seems to mislead certain Gentiles where Christ, having been asked for a sign showing what authority he had driven money changers from the temple, simply answered the Jews by saying, destroy this temple and in three days I WILL RAISE IT UP! This spake He not of the natural temple, but of the temple of his body! This answer seems to imply to certain Gentiles that Christ would no longer be concerned with Israel ever having another natural temple. II Corinthians 6:16 teaches, Ye are the temple of God, you His bride people, during that grace age. Yet none of that annuls the fact after the church is gone that Israel will again have a natural temple! These and other scriptures are the ones that topologist play upon to do away with the fact that Israel’s temple is no longer important and that as far as God is concerned from this day on the only temple He is concerned about is the body of believers which is the only temple He will ever dwell in. That only holds true for the Gentile grace age period while God is gathering out a people for His name (Acts 15:14) however, read the next three verses which pertains strictly to Israel once He has gathered out His Gentile Bride! Although notice something, when God deals with Israel and when Israel is within her own land she has always had a temple as well as an altar of animal sacrifice, but the Gentile age has never had a natural altar nor a natural temple, but Israel has! Israel will again have her temple not after the millennium begins, but at least 3½ years before the millennium begins as it is plainly shown in Revelation 11:1-2. However, there are to be no court walls measured for this new temple seeing all that holy area around the altar of sacrifice is to be given over unto the Gentiles to trod under foot for 42 months, which, according to the Hebrew calendar is 3½ years, exactly the allotted time the anti-christ is given to rule and reign before the millennium begins!
WORSHIPERS AROUND ALTAR IN JOHN’S VISION
If John is to measure something, he must be looking upon whatever it is he is to measure, although in reality the year is 96 A.D., and he has been placed on the Isle of Patmos. In the future sight he has been projected into, taking place somewhere around the Day of the Lord shortly before the return of Christ, John is actually seeing the setting as it will appear in that distant day, although at this time (96 A.D.) The temple area lay in ruin and no doubt Titus’ 10th Roman Legion is still encamped at Jerusalem to keep order.
Therefore I ask you, according to Revelation 11:1, when John was given a reed likened unto a rod (used as a measuring stick) and told to rise and measure the temple of God, what did he measure? Did he take his reed and measure himself or some other believer for the temple of God? Was he himself not a (grace age) temple of the Holy Ghost! If John was being instructed to measure the church or believer who is the temple of the Holy Ghost today in the grace age (and we realize we are lively stones in the grace age making up a holy temple for God to dwell in), Ephesians 2. And what about those that worship therein or around the altar? What did he measure then? Last but not least, what about the court walls which are without the temple itself that John is instructed to leave alone and not measure because that temple ground is to be given unto the Gentiles? FOR WHAT REASON? To trod under foot the holy temple area along with the holy city for 3½ years! How, beloved, can anyone spiritualize this particular temple altar, worshipers and court walls saying it is the Gentile church? How can anyone make Revelation 11:1-2 apply to anything other than that of a literal setting, located in a literal Jerusalem, the Holy City, the only literal spot God has ever ordained where a natural temple would sit and furthermore, the only place He has ever had a rock altar of sacrifice was in Jerusalem. No, the temple will not sit just any place in Jerusalem, but only one designated spot, on top of Mt. Moriah, next to the sacred rock. See beloved, if you could spiritualize all this other, making it to be the church as some have, I simply can’t imagine how anyone could spiritualize the court walls which is to be left out for Gentiles to tread under foot for 42 months. You say it pertains to Babylon overrunning the church, IT DOES NOT! Oh, don’t you see the problems you can run into when you spiritualize a thing too far when it has only a natural setting. Not only do you destroy in your thinking the original setting God wants you to actually see, you spiritualize it to a point you run into no man’s land and it links to nothing, and the beautiful picture God wants you to see in your understanding is destroyed.
Note, whatever God intends to do naturally, even though you spiritualize it, it will not stop Him from doing in the natural what He intends to do. It only shows an individual who takes a natural biblical setting and can’t see it happen that way and spiritualizes it, always runs into serious trouble with the scriptures (II Peter 3:1-18). Such people remind me of those who must always interpret certain passages in Isaiah pertaining to natural lions being in the millennium to mean something spiritual because it goes cross grain with their idea of the millennium. Therefore, they feel the lions spoken of in connection with the millennium are not natural lions with their nature changed, but merely old lionish natures of people being calmed down, HOGWASH! Beloved, face it, there are some things written in this book that will require natural fulfillment as well as some spiritual things that will require spiritual fulfillment, and it will take some spiritual minds to look at this thing correctly in order to know what is natural and what is spiritual!
Yes, I wonder what ran through the mind of John as he has been lifted into the presence of God and ushered out into the Day of the Lord where he is told to take a rod and measure the temple of God, the altar and them that worship therein? If he had been like some today who always want to spiritualize everything, what do you suppose the poor man would have measured? However John is not confused, he knows exactly what to measure for in the Spirit he is standing in the center of the earth in Jerusalem where God placed his name, standing before the very object he is to measure. I want you to know there were already some worshipers around that rock altar in his vision also!
JOHN FAMILIAR WITH 2ND TEMPLE’S HISTORY
No, it isn’t the Herodian temple destroyed some 26 years before 96 A.D., that John has been instructed to measure. No doubt he well remembers having visited that magnificent temple quite often, first as a lad with his parents where he probably viewed the vast construction program already in progress in the Herodian period, which involved the workmanship of 1,000 priests, and he further recalls having visited the temple with his Lord and fellow disciples, often hearing his Lord tell of the hour when not one stone would be left standing upon another. John was also well familiar with the Jewish history surrounding the early struggles which evolved around the building of the holy sacred temple when Zerubbabel, Haggai, Zechariah, and Joshua the high priest all returned with 50,000 Jews (Ezra 2:64) from the exile in Babylon to rebuild the temple.
Sometime after Cyrus had given his order for the Jews to return and rebuild the temple, he left his throne in the hands of his son Artaxerxes, (Ezra 4:7) and journeyed off to conquer new territories. Yes, John is familiar with the problem which arose from the adversary of the Jews who already lived within the land of Palestine, who wanted to assist Zerubbabel in rebuilding the temple, (Ezra 4:2-10). Nevertheless, when Zerubbabel refused, the adversary wrote the new king telling him once the Jews had rebuilt their temple, city, etc., they would not pay him their taxes (Ezra 4:13). Upon hearing this the new king, not aware of the previous arrangements made by Cyrus, halted the building program of the temple, (Ezra 4:21) and thus was the work on the house of God suspended until 16 years later in the 2nd year of the reign of Darius the next king who found the decree which Cyrus had made, (Ezra 5:13, 6:1).
ANTIOCHUS IV. CALLED EPIPHANES
No doubt John is also well familiar with the Syrian Antiochus (Epiphanes) IV whose horrible persecution and defilement came against the second temple from around 175-164 B.C., all because the priest refused him entrance into the holy temple when he wanted to look around. John knows also Antiochus IV is a forerunner in type of the dreaded anti-christ who will unlawfully overrun this 3rd temple (II Thessalonians 2:4) before the real Christ comes into it (Ezekiel 43:4-8). Recall, when Christ comes into it, it is already built. It is the very temple John is instructed to measure, where he is told to leave out the measurement of the court walls. Antiochus IV (175-164 B.C.)
“EPIPHANES” - GOD MADE MANIFEST
This dreadful forerunner of the anti-christ soon gained the surname of Epiphanes, meaning “God made manifest.” This Gentile leader who defiled Israel’s 2nd temple and brought on the bloody Jewish Maccabee revolt was also called Antiochus (Epiphanes) the madman! And a mad dog he was! He entered the holy sanctuary of the 2nd temple, took away the golden altar, candlesticks and other sacred vessels (brought back from Babylon) and slaughtered many of the men, making a decree that the people forsake their own law, and as a result many of the Jews sacrificed to idols and profaned the Sabbath. Epiphanes, the madman, ordered idols to be erected and pagan altars to be set up using sacrifices of unclean animals. According to Josephus, Epiphanes reached the height of his abominable crimes against the Jews when, in 168 B.C., he ordered a sow sacrificed on a pagan altar on top of the holy rock altar of God and whoever refused to act according to the words of this cruel tyrant who ruled explicitly over the 2nd temple, was put to death. Mothers who circumcised their children were hanged on crosses while their children were hung by the neck until dead. Many Jews, rather than submit, were put to death. The bitter persecution of Antiochus IV resulted in the uprise and open revolt against him by the Jews in 168 B.C., led by a priest named Mattathias, which led into the famed Maccabeen revolt against the Assyrian Antiochus IV.
Thus we have seen the desecration of the 2nd temple which also had its evil tyrant to overrun it, who foreshadowed the man of sin who will overrun the 3rd temple shortly after it is erected, which temple John is instructed to measure, (Revelation 11:1). This man was only the foreshadow of the dreaded evil anti-christ of whom Paul spoke in II Thessalonians 2:4, who would sit in the 3rd rebuilt temple of God (Revelation 11) changing also the order and proclaiming himself to be God and demanding worship. Note further, Epiphanes IV foreran his evil role before the true Christ came to his temple (Malachi 3:1).
MT. MORIAH, LOCATION FOR 3RD TEMPLE
No, beloved, when Israel does rebuild her temple it cannot be on some other spot apart from the holy temple area as some think! If God would allow Israel to rebuild it in some other place than the holy spot on Mt. Moriah, He could have also chosen some place for Israel to inherit other than Canaan land! If God can change His mind after having built two temples on the same foundation at different intervals of time and then allow the third temple to be built elsewhere, He would never have had to bring Israel back to that old piece of ground in Palestine (before 1948) and resettled her! He could have just as easily resettled them out in the vast humid areas of New Mexico or Arizona. The Yuma desert and surrounding areas resemble much the arid area of the holy land. But as we want to emphasize, when Israel rebuilds even her old cities she always builds on the exact foundation of the old city itself. Therefore, once God places his finger on a certain geographical spot of ground in reference to Israel, that is exactly where He means for things to be located! Note for instance, when God chose a city, He chose Jerusalem. It didn’t matter how many Jebusites were present in 1010 B.C., or how strong their fortress might have been, God allowed David to capture their stronghold and call it Zion. It became David’s capitol and has remained God’s chosen city since that day! Once God places His finger on Jerusalem it is going to become His city of peace even though we realize Jerusalem has witnessed more wars, turmoil and confusion within that old city than probably any other one place in the world. Nevertheless, it is still called the city of peace because someday when Jerusalem will at last be at peace, the whole world will be at peace, and you can rest assured as long as Jerusalem is not at peace it is a good indication everything else in the world is in an uproar and mess also! So forget about Israel rebuilding her temple elsewhere! God doesn’t operate that way with Israel!
ISRAEL ALWAYS REBUILDS ON OLD LANDMARKS
Since the six day war, the U.N. has debated whether or not Israel must give up part of the Sinai. Sometimes it sounds like she might negotiate while all the time she is digging out from under the sinking sand old ruins of some of the Biblical cities, and upon those old foundational ruins there builds new settlements. What is she doing? Israel is fulfilling scripture! Did not God say He would bring her back into the land the He gave to her fathers and she would build the waste places and inhabit the desolate places. SHE IS DOING IT! I want you to note when Israel builds a new city or village, she doesn’t go out 15 miles from the old location and rebuild. No, instead she looks for those old landmarks and then rebuilds thereupon. Searching out these old landmarks ought to inform these modern interpreters of Baal whether God intends to rebuild His temple or not, and if so, on what ground He will rebuild, exactly where the old landmark for the temple is! Why? Because it fulfills the Bible. Therefore, do you see why the church must also return to the old landmark which has been buried far beneath the old Babylonian rubbish for over 1,500 years and rebuild!
TEMPLE REBUILT SHOWN BY 42 MONTHS
Archeologists, digging around the temple area, are finding stones, walls, etc., which have not seen the light of day for hundreds of years. Such great discoveries lets us know the original old landmark of the old walls within the Solomon period will be the spot Israel will rebuild her 3rd temple and that will be shortly before the end of the age, just in time to allow those final 3½ years, or 42 months, to be given over to the Gentiles and the anti-christ power where he shall rule from that newly erected temple and do his diabolical work treading down the holy temple area while he sits in the newly rebuilt temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God for a period of 42 months. Thus the angel told John, don’t bother to measure the court wall. Israel would never have time to erect those court walls before the area would be overrun by the Gentiles.
WHAT JOHN SAW IN THE SPIRIT
John has had quite an experience up until Revelation 11, seeing how in Chapters 4 and 5 he is caught up into the presence of God where he sees a throne set in heaven and a book is taken out of the hand of him that sits on the throne and opened by a bloody Lamb. He sees the four beasts with the six wings, creatures who are full of eyes that rest neither day nor night before the throne, but continually cry “Holy, Holy, Holy...” In Chapter 6, John sees the bloody Lamb open the seven seals upon the scroll. Before the 7th seal was opened, in the spirit John witnessed the sealing in of the 144,000 who are called out by two prophets sent to Israel in the hour that her temple is being rebuilt and the altar of sacrifice is re-established. Furthermore, he saw the great Gentile multitude who had come up out of the great tribulation resulting from the 3½ years of persecution by the anti-christ, (Revelation 7:14). In Chapter 8, he witnesses 30 minutes of silence while the 7th seal is being opened and the seven angels begin to sound their judgment trumpets, which primarily affects Israel and the Middle East. In Chapter 10, he witnessed the sounding of the seven thunders utter their voices, yet he was forbidden to write what they spoke. He further mentions the voice of the 7th angel, who is none other than the 7th Gentile church age messenger, (Revelation 10:7). How when he begins to sound the mystery of God should be finished. WHAT SHOULD BE FINISHED? Not every revelation, for John said, ONLY THE MYSTERY OF GOD! Then in Chapter 11, John is instructed to take a reed like a rod and measure three things: (1) the temple of God (2) the altar and (3) them than worship therein (by the altar). However, in verse 2 he is warned not to measure the court itself.
JOHN SEES TWO ANOINTED ONES PROPHESIED BY ZECHARIAH
Furthermore, in verses 3-12, he sees those two anointed prophet messengers who appear at this same time to prophesy to Israel for 3½ years to pronounce judgment upon Israel! WHY? For having made a covenant agreement with the anti-christ (Daniel 9:27). They smite the earth with all manner of plagues as often as they will. Also within that 3½ years calls out the 144,000 Israelites with a revelation of who Jesus is. After prophesying for 3½ years, John says these two prophets are destroyed by the anti-christ, or beast power.
ISRAEL, THE PREGNANT WOMAN
In Chapter 12, John sees Israel (not the church) as a pregnant woman, pregnant with prophecies concerning her Messiah, ready to burst into bloom. John sees Israel’s last 3½ years of history before the millennium reign begins fleeing from the presence of the anti-christ, who has now taken over her 3rd temple exactly as Antiochus (nicknamed Epiphanes), the foreshadow of this anti-christ, who took over the 2nd temple, and stopping the daily altar sacrifice, etc.! Is that not what this antichrist also does in the middle of that covenant week with Israel, (Daniel 9:27, 12:11)? Does he not also stop the daily sacrifice that is then on the altar, thus becoming himself the abomination of desolation that standeth in the holy place recorded by Jesus in Matthew 24:15, as he quoted the prophet Daniel, (Daniel 12:11)!
TITUS NOR MOSQUE IS ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
But Brother Jackson, could not that abomination that maketh desolate be none other than Titus and the Roman army destroying the temple area in Jerusalem in 70 A.D.? No beloved, this thing that fulfills the prophecy of Matthew and Daniel happens only after cutting off the daily sacrifice and exists for only a period of 3½ years, whereas the holy place has continually been trodden down ever since the day of Titus. What is it then? It is none other than Rome and the anti-christ for a period of 3½ years before the close of the Gentile age.
CUTTING OFF SACRIFICE HOLDS HIDDEN CLUE
Neither did Tutus overrun Jerusalem simply for 3½ years. History proves Jerusalem since Titus’s day, was continually overrun by Gentile nations until 1967. Again I repeat, the Mosque of Omar didn’t stop the daily sacrifice spoken of by Daniel 9:27, 12:11, which sacrifice so many want to spiritualize and make to be Christ, when these verses have nothing to do with Christ whatsoever as being the sacrifice, but instead deals strictly with a daily sacrifice being cut off on the Jewish altar. The cutting off of that sacrifice, beloved, is the clue to when the abomination that maketh desolate stands in the holy place. But someone else may say, could not that abomination standing in the holy place recorded by Daniel by the Mosque of Omar or Dome of the Rock which has stood since the 7th Century? In one sense you might say the Dome of the Rock is an abomination, but is not the abomination spoken by Daniel. Why? Because the Moslems did not cut off the daily sacrifice and then place the Dome of the Rock over the holy Jewish altar and allow it to remain there for only approximately 3½ years! No, the Dome of the Rock has stood over the holy altar since the 7th Century, and besides that, there was no Jewish temple nor altar of sacrifice in existence in the 7th Century when the Moslems overran the holy city and placed the Dome of the Rock over the altar.
WHY MOSLEM’S INTERESTED IN ROCK
Why the Moslem’s are interested in this rock? The holy rock is important to two religions; Judaism and Muslimism. The Mosque, or Dome of the Rock, is the second holiest spot outside of Mecca in Arabia, and Moslems are required once in their lifetime to visit the holy rock. Mohammed, the last prophet of the Moslem religion, followed Jesus (some 400 years) with far more revelation thus causing Mohammed to be greater than Jesus. The Moslem religion accepts 38 prophets, of which Jesus is only one of the 38 who brought truth. The sacred rock holds a special interest to Moslems due to the fact their tradition teaches that from this rock Mohammed ascended into heaven. Embedded within the rock is supposed to be a footprint of this prophet as he ascended and a few hairs of Mohammed’s beard is also kept there. Both Arab Moslems and Jews alike in reality are mainly from the line of Ishmael, Abraham’s son of the flesh by the Egyptian handmaiden Hagar, along with also a mixture of the other sons of Abraham’s 2nd wife, after the death of Sarah, while the true Orthodox Jews descend through the line of Isaac through which the promise came. None but the seed of Isaac can inherit this promise. The Moslem religion is to Judaism what Catholicism is to true Christianity, a thorn in the flesh or a counterfeit of the real thing!
GENTILES TREADING TEMPLE AREA 42 MONTHS
FURNISHES VALUABLE CLUE
Time has come that we would look more closely at Revelation 11:2, which will not only prove Titus and the Roman Army nor the Mosque of Omar could possibly fit the scriptural abomination that maketh desolate standing in the holy place, but will show us approximately when the holy Jewish temple will be erected and where this mysterious special allotted time of 3½ years comes into focus where the Gentiles are allowed to tread down the holy temple area and holy city as well! Now beloved, I ask you a very simple question, we know from history the Gentiles have continually trodden down all of the holy city for no less than 2554 years and their trodden down did not cease until 1967. Then if you were going to place a little 3½ years over a period of 2554 years since Nebuchadnezzar crushed Jerusalem and the day of the Gentiles began, WHERE WOULD YOU PLACE THAT PERIOD OF TIME? The truth is, there is nowhere you could place that 3½ years into the period between 70 A.D., and 1967, and it is certain you can’t spiritualize the 40 and 2 months, stretching them out over all the period or long history that the Gentiles have trodden down the city, and if you can’t put it in the millennium, face it, where will you place it? Beloved, there is only one slot of time the 3½ years spoken of in Revelation 11:2 could possibly fit and that is somewhere between now and the coming of Christ to enter the millennium reign. It is the only place left for the 3½ years to fit in!
TEMPLE & ALTAR MUST GO TOGETHER
Revelation 11:1-2, deals strictly with a future restoration of the Jewish temple and the altar of sacrifice and don’t forget, those two always go together. Therefore, this should let Gentiles know once the temple is erected, it must be erected near the sacrificial altar and not on some other spot of ground elsewhere. Because it is this Jewish altar in operation, according to Daniel 9:27, the anti-christ brings to a halt. Nevertheless, before the anti-christ cuts off the sacrifice in the middle of his prophetic week, scripture teaches that two prophets come to Israel, not only did they prophesy against Israel, smiting with plagues as often as they would as a rebuke to Israel for aligning herself with this beastly system of Rome, but for 3½ years , Revelation 11:3 says these two prophets prophesy in the streets of Jerusalem and in the area where the temple is being constructed and the altar of sacrifice is in operation, where 144,000 of the House of Israel, according to Revelation 7:3-8, 14:1-5, will receive the revelation of who Jesus is as they are sealed with the Spirit of God (Revelation 4:3, Ephesians 4:30). Now when is all this being accomplished? In the first half of the 70th prophetic week before the anti-christ rises in power strong enough to cut off these two prophets (Revelation 11:7), stop the animal sacrifice on the Jewish altar, and take over the temple for the remaining 3½ years after their death, and become the abomination that maketh desolate, (Daniel 9:27). The period of his horrible reign begins after the daily sacrifice is cut off and continued for 1290 Hebrews days. WHAT COULD BE CLEARER!!
BLOODY ALTAR NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REDEMPTION OF 144,000
Now concerning the 144,000, let us make one thing perfectly clear, this 144,000 from Israel, no doubt, were greatly stirred over the fact Israel is in a revival with her new temple and altar of sacrifice although their redemption and revelation of who Jesus is, which comes from these two prophets, have nothing whatsoever to do with the fact there is animal blood or animal sacrifice daily on the Jewish altar! (Hebrews 9:11-15) No, the 144,000 were not redeemed to Christ because an animal sacrifice lay on the altar. Then why have an altar, some will say? Beloved, what these two prophets are saying for the 3½ years does not change the majority of the Orthodox Jew whatsoever, he will continue seeing only the newly erected altar of sacrifice that is in progress. And he will lean heavily upon this as they did in the Old Testament days until that sacrifice is taken away from him in the middle of that final prophetic week of Daniel 9:27 and 12:11, which is clearly shown in Matthew 24:15, to be the hour for the abomination that maketh desolate to stand in the holy place for that final 3½ years before the millennium reign. Again I repeat, Daniel 12:11 declares from that time of cutting off the daily Jewish altar sacrifice (which has nothing to do with Christ, instead deals strictly with animal sacrifice on the Jewish altar) and the abomination that maketh desolate is set up, the anti-christ power will run for 1290 Hebrew days.
Isn’t it interesting to note that during the first half of this final prophetic week, 144,000 of the house of Israel are getting their eyes open to truth, yet still the greater percentage of Israel will be blinded by the promises and smooth words of the anti-christ before he breaks his Covenant in the middle of the week! Then all Israel gets their eyes open to who the anti-christ is, once he cuts off their sacrifice and moves into the temple to become Daniel’s prophesied abomination that maketh desolate. Beloved, one thing is certain, whether you want to say Israel has only 3½ years left or 7 to fulfill prophetic time before the millennium, the office work of these two prophets, whoever they are, will certainly not begin once the millennium has started. No, it all takes place before the millennium begins. The anti-christ’s final 3½ year reign of terror will not be after the millennium begins, it is shortly before. Therefore, what the prophets do and what the anti-christ does to fulfill his role must all be concluded in that final prophetic week, because when the millennium begins the two prophets have already prophesied for 3½ years and been killed by the anti-christ power and he too for 3½ years has run his course.
WHAT YOU FACE IF ONLY 3½ YEARS LEFT
Now I ask you, if there is only 3½ years left to that final prophetic week, called Daniel’s 70th week, to be fulfilled watch what you will run into. You have these two prophets prophesying for 3½ years; they are killed and their dead bodies lay in the street for 3½ days before they are resurrected. Don’t forget, God also limited the anti-christ to 3½ years. If the two prophets in Israel are prophesying during the same 3½ years while the Antichrist is treading down the holy place and Jerusalem, then he would be killing the two prophets, not at the beginning of his reign of terror, but instead at the end of his reign! See, he would be just coming into enough power at the end of his reign to cut off the two prophets and stop the daily sacrifice at a time when the Bible clearly reveals him to be losing out, because at this time Christ is coming to take over! Now if all this is accomplished by both prophets and the anti-christ simultaneously, Christ will be on His way down when all this is taking place, because Matthew 24:29-30 declares, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, (anti-christ reign of terror, 3½ years) the sun will be darkened, and the moon shall withdraw her light, and the stars of the heavens shall be shaken: (30) And then shall be the sign of the coming of the son of man.” No, the truth is, there is a full prophetic week left, during the first 3½ years the Antichrist sits in Rome (not Jerusalem) carrying out his own diplomacy, while in Jerusalem you not only have a Jewish temple worship restored along with the altar sacrifice, but you have two prophets who are having a revival among certain Jews. Then beloved, after their 3½ years of prophecy the anti-christ cuts them off, as he is now ready to fulfill his 3½ years reign of terror.
HOW BEAST SPIRIT KILLS PROPHETS
For a few moments let us deal with the spirit of the best in Revelation 11:7, who comes out of the bottomless pit to make war against the two prophets, overcome and kill them after they have finished their testimony of 3½ years. Who is this beast spirit that rises out of the bottomless pit? We know a corporeal bodied man does not rise up out of the bottomless pit, but a spirit can. It is the same beast referred to in Revelation 17:8-18. This beast is none other than the resurrection of the political power of the Old Roman Empire, which before crumbling passed through seven imperial forms of government with the last head of government being referred to as the 8th is of the former (7th) power. The 8th form is religious, while the other heads were political (Revelation 17:11). The beast which ascends from the bottomless pit is the spirit of the devil which entwined itself in olden days around the first seven heads of the Roman Government before jumping over on the new head which was in Rome also. The 8th head, or form, which is referred to in scripture as still that of the 7th was the papal power or final form of government to ever set over the old Roman Empire! Even after the old Roman Empire had fallen, the popes were still able to rule the European territories referred to after the fall as the ten national powers of Europe, which are receiving their resurrection back into the 4th beast through the European Common Market.
8TH HEAD IS PAPAL OFFICE
Although time came in history when the 8th form of power (papal head) received a deadly blow to its headship which almost killed it, Revelation 13:1-10 teaches in time to come that 8th head would be healed and all the world would wonder after it! That head, or papal power, over the subjects of Rome will be completely healed somewhere around the time the covenant week of Daniel (Daniel 9:27) goes into effect, and the two prophets come on the scene who rebuke Israel who, I might add, in the past had been aligned with the U.S. as you well know. However, in the final period of time for the Gentiles, Israel is not aligned with the U.S., but instead with this resurrected beast system of old Imperial Rome of which the 8th head which was healed will once again be in headship!
8TH HEAD RECEIVES AUTHORITY OF 7TH
Yes, the beast system is none other than the 4th world empire which passed through seven great imperial head ships or office in its makeup. After so long a time without any life of the beast existing, what do we see? The spirit of this thing (Revelation 11:7) having already sometime earlier come up out of the bottomless pit, entwined itself once again around the last headship office Satan used for a mouthpiece before it vanished from the scene, which the Bible declares was that papal office wounded unto death. Seeing the papal office in olden days had wrestled from the 7th head or form of government which was political all authority and power simply means as the spirit of Satan, which had been working through this old system for hundreds if years now, sees the 7th head on the beast collapsing because of weakness, he simply jumps over into another part of Rome onto another chair, placing all authority that went with the imperial chair over onto this other chair, only this time it is religious. Nevertheless, it still leaves his power to be in Rome. It should be noted, the spirit of the devil, who works through the headship of this beast system even in its resurrected stage and is responsible for killing Israel’s two prophets a little over 3½ years before the millennium reign begins, first many hundreds of years ago as early as 39 B.C., began working through the first imperial headship to that beast. Through men called caesars and these caesars who represent the first head or office on this beast whose office was in Rome (and has always been in Rome) were cruel, evil, barbarous tyrants. It was the very incarnation of the devil himself. The caesars were worshiped as the God of heaven!
ROMAN RULERS WORSHIPED AS GOD
Now bear that statement in mind as you watch that spirit of the devil pass through every one of those heads on that beast, through the hundreds of years it existed, finally completely losing out under the 7th head where the papal power snatched all of its authority over onto the papal chair. Remember, in the resurrection of that empire it will be the 8th head, which of course is of the 7th, that will be the mouthpiece! That mouthpiece is going to leave Rome and come to Jerusalem, cut off a Jewish sacrifice that is in progress, kill two prophets, and take over a newly erected temple, becoming the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet. And he does that in the middle of a covenant week, (Daniel 9;27). (See VATICAN, VOL. 3, NO. 7)
8TH HEAD ONCE HEALED BECOMES MOUTHPIECE
Now let us quickly bring that old dilapidated Roman system into its final 3½ years as now it is the 8th which is of the 7th that was wounded unto death (16th & 18th Century), but is finally healed. Revelation 13:4-10 informs us that the devil or dragon gave power to this beast and this beast was given a mouth (the wounded 8th head now healed) to continue for 42 months or 3½ years, look what he did. Opens his mouth and blasphemes against God, blasphemes His name and (blasphemes) His tabernacle at Jerusalem as well as them that dwell in heaven, makes war with the saints of that hour and overcomes them and all upon the earth shall worship him, whose name is not written in the Lamb’s book of Life, slain from the foundation of the world. When does this transpire? In that final 42 months before the millennium begins. It corresponds perfectly with Revelation 11:2-7, where we are told this spirit kills the two prophets after their 3½ years were finished.
PART 3 - VISIONS & PROPHECIES
CONCERNING 2 PROPHETS & 3RD TEMPLE
Who are these two prophets who die in Jerusalem after prophesying for 3½ years in sackcloth, and if any man hurt them during their hour of prophecy fire proceedeth out of their mouth and devoureth the enemy? What manner of fire proceedeth out of their mouth? No, they don’t spew fire from their mouth like a fire dragon to devour their enemies! It is more like when Peter spoke to Annanias and Sapphira in Acts 5 and they dropped dead. Peter was simply anointed of the Holy Ghost and those words proceeding from his mouth were anointed with Holy Ghost fire, bringing instant death. Recall also, the prophet Elijah in the day of Ahab when Israel was in her worst hour of apostasy, fire did not proceed out of his mouth though he spoke the words declaring if I be a man of God let fire devour these men (and 102 men were burned to a crisp, II Kings 1:9-12), the judgment of God fell and burned up these men. It was the fiery judgement of God against Elijah’s enemies. Elijah only spoke Holy Ghost anointed words. Thus, it is true with the two prophets who walk the streets prophesying to Israel, smiting the earth with judgments (especially the Middle East), trying to show blinded Israel the error of her ways in uniting herself with this beast system and its mouthpiece, which is the 8th of the 7th head now healed who speaks for the beast in that hour, Daniel 9:27. Of these two prophets, the Lord God definitely referred to them in verse 4 as the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. Verse 6 declares these two olive trees and two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth have power to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy, and have power over waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues as often as they will. Why are these two men in Revelations 11:4 referred to as the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of heaven? You can rest assured that in the proper hour when these two prophets come stomping out into the open, fulfilling Revelation 11:3-6, they will not be two young kid preachers! I further have my doubts they will be men fresh out of the Jewish Seminary, although it is for certain they will have come from God’s school.
ZECHARIAH PROPHECIES OF TWO PROPHETS
To learn more concerning these two men and how they were to play an important role within the final prophetic week of Israel’s history, as well as mankind’s final 7 years on earth before the Gentile dispensation closes out, we must go back some 500 years before the birth of Christ, to a time when the Children of Israel had returned from Babylon to rebuild their 2nd temple. I want to show you here from the prophecies and visions of two prophets, Zechariah and Haggai, prophets who were sent back to encourage Israel while she was in the process of rebuilding their 2nd temple, how these two prophets brought prophecies, not only concerning a time when Israel would be having her 3rd temple rebuilt, but also a great deal is learned concerning the two prophets who will be on the scene when Israel is rebuilding her 3rd temple. Isn’t it interesting to note while the 2nd temple was being rebuilt, Israel already had two prophets on the scene prophesying to the people future events concerning another time when Israel would be returning from another period of exile and would be in the process of rebuilding a 3rd temple when two great prophets would come on the scene. Zechariah had visions concerning the two prophets who are to be in Israel, which is positively confirmed in Revelation 11:4-6 as being the two prophets Zechariah spoke of, while Haggai gives forth prophecy showing the 3rd temple will be far more glorious (Haggai 2:3-9) than that of the 2nd temple they were presently building.
During that period Cyrus the Great had issued a decree for the Jews to return to Israel and rebuild the temple of God. Why? Because Solomon’s old temple was in ruins in that hour, exactly as the old Herodian temple is in ruins today. Zechariah and Haggai, the two prophets, are on the scene while the 2nd temple is being rebuilt along with Zerubbabel, the governor of the people who governed in social matters, and a man name Joshua is to be the high priest of this 2nd temple. Wonder why this man was called Joshua, which in Greek means Jesus? Why wasn’t he named Aaron or some other name? Because the name Joshua (Jesus in Greek) will also link to this spiritual temple for the grace age as well as the 3rd Jewish temple that will be built in Israel in time for the final 3½ years to be given back over to the Gentiles, who before 1967, had continuously overrun Jerusalem since Nebuchadnezzar’s day, for a period of 2554 years. Therefore, sometime after 1967, and some 3½ years before the millennium begins, once again the Gentiles will tread down Jerusalem as well as the holy temple area. However, this time not before a 3rd temple has been erected and an altar of sacrifice re-established, and then for only 3½ years, the shortest period the Gentiles have ever had to tread down Jerusalem, but they will be the most severe, (Matthew 24:15-21).
Therefore, it is clearly evident these two prophets, although they are spoken of as minor prophets, were actually restoration temple prophets on the scene as Israel was building her 2nd temple, both prophesying future events concerning Israel! Prophecies by these two men prophesying in Israel while Israel cleared away the burned out mountain of rubbish left by Nebuchadnezzar’s army 70 years before and prepared to reconstruct the temple, are most fascinating and too important for us to simply overlook. Yes, while the 2nd temple was under construction, God was also showing Zechariah a future event pertaining to the two prophets which we are studying about in Revelation 11. Note, the angel addressing John called them practically the same thing the angel speaking to Zechariah 500 B.C. calls them, the two olive trees and the two candlesticks (lamp stands)! At this time when we touch Zechariah 4, Zechariah has already had a number of visions which pertain primarily to his own period and what is being accomplished in the building of the 2nd temple. However, Zechariah saw something that did not pertain unto his period, this he was most concerned about. Zechariah says the angel awoke him out of sleep, asking him what did he see? Where upon he replied, I saw a candlestick all of gold. Actually what Zechariah saw was the golden Jewish Menorah used only in the temple worship which consisted of a bowl to hold the olive oil in. Upon the top of the bowl were 7 lamps, in other words, it had a stem running from the large bowl holding the oil, out through 7 pipes or stems which formed little burners at the end of the stem, making 7 lights. But he saw something else standing on each side of the Menorah which really stirred his curiosity! According to verse 3, he saw two olive trees, one of either side of the bowl and he asked the angel what these were? For the moment the angel seemed to ignore his present question concerning the two olive trees and began to explain something else to him which had a present tense meaning. In verses 5-6, the angel answered him, “This is the Word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel (the Jewish governor of social affairs of returning people who is mentioned in both Zechariah and Haggai’s writings) it is not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord.” No doubt Zechariah wonders how such a statement could possibly link with the two olive trees and lamp stands he saw (actually there is no connection, nevertheless keep watching).
MOUNTAIN OF RUBBISH
Listen as the angel continues saying something in behalf of Zerubbabel the governor with this returning people. (7) “Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain.” Remember the setting, Israel had been returned for quite a few years, yet still no temple has gone up. Because after Cyrus gave his decree to build the temple, he left his throne in the hand of another and journeyed elsewhere. When the enemy of the Jews wrote the new king saying, once the Jews had finished their city and temple, they would not pay taxes to him, and for some reason not being aware of the decree made by Cyrus, he stopped the work which remained stopped for 16 years until the 2nd year of Darius the new king. It is in the 2nd year of Darius’s reign, in the 6th, 7th and 8th months, that these two prophets are stirring up the people with prophecy to come forth and begin to rebuild the temple after such a lengthy time. Bear in mind, even though Israel does not have her 2nd temple up, for a number of years her altar of sacrifice has certainly been in operation. The angel of the Lord has addressed a great mountain standing on Mt. Moriah, which is nothing more than a vast mountain of rubbish and charred ruins which once had been a beautiful city as well as a magnificent temple, only now it all appears as nothing. Huge stones piled in every direction, and over that 70 year period weeds and brush have grown up everywhere. Poor Zerubbabel (the governor) has been placed in charge to see the house of God and the city are rebuilt. However, no sooner do these people return to face this gigantic mountain of rubbish, which is their responsibility to clean away, than a spirit of discouragement hits them. Even though word finally arrived from Darius, the 2nd Gentile world ruler, that after 16 years they may continue their building, the Jews seemingly have lost interest. They had to be stirred by the words of these two prophets as God speaks to get His house rebuilt. Zerubbabel, having looked at this mountain of rubbish, perhaps in his heart says, O Lord, look what a mess! How will it be done? Our people are dishearted over what they see. Then we hear the prophecy to Zerubbabel saying, Who art thou, O mountain (of rubbish)? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain! It won’t be by might nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord. Notice the Lord is telling Zerubbabel he will move on the hearts of the people and stir them mightily with the spirit to work. Without bulldozers, cranes or even dynamite, the Lord says it will be leveled like a plain.
Zechariah is concerned about who those two olive trees are and as yet he has not received an answer. Why? They do not concern his hour, therefore, the angel continues with the present tense prophecy that does effect his hour as he says, after they clear that mountain of rubbish away, Zerubbabel shall bring the headstone to Joshua the high priest shouting Grace, Grace. The headstone was none other than the cornerstone used in Solomon’s temple, which at present, lay in that mountain of rubbish. First they had to find the headstone and place it into the building. They are moved on by the spirit of God to begin work and finally clean up this terrible mess, and as they do they find the chief cornerstone (with 7 eyes) of the first temple and place it in the second, (all measurements will be taken from this stone). It is Zerubbabel’s responsibility, according to the prophecy, to bring the head or cornerstone with shouts crying grace, grace and place it at the feet of one called Joshua who is to serve as high priest of the 2nd temple. Later we see how Joshua, being the high priest of the 2nd temple, will be connected with the Lord Jesus of the 3rd temple.
Continuing to discuss only the 2nd house, the angel says, (9) “The hands of Zerubbabel has laid the foundation of this temple, his hand shall also finish it.” Don’t worry Zerubbabel, the house of God will be rebuilt and it will be rebuilt under your direction.
THINGS HEADSTONE SIGNIFIES
Observe once again the cornerstone or headstone which was found and Zerubbabel brought it to the high priest, Joshua, which contained the engraving of 7 eyes, which absolutely is a type of Jesus Christ. Joshua the high priest means Jesus Saviour, who is or high priest, (Hebrews 10:19-25), and also is the chief cornerstone (rejected stone) that went into our spiritual temple foundation in the grace age of which the redeemed are lively stones, becoming a part of this spiritual temple for the grace age among the Gentiles. Although this is true, don’t spiritualize that natural Jewish temple as the house to be built during the grace age whereupon Jesus is to be the chief cornerstone. Even though this cornerstone or headstone (used in the 1st and 2nd temple), engraved with 7 eyes, does show a spiritual type for the grace age temple, please don’t confuse the two. Don’t spiritualize away any of the Jewish temples: don’t be guilty of taking scriptures which clearly apply to Israel’s rebuilt natural temple and make them apply strictly to this grace age either. Remember, there is a spiritual temple for the grace age and there is a natural temple to be erected for Israel shown in the scripture.
Zerubbabel brought the chief cornerstone and laid it at the feet of Joshua. This headstone in the two natural temples represented the 7 attribute spirits of God: (1) Jehovah-jireh (the Lord will provide), (2) Jehovah-rapha (the Lord that healeth), (3) Jehovah-nissi (the Lord our banner), (4) Jehovah-Shalom (the Lord our peace), (5) Jehovah-ra-ah (the Lord my shepherd), (6) Jehovah-tsidkenu (the Lord our righteousness) and (7) Jehovah-shammah (the Lord is present). Recall, when Jesus (which is Greek for Joshua) the Christ became our high priest, offering His own blood becoming also the chief cornerstone to the spiritual temple which was laid, He was these 7 attribute spirits of God all wrapped in one body of flesh, or one spiritual chief cornerstone. Furthermore, it is Jesus the Messiah who came in the 2nd temple, was rejected and then became the chief cornerstone to our temple for the grace age. However notice, the Jews will actually be building the 3rd temple for Jesus their Messiah to sit in during the Millennium reign, (Ezekiel 43:4-7).
WHY ZECHARIAH & HAGGAI SHOWN SETTING FOR 3RD TEMPLE
Zechariah still can’t shake the vision from his mind concerning the two olive trees he saw. The angel explains all about the restoring of the present house of God but Zechariah, still inquisitive, asks, what about the other two things you showed me? I want to know what they are. (Verse 11-14) Why was Zechariah shown these two olive trees at this time? Why were they not shown to another prophet in another hour? It is important because the prophet is shown these olive trees during an hour when Israel had (1) returned from captivity and (2) returned to rebuild her 2nd temple. In such a setting as this God gave Zechariah this vision of the two olive trees and the candlestick which absolutely had nothing to do with the present rebuilding of the temple. Zechariah and Haggai were the two (restoration temple) prophets present here in Israel for that hour prophesying things pointing to future events. That future event is confirmed in Revelation 11:3-6, concerning Israel’s future temple and two prophets. And note, both temple and prophets as well are reconfirmed (together), confirmed 600 years later by John on the Isle of Patmos, and get this, in a day and hour when Israel did not have a temple standing, seeing Titus had destroyed the 2nd Jewish temple 26½ years prior to John’s vision. (Revelation 11)
Back to inquisitive Zechariah who ask again for an explanation of these two olive trees & candlesticks. Notice verse 12, “What are the two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?” And the angel says, (13) “Knowest thou not what these be? (14) These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”
TWO GREAT ANOINTINGS ON EARTH
Zechariah, one of those two (restoration temple) prophets who is present for the rebuilding of Israel’s 2nd temple, has looked way down into Israel’s future and saw the time when she shall rebuild again, and there he saw the two prophets that will be present. His prophetic sight had taken him down to the final seven years of Israel’s history before the end of the age, into a time recorded in Revelation 11:4 to have been fulfilled by these two prophets at the end of the age. Get this, two prophets who come to Israel as she has once again returned from captivity and once again rebuilt her temple exactly as they were doing in 519 B.C., when the vision broke. When you examine that statement of Revelation 11, it reads almost identically word for word as to what the angel told Zechariah, and John also in 96 A.D., is being shown exactly who these two olive trees are to be. These two prophets are the two golden candlesticks or the two olive trees which stand before God of the whole earth. This is what it means, these are two of the greatest anointings of God Israel will ever experience, and note, they will experience these two anointings at the same time while she is in the process of rebuilding the 3rd temple.
Recall, it was the messenger to the age who revealed how this lamp stand with the 7 golden lamplights was represented by the grace age as those 7 lights represented the seven gentile church age messengers recorded in Revelation 2 & 3. All 7 receive their revelated light from where? The same golden bowl of oil, which is the genuine Holy Ghost. Also note Revelation 4 & 5, John was taken up into heaven where he notices seven spirits of God. Now in reality we know this one spirit God is no more seven different or separate spirits than He is three separate spirits distinct persons! What then is the meaning to all this? Recall that headstone with the seven eyes which was the cornerstone of the rebuilt temple we discussed showing the seven attribute powers of God to this people. God is only one spirit (Ephesians 4:4), however, within this one spirit called God lies these seven different expressions or attributes of Himself to His people.
In Revelation 1, when John saw Jesus standing in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks (Revelation 1:12-20), we realize what John saw was that spiritual light (Jesus said, I am the light of the world!) of Christ unto those seven Asiatic churches, yet was also the light of Christ which would be exemplified through the seven dispensations of the grace age, and with each age would be attached an angel messenger! But where did that light originate which lit the seven candle lights? FROM CHRIST OF COURSE! He is that light. No, by no means is God actually seven different spirits, nevertheless, within him are those seven attributes of power which God may, whenever and wherever he chooses, execute and recall whenever He does choose to act through those attributes of power it is always here upon the earth where they are manifested! Therefore we are fully aware that it is also here upon the earth, through the two olive trees mentioned in Revelation 11:4 & Zechariah 4:11-14 that the golden oil will be poured out in a full demonstration of his mighty power.
GOD IS GOLDEN OIL POURED OUT
Scripturally, what is the purpose of an olive tree? To originate olive oil, right? Therefore, if an olive tree is a symbol of oil, what then is oil a symbol of? It is the symbol of the Holy Ghost and the Holy Ghost is none other than God. Then in the vision of Zechariah 4, that makes the spirit of God to be none other than this golden oil to be poured out! Yet how will it apply to Zechariah’s vision, and furthermore, how does it fit into the picture of the two olive trees when the angel declare they were the two anointed ones? Zechariah 4:14, while Revelation 11:3 declares them to be those two powerful prophets who have power to smite the earth with all manner of plagues as often as they will. In reality it means this, these are the two special anointings God has chosen to demonstrate Himself through within a certain precise period of time (3½ years).
MOSES CARRIED ANOINTING FOR DELIVERANCE
Beloved, one of the greatest anointings of God to ever rest upon one man, rested upon Moses while delivering Israel from Egyptian bondage. Moses smote Egypt continually with plagues and turned water into blood. Please note the comparison: (1) Moses, as a man, symbolizes that great anointing of God. As a man he was chosen to lead a people to safety who were in exile and bondage and over in that hour of Revelation 11, Jerusalem will also be in bondage under the rule of the Antichrist and shall need delivering, and 144,000 shall be delivered! (2) Moses was a man chosen to be a lawgiver which was God’s word for that hour when Israel needed to hear from God in order to know how God would have them to walk and live. (3) He was a man anointed to execute judgment upon the earth at a time when God was ready to gather His people together to take them from their place of bondage and (4) since that day at no other time has there been that anointing to hit the earth. One day when that anointing was on Moses, Egypt became pitch dark. What was it? It was the anointing of God resting upon Moses as he had authority to execute it. Moses spoke and lice came from every direction. What was that? That was a plague! When that man spoke water became blood, hail fell from heaven ripping crops to pieces. When Moses spoke every firstborn in Egypt died. What was it? It was an anointing from God resting upon a prophet in an hour of judgment dealing with a people to lead them out of bondage. According to Revelation 11, at an hour when the temple is being rebuilt, the Jewish sacrifice altar in operation and shortly before the holy place is to be turned over to the Gentiles, not for another lengthy period of 2554 years, but this time only for a period of 3½ years that same anointing that was upon the man Moses the prophet, will once agin hit this earth. Although there was no process of building a temple when that special anointing first visited the earth, nevertheless, Moses as a lawgiver showed Israel how the tabernacle of badger skins and goatskins should be built, which was none other than a shadow of the very temple itself.
ELIJAH CARRIED ANOINTING DEALING WITH APOSTASY
What about the other special anointing or the other olive tree? Recall these are special anointings of God. True, any true anointing a man ministers in is an anointing of God, however, there are certain anointings of God that hits this earth for a precise objective of God. That is the kind of anointing I want you to see! What is that next anointing which is also represented by an olive tree, the holy anointing. It is the anointing of Elijah! Sure Israel had other prophets, Isaiah, Amos, Hosea, Nehemiah, etc., all these were prophets, yet not anointed like Elijah. He was not a prophet called to lead from or perform an exit. No, he was a prophet sent to deal with apostasy, and did that anointing which rested on Elijah ever know how to deal with apostasy.
That anointing on Elijah contested false prophets of Ahab and Jezebel, while Moses spoke and lice, hail, blood and death followed. Elijah prayed and shut up the heavens for 3½ years that it ran not in Israel. See, Elijah also brought judgment. Now do you see these two special anointings? They are God’s severe anointings dealing with man while he is seeking to execute a precise object and purpose in the earth to deal with a certain situation. Elijah came at an hour when the ten northern tribes had drifted far from the true original worship. As this great apostasy was in Israel, that anointing came on a man as he stomped out the woods. Elijah dealt with apostasy. One day Ahab called forth 50 men to go forth to get Elijah and all Elijah said was, if I be a man of God, let fire come down and burn them up. It happened and was repeated again, making a total of 102 men burned to a crisp. No, it had never been seen on this fashion before. That particular anointing did not even rest on Moses (II Kings 1:9-12).
Now can you see when it speaks in Revelation 11:5, how from these two anointings on these two men that fire proceedeth from their mouth, it is not a literal fire coming from their mouth, it is that special Holy Ghost anointing on the spoken word. What are these two olive trees? They are non other than these two special anointings of God, and the reason the vision was given to Zechariah and not another prophet in a different hour is because it goes in connection with the rebuilding of the temple in a future date. No, it didn’t fit into the building of their present temple, it carried altogether a future application, when these two great anointings of God (two olive trees) will be used by the Lord only as He deals with man for some precise reason and purpose. Such of Elijah when he dealt with apostasy and the judgment of God was, Lord, don’t let it rain, and for 3½ years it didn’t. What a horrible sight Israel must have faced in that hour when both men and cattle suffered extremely. Why? Because Israel had strayed from the ordinances of God.
Yes, I want you to know when that man of sin signs that 7 year Covenant agreement with those political minded Jews (Daniel 9:27), as they are in the process of rebuilding their temple, (Revelation 11:1-2), having their altar of sacrifice in operation, out of the woods will come these two special anointed prophets who prophesy for 40 and 2 months or 3½ years. Once God sent Moses, then 1000 years later he sent Elijah, however, never before has these two anointings been sent at the same time. Therefore, these two anointings will come together to rebuke Israel for what she has done. Simultaneously God gives them both barrels of His anointed gun or both anointings at the same time. Why? Because Jerusalem is in bondage to a covenant agreement and there are 144,000 people who need delivering, while God wants to judge the political Jews for their action and He sends these two prophets to walk the streets and prophesy, pronouncing judgments and plagues. Revelation 11 says, they have power to shut the heavens, that is what Elijah did. Revelation 11:6 further says, they have power to turn water to blood, that is what Moses did. However, it further says they have power to smite the earth with all manner of plagues, therefore, we are shown within the 6th trumpet judgments within that hour, how hail falls from heaven, (Revelation 8:7). Recall among other things, Moses plagues Egypt with hail. Yes, they have power to smite the earth with plagues.
HEAVENLY & EARTHLY SCENE
Now please observe carefully two scenes. The first one is on the earth and the second will be in glory. On earth two Jews will come stomping out of the wilderness to appear on the streets of Jerusalem prophesying for a space of 3½ years and striking the earth with plagues as often as they will, while in glory from the great throne of God I can see the vastness of that Holy anointing of God suddenly being turned loose, and beloved, that mighty anointing of God (the Golden Oil) will empty itself through these two prophets here upon earth! Once again the earth will see the anointing that rested upon Moses and Elijah or Elijah and Moses together in action. Why? Because God will send those two anointings once again into the land of Israel, prophesying and pronouncing judgement in an hour when they are erecting their temple.
ELIJAH’S SPIRIT ON JOHN
Recall in the day of John the Baptist he came in the spirit and power of Elijah, although he was not Elijah, (Luke 1:17) and that spirit stood on the earth at the end of the Law age announcing, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. John the Baptist was closing one dispensation and introducing a new one. Furthermore, it was an interlinking anointing, therefore, watch that anointing when it hits this earth again, coming to Israel, prophesying judgment at a time when the Gentile age is closing out and introducing to the hearts the millennium that is to come, an age Israel has long waited for. I don’t know who these two men will be, that is not the purpose of this article, only to show these two men will walk together in the anointing that rested on Moses and Elijah.
MOSES & ELIJAH APPEAR TOGETHER
Recall further out in Matthew 17, when Jesus had stated some of you shall not taste of death until you have seen the son of man coming in the power and glory of His kingdom. Six days later Peter, James and John are taken up on a mountain where they saw a vision of what Jesus will be like in the kingdom age. The scripture declares the face of Jesus did shine as the sun and His raiment was white as light. There was a glow about Him as His face did shine while His raiment was white as light. Is that not the picture we see in Revelation 19, when heaven is opened as Jesus is ready to split the eastern skies and return in the power and glory of His kingdom to rule and reign?
What else was seen in that vision? Recall, Moses and Elijah appeared together talking unto Him. In other words, here stood those two great anointings like this earth has never seen before and note these two anointings were together in the vision. Beloved, this vision the three disciples are looking upon pertains to what Jesus would be like in the kingdom. Yet it is shortly before the kingdom is ushered in that there shall be these two mighty anointings which were on Moses and Elijah that shall come to Israel during her last prophetic week of time which proceeds and closes out the whole calamity of God dealing with the human race. No, I do not say it will literally be these two men called Moses and Elijah, but undoubtedly it shall be those two mightiest anointings of God resting upon two men of that hour, but from those anointings it shall appear like Moses and Elijah are back on the earth again.
HAGGAI’S PROPHECY CONCERNING LATTER HOUSE
Haggai, one of the two restoration temple prophets on the scene while the 2nd temple was being constructed, is given prophecy concerning the glory of the latter house, or 3rd temple, which one day would replace this 2nd temple. This book consists of only two short chapters, yet what powerful chapters they are. Again I ask, why would it be Haggai and Zechariah (In 519 B.C.) who are being shown about the temple (or the latter house) as well as the two prophets in Israel’s future? Because these are the two prophets who fulfill the present role while the 2nd temple is under construction, prophesying concerning the glory of the 3rd temple to encourage the elderly people who are building the 2nd house who could remember the glory of the first house.
The setting of Haggai is exactly the same as that of Zechariah, only his prophecies come several months ahead of Zechariah’s. Both prophets prophecy in the 2nd year of Darius, the Medo-Persian leader of the 2nd world empire. It was not until the 2nd year of Darius’s reign that this decree made by Cyrus was discovered and Darius gave new orders to proceed with the building of the house which will only be a plain, undecorated house of the Lord completed four years later during Darius’ 6th year of reign, and will remain so until 500 years later when the architectural genius King Herod takes it upon himself to enlarge, beautify and elevate this present simple temple, which has no present description other than Ezra 6:3.
From Haggai’s prophecies we know this hour was far from being what the first house was, and the older people who could remember the glory of the first house were very disturbed and sorrowful over being unable to do any better (lack of finance, etc.) Bear in mind, 16 years had passed and not one block has been laid upon another during that time. As the prophecy opens, the spirit of God is somewhat fretted with the people over this lengthy standstill as He declares in 1:2, this people say the time has not come, that the Lord’s house should be built. Verse 4, God says, through the prophet, O ye, who dwell in your cieled houses, and let this house lay waste, it is time (after 16 years) for you to build. Verse 5, now therefore consider your ways. Verses 6-10, God tells the people why they haven’t prospered any better than they have in their last 16 years. You haven’t built my house, says the Lord! Verse 8, He instructs them to go to the mountains to bring wood and build my house of which God says I will take pleasure in and I will be glorified saith the Lord. Verse 14 declares the spirit of the Lord stirred up the spirit of the governor, the high priest and the remnant of the people, and they came and did work in the house of the Lord of host their God.
See also Ezra 3 thru 6 for the complete story of their 16 years in the land without a house. The families, having returned to their original cities, Ezra 2:70, met in Jerusalem and erected the altar whereby they might offer burnt offerings, (Ezra 3:1-3), beginning the 7th month of the 1st year. Ezra tells how in the 2nd year they met, laid a foundation, and started to build a wall when stopped by the new king and work was delayed for 16 years, Ezra 3:8-13, Ezra 4:11-24.
2ND TEMPLE NOT AS GLORIOUS AS 1ST TEMPLE
GRIEVES OLDER JEWS
Haggai 2 begins with another prophecy unto the people saying, who is left among you (elderly people) that saw “this house” in her first glory (Solomon’s temple), and how do you see it now? It is not in your eyes in comparison of it (1st house) as nothing! In other words, God is saying, isn’t this little plain, undecorated building in your sight as nothing compared to the glorious former house (Solomon’s temple)? Undoubtedly what has happened, God has revealed the peoples thoughts, especially the elderly people who could remember Solomon’s temple from their youth before the captivity and its destruction. God is saying to these people, who saw this house in her first glory?
Note the phrase “this house”, irregardless to which building the Lord refers to, whether the first, second or third temple, He always refers to it as “this house” as you shall see as you read the chapter. God has reference to the glory of Solomon’s, yet spoke of it in the present tense “this house” speaking of “this house” in its first glory, although destroyed over 80 years! Undoubtedly many could say in their hearts Lord, I can remember, and this little thing we are building isn’t anything compared to what we had in Solomon’s day, (they seemed ashamed of this building)!
No doubt Zerubbabel felt very downhearted knowing he couldn’t build one like Solomon had, nevertheless, God encourages him with prophecy telling him it will serve the purpose. Ezra 3:10, 11, 12 declares the old people wept who could remember the glory of the first house as a child. See also II Kings 25:9. Why did they weep? “This house” was nothing compared to the first house, so plain while the other one was so ornamented. The lavish beauty of “this house” under Solomon required seven years to complete, whereas this present structure (2nd house) required only four.
5 THINGS MISSING IN 2ND TEMPLE
The description of Solomon’s temple is found in I Kings 6:1-38, II Chronicles chapters 2 thru 4.
Furthermore, five things, according to Talmud, were missing in the 2nd temple which was found in the 1st temple: (1) the ark of the covenant, (2) the sacred fire, (3) the Shekinah glory, (4) the Holy Spirit and (5) the Urim Thummim. Josephus declares the holy of holies was empty in the 2nd temple and a single slab marked the sot where once stood the ark of the covenant. Truly this house was nothing in comparison to Solomon’s temple which God also referred to as “this house”, (Haggai 2:3). However, in their downheartedness God informs them in verse 9 that the glory of the latter house (3rd temple) shall be even more than the glory of the former house (Solomon’s temple), therefore don’t worry about it, just build the house.
LATTER HOUSE BUILT IN HOUR OF SHAKING OF ALL THINGS
Verse 6 declares, yet in a little while will I shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land (this shaking comes at the end of the Gentile age). God continues by saying, I will shake all nations (when?) At the end of the Gentile age. Beloved, we are in the closing hours of this Gentile age. Why else do you think America’s political structure is being shaken to pieces? First with such dissatisfaction of the nation with the Vietnam War, and secondly the Watergate situation, and thirdly with America losing her prestige among nations, while the dollar sinks to a new low, bouncing like a straw on an angry wave on the money markets of the world. Not only is America, but the Gentile nations of the world are being shaken to pieces, that is evident everywhere. No, this setting cannot be placed at Christ’s first coming, only at His second.
Watch now for some vital clues coming up on that 3rd temple, although God still refers to it as “this house” when He says, the glory of the latter house will be far greater than that of the former house. Recall, former house in verse 3 was Solomon’s as they are erecting the 2nd house which apparently had no visible glory at all. The glory of the latter house was nothing to do with any part of the 2nd building destroyed in 70 A.D.
Begin looking for the appearing of this latter house sometime around the time of the shaking of all nations as well as the shaking of all things, for the nearer we reach the end the more things will be shaken! What else did God say through Zechariah, and the desire of all nations (in the millennium) shall come and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord! Irregardless to how many houses God built, He also referred to it as “this house”. The setting has moved now from the 2nd house, to the end of the Gentile age to the latter house where God shakes all nations, etc. (See also Haggai 2:21-23) Now we begin hearing him begin to talk about a time that He will fill “this house with glory”! Somewhere in that period and not during the time Zerubbabel is building the temple which was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans. The setting ends with the Gentile age and enters into the Millennium where God begins to tell how He will fill this house with glory. However our point is, the 3rd house is already built somewhere in the closing of the Gentile age before the Lord enters into this house at Jerusalem and fills it with glory!
EZEKIEL WITNESSED GLORY ENTER LATTER HOUSE
Pause there for a moment and turn into Ezekiel 40 thru 47 which describes this house in that hour beginning with the millennium! Remember, John the Revelator in Revelation 11 was given a reed liken unto a rod to measure the temple, altar, and worshipers and note also in Ezekiel 40, we are told of a man who was given a measuring rod and also told to measure the temple (this latter house)! I am not saying John was that man, but I am saying John was also given a reed and told to measure the temple of God. Ezekiel 43:4-7 informs us how the glory of the Lord entered into this rebuilt house, when the Lord Himself entered into the house by the way of the Kings Gate toward the East. Ezekiel says the spirit of the Lord picked him up and stood him in the inner court (of the newly built temple) and he says he beheld the glory of the Lord fill the house. Haggai 2:7 declared He would do just exactly that! Ezekiel further declares he heard the Lord (Jesus speak out of the house, 3rd rebuilt temple in Jerusalem at the beginning of the Millennium) saying, Son of man the place of my throne and the place of the souls of my feet where I will dwell in the midst of the Children of Israel forever and my holy name shall the Children of Israel never again defile.
FIRST HOUSE NO COMPARISON TO GLORY OF LATTER HOUSE
I repeat, through Haggai, God is speaking to those dishearten, sorrowing, elderly people who could remember this house in its first glory, telling the people about the time all nations are being shaken at the end of the Gentile dispensation, another building will be going up, far superior to anything yet. Verse 8, the silver is mine and the gold is mine, saith the Lord. In other words, I could build a nicer house now if I wanted to. Do I not own all the gold and silver? Just wait, don’t feel bad about it because this house (2nd temple) is so plain, I am satisfied! Verse 9, because the glory of this latter house (3rd temple) shall far surpass that of even the former house (Solomon’s). This prophecy came about to encourage the older people who could well remember the glory of that former house of Solomon and who felt so downcast over what they were erecting. But God said, cheer up, the glory of the latter house will be greater than even the former one you are thinking about, and in that place will I give peace. See beloved, it is in that 3rd rebuilt temple God will give peace to the world. Haggai, through prophecy, is telling the people, be of good courage and build the present house with the means you have because the former house would be nothing in comparison with the latter house (3rd), and later God encourages Zerubbabel’s heart with still another prophecy. Verse 20-25, In that day, when I shake all things and overthrow the thrones of kingdoms, destroying the strength of the heathen, in that day, O Zerubbabel, will I take thee my servant and make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts!
Someone may ask, will the temple be built around the time the anti-christ makes his covenant? It could be, the Bible doesn’t say, But one thing is for sure, there will be a temple there when he breaks his covenant in the middle of the week. How long would it take for Israel, with modern day equipment to put up a temple? She could easily do it in 3½ years, seeing that the Jews around the world would contribute heavily toward its erection. Three years after the 6 day war Jews in America alone had donated one billion to the expense of the 6 day war, what will the Jews from the U.S. and Canada donate to this dream once it is announced the temple is ready to be built. Undoubtedly that is why God has allowed the Jews with money to remain in America and Canada, to pour in the money for that project when the time comes.
Did you know the only thing keeping the Jews from offering sacrifices today is he can’t get possession of that rock, however, when he does you can be assured that he will clean off that area and begin offering sacrifices to Jehovah and a temple will soon be going up. However, until that rock falls back into her hands they will never offer a sacrifice on any other altar, it is forbidden in the Old Testament. By no means will you ever see a temple of God erected on the same holy site while that Mosque of Omar stands over the rock. Therefore, it is important to note when the angel instructed John to measure the temple, he instructed him to measure the altar also. Why? Because the two go together and are inseparable in the worship of Jehovah.
PART 4 - DESECRATION BY THE MAN OF SIN
5 THINGS 42 MONTHS DOES NOT IMPLY
Back to John’s vision as we begin to bring our message to a close, it is the treading down of the temple area by the Gentiles for that special 42 months period which gives us a clue as to when this latter house will be erected, seeing it must be erected in time for the fulfillment of the last 3½ years, or 42 months, before the millennium. Please note the following things that the treading down of the holy city area for 42 months has no reference to: (1) It has no reference to Titus treading down the temple area and city in 70 A.D., seeing 42 months is nothing compared to the period of time the Gentiles trod down the holy temple area under Titus. (2) It has nothing to do with the Dome of the Rock being located over the holy rock, seeing the Moslem’s have stayed more than 42 months since the 7th Century. (3) It ha no spiritual application in the fact you could take the 40 and 2 months and somehow spiritually stretch them out over the 2554 years the Gentiles have continually trodden down Jerusalem until 1967. (4) It cannot be applied to the grace age temple of the Holy Ghost throughout the Gentile dispensation and (5) The 40 and 2 months the Gentiles tread down the holy temple area and Jerusalem cannot apply unto the many Gentile tourists, the Gentile news media from around the world who will be present during that period the temple (latter house) is being erected.
None of this can apply to the meaning of the 40 and 2 months Gentiles once again tread down Jerusalem and the holy temple area. No, beloved, this will be a special specified period of 40 and 2 months when the European Gentile beast power and its mouthpiece, the wounded 8th head, takes their final stand in Jerusalem, especially in the temple palace which has been erected for their Messiah, the Lord God whose names is Jesus, who is prophesied in Haggai to fulfill His latter house with his glory.
FINAL 7 WEEKS
Yes beloved, somewhere out in the near future, though Revelation11 does not give explicit details showing exactly what world conditions will develop that will bring that temple into existence, nevertheless somewhere in front of us is going to develop some worldshaking events in the Middle East and irregardless of what the U.S., England, France or anyone else wants to do, they are helpless once God is ready to act in behalf of Israel. Somewhere in front of us when time is just right that prophetic minded orthodox Jew is going to get his dream fulfilled as he receives that holy temple ground and that altar of sacrifice goes quickly into operation. That holy spot of ground will not fall in the hands of the political minded Jew who cares little about whether the prophecies of a holy temple is fulfilled or not, seeing his interest is only political and trying to persuade the world to see his vision for Israel, that is to be recognized as a nation among nations and to have a chance to live in peace and have prosperity. No, that political Jew is not back in Israel with intentions of fulfilling Bible prophecy to restore a temple, although that orthodox Old Testament minded Jew is there for that purpose, and one day that spot will fall into his hands and his dream will come true and when it does you can mark it down, Israel being God’s timepiece will once again begin to measure time prophetically. Prophetically time will begin to tick off as man will have only around 7 years to complete his Gentile dispensation and usher in the millennium.
A MAN (OF SIN) SETS IN TEMPLE
During that final seven years prophesied, especially within the book of Daniel which include the words of Jesus in the gospels as well as Paul’s writing in II Thessalonians 2:3-4, will spring into a reality and close out the final history of mankind as he heads into the millennium. According to Daniel 9:27, when the anti-christ makes his political agreement with that political minded Jew, and don’t think that spirit to sign that kind of agreement is not already resting on that politically minded Jew even today, it is! No, that doesn’t imply the Orthodox Jew is happy over the situation, nevertheless, that political minded Jew must begin to lean forward that office seeing that one day, according to Daniel 9:27, they will sign a covenant agreement with the prince of Rome. That political minded Jew in that hour must be willing to negotiate world trade, world peace, and prosperity for the survival of his own nation with Rome, and he makes this agreement with the anti-christ looking at it strictly from the political angle the anti-christ introduces his seven year peace covenant with Israel. (Daniel 9:27) When that happens, that will absolutely align Israel up with a political agreement with the Common Market nations. When that political Jew signs that covenant, ushering in that 7 year period, somewhere around that hour (I know not when as the Bible is silent to when only showing it must be ready for the final 3½ years) Israel will begin building her temple on that holy spot by the altar of sacrifice because these two pictures must run simultaneously and perfectly parallel, because the scripture declares in Daniel 9:27 that in the middle of that final prophetic week the man of sin will break that political covenant. After the breaking of that covenant, for a short duration of 42 months or 3½ years , Revelation 11:2, he will literally sit in that rebuilt temple. (II Thessalonians 2:4) Dear Soul, this is a literal fulfillment and not a spiritual as some think, for there is no way possible for the man of sin to literally sit in a spiritual temple within the grace age, because during the grace age you are the temple of the Holy Ghost if the Holy Ghost dwells within you, and at no time does the Holy Ghost and the devil occupy the same temple at the same time!
Isn’t it amazing that Ireanius, that 2nd church age messenger, according to the anti-Nicene fathers declares that the Christian church taught (around 150 A.D.) that the man of sin, who is none other than the anti-christ, will literally sit in the temple at Jerusalem! And may I point out, in that period, 130 A.D., the Roman Emperor Hadrian razed Jerusalem to the ground after another revolt and built a much smaller city dedicating it to Jupiter and excluded all Jews from the city, yet still with such a setting the early church was teaching a literal fulfillment to the man of sin one day sitting in the temple of Jerusalem for 42 months and IT WILL HAPPEN! He is the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place described by Daniel during the last 3½ years of Israel’s history, in a reign of terror described in Matthew as the worst days on earth. (Matthew 24:15) After he takes away the daily Jewish sacrifice, his days to set there are recorded in Daniel 12:11.
GENTILES ONCE AGAIN TREAD DOWN JERUSALEM
(Matthew 24:15) When you (Israel) see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place, you who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Some might say this is a fulfillment when Titus destroyed the temple. No dear soul, Titus did not fulfill this because he didn’t cut off the sacrifice and allow something to stand in the holy place for 1290 days! Therefore, we see clearly Revelation 11:2 has yet a future fulfillment. It will only be fulfilled after Israel has made her political covenant with the anti-christ to fulfill Daniel 9:27. Then in the middle of that prophetic week the anti-christ cuts off the daily sacrifice, moves himself from Rome to the newly erected temple at Jerusalem where he sits for 3½ years. I might point out that although some of you might think that a pope would never leave Rome. Pope Paul has already clearly stated that for the sake of world unity he would gladly move his office any place in the world, and the Bible declares where one day that office will be moved, INTO THE TEMPLE AT JERUSALEM. When this sacrifice is cut off ushering in the last half of the 70th prophetic week of Daniel, that temple would have already been built and the altar already put into operation for the breaking of that covenant and the cutting off of the daily sacrifice by the antichrist is fulfilled upon that holy spot, and then you shall see the fulfillment of the abomination that maketh desolate sit in the holy place. What is it? He sets himself in th temple and cracks that Roman office whip for then the 8th Head of the beast, which was wounded unto death, is completely healed, and the world wonders after him, ready now to fulfill the 42 months or 3½ years which coincides perfectly with Revelation 11, 12 and 12, as he calls in his international police force, and don’t think Jerusalem and the holy temple grounds won’t be well guarded for that 3½ years. No, it won’t be Swiss guards there, it will be his international police force, and you can rest assured the millennium will never usher in until the anti-christ has run his 3½ years to coincide with the true Christ who ministered also approximately 3½ years.
TEMPLE DEFINITELY BUILT BY MIDDLE OF WEEK
This precise 3½ year period of Revelation 11:2 can only transpire after the temple and altar have been re-established. It isn’t necessary for Israel to wait until her temple is built before she begins offering animal sacrifices to Jehovah? Oh no, this was revealed when Israel returned from Babylonian exile. In the first year of her return the altar of sacrifice was already in operation although it was some 18 years later before Israel had her second temple erected. Therefore, you see once this holy rock altar is cleared away, that is the Dome of the Rock moved, there is nothing to hinder Israel from immediately beginning to offer daily sacrifice sometime before her temple should be erected. Recall in Daniel 9:27, as well as Daniel 12:11, it was the daily sacrifice that was cut off, not the temple seeing the anti-christ himself shall use the temple for his own diabolical purposes. Beloved, this 3½ years of Revelation 11:2 is a special period and can only apply in Israel’s history sometime after she had re-entered the holy city and taken full possession as she did in 1967, and by no means can you possibly spiritualize these 42 months nor can you stretch them out over 2554 years that the gentiles did continuously tread down the holy city as well as the temple area. Dealing with Israel you must keep three things in mind: there is a holy land and Israel became a nation on that land in 1948, there is a holy city called Jerusalem and Israel took full possession of that in 1967, and there is a holy spot which at this moment Israel does not have but somewhere ahead of us something will happen that will place that temple area into her hands, and when it does you may rest assured that Revelation 11:2 is just around the corner.
God showed two prophets two future happenings concerning the rebuilding of Israel’s 3rd temple, or latter house, which would come in the latter days! Zechariah saw the two prophets in vision while Haggai spoke freely of the greatness of the latter house to be rebuilt in the latter days which would far outshine either house. And still, after all of this, there are people who want to spiritualize the events of Revelation 11, making it something to represent the gentile church when so many scriptures point to it as being a natural house or temple! GOD FORBID!