Is Israel Ready to Rebuild the Temple? – Program 4

By: Dr. Randall Price, Dave Hunt, Dr. Dave Breese; ©1993
The Bible predicts a future leader we have called the Antichrist. What does the Bible say about the importance of the temple to the Antichrist’s future role in history?

Contents

Who is the Antichrist? How Does the Future Temple Relate to the Antichrist?

Introduction

John Ankerberg: Today on the John Ankerberg Show, are the Jewish people ready to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem? If they were to begin building this year, what political shockwaves would it cause the nations in the Middle East? And where would the erection of the third temple place us on the prophetic calendar of events predicted in the Bible? In a previous program, I asked this question of Dr. Gleason Archer, one of the premier Hebrew teachers in our country.

Excerpt]

John Ankerberg: If you heard, Dr. Archer, that they were going to start rebuilding the temple next week, according to your Bible chronology, what would that say to you?
Dr. Gleason Archer: I’d say that the tribulation is very near.
Ankerberg: Gershon Salomon is the leader and chairman of the Temple Mount Movement in Israel. On October 8, 1990, he led a procession of Jewish people and attempted to bring the cornerstone for the third temple to the temple mount. It caused a riot that drew worldwide attention and resulted in the United Nations condemning Israel for this event and Saddam Hussein firing SCUD missiles against Israel during the Gulf War. But, concerning the rebuilding of the temple, Gershon Salomon confidently states:
Gershon Salomon: And I have no doubt that you and I, we shall see the Ark of the Covenant in the middle of the third temple on the temple mount in Jerusalem very soon—in our life.
Ankerberg: Randall Price is one of the authors of the new book, Ready to Rebuild. He has worked many years in Jerusalem and is finishing his PhD in Hebrew studies at the University of Texas. This is what he warns:
Randall Price: The rebuilding of the temple, and even the temple mount itself, has the potential to ignite a conflagration in the Middle East of proportions of a third world war.
Ankerberg: When will the third Jewish temple be built? What problems lie ahead for Israel? What significance does this event have to biblical prophecy? My guests who will be answering these questions are: Dr. David Breese, Dave Hunt, and Randall Price. We invite you to join us.

Ankerberg: Welcome! Thanks for joining us tonight. And we’re talking with three biblical scholars about current world events and biblical prophecy. One of the things that many folks who read their Bible find is, they find this thing about Jesus Christ saying that He’s going to come back to earth. And they haven’t heard a lot about this possibly in their church. He said He would come back, and yet, just like in Isaiah 52 and 53 in the prophecies that were there, in 52 we find out that He’s going to be the King that the whole world is going to look at and admire. But in 53, all of a sudden He turns out to be this “suffering servant.” Nobody understood that. Jesus came as the Suffering Servant, so part two has got to be fulfilled that He’s coming back to be the King. Alright, so that still jives with the Old Testament. Hasn’t happened yet, but now Jesus said He’s coming back and we’ve got these terms. And I’d like you to go through 2 Thessalonians, 1 Thessalonians, and show this thing about the imminence of Jesus Christ coming back at any moment, and yet He also talks about His return in certain things having to transpire before He comes back. How do you reconcile that with biblical prophecy?
Breese: Well, John, first of all, the apostle Peter deals with this, as to what the Old Testament prophets could see, in 1 Peter 1. He said they were “searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify when He testified beforehand, the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, of which things the angels desire to look into.” Peter tells us the prophets could see the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow, but they could not foresee that valley, shall we say, of revelation in between.
So Christ helps us on that, and Christ talks about His Coming in two ways: His coming in power and great glory—“You shall see the Son of Man coming to sit upon the throne of His glory” (Matthew 19:28). But also He speaks to His disciples in John 14 and says, “Let not your hearts be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go I will come again to receive you unto myself.”
So Christ is speaking now to His disciples in a more intimate, a more personal fashion. He’s beginning, in my judgment, to suggest that the end of the world is not so simple as the brick in the gramophone, as one writer says, but rather the Church, the disciples, should look forward to the glorious return of Christ, but before that a time when He comes personally for them to take His Church out of the world.
So, the apostle Paul clearly expands on this. People had concern about: What about the state of the dead? So they wrote to the apostle Paul, and he wrote back, and 1 Thessalonians 4 is saying, “I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them who are asleep, that ye sorrow not even as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, them also who sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall not precede them who are asleep; for the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, the trump of God; the dead in Christ shall rise first, and we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.”
Christ predicted His coming in terms of His coming in glory; but in terms of His coming for His own, the apostles of the New Testament expanded on that proposition so that the Church of our time, with this data that was not really understood by the disciples in the early days of the Gospel, this data being ours, as we look at a deteriorating world, a perfect fulfillment of prophecy, we also should walk in the confidence that, because “you have kept the word of my patience” (Revelation 3:10), God spoke to the Church, “I will keep you from that hour of temptation [trial, tribulation] which will come upon all the world.” We’re not looking for the “blessed hope of the tribulation,” but rather the hope of the return of Christ for His own, clearly presented by Christ and then expanded to the point of irrefutable, irrefutable confirmation in the New Testament.
Ankerberg: Okay, Randall, in 1 Thessalonians 4, which Dave quoted here, when that event takes place, we who are still alive and left will be caught up, snatched, seized, okay? We’ve got to get it across to people that are watching that sometime in the future the Bible is teaching, as far as we understand it, that the Lord will “snatch” Christians from all around the world. We’ll just disappear. We’re going to meet Him “in the air.” And as John 14 where Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go I’m going to come again and take you and you’re going to go with me to where I’m at,” that’s why He’s preparing that place. Alright, when we go to be with the Lord in heaven, certain events are going to take place on earth during that time. After the rapture, bring us up to speed here. What does the Bible say will happen?
Price: Just a moment before I do that. Let me say that this Blessed Hope is a corrective for all of the life that people live. Without it, we have no confidence that any of the promises of God are true; because if He does not fulfill all of His Word, none of His Word is true. Titus 2 tells us that we’re “looking for that blessed hope and the appearing of Christ.”
And so as we move into the events that are going to happen after the rapture, I sound the warning that people need to be sure that they first know this Savior personally and that they are looking for Him, because He is soon to appear.
Now, as soon as the rapture of the Church takes place, events will happen. We don’t know exactly how soon after the rapture they will happen. There could be a hiatus, a time in which many of the things with all of the players on stage now take their proper position. So we don’t know exactly how long it will be. Used to be, interpreters would say—like Clarence Larkin, an old dispensational teacher—that it could be as long as 50 years after the rapture before the tribulation began. But then they could not conceive how all of the events that would happen at that time could possibly take place: for Israel to return to her land when they hadn’t returned, or a temple to be rebuilt for many of these events. Now, we find all of the stage set.
So, with the rapture of the Church comes a movement in the land of Israel, and particularly, as we’ve looked at already, a restoration of the temple and of the temple worship. Somewhere, that has to begin immediately after the rapture, because we know from the book of Daniel, as well as from the book of Revelation and from 2 Thessalonians 2, that the mid-point of the tribulation already has a standing functioning temple that the Antichrist comes and desecrates. Also, at the time, after the rapture, the Antichrist, the anti-Messiah, will reveal himself. He will make a covenant with the people of Israel. Daniel 9:27 makes that clear. And out of that covenant may come the process by which the temple is rebuilt. But it will be a covenant of peace, a false peace, for Israel that will bring them into an alliance, into a dependence upon him as a type of Messiah.
Ankerberg: Alright, let’s hold it right there. Boy, you’ve put a lot on the table. And if people are actually thinking about, what you’re saying is you’ve got a temple that could be rebuilt in Jerusalem, or supposed to be when this takes place, and we’ve talked in past programs, the Jews are talking about rebuilding it; they know the spot now where they should rebuild it; the Ark of the Covenant may be forthcoming, so there would be motivation to put that Ark into the temple. We’re talking about Israel is already in the Holy Land. They already possess Jerusalem. So the fact is, these things were on the table as you say, but, boy, I’ll tell you, you just mentioned this guy called the Antichrist. And you’ve talked about a peace covenant, and we’ve got a peace covenant or we’ve got a peace conference going on in the Middle East. And I want to find out if you guys think this is the peace conference that’s going to preclude going into that or where we’re at.
And Dave Hunt, let me come to you and ask you, we have the rapture taking place. Now, we’ve talked about certain characters doing certain things during the period of time called the tribulation. Take us a little bit further and document it.
Hunt: Well, John, you know, the scenario that I adhere to, first of all, we have to have a united world. It says that all the world will worship him. The world will be united…
Ankerberg: Worship him, meaning…
Hunt: Meaning the Antichrist, I’m sorry. Will worship the Antichrist; literally worship him. They will also worship Satan, the Dragon, who gives him his power. I don’t know that they will necessarily call him Satan; probably will call him Lucifer. But they will be worshipping him. They will be united politically under one head, the Revived Roman Empire. They will be united religiously by worshipping him; and also, unless they worship him, they will be killed. It’s going to be a very ruthless rule. They will be united economically. You can’t buy or sell if you don’t have his mark. And I wouldn’t begin to try to say what 666 means and how this fits in, but we know it’s a mark, an indication; probably I think a computer chip that has all the data. And you can’t buy or sell without this. We know that this will take place. It’s going to be a united world. Babylon, the Great Mystery, will be revived (Revelation 17:5).
Ankerberg: Alright, before you go any further, hold on to that thought. Dr. Breese, okay, what he just said, if that’s coming, the guy says, “Hey, we’ve got a wonderful world going right now. We’re not even close to that. I mean, we’ve got peace and we’re talking peace in the Middle East.” And do you think that we’re anywhere close to the events that Dave just talked about?
Breese: Well, the idea of a wonderful world is an illusion. Take, for instance, the great prosperity of the United States. This is being run by a government that’s $4 trillion in the red and has to borrow one billion, one-hundred million dollars every day to keep up this imagined prosperity. So, the so-called prosperity of the world is an illusion. It’s like a bankruptcy Chapter 11 that keeps on going, but we wonder on what. Actually, we live in a paper-mache world as of now, and someone who says, “It’s getting better and better and better” hasn’t read the paper or faced reality.
By the way, you’ve heard about the person who said, “We’ve in the Millennium now and it’s all wonderful.” He said, “I can prove it. I have this lion and this lamb both in the same cage. See how well they get along? Of course,” he said, “We have to put a new lamb in now and then.” So we ought not to chase rainbows about it being a wonderful world.
And, therefore, what we must remind ourselves, too, is that in addition to these things that have been so accurately delineated, the Scripture says when the fourth horseman comes forth in Revelation 6, there will be a devastating war that kills one-fourth of the population of the world. Revelation 9, another one that kills one-third of the remainder. One half of the population of the world will die in those devastating wars in which the colossi of the world vie for hegemony and attempt to run things. It is going to be a very, very awesome day.
But I would also say that the time of the tribulation will be a time of devastation in the world plus a time of tremendous evangelism. Out of the disillusionment with the collapse of a culture that people trusted, there will come a spiritual opportunity; 144,000 Jewish witnesses alone, and an innumerable company of Gentiles. My, what a time that will be.
Ankerberg: Okay, okay, let me stop you though. You talk about a Revived Roman Empire. Do you see the facts of a Revived Roman Empire anyplace in the world?
Breese: The answer is, “Yes, we do!” This very year, Europe has said they are coming together as a United States of Europe. When it comes together, which they are working on industriously now, they are putting together a united economic system. I even have some European currency. A united political system. When they come together, they will have 325 million people. They will have the largest gross national product in the world, larger than that of the United States. It’s awesome what is happening in Europe. If someone had said 10 years ago: “United States of Europe,” that also would have been a laugh, but it’s not now.
Ankerberg: Okay, but he said also out of the Revived Roman Empire would come the Antichrist…
Breese: That’s correct.
Ankerberg: What is the Antichrist? Define that for people who are just tuning in.
Breese: Well, the Antichrist will be the person who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped. The Antichrist, first of all, will come to power as the leader of a ten-nation or ten-area complex. Then he will be escalated in a second stage to world power. He will make a covenant with Israel, take credit, in my opinion, for the defeat of the Prince of Rosh coming against Israel. From thence he will be escalated to world power. So the Antichrist is called “the prince that shall come,” and for a period of 42 months he will rule the world as its absolute monarch. He will establish a global government and a global religion. Those who do not worship will be killed. He’ll be the master of everything, but his power will be destroyed by the glorious return of Christ, and we will return with Him and be part of that victory.
Ankerberg: Dave, I want to ask you to comment on this. We’ve got a peace conference going on between Israel and its Arab neighbors right now. You’re talking about a peace conference someday that this world leader called the Antichrist that the Bible says is going to come. He’s going to strike up a treaty with Israel. Is that happening now, or is this something that’s still to come?
Hunt: I can’t say what will come out of the present peace process, but the fact is, we are moving in the direction that prophecy said we would. We’re talking about a united world. And I’ll just try to make it very brief. I don’t think you’re going to get Arabs, Muslims, Jews, everybody together in what it says, and it will happen. I don’t think it’s going to happen without the rapture. I don’t think without this sudden mass disappearance—talk about a “consciousness transformation;” talk about a mind-boggling, mind-blowing experience—I mean, that’s going to change the thinking of the world! You’ve got the United Nations meeting in an emergency session wondering, “Where did they go?” You’ve got the computers whirling, you know, trying to come up with an answer. We can’t even imagine. I mean, we talk about the rapture, we believe in the rapture, we can’t even imagine what that event will mean. And I think it’s going to take that catalyst to catapult this man into power, to have the world recognize him.
Let me just give you one example. If, let’s say, here we are meeting tonight, God forbid, we’re the ones left behind. What does it do to you? If you’re the survivors of a crash of a jet liner in the Himalayas or somewhere, what does it make you feel like? It would give you a sense of unity, belonging to one another. These people who are left behind and people have vanished by, I don’t know, maybe 100, maybe 200 million have vanished, there would be a sense of unity, of togetherness, of wanting somehow to protect one another. Maybe, who knows, it’s some intergalactic power snatching slaves. We don’t know what this is, but we’ve got to get together now. It’s an emergency like you couldn’t even believe. And a man arises and he has an explanation for this and he has power from Satan to do signs and wonders. I think it’s going to take that. That’s another argument for pre-tribulation rapture.
Ankerberg: Randall, if the rapture took place, how could the Antichrist, the world leader, take advantage of that to get that temple built?
Price: I think first we need to understand that that messiah, that Antichrist…
Ankerberg: The false messiah.
Price: …the false messiah is what I mean, will be a human individual. The temple that is going to be rebuilt will be rebuilt in some way through his instigation—either through a covenant that weakens Islamic power and allows the Jews some favor, but it will be that kind of an act. The interesting thing that I have seen today is there’s a growing messianic movement, messianic expectation, not for a supernatural messiah but for the very type of figure that will accomplish this work.
Ankerberg: Document that.
Price: Well, Menachem Brod, who is the publicity relations campaign manager for the Chabad-Lubavitch, which is a ascetic Jewish organization located in our country, in Brooklyn, Crown Heights—also, they are over the Middle East, Israel—they are pushing for a Messiah and having bumper stickers and banners that say, “Prepare for the coming of the Messiah.” This individual, quoted in the Jerusalem Post from October 5, 1991, said, “People who believe Meschiah”—that is, messiah—“will raise the dead”—that is, a supernatural messiah—“are stupid. The true messiah will be a great leader of the Jewish people. He will be such a great charismatic leader that the whole world will unite behind him. But the people may only realize that he has been that person after the fact, after we see his actions.”
In other words, if a man arises, coming out of Europe, he is able to bring about this kind of alliance, this kind of covenant, bring about the type of peace that Israel has always envisioned the messiah establishing, and is able to bring about the process that enables the temple to be rebuilt, they will say, “This man is none other than the messiah.” Remember 1 Timothy 4 says that in the last days deceitful times or difficult times will come. People will give heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. And this would be the very thing that will sweep over the Jewish people and have them rely upon the Antichrist.
Ankerberg: Next week we’re going to talk more about this, but Dr. Breese, for people that are saying, “You know, a lot of these things we read in our paper and if this is what the Bible is saying, I can start to get the drift of where we’re going and this could possibly happen in my lifetime, and if it did, you know, I’m not thinking a whole lot about spiritual things. What should I do?”
Breese: You know, I second the motion about there being a vast world mentalism that could bring this to pass. We hear talk today about a New World Order mentioned by serious people. So I think the culture is already saying what we are suggesting to be a possible unification thing in the world. As this moves on, the Scripture says, “For this cause, God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie.” And “the lie” mentioned in 1 John 4 is the lie that Christ is not come in the flesh, and therefore salvation is not available. I strongly recommend the opposite to every listener. Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He died for our sins on Calvary’s cross, and by faith in Him receive life everlasting. How foolish to depend upon the vicissitudes of this world and the fading scenes of time when by receiving Christ one can have the hope of eternal life. Say “Yes” to Christ and do it today. That’s my recommendation.
Ankerberg: Yeah, this is serious stuff, folks, and I hope you’ll join us next week. We’re going to continue to talk more about what the Bible says is going to happen in the Holy Land in the days ahead and we’re going to see if world events are starting to line up with what the Bible says. Please join us next week.

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