Is Israel Ready to Rebuild the Temple? – Program 5
| October 2, 2013 |
|By: Dr. Randall Price, Dave Hunt, Dr. Dave Breese; ©1993|
|Can we fit current events into the timeline of prophecy laid out in the Bible?|
Does World History Line Up with Bible Prophecy?
- 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.
- 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! A few years ago if you had told any political observer that in a short period of time that the Berlin Wall would fall; that there would be a coup in the Soviet Union and Communism would absolutely die, and that the Soviet Union would break up into many different republics, they would have told you that you’re insane. But actually this has all taken place in a very short period of time, and world events are rapidly changing.
- And people want to know, “What does the Bible have to say about where history is headed?” Biblical prophecy does say a lot’s going to happen, and what we’re talking about in this program is this: Are there signs, are there events, that you can see, reading your paper every day, that are starting to match what your Bible is saying?
- And Dr. David Breese, I’d like to come to you in the sense that one of the things we’ve been talking about in relationship to these programs of Israel has also been some of the other prophecies. Some of the other prophecies concerning Israel have to do with a “power from the North” that’s going to come down and invade it. This is going to take place in a time of the tribulation. Define terms for our people that are joining us fresh this week, and bring us up to speed on what we’re talking about. And then let’s go from there.
- Breese: Well, John, first of all, I would say that there’s no more interesting, exciting time to look at the prophetic word and the developments of the world at the same time.
- Now, you’ve asked specifically about Russia and mentioned that. There’s two things about Russia on the positive and negative side. On the positive side, what has happened to Russia has turned into a tremendous opportunity for the gospel, and that tremendous opportunity is one of the most unusual in the history of the world. Sixty-five thousand schools have requested the “Jesus” film, evangelism. It’s a great story.
- But on the prophetic side, Russia is still intact. Russia has 30,000 nuclear warheads, 11,000 of which are pointed at the United States. They have not reduced their atomic capability. They’re continuing to produce and deploy nuclear weapons, build typhoon-class submarines; therefore, in my opinion we ought to caution ourselves and look at a nation, not in terms of what it says about peace and other things, but in terms of its capability. If someone is talking to you about peace but has a .357 Magnum in their hand pointed to you at the same time, that’s what you’ve got to pay attention to. And that we must keep in mind about Russia. The Scripture says that Russia will move south in an attempt to conquer the Middle East.
- In my opinion, in fact, I was asked the other day: If you were to advise the Knesset of the state of Israel, what would you tell them? My answer was, they should beware of the three princes: first prince, Prince of Rosh that will mount the massive invasion and that army will be destroyed on the northern mountains of Israel; second prince, “the prince that shall come” who is the Antichrist. And the Bible says that the group that destroys the city and the sanctuary will produce that prince that shall come. That’s the revived Roman Empire because Rome did it in the first place. Third prince, Messiah the prince. And Israel must face Messiah the prince in two ways: Messiah the prince will come as the Deliverer of Israel during that last half of the tribulation. Messiah the prince will come as the Judge of the world on the occasion of His glorious Second Coming and every nation of the world, including Israel, will be judged in righteousness by that Man whom God has certified by the resurrection from the dead. That’s the gist of what we’ve been talking about and, my, to see it unfold in our time is an exciting experience indeed.
- Ankerberg: Dave Hunt, a lot of people that are listening to us, they’re not familiar with what we’re talking about. They do know a little bit about Jesus Christ. And they’re saying, “Hey, did Jesus ever talk about this kind of stuff? What’s this tribulation period? Did Jesus ever say anything about that?” I’d like you to define terms: What is it? When’s it going to take place? And then, there’s a specific event that we’d like to talk about and, Randall, I’d like you to pick it up after Dave introduces the topic and that’s this thing of the “abomination of desolation.” What in the world do those words mean? What kind of an event is that? Okay, Dave, start us off. What is this “tribulation period” and did Jesus ever talk about it?
- Hunt: Well, Jesus talked about it in Matthew 24:22-23, I think, or thereabouts. He said that a time of tribulation was coming that is like nothing the world has ever seen. Now, if He didn’t say any more than that, you could be like some people in the Church today who would say, “Well, that happened in AD 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed.” But the Bible is very precise. I mean, I love this book. It’s fantastic. He didn’t stop it there: “No, nor ever shall be.” And we know much greater tribulation has come to the Jews and to Christians since then, so we know that was not the Great tribulation. And we know that it hasn’t really happened to all the world at one time, which it will.
- It’s called, in Jeremiah 30:7, “the time of Jacob’s trouble” because the Church has been taken out. And, without getting too complicated, in Daniel 9, which has been referred to a number of times, Daniel was told that 490 years applied to his people, the holy city, and during that time everything would be wound up. It would end with the Messiah reigning on the throne of His father David. Sixty-nine weeks of years—483 years—from the going forth of the command to rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of Messiah the prince, the day that we celebrate as Palm Sunday, literally it occurred. That document has been dug up. When Artaxerxes Longimanus in Nehemiah 2, in the 20th year of Artaxerxes, he gave Nehemiah the authority to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. From that time in 445 BC until 32 AD when Jesus rode into Jerusalem precisely to the day 483 years, and Messiah was cut off, he said. He was killed. And that last seven years didn’t happen. That’s the week of years that it says “the prince who will come” will make a covenant for a week. That is a week of years, seven years, that pertains to Israel. Israel will be the focus again. The temple will be the focus again.
- All of these events we’ve been talking about in prophecy, the Church is taken out of here, and there will come the time of Jacob’s trouble. It will be a time when Israel will pay the price for her rejection of the Messiah; for her disobedience down through history. And the nations of the world will pay the price for what they have done to the Jews; and in fact, they will be in the process of attempting to destroy them. And in Jeremiah 30, again, God says, “Though I make a full end of the nations whether I have scattered you, I will not make a full end of you. But I will punish you and I will bring you back to your land.”
- And so Israel being back in her land is essential for this dealing with Israel of this last seven years. And that’s this period of time called the great tribulation—or the tribulation and then the great tribulation, last half of it—during which the Antichrist must be on the scene. He will make a covenant with Israel for that seven years. In the midst of it he will break the covenant; he will double-cross them. It will be, I think, a false peace treaty. It says “through peace he will destroy many.” He will come in and he will seat himself in the temple. We’ve talked about that. Maybe then the Ark of the Covenant must be there, because that’s where the presence of God was. But if the Antichrist could come in and he could literally sit on this, where the presence of God was manifest and declare himself to be God and not be killed, that would be a sign to Israel and to the world that he really is what he claims to be. And if he brings peace—and we’re heading in this direction—and he guarantees it and he allows the temple to be rebuilt on the temple mount without a new world war, I mean, this is an incredible accomplishment. We’re heading in this direction.
- Ankerberg: What is this thing of the abomination of desolation, Randy? You’ve done your PhD work in this.
- Price: “Abomination of Desolation” is, first of all, a figure of speech. The term, literally siqqus misomem, means, “The one who makes desolate” or “desecrates.” And so the idea is of some act of desecration, some act of defilement that renders impure whatever it touches; in this case, the temple.
- Now, when we go back to Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives, teaching His disciples and speaking about those Jews who would live in the last days to His audience, He said: “When you see the image standing in the holy place as Daniel the prophet recorded, then you’re to understand.” And actually this is an editorial note that’s put in the gospels: “Let the reader understand.” And so it’s very important that those who are living at that time understand what this is all about.
- This act of desecration is basically a usurpation of the place of God. Whenever there was an idol from the time of Manasseh onward put into the holy place in the temple, it rendered the temple impure. They had to stop the sacrificial system; had to be abated because now everything was ceremonially impure. And so everything had to be cleansed before they could begin again. That happened many times in Israel’s history. Whenever it happened, there was an act of cleansing that had to take place.
- For instance, when the temple was desecrated by the Babylonians and destroyed, then there was an act of consecration in the time when the temple was rebuilt under Zerubbabel, and in the sense the Spirit of God came and put His stamp of approval on that new temple. When the temple was built shortly before Jesus was born, a Roman eagle was placed on that temple, and God sent the Messiah, Jesus, who later came during this time, and because of the abuse of the temple of some of the merchants and others, came in and cleansed that temple Himself. When that temple is defiled again by the Antichrist, it will be because he usurps the place of God; he himself takes that place. Not only does an image of the Antichrist be set up in the temple, but he himself seats himself upon the holy place. And that will be the decisive act that Daniel the prophet talked about. It becomes the pivotal event by which those living in that time can recognize the Messiah is coming again to cleanse and restore His temple. And so it becomes that event upon which all the eyes of the Jewish people focus.
- Ankerberg: Dave, you had a comment.
- Hunt: Well, Randy was just defining for us the “abomination that makes desolate,” Antichrist literally coming in the temple. So we know a temple has to be rebuilt and we’ve been talking about that. At first blush you think, “Wow! This guy comes right in the Holy of Holies. He sets up an image of himself that has to be worshipped, and he declares he’s God. The judgment of God surely will fall at that moment! And surely all the Jews will recoil in horror at this!” I don’t think so. I mean, I don’t know, but Jesus in John 5 says, “I have come in my Father’s name and you receive me not; another is going to come in his own name, him you will receive.”
- I think that Israel could be in such apostasy, as the Church is getting in today—we’ve been talking about the Antichrist claims to be Christ; his followers must be Christians, then you’re going to have a Christianity in this world that is really anti-Christ and it’s going to embrace the Antichrist as the Christ. You’re going to have an apostate Church which will be the bride of the Antichrist.
- We have, for example, Pope John Paul II, supposed to be the leader of world Christianity. He goes to India to speak to large Hindu audiences and he says, “I haven’t come here to tell you anything. We’ve come here to learn from your spiritual heritage.” He says to Hindu audiences, “What India has to offer this world is a spiritual vision of man, and the world does well to heed this.” He’s praising Hinduism.
- He gathers together in Assisi, Italy, to pray for world peace with 160 leaders of the world’s 12 major religions, and he says, “We’re all praying to the same God and our prayers are creating a spiritual energy that’s bringing about a new climate for peace.” Now, wait a minute. He says we’re all praying to the same God. Who was there? You had snake worshippers there; you had fire worshippers there; you had idolaters; you had North American shamans, witchdoctors; Buddhists; Hindus; Muslims. And he says, the man who claims to be the Vicar of Christ representing Christianity, “We are all praying to the same God.”
- What’s the cathedral? St. John the Divine in New York, where on a Sunday morning you might just as well have a Buddhist or a North American Indian shaman or a Hindu or a Muslim or anybody preaching the Sunday morning sermon.
- Let’s go to Westminster Abbey where they had a procession. You’ve got Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, idolaters in Westminster Abbey with the queen and her husband, and they’re present and they are praising Allah, they’re praising Buddha, they’re reading from the Hindu Vedas. I mean, I can go on and on.
- This sort of thing is happening in the world today, that was predicted by Jesus Christ, and I think the same thing could be true of Israel. I think it must be.
- Ankerberg: Talk about the parallel idea that it’s not so strange any more for man to say that he is God or to look for the God within even. Just give us a few examples.
- Hunt: Well, of course, we’ve had the Hindu gurus who’ve come and who have literally been worshipped as God. Baghwan Shree Rajneesh; they worship him as God. The fellow that had 96 Rolls Royces, or whatever.
- Breese: He never spoke to the people.
- Hunt: Yeah, I mean, if you’ve seen the pictures of some of this, the videos, bowing down, worshipping him, airplanes flying over with rose petals and so forth. Maharaj Ji, the little lord of the universe, being worshipped as God. Men have been and are being worshipped as God today.
- But, there’s another application of that. He sits in the temple of God. Our bodies are supposed to be the temple of God. And as Randy alluded to, for the first time in the history of the world we’ve got people through transcendental meditation, through yoga—the goal of all yoga: self realization, to realize that I am God—to looking within what ought to be in an altered state of consciousness, looking within what ought to be the temple of the true God, to discover their higher Self, to discover that they are God. It’s the religion of the Antichrist which is literally preparing us for this event in Israel.
- Ankerberg: So these events have parallels that are going on right now that could merge with these things right up ahead very easily.
- Hunt: Absolutely.
- Ankerberg: Dr. Breese, we’ve got only a few minutes left. What else is going to happen in this more than a thousand-day period of time once that Antichrist shows up in the temple and blasphemes and says that he’s God? Then what is going to be the response from heaven?
- Breese: Well, the big answer is that this religious milieu will finally come together and become a composite world religion. And that world religion will be Satanic, humanistic, cruel, idolatrous, phenomenalistic and all of those things, and that finally will become so evil. The greatest sins are committed closest to the altar, and so the most evil thing that a person can involve himself in is a false religion. Finally, under the leadership of the Antichrist, he will muster the world—because he has created a political and religious base—to follow him in the most dastardly and yet daring event in the history of mankind: the earth goes to war against God. And this is described by the psalmist in Psalm 2 when he says, “Why do the nations rage and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed saying, ‘Let us break their bands asunder; let us cast away their cords from us.’” That’s the Battle of Armageddon.
- Ultimately the Antichrist, through the beguiling mentalism of his religion and also his political power, will put together that vast army that marches against God—God being represented by the residual reputation of the city of Jerusalem, the Judeo-Christian influence in the world. And that battle will be absolutely so smashing as to be beyond description. At the Valley of Armageddon, that’s the Plains of Jezreel, the blood and the gore will flow to the level of the horses’ bridle straps. It will be utterly fantastic; two hundred million men involving themselves from just the kings of the East alone. What will be the outcome, or shall we say, the denouement of it all? It will be this: “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have them in derision.” And then God says, “Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree.” And He announces that Jesus Christ is the King of the universe no matter what the Antichrist or the devil may do. It’s going to be a glorious triumph for God, but Armageddon gives man his last opportunity to fulfill the reductio ad absurdum, the deadly results of what he believes. And those activities will be utterly frustrated by God, and Armageddon is the name of that game: the Divine triumph.
- Ankerberg: Alright, there’s so much more that we could talk about, and we’re going to have questions from those of you at home as well as questions here from our folks in the audience for these men concerning what we’ve been talking about, so I hope that you’ll join us next week.