Is Israel Ready to Rebuild the Temple? – Program 8

By: Dr. Randall Price, Dave Hunt, Dr. Dave Breese; ©1993
So many Old Testament prophecies have already been fulfilled, does that give us hope that God will fulfill the rest of the prophecies he has given us about the end times?

Contents

Fulfilled Prophecies

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. We’ve been examining the topic, are the Jewish people planning to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem? We’ve already seen the answer is yes, they are planning to rebuild it. But they have discovered it must be built right over the site where the Dome of the Rock, the Muslim mosque, now sits. If they destroyed the Muslim mosque to rebuild their temple, this could cause World War III. We’ve also talked about the catalyst that the bringing forth of the Ark of the Covenant could be to the people in Israel. Jewish rabbis say they know where it is, and it could be brought out into public.
In today’s program, we will discuss what will happen when Christ comes back to rescue Israel during the tribulation time. And we will also answer a very interesting question: What will happen to the children of believers and unbelievers worldwide when the rapture occurs? To begin, I realize many non-Christians may be saying, “Do you really believe, John, that Jesus Christ, the man who lived 2000 years ago, is actually coming back someday in the future to this planet? Where in the world did you get that? And what else does the Bible say is going to take place?” Well, we’re going to begin our discussion with Dave Hunt answering the question, Why do Christians believe that Christ will someday return to earth?
Hunt: First of all, we have to go back to the Old Testament. The Old Testament said the Messiah was coming. It said it in many ways, many scriptures; I don’t know exactly how many references there are, but let’s go down some of them. It said He would be born in Bethlehem; He was born in Bethlehem. Amazing. And Luke 2 begins with a decree, “It came to pass, a decree went forth from Augustus Caesar that all the world should be taxed” and that decree from a Roman emperor caused Joseph and Mary to end up in Bethlehem at the time of the birth of Jesus so He would be born there in fulfillment of the Scripture.
It said that He would be betrayed by one who had eaten bread with Him—Judas. It said that He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. Incredible. It happened. It said that those 30 pieces of silver would be taken and thrown down in remorse in the temple—it happened. It said that the rabbis would buy a field to bury strangers in. The natural thing would be for them, “Hey, you want to give the money back to us? Okay, we’ll take it” and split it up among themselves. It was a pretty handsome sum of money. But they didn’t. They did exactly what the Bible said.
You know, some people, I don’t know if you remember The Passover Plot, a popular book and they made it into a film way back there. And they said that Jesus knew the prophecies and so He conspired to have it all happen. I mean, did He have Judas working for Him who was willing to betray Him and then throw the money back and commit suicide, hang himself? Did the rabbis join in on this and buy a potter’s field so they would fulfill Scripture, agree to this 30 pieces of silver?
It said that He would be pierced. We’ve quoted a number of times Zechariah 12. God is speaking. I’d like to ask Jewish people, and Jehovah’s Witnesses: “When was your Jehovah pierced?” Because Jehovah, God, is speaking and He says in verse 10: “They will look on Me whom they have pierced.” Wait a minute. That piercing—and again, I have to confess, you know with these Greek and Hebrew scholars here, Randy can converse in Hebrew; I don’t know anything about it—but you tell me if I’m wrong, but that word there doesn’t just mean the piercing of the nail prints and hands and feet, it’s like, I think it’s the same word when Saul fell on his sword in Mount Gilboa. It’s a piercing to the death. Now, that wasn’t customary. What was customary was when you crucified somebody, they’re half dead you know, but when you take them down off the cross you would break their legs. But the Bible said, “A bone of him will not be broken.” But it also said, “He will be pierced to the death.” The piercing to the death, you know. And the soldier, instead of breaking his legs, he pierced Him with a spear in fulfillment of scripture.
What are you going to say? That Jesus paid him off ahead of time just to do that? I mean, how did He know which soldier would be at the cross? And where does He get the money for this? And if Jesus really isn’t the Messiah, what does He get out of this, deceiving a handful of fanatical followers into thinking that He is the Messiah? He’s going to die to do that? I mean, I can go on and on. We have the fulfillment of specific prophecy.
I picked up a Bachelor in math way back there in UCLA as pre-law somewhere, and I’ve forgotten most of it. I couldn’t do a partial differential equation if my life depended upon it, but I know a little bit about probabilities. And I can tell you the mathematical probabilities that these specific scriptures would be fulfilled in detail like that, it’s zilch! It couldn’t happen!
Alright, now, the same scriptures that foretold the first coming of Jesus foretell in detail His return—the rapture and the second coming, alright. If it happened as the Bible said the first time, you better believe it’s going to happen as it says the second time.
Furthermore, who told us that? He’s a man that rose from the dead. That was one of the prophecies in the Old Testament—that He would rise from the dead. Jesus said, “No man takes my life from me. I lay it down of myself and I will rise from the dead. I will come back.” Buddha’s tomb is occupied; Muhammad’s tomb, occupied. Jesus has left an empty tomb. You better take seriously a man who rose from the dead, and that man said, “I will come again.”
Ankerberg: Okay, Dr. Breese, 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 2 has got to be fulfilled: that He’s coming back to be the King, alright. So that still jibes 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 it 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; 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 unto 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: 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 mashiach,” 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: Finally, what could happen to the children of believers and unbelievers worldwide when Christ comes to catch away His church, to snatch believers out of this world at the rapture, the event Paul describes in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Well, Dave Hunt answers that question.
Hunt: Now, that’s something that I never talk about publicly unless I’m asked, because I’m not certain. I talked about a mass disappearance of millions, tens of millions, scores of millions of people. I agree with you, I assume what you were implying at least, I think there’s going to be a mass disappearance of every baby from the face of this earth. Now, I don’t have any Scripture for that. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” The Bible says that.
I mean, I would believe that a child who has not yet sinned and has not attained the age of responsibility—I think that varies with children; I think an aborted fetus, which is a real individual; a baby that dies a year old of famine in Somalia or whatever, I think they’re not going to go to hell. They have not sinned. And furthermore, I think that God in His wisdom knows the ones who would have believed had they, you know, lived to maturity and been able to hear the Gospel. I think at death they certainly go.
David indicated that. The little baby that died, you remember? He was in mourning until they told him when the baby was dead. In fact, they were whispering. They didn’t want to tell him the baby was dead, because they thought that would be devastating. And as soon as he saw them whispering, he realized the baby was dead. Then he washed himself and he stopped his mourning and praying. There’s no reason to pray for the dead. Furthermore, David said, “I can’t bring him back to me, but I will go to him.” Now, David certainly wasn’t going to go to hell. He was going to Paradise. So that would tell us that that baby was in Paradise.
So if when a child dies it goes to be with the Lord, I would think that at the rapture, I don’t think the Lord is going to leave behind these babies. I think they will be taken. I can’t give you solid Scripture for it, but that’s my opinion. Now, if that happens, wow! We have multiplied the effects of the rapture. Suddenly, all the babies and the infants have been vanished from planet Earth. That is terrifying! That would even be more cause for believing that some intergalactic power is snatching slaves out of here. You know, “Beam me up, Scottie.” You know? They’re being beamed up on UFOs or whatever it is—some super-technology. I think the effects of that would be devastating.

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