The Daily Sacrifice: Part 1
The traditional belief among the many Jewish people is that the Messiah cannot arrive until a temple is erected in Jerusalem. (Remember that Jews have been without a temple for the last 2000 years). But against all odds, hope to bring this Temple dream into reality was revived in 1917 after the British Empire penned the Balfour Declaration. In this sixty-seven-word statement, the British Empire made it known that it desired to see a homeland established for the Jewish people which would be shared with those native to the region as well.
The sentiments of this declaration were finally realized in 1948 when Israel was recognized as an independent state in 1948. Since that time the Jewish people have held within the parameters of the Balfour agreement. They have complied by allowing separate borders for the Palestinian people; often giving back lands gained from wars waged against them by their neighboring countries.
The Jewish state has survived, and its people have miraculously overcome great odds. Signs that the time to rebuild a Temple appears to be nearing as the United States (the leader of the free world and Israel’s greatest ally) prepares to move its embassy to Jerusalem. It would seem to many that the next logical step would be to erect the long-awaited Temple; paving the way for the Messiah’s reign shortly after its completion.
For many Evangelical Christians, this building holds prophetic significance as well. It’s construction is believed to serve as one of the premier signals that the return of Jesus Christ’s is near and that the 1000 years of peace on earth is about to begin. This narrative is based through an expansive array of prophecies within the book of Revelation. Concepts of 666, the mark of the beast, Armageddon the battle of Gog and Magog are presented which enhance the traditional Jewish end of days scenario.
Let me simply explain the Popular view:
According to the majority of Christian prophecy students, there will be a seven-year period after animal sacrifices resume in the future temple. In the middle of this period (which accounts for 3 ½ years) the “beast” (who originally orchestrated a peace treaty with Israel) goes back on his agreement and forbids the sacrifices. He then substitutes Israel’s sacrifices with something that becomes an abomination to the God of Israel. (This will be the sign that a turbulent period of 3 ½ year period is about to begin). Things escalate as the nation’s surrounding Israel wage the final world war in a place called Armageddon.
At that time, Jesus and his angels will descend from heaven. He will set his feet on the Mount of Olives and because of this undeniable spectacle, the Jewish people will accept Jesus as their Messiah. Jesus and the Jewish people will unite together and defeat their national enemies. The surviving nations who witness the destruction of Israel’s enemies will in turn, submit themselves to the Kingdom of Heaven and the thousand-year period of peace will initiate.
Although this is the most popular end of days scenario, one must consider whether it is wholly consistent with all that the Bible has revealed; especially narratives that conflict with key prophecies revealed to Moses. Remember that anything that does not line up with the writings of Moses means that the teaching brought to before us is in error and must be corrected (see Isaiah 8:20). Let me bring a few of these contradictions to the reader’s attention.
Israel turns to the Messiah after temple is rebuilt and Messiah protects Israel from the evil nations.
Mosaic prophetic view:
Israel forsakes the Covenant in the last days while the God of Israel in turn, forsakes Israel and pours out his curses upon the nation (all nations wonder why since they had nothing to do with it).
“The whole land (of Israel) will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah… which YHWH overthrew in fierce anger. All the nations will ask: "Why has YHWH done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?" And the answer will be: "It is because this people abandoned the covenant of YHWH, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 29:22-25). “They (Israel) will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. On that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed” (Deuteronomy 31:16-18).
The “Man of Sin” will forbid the temple sacrifices and supply an abomination at the commencement of the great tribulation.
Mosaic Prophetic view:
The House of Israel and the House of Judah will collaboratively practice abominations in the last days temple and the wrath of God will commence in response.
"Son of man, look toward the north." So I looked, and in the entrance north of the gate of the altar I saw this idol of jealousy. And he said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing—the utterly detestable things the house of Israel is doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable" (Ezekiel 8:4-6). He said to me, "Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the house of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here? Must they also fill the land with violence and continually provoke me to anger? Look at them putting the branch to their nose! Therefore, I will deal with them in anger; I will not look on them with pity or spare them. Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen to them" (Ezekiel 8:17-18).
Prophetically speaking, some form of Temple structure will be constructed and operate in the last days. To those unfamiliar with the Law of Moses, the ceremonies will be impressive and conducted with precision, pomp and great piety. But undetectable to the casual observer, these rituals will not be accordance with the statutes YHWH proscribed to Israel through Moses. And because of this, YHWH will forsake these worshippers and pour out His plagues upon them. (Yet a remnant of Israel will be sheltered in accordance with the covenant He made with their forefathers).
The true worshippers who the Father seeks will be marked with the seal of God. Looking far into the future, Ezekiel heard the voice of YHWH say to the man with the writer’s inkhorn, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (Ezekiel 9:4). These represent the remnant of Israel who will be grieved by the unlawful acts that their countrymen will conduct in the name of YHWH.
The language of Ezekiel is unmistakable, it dovetails with precision to the words that Moses prophesied regarding Israel’s final rebellion. Yet many believers conclude that the future temple and its worshipers will play a positive role the latter days. Unbeknownst to them, they will be sympathetically drawn into rebellion against the Law of Moses and the Covenant through Israel’s lawless behavior.
Where is the source of the ideas that have brought about this line of thinking? This will be addressed in Part Two of this presentation.