HEART OF THE MATTER!
by Sam Peak
The central issue upon which so much hangs is the Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount. It is this holy spot that makes “Jerusalem a cup of poison for all the peoples all around” as Zechariah says in his prophecy (12:2).
Why is this? What makes this plot of ground the key? Why is Arafat and the rest of the world (including all Muslims, the vast majority of those who go by the title Christian, atheists, agnostics, and pagans) so determined to thwart any Jewish expectations concerning the Temple Mount?
The answer can be found in Daniel 9:24 where we find that G-d has a prophetic plan. A plan of “seventy weeks” of years that is designed to usher in the Messianic Age of true “peace” and “good will toward men.”
If we examine these “seventy weeks” of years it is interesting to note that all of them have three things in common: 1) a remnant of the people of Israel returned to the Land of Israel, 2) Israel in control, even if in name only, of Jerusalem, and 3) either a Temple on the Temple mount or permission from the reigning Gentile world power for Israel to have a Temple on the Mount.
Furthermore, it is the final and still yet future seventieth week of Daniel that provides the key that unlocks the New Testament book of the Revelation, and many more New Testament prophecies which speak of the end of this age and the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom. According to premillennial Christian studies this seventieth week of Daniel is identical to what is known as the Tribulation Period.
Because so many contemporary studies focus only on the terrible events of this period, I would like to go back and look briefly but closely at the goals of those seventy weeks in Daniel 9:24, “Seventy weeks [of years] have been decreed upon your people [Daniel’s people, Israel] and upon your holy city [Jerusalem] to 1) terminate transgression, 2) to end sin, 3) to wipe away iniquity, 4) to bring everlasting righteousness, 5) to confirm the visions and prophets, and 6) to anoint the Holy of Holies [a direct reference to the Holy Temple of G-d].” Read and ponder these goals again, for I fear that most have lost sight of them.
Is there actually anyone who will argue that these goals are bad or evil in intent? Yet I often cannot believe my ears or eyes at some of the things I hear and see. Things like the amazing number of Christian leaders (even premillennial leaders) who speak out in word and print that the most Holy Temple in Jerusalem will be the work and plan of Satan and his Antichrist.
It seems that there is a rather strange interpretation around that regards Daniel’s seventieth week as the master-plan of Satan instead of the master-plan of G-d. As is obvious from Daniel 9 this is not the case, the entire seventy seeks are the plan and decree of G-d for the redemption of His creation.
I shudder a little every time I hear someone refer to the next Temple as the temple of the Antichrist based on the New Testament letter of II Thessalonians 2:3-4. Such a reading and reasoning is faulty for the text is II Thessalonians 2:4 clearly says this Temple is the “Temple of G-d;” in fact, the thrust of the text is that the presence of the “man of sin” in G-d’s Temple is the very pinnacle of wickedness which shall be judged by G-d through the Messiah.
Let me state it plainly once more: the coming Temple is not the plan or dream or scheme of the Antichrist, it is G-d’s Holy House which the Antichrist will defile with his presence, much like Antiochus Epiphanes did to the Second Temple in the days of the Maccabees. Is there anyone that suggests the building and function of the Second Holy Temple was the plan of Antiochus? Of course not, and it is just as ludicrous to suggest that the Third Temple is the plan of the Antichrist.
It is also absurd to continue to regard Daniel’s seventieth week (AKA the Tribulation Period) as Satan’s scheming plan. In fact, much of what the Bible reveals concerning this time is a description of Satan’s activities and attempts to bring this final prophesied week to a halt before its conclusion . . .
Jewish history since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE (AD) is replete with Satan’s attempts to head-off this final period of prophecy, by ensuring that the conditions of Daniel 9 are never met. Remember the three common conditions of the seventy weeks: a Jewish remnant in the Land, in Jerusalem, and on the Temple Mount. So it is of the utmost importance to Satan to 1) impede and stop any Temple rebuilding, 2) then get the Jews out of the Jerusalem and then out of the Land if Israel, and finally as a safety net 3) to destroy as many Jews as possible either by murder or assimilation, thus no future returns to the Land. If this is not the record of the past 2000 years of Jewish history, then I do not know what is, and it is more than a shame that so many that have called Jesus their Savior have been involved in this real scheme of Satan to put-off and stop the redemption.
The upshot of the matter can be discerned by answering a couple of simple questions: Whose purpose does it serve to oppose the rebuilding of the Holy Temple of G-d in Jerusalem? In whose camp do I stand by calling G-d’s Holy House the temple of the Antichrist? At the risk of offense, it must be admitted that if one is holding these positions they are not serving G-d, but rather the enemy.
Would that this message would go out to Christians from Christian leaders who are so looking forward to the Messiah’s coming. I dare say there might be such a surge of worldwide support for the rebuilding of the Temple that Israel’s leadership might also stand up. There is a Talmudic saying, “Everything is in the Hands of Heaven except the fear of Heaven.” Of course, G-d has everything in control to the minutest detail and it is for sure that the Temple will be rebuilt, but the decision to support or oppose (and having no opinion is to me as good as opposition) is still ours to make. -