What events will have to happen before the temple can be rebuilt in Jerusalem?
In the opening video, host John Ankerberg and guest Jimmy DeYoung discuss the building of the Tribulation Temple. Credentials of each speaker can be found in my Page, About Sources. In this article we will discuss the timing of the construction of the Tribulation Temple, the time in the Tribulation when the Temple will be built, and the destruction of the Temple, which will not be a place of God’s Presence. A comment was made during the video discussion about “The Abomination of Desolation;” we will also discuss that subject.
Revelation 11:1-2 The Measuring Rod of God (11:1-2)
1 Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2 Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.
Walvoord Revelation Commentary Excerpts.
These first two verses help us to understand the things that will happen in Jerusalem during the first and second halves of the seven years of the Tribulation.
In the first verse, although John is commanded to measure the Temple and the altar and them that worship therein, he is instructed not to measure the court without the Temple. The explanation given is that this is given to the Gentiles and that the outer court, as well as the entire holy city, will be under Gentile dominion for forty-two months.
The second verse adds further light to the situation in that, “instruction is given not to measure the outer court because it is given to the Gentiles along with the holy city for a period of forty-two months.” Here again is the familiar three-and-one-half-year period or half of the seven-year period predicted by Daniel the prophet (Dan. 9:27) in which Israel’s history will be consummated with Christ’s returning at its close.
It is in the latter half of the week, or the last three and one-half years, prior to the second coming, that the Gentiles have control of the outer court and the city.
It would seem that under the covenant relationship between the beast and the children of Israel, they are given considerable freedom in their worship for the first three and one-half years, and this would probably preclude the Gentiles trampling on the outer court, even though the holy city as such is under Gentile dominion.
Since the Gentiles are said to tread the holy city underfoot only forty-two months, this ill treatment better fits the latter half of the week. If the former half were mentioned, Jerusalem would be trodden underfoot for the entire seven-year period rather than for only forty-two months. The passage seems to anticipate freedom from Gentile dominion after the three and one-half years have run their course, which would mean that the second half of the seven-year period is in view.
The statement that the holy city is under Gentile control is borne out by the prophecy of Christ in Luke 21:24 where He predicted of the people of Israel, “They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” The times of the Gentiles end at the second coming of Christ when Gentile dominion is destroyed and Christ establishes His kingdom. This is predicted in the seventh trumpet revealed later in this chapter. The first two verses then signify that while God is permitting Gentile dominion and persecution of Israel, God Himself will be the judge of her persecutors.
The Temple here is apparently that which will be in existence during the great tribulation. Originally constructed for the worship of the Jews and the renewal of their ancient sacrifices, during the great tribulation, it is desecrated and becomes the home of an idol of the world ruler (cf. 2 Thes. 2:4; Rev. 13:14-15; Dan. 9:27; 12:11).
Several passages of Scripture indicate that the activities of the Antichrist involve a future Jewish Temple, as folllows:
Daniel Dan. 9:27 – The prince who is to come confirms a covenant for the duration of The 70th Week of Daniel. In the middle of the week, “he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.” This implies an preexisting Temple within which sacrifice and offering had been taking place. (The prince to come is the antichrist)
Daniel Dan. 12:11 – The daily sacrifice will be taken away and the Abomination of Desolation is set up. The context indicates that this occurs during “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a [Jewish] nation” (Dan. Dan. 12:1). A Temple must have been standing in which the daily sacrifices were being offered.(The time of trouble will be the Great Tribulation, Mt 24:11)
Matthew Matt. 24:15 – Jesus predicted that the Abomination of Desolation would stand “in the holy place.” This refers to a location within the Temple.
2 Thessalonians 2Th. 2:4 – Paul indicated that one of the acts of the man of sin would be to exalt himself “above all that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” [emphasis added]
Revelation Rev. 11:1+ – John is told to measure “the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.” The context is during the Tribulation, prior to the return of Christ.
Matthew 24:16, “then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.”
Vs 15 tells of the abomination of desolation. Verse 16 tells of the flight of Jews from Jerusalem to the mountains for safety. Within this verse is the truth that we, whom are believers in Christ, will not be fleeing Jerusalem. Vs 20 says to pray that such a flight is not on a Sabbath. In today’s dispensation of grace, Christians are not bound by the Sabbath. Gentiles whom are left left behind from the Rapture, will have no knowledge of the Sabbath. Jews will flee Jerusalem for personal safety, but will have to deal with legalist Jews in Jerusalem, who will condemn such “Sabbath breaking.” Per Acts 1:12, “a Sabbath day’s journey.” i.e., One-half of a mi. (about 2,000 cubits), the farthest distance a faithful Jew could travel on the Sabbath to accommodate the prohibition of Ex. 16:29. (MacArthur note).
The Abomination of Desolation Described.
Matthew 24:15, “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),”
Following commentary by Dr. Thomas Ice (Check his credentials in my Page, “About Sources.”)
We have now reached the midpoint of the tribulation in the chronological progress of this passage. Christ mentions the key event upon which the entire passage turns when He speaks of the abomination of desolation. What is He speaking about?
THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
The key passages in Daniel that mention the term “abomination of desolation” are Daniel 9:27; 11:31 and Daniel 12:11. This is a technical term, which means that it has a precise and consistent meaning in all three passages. The phrase refers to an act of abomination that renders, in this case, the Temple, something unclean. Daniel 11:31 speaks of an act that was fulfilled in history before the first coming of Christ. Dr. John Walvoord explains:
In Daniel 11:31, a prophecy was written by Daniel in the sixth century B. C. about a future Syrian ruler by name of Antiochus Epiphanes who reigned over Syria 175-164 B. C., about 400 years after Daniel. History, of course, has recorded the reign of this man. In verse 31, Daniel prophesied about his activity: “…they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” This would be very difficult to understand if it were not for the fact that it has already been fulfilled. Anyone can go back to the history of Antiochus Epiphanes and discover what he did as recorded in the apocryphal books of 1 and 2 Maccabees. He was a great persecutor of the children of Israel and did his best to stamp out the Jewish religion and wanted to place in its stead a worship of Greek pagan gods.…
One of the things he did was to stop animal sacrifices in the temple. He offered a sow, an unclean animal, on the altar in a deliberate attempt to desecrate and render it unholy for Jewish worship (cf. 1 Macc. 1:48). First Maccabees 1:54 specifically records that the abomination of desolation was set up, fulfilling Daniel 11:31. In the holy of holies, Antiochus set up a statue of a Greek god.…In keeping with the prophecy the daily sacrifices were stopped, the sanctuary was polluted, desolated and made an abomination.
Dr. Thomas Ice continues.
Dr. Randall Price agrees: “In my own study of the phrase in the context of Temple desecration I discovered the phrase served as a technical reference to the introduction of an idolatrous image or an act of pagan sacrilege within the Sanctuary that produces the highest level a of ceremonial impurity, Temple profanation.”
This passage sets the pattern and provides details about what the abomination of desolation consists of. The Daniel 9:27 passage says that this abomination is to take place in the middle of a seven year period. The passage says, “in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate.” “In other words, the future prince will do at that time exactly what Antiochus did in the second century B.C.” But Daniel goes on to say that the one who commits this act will be destroyed three and a half years later. Daniel 12:11 provides “the precise chronology.” The text says, “And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.”
In addition to the three passages in Daniel, the two references by our Lord in Matthew and Luke, 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and Revelation 13:14-15 also have this event in view. Therefore, the abomination of desolation, which the reader is to understand, includes the following elements:
It occurs in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem (Daniel 11:31; 2 Thes 2:4).
It involves a person setting up a statue in place of the regular sacrifice in the holy of holies (Dan 11:31; 12:11; Rev 13:14-14).
This results in the cessation of the regular sacrifice (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11).
There will be a time of about three-and-a-half years between this event and another event and the end of the time period (Dan 9:27; 12:11).
It involves an individual setting up a statue or image of himself so that he may be worshiped in place of God (Dan 11:31; 2 Thes 2:4; Rev 13:14-15).
The image is made to come to life (Rev 13:14).
A worship system of this false god is thus inaugurated (2 Thes 2:4; Rev 13:14-15).
At the end of this time period the individual who commits the act will himself be cut off (Dan 9:27).
The Destruction Of The Tribulation Temple.
It is important to know that the Tribulation Temple was never a Temple that God had as a place of habitation (See my article, “End Times 16”). However, there are key verses of scripture that tell of the conditions that can cause the destruction of the Tribulation Temple.
Let’s consider Isaiah’s prophecy of the end of the Tribulation. Isaiah 24:18-19. 712 B.C.
Isaiah 24:18-19. “18 ….the foundations of the earth shake. 19 The earth is broken asunder, The earth is split through, The earth is shaken violently.” [See the MacArthur commentary note: Unparalleled earthquakes will mark the future visitation during and after the fulfillment of Daniel’s 70-week prophecy (see note on 13:13; cf. Matt. 24:7; Rev. 6:12, 14; 8:5; 11:19; 16:18).]
Let’s consider Zechariah’s prophecy of the end of the Tribulation. Zechariah 14:1-5. 487 B.C.
1 Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. 5 You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! (vs 5, Re Isa 66:15-16, 18)
Consider the severity of the earthquake (vs 4). Consider the city of Jerusalem (vs 2).
Let’s consider the seventh bowl judgment. Revelation 16:17-21. 96 A.D.
17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” 18 And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. 19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, *came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague *was extremely severe.
Consider the severity of the earthquake (vs 18). Consider the great city, which is Jerusalem (vs 19). The earth will quake, not only in Jerusalem, but also in cities all around the world. It is easy to understand how the Tribulation Temple, which was built under the authority of the antichrist, will be destroyed by the earthquake of God’s seventh bowl judgment. “This seventh bowl judgment will be the completion of God’s plan, preceding the establishment of the Kingdom Age” (Dr. David Hocking sermon, Armaggedon, Rev 16:12-21). https://hftmedia.org/archive/revelation/nt27-message-36-40/
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