Thursday, January 25, 2018

Revelation 11:1-3 The Third Temple

KEY TEXT: Revelation 11:1-3 Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, "Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth."

KEY THOT: John was asked to measure the temple of God, the inner court and the Most Holy Place. The outer court was not measured because "it is given over the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months" (v.2). Two things to note in this period before the seventh and last trumpet is sounded: the temple would be in place in Jerusalem and its outer court would be trampled by Gentile nations. The inner court and the holiest place are accessible only by the priests while the outer court is open to women and Gentiles. Ezekiel was also commanded to measure this temple in his vision in Ezekiel 40. But he measured the walls and outer court, not just the inner court and the Most Holy Place. It would seem that Jerusalem would be attacked and overtaken by the nations. Initially the Gentile nations stayed on the outer court area for 3.5 years (1,260 days @ 360 days per year). But soon after that, the Gentile nations would enter the inner court and the Most Holy Place to desecrate these areas meant only for the priests.

Daniel 12:11 spoke about this desecration of the temple after the 42 months period was over, thus: "And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days" (Daniel 12:11-12). This period of desecration (roughly another 3.5 years) of the temple known as the "abomination that makes desolate" is also mentioned by Jesus himself in Matthew 24:15-17, "So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place ( let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."

Apparently, the nations will be outraged when Israel finally rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount, also known as the Dome of the Rock. This place was built in the late 7th century by the Muslim caliph and considered by the Muslims as one of their holy places. The outrage of the nations was so great as to lead to an invasion of Jerusalem by the coalition of armies of the nations. Jesus himself has said: "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near" (Luke 21:20). With the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and the planned move of the US embassy to Jerusalem before Israel's celebration of the 70th anniversary (14 May 2018) of its founding, the Jews will be emboldened to rebuild the temple over the Temple Mount.

We are now quickly moving into the final stages of world history, just before the sounding of seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:15. As a church, we cannot afford to be sleeping like the five foolish virgins. We have to have extra oil to last through the terrible phase of human history before the coming of Jesus Christ to stop the global carnage.

Abba-Father, grant us grace to remain faithful to Your commission to pray to the Lord of harvest for workers in the field. For the time of the Gentiles is ending soon and the urgency of proclamation of the Gospel to the nations is critical. Rouse up Your Church to fulfill the Great Commission. Amen.

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