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Sermon No: 2836-The third Jewish Temple



Gavin-Paynter/The-third-temple.jpg

SERMON TOPIC: The third Jewish Temple

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 17 July 2016

Topic Groups: ISRAEL, THIRD TEMPLE, PROPHECY

Sermon synopsis: To those who hold to a Futurist view of prophecy (i.e. most prophecy is yet to be fulfilled) one cannot fail to note the allusions to a Temple in the events which must still unfold.

Matt 24:15–16 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand – then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

2 Thess 2:3-4 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

With all the prophecies about the Temple, the natural question is - which temple? There is clearly no Jewish Temple in Jerusalem today. Of course, Historicists will say that the Abomination is the pope who sits in a spiritual temple, which they claim is the Church. And while Preterists will accept it as the Jewish Temple they will assign the event to the first century and the destruction of the 2nd Jewish Temple. The Futurist view is that it is a future 3rd Jewish Temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem.
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THE TEMPLE IN PROPHECY

To those who hold to a Futurist view of prophecy (i.e. most prophecy is yet to be fulfilled) one cannot fail to note the allusions to a Temple in the events which must still unfold.

Matt 24:15–16 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand – then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

2 Thess 2:3-4 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

THE TEMPLE IN PROPHECY

With all the prophecies about the Temple, the natural question is – which temple? There is clearly no Jewish Temple in Jerusalem today. Of course, Historicists will say that the Abomination is the pope who sits in a spiritual temple, which they claim is the Church. And while Preterists will accept it as the Jewish Temple they will assign the event to the first century and the destruction of the 2nd Jewish Temple. The Futurist view is that it is a future 3rd Jewish Temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem.

WHICH TEMPLE?

Temple

Defiled by

Office

Preterist

2nd Jewish Temple

Titus

A Roman general

Historicist

The Church

The papacy

A Roman Catholic pope

Futurist

3rd Jewish Temple

The Antichrist

A neo-Roman political world leader

After Jesus ascension we see that Jesus’ disciples “stayed continually at the temple, praising God” (Luke 24:53). In the early apostolic church, Christians in Jerusalem still used the Temple as a regular place of worship and instruction.

Acts 5:42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

EARLY JERUSALEM CHURCH

Peter and John would pray in the Temple and this was on one of these occasions that they healed the lame man who sat at the Temple gate (Acts 3).

The apostles used the Temple as a platform for proclaiming Jesus’ resurrection to the people (Acts 4,5), being arrested by the Temple guards on more than one occasion for doing so.

EARLY JERUSALEM CHURCH

What would Paul have understood by the phrase “temple of God” when he used it in 2 Thessalonians, and how would his readers would have understood it.

Paul was educated by Gamaliel in Jerusalem (Acts 22:3) and would have frequented the Temple in his youth.

As the persecutor of the Church, Paul obtained letters of authority to arrest Christians in Damascus from the Sanhedrin (Acts 22:4-5), who convened at the Jewish Temple.

At the outset of his ministry, Paul would pray at the Temple while in Jerusalem (Acts 22:17-18).

At the time Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians (c. AD 52 ), the Temple in Jerusalem was still standing.

PAUL & THE TEMPLE

When Paul himself visited Jerusalem, 5 years after this epistle was written (c. AD 57 ), he went to the Temple to worship (Acts 24:17-18). In fact it was on this

PAUL & THE TEMPLE

occasion that he was attacked by a mob, dragged outside and subsequently arrested by the Romans (Acts 21).

Remember that Paul was writing to the Thessalonians to clear up confusion that existed in their church, caused by some who were teaching that Christ had already returned (2 Thess 2:1-4).

So Paul was not intending to be obscure or figurative when he referred to “the temple of God”. By using the definite article and speaking of “the temple of God” with no further qualification, it clearly indicates that Paul was referring to the Jerusalem Temple.

There is no compelling reason to believe that the Thessalonians would have understood it in any other way. And Paul was intending to clear the confusion that existed in their ranks, not to create additional uncertainty.

PAUL & THE TEMPLE

Author

Lived

Future Antichrist would sit in:

Irenaeus

130-202

Future Jewish Temple

Hippolytus

170-235

Victorinus

d. 303

Cyril of Jerusalem

313-386

Ephraim the Syrian

306-373

Zenobius

337-417

Sulpicius Severus

363-425

John of Damascus

676-749

Adso the monk

d. 992

Anselm

1033-1109

John Chrysostom

349-407

Future Jewish Temple & every church

Augustine

354-430

Future Jewish Temple or the church

John Cassian

360-435

The church

Athanasius

293-373

CHURCH FATHERS

For details see Appendix.

Temple

Built

Destroyed

1st

By Solomon – completed in 957 BC

By the Babylonians (Nebuchadnezzar) – c. 587 BC

2nd

By Zerubbabel (515 BC), renovated by Herod the Great (20 BC-26 AD)

The Romans (Titus) - AD 70

3rd

Still must be built before the middle of the Tribulation

THE TEMPLES IN HISTORY

David decided to build a temple in Jerusalem, to replace the tabernacle in use as a place of worship since the time of the Exodus. Through the prophet Nathan, God told David that his son Solomon, would build the Temple instead (2 Sam 7).

1ST TEMPLE

Now then, tell my servant David, “… I will raise up your offspring to succeed you… and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name…”

And so the First Temple was constructed by Solomon in the 10th century BC and, along with his royal palace, it took 20 years to build. This temple housed the famous Ark of the Covenant.

1ST TEMPLE

The First Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC, after the Babylonians besieged Jerusalem and burnt the Temple, along with most of the city.

A portion of the population of Judah was taken into exile to Babylon.

1ST TEMPLE

After the fall of the Babylonian Empire to the Persians, many of the Jews were still in exile, but now under Persian rule. After 70 years in captivity in accordance with the prophecy of Jeremiah, the Jews received authorisation from Cyrus the Great to return and rebuild the Temple (Ezra 1:1-4).

2ND TEMPLE

Zerubbabel led the first group of Jews returning from exile. Construction began in 538 BC at the original site of the First Temple and was completed 23 years later.

Although this Temple was a more modest version of the original, and lacked the Ark of the Covenant, it resumed its role as the centre of worship for Jews.

2ND TEMPLE

Despite being a cruel dictator, Herod the Great was known for his great architectural achievements, the most famous and ambitious project being the renovation and expansion of the Temple, whereby the area of the Temple Mount doubled in size.

Beginning in 20-19 BC, it was only completed around AD 26.

This Temple was the headquarters of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish supreme court.

REFURBISHED 2nd TEMPLE

Herod the Great

This Temple played a significant role in the life of Jesus.

After his birth, he was dedicated here, as a 12-year old boy he amazed the teachers here. Satan later tempted him to jump off the highest point of the Temple.

REFURBISHED 2nd TEMPLE

Jesus celebrated the Jewish feasts there and twice chased out the moneychangers. He taught the people and healed the sick there. When he died, it was in this Temple that the curtain to the Holy of Holies was torn in two.

Model of the 2nd temple at the Shrine of the Book (Jerusalem)

And it was of this Temple that it was written in Mark 13:1, “As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him:

Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!

In response, Jesus predicted the Temple’s destruction .

Do you see all these things? I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.

In fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy, the Temple was destroyed about four decades later on the 9th day of the month of Av in AD 70 by the Roman military commander and future emperor, Titus.

It is a strange coincidence that both Nebuchadnezzar, and the Romans destroyed the respective temples on the same date on the Jewish calendar.

Titus (41-81)

TEMPLE’S DESTRUCTION

Jesus wept over Jerusalem and spoke of the desolation of her ‘house’ (a reference to the temple). Earlier in his ministry (John 2:16) Jesus had referred to the temple as “my Father’s house”. He now calls it “your house” to show that God had abandoned it.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem… how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. (Matt 23:37-38)

In the early 2nd century, there were messianic groups in Judea who believed that Jeremiah’s prophecy promising the rebuilding of the Temple 70 years after its destruction would be repeated.

Jeremiah was speaking of the restoration of the First Temple after the Babylonian exile, but these groups held that in a similar fashion, the Second Temple would be restored around AD 140.

These hopes were cruelly dashed by the Emperor Hadrian when he decided to build a new Roman city called Colonia Aelia Capitolina on the ruins of Jerusalem.

HADRIAN

Hadrian (76–138)

When a Jewish revolt broke out because of Hadrian’s attempted Hellenization of Judea, Roman armies were sent to crush the resistance. Bar Kokhba, a man hailed as Messiah by Rabbi Akiva, was the leader of the resistance.

Roman losses were extremely heavy but Hadrian’s army eventually crushed the rebellion in AD 135, with overall war operations in Judea leaving some 580,000 Jews dead.

After the war, Hadrian continued his persecution of Jews and defiantly erected a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus on the Temple site. In an act of contempt, he also attempted to erase the memory of Judea by renaming the province Syria Palaestina (the origin of the term “Palestine”). This was a deliberate ploy to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel by naming it after their old enemies - the Philistines.

HADRIAN

Jews were prohibited from entering Jerusalem on pain of death, except for one day each year, the 9th day of the month of Av – the anniversary of the Temple’s destruction.

In the 4th century the first Christian Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Constantine most likely destroyed the pagan temple of Jupiter built by Hadrian 1 when he destroyed the temple of Venus in the city.

1 Until recently, it was widely believed that in the Byzantine period the Temple Mount was abandoned by Christians and turned into a garbage dump. The formerly supressed excavations by Hamilton at Al-Aqsa Mosque between 1938 and 1942 uncovered an elaborate mosaic floor, dated to the 5th to 7th centuries, similar to the one in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Some believe this may be the remains of a public building - possibly a church or monastery - which predated the mosque.

BYZANTINE PERIOD

In AD 363, support for a rebuilt Jewish Temple came from a most unlikely source, namely the Emperor Julian “the Apostate”, the last pagan emperor of Rome and a Christian apostate. Because of his opposition to Christianity, Julian gave permission to the Jews to rebuild their temple, supplying the necessary funds. Jews from all over, who had hopes of seeing a 3rd Temple built, also contributed financially to the project and many came to Jerusalem to assist.

JULIAN THE APOSTATE

Emperor Julian (330-363)

Ammianus Marcellinus, a pagan friend of Julian’s, wrote that Julian committed this task to Alypius of Antioch, but on commencing the task “fearful balls of fire, breaking out near the foundations, continued their attacks, till the workmen, after repeated scorchings, could approach no more: and he [the architect] gave up the attempt.

The failure to rebuild the Temple has been ascribed to the Galilee earthquake of AD 363 and some speculate that the cause of the flames was explosive noxious gasses in the subterranean passages. But the prevailing view among Christian historians of the time was that it was an act of Divine intervention.

Then when, within the year, at the age of around 31 or 32, Julian was killed while retreating in battle, the temple project was abandoned.

JULIAN THE APOSTATE

In AD 637 the Arab Muslims besieged and captured Jerusalem from the Byzantine Empire. There are no contemporary records, but many traditions, about the origin of the two main Islamic buildings on the mount. Umayyad Caliphs commissioned the construction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock on the site. The Dome was completed in AD 692.

ABOVE: The dome of the Rock BELOW: Al-Aqsa mosque

ISLAMIC RULE

For centuries Christian pilgrims were still able to visit the Temple Mount, but escalating violence against pilgrims to Jerusalem instigated the Crusades. The Crusaders captured Jerusalem in AD 1099 and the Dome of the Rock was given to the Augustinians, who turned it into a church. The Knights Templar later set up their headquarters in the Al-Aqsa Mosque for much of the 12th century. 1

1 https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Dome_of_the_Rock

CRUSADERS

Almost a century after the Crusader’s arrival in Jerusalem, Saladin (a Sunni Muslim of Kurdish origin) took the city in AD 1187.

The Dome of the Rock was reconsecrated as a Muslim shrine and the cross on top of the dome replaced by the Islamic crescent.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque was also restored to its original function as a mosque.

SALADIN

A possible portrait of Saladin, found in a work by Ismail al-Jazari, circa 1185

While the English knight-king Richard the Lionhearted inflicted major damage to Saladin’s armies elsewhere, all his military attempts to retake Jerusalem failed. Nevertheless, Richard and Saladin shared a mutual respect and admiration for each other and came to an agreement in 1192, whereby Jerusalem would remain in Muslim hands but would be open to Christian pilgrimages. 1

1 https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Saladin

RICHARD I

Tomb of Richard I (aka the Lionhearted) in Fontevraud Abbey, France (SEE NOTE 3)

In 1517, the Ottoman Empire conquered Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine from the Mamluks during yet another fierce and bloody battle for the Holy City.

The Ottoman authorities continued the policy of prohibiting non-Muslims from setting foot on the Temple Mount until the early 19th century, when non-Muslims were again permitted to visit the site. 1

During World War 1 (1914–18), an Arab uprising and the British Empire’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force under General Edmund Allenby drove the Turks out of the Levant during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. 2

1 SOURCE: https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Temple_Mount 2 https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Mandatory_Palestine

THE OTTOMANS

As an ally of Germany, the Turkish Ottoman empire was defeated by the Allied Powers in World War 1 and this resulted in the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire.

This initiated the period of British Mandate (1920-1948) when Palestine was an entity under British administration, carved out of the former Ottoman Southern Syria.

Allenby entering Jerusalem on foot in 1917 to show respect for the holy place

BRITISH MANDATE

In the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence the British had agreed to honour Arab independence if they revolted against the Ottomans, while at the same time the Balfour Declaration of 1917, promised British support for a Jewish “national home” in Palestine.

At the war’s end the British and French set up a joint “Occupied Enemy Territory Administration” in what had been Ottoman Syria. The land west of the Jordan River, known as Palestine, was under direct British administration until 1948. 1

1 https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Mandatory_Palestine

BRITISH MANDATE

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al Husseini, used the Wall as a focal point for his anti-Zionist campaigns. He incited Muslims by proclaiming the Western Wall a holy Muslim site which Jews were trying to seize. 1

Muslim riots in 1929 against Jewish worshipers at the Wall were instigated by the claim that Jewish prayer endangered the mosques holy to Islam. 1

1 SOURCE: CAMERA - Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

BRITISH MANDATE

Haj Amin al Husseini (1897-1974)

After the 1948 War of Independence, Jerusalem became a divided city. Israel only gained control of West Jerusalem, the newer Jewish Section of the city. The Old City of Jerusalem, the Biblical city, fell into the hands of Jordan. Jordan subsequently refused Jews access to their holy sites (including the Temple Mount and Western Wall) in violation of Article 8 of the 1949 Israeli-Jordanian Armistice Agreement.

During Jordan’s 19-year occupation of eastern Jerusalem (1948-1967), Jewish holy places were desecrated, vandalized and destroyed… Christian churches were prohibited from buying property in Jerusalem and Christian religious organizations were restricted from owning property near Holy places. 1

1 CAMERA

JORDANIAN CONTROL

On 7 June 1967, during the Six-Day War, Israeli forces took control of the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount. Chief Military Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, led the soldiers in religious celebrations on the Temple Mount and at the Western Wall.

MODERN ISRAEL

Rabbi Shlomo Goren at the Western Wall in 1967 shortly after the liberation of Jerusalem

Many Jews saw the capture of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as an event with messianic significance, while many Christians recalled the words Jesus spoke many years ago:

They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Jesus foresaw the church age where the whole world had the gospel preached to them:

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14)

But according to Jesus the time of the Gentiles ended in 1967:

“Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24)

Christians who hold to the Futurist Premillennial view see the retaking of the Old City of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War as a significant milestone, which will ultimately usher the Second Coming of Jesus to establish his millennial kingdom on earth.

TIMES OF THE GENTILES

For the Futurist, at the end of the age there will be a defilement of the Temple (by the image of the antichrist), which triggers a genocide of the Jews when this event causes them to reject the Antichrist as a false Messiah.

Beside the rise of the Antichrist world leader, there are currently a few remaining obstacles which stand in the way of the fulfilment of the prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation and the abolition of sacrifice.

No Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

Muslim control of the Temple Mount

No sacrificial system in place

The 10th red heifer

REMAINING OBSTACLES

The most obvious obstacle is that there is no Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. As the abomination is set up in the temple of God (Matt 24:15) and the Antichrist must be able to sit in the temple of God in Jerusalem (2 Thess 2:4= Daniel 11:45), obviously a temple must be built first.

Futurists believe that a Third Temple will be built and that the sacrifices must be reinstituted because “In the middle of the ‘seven’” the Antichrist “will put an end to sacrifice and offering” (Dan 9:27).

The 18 July 2010 edition of Arutz Sheva (Israel International News) reported that half the Israeli public wants the Temple to be rebuilt. 1

1 http:// www.israelnationalnews.com/ News/ News.aspx/ 138655

(1) NO JEWISH TEMPLE

Because the temple was levelled to the ground by the Romans, and the site has been so extensively modified during the Roman, Byzantine, Sassanid, Muslim and Crusader eras, considerable doubt exists as to where the Jewish temples actually stood.

Because the location of the Temple has not been identified with certainty, devout Jews do not visit the Temple Mount, in case they inadvertently break the law by walking over the Holy of Holies or the area reserved for priests.

Of course the debate could easily be settled if the Waqf would permit archaeological work by anyone besides themselves.

The general intent of religious Jews is to build the Temple on the original site of the 1st and 2nd Temples.

LOCATION OF 3RD TEMPLE

There are differing theories as to where the Jewish Temples stood. We will only look at the first 3 options.

Where the Dome of the Rock is now located - located (Dr. Leen Ritmeyer - 1984)

North of the Dome - Dr. Asher Kaufmann (1983)

South of the Dome - Tuvia Sagiv (2004)

East of the Dome - Professor Joseph Patrich (2007)

Where the Al-Aqsa mosque is now located - Nathan Kaplan (1998)

One that requires revisionist history assigns the entire Temple Mount to Fort Antonia and the Temple to a mound called Ophel - Dr. Ernest Martin (2000)

LOCATION OF 3RD TEMPLE

THE TEMPLE MOUNT

Some of the proposed locations for the Temple

N

S

E

W

North

South

Dome of the Rock

Al-Aqsa

East

Hippolytus saw the Antichrist as building the Temple in order to curry favour with the Jews:

And after that he will build the temple in Jerusalem and will restore it again speedily and give it over to the Jews. 1

Orthodox Jews generally believe that rebuilding the Temple should occur in the era of the Jewish Messiah.

As Futurists generally believe that the Antichrist or False Prophet will be a false Messiah, this seems to strengthen the case for the Antichrist sponsoring the building of the Temple - in order to bolster his claim to messiahship.

1 Discourse on the End of the World 23-25 [A.D. 217]

BUILDER OF 3RD TEMPLE

The traditional view, and the rabbis’ official view, is that the Temple stood where the Dome of the Rock presently stands.

A problem with this view is that the rock on which the Dome of the Rock is built is the highest point or summit of Mount Moriah. But while Solomon built the First Temple on Mount Moriah, he also built it on the threshing floor which David had purchased from Araunah in order to sacrifice to the Lord (2 Sam 24).

2 Chron 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David.

a) DOME OF ROCK SITE

But research analyst, Harry Moskoff, notes that “threshing floors are usually round and on a relatively flat area. It is known that the diameters of these floors generally ranged from 12 to 14 meters… They are not usually located on the very top of mountains, but a little below so that the wind will carry away the chaff only and leave the heavier grain. This is a hint that the Temple was built close to the summit of the mountain, but not actually on it.” 1

Furthermore, if this view is correct there would be major political and religious repercussions to building the 3rd Temple as it would require the demolition of the Dome of the Rock. If the Antichrist is the builder or sponsor of the Temple, it’s unlikely he would take this approach.

1 http:// www.jpost.com/ Opinion/ Were-the-Temples-built-on-the-summit-of-Mount-Moriah-385804

a) DOME OF ROCK SITE

In his vision Ezekiel measures the courtyard of the sanctuary and notes that a wall has been constructed across the area to make a separation between the Temple and a “profane place” (possibly the Dome of the Rock):

Ezekiel 42:20 He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place. (KJV)

It’s possible that the Dome of the Rock is that “profane place”. Surely the Antichrist would try appease both Jews and Muslims in order to effect his Middle East Peace Treaty?

THE PROFANE PLACE

THE PROFANE PLACE

As a master politician and peacemaker, this option seems more likely to be seen as a gesture of peace to both Jews and Muslims (contrasted with destroying the Dome of the Rock or Al-Aqsa and replacing it with a Jewish Temple).

Dome of the Tablets (Spirits)

b) NORTHERN HYPOTHESIS

The view of scholars like Dr. Asher S. Kaufman is that the Temple stood about 100 metres to the north of the Dome of the Rock. One particular level outcropping of this Mt. Moriah bedrock lies under a small Islamic shrine known as “The Dome of the Tablets” or “The Dome of the Spirits” to the Arabs. Both names suggest an association with the Jewish Temples. Kaufman locates the Temple site under this canopy.

The so-called “Eastern Gate” is a closed double gate also called the “Golden Gate”.

The Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem currently contains a model of the Jerusalem Temple in the time of Christ. Note in the model how the Eastern Gate is shown directly East of the Temple.

b) NORTHERN HYPOTHESIS

The current Eastern Gate (which is built on top of an older gate) is directly east of Kaufman’s proposed location, reinforcing the belief that the Temple entrance was in line with the Temple itself.

Eastern Gate

Dome of the Rock

b) NORTHERN HYPOTHESIS

N

S

E

W

c) SOUTHERN HYPOTHESIS

Possibly the most provocative proposal is from Tuvia Sagiv.

This theory focuses on the temple to Jupiter that Hadrian built on the Temple Mount in AD 135. Reference is made to the temple of Jupiter in Baalbek, Lebanon, which is still standing to this day, and which was completed around AD 60. Hadrian visited Baalbek in AD 130 and would have seen this temple to Jupiter 5 years before his own temple to Jupiter would be built in Jerusalem.

As an architect by trade, Sagiv noticed that the Baalbek temple and the Islamic mosques on the Temple Mount today were almost identical in both design and scale. The similarity between a hexagon shaped forecourt with the Dome of the Rock and the temple of Jupiter with the Al-Aqsa mosque is nothing short of amazing.

c) SOUTHERN HYPOTHESIS

Al-Kas Fountain

Dome of the Rock

Al-Aqsa Mosque

TEMPLE OF JUPITER BAALBEK LEBANON

TEMPLE MOUNT JERUSALEM

Forecourt

Temple of Jupiter

Altar

The Muslims may have mistakenly assumed that the hexagon-shaped foundations of the forecourt were the remains of the Jewish Temple.

The Dome might well be built on the ruins of Hadrian’s forecourt to the Jupiter temple.

Likewise the Al-Aqsa mosque might be built on the actual ruins of the Temple to Jupiter.

c) SOUTHERN HYPOTHESIS

The Dome of the Rock is not exactly east of the Western (Wailing) Wall.

According to Sagiv, the Temple site lies due east of the Western Wall, under the clump of trees between the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque.

Western Wall

c) SOUTHERN HYPOTHESIS

So Sagiv suggests a location to the south of the Dome of the Rock.

In this view the current East Gate could not be the east gate of the Temple complex.

However it does line up with the current Western Wall, although Sagiv believes that this is not part of the 2nd Temple, but rather Hadrian’s temple.

In this view the Dome of the Rock is then the location of Antonia’s Fortress.

The Antonia Fortress was a military barracks next to the Temple, built by Herod the Great. Josephus wrote that the south-east turret “rose to seventy cubits and so commanded a view of the whole area of the temple.” 1

Remember how quickly the Roman soldiers ran down after the commotion involving Paul at the Jerusalem Temple?

Acts 21:31-32 ... news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd.

They would have seen the riot from Antonia’s Fortress. The Fortress was higher than the Temple and so they “ran down to the crowd”.

1 Antiquities of the Jews 18:4:242

ANTONIA’S FORTRESS

The Dome of the Rock is built on a Rock (called the Foundation Stone) which was the summit (i.e. highest point) of Mount Moriah, where Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac.

Josephus also writes that the Antonia Fortress was on a rock 50 cubits (~23 metres) high:

Now, as to the tower of Antonia, it was situated at the corner of two cloisters of the court of the temple; of that on the west, and that on the north; it was erected upon a rock, of fifty cubits in height, and was on a great precipice… 1

Being about 25 meters high, the rock that the Dome is built on, could be the rock Josephus spoke of.

Sagiv uses infrared photography taken on a fly-by over the Dome which reveals a pentagonal subterranean structure underneath the present Dome which may have been Strato’s Tower, part of the Antonia Fortress.

1 Antiquities of the Jews 18:4:238

ANTONIA’S FORTRESS

If Kaufman or Sagiv are correct, both views satisfy Revelation 11, because they place the Dome of the Rock or Al-Aqsa respectively in the outer court (Court of Gentiles).

THE OUTER COURT

Rev 11:1–2 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles.

The biggest obstacle to the rebuilding of the Temple anywhere on the Temple Mount is that the site is currently under Muslim administration.

When Israel liberated Jerusalem and regained control of the Temple Mount in 1967, for the first time in millennia, some 200,000 Jews flocked to the Western Wall.

(2) CONTROL OF MOUNT

Iconic photo of Israeli paratroopers at the Western Wall after the Six Day War

Then Israeli Minister of Defence, Moshe Dayan, instructed soldiers to remove the Israeli flag which had been hoisted over the Dome of the Rock.

Israeli Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, turned control of the Mount to the Jordanian Islamic Waqf. Yet despite this gesture of peace, Muslims continue to use the Temple Mount as a pretext to muster world support against Israeli ultimate authority over Jerusalem.

(2) CONTROL OF MOUNT

Then-defence minister Moshe Dayan and IDF chief Yitzhak Rabin during the Six Day War (Photo: IDF Archive)

In an attempt to keep the status quo, the Israeli government still enforces a controversial ban on prayer by non-Muslims on the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount can be accessed by 11 gates, but tourists and non-Muslims are only allowed to enter through the Mughrabi Bridge next to the Western Wall. Security is tight and signs at the entrance list strict rules for visitors, including modest dress and no religious activity. It is not permissible to bring sacred Jewish objects to the area.

(2) CONTROL OF MOUNT

The Mughrabi Bridge

Muslims claim that during the “Night Journey” a winged steed called Buraq carried Muhammad from Mecca to the “farthest mosque”. After praying at this location, Buraq then took him to heaven to meet the earlier prophets and then Allah. 1 Allah instructed Muhammad to tell his followers to pray 50 times a day, but fortunately Muhammad managed to negotiate this down to 5 times a day. Buraq then transported Muhammad back to Mecca.

Many Muslims today identify the “farthest mosque” with the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and they claim that Muhammad tethered Buraq at the Western Wall.

1 In Arabic Al-Burāq means “lightning”. A proposed etymology of the name Pegasus, (a winged horse from earlier Greek mythology) is that it derives from “pihassas” in the Luwian language, which also means “lightning”. This might give some idea as to the origin of the Islamic story. In Greek mythology the hero Bellerophon attempted to ride Pegasus to Mount Olympus, the abode of the gods.

REMOTEST SANCTUARY?

Based on this bizarre story, Muslims stake a religious claim to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

But in fact the Quran never even mentions Jerusalem once and even the story in question does not explicitly state the location, only referring to a place called the “remotest sanctuary”. Placing it in Jerusalem today is an attempt to bolster their claims over the Temple Mount.

The trip is said to take place 10 years after Muhammad became a prophet, but the Al-Aqsa Mosque was non-existent at that stage. Even if a creature like Buraq existed it couldn’t have taken Muhammad to Al-Aqsa which was built years after the death of Muhammad.

REMOTEST SANCTUARY?

TEMPLE DENIAL

The Supreme Muslim Council was the highest body in charge of Muslim community affairs in British Mandate Palestine. In 1930, they published an English-language tourist guide to the Temple Mount which stated: “Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute.”

Yet a recent phenomenon is that now many Muslims are trying to either deny the existence of both Jewish Temples, or else relegate them to another area in Israel. This is both anti-intellectual and akin to the related phenomenon of Holocaust denial.

The New York Sun describes the phenomenon as: “… a campaign of intellectual erasure [by Palestinian leaders, writers, and scholars] ... aimed at undermining the Jewish claim to any part of the land.”

TEMPLE DENIAL

When an earthquake struck Jerusalem in 1927, the Al-Aqsa mosque was damaged. Robert Hamilton, the director of the antiquities department spotted an opportunity and reached an agreement with the Waqf which, for the first time ever, allowed archaeological investigation on the Temple Mount, in the area where the mosque had collapsed.

Hamilton documented and wrote about many of his findings. But this unprecedented cooperation was not without a price. In the book that he later published, Hamilton makes no mention of any findings that the Muslims would have found inconvenient. It was no coincidence that these findings came from two historical periods that preceded the Muslim period in Jerusalem: the Second Temple era and the Christian Byzantine era. These days the findings are finally coming to light.

TEMPLE DENIAL

Despite the prohibition on archaeological work, we have ample evidence from both the Old and New Testament of the existence and significance of the two Temples in Jerusalem.

In addition, Jewish and Roman historians alike record the existence and destruction of the Second Temple by Titus.

In the city of Rome there stands a monument called the Arch of Titus, which was constructed around AD 82 by Domitian, to commemorate the victories of his elder brother, Titus. These victories included the victory over Jerusalem with the arch pictorially representing the plundering of the Temple treasures. On the side of the monument is a relief, which portrays the triumphant Roman soldiers carrying off the spoils of the city.

TEMPLE DENIAL

The most prominent object in the centre of the relief is a huge golden candlestand taken from the Temple.

SOLOMON’S STABLES

Since Muslims control the Temple Mount, no archaeological surveys are allowed which could invalidate their claims. Yet the Islamic land trust is destroying Judeo-Christian ruins beneath the Temple Mount so as to deny any connection between Judaism and Christianity and Jerusalem.

Typical of the duplicity practiced by modern middle Eastern Muslims are the events surrounding the area formerly known as Solomon’s Stables.

Solomon’s Stables was an underground vaulted space some 500 square metres in area, at the bottom of stairs which lead down from the al-Aqsa Mosque. which features 12 rows of pillars and arches. These vaults were believed to originally be storage areas for the Second Temple. 1

https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Solomon%27s_Stables

SOLOMON’S STABLES

In 1996 the Waqf acquired a permit to use Solomon's Stables as an alternative place of worship on the pretext of the occasional rainy days of the holy month of Ramadan. Later the Waqf declared that it aimed to create a mosque for 10,000 worshippers, making it the largest mosque in the country. This move was clearly designed to strengthen the Muslim claim over the Temple Mount. The Waqf began digging a huge hole in the south-eastern area of the Temple Mount, without a permit from the Jerusalem municipality or archaeological supervision using tractors and heavy vehicles. This action drew criticism from archaeologists, who said that archaeological finds were being damaged in the process and the excavations weakened the stability of the Southern Wall. 1

1 https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Solomon%27s_Stables

SOLOMON’S STABLES

The excavations are thought to have been responsible for creating a large, visible bulge in the Southern Wall that threatened the structural integrity of the Temple Mount, necessitating major repairs. In 1996 the new mosque was officially inaugurated as El-Marwani Mosque.

Needless to say, before the 3rd Temple can be built, control of the Temple Mount must be wrested from Muslim hands. This may well be a critical part of the future peace treaty negotiations that the Antichrist will broker.

The El-Marwani Mosque previously Solomon’s Stables

The next obstacle is that there is no sacrificial system in place. As Daniel’s prophecy entails the abolition of sacrifices at the time of the Abomination, and there are no sacrifices performed by Jews today, it goes without saying that the sacrificial system must be resumed before it is possible for the Antichrist to stop the sacrifices.

(3) SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM

While Christians believe that Jesus did away with the sacrificial system by offering one perfect sacrifice to God, mainstream Judaism rejects Jesus as the Messiah and is still looking for a future Jewish Messiah.

To many practicing Jews, the reestablishment of a Third Temple will necessitate the reinstatement of the sacrificial system in accordance with the Mosaic Law.

As one Jewish website notes:

And when the Messiah comes, the Holy Temple will be rebuilt, and once again we will bring sacrifices on the Holy Altar there, as it says “And the sacrificial offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to Hashem, like in the olden days years ago” (Malachi 3:4). 1

1 http:// www.beingjewish.com/ unchanged/ sacrifices.html

(3) SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM

Christian Dispensationalists believe that God has deliberately interacted with mankind in various distinct ages known as dispensations, to each of which God has allotted distinctive administrative principles.

Jesus brought in the Dispensation of Grace or the Age of the Church. This period referred to by Jesus as “The Time of the Gentiles” will end with the Rapture of the Church.

God will then restore Israel as prophesied in Romans 11. But it will be a 2 stage restoration as predicted by Ezekiel in his vision of the valley of dry bones. The first stage will involve the restoration of the form of Judaism practiced in the time of Jesus, which included the priests and Temple ordinances along with animal sacrifice. The second stage will entail the ultimate acceptance of Jews en masse of Jesus as Messiah.

(3) SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM

THE VESSELS

The Temple Institute has reconstructed many of the vessels required for the Temple sacrifice rites including the copper laver and stand, which stood in the Temple courtyard between the sanctuary and the outer altar, the silver shovel used for the removal of ashes left on the altar, the three-pronged fork mentioned in 1 Samuel 2:13 used to turn over the offerings on the altar fire, cups used for measuring flour, wine and oil to be used as ingredients in various offerings, and many others.

Just as Moses used Betzalel, a master craftsman chosen by God to oversee the task of the construction of the vessels and the priestly garments for the synagogue, the Temple Institute has likewise called upon Israel's finest craftsmen and artisans to recreate the sacred vessels and vestments. 1

1 SOURCE: http:// www.templeinstitute.org/ vessels_gallery.htm

THE ALTAR

In late 2014 the Temple Institute completed the construction of the stone altar required for the sacrificial service. The altar was designed to be disassembled and quickly reassembled in its correct position on the Temple Mount. According to the Temple Institute, “The people of Israel are required to build an altar exclusively on the site of the original altar on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount. When circumstances become favourable, this new altar can be quickly re-assembled on the proper location, enabling the Divine service to be resumed without delay.” The altar was designed by architect Shmuel Balzam, who is also drawing up the plans for the Third Temple. The plans are the fruit of a crowdfunding campaign, which raised over $100,000 towards rebuilding the Temple Sanctuary. 1

1 SOURCE: http:// www.breakingisraelnews.com/ 33583/ new-details-emerge-rebuilt-holy-temple-jewish-world/ #Scgz9pUS2xW0RoFX.99

THE ALTAR

The altar is crowned with four raised corners, referred to as horns in the Torah. (Photo: The Temple Institute)

THE ALTAR

The altar built by the Temple Institute to be used in service in the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple. (Photo: The Temple Institute)

THE ALTAR

Since the Torah forbids the use of hewn stones in an altar, it “consists of an outer frame of earthen bricks, oven-baked to withstand the extreme heat of the altar when in use. This outer frame is filled with natural stones, untouched by metal implements, as per Torah imperative. (Photo: The Temple Institute)

Conservative and Orthodox Jews still acknowledge the division of Israel into Leviim, Kohanim and Yisraelim.

People with the surname Levi trace their roots to the tribe of Levi who were set apart from the rest of the Israelites to perform religious administrative duties.

From the tribe of Levi, Aaron and his descendants were singled out to be the priests and serve in the Temple. A Kohen (plural, Kohanim) is a descendant of Aaron. The Jewish family name, Cohen, usually denotes that its members were priests.

Other Jews are assumed to come from one of the other tribes and are called, simply, Yisraelim.

So people who can fulfil the role of priests in the third Temple are already in place in Israel.

THE PRIESTS

The Temple Institute is preparing for the Third Temple by inaugurating a workshop that manufactures priestly garments. Years of diligent research was needed to create the garments in conformance with Jewish law.

Priestly garments have not been worn since the destruction of the Second Temple by Rome in AD 70 and cannot be functional until a Third Temple is constructed. Kohanim, priests directly descended from Moses’ brother Aaron, 

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, a Kohen himself, gets measured for his own set of Kohanim garments. Photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski

THE PRIESTS

 are recognized by the Institute as such if their paternal grandfather observed the tradition. Today, they have special religious responsibilities; in days of yore they performed the most significant duties within the Temple. Approximately one-third of the commandments in the Torah cannot be accomplished without a temple, including the obligations of the Kohanim… Rabbi Yehuda Glick, director of the Temple Institute, says “… When the Temple is rebuilt, Kohanim must wear the proper outfit to perform their obligations… The Temple is not a message [just for] the Jewish people. It reunites the world all around one central prayer house. All the prophets say that at the End Times all the nations will be coming to Jerusalem and take part of building [the Temple].” 1

1 http:// www.jpost.com/ Jewish-World/ Jewish-News/ Third-Temple-preparations-begin-with-priestly-garb

THE PRIESTS

4) THE 10TH RED HEIFER

The Red Heifer was a cow used by the priests as a sacrifice according to the OT law, whose ashes were used for the ritual purification of an Israelite who had come into contact with a corpse.

Num 19:2 “This is a requirement of the law that the LORD has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke.”

A heifer, by definition, is a young cow which has never borne a calf. The Mosaic Law in Numbers 19 stipulated that the cow must be red in colour, without blemish, and it must not have been used to perform work.

According to Jewish tradition, only nine red heifers were actually slaughtered in the period extending from Moses to the destruction of the Second Temple.

Maimonides, one of the greatest medieval scholars, and arguably one of the most widely accepted scholars among the Jewish people, associated the tenth red heifer with the Messianic era. In his commentary to the Mishna, he states:

… the tenth red heifer will be accomplished by the king, the Messiah; may he be revealed speedily, Amen, May it be God’s will.

The search is thus on for the elusive tenth red heifer, whose ashes are believed to be vital for the initiation of the Third Temple.

4) THE 10TH RED HEIFER

According to Mishnah 1 Parah, the presence of two black hairs invalidates a Red Heifer. The animal must be entirely of one colour, and there is a series of tests listed by the rabbis to ensure this; for instance, the hair of the cow must be absolutely straight (to ensure that the cow had not previously been yoked, as this is a disqualifier).

Because the state of ritual purity obtained through the ashes of a Red Heifer is a necessary prerequisite for participating in Temple service, efforts have been made in modern times by Jews wishing for biblical ritual purity and in anticipation of the building of The Third Temple to locate a red heifer and recreate the ritual.

The Temple Institute, has been actively attempting to identify Red Heifer candidates.

1 The Mishnah is the central compilation of Rabbinic Oral Law.

4) THE 10TH RED HEIFER

The Red Angus is a red coloured breed of beef cattle which is a subset of the Aberdeen Angus cattle. Reverend Clyde Lott, a cattle breeder from Canton, Mississippi in the US, bred red heifers from the Red Angus and exported them to Israel to establish a breeding line of red heifers there, hoping that this would expedite the construction of the Third Temple and ultimately the Second Coming.

Red Angus heifer and cow

4) THE 10TH RED HEIFER

Lott attracted the attention of Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute and in the nineties they began to collaborate on a program to raise funds, in order to use modern technology to produce a red heifer that is genetically based on the Red Angus. In the last 2 decades the Institute identified a few candidates, but all were subsequently disqualified.

4) THE 10TH RED HEIFER

Many religious Jews see the red heifer as a prerequisite for the dedication of the Third Temple and the purification of the priests who will serve in that Temple.

The Temple Institute’s website states, “But in truth, the fate of the entire world depends on the red heifer. For G-d has ordained that its ashes alone are the single missing ingredient for the reinstatement of Biblical purity - and thereafter, the rebuilding of the Holy Temple.”

4) THE 10TH RED HEIFER

Clyde Lott appears to have dropped off the radar in recent years and journalists have been unable to contact him.

Like Lott, some Christians believe that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ cannot occur until the Third Temple is constructed in Jerusalem, which requires the appearance of a red heifer born in Israel.

However, for those who believe in a Pretribulation rapture, it is not a prerequisite that the Temple must be constructed before the coming of Jesus at the Rapture.

The temple must be in place in the middle of the 7-year Tribulation, so that it can be defiled by the Antichrist.

However, given modern technology, there is no reason that a modern structure like the Temple cannot be erected in the space of under 3½ years.

4) THE 10TH RED HEIFER

THE SANHEDRIN

In Jesus’ day the highest Jewish court, the Sanhedrin, was based at the Second Temple, but after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, it was re-established in Yavneh with reduced authority. Since the dissolution of the Sanhedrin in 358 AD, there has been no universally recognized authority within Jewish law.

Maimonides (AD 1135-1204), the highly respected medieval Jewish scholar, proposed re-establishing the Sanhedrin and reinvesting it with the same authority it had in former years. There have been several attempts to implement Maimonides’ recommendations, the latest attempt being the sixth in recent history.

18th century portrait of Maimonides

THE SANHEDRIN

In 2004, a group of rabbis representing varied Orthodox communities in Israel met in Tiberias, where the original Sanhedrin was disbanded, claiming to re-establish the body. They regard themselves as a provisional body awaiting integration into the Israeli government as both a supreme court and an upper house of the Knesset. Composed of over 70 rabbis it claims to enjoy recognition from the entire religious Jewish community in Israel, despite ridicule from the Israeli secular press. 1

1 SOURCE: https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Sanhedrin & https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ 2004_attempt_to_revive_the_Sanhedrin

Sanhedrin in session, 2005

THE SANHEDRIN

Rabbi Israel Ariel, one of the participating rabbis in this latest Sanhedrin (and founder of the Temple Institute) relates that the ultimate aim of the Sanhedrin is to relocate to Jerusalem: 1

Many Futurists see this reestablishment of this former Temple court as yet another step closer to the return of Jesus. By the time the Antichrist is in power it may well relocate to Jerusalem and possibly take its seat once again in the restored Temple.

1 http:// traditioninaction.org

Rabbi Yisrael Ariel

The hymns of Charles Wesley reflect his Premillennial views, and the belief in the restoration of Israel and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. In 1762, he writes:

We know, it must be done, For God hath spoke the word, All Israel shall their Saviour own, To their first state restor’d: Re-built by his command, Jerusalem shall rise, Her temple on Moriah stand Again, and touch the skies.

CONCLUSION

In closing, let us remember the words of Jesus:

CONCLUSION

Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. (Matt 24:40-42)

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations taken from the ESV:

“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)

APPENDIX: CHURCH FATHERS

We need to remember that there was no Jewish Temple intact in the days of the early Church Fathers, yet most of them still identified the Temple in prophecy with a future temple rebuilt in Jerusalem.

In the 2nd century Irenaeus unequivocally stated that the Temple referred to by Paul is the Jewish Temple, which at that stage in history was already in ruins.

Moreover, he (the apostle) has also pointed out this which I have shown in many ways, that the temple in Jerusalem was made by the direction of the true God. For the apostle himself, speaking in his own person, distinctly called it the temple of God. Now I have shown in the third book, that no one is termed God by the apostles when speaking for themselves, except Him who truly is God, the Father of our Lord, by whose directions the temple which is at Jerusalem was constructed for those purposes which I have already mentioned; in which [temple] the enemy shall sit, endeavouring to show himself as Christ, as the Lord also declares: But when you shall see the abomination of Desolation, which has been spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place…

Contrasting Christ and the Antichrist, Hippolytus (AD 170 – 235) writes, “The Saviour appeared in the form of man, and he too will come in the form of a man. The Saviour raised up and showed His holy flesh like a temple, John 2:19 and he will raise a temple of stone in Jerusalem.”

In like fashion, Cyril of Jerusalem (c. AD 313 - 386) says that the coming Antichrist will sit in the Jewish Temple.

And again he says, Who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God, or that is worshipped… so that he seats himself in the temple of God. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 What temple then? He means, the Temple of the Jews which has been destroyed… For if he comes to the Jews as Christ, and desires to be worshipped by the Jews, he will make great account of the Temple, that he may more completely beguile them; making it supposed that he is the man of the race of David, who shall build up the Temple which was erected by Solomon. And Antichrist will come at the time when there shall not be left one stone upon another in the Temple of the Jews…

Ephraim the Syrian (AD 306 - 373) believed that the Antichrist (the man of evil) would enter Jerusalem and sit in the Temple.

The man of evil will prepare, and coming he will enter Jerusalem. He will build up and establish Sion, making himself to be God; and entering, he will sit in the temple...

Zenobius (AD 337-417)

Puffed up with pride, Antichrist shall enter in triumph the city of Jerusalem and will sit on a throne in the Temple to be adored as if he were the Son of God. His heart being intoxicated with arrogance, he will forget his being a mere man, and the son of a woman of the tribe of Dan.

John Chrysostom (c. AD 349 - 407): “Here he discourses concerning the Antichrist, and reveals great mysteries… For he will not introduce idolatry, but will be a kind of opponent to God; he will abolish all the gods, and will order men to worship him instead of God, and he will be seated in the temple of God, not that in Jerusalem only, but also in every Church.”

Sulpicius Severus (AD 363-425): “Antichrist would first seize the empires of the East; he would have Jerusalem as his seat and imperial Capital. Both the city and its temple were to be rebuilt by him. His persecution would require the denial of Christ's divinity (he himself pretending to be Christ) and would by law impose circumcision on all.”

John Cassian (AD 360-435) saw the desecration of the Temple in Jerusalem in the time of Antiochus IV as the type of the prophecy fulfilment of the Abomination, but the ultimate Abomination of desolation by Antichrist was to “to stand in the Church”.

… in the matter of the Abomination of desolation which stood in the holy place, by means of that idol of Jupiter which, as we read, was placed in the temple in Jerusalem, and which is again to stand in the Church through the coming of Antichrist…

In his book, “City of God”, published in 426 AD, Augustine of Hippo stated his uncertainty as to whether the temple of God spoken of in Paul’s prophecy in 2 Thessalonians referred to the Jewish Temple or the Church.

There is, however, some uncertainty about the temple in which he is to take his seat. Is it the ruins of the temple built by King Solomon, or actually in a church? For the apostle would not say the temple of God if he meant the temple of some idol or demon.

In the 8th century, the Eastern Church Father, John of Damascus (c. AD 676-749) says that the coming Antichrist will come to the Jews and he quotes Cyril of Jerusalem as support that the temple is a Jewish Temple.

And the apostle says: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son, of perdition: who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called Gad or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God [2 Thess 2:3, 4], shewing himself that he is God; in the temple of God he said; not our temple, but the old Jewish temple [Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat. 15]. For he will come not to us but to the Jews: not for Christ or the things of Christ: wherefore he is called Antichrist.

Adso the monk (AD 1033-1109) :

Antichrist… will go to Jerusalem and place his seat in the Temple which he will have restored. He will submit to the rite of circumcision, claiming that he is the Son of the Omnipotent God. His first converts will be kings and princes. His influence will extend from sea to sea, largely through force and persuasive eloquence. He will perform many signs and great miracles. Those who believe in him will be marked on the forehead with a sign.

Anselm (AD 1033-1109):

For, the Temple which Solomon built having been destroyed, in its place he (Antichrist) shall restore it, he shall circumcise himself, and he shall give forth the lie that he is the son of the omnipotent God.

So the prevailing view among the early Church Fathers is that the Antichrist was a future man who would sit in a literal rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem.




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