Fred R. Coulter - November 10, 2001
Now I’m going to talk about the temple – past, present, and future. Let’s first look at past and future in Matthew 24. This is very interesting. And lots of times you read through things and it goes right over your head, or you’re so involved in it that you miss what it’s saying. Now have you ever done that with a letter or a contract or something? Now if you do it with a contract and then you have a complaint and you take it to the people you have the contract with, and they say, “Well did you read it?” “Yes, I read it.” “Well did you read this section here?” “No, I don’t remember that.” “Well it does say this.” Now it’s the same way in the scriptures.
Verse 1, this has to do with the temple. “And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to Him for to shew Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matt. 24:1-2). Now come over here and read verse 35. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.”
The stones had to be thrown down. Why do we have the Western Wailing Wall? Some have said those stones are yet to be thrown down. We will see something else. So this is going to be kind of a New Testament “Rest of the Story”, not a Paul Harvey version. Ok?
Now we come back here to verse 13, and let’s read this. First of all, He says it’s going to be not one stone left upon another. And we’re going to see that was a huge, gigantic project to do that. Verse 13, “But he that shall endure to the end,…” Now, here we go, clear forward to the end time, right? “…The same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for all witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Now verse 15, this is still talking about the end. In the end, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place,…” What does this tell us? It’s going to be rebuilt. If it’s torn down, and there’s not one stone left upon another, how are you going to have a holy place in the temple when it’s destroyed, unless it be rebuilt? So this gives us a clue. It’s going to be rebuilt.
Notice the next statement there. And this was written by Matthew, or by the apostle John and the apostles who were still living at his time when they canonized the New Testament. Because in speaking, Jesus did not say, “…whoso readeth let him understand:)…” (vs. 15). You see, that’s why it’s in parentheses. It’s a parenthetical statement, which means, you’re going to have to think on this to understand it, and may God give you the understanding as you read it. And I think with this we understand a little bit more.
Now before we go any… well, let’s look at the abomination that makes desolate. Let’s come to 2 Thessalonians 2. Now there was a type of it with Antiochus Epihpanes, and he did take swine and offer it on the altar of God. No doubt about it. When we come to 2 Thessalonians 2, we are talking about the return of Christ. Which is when? At the end. Now let’s notice what he wrote here. Let’s begin right in verse 1. “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter…” And that means by spirit, being a demon; by word, that means by a message; or by letter, which means by epistle. That is the word in the Greek - epistle. “…As from us,…” So there were actually those then at that time sending out counterfeit epistles. Now you know why the apostles had to canonize it themselves. It wasn’t left three hundred or four hundred years later by oral tradition. Not on a bet.
“…As that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [an apostasy] first,…” (2 Thes. 2:1-3). And this means an apostasy from everything that is God. Not just someone leaving the Church of God, not just Protestant churches falling away. But it means everything having to do with God. The whole world is going to apostatize from it. Because they are going to accept the Man of Sin, the son of perdition, as God. Now let’s read it here.
So first of all, there’s going to be the apostasy of everything away from God. That means all religions, period. Verse 3, “…And that man of sin be revealed…” So he’s going to be revealed. It’s not going to be a secret. It is going to be known. “…The son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God,…” Now we just read some of that back in Revelation 13 before we started the sermon here. “…Or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (vs. 3-4). Now that is the abomination that makes desolate. And Paul, when he wrote this, wrote “temple,” because the temple in Jerusalem had not yet been destroyed. So he means temple. So we see with this, there will be a temple built.
Now, we’ll get to Revelation a little later. Let’s go back and let’s look at some things, a little bit of the history of the temple and tabernacle, and what happened, and where it was built. Because we are going to find that the Western Wailing Wall and where the Dome of the Rock is, the Mosque of Omar is, is not where the temple was. So that answers the questions why those stones are still there. So we’ll get in a little more detail to it when we get there.
Let’s go back and let’s see in Genesis 14. Now, this is by Jewish tradition, so we will have to say that we don’t know whether this is entirely accurate or not, but it very well may be. Not all Jewish tradition falls into the category of being a fable. Now here we have Melchizedek. Genesis 14:18, “And Melchizedek king of Salem…” And when we go to Hebrews 7, we know that has to be Christ, the one Who was the Lord God of the Old Testament, and also in this case, the one Who was Melchizedek, king of Salem. “…Brought forth bread and wine…” So He was also a priest. Because it was sworn of Christ, that “You will be a priest after the order of Melchizedek forever,” (Hebrews 7:21, paraphrased).
He, “…brought forth bread and wine: and He was the priest of the Most High God. And He blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave Him tithes of all” (vs. 18-20). Now at that time, God did send them to fight. Since Christ, we don’t fight because the Kingdom is not of this world. Now the tradition is this: that where the temple was later built, that’s where Melchizedek met Abraham and gave him the bread and wine. Now that’s tradition. We don’t know whether that is absolutely true or not, but at least it gives us some background getting into the thing concerning the temple.
Now let’s come to Genesis 22, because here’s another thing in Jewish tradition which tells us that this was also at the place where the temple was later built. So let’s go there. Genesis 22, and let’s begin right here in verse one. I won’t go through the whole thing, You have the whole account there - we’ve gone through many times, and you can read of that in The Christian Passover book in great detail. Now verse 1, “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt [test] Abraham,…” Or, prove him, or try him, because God tempts no man. “…And said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold here I am. And He said, Take now thy son, thy only son Isaac,…” And that’s the source of the problem with the Arabs, you know of course, don’t you. “…Whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of .”
So, one of the mountains of Moriah. Now we even have a song today, don’t we? “Moriah.” You know. They claimed that one of the mountains of Moriah was where the temple was later built. Could possibly be.
Now when God first called Israel out of Egypt - let’s go to Exodus 25 - He did not have them built Him a temple. And when you study the Bible, and when you look in history, and even in the history of the Church of God, whenever anybody gets into temple building business they get in trouble, don’t they? I mean, look at Solomon. Look at Rehoboam. Because God does not dwell in temples made with hands. Because everything you could build a temple with, He’s already created. So what big thing have you done for God? Nothing. That’s why He says He’ll look to someone who has a contrite spirit and a humble heart and trembles at His word, because that’s more valuable than any temple you could build for God. And besides, with the Holy Spirit today, we are the temple of God, spiritually speaking. And when they built the third temple in Jerusalem, guess what it’s going to do? It’s going to get them in trouble.
Now here is what God told them to do. To build a tabernacle. Let’s begin right here in verse 1. “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take My offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them;…” Now isn’t it interesting - God commands it, but He wants you to do it willingly. Does that sound familiar? Yes. “…Gold, and silver, and brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, and rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:1-8). God wanted to dwell with His people.
Now I promised next year also the slides again of the tabernacle. I promised I’d do that every five years, so next year at the Feast of Tabernacles, the fifth year is coming on it. So I’ll do that. How many have seen that? All you haven’t seen it? Oh my. I will show it. It’s really quite amazing. There was a Levitical Jew who did a model of the tabernacle and all the implements, and all the robes and everything. It’s really quite a fantastic work.
But the point is, God wants to dwell with His people. But what happened with Israel? They said, “No, God, we don’t want You to dwell with us.” Nevertheless, He said that He would put His presence in the temple. Nevertheless, He said that they could go ahead and build the tabernacle. Now let’s see, let’s come to Exodus 40, and let’s see where the tabernacle was raised up. Let’s begin right here in verse 17. “And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up.” And it gives all the instructions how Moses did it. After he got it done, let’s come down here to verse 33. “And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of a court gate. So Moses finished the work.” Now obviously, Moses didn’t do this alone. Obviously the ones who were Levites helped him with it.
Verse 34, “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” So God made it evident to everyone that His presence was there, in the tabernacle. And wherever that tabernacle was, that’s where God put His presence. “And when the cloud that was over it was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not until the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys” (vs. 34-38).
And yet they rebelled against God. I mean, you think about these three witnesses: 1) the manna, 2) the cloud, 3) the pillar of fire, and they still doubted that God was with them. It’s amazing isn’t it? Is human nature hard headed or not? Yes.
Ok. Well, let’s first of all go to Joshua. Then we’ll go to 1 Samuel. Joshua 18, so we can get a little history. Well, after they journeyed with the tabernacle, and you know what happened when Jericho fell. They sent the priest out ahead blowing the trumpets. Then on the seventh day all the people went out, gave a yell, the walls of Jericho fell in. Well, they used…God used the Ark of the Covenant when they went to battle to show that this was God’s battle. Now we’ll see how that was abused later during the days of Eli the priest and his two sons, Hophni and Phineas.
Now here in Joshua 18:10, “And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.” And that’s where they set up the tabernacle, in Shiloh. Let’s go back to verse one. Thank you. “And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there.” Later, because of sin, God destroyed it. He destroyed the area. He didn’t destroy the tabernacle. But because of the sin of Eli and his two sons, Hophni and Phineas, the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines, and they took it and kept it. You know what happened there. God took care of them. You know, hemorrhoids and mice? You know? And that was before the days of Preparation H, so it was really bad news.
Finally they put it on a cart and sent it out. They learn the lesson from God. And it stayed Kirjath-Jearim. Then David wanted to bring the Ark up to Jerusalem. Well, the first time, he said, “Well, let’s get a cart and let’s do it.” And then Uzzah put his hand on the Ark of the Covenant, and he was stricken dead. And of course, David was upset because, why would God do that? A lot of people don't understand it. Uzzah was not a Levite, and God said that only the Levites should carry it, not put it in a cart.
So David lamented, and finally God revealed to him, “Get the Levites,” you know. Get the Levites. So they carried it in, and brought it in, and they brought it and put it in David’s house. And there he made a special tabernacle. Meanwhile, the rest of the tabernacle was up in Gibeon. And up in Gibeon is where they offered the burnt offerings and so forth, and sin offerings. Whereas, down at the tabernacle where the Ark of the Covenant was, David had - I forget which priest it was - I think it was Zadok. And they offered there incense offerings, and they didn’t have the full array of offerings like they had at the tabernacle. So here we have this period of separation during the reign of David.
Now let’s come to 2 Samuel 7:1, “And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; that the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar,…” And this was the City of David. And the City of David was next to where the temple would be built. Now we’ll get into that in just a little bit. He said, “…See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.” So he had this little tent there. “…And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee. And it came to pass that night,…” Now this is really a tremendous, tremendous prophecy when you read this and understand it. “…That the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build Me an house for Me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. In all the places wherein I have walked with the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed My people Israel, saying, Why build ye not Me an house of cedar?” (2 Sam. 7:1-7).
“Now therefore so shalt thou say unto My servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel: and I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. Moreover…” Verse 10 is a key verse, not for the tabernacle, but a key verse to understand something very profound. “Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them…” (vs. 8-10).
Now at the time this prophecy was given, all of the 12 tribes were united under the kingship of David and were in their inheritance. And remember, “Israel” refers to the 10 northern tribes. Because when David was first coronated king, he was coronated king over Judah, and was king over Judah for seven years. Then when he fought more of the enemy and put them to rout, then the elders of the 10 northern tribes came down to him and said, “We will be at one with you.” So they had another coronation, and David was king over all 12 tribes for 33 years, a total of 40, being seven in Hebron and 33 years in Jerusalem, or the City of David.
So when God says, “I will appoint a place for My people Israel,” (verse 10), this was a prophecy that they would be sent somewhere else at a later date. And this is a key thing to understand when we're talking about the United States and Britain in prophecy. We are in that place. We are the descendants of Israel. Now a lot of people don’t like that, the Jews especially, because they have taken to themselves the whole inheritance of all 12 tribes, which is not proper. They say that the 10 tribes were absorbed into the Gentiles, and God said he would pass them through many nations and not lose one seed. Ok, just in passing.
Verse 10, “…That they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, and as since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that He will make thee an house” (vs. 10-11). And then the rest of it is that Solomon would be the one who would build the house, because David was a bloody man.
Now, let’s come to 1 Chronicles 21. And here we see the selection of the temple site. And we’re going to see that it was selected after David repented of one of his most grievous sins. 1 Chronicles 21, let’s read verse 1, “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” Well the rest of the story is, that he said, “Joab, go number them.” He said, “No, you shouldn’t number them. God says don’t number them.” He said, “Joab, go do as I said.” “Nevertheless, God says don’t number them.” So he went out started numbering them, and he quit numbering them.
Now, verse 7, “And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He smote Israel. And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech Thee, do away the iniquity of Thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. And the LORD spake unto Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and tell David,… [I offer you three things; choose which one of the three].” So he said, verse 12, “Either three years’ of famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel.” So David said, verse 13, unto God, “…I am in a great straight: let me now fall into the hand of the LORD; for great are His mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man” (vs. 7-13).
So the pestilence came, the pestilence was stayed when David repented. Seventy thousand of the children of Israel died. A key lesson: When a leader sins, people suffer. David repented. Verse 18, “Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.” That’s another name for Jerusalem. So he went up and he bought it. Verse 25, Ornan was willing to give it to him, but he refused to have it given to him. So he gave him 600 shekels of silver…of gold by weight.”
Verse 26, “And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the name of the LORD; and He answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of the burnt offering. And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof. At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon. But David could not go before it to inquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD” (vs. 26-30). So that’s quite a story, upon sin and repentance and God shows him the place where the temple would be built.
Then we have the story of his son Solomon, who was told to build the temple. Solomon built the temple. Quite a splendorous thing indeed. However, we will have to say this: God did give David all the plans. He gave the plans and a lot of gold and silver and iron and different things that he stored up for the building of the temple, and gave them to Solomon. And he said, “Be strong, be courageous, build the house of God, for God is with you.” And so Solomon built the temple.
Now, let’s come over to 2 Chronicles 5. So we see in Kings that the dedication of the temple was seven days, and that went from Trumpets through the seventh day, then they had three days off, leading up to Atonement, and then they had five more days before the Feast of Tabernacles. But let’s look at what happened on this Feast of Tabernacles here. Verse 2, “Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David…” And then, of course, they brought the other things from Gibeon to be put into the storage there.
Verse 3, “Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark. And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up. Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude. And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto His place, to the oracle of the house, the into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims: for the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above” (vs.3-8).
Then they drew out the staves; they left it there. “There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.” And of course, the rod that budded, that was of Aaron. Now verse 11, “And it came to pass,…” This is quite a ceremony. “And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course: also the Levites which were the singers, all of them…” Then it lists all the families of them. “…With their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)” (vs. 10-12). Fitting day for God coming, right, to His temple, Feast of Trumpets?
Verse 13, “It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God” (vs. 13-14). Now, to show them that it was the same God who filled the tabernacle with His glory when the tabernacle was reared up. So there we have the temple.
Now then, they sinned. They were sent off into captivity. Nebuchadnezzar came and destroyed the temple. He did not take down every stone. He just destroyed the temple. When they came back out of the captivity, they were to rebuild the second temple. Now let’s come to the book of Haggai. You go back - Matthew, Malachi, Zechariah, Haggai. Here they are told to build the house. And we’re going to see that it was really kind of a small temple. Very small. That’s why later, in the days of Christ, Herod, who wanted to really get along with the Jews - he was half Jew and half Idumean. Herod the Great. He had this big building program for Jerusalem. And he got all the Levites to add to the temple, to put up a magnificent stones and things like that.
But when they rebuilt the second temple, God told them to rebuild it. Now let’s pick it up here in verse 12 of Haggai chapter one. “Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD. Then spake Haggai the LORD’S messenger in the LORD’S message unto the people, saying, I am with you saith the LORD.” Now this also tells us another thing. They will not build the temple in Jerusalem until it’s time for God to let it be built. So then, Haggai, He said, “I am with you. And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua at the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, and the four and twentieth day of the six month, in the second year of Darius the king.” So they started. (Hag. 1:12-15).
Now notice chapter 2:1, “In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month,…” Now what day is that? Seventh month. The Last Great Day. “…Came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? And how do ye see it now? Isit not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?” (Hag. 2:1-3). A very small one. So I think that what’s going to happen is that the temple that’s going to be built in Jerusalem, will not be a gigantic one. And if they build it in the right place, it won’t conflict with the Mosque of Omar, or the El Asqa Mosque.
Now let’s turn to the book of Ezra and let’s see some more about the dedication of the temple that they were building. Let’s come to Ezra 3:8. “Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forth the work of the house of the LORD.” But then they left off on it for several months, then they came back to again.
Now, verse 9, “Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren,…” and so forth, “…together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites. And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.” So they had another small ceremony similar to what it was when God put His presence into the Temple of Solomon. “And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.” So they had a foundation party there. “But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy” (vs. 9-12). And of course, we saw there in Haggai that it was a small temple compared to the first one.
Now, let’s come over here to chapter 6 and verse 15. “And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.” So they started in the second, so you have second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth year, you have five years in which they were building. And they finished it. “And the children of Israel, the priests, the and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy” (Ezra 6:15-16). And then it tells all the things that they offered and so forth. Now, the month of Adar, according to the Hebrew calendar, is the last month of winter, Nisan being the first month of spring.
Now just as an aside, you can put in your notes there John 10, where it says that Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Feast of Dedication. Now many people today read that and say, that that had to be the dedication of the one during the days of the Maccabees, when they restored it after the abomination of desolation by Antiochus Epihpanes. And where they had only enough oil for running the lamps for one day, but the lamp burned for seven days. And so they have what they call Hanukkah, which is the Feast of Lights. And people say that there in John 10 that proves that Jesus was keeping Hanukkah, so therefore we ought to keep Hanukkah. Well remember, the original dedication of the temple was in Adar, see. It was in Adar, which was in winter. So it doesn’t tell us which dedication it was, does it? So it seems to me, it would probably be the one of the dedication of the house, when the second house was built, rather than with Hanukkah. Because Hanukkah, when you really understand it, is a very pagan feast. You see there’s a form of paganism with Judaism that we don’t comprehend, because it’s not like the form of paganism of Catholicism and Protestantism. It’s a different form.
And by the way, when Hanukkah comes up this year, count the candles. In the temple, there were the seven, Ok? Seven little cups which held the oil, and they put the wick in, and they would light the wick, and the oil would keep the lamp burning. So it was a lamp stand, not at candlestick, as we would think with a wax candle. But you look at the Hanukkah candles and they have nine. Why do they have nine instead of seven? And why is the middle candle of the middle three raised above all the rest?
Well, the esoteric knowledge of pagan Judaism is, the raised candle is to the Queen of Heaven. And the three candles, the three candles and three candles, are their Trinity. Because mystic Kabbalist Judaism believes in a trinity. Now most people don’t even know that. So if you look at that, and I think we can say that Jesus certainly didn’t keep that feast of dedication, if it were at that point at that time. Ok.
Now we’re going to get into some things which are going to be very interesting. Now what I would like you to do is - you may even draw this in your notes if you like, I would like you to think on the right hand, this is the north. On the left hand is the south. On the north side is the highest part of the ridge that comes on down to the Valley of Kidron. And the other valley that goes up on the other side of the ridge, which is the Tyropean Valley. The Tyropean Valley goes up, but when it gets up toward the high end on the north side, it diminishes to where it just blends into the landscape. The Kidron Valley runs very deep on the other side. And the tallest point on the north side - and that’s where the Western Wailing Wall is, at the highest point - to the bottom of Kidron Valley is over 600 feet, and it rises rather sharply and steeply.
Now I’m going to bring you some information on a book that Ernest Martin wrote called, The Temple of Jerusalem, and this is going to be a summary of some of the things. Now, Ernest Martin I know personally. And when he does very good, he does very good; and when he does very bad, he does very bad. He even put at one book before and said, “Well the Jews were going to build the temple on the Mount of Olives, because when they faced the Western Wailing Wall, they're looking over to where the Mount of Olives is.” And all of his proof that he had to prove that, disproved his point. So he sent me the copy - this was years ago before it went to press - and I marked it all up and wrote on it and said, “You disproved your own point. It’s not going to be built on the Mount of Olives. It will be built on the same spot that it was the other time. Because you said everything goes in threes: 3 this, 3 that, 3 that. And the temple, we have the first temple, the second temple; both were destroyed, and the third temple then, according to the threes that you have, must be built on the same place.” So now he’s got a book showing that it has to be built on the same place.
Now he says - and this is the summary. These are not direct quotes from his book, which is quite a few hundred pages long, and Ernest Martin repeats himself a lot. So you get a lot of repetition. “At the time of David the location of Mount Zion was on the southeast ridge of the East hill.” So on the southeast ridge, City of David, Mount Zion. “The lowest southern end of this ridge extends from the intersection of the beginning of the ridges of the Tyropean Valley on the west side and the Kidron Valley on the east side. And they run together at the lower end at the south. The crescent of this southeast ridge extends up the Kidron Valley to the north; further up this ridge, overlapping the southeast corner of what would become Fort Antonia...” That’s the top highest part, Fort Antonia, “…being the upper end of the crest. This is approximately 600 yards from the lower end of the Kidron Valley to the southeast corner of Fort Antonia.” Now Fort Antonia was 36 acres. A large area. I’ll have a little more to say about that.
“In the center of this crescent…” because the ridge came like this, “…was the temple site of the Ophel mound. And the lower third of this crescent was Mount Zion.” So you have where Fort Antonia is the highest place, you come down to Ophel, which is the temple site. And then you come down to Mount Zion. “The two mounds together…” that is, Mount Zion and Ophel, “…were about 400 yards in length from north to south,” that is, each of them. “From the top of Mount Zion to the top of Ophel was over 200 yards.” So just picture a hill coming down with a bump here and a flat area, and that’s where the threshing floor was. It had to be flat. And then you come down, and then here is Mount Zion, or the City of David.
“This hill continued to ascend northward from Ophel Mound to where there was an outcropping of rock protruding.” Now this outcropping of rocks is now centered in the Mosque of Omar. And this is supposedly the sacred place where Mohammed ascended to God. And this was supposedly the place where Abraham sought to offer Ishmael. Now you see… no. The Arabs say Ishmael. Now you know why they fight. Because Abraham did not offer Ishmael. Ishmael was long gone. He came to offer Isaac, not on the protruding rock where Mohammed later ascended into heaven, allegedly. But it was on the Ophel Mound, Ok? So you see, have to get our Hebrew and Arabic theology straightened around, don’t we? [Laughs]
“The Temple Mount was built over the subterranean Gihon spring, and had numerous subsurface caves. All the temples were built [or that is, the two temples] on Ophel, the humped mound…” Mountain - it came up like this, then it was flat and went down, “…and the water of life for the temple services was immediately available, for it was renowned for its purity [or that is, sweet water] over that of any other spring in the entire region.” So they had to have a lot of water so they could take care of the sacrifices and everything. “At the time of the eyewitness of Ichantius 500 B.C., he stated that the temple was located near the center of Jerusalem, as it existed in his day, shortly after the construction of the second temple.” We just read about that. “For they had returned from exile after the Babylonian captivity and had rebuilt the temple from 520 to 515 B.C…” And we counted to five years from year two to year six of Darius.
“This would indicate that Zion, the City of David, was within the lower part of the crescent, and the Temple Mount was in the center, with the residents of Jerusalem being extended also on the upper crest at that time, because Fort Antonia did not come until the captivity by the Romans. But most likely did not reach to the south east edge of what would later become Fort Antonia. This upper edge of the crescent would be around 200 yards from the rock outcropping, the Dome of the Rock, that today is claimed to be the location of the original temple. During the days of Josephus, he says, ‘Now on the north side of the temple was built a Citadel…’ that is, Fort Antonia, ‘…whose walls were square and strong, and of an extraordinary firmness.’ The kings of the Hasmonean Dynasty, who are also high priests before the time of Herod, called it the Tower where the citadel was built.”
“The vestments of the high priests were kept in the Tower…” And this is the way that the Romans had of controlling the Jews: “You be nice, or you don’t get the robes.” He went on to say that, “…Fort Antonia dominated the temple area as it looked down upon the temple. This fortress guarded the security of the temple, the city of Jerusalem, and the fortress itself. We are informed that Fort Antonia obscured the view of the temple from those viewing Jerusalem from the north looking south. The hill on which the Tower of Antonia stood was the highest of these three locations.” So it was up, way high in the air. I think one hundred and five feet in the air. “The Dome of the Rock was, and is, offset southwest from the center within Fort Antonia.” So you view kind of a square, and it’s just a little off center. “There are no caves nor springs within the vicinity of the Dome of the Rock. Rather, an aqueduct coming from Bethlehem supplied Fort Antonia with water, and was stored in 37 cisterns maintaining a water supply for the 10th Legion, which numbered 10,000 troops.”
So in Fort Antonia, they had walls that were 46 feet high. They had apartments for everything in there. They had a training area, they had their pagan worship system; and remember all of hogs that went streaming down, you know, that had the demons cast into them and went down into the sea? You’ve often wondered why pigs were there in the area of the Holy Land? For Roman occupying soldiers’ consumption. That’s why they were there. So they had to eat something else. They had to eat, you know, “Hebrew Nationals” that week. [Laughs]
“There is no historic reference in the Holy Scriptures, or any secular sources, that describe a natural outcropping of rock.” And it raised quite high before they laid the foundation for Fort Antonia. “And this outcropping was located on the highest point of the ridge or hill that was associated with the Temple Mount. This includes…it was higher than the sites for the temple floor, the Holy of Holies, and the altar of burnt offerings. The altar of burnt offerings was formerly used as a threshing floor…” as we saw there in 1 Chronicles 21. “’Salem’ was Jerusalem, called the City of David, which is Zion. Melchizedek was king of Salem, Priest of the Most High. ‘In Salem is also His tabernacle…’ Psalm 76:2, ‘…and His dwelling in Zion.’” Now, Mount Zion was the City of David. Where was the Ark during the days of David? In David’s house. And the ark was the dwelling of God, correct? Yes. So there is.
“In Salem is His tabernacle, His dwelling in Zion, and in 1 Kings 8:1, ‘…The ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion.’ This indicates that the threshing floor was flat, not associated with an outcropping of rock, such as that with the Dome of the Rock. Josephus states that the temple built by Solomon was on a strong hill, “For it was a steep area on the ridge, and the area on top was not large, it was barely enough area for the Holy of Holies and the altar of burnt offerings.”
So what Solomon did was this: He built an east wall of the temple reaching upwards from the very base of the East hill, at the bottom of the Kidron Valley. For 300 cubits, or 450 feet he built this wall. Going straight up. And then they filled in as they went up. It also shows that, and 350 cubits is 450 feet. So this was a major project. Now you know why it took so long to build the temple.
And so what they did, they filled in in the back of it and so forth. Now, “On the north, west, and south sides Solomon built no walls.” But what that did with the temple area, it extended it out to the east. And it came up like this. Now can you imagine that wall, 450 feet high? So here you have the disciples over on the Mount of Olives telling Jesus, “Look at all the stones in the beautiful temple.” And Jesus said, “I tell you there shall not be one stone left upon another which shall not be torn down.” Now you know that was a huge job. And we’ll talk about how that was done a little bit later.
So then, this made enough room so that they could build the temple. So what we have is the area were Fort Antonia was later built when the Romans came and conquered the area. Here is the temple area. When they went into the Babylonian captivity, the stones that Solomon built and the place where the temple was had not been destroyed. Just the temple itself. So when they came back and built the second temple during the days that we read of there and Haggai and Zechariah, it was in the same location.
Now then, when the Romans came and they built Fort Antonia, what they did, they took massive stones, which were - and I talked to someone who was there on part of the trip, where I covered this, I think it was down in San Antonio. Yes - down in San Antonio. And he said that the stones where the Western Wailing Wall is located are not uniform stones. There are stones of different kinds and different sizes. But they are huge, and that shows that the Romans used that to fill in and elevate Fort Antonia when they built it so it would be higher. Because, see, the Romans believed in force and power and psychological warfare, so they had Fort Antonia as the highest location.
Now then, they also built colonnades. You’ve seen pictures of the temple area with these colonnades and the flat roof? There was a purpose for that. Because that went from the temple area, those colonnades went all around the temple area, and then up along the ridge. “And the colonnade had a roadway underneath, but on top was also a runway, and it was only 600 yards from Fort Antonia to the furthest side of the temple area. The Roman soldiers would use the top of that as a highway, being 45 feet wide.”
Now this is how they controlled the Jews. They had it there so they could quickly disperse the troops out of Fort Antonia and come down to the temple, because you know every time there was a revolt, it began where? At the temple. Now, there is an account of one time where the Jews tore down part of the colonnade so the Romans couldn’t get down there to come after them. So they said, “Ok, we’re going to kill you all unless you put it back.” So they made them rebuild it. They built it back.
Now they always had available 6,000 troops to patrol the temple area. And everything that the Jews did, there were Roman guards standing up on the top of this colonnade highway, watching them and guarding everything that they did. Now you know why Jesus said that they were in captivity and slaves to sin. And the Jews said, “No, we’ve been in captivity to no one.”
Now, Josephus describes Herod’s Temple. “Herod’s Temple was a type of a four square at the summit of this artificial platform.” They had the platform here, and they had the big wall coming up on the east, which was also put down a hundred cubits below the surface of the creek bed of the Kidron Valley there. “Four colonnades with a roadways surrounded the temple.” So all around, and its grounds. “The outer courts to the east, and the inner courts, being the area of the priests and the Holy of Holies was on the west, facing east toward the gate of Eden, the first residence of Almighty God at His creation. Josephus states that the eastern wall rose 300 cubits, or 400 feet, from above the floor of the Kidron Valley. Its foundational stones, however, went below the surface another 100 cubits, for a total of 600 feet of stone work, making the east wall.”
Now you see what the theory of evolution has done, even to our thinking in the Church. And the theory of modern thinking of how great we are, and what we build, and how marvelous we are, to build a 600 foot wall? Of course they were barbarians. I say that very cynically. No. They were men of skill. Men who understood mathematics and engineering. And the temple was a sight to behold. “This artificial platform on which the temple was placed was 400 cubits, or 600 feet square.” So you have 600 x 600 x 600 - a perfect cube. The Holy of Holies was a perfect cube. Now Fort Antonia was much more extensive than the temple area. The temple area was eight acres; Fort Antonia was 36 acres. And of course, I mentioned in there about the troops and so forth.
Now let’s come to a Micah 3, because here’s the prophecy that Jesus was referring to. Micah 3, there we go… Hosea, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah - there we go. Micah 3:10, “They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money:…” No different than today, is it? “…Yet will they lean upon the LORD,…” Interesting phraseology: “Lean.” They won’t worship the Lord, but they’ll lean upon the Lord. Just like it is today. We mouth the words that, you know, “God is our God.” We say, “Well, we need to repent,” and then we just go on our business and nobody repents, or tells anybody what to repent of. So they did the same there. They leaned upon the Lord. “…And say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.” Don't we have the same thing today? Yes. “We’re God’s people. Nothing will happen to us. We’re strong.” The Jews actually defied God in this. They said, “God, You are obligated to us, in spite of us.” It sounds a little bit like Protestantism, doesn’t it? No, God is obligated to no man. So here is their sentence. “Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field [that was the City of David], and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house [that is, the house of God] as the high places of the forest” (Micah 3:10-12).
Now when the rebellion finally came, and Titus came with his armies to Jerusalem - now you can read all of this in the book of Josephus if you would like to. He didn’t want to destroy the temple. He wanted to go in and plunder the gold, because it had lots and lots and lots of gold. Now, we don’t know exactly who set the fires. It is claimed that the Zealots have set some of the fires, and that’s why the temple burned. Now you figures cedar, hundreds of years old, how quickly and how hot is that going to burn? Poof. And what’s going to happen to all the gold? It’s going to melt. Where is it going to go? Down into the cracks of the rocks.
Now the Romans wanted the gold. They got the gold. You know how they got it? They had all these Jewish slaves. And with forced labor and whips, they made them tear down the whole mountain from top to bottom. And they got the gold. The way they would get rid of the stones is, they would build huge fires on it, let the stones get real hot, and then they would pour water on it, and it would crack, and then they could start taking it apart. And they took it apart where one stone was not left upon another. And a couple of hundred years later the city of Zion was a garbage dump and a field where farmers plowed, just like the prophecy in Micah 3 said.
Now then, Dr. Martin wrote this book in hopes that he could get it to leading Jews that they might build the temple in the right place. Now we don’t know whether that’s going to happen. But it is possible. Because it offers a great solution for the internationalization of Jerusalem, doesn’t it? You have the Mosque of Omar on where Fort Antonia was. You have the El Asqa Mosque right next to it, just a little bit further south. South of there, let the Jews build their temple, and it won’t interfere.
See, the Jews want to get rid of the Mosque of Omar. And that is a suicidal death sentence. If you think bin Laden was angry, if you have a billion Moslems angry at you, you know the end has come. So it’s entirely possible that they may come to understand that the temple area is down south and away from. Now if they build it, they’re going to have to build the wall again. It’s not going to be like they’ve been attempting to do, remember you heard reports, they found the red heifer? How many heard those reports? “Red heifer! We’re ready to, you know, start the whole thing.” What happened to the red heifer? They found white hair, so its hamburger. [Laughs] Without the hair, of course.
And all of that shows that - and how many have heard the Jews who have the cornerstone, that they’re going to take up on the Temple Mount and put it there? Never happened, did it? Never happened. Why? Because it is not time, and that is the wrong place. Now since the Jews have done so many things wrong, I don’t know if they’re going to get the message and build it where ought to be. But that would be the proper solution. Let’s come to Revelation 11 and we will end here, showing that there is going to be a temple built. And it’s going to be a temple out of which the two witnesses shall come. One being the high priest and the other being the governor of Judea. So let’s not have anyone volunteer to be the two witnesses.
Revelation 11:1, “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God,…” The only way you could call it the Temple of God, truly, would be if it’s on the location where the other two were. “…And the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for is given into the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months” (Rev. 11:1-2). So there will be a temple built.
But I thought that since there is so much in the news going on about the problems in Jerusalem between the Arabs and Jews, and Palestinians and Jews - and know this, as I’ve said for years, which is true, and the Jews have said, they will sign no peace treaty with anyone, unless they are guaranteed to build their temple. So if they build it where the other two were, then that would solve the problem. So watch where they build the temple, and let’s see if they can find the red heifer without any white hairs.