God commands Israel to build Temple!
Both the apostle Paul prophesied of the Temple of GOD (not just the Jews) in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and the apostle John testifies it's the Temple of GOD (not just the Jews) in the Book of Revelation 11:1. Will we believe the testimony of these two witnesses (writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) that God claims the Temple as His own?
We must warn the Jews to beware Europe's imminent wannabe divine emperor who would pollute the Temple just like Antiochus Epiphanes did, although after it was cleansed, it was rededicated and Yeshua referred to that cleansed, rededicated Temple as "MY FATHER'S HOUSE." Regardless of whatever "guarantees" of peace and security Europe will undoubtedly offer to seduce our Jewish brethren, Israel must not trust them or let their guard down or the walls of Israeli sovereignty will come tumbling down!
As far as the commanded sacrifices go (even though Yeshua fulfilled their meaning, they're still commanded for now), prayerfully consider:
The Ezekiel Temple by Jan Willem van der Hoeven, director of the International Christian Zionist Center in Jerusalem. Regardless that Mr. van der Hoeven is a Protestant, what he writes that is true remains true and we should be able to glean from his article as we are able to glean from many secular sources which we do on a regular basis, and not foolishly limit ourselves.
If the former Worldwide Church of God members could understand how Ambassador Auditorium, a concert hall in Pasadena, California, could formerly serve as "God's House," how can some be so proud and stubborn and blind to fail to RECOGNIZE that God would place His Name where He only and always has: on the TEMPLE Mount(Zechariah 1:16)? God says He'll accept the Temple, so why shouldn't we? (Haggai 1:8).
It ought to be understood that since GOD has restored Israel to the Land (part of the prophesied restoration and process of redemption of the Land and lives of Israel), Israel must build the Temple. After all, IT IS A COMMAND: "And let them make me a Sanctuary that I may dwell among them" (Exodus 25:8).
God has never revoked that command for NATIONAL ISRAEL (Malachi 4:4). It is the greatest national command, the grandest mitzva that is woefully ignored!
The Temple serves as a unifying national symbol, a central focus for the knowledge and worship of the true God (Micah 4:2). It encourages us to remember to keep the biblical festivals of God, and to send representatives to Jerusalem to celebrate before the LORD, following the letter and the spirit of the Law and the Prophets (Deuteronomy 16:16; Zechariah 14:16).
But how can Israel reclaim the Temple Mount without starting a war? Presently that most holy site is under a militant Muslim occupation that forcibly forbids any Jew or Christian from praying or reading the Bible there. This shameful situation continues despite the fact that Israel supposedly guarantees "freedom of access" to religious sites according to their 1967 Law for the Protection of the Holy Places.
Israeli "leaders" continue to look the other way as the Muslims practice blatant religious discrimination daily. Israel must stop taking into "protective custody" those who seek to exercise their religious rights upon the Temple Mount and instead REMOVE THE THREAT.
I was arrested on Simchat Torah (the Last Great Day) in 1995 to protect me from the mad Muslims, as related in a "House of Prayer for ALL nations?"
As written in a letter of mine published in The Jerusalem Post: "The Temple Mount is not in our hands, because it is not in our hearts and minds. This is to the shame of our political and religious leaders. I doubt that Jews prayed for 2,000 years to return to Zion and pray at a wall."
Of course, on an individual level we must welcome God into our hearts and minds, our personal lives, to find a loving home (Isaiah 66:1-2). But on a NATIONAL LEVEL, on a physical plane, we need a physical building to serve as the "Embassy of the Eternal." We shouldn't become so "spiritual" that we forget our Hebrew roots and biblical responsibilities as a NATION, since the vast majority of us aren't just spiritual members of the Church of God but physical members of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel and even some are from Judah!
Physical Preparation for Messiah
Herbert W. Armstrong asked whether Christ would return to a nonexistent throne, knowing full well David's throne continues to this day, as prophesied. In the same sense, we should ask: WILL CHRIST BE HOMELESS? Of course not! We should reflect upon how "breathtakingly beautiful... the Temple [will be] in which Christ will dwell" (Mystery of the Ages, pg. 322).
Mr. Armstrong began to touch upon spiritual things that he didn't fully understand, but he recorded it for us in his autobiography. He wrote that there is a "PHYSICAL PREPARING, as well as spiritual, in preparing the way for Messiah's coming!" (emphasis mine, Autobiography of HWA., Vol. II, pg. 470). God's apostle began to see and know and understand God has given us a MIDEAST COMMISSION!
The vast majority in God's Church still don't get it! Why haven't any of the Church leaders taught this? Why do they attempt to ignore it? We need to understand that part of the prophesied physical preparation is:
1) the return of a significant number of Jews to Jerusalem and Israel, representative of all Twelve Tribes, and
2) their literal clearing of the way (by reclaiming the land), that will ultimately result in the restoration of the Temple Mount as the TEMPLE Mount, culminating in Messiah's Coming! (Isaiah 57:14, 62:10).
Those zealous for God's House set an example for everyone else to follow, and help direct our energies and attention where it belongs! (Jeremiah 50:50). We must help God's Church and Israel to "PREPARE TO MEET YOUR GOD!" (Amos 4:12).
Mr. Armstrong wrote in a Good News article that it was significant that he was of the House of David and made reference to Zechariah 12:8. He expressed a desire to spend more time in Jerusalem. And he will - at the resurrection! But meanwhile another converted descendant of David must fulfill that vital role.
The leading spokesman between the Two Witnesses will hail from David's Royal House. In the mighty spirit of Elijah he'll identify the Messiah to Israel and introduce Him to Judah (Isaiah 40:2,9). That involves far more than producing television programs for outside Christian consumption or broadcasting into Israel from afar! Such efforts are a start in the right direction but are clearly insufficient for the task at hand. God's Work Permit and Contract requires an INSIDE JOB to take place in Zion and on and near the Temple Mount! (Joel 2:1).
GOD - not some Church official - will soon SEND His apostle to the Middle East (Isaiah 41:27; 52:7). The Two Witnesses have a burning desire to see Jerusalem fulfill her calling and they won't rest their case until they've won (Isaiah 62:1, 6-7). This focus on Jews, Jerusalem and Israel appears as a tedious preoccupation to some, but others recognize it as an inspired occupation: God's Mideast Work and Church Commission!
A Faithful Few
A dedicated few cleansed the Temple Mount during the days of the Macabbees. (Hanukkah commemorates their miraculous victory. Yeshua kept the "Feast of Dedication" - John 10:22). They didn't wait for every last Jew to repent before they acted upon their convictions. They put their faith into practice - and GOD WAS WITH THEM!
After they took action, others joined with them and rallied to the cause (Daniel 11:32). That was God's Work in those days. Jewish spiritual survival was at stake! The occupying enemy forces, in league with Jewish traitors, were bent on destroying what truth God had preserved among Judah. The Sabbath, circumcision, dietary laws and other embers of divine revelation were banned upon penalty of death! The Temple itself was polluted with pig's blood and an idol! Thankfully, a holy remnant, "Gideon's army," the Macabbees, rose up and fought back! They saved the nation, cleansed the Temple, and enabled Messiah to later appear there right on time (Malachi 3:1).
Yeshua's presence gave God's Temple a GREATER GLORY than Solomon's Temple ever enjoyed (Haggai 2:9). And the Second Temple was only prophesied in one place. Isaiah spoke of Cyrus - an unlikely, pagan Gentile king (Isaiah 44:28; 45:9) - whom nevertheless GOD would raise up for this purpose (and who are we to question His wisdom?). And, interestingly enough, the Temple Zerubbabel built wasn't based on Ezekiel's vision! Some could've opposed it on those grounds, lacking vision, but they didn't - at least it's not recorded.
We have several strong indications, if we'll only believe what the Bible says, that there will be a Temple in Jerusalem before King Messiah's return from Heaven in full view of all mankind.
Satan, in his insane jealousy, will move his counterfeit king of kings, Europe's last emperor, to take up residence where he ought not (Mark 13:14). Will the pope, Europe's false prophet, help install him in the Holy of Holies? (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Daniel 11:45). They'll have crossed the line and their days will be numbered, because God will give Jerusalem over to the fascist EU as part of the punishment of Judah's sins, but God decrees the holy Temple Mount and holy Temple are off-limits! (Revelation 11:1-2).
The pope doesn't claim to be God; he'll prepare the way and proclaim Europe's EMPEROR as divine (Ezekiel 28:2). He's the Catholic "Elijah." The Bible labels him the false prophet, not the false Christ. The true prophets of God, in the spirit of Elijah, will meet them head on in Jerusalem! The Two Witnesses' testimony before a world court will sound throughout the universe! They'll be bold as lions and braver than the Maccabees!
Meanwhile, we should wholeheartedly support the biblical efforts of those dedicated to building the Temple and physically preparing for Messiah's coming (Isaiah 62:1). The Church of God used to have a designated "building fund." What greater NATIONAL PROJECT THAN OUR TEMPLE TASK?
And we should help warn Judah of the consequences they'll suffer for despising their inheritance. If they're so weak and willing to sinfully surrender land to the Gentiles, and tolerate the continued Nazi-Muslim occupation of the Temple Mount - the only designated site for God's House - God will despise His inheritance (Israel) and give up Jerusalem to Gentile occupation, permitting Jewish land and lives to be violated, and their homes and personal property looted! (Zechariah 14:2).
Israel's Missed Opportunities
Israel has had the Cornerstone for the Third Temple since the 1980's, thanks to the Temple Mount Faithful Movement who quarried the stone from Mitzpeh Ramon (in southern Israel) and sanctified it with the appropriate Levitical blessings. But the Israeli government and Jewish people have REJECTED THE CORNERSTONE! (Psalms 118:22). Israel could've begun immediate construction for the Third Temple. Instead they've shown a serious lack of interest or ungodly fear of Gentile threats. Both the spiritual and physical cornerstone, as prophesied, have been rejected!
Every Israeli has seen the Cornerstone since it's brought out on a flatbed truck during the Temple Mount Faithful's frequent demonstrations, especially during the biblical festivals, but they've failed to recognize its importance. Regardless of Israel's temporary blindness to God's Purpose and timid or treacherous Jewish leaders, the Cornerstone will be put in place - laid upon the Temple Mount! Wasn't the second Temple built despite fierce opposition? (Ezra 4:4).
We must encourage Jerusalem: "You shall be built; and to the Temple, Your foundation shall be laid" (Isaiah 44:28), and join with those faithful Jews who HERALD THE HEADSTONE'S ARRIVAL (Hosea 11:12). Soon God will remove the mountain of opposition that blocks my return to Zion (Isaiah 45:2; Zechariah 4:7; Matthew 21:21). My unjust deportation will have served it purpose and be history. Once again in Jerusalem, by God's grace and Spirit, I shall continue to build upon the foundation that God has laid for His end-time Work in Israel and it'll be as if I had never left! Back to the future!
Yes, "He which testifies these things says, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20). May we feel privileged to help PREPARE THE WAY!
The Scriptures clearly command the Temple to be built and it will be; the prophecies reveal the restoration of animal sacrifices and they will be; and all this will be whether or not we perfectly understand.
To help folks understand:
How should Christians view efforts to build the Temple?
The Ezekiel Temple