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In which temple do you worship?

Dec 18, 2018

On December 10, 2018 an altar of sacrifice was dedicated at the western wall in Jerusalem. I posted a video of the ceremony yesterday.

What I did not realize was that an underground synagogue was dedicated a year ago today on December 18, 2017. I do not know its precise location, but the video below gives the impression that it is located within (under) the temple mount itself. It also gives you a video tour of this synagogue and a virtual tour of the planned temple.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzmC2-sY5IM

The next video, which was posted last January, shows some of the archeological excavation, which I think is how they built the synagogue itself. The narrator tells us that the “idol” at the center is located directly under the spot where the Most Holy Place stood at one time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7SKlYhKMfI

What Does It Mean?

The narrator believes that these events are fulfilling Bible prophecy. I agree, but we do have some differences. He understands these events from the Dispensationalist viewpoint, which developed in the 1850’s. It is the view that Christ will come at the start of The Tribulation to “rapture” the church to heaven, at which time an Antichrist will arise as a world leader.

This Antichrist, they say, will build a temple in Jerusalem and rule from there for either 7 or perhaps 3½ years. During this time, they say, 144,000 Jewish Christians will evangelize the world. The problem is that when the Rapture occurs, the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth (so they say). So, given the absence of the Holy Spirit, I don’t see how those Jewish evangelists themselves could be believers, nor could they be successful in their evangelism. In my view the Holy Spirit is required for anyone to be drawn to God.

At the end of seven years, they say, Christ will return with His saints, and He will kick the Antichrist out of his temple and take it over. The temple in Jerusalem, then, will serve as the headquarters for Christ’s Kingdom for the next thousand years, while Levitical priests make daily animal sacrifices in the outer court of the temple.

For many decades, going back at least to the 1950’s, Christians have been donating funds to build this third temple, hoping to hasten Christ’s coming. They say that Christ cannot come until these prophecies are fulfilled, so they actually contribute money to the building of the Antichrist’s house. It seems to me that they should let the Antichrist fund his own house and that God’s money is better spent on actual evangelism and Kingdom work.

What I Believe

I suppose the excuse is that the temple will be Jesus’ house in the end. However, my understanding of the book of Hebrews tells me that Jesus instituted “better things,” and that He replaced many features of Old Covenant worship.

We have a New Covenant, replacing the Old Covenant (Hebrews 8:8,13). It is a “better covenant” than that which was made at Mount Horeb (Hebrews 7:22).

We have a better Sacrifice that utilizes the blood of Jesus Himself (Hebrews 9:12), replacing animal sacrifices which had to be repeated daily because they could never perfect anyone (Hebrews 10:1, 4), nor could they ever “take away sins” (Hebrews 10:11). If animal sacrifices could perfect anyone, “would they not have ceased to be offered?” (Hebrews 10:2).

We have a new Melchizedek Order (Hebrews 7:12, 16), replacing the Levitical Order.

We have an immortal High Priest of this Melchizedek Order (Hebrews 5:6, 10; 7:24), replacing the mortal high priests who were of Aaron (Hebrews 7:23, 28).

We have “a more perfect tabernacle” (Hebrews 9:11), made of living stones (1 Peter 2:5), replacing the temple made of dead stones.

We have better ceremonies that do not depend on vessels made of gold (Hebrews 9:2-5), for our great High Priest conducts His ceremonies in the temple in heaven, a “more perfect tabernacles, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation” (Hebrews 9:11).

We have a heavenly Jerusalem (Galatians 4:25, 26), replacing the earthly Jerusalem.

These are things which every genuine Christian ought to know. It astounds me that so many would so easily return to the types and shadows and imperfect forms of worship that were set forth under the Old Covenant. Somehow they think that they can have both at the same time, as if the two covenants existed side by side.

In my view there is only one (successful) way of salvation, and that is through the New Covenant. The Old Covenant was based on man’s promise to God and his ability to keep his word. The New Covenant is based upon better promises, because God Himself has promised and is faithful to fulfill His word (Hebrews 10:23).

With this New Covenant comes many other changes (listed above). One cannot merely add the New Covenant to an Old Covenant system of worship. To do so is to reject the Mediator of the New Covenant. The book of Hebrews was written specifically to call Jews out of Judaism into the form of worship that is submitted to the new High Priest, Jesus Christ. Hence, the appeal is made in Hebrews 13:12-14,

12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Hence, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.

Those who refuse to follow Jesus “outside the camp” show that they still believe that the earthly Jerusalem is the true city of God. But Scripture says, “here we do not have a lasting city.” In other words, Jerusalem is not “the eternal city,” that so many believe it to be. Even Abraham himself sought a “a better country, that is a heavenly one… for He has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:16).

In other words, Abraham did not seek an earthly country (Canaan), nor did he seek an earthly Jerusalem. He sought for something better, says the author of Hebrews. We too ought to seek a better inheritance. It is the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly city.

Yet when Jews and even Christians think that the earthly Jerusalem will be the capital of the Kingdom of Christ, they show that they have refused to go outside the camp, bearing the cross of Christ with Him. Their faith is misplaced, and their vision is limited to fleshly things. If they seek an inheritance in the earthly city, they will suffer its fate as well, for they will later discover that it is “not a lasting city.”

The prophets told us Jerusalem’s fate. Though the earthly city was given the opportunity to fulfill the promises of men and to be the holy city, it failed in the end to achieve righteousness. So Isaiah 29:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 prophesies utter destruction in terms that suggest a nuclear blast. God Himself will lay siege to the city, the prophet says.

Jeremiah 19:1 compares Jerusalem to an old “earthenware jar” which was to be smashed in the valley of Ben-hinnom (Greek: Gehenna). Jeremiah 19:10, 11 says,

10 Then you are to break the jar in the sight of the men who accompany you 11 and say to them, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Just so shall I break this people and this city, even as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot again be repaired; and they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place for burial’.”

This is a clear prophecy that explains the phrase “no lasting city.” The earthly Jerusalem was the temporary abode of God, the place where He placed His name after leaving Shiloh (Jeremiah 7:12, 13, 14). Just as He left Shiloh, He again left Jerusalem, and now His Name or presence is in a new temple described in Revelation 22:4, “His name shall be on their foreheads.”

To put it another way, we are children of the heavenly Jerusalem, called “Sarah” (Galatians 4:26). To consider the earthly Jerusalem to be the mother of the Kingdom is to claim “Hagar” as our mother (Galatians 4:25). Such a viewpoint lays claim to the Old Covenant and all of its consequences. Paul was telling us that to remain in Judaism and to have faith in the Old Covenant is to be a child of Hagar, the bond woman.

Casting out the Bondwoman

The solution, according to the apostle Paul, is given in Galatians 4:30, 31,

30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.

We are fast approaching the end when it will become very important to know who you are. Whose son are you? You cannot claim to be the son of Sarah while yet adhering to Hagar, the earthly Jerusalem. Neither can you claim to be a New Covenant believer while having faith that you can fulfill your own promise to God. Neither can you claim the blood of Jesus while thinking that animal sacrifices will again be instituted in the age to come. The cross of Christ was not a temporary feature that God gave by grace to the church until the Old Covenant system is re-established for the age to come.

With the dedication of the new synagogue last year and the altar of sacrifice this year, we have come to the crossroad, the crisis point in Christianity itself. This is where one’s belief is all important, for it will affect your life and may even affect your very salvation that is rooted in the blood of Jesus.

I did not learn of the altar dedication until yesterday, but some of us were already receiving relevant revelation in the past week. Last Saturday we were led to convene a Divine Council meeting here at my office and expel all former Council members who had been disqualified, as well as all who presently falsely claim to be Council members.

In the time of Christ, the Council was the Sanhedrin. A new Sanhedrin has been appointed in recent years in Jerusalem, as the videos show. All of those members reject Jesus Christ, unless perchance some are secret believers in Jesus while denying Him in public. Either way, they are NOT genuine members of the Divine Council. Any decrees or judgments that they make are null and void.

In the New Testament, Jesus chose 70 as His Divine Council members (Luke 10:1). The Sanhedrin at that time did not recognize those that Jesus appointed, for they did not appear to be worthy, nor were they prominent rabbis. The two groups of 70 were in competition. It is no different today. God knows who the 70 are today, even as He knows who the 12 “princes” of the tribes are (correlating with the 12 disciples).

Yesterday we had another meeting at my office, and once again ran into spiritual opposition from Christ’s competitors. Toward the end, the spirit of Hagar manifested in front of us, and we cast out that spirit about 2:36 pm. Only then did it occur to me that this fulfilled Galatians 4:30, where Paul says to “cast out the bondwoman.” That was interesting.

More sobering, however, is the fact that this portion of the meeting was a Divine Council session, and that we literally decided against Hagar, the earthly Jerusalem, who has been competing with Sarah as the mother of the Kingdom and its heirs. The case was decided, and the timing of this shows us that the prophesied fate of the earthly Jerusalem has been sealed.

Of course, who are we to decide such things? We are quite literally unknown and unrecognized. We are nobodies, much like the 70 that Jesus sent out. Nonetheless, we heard His voice, and we acted accordingly by faith. God will decide whose decrees to honor, for He alone knows who has acted according to His word.

I believe we are entering into a climactic time, where the stage has been set for the final drama on the stage of world history.


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Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones