Israel in Prophecy, Pt. 4

Announcer: It is now time for Bible Talk. Join our host, Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw, speakers for the Amazing Facts Ministry as they now open the bible and discuss themes that affect your life today. Stay tune because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's word.
John Bradshaw: Hi friend and welcome again to Bible Talk where we tackle the subjects of the Bible that affect you right where you are. Glad to have you with us today. I'm John Bradshaw and with me is Gary Gibbs. Hey, Gary.
Gary Gibbs: Hi John. And indeed we are tackling the topics. We are tackling them as they are racing through Christiandom and we are pulling them down and saying some of these topics that we have been taught in the Christian church. They are not in the Bible at all.
John: No, they become popularized. They have almost reached sacred cow status because the day we even talk about them or challenge them or raise a dissenting voice, man, you could lose friends and popularity real fast and you can tell we are really bothered about that. That is why we are just taking this head on and we are talking about the subject of Israel in prophecy and the temple and who is God's Israel and all of these things.
Gary: And the thing probably that is going to hit it head on is the fact that we have been saying the literal Israel, the Israel over the Middle East, that so many Christians have their hopes pin looking for the temple to be rebuilt, Anti-Christ to move in, as being the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning Israel, that is not in the bible. In fact, that is the diversion of the enemy of souls. They get us looking for something that is not going to happen because the true temple of God is the church.
John: Here is what I would challenge the thinking of some. I know many people arrive at the prophetic conclusions today without even opening a Bible. I just met a lot of people they say, "I got what I believe off the TV or out of the book, not the Bible, or from a movie." And that won't cut it if you're a Christian. You need to be opening up the Bible. Then you look at these things. Oh, firstly, let me say this Gary. We are suggesting that a Jew, a literal Jew cannot be saved. Anyone can be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Are we agreed on that?
Gary: That's right.
John: OK. But the temple being rebuilt, well, the temple that really matters is the temple on the heaven and God's temple today is the Christian church.
Gary: And, John, we are not going to have the time to go back through what we have covered in previous programs so any listener just jumping in on this program really needs to call the number at the end of the program, ask for the free resources, get involve in our free Bible study guides. There is absolutely no obligation. You don't have to join anything. You get those free study guides and catch up with where we are now.
John: Something that I have seen in my life as a Christian -- and I haven't been a Christian all my life -- and that is as long as I have been a Christian. I have people saying to me talking about the subject, talking about the temple. And they would say, But John haven't you looked? Someone said this to me just the other day. Haven't you heard, the foundations for this temple are in place. I mean they are ready to go. They are ready to build it. I said to someone there is a mosque on top of the temple. Oh, well, now they found a new site and it is not...I mean, man, these people, they change when the wind changes. This is mythological stuff that the foundations are there ready to go. How long have these foundations been in place? I have never seen them. You have been in Jerusalem. Did you see foundations for a temple?
Gary: Well, I will tell you. I have been in Jerusalem in 1983. We were there in the Wailing Wall, which is considered to be part of the original temple complex.
John: Yes.
Gary: And we were there and somebody whispered, our tour guide, and said they have everything in place to restore the old Jewish temple and the foundations have been restored. They have found everything they made. They have it all stored somewhere and as soon as they can overthrow the Muslims, they are going to come in here and they are going to re-institute the Old Testament sanctuary service and we are going to be in the Last Days. And they are kind of whispering that there in the corners of the Wailing Wall.
John: These whispers just keep the fervor going and I don't mean to be uncharitable but I have seen prophecy teachers with ministries writing appeal letters saying, "Listen, there is a peace treaty about to be signed. The foundations are in place," Oh, we found there the red heifer over there. The red heifer is a red herring I think. Every time I read half, there is rumor to be around. Send more money because sometime soon it is all going to take place. They have been saying that for a long time.
Gary: Yes, John. One day it is going to take place but we can ignore some of these Bible texts and one very significant text that talks about the rebuilding of the temple is in Daniel 9. What do you think about Daniel nine and when was it fulfilled if it is not going to be fulfilled in the future?
John: Daniel 9, oh man. You didn't ask me a quick question here, did you? But let's like zero in on verse...Oh, what do you want me to pick it up, verse six?
Gary: I think Daniel 9:25 says it is going to be rebuild. He says, "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks. The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troubled times."
John: Well, verse 25 is clearly being fulfilled. Now, Ezra seven refers to the decree to go back and restore and rebuild Jerusalem. And that decree was issued, if my memory serves me correctly, in 457 BC.
Gary: BC, Before Christ.
John: After that time, Nehemiah went back with certain individuals and they restore the place. The temple was rebuilt. Well, the whole place was rebuilt and society was restored. So verse 25 and the rebuilding thing, that is already taking place. And it says there would be a decree certain time period would stretch down to the coming of the Messiah. And so on.
Gary: OK. So that brings us down to Jesus day. So that temple was rebuilt. The second temple was rebuilt.
John: Yes.
Gary: And then we come down to Jesus day but this is the 70 week prophecy where the 70th week isn't that last week as during the time that the temple would be rebuilt in Jerusalem, the third temple? And everything will be institute and the anti-Christ will move into the temple there?
John: Let's carefully look at this one prophecy. After 62 weeks, Messiah will be cut off. Jesus was cut off when he...
Gary: When he died.
John: When he died on the cross.
Gary: Sure.
John: Not for himself. And the people and the prince shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end there will be a flood and on the end of the war, desolation is determined. After Christ died, he died at 31AD. It wasn't that long after that. Not quite 40 years after that, the place was destroyed. The Romans came through and they destroyed the whole place. Destroyed the temple. There was utterly a desolated, no question. And then verse 27 says, "He will confirm the covenant with many for a week." The he in this can only be Jesus. Jesus confirms the covenant with God's people, Israel, for a week for seven years. In the midst of the wake He will cause the sacrifice in the oblation to cease. Jesus caused the sacrificial system to come to an end when he died on the cross.
Gary: Now the way that's normally taught though, John, is that the Anti-Christ is going to restore the sacrificial system at the beginning of the last seven years of earth's history.
John: Right.
Gary: And then the middle of the week the sacrificial system will cease. So how do you get this being Jesus, that He and not the Anti-Christ?
John: Verse 25 talks about Messiah, the Prince. Verse 26: The Messiah, the Messiah, the Messiah. Verse 27, the subject here appears to be the Messiah very clearly. Bible commentators historically, until the recent times, have labeled this as Jesus. Not that we have to necessarily agree with them. Let me ask you, the covenant spoken of in the Bible, that's the covenant between God and His people. You don't find any mention of a covenant between Anti-Christ and anybody in the Bible, unless you try to extract a label out of this verse.
Gary: And this would be the only verse where you would try to get it out of.
John: The only verse out of the many thousands of verses in the Bible. It is Jesus who only can confirm the covenant between God and his people, with his people for that time period.
Gary: You know, there's an interesting phrase here, in verse 26. John, I think a lot of people just read over the top...
John: And we want to look at that. Go right into it right now.
Gary: Because he says "There shall, thereof city shall..." Excuse me. "The end thereof shall be with a flood and unto the end of the world, desolations are determined." What he's saying is that not only will the city and the temple be destroyed but onto the end, the end of time, desolations are determined upon that area, that region.
John: And if you look at that region of the world, what do you see right now?
Gary: War after war, desolation after desolation. When I was in Israel they showed me that the current streets are like 40 or 70 feet, I forget, above what they were in Jesus' day.
John: Because...
Gary: So you're not walking the streets where Jesus walked, you're walking 70 feet or 40 feet above where Jesus walked because all of the rubble from all the wars and the destruction have piled up over the years.
John: That's exactly what's happened over there and so this part of the prophecy is being fulfilled to the letter.
Gary: I think there's application of this to what's happening right now in the Middle East beyond what we're talking about. All of these efforts to create peace? They're destined to fail. It would be wonderful for there to be lasting peace there but this is always going to be a war-torn area of planet Earth!
John: It doesn't have to be. If they would turn and embrace Christ peace would come. But as long as you have a nation there that is really comprised of individuals who will not embrace Jesus and their neighbors won't embrace Christ either. Peace can come through Jesus when people open their hearts to Jesus Christ but we don't see that happening. We don't see it prophesied. The Bible says war after war after war will take place. That's what's playing out.
Gary: Does the New Testament say anything about this? Is there talk about these desolations on the temple?
John: Oh, yes! Certainly! Some of the most plain passages in the Scripture underscore this. Matthew 23, this is not the only place I wanted to refer to as a matter of fact. In Matthew 23, Jesus said in verse 37, "Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Thou that killest the prophets and stoned as them which are sent unto Thee. How often would I have gathered thou children together, even as a Hen gathers her chicks under her wings." And you would not...and what does he says in verse 38? "Behold your house is left until your death does a lot." Now before this time, He went to the temple, cleansed the temple. "You've turned my Father's House into a den of thieves. My Father's House. Now it's not my Father's House. Your house! I've left the building, My presence is not here. Your house is left unto you desolate. This temple is going to be desolated. The temple means nothing now because My presence does not reside there and we've about had it with you!"
In fact, if you would go through the New Testament, again and again Jesus, He shares the parable where he says "The husbandman has a vineyard, he lets it out." That's God, He has Israel, represented as the vineyard. He lets it out the tenants. And he sends somebody down there to collect the rent or see how they're doing, beats them up and throws the servant out. He says "I'm going to send My Son." Son goes down, kills the Son. "What do you think we should do?" Jesus says in the parable and the Jews reply "Oh, destroy them and miserably throw them out!" What were they doing? They were actually residing their own sentence upon themselves.
Gary: That's right. That there would be a righteous judgment. In fact, in Matthew 24: one the disciples take Jesus, point out the megaton load of stones that made up the temple and they said "Look at these buildings! Look at this temple, it's great!" And Jesus say this "And not one stone will be left upon another." So He was prophesizing the destruction of the temple and not a rebuilding of the temple obviously.
John: No, He had nothing to say about that at all. You see, if we are expecting something to take place in a temple that has nothing to do with our spiritual experience, what we're leaving out of this equation. If we're looking to Israel, something that does not affect us as Christians in a direct sense, we're leaving our heart out of the equation of God's spiritual work to be done in our lives in the last days. What God wants to accomplish is something in our hearts.
Gary: That's right! So what God originally wanted to do with literal Israel was use that temple on the mount as a lighthouse for the world. But since they rejected their franchise on the Gospel, God had to give it to the Christians or anybody, Jew or Gentile who would let God's light shine so others could see the love and salvation of Christ.
John: And that's what God is seeking to do today, to reach the world through those Christians who comprises temple. Friend, let God reach somebody through you. To join us for more next time, right here on Bible Talk. [music]
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