(Read Part 4)
The Jewish people will construct the third temple, also known as the eschatological Tribulation Temple, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This distinctly dispensational statement carries the weight of the accurate, authoritative, inerrant and infallible Scriptures (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
The Bible contains four passages that speak specifically about the eschatological third Jewish temple and the precise time when the temple will exist on God’s most sacred piece of real estate in the world, the Temple Mount. The individual texts must be interpreted using the historical, contextual, grammatical and literal dispensational hermeneutic. In contrast, attempting to interpret the texts using the allegorical and spiritualizing methodologies will lead to an erroneous conclusion. Therefore, we will briefly point out the four key passages and in subsequent articles take a detailed look at their intricacies.
Daniel’s 70-week prophecy is arguably the most important prophetic passage in the entire Bible. The key verse for this discussion is Daniel 9:27.
Then he (Antichrist) shall confirm a covenant (peace treaty) with many (Israel) for one week (seven years);
But in the middle of the week (after three-and-a-half years)
He (Antichrist) shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering (the Tribulation Temple sacrifices and offerings).
And on the wing of abominations (abomination of desolation) shall be one who makes desolate (Antichrist),
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.
This author added the words in parentheses to give a preview of the vast theological truths contained in this one prophetic verse. We will examine the context and the resultant conclusions in the next article.
The Olivet Discourse, spoken by Jesus Himself, includes one verse that speaks to the necessity of the third temple in Jerusalem.
‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand).
The standalone verse emphasizes the hermeneutical principle that you must interpret the verse in its contextual setting to understand exactly what God was stating. We will accomplish this in a future article. The specific reference to the Tribulation Temple is found in the words “the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel.” The prophet Daniel spoke directly about the “abomination of desolation” in Daniel 9:27, some 600 years before Jesus uttered the same eschatological prophecy. Now, 2,000 years later, the prophecy still stands, and God will bring it to fulfillment.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
The Apostle Paul went to Thessalonica in approximately A.D. 50 to preach the gospel of the grace of God. During his short stay in Thessalonica, many people trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Paul taught extensively on the subject of eschatology—the study of future prophetic events as revealed in the Scriptures.
Paul taught the Thessalonians about the rapture of the church age saints. He further made it clear that they would escape the horrible judgments of the seven-year tribulation period. However, the Thessalonian Christians were experiencing extreme persecution, and they mistakenly concluded that they were in the tribulation. Paul stated the following truth to argue that they were not in the tribulation.
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God (the Tribulation Temple), showing himself that he is God.
Summarizing the issue, the Antichrist and the third Jewish temple must be physically present on earth during the Tribulation period.
The Apostle John was exiled to Patmos during the first century A.D., where God used John to record His apocalyptic message in the book of Revelation. God dedicated the material in Revelation 6-19 specifically to the seven-year eschatological tribulation period. In Revelation 11:1, the Scripture refers to the future Tribulation Temple.
Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God (the Tribulation Temple), the altar, and those who worship there.’
The temples tell the times. Currently, Christians, the body of Christ (cf. Eph. 4:12; Col. 1:24), provide the spiritual temple for the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19). However, after God raptures the church age saints (1 Thess. 4:13-18) the prophetic clock begins to tick off the minutes before the imminent building of the third Jewish temple.
The infallible, inerrant Scriptures perfectly outline God’s prophetic timeline. The events are accurately stated and they will happen exactly as written (cf. 2 Pet. 1:20-21). The third temple, the distinctly dispensational Tribulation Temple, will stand on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. God guarantees it.
Here we stand; we cannot, and must not, be moved from this distinctive dispensational doctrine.
(To be continued)
Dr. Richard Schmidt is the founder of Prophecy Focus Ministries, having previously served as a pastor and church planter. His love for the prophetic Scriptures resulted in writing a doctoral dissertation on a dispensational perspective on the mystery church age existing between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel. Dr. Schmidt offers seminars on a variety of prophetic topics to local churches and conferences. We are very excited to involve him as a contributing author to Dispensational Publishing House.
Copyright © 2016 by Dr. Richard Schmidt. Used by permission of the author.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Bernard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1970), pp. 119, 136, 138.
2 Roy Zuck, Basic Bible Interpretation (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 1991), pp. 45-46.
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