I. A New Temple For The Jews Vs. 1, 2
A. The History Of The Tabernacle/Temple
1. The Tabernacle
a. On Mt. Sinai, God gave Moses the exact design for this portable structure of worship
b. The presence of God accompanied the Israelites in their wilderness wanderings.
c. At night, a pillar of fire would exist over the Tabernacle, signaling God’s presence.
d. Offerings were made at the Tabernacle until Israel entered the Promised Land.
2. The 1st Temple/ Solomon’s Temple
a. A permanent building was erected by Solomon in Jerusalem.
b. It was used from 957 B.C. until 587 B.C. when the Babylonians destroyed it.
c. Most of the Jews were deported to Babylon for 70 years.
3. The 2nd Temple/ Zerrubabel’s Temple/Herod’s Temple
a. Zerrubabel helped rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Used from 520 B.C. until 19 B.C.
b. Herod started a remodeling program in 19 B.C. and during the time of Jesus, the temple was still under construction but being used.
c. It was used until 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple.
d. The Temple courts had an area restricted that kept Gentiles from coming too close.
4. Currently- There is no worship Jewish worship on the Temple Mount.
a. The Dome Of The Rock is an Islamic Shrine there. The Al-Asqua Mosque is also there.
b. Muslims took control of Jerusalem in 637 A.D.
c. The Temple Mount is the holiest of all Jewish locations, and the third holiest location to Muslims. That is why there is constant tension over the piece of land.
d. In the Six Day War of 1967, Israel regained control of that part of Jerusalem but to foster peace, the Israeli government allowed the Muslims to have authority over the Temple Mount area. Non-Muslims are allowed there but cannot pray there.
B. The Next Temple To Be Built Vs. 1, 2
1. Vs. 1,2 John is told to rise and measure the Temple that he sees in a vision.
2. As John sees it, it is still in the future. It isn’t metaphorical, it is an actual temple.
3. John is told to exclude the court of the Gentiles. Perhaps built north of The Dome.
4. The next Temple will have a smaller footprint, less square feet.
5. I believe that the next Temple to be built will not be the final temple built.
a. The next temple will be defiled by the Antichrist.
b. It will be built by Jews for the practice of Judaism.
c. Ezekiel had a vision of a temple which was exponentially larger. Both men measured.
d. The current Temple Mount is 37 acres. Ezekiel’s Temple area will cover 512 acres.
II. Significance Of Next Temple
A. Old Testament Prophecies
1. Daniel 9:27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”
a. Week- If Antichrist brings a seven-year peace treaty, and allows the Jews to rebuild their Temple, this indicates that he will violate that contract, and stop Temple worship.
2. Daniel 11:31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.
3. Daniel 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
B. New Testament Prophecies
1. Matthew 24:15-16 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
2. Turn to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
3. This temple that John measures is not the temple as described by Ezekiel.
a. The outer court of the Gentiles this temple is not included in this Temple.
b. These Gentiles will be against Jerusalem for 42 months/3.5 years.
c. V. 2 Tread- to trample with contempt.
d. This probably takes place in the second half of the 7-year Tribulation period.
e. This is the time period when the Anti-Christ is most active.
f. The Millennial Temple will be for the nations. That will come later.
g. This temple seems to be limited to the Jews.
C. Special Interest “Temple” Groups- The Temple Institute; Temple Mount Faithful
II. Two Witnesses Vs. 3-12
A. What Do They Do?
1. V. 3- They are humble witnesses, clothed in sackcloth. They preach for 3.5 years.
a. They are sent to proclaim God’s truth in the most ungodly time in human history.
2. V. 4- They are described as olive trees and lampstands. Olive oil was used in oil lamps.
a. They are presented as two men with an ongoing supply of power to witness.
b. Their preaching brings a spiritual light into Jerusalem.
3. V. 5- They are divinely protected and equipped to defend themselves.
4. V. 6- They have divine power to affect nature.
B. Who Are They?
1. Because they are described as olive trees and lampstands, they correspond to Joshua and Zerubbabel from the book of Zechariah. Oil often symbolizes the Holy Spirit.
2. Because they have power over nature, some think they are Moses and Elijah.
C. Their End
1. V. 7- They are divinely protected until their ministry is complete. Then Satan kills them.
2. Vs. 8-10- They are hated by the world because of their testimony, and their bodies are left in the streets of Jerusalem (Sodom & Egypt) while the world cheers their deaths.
a. The hatred of humanity will be great against these two men, because they spoke powerfully of the truths of God.
b. The joy of humanity over their deaths will look like a Satanic Christmas.
3. Vs. 11, 12- God revives them, and takes them to Heaven, showing His authority over and ungodly and hateful world.
What Are The Lessons For Us?
1. Keep watching the conflict around Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, especially.
a. The conflict isn’t about land. Israel occupies 1/6 of 1% of the Middle East.
b. This is a Spiritual battle regarding the place that God’s ordained place of worship for Israel.
2. Watch the peace process regarding Israel and the Palestinians. A peace broker will arrive, possibly the Antichrist. A 7-year peace contract will be established.
3. The Bible doesn’t confirm the headlines. The headlines confirm the Bible.
4. Even at the most ungodly time in history, God will have His servants offering forgiveness.
5. Knowing predictive prophecy helps shape our worldview and understand God’s sovereignty.