No Tribulation Temple...???
By Pastor F. M. Riley
July 24, 2017
"Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;.......And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables," 2 Timothy 4:2-4.
"Prove all things: hold fast that which is [proves to be] good," 1 Thessalonians 5:21.
I first wrote on this subject back in 2011. For some readers, it apparently was a wasted effort on my part. It must make one feel real proud of themselves to be able to correct the mistakes that God Almighty DID NOT MAKE when He gave us His wonderful Word. It surely must fill one with PRIDE to be able to dogmatically state what the Lord Himself would say under any condition. The Lord Jesus Christ, whom I seek to serve in truth, speaks for Himself. I don't have to put words in my Savior's mouth. Now let's turn to the subject matter for this study.....
Will there, or will there not, be a Temple built during the coming Tribulation period? That is the question! One who claims to be writing on Bible prophecy dogmatically insists that "There is NO temple during the Tribulation." Then that writer goes on to expound her "human reasoning" for making such a claim.
Dear readers, from the time I surrendered my life to the Lord's ministry 63 years ago, I have always sought to take God's Word at face value for what it actually and literally says. I really don't have any use for the theories and opinions of others about what God's Word is saying, when the Word itself makes direct statements which are clear and right to the point on the subject about which it is speaking. The inspired Bible still says, ".....let God be true, but every man a liar.....," Romans 3:4. So, let's "let God be true" in His Word about a Tribulation Temple.
The Tribulation Temple
In Revelation 11 is the inspired account of the "two witnesses" that the Lord God will bring back to the earth, to minister His Word to Israel and to the nations during the first half of the Tribulation period. One of these "two witnesses" is John the Revelator himself, Revelation 11:1; John 21:20-24. The other "witness" will be the Prophet Elijah, Malachi 4:5-6. It is not just "coincidence" that Elijah was the greatest prophet of the Old Testament, and John was the greatest prophet of the New Testament. Hello!
Rightly Dividing Revelation
In the Book of Revelation John is being given a prophetic vision of things to come upon mankind on the earth in the future. The first chapter tells us how John came to receive this prophetic vision. Then chapters two and three are prophetic of the "church age." Then chapters four through nineteen set forth the prophecies of the seven year Tribulation period, which follows the "church age." Finally chapters twenty through 22 deal with the thousand year Millennium and the Eternal Age which follows the Tribulation period. See 1:19.
In Revelation 11:1, John is explicitly told to "Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein." Folks, it doesn't require a great deal of intelligence to understand that, while John is receiving a vision here, prophetically this command is given to John during the coming Tribulation period. And now I will let the Scriptures prove this statement. What this tells us, is that John will be back on the earth during the first half of the Tribulation period. And why shouldn't he be?
In this prophecy John has just been told to "Rise." Now, those of our readers will put forth the effort to look up this word in their Concordance or Lexicon, will find that this word is translated from the Greek word, "egeiro." See Thayer's Greek Lexicon, page 165, Strong's No. 1453. This Greek word literally means, "to wake up; to arouse; to rise up; to awaken from the sleep of death; to recall the dead to life." John was not dead, when he received this vision some 2,000 years ago. Therefore, since he is told to "rise" from the dead, what is stated here has to yet be fulfilled during the future Tribulation period. Hello!
John the Architect
So in Revelation 11:1, John is being told to "rise from the dead." But that is by no means all that John is told. In this same Scripture he is told to "measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein."
Now let's look up the Greek word from which this English word, "measure," is translated. The Greek word is "metreo." See Thayer's Greek Lexicon, page 407, Strong's No. 3354. This Greek word literally means, "to measure out a space or distance with an architect's reed or rule." Wow! Didn't John plainly say in this Scripture that he was given "a reed like unto a rod?" This inspired Scripture is not only telling God's people that John will "rise" from the dead during the coming Tribulation period, but that he will also lay out the design for the Tribulation "temple of God," which obviously will then be built during the first half of the Tribulation. Are you listening?
A Temple to be Built
Revelation 11:1 is not speaking about a tabernacle or a tent, or some wooden structure. This inspired Scripture clearly and plainly speaks about "the temple of God." And the time period involved is the first half of the Tribulation. So there will be a Temple built in Israel during the first half of the Tribulation period.
Then how can anyone willing to deal honestly with God's Word say so dogmatically and pridefully, that there will be no Temple during the Tribulation, when the inspired Word says otherwise?. Oh yes, their excuse is that Christ will never return to the Temple until after His second coming. Well, who said He would? There is not a word said in these prophecies about Christ entering this Temple. But obviously someone is going to enter this Temple, and even "worship therein." But who will that be?
The Man of Sin
The answer to this question is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."
Now if the one denying that there will be a Temple during the Tribulation period denies this plain statement from God's Word, they will have backed their self right into a corner. This Scripture, like all other Scripture, was given by inspiration of God, 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19. In this passage, it is clearly stated that the "man of sin" [the anti-christ] will sit "in the temple of God." But wait a minute! There is no "temple of God" in existence today. So there is no Temple for this "man of sin" to sit in. Surely no one is dumb enough to believe that he is going to sit in the Millennial Temple. So since there is no Temple in existence today, and this deceiver will not sit in the Millennial Temple, then what period of time is left for a Temple to be built. Only the Tribulation period! That then means a "temple of God" MUST be built during the coming Tribulation period for him to sit in, and proclaim himself to be God. Hello! Are you listening? Speak up! I can hardly hear you trying to explain this truth away.
There will be a Temple built during the Tribulation period, regardless of how many want to deny it. That Temple will rightfully belong to God by being dedicated to Him by John and the believing Jews. No, God will not enter into it, because He knows the purpose for which it will be built; to expose the anti-christ for "the man of sin" and "the son of perdition" whom he will be. And I am sure that defiled Temple will be destroyed at some point during the Tribulation period. The Lord God will never set foot in it. But it will still have been built just as the inspired Word indicates that it will be!
Dear readers, we believers are encouraged to read and meditate upon the Scriptures in many places in God's Word. But in 2 Timothy 2:15, true believers are explicitly told to, "STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of God." If more of God's people were obeying this command, there would not be such silliness as this denial of a Tribulation Temple, even being circulated in the churches and in the ranks of Christianity today. No! No one ever learns all of God's wonderful Word, but if we seriously STUDY it, we can learn how to "rightly divide" it. Is this clear enough?
Give all the glory to the Lord God, our Savior and Master Teacher, and our SOON coming King. Praise the Lord!