Sherry Vance (3 Sep 2011)
"Reply to Barry Amundsen (1 Sep 2011)"


 
Dear Barry;
 
The Temple to which you refer in Ezekiel is the Temple which will be built by the Lord in the Millennial Kingdom and specific measurements are given which the Temple Mount area today would never be able to accommodate.  Furthermore, it is where the Lord says He "will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile..."  When Jesus returns, a great earthquake will cause the Mt. of Olives to split apart and the Temple Mount will rise and be enlarged; and it is upon this higher, larger Temple Mount that the Lord will build His Temple -- and yes, it will serve as a "Memorial" during the Millennial Kingdom.  The physical Millennial Temple spoken of in Ezekiel 43:7 and 44:9 are very clear that "no foreigner uncircumcised in heart (Gentiles) or in flesh (Jews) shall enter My sanctuary."  Therefore the antichrist will never enter nor defile this temple.
 
The "profane place" mentioned in Ezekiel is NOT the current 'Dome of the Rock' on the Temple Mount, which Jews and Christians may naturally think of as being "profane" (irreverent) since it occupies the site of the former Jewish Temples.  But not only does "profane" mean irreverence to holy things, it means separate....it means secular.  When the Temple Mount is transformed and the Lord builds His Millennial Temple upon it, it will be (separate) high above the rest of the (secular) City - it will be sanctified (set apart) and holy...indeed look at what Isaiah 2:2 and Micah 4:1 says: "Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob;....."  
  
The (so-called tribulation temple) referred to in Revelation 11, where John is told to measure the "temple" is clearly lacking measurements.  As I said in the previous post, the Revelation 11 temple is said to be measured with a "reed like unto a rod."  That speaks of chastisement or punishment.  Those who become the Temple of God after the Rapture will have their "portion with the hypocrites" in that they will be called upon to give their lives for the testimony of Christ.....but they are saved and will join their brethren under the altar of God until the number of all who will be killed is fulfilled.  
 
Earlier in Revelation 3:12, the church in Philadelphia is told, "If you conquer, I will make you a pillar in the temple of my God." Becoming a pillar in the temple of God means that the temple is made out of people, not brick and mortar. Thus, when John begins to speak of the temple being trampled later on, it is reasonable to conclude that it is the people of God who are being attacked and trampled.

Now what about the mention of the altar and the worshippers, and to leave out, and not to measure, the court outside the temple

Well, the Temple is the Believer (worshipper) and within the Temple/Believer is the altar, and the altar is the heart & spirit of the Believer, and the altar/heart & spirit is where true worship takes place for we worship in spirit and in truth.  The outer court is given over to the nations, which means that God will allow the Gentiles/antichrist to tread the holy city underfoot for 42 months.

Further evidence that the temple is made up of people is that the "lampstands" that are mentioned are items that are found within the temple of God in the Old Testament. John informs readers that these 2 lampstands represent the two witnesses. If the lampstands are not literal lampstands, then it stands to reason that the temple they reside within is also not a literal "temple" but encompasses the larger body of God's people.  Indeed, Rev. 1:20 tells us that the seven candlesticks are the seven churches to whom Jesus is speaking.

Additionally, Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 remind readers that anyone who has been cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb is a priest - and priests serve within the "temple." A Christian understanding of this "temple" imagery is that the "priests" serve among the people of God - not in a structure.

Paul refers to this "bodily temple" idea in 1 Corinthians 6:19 when he states: "do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you..."...and the many other similar examples from Scripture that I gave in the previous post.

So how should one deal with Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 24:15 and their references to the "abomination of desolation standing in the holy place"?  The reference to the "holy place," while traditionally understood as the "temple" takes on new significance in the New Testament as the temple image shifts from structure to person. Bodies have now become "holy places" or temples of God's Spirit. The "desolation" of the "temple" is people who will be made desolate and will embody the "abomination" that forces the Spirit of God to be replaced by something else....OR BE KILLED!  THESE are the "living sacrifices" who will be killed for their testimony in Christ.
  
The common teaching regarding a "tribulation temple" in which "the man of sin" or "the antichrist" will enter into and defile by declaring himself to be God are supported mainly from one verse in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, which states that the man of sin "sits as God in the temple of God showing himself that he is God."

There are two different Greek words that are translated as "temple" in English. One word "hieron" is used by Paul when referring to an actual building made with wood and stones. The other word "naos" is used when referring to the spiritual temple of God which refers to His people. The word "naos" is the one used in this                     2 Thessalonians 2:4 verse, and therefore is NOT talking about a physical temple.       I will concede that in Vines Expository Dictionary, it says: "the word naos can be regarded in different ways - either as a literal temple or as the 'inner sanctuary."   However, when the word hieron is used, it is always denoting a physical place as opposed to "naos/the 'inner santuary'" (which is given the option of being used differently only because of the 'literal view'.)  However, beginning with the Book of Acts, after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, all the way through the Book of Revelation, the word "naos" is used ONLY referring to PEOPLE as the TEMPLE NOT MADE WITH HANDS.  Why?  Because the Book of Revelation is the REVEALING of Jesus Christ, and He is revealed in the MIDST of the Lampstands & candlesticks (the 2 witnesses and the churches.)

*  We should view all scripture, including prophecies, with a literal exegesis (explanation), but with a spiritual eye toward the symbolic identification embedded within the literal passage, which symbols are there to give understanding to what it is trying to teach us --- which is also why we see "warnings" throughout scripture such as: "He who hears, let him understand."  It's like somebody telling you something and then saying "GET IT?"  In other words, it's just as much an error to view scripture only as being figurative or symbolic, as much as it is to view scripture as strictly literal.....which robs the reader of any sensible comprehension.  The symbolism of Paul's "bodily temple" comparison and that of Revelation's identification of the seven stars, seven candlesticks, 2 lampstands, etc. are there as symbols so that we can understand literally who is involved and what will play out.  We can have confidence that Scripture will interpret Scripture.

Why then is there so much confusion when 2 Thessalonians 2:4 speaks of the man of sin seated in the NAOS (spiritual temple/people of God, “)...which temple (naos) YE ARE...”(1Corinthians 3:17).  Second Thessalonians 2:4 is NOT referring to an actual physical temple.

The antichrist comes out from among us (the temple of God) just like Judas came out from among the disciples of Jesus, yet he was not manifested (made known) until the end of Jesus' ministry.  Likewise, "the man of sin" (whom many of us believe has been among us for almost 3 years) just like Judas, will be made known (manifested & revealed) in the midst (4th year) of the 70th Week > Rosh HaShanah 2011 to Rosh HaShanah 2012.

Maybe you or others don't think it matters how this temple imagery is interpreted; but unfortunately, furthering the belief that a brick and mortar temple must be rebuilt in order for it to be desecrated in Jerusalem not only is the bone of contention of the infamous "final status" talks (which will no doubt lead to the confirming of the Covenant in an effort to assauge and allay the Jews when/if a Palestinian State is declared....but it also (spiritually speaking) destroys understanding of the awareness that we are in the 70th Week because "Oh no, there is no rebuilt temple so it cannot be the 70th Week !"

Barry you said:  "I am not clear on with your position, (that we are now in the 70th week and almost to the half way point), is that I thought that there must be a period of time in which the Jews accept Antichrist as messiah and during which he and or the false prophet are doing miracles and deceiving everyone." WHERE does it say ANYWHERE the Jews accept the antichrist as messiah?   In the present State of Israel not only are the vast majority of Israelis unbelievers in the Messiah, but they would classify themselves as athiests or agnostics!  They have re-gathered in the Land in unbelief....the dry bones of Ezekiel 37.....yet they are without the breath of God....the Spirit is not yet in them.  They are not looking for a messiah.  And they are not going to ACCEPT any man as messiah either!  In fact, to prove it, we read in Matthew and in Revelation that when the antichrist declares himself the messiah/god, those who understand are going to FLEE!  It says nowhere that they are first going to "accept" a messiah and then flee from him.  Jesus told those who will be in Judea at the time to RUN --- FLEE  --- don't even go back in your houses for clothes!   Not only that, but WHERE does it say anything at all about him bringing "peace?"  He will lie about strengthening the Covenant (that they do have a right to exist in the Land God gave them) and to appease them with another lie > a promise of 'security')....but when the First Seal is opened and the antichrist declares himself god he is going forth to "conquer."  There is no peace!!!  In fact this matches 1 Thess. 5:3 > For when they shall say, peace and security; then shall sudden destruction come upon them."

As for your question: "When does the AC have time to fulfil these things (be seen as peace maker and savior of the world as well as Jewish messiah) and still later become the obviously evil one too? Is Obama the Jews' Messiah now or doing miracles?"  Well, he seems to have already done it.  Didn't he already win the Nobel Peace Prize right before your very eyes?  Explain that one.  He was in office for barely a month before nominations were cut off....and he won!  What did he DO exactly? He's already been called the "messiah" and "annointed one" - and not just in sarcastic humor.  He's already pulled the wool over the eyes of our nation - coming out of nowhere, no background, his past shrouded in mystery, yet rising to be called "messiah"???  Winning the Peace Prize before he did anything.  Fooling most of the American Jewish voters (yet not fooling very many in Israel as many I've talked to tell me they believe he's a Muslim.)  He's already in the most important seat of authority in the world.  He unconstitutionally took on the position of Chief of the U.N. SECURITY Council (that sets him up in a good position now doesn't it, to confirm the covenant and soothe Israel with his lies.) I mean, what more do you want him to accomplish before the big day when satan gives him his seat of authority (which is granted to him by God to continue for 42 months.)  You think he's going to at first be "good" and then turn "evil?"  I'd say he's already accomplished a good many "miracles" and he ain't even gotten started yet.  Wait until his buddy the False Prophet comes from under the woodwork to help!  There'll be plenty of time for some mighty miracles to fool the people!  But the only ones going to be fooled are those who "love not the truth for the truth (Jesus Christ) is not in them."

Barry, I know all about being wrong and losing credibility.  But it's wrong to throw the baby out with the bath water.  I don't know one person who has it all right.  Even when I am listening to someone who seems to see it the way I do, invariably I am disappointed when they go off on another tack that I don't agree with.  But there is illumination -and progressive revelation- from studying, trying to get it, understanding where you might have misunderstood, studying again and letting the Spirit help us, teach us.  As I said before, we all have our "opinions" but God's Word is sure.  Admittedly prophecy is a difficult and controversial subject.  Oh how we need the Holy Spirit's guidance!  But I hope maybe some of what I've written clarifies some of it for you or others - and I say that with a tinge of fear....because to tell the truth, sometimes I wonder what I am supposed to do with this information.  Does the Lord want me to share it?  Am I supposed to keep the light (I think I have) hidden under the proverbial bushel?  I dunno.  I guess after 13 years of writing, posting, changing positions & views, debating, arguing, and crying a lot over responses you would think I'd finally give up.  But I can't say why I keep doing it.  Maybe I'm nuts.  Or maybe I just have to keep running after the Lord, wanting to know what's next?.....wanting to know how soon?.....wanting to share it with those of like (or unlike) mind, and wanting to just finally go home (but taking as many as I can with me.)  Just come Lord Jesus, come!                                                                                 ~Sherry Vance