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Let's talk about Bible prophecy being fulfillment in the State of Israel, and with her neighbor countries in the region. A lot has been going on prophetically that is very significant, showing that we are indeed now in the later stages of Last Days prophecy. There is literally so much happening and being discovered that it would be impossible to do more than just scratch the surface in this newsletter, but I will do my best to share some significant developments.
For context, we start with a summary about King David and his historic connection to Tsiyon (Zion), the City of David, and the Temple of YHWH, including an overarching look at Jerusalem and the Temple from its initial founding until now. This short summary will bring you up to speed on important Biblical history spanning some 3000 years to our present.
David reigned roughly about 1000 BC, that is, 3000 years ago. YHWH established an eternal covenant with David and his seed for a "House and a Kingdom." Early in David's reign he took the mountain fortress of Tsiyon from the Jebusites and made it the capital of "the City of David." He built a royal palace, impressive in size and construction for that day, from which the Davidic Dynasty ruled for hundreds of years, through many generations of Davidic kings, many of whom added to David's initial building project in numerous ways. Perhaps the greatest desire of David's heart was to build a House, a Temple, to the Name of the Living God of Israel, YHWH. YHWH revealed the extensive plans for the Temple to David, and David started laying up treasure for its eventual construction. He also organized a detailed order of service and administration for the Temple, which was put into use after its construction and which governed the Temple services until the Temple was destroyed roughly four centuries after its initial construction, by the Babylonians. The Temple became known as the "Temple of Solomon" because David's son, King Solomon, built the Temple and put it into operation.
This is an accurate summary of the Biblical record of these events, as found in the books, of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. The point here is this: there is an undying connection between the Davidic Dynasty and the Temple of YHWH. Interestingly, all of this extensive history involving David, the Davidic Dynasty, and that connection to the Temple, was viewed by secular historians and archeologists as sheer fantasy through the twentieth century, and even into the twenty-first century by some. They painted a picture of David as analogous to legendary figures like King Arthur. They speculated, that at best, he might have been some sort of wilderness bandit whose story was embellished over time into a grandeur that the modern experts considered as impossible. These days, that line isn't working anymore because of a plethora of hard evidence, including David's palace itself, and a lot of supporting evidence uncovered there, not only of David, but of the Davidic Dynasty of kings, as well. We will get to that evidence and its prophetic significance, but first we must pick up the thread of history from the point we have reached so far.
Even after the destruction of the Temple of Solomon by the Babylonians, that Davidic connection to the Temple, though seemingly tenuous, remained unbroken. In due time a small remnant of the deported Jews in Babylon returned to the utter ruins of Jerusalem to rebuild her, and to restore the worship of YHWH there. A descendant of David, Governor Zerubbabel, returned with a stalwart band to lead the project to rebuild the destroyed Temple of YHWH, from the ground up. They succeeded in the build of the Second Temple (Zerubbabel's Temple), but those present who were old enough to have remembered the splendor of the First Temple (Solomon's Temple) literally wept, because the Second Temple was so modest by comparison. However, the Temple of Zerubbabel eventually was clothed in a far greater glory than the Temple of Solomon. Here I am not talking about the extensive renovations to Zerubbabel's Temple made by the Edomite King Herod, ongoing at the turn of the BC/AD timeframe. Indeed, those renovations were so extensive that the Second Temple became commonly known as "Herod's Temple" though it was not - it remained the same Temple built by Zerubbabel, but now with upgrades.
No, it was not the upgrades made by Herod that imparted a special grace to the Second Temple. It was, in fact, the visitation of that Second Temple by the Son of David, the Son of God, Yeshua Messiah Himself, that so distinguished it with its highest honors. Unfortunately, the entrenched corrupted caretakers that controlled the place did not respond well to their Messiah, seeing Him wrongly as an unwanted competitor rather than as their Boss, which He truly should have been. Neither did they make the changes in righteousness and justice that He had demanded, as the condition on which the survival of their city and Temple depended. Those failings in that very generation brought on the end of Jerusalem and its Temple, utterly destroyed again, this time by the Romans, in the year 70 AD.
Some diehard Jews thereafter made repeated attempts to recapture the ruined site of Jerusalem, so as to reestablish Temple worship there. Finally, the Romans got so sick of the Jews and completely forbid them from the site and completely scattered them from it. In the two millennia since its destruction the Jews remained scattered and the Jerusalem site has passed through numerous Gentile hands, never put back in the hands of the Jews. Through all of that time it seemed politically and practically impossible that the Jews would ever rule Jerusalem again - let alone rebuild a Temple there.
Yet, while others scoffed at the possibility, Bible-believers unknown, and some so renowned as the famous Sir Isaac Newton, declared from Scripture that Israel would rise again in the Land, in the Last Days. Realize, Newton was born in 1642, long before there was any possibility on the ground for any sort of return of the Jews to the Land. Yet, Newton researched, and wrote about, Bible prophecies requiring a return of Israel to the Land in the Last Days. One Newton researcher summarizes Newton's notes on the subject:
How could Newton come so close in his estimate of how long the captivity of the Jews would last, being born more than 300 years before the modern State of Israel was founded? Realize, his notes are all based on his understanding of specific prophecies in the Scriptures, prophecies that led him to this remarkably accurate estimate. Notice also that Newton links the end of the captivity to "the end" (of the world at the return of Messiah) in the decades thereafter.
One with an even better grasp of prophecy, none other than Messiah Himself, foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple in His very generation, foretold the exile of the Jews, and made a linkage between the end of the Jewish exile from Jerusalem and the final generation before His return. He said:
Notice that the long period in which Jerusalem was predicted to be under Gentile rule is here called "the times of the Gentiles." "Times" in the plural refers to the times many different overlords would rule Jerusalem down through history. The implication of the statement is, when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled the Jews would then be back in control of Jerusalem. That's exactly what happened in 1967, when the Jews won Jerusalem in the Six-Day War. Other prophecies of Messiah, as well as in the prophetic books, show (as Newton understood) this would mark the start of the final generation before Messiah's return.
So what is still left to happen so far as Jerusalem is concerned?
There is a full list of events that have happened and will yet happen as regards Jerusalem, before the return of Messiah. One very significant event will be the building of another Temple. The apostle Paul summarized the gist of the ancient prophecies with this statement:
concerning the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, and our gathering together to him, we ask you not to be quickly shaken in your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by letter as from us, saying that the day of Messiah had come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless the apostacy comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction, he who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God. Don't you remember that, when I was still with you, I told you these things? 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5
Clearly, these verses indicate that Messiah will not return until "the man of sin" will arise,"so that he sits as God in the temple of God." This, necessarily requires that a third Temple will have to be built shortly before Messiah's return.
Is there any indication that the building of a Third Temple in Jerusalem is getting closer to being built? There definitely is!
This is getting a bit long to go into the evidence here. Current events having to do with David, and the Third Temple being built will be the topic of my next newsletter.
So what does all of this have to do with the picture of the man in the basket at the top of the page? Not much, directly anyway. The picture and the theme "Peace in a Person" are meant to wet your appetite for my presentation on Saul (Paul) as presented to us in Acts 9. Saul is a major Bible figure and Scripture writer who has made a huge impact on all Bible readers. Understanding him better can only be a good thing, right? This look at Saul in Acts 9 will be streamed live tonight, only at tsiyon.net, at 8 pm cst. Keep up with us as we make our way through Acts. You won't regret it!
Blessings and good health to you!
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