Note, the following is Chapter 15 of The Eighth Beast
As was stated in Chapter 7, “after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Romans under Titus, both Israel as a nation and their religion of Judaism as defined and practiced under the stringent guidelines of the Levitical Law “was not.” From that time forward it was impossible for the Jews to lawfully offer sacrifices, for the priests were killed or dispersed and the priesthood record of genealogy forever lost, and the sanctuary, the altar and the Holy of holies with all its furniture were lost or destroyed.” I believe all this was the mercy of God in His judgment towards the Jews; destroying a dead system which sole purpose was to point them to Jesus Christ, but could by no means save them. Thus the destruction of the Temple, along with all that was mandatory under the Levitical Law pertaining to the performance of its prescribed sin-offerings, sacrifices and oblations, has left the Jews obligated to look elsewhere for their salvation to be wrought by God.
Because of these things I am persuaded the words “He shall make it desolate” refers to what Jesus’ prophesied regarding the destruction of the Temple. However, this destruction of the Temple was said to be “even until the consummation,” which is a most interesting word for the translators to have elected to use. For “consummation” can literally mean two different things, as its definition can imply either the act of completing, as in fulfilling something, or the bringing it to conclusion to be no more, which are polar opposites. This is why this Hebrew word that was so translated “consummation,” has been translated in other parts of scripture to signify “a full end.”
Jeremiah 46:28 – Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.
Ezekiel 11:13 – And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?
Clearly we can see that this word can be used to imply “to utterly destroy so as never to arise again.” This is verified by Nahum’s use of the word below where it was translated “an utter end.”
Nahum 1:2 – God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies. 3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. 4 He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. 5 The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. 6 Who can stand before His indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him. 7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him. 8 But with an overrunning flood He will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue His enemies. 9 What do ye imagine against the LORD? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.
Since the Hebrew word in Daniel’s vision which was translated “consummation” has elsewhere been translated a “full end” and “an utter end” to imply never to rise again, then what are we to believe regarding the destruction of the Temple which was obviously brought to “a full” and “utter end?” Ignoring all the religious chatter of religious zealots out there, the question of whether the temple will or will not be rebuilt can only be truly answered by the scriptures and not popular opinion or the goal of men.
There are two main reasons why many people believe a third temple will be built again. One reason would be because of Ezekiel’s Temple which many believers holding to the popular theology insist must be a “Third Temple.” Many of these believers confidently state that there has been no temple ever built with its descriptive size. However, Adam Clarke writes, “This is the measurement of the sanctuary, or holy of holies. This also was the exact measurement of Solomon’s Temple, see I Kings 6:20. This, and the other resemblances here, sufficiently prove that Ezekiel’s temple and that of Solomon were on the same plan; and that the latter temple was intended to be an exact resemblance of the former.”
Likewise, the commentary of Jamieson – Fausset – Brown and that of Patrick – Lowth – Whitby – Lowman, both acknowledge the dimensions of Ezekiel’s temple comparable with those of Solomon’s Temple which was destroyed fourteen years prior to Ezekiel’s vision. Regarding this issue of the temple’s size I cannot speak authoritatively. Nevertheless, there is much discord among believers who clearly have given exhaustive time endeavoring to substantiate their positions on whether Ezekiel’s temple was intended to be literally rebuilt or if it was intended to spiritually represent the Body of Christ of which the believers are said to be its “lively stones.”
Ephesians 2:21 – In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
I Peter 2:5 – Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 3:6 – But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house [temple] are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
Since Ezekiel speaks of animal sacrifices occurring in this temple, I fail to see how that could be acceptable to God in the present Christian Age, for scripture clearly reveals to us such sacrifices were but prophetic types and shadows of Christ’s sacrificial death pointing to that which was “to come.”
Colossians 2:17 – Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Hebrew 10:1 – For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast had no pleasure.
Plus, in light of 1st Peter 2:5 mention earlier, it is evident that the believers are now that “holy priesthood… [who] offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Which would seem to be in disparity with Ezekiel’s reference to “the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, which come near to the LORD to minister unto Him.”
Thus when considering whether God would once again permit animal sacrifices to be reinstated and routinely offered as holy offerings unto Him, the concept to many believers seems to be a radical change of direction; a going backwards towards death and not forward towards life. Such a change would appear presently to only detract from the present glory that has been wonderfully revealed in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:28 – So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Hebrews 10:10 – By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Christ was offered to bear the sins of many, once, and for all; that is for all sin, for all mankind, for all eternity. Providing atonement and redemption for all that would confess all their sins and repent by turning from all their wicked ways and calling upon the Lord in broken surrender and humility. But for those who refuse, the Lord is coming “To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him,” (Jude 1:15). This is the sure promise and judgment of the New Covenant; for scripture clearly states regarding the Old Covenant which was adjoined to the last temple with all its sacrifices, oblations and priests of men, “In that He saith, A new covenant He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” Yet there are still those who adamantly insist a third temple must be constructed, even if it is later in the millennium; though that too disagrees with scripture.
Revelation 21:22 – And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
Regretfully concerning Ezekiel’s Temple, I cannot speak with any more certainty or conviction about it except to say I do not believe it will ever literally be built as the anticipated “third temple” for the reasons mentioned and others to be addressed shortly. However, when examining the amount disagreement that exists regarding the subject, I get the sense it is a winding mystery which the Lord has not called me to solve or untangle. It is best to wait on the Lord till He sheds the light necessary to make apparent the things He has concealed.
The other main reason why people believe the Temple must be built again is because of the temple reference regarding “the man of sin… the son of perdition,” which we discussed in Chapter 2.
II Thessalonians 2:3 – 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; 4 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, shewing himself that he is God.
As was noted in Chapter 2, this temple Paul speaks of appears to be a reference to God’s people and not a structural building, as shown in an opinion which also was succinctly stated by Commentator Adam Clarke below.
“After the death of Christ the temple of Jerusalem is never called by the apostles the temple of God; and if at any time they make mention of the house or temple of God, they mean the Church in general, or every particular believer. Whoever will consult 1Co 3:16, 17; 2Co 6:16; 1Ti 3:15; Re 3:12; will want no examples to prove that, under the Gospel dispensation, the temple of God is the Church of Christ; and the man of sin sitting implies this ruling and presiding there; and sitting there as God implies his claiming Divine authority in things spiritual as well as temporal; and showing himself that he is God, implies his doing it with ostentation.”
Although there is much discussion and planning in the works about rebuilding a third temple, I remain persuaded it will never be allowed by God. For the force of scripture and history both testifies to God’s making a full and utter end of the Temple made with hands, and therefore it is my strong belief that together they serve as credible witnesses that He will never again allow it to be rebuilt. In fact, I have become strongly persuaded that this very belief now held by so many, that a third temple must be built, is actually being used by the adversary to cause many Christians to stumble by its serving as a false milestone or erroneous eschatological marker of the end times. Because of these theologies, I believe there are way too many procrastinating Christians nowadays who are looking for the fulfillment of such “prophetic signs” as indicators for when they are going to have to really “get serious with God.” The fact that there is indeed so much planning and preparations occurring these last days to rebuild a temple, only speaks to me of the shortness of time till the Lord returns to smite the nations and rule them with a rod of iron and tread them as in the winepress with the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. For surely if the adversary of God is promoting erroneous doctrines in these last days to which “believers” are looking and believe, he will surely endeavor to confirm them with rumors and the plans of fallen men as well as lying signs and wonders. But does that mean they are going to come to pass?
I Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Ephesians 5:30 – For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Doubtless, marriage is a covenant. As a matter of fact, it is the greatest of all forms of covenants that exist among humanity. For by marriage a husband and wife are to literally adorn the Doctrine of God our Savior. This we see in Titus chapter two where Paul speaks of the many roles in life where this doctrine can be adorn, husbands and wives, masters and servants, the young with their elders. We can especially see the adorning of this doctrine in the Fifth Commandment where we are all exhorted to honor our parents with the attached promise being given us of a long life; thus we as God’s children, if we honor Him through our faithfulness have the surety of His promise of eternal life.
Titus 2:4 – That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands… 10 …that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
In marriage we witness the adorning of the doctrine of God our savior in that it was the male who was first created in the image of God in a position of dominion on earth similar to God’s own in heaven. When in a right relationship with God, a godly man will faithfully exemplify God in all his ways, whether in his own household or with his neighbors.
Since true love and commitment must be given of one’s free will, God designed His covenant so that all who have ears to hear will have the ability to choose whether to continue in their fallen shame or be reborn and restored as a light of His glory on earth. Thus when a man (male) humbles himself and by God’s grace yields himself to the holy precepts of God, he truly becomes the glory of God in the earth; his life is made new and increasingly begins affirming and reflecting both the righteous judgments and holy attributes of his God.
Similarly, the scriptures reveal that the substance for the woman was taken from man and perfectly made into a woman for the man; teaching us that by God’s royal design the woman should be to the man from which she was created, that which man was intended to be to God, His glory.
I Corinthians 11:7 – For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
(See article on above verse here “Because of the angels” )
Since woman was created for the man, when she chooses to align her life with those principles God established to guide her role as a wife, she becomes the glory of her husband. On the other hand, if she rejects God’s word and defies her husband’s authority as established by God, she will become a shame and hindrance unto him.
Proverbs 12:4 – A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
Thus through prophetic action, when a woman is resolved in her heart to serve God by faithfully honoring her husband, she represents that part of humanity (the true church) which has settled it in their hearts and are resolved to fear God and keep His commandments. Through her godly relationship with her husband the righteous woman will literally reveal through her actions that personal relationship God desires each and every one of us to have with Him; for her life will literally preach the Gospel of God’s love. For the proof of our love is witnessed by our trust and submission. The result of such love will be true and total intimacy.
Concerning the man, although he was created in the image of God, even in the midst of a creation full of other living creatures, it was still acknowledged by God that man was “alone.” For this reason, the substance for the woman’s creation was taken from man’s own flesh and made into a living soul-mate for him. Thus through the covenant of marriage, man’s role is intended to imitate that of God’s, while the woman’s role imitates that of the church, the Bride of Christ.
It is evident that God could have created man and woman at the same time, for surely God foresaw all Adam’s needs. Rather in His infinite wisdom God intentionally created the man first, placing him in a position parallel to His own; with authority over his, (that is man’s) kingdom, yet alone with no suitable mate. God wanted Adam to be able to fully identify with Him, both positionally and emotionally; for even amongst all the angelic beings, God’s desire was for something even grandeur with which He would share both His image and glory. Thus, it was only after naming all those animals when Adam fully realized just how alone he was that God created Eve for Adam from that which was close to his heart. For it was man’s heart and not his strength that was incomplete.
Through this we can see that the creation of humanity was the result of a yearning of God’s heart for what we in our frailty might best understand as a bride, a suitable helper magnificently designed so as to share His glory with Him for all eternity. This is why the greatest commandment God has ever given is to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and the entire essence of our being. “Therefore” as both Adam prophesied and Paul wrote, “for this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (See post “Why God created us male and female“)
This becoming “one flesh” reflects the merging of two hearts and minds in an endeavor to live as one through the covenant of marriage. This covenant is consummated, sealed and confirmed by the intimate joining of a man and woman together through sexual intimacy. By Royal design the male and female bodies fit together as one, with the male (representing God) entering into the female (who represents humanity), face to face and heart to heart, as the man then imparts his seed into the woman and life springs forth. And so it is that God causes us to be “born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”
And so it is more than thought-provoking, that in this vision the Angel Gabriel reveals to Daniel one who comes confirming a covenant and was then cut off. These points, each in their own measure, lend foundation to my conviction that this last “seventieth week of Daniel,” begins the period of time in which God tabernacled with men via the man Jesus Christ to “confirm the covenant with many.”
Two undisputable events transpire during this seventieth week according to the vision: first, is the beginning Messiah Jesus Christ comes and He is then “cut off, but not for Himself.”
John 12:27 – Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
John 18:37 – …To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Ephesians 5:25 – …Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; 26 That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
The second event, and most likely a consequence of the first, is that the seventieth week is divided in half by a specific event that demands clarification, which we will look into in the next chapter, for “…in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease…”
The events which transpire within the Seventieth Week led to the destruction of the Temple, bringing it to a full and utter end. However, that is not how the Holy Spirit led the translators to write it; rather they wrote “even until the consummation.” And so, wondrously, this phrase in the prophecy can actually have two layers of meanings that point to undeniable truths:
First, the last temporal prophetic temple that was made with men’s hands, was decaying, waxing old, and through its destruction vanished away. Just as the sacrifices and oblations, the Temple too, having fulfilled their purpose was brought to a full and utter end.
Hebrews 8:13 – In that He saith, A new covenant, He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Second, when at the glorious consummation of the marriage of the Lamb, “then face to face” the Bride of Christ will intimately know her lover even as she is known.
I Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Hebrews 9:5 – And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament [or covenant], that by means of death [being cut off], for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise, [and the confirmation] of eternal inheritance.