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Deception and the Coming Jewish Temple…

Many Christian people are easily impressed and seduced by the message of so-called Bible teachers who deny that Jesus is the Messiah.  This seems particularly to be the case, however, when the teacher is Jewish or claims an elitist understanding of the Scriptures solely based on their heritage as a Jew.  Such an appeal, however, is really a fallacy of False Authority (i.e., argumentum ad verecundiam) since it is insufficient to a truth claim to appeal to validation based on non-logical criteria.  Truth stands on its own, so to speak, and a proposition is true regardless of its etiology or origin.  This lines up with the teaching of both the Greek philosopher Socrates and also the Apostle Paul, undoubtedly the greatest Torah sage of the Second Temple period, who regarded his lineage and heritage as a Jew to be “worthless” (i.e., σκύβαλα, “dung,” “animal feces,” “excrement,” etc.) in comparison to his experience of knowing the truth about Messiah (see Phil. 3:2-8).  Indeed the Torah states that the word “Jew” יהודי derives from the Hebrew ידה meaning to give thanks or praise (Gen. 29:35), and therefore Paul identified a true Jew (יהודי אמיתי) as one “circumcised in heart” rather than merely one who has a particular ethnic lineage:

“For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, but someone is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart by the Spirit and not by the written code. This person’s praise is not from people but from God” (Rom. 2:28-29).

We must test the spirit, friends, to see who truly speaks spiritual truth (1 John 4:1). The Apostle John, the disciple who leaned on Jesus’ breast during the Passover before his crucifixion, and the individual who wrote significant portions of the New Testament, including the Fourth Gospel, three Epistles, as well as the great Book of Revelation, wrote: ” Whoever has the Son has the life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (1 John 5:1), by which he set forth the exclusive claim that Jesus – and Jesus alone – is the only way of salvation and life, and those who deny this are not simply in error intellectually, but empowered by a contrary spirit, the “spirit of Antichrist,” that despises and hates the message of the gospel.  He wrote: “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.” “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus the Messiah in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.”  “Every spirit that does not confess the truth about Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist (רוּחַ שׂוֹטֵן הַמָּשִׁיחַ) that is at work in the world” (1 John 2:22, 2 John 1:7, 1 John 4:3).

It is written in our Scriptures: ὁ μὴ τιμῶν τὸν υἱὸν οὐ τιμᾷ τὸν πατέρα τὸν πέμψαντα αὐτόν, “Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him” (John 5:23). Likewise we read: πᾶς ὁ ἀρνούμενος τὸν υἱὸν οὐδὲ τὸν πατέρα ἔχει, ὁ ὁμολογῶν τὸν υἱὸν καὶ τὸν πατέρα ἔχει, “Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either; the person who confesses the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:23).

Some people get excited about prophetic news, particularly concerning the State of Israel, but please be wary of those who claim that the rise of the “Third Temple” portends the advent of the Messiah, friends. Yeshua is the Substance and Meaning of all that the Temple represents; He is the Substance of the Vision of the Temple revealed to Moses at Sinai (Exod. 25:9,40; Heb. 8:5; 9:11; Matt. 12:6), just as He is the fulfillment of what the sacrificial system foretold (see Heb. 8-10; 10:14). Various religious groups (such as “The Temple Institute” [Rabbi Chaim Richman], “Breaking Israel News” [Rabbi Tuly Weisz, Eliyahu Berkowitz], “The Temple Mount Faithful” [Gershon Salomon] and (sadly) even some “Messianic” ministries) regularly proclaim the Temple is nearly ready to be rebuilt and then the Messiah will finally come to deliver Israel from her enemies. Now these people are correct that a Third Temple is coming, but they are wrong about what it will truly represent. Indeed those who advocate the building of the Third Temple ignore the eschatological visions of the Hebrew prophets Daniel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah, and they certainly disregard and impugn the message of Yeshua the Messiah and the New Testament concerning Acharit Hayamim, or the prophesied “End of Days.”

Σκιὰν γὰρ ἔχων ὁ νόμος τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν, οὐκ αὐτὴν τὴν εἰκόνα τῶν πραγμάτων, κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις ἃς προσφέρουσιν εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς οὐδέποτε δύναται τοὺς προσερχομένους τελειῶσαι – Heb. 10:1

Dear friends, do not be alarmed by those who say the Temple will soon be rebuilt in Israel, or those who claim that a Red Heifer has been found, or those who are excited that a Sanhedrin has been reconvened, and so on. Many Christian people have been fooled into sending money to these sorts of groups, thinking the are helping hasten the coming of the Messiah to Israel, but in reality they are unwittingly contributing to the establishment of a false Temple (מקדש שווא) that will be seized by the anti-Messiah, that is, the false Messiah (משיח השטן), who will then unleash terror and tribulation upon the world. Let the reader understand (Matt. 24:15).

Be careful, friends.  Certain Christian organizations now have links set up to read the latest gossip about Israel and the End Times.  These things are “interesting” from a prophetic perspective but they should not be considered part of the message of the Messiah.  Look, if you are serious about your faith, follow the Torah of the Messiah and obey Him.   Each of us will face the “End of the World” on the day of his or her death, regardless of how God directs the final events of human history.  Get your own house in order; turn to the Lord while there is time. Ask Jesus for wisdom, direction, and the truth of the Spirit.

Shalom.

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