I have to say, this [statement from the article Phil sent] really struck me:
“There has never been anything like that in the history of the human race; the return of an exiled people to its homeland is unique in human annals. It is all written in the Torah. And the last, supreme stage will be the construction of the temple.”
Art’s prophetic intuition about the return in 1948 struck my heart again when I read that phrase. I know Art didn’t have the precision of a teacher and didn’t necessarily speak the full counsel of God on the miraculous events of 1948 (at least not in public), but he had a prophetic sense that we dare not lose. I think we have failed to work through, as a prophetic teacher should, just how much that rebuild temple will shift Jewish thinking. It will set them up to receive an antichrist and they will define all the trouble and all the regathering in the past tense. It will be an aggressive attack on our prophetic perspective unlike anything we have seen so far. I think it’s why Art’s spirit was so disturbed by 1948 lest it become the “final return” that the Jews will seek to make it, especially once they have another temple.
Quite so. This is precisely my point in Isa 28 where the authentic prophetic voice (the church, the pillar and ground of truth, contrary to dispensationalism’s absence of the church) will confront the prevailing religious humanism that is supported by the false prophets who say the flood and overflowing scourge will NOT pass through! The good news is most gloriously good when it is preached in the context of covenant judgment, particularly when this will be on the eve of Israel’s last great discipline and the judgment of the nations. The two great kingdoms represented in the Lamb standing before Pilate will be again be in ultimate collision and confrontation. The question then will be what it has always been, “What is truth?” and, “Has God really said?” The tribulation is the place where all roads meet and end.
When the temple will stand again, it will appear by every outward reckoning that the testimony of prophecy was completely misinterpreted and misapplied by the apocalyptic ‘doomsayers’. Tragically, it will also be the triumph of humanistic Jewish orthodoxy that exalts the latent powers of the first creation, as it denies original sin, the virgin birth, and the ‘pessimism’ of their own prophets concerning the nature and limits of fallen human nature (Ps 14:2-3; 51:5; Jer 13:23; 17:9).
We will appear to have the egg on our faces. Yet, it will be the prelude to the revelation of the mystery of iniquity, and for that there must be another temple.
Since Christ cannot come until this mystery of iniquity is first revealed in the incarnation of Satan in the Man of Sin, I hold that it is a church come to term, in intercessory travail for Israel and the glory of God in the earth that will receive Michael’s help to the final dislodging of that which holds back the coming in of the kingdom (Rev 12:10). All things necessary to constrain that kind of prevailing prayer, despite the awful cost of what the break through will mean for the population of the earth (Rev 12:12), should be a principal focus of our corporate prayer, even prayer for such prayer as characterized Daniel’s strong intercessions that received the angelic assistance recorded in Dan 10. That’s what I’m talking about.
We are prepared and fully expect Israel’s humanistic presumption and resistance of the prophetic voice in its midst to reach unto heaven. We are willing for all things necessary, that must first be revealed, that must first fill up the cup, to the end that the King may return. We are not impressed with a new temple, except as it is a necessary step towards the fulfillment of all that is written. Satan knows this and hence resists it with all his will and might. We fully expect a new day of false optimism that will appear to put the lie to our message, but our wait will not then be long.
The war on the Word of judgment is no new thing. It is only reasonable to expect it to be at its height. Our rejoicing in a new temple has nothing to do with Jewish triumph. Even though it is rightly called, “holy,” in the sense of covenant appointment, and locational sanctity, still, “until He come whose right it is,” it is a house left desolate. The hands that will officiate over the restored sacrifice are unbelieving hands, and their waiting “on that alter” (Heb 13:10) avails nothing as pertaining to salvation. Those attending to that sacrifice are about to go into great tribulation, as they reject the Isa 28 testimony that comes to them from those who have the testimony of truth that is “the rest,” and “the refreshing” (i.e., the gospel).
The church needs to wrap their minds around the paradox that in order for that which is very good to come, that which is very evil must first be revealed and fully exposed! (2Thes 2:3 with Rev 12:10-12). This means the great evil of the revelation of the Man of Sin must first be accomplished before Satan’s illicit rule can end and the bleeding of the planet finally stop at the completion of the mystery of God (Rev 10:7; 11:15-18). Those who pray against the coming of Jacob’s trouble might as well pray against the coming of the Antichrist. It betrays a kind of humanism in its own right, when the greater good above all other goods is “that it might be fulfilled which is written!” We do not rejoice in what must come; we weep, but we prefer that all things come to an appointed head in order for His glorious rest to come to the nations.
To pray otherwise, is NOT to pray according to the Word, but betrays a humanistic confidence in the will of religious man that forgets that the way to resurrection and the life of the kingdom is always through the cross / tribulation (Acts 14:22). To pray against Jacob’s trouble is the equivalent of praying that there be no Antichrist. By the same rule, to circumvent tribulation is to circumvent the cross.
The re-erection of the temple is against all odds, and for this to happen within the next few years would take a miracle on the scale of Israel’s return to the Land. It will be a wonder to behold, and rather than strengthening humanism (which it will), should more than anything vindicate the truth of our testimony as right on course!
All’s to say, yes, they will rejoice in a lie that will appear as truth confirmed. It will appear our message has been defeated by the obvious. But our rejoicing will be of a completely different kind. It is that great paradox of weeping even while rejoicing, not because we are any the less stricken and grieved, with the Lord’s burden, but that we see to the end of what this great judgment will purchase in the redeeming hand of God.
For us, it will mean that Satan is about to be stripped down from his place in order to take up unlimited residence in the mortally wounded beast (Man of Sin) and so fulfill the necessary and preliminary mystery of iniquity. For the inhabitants of the earth, this will mean a final 3 1/2 years of unequaled woe, but for the citizens of heaven, it will mean that the accuser has been cast down from his place of resistance and accusation against the consciences of the brethren. Because he has been cast down, he can no longer hold back the kingdom (Rev 12:10). Because the mystery of iniquity has now been revealed in the man of sin, the day of the Lord can come (2Thes 2:1, 3, 7-8), and mystery of God can be finished (Rev 10:7). With Michael’s forcible removal of Satan from the place of hindrance and resistance, the Accuser also loses his ability to accuse the consciences of the brethren. Significantly, this is when great power comes on those that have understanding (Dan 11:32-33, 35; 12:3, 10; Rev 11:3; 12:11).
Not only at the end when he is bound for a thousand years, but “NOW,” in the middle of the week, at the threshold of the last persecution, when Michael casts him down to begin his “short time” (Rev 12:12), great kingdom power comes on the expectant church (Rev 12:10). What does this mean? It is significant to see the relationship between the time that Satan is cast down out of heaven and the entrance of the man of sin into temple of God at Jerusalem (Dan 11:31 with Dan 12:11; Mt 24:15). They are twin events in heaven and on earth that mark the beginning of the great tribulation.
Very significantly for the church, this is also the time that the two witnesses receive power for the set days of their testimony in the streets of Jerusalem (Rev 11:3). Their witness continues to the second woe very near the end of the tribulation (Rev 11:11-15). It is important to note that Satan’s loss of access to heaven confines and concentrates his rage to the earth for his ‘short time’ (Rev 12:12), which is obviously the 3 1/2 years that he persecutes the woman (Rev 12:6, 14). Somehow, with Satan’s loss of access to heaven in the middle of the week, not only is the mystery of iniquity revealed on earth (which is necessary before Christ can return; 2Thes 2:3, 7), but access to the believer’s conscience is also lost and put forever out of reach, as far out of reach as the ascended man child is far above all principality and power. Apparently, the gospel and the power of the Spirit has been apprehended in such a way by the believing remnant as to cut off Satan from any further access to accuse them (the brethren). Since this is already true in Christ, we can only infer that there has been a great apprehension, appropriation, and spiritual enforcement in heaven of Christ’s once and for all victory over the demonic realm. This is all happening simultaneously with Michael’s heavenly victory over Satan.
It appears that almost immediately upon Satan’s dejection from heaven, the Antichrist goes very soon to the temple to place the abomination in the holy place at Jerusalem. According to Daniel, Jesus, and Paul, this act begins the tribulation that ends in Christ’s return (Dan 11:31; 12:1, 7, 11; Mt 24:15-16, 21; 2Thes 2:3-4, 8). This open and visible event on earth is the result of the unseen victory of Michael over Satan in heaven. This heavenly victory will not be automatic to the time. If biblical precedent is observed, it presupposes a Daniel-like intercessory church in deep and earnest travail in full knowledge of the time, and full apprehension of the awesome implications that are bound up with this great transition in heaven and on earth. Very significantly, this is the precise time that the two witnesses receive power for their tribulation testimony in Jerusalem, but not only this: It is also the very time that the full company of the maskilim (the godly remnant who have understanding of the events) are being empowered to do great exploits, as those who have understanding instruct many and turn many to righteousness (Dan 11:32-33, 35; 12:3, 10).
Very significantly, the Spirit states this concerning the maskilim in the very next verse following description of the abomination of desolation in Dan 11:31. This must not be lost to our attention. The timing is very significant, as it confirms the kind of massive transition that has just taken place. Not only does Satan’s down casting accomplish the full revelation of the mystery of iniquity, as he takes up a full and unlimited embodiment in the mortally wounded beast to be filled with “all power,” but on the side of light and victory, there has been an equally dramatic break through of anointing and power that comes to the church when the accuser is cast down (Rev 12:10), to begin his ‘short time’ of rage and final persecution.
This heavenly victory does not signify bodily removal, but heavenly ascent, or rather full spiritual apprehension and appropriation of every believer’s ascent over all principality and power in the person of their risen and ascended Lord. It’s nothing else than the gospel, but oh such a deep and unparalleled apprehension and appropriation through a church that has been completely emptied of the last vestiges of carnal self reliance. Of course, this has been realized by many individuals throughout church history, but never, since the apostolic period, has this been fulfilled in all its promised corporate fullness (Eph 4:13). The first 3 1/2 years will greatly constrain the church to this place of corporate birthing into all the fullness of Christ. It is no accident that this corporate fullness of Christ in His body will be in remarkable parallel to His own ministry of 3 1/2 years to Israel. The middle of the week will be like the transfiguration of the church, an anointing for burial for her last martyr witness, loving not her own life unto the death (Rev 12:11), but travailing in birth till Christ be formed in Israel, thus finishing the mystery of God and her own task unto translation!
What a day is at hand for the church. In very truth, it will be her finest hour.