Progress of the Third Temple — Part Two

Studying Bible Prophecy

 

In my last blog post on this subject we covered the administration aspects of the Temple. In this post we will talk about the progress of the Temple itself: the building, the vessels, and the ministry.

Planning the Temple Structure

In my research I was not able to find anything complete, but, apparently, as one source wrote, there is somewhere stored away…

a complete and highly detailed architectural plan which has been prepared for the immediate construction of the Holy Temple. The plan includes all of components that will be used in building: marble, stone, concrete, wood, flooring materials, overlay of gold, etc.16

This detailed plan apparently was made according to both former temples. There is an on-line 3D animation of the Temple sanctuary, however, it looks rather bland. But, according to the video description, “[The plan] includes room for further innovation by professionals and craftsmen, including decoration…”

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The Importune Prayers of Two Holy Men, Abraham and Moses

 

In this blog post we will take a look at the importune prayers of two holy men—Abraham and Moses.

 

Abraham’s prayer, from Genesis 18:22-33

 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 23 And Abraham came near and said, “Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 “Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 “Far be it from Thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from Thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” 26 So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.” 27 And Abraham answered and said, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, wilt Thou destroy the whole city because of five?” And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty.” 30 Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 And he said, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.” 32 Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.” 33 And as soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the Lord departed; and Abraham returned to his place.

 

In this prayer of intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham prevailed upon God six times, pleading for the lives of the people.  In the end only Lot and his two daughters were spared—for they were the only righteous ones left.  According to Abraham’s prayer, here are three ways that we may describe importunity in prayer.

Importune prayers for people are prayers that are made out of a genuine concern for them. Abraham had a genuine, heart felt concern for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.  His nephew Lot and his family lived there.  And he no doubt had other friends who lived there too.  When God told Abraham that he intended to destroy the two cities, Abraham must have been devastated.  And this deep concern was what drove him to pray with importunity.

 Those who pray with importunity have a concern for righteousness and for God’s reputation. Abraham proved that he had a concern for righteousness and for God’s reputation when he repeatedly questioned God about whether He would destroy the righteous with the wicked.  “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” he asked.  Those who pray with concern for God and for righteousness, as Abraham did, pray on a higher level and definitely are praying in the Spirit and with God’s own importunity.

 Those who pray with importunity pray with a fearless boldness. In this prayer we see that Abraham petitioned God six different times.  Each time he thought that God would be angry with him for trying to change His mind, but yet he fearlessly “came near” God (v. 23) and took it upon himself (vv. 27, 31) to intercede for the people.  If you want to pray with importunity this is a good example to follow.

Moses’ Prayer,  from Exodus 32:31, 32, and Deuteronomy 9:18, 19, 25-29

Then Moses returned to the Lord, and said, “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. 32 But now, if Thou wilt, forgive their sin —  and if not, please blot me out from Thy book which Thou hast written!” (Exodus 32:31-33) 

And I fell down before the Lord, as at the first, forty days and nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you had committed in doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord to provoke Him to anger. 19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which the Lord was wrathful against you in order to destroy you, but the Lord listened to me that time also. (Deuteronomy 9:18, 19, 25-29)

 25 “So I fell down before the Lord the forty days and nights, which I did because the Lord had said He would destroy you. 26 And I prayed to the Lord, and said, ‘O Lord God, do not destroy Thy people, even Thine inheritance, whom Thou hast redeemed through Thy greatness, whom Thou hast brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27 ‘Remember Thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not look at the stubbornness of this people or at their wickedness or their sin. 28 ‘Otherwise the land from which Thou didst bring us may say, “Because the Lord was not able to bring them into the land which He had promised them and because He hated them He has brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.” 29 ‘Yet they are Thy people, even Thine inheritance, whom Thou hast brought out by Thy great power and Thine outstretched arm.’

 

After Moses had received the Ten Commandments and had prayed and fasted on Mount Sinai for forty days and nights, he came down from the mountain and discovered that Israel had sinned and made a golden calf to worship instead of God.  For this sin God was angry with the people and intended to destroy them.  But Moses fell down before the Lord and interceded for the people, praying a second time for forty days and nights.  Here are two facets of importunity that I see in Moses’ prayer.

Importune prayer is motivated out of a fear of God’s wrath. In Deuteronomy 9:18-19 Moses says plainly that the reason why he fell down before God and ate and drank nothing for forty days and nights was because he was afraid of the anger of the Lord and of what He would do to Israel.

Importune prayer has a sacrificial passion and love for people. We see in Exodus 32:32 that Moses had such a sacrificial love for his people that he was willing to die for them. Wesley Duewel states about this verse, “Such substitution was, of course impossible, but it demonstrated that Moses had the same passion as did our Lord when He took our place at Calvary.”2  This denial of self, this sacrificial love that Moses demonstrated is at the heart of importunity.  It is actually, I believe, the importune prayers and sacrificial love of Christ in us.  No greater love is this, that a man lay down his live for his friends (Jn. 15:13).  And we can do that when we persistently fast and pray for them.

 

2 Wesley Duewel, Mighty Prevailing Prayer (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Francis Asbury Press, of Zondervan Publishing House, 1990), p. 83.

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Progress of the Third Temple — Part One

Studying Bible Prophecy

 

Both of the major organizations that are now dedicated to building the Temple (the Temple Institute and the Temple Mount Faith Movement) have only been in operation for thirty-two years (since 1987), yet, as you will see, they have made tremendous strides. According to them, they have the direct command of God to build the Temple and to make the Temple vessels. And they also have been guided by ancient, Jewish Torah scholars known as the Maimonides.9

The building of the Temple really can’t be compared to any other building project. There is so much that goes into it, and so much detail that has to be followed according to biblical specifications. Eventually, we will discuss the progress of the Temple in the following six parts; in this blog we will cover the first three parts

Temple Research and Restoration

These departments are of primary importance for the…

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Importunity in Prayer–From Two Biblical Stories

 

Generally speaking importune prayer is persistent prayer and demanding prayer. Read these two biblical stories and then please check out my brief findings.

 

The healing of a Canaanite woman’s daughter—Matthew 15:21-28

  Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” 23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” 24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” 26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” 27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

 

The healing of a blind man—Luke 18:35-43

 Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. 36 And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. 37 So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, 41 saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And he said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” 42 Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

 

Here are three things I found in both of these stories that demonstrate to us what importunity in prayer is:

1. Importune prayer is prayer that cries out in desperation for an urgent need. In these two accounts, both the woman and the blind man cried out “Son of David, have mercy on me.” If you desire to pray with importunity you also must have this kind of urgency in your prayers.

2. Importune prayer persists in asking even when God seems distant. In both of the accounts when Jesus ignored them as they cried out for mercy, and when others tried to shut them up, they kept crying out all the more. That is the attitude of importunity.

3. Importune prayer is always with great faith. The fact that both of these characters kept crying out, even when they were rejected, was evidence of their great faith. Accordingly, in both stories, Jesus complimented them on their faith and healed the one who was sick.

 

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The Christian View of the Third Temple

Studying Bible Prophecy

 

The Old Testament Tabernacle and the following two Temples were definitely ordered by God to be a sanctuary for God, in order that He would dwell with His people the Jews (Ex. 25:8-9). Likewise, all of the articles in the Temple, and the garments of the priests, and the sacrifices, were typical of Christ and His work as Priest and of the coming Redeemer (Ex. 25:10-31:18). Yes, everything in the Tabernacle and the Temples pointed to Christ.

So looking back on it, as a Christian, everything about the former Tabernacle and the Temples were good and appropriate. However, now, since we know that Christ has come and has lived a sinless life and has died on the cross for our sins, there is no longer a need for the Temple as it was originally ordered by God. For Christ has come and He has fulfilled in His life and…

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Christ Fulfilling the Law and the Prophets — Matthew 5:17

 

In reading D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ book, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, I am continually struck by the fact that the Old and New Testament are so well connected. In fact, Lloyd-Jones has pointed out that “there are many senses in which the New Testament cannot be understood except in light of the Old Testament.”

In this blog we will look at how Christ is the fulfillment of both the law and the prophets.

 

Christ Fulfills the Old Testament Prophecies

In the Old Testament we find clear accounts of His birth, His person, His miracles, His works, His teachings, His death, His resurrection and His future kingdom.

 

Christ Fulfills the Old Testament Law

Galatians 4:4 says that He was made “under the law.” What does that mean? It means that God placed Him under the law—as one who had to carry it out. Thus He was always careful to observe the law, and He also taught others to observe it; and He explained the law to them. No one could bring any charge against Him, because He obeyed the law perfectly.

But Christ not only obeyed the law for His own person, He obeyed it in terms of what He was required to do because of the sins of the world, according to the justice of God. For the holy law of God required a death penalty for all sin (Rom. 6:23). Thus Jesus on the cross endured in His body the penalty prescribed by the law of God for the sin of man. Therefore, the death penalty for our sins was fulfilled in Christ on the cross.

 

Christ Fulfills the Law in Us

You may be pleased to know that because we are in Christ (Christians) we play a part in fulfilling the law. Yes, the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us because we walk after the Holy Spirit. For He has given us the Holy Spirit and He gives us a love for the law and the power to live by it. Moreover, He has written the law on our heart and mind. It is part of our relationship with God, and it will be so until we are perfected in Him.

But those who have not believed, sadly, are under condemnation of the law (Jn. 3:36). For the law states that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23).

 

The Relationship of the Christian to the Law

The Christian is not under the law in the sense of works. His salvation does not depend on keeping the law. He has been delivered from that curse. The law was never meant to save us. It was given to us to show us the true character of God and His demands. And it will bring us closer to God and lead me to Christ. But from then on it is grace that takes over.

By grace, given to us through Christ, we are able to be saved and keep the law. But when we do not keep the law we should never blame Christ or His grace. For it was grace that saved us, and from then, His grace is always available to help us. But if we don’t continually ask for it in faith, and depend on it, we can only blame ourselves.

Similarly, grace is not an escape from the law of God, or is in any sense a license to sin (Rom 6:1). It is the opposite. God gives us grace to help us keep the law—or to fulfill the law.

For the holy law of God is good, and if we keep it, by His grace, it will always bring us a blessing (Ps. 119:1-2).

 

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The Lord’s Prayer: What it Teaches us about Prayer

 

It brings to us the way we ought to regard God when we pray.  Thus when we pray “Our Father” we understand that we ought to regard Him as our father.  Likewise, when we pray “Hallowed be Thy name” we see Him as holy.  When we pray “Your kingdom come” we see Him as a king, our king.  When we pray “Thy will be done” we see Him as our master and teacher.  When we pray for daily bread we see Him as our provider.  When we pray for forgiveness we see Him as our savior.  And when we pray for leading and guidance we see Him as our shepherd and protector, the one who goes before us.

It shows us the spirit of true prayer.  At each junction in the prayer Jesus conveys to us what the spirit of true prayer is.  First of all, the word “our” in “Our Father” gives us the spirit of fellowship, and unity, and intercession, because we see that we are not praying alone but we pray with all believers who are one in Christ and in the Spirit.  The two words together, “Our Father,” brings to us the spirit of fatherhood and sonship; it takes us, in our spirit, into the family of God.

“Hallowed be Your name” shows us the Holy Spirit, and also the spirit of reverence and holiness.  “Your kingdom come” brings to our spirit the sense that we are to be ready for His kingdom and His rule; it also reveals to us a spirit of home and happiness, of love and peace and contentment, because where He dwells in His kingdom we will always be happy. The words “Thy will be done” conveys to us a spirit of submission and obedience; for they are the often-prayed words of Jesus to His Father.  He is our best example of one who was obedient.

When we pray for daily bread, this brings us a spirit of dependent, and also a grateful and thankful spirit, because we know that He always gives us all we need.  Prayer for forgiveness, likewise, brings with it the spirit peace, because we know that this prayer will bring us back into His fellowship.  Last, our prayers for leading and guidance, gives us the spirit of humility.  For we know that without Him we are weak and powerless, and we so easily fall into sin.

It shows us the rightful place of God.   It shows us that He is our Father and King who rules in heaven and on earth.  It also shows us that we are dependent on Him for everything.

It shows us the purpose of prayer: to hallow His name, to bring in His kingdom, and to do His will.

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