A REVIEW OF EVENTS MADE CLEAR BY PROPHECY
I want us to go back, and instead of leaving the Jews in Babylon and hurrying to the 70 weeks of Daniel, pick up the course the Jews followed and see how the ark of the covenant fit into the picture. We need to see what it symbolized. I touched on certain things earlier, to get certain things in your mind; but now we need to go back to Ezekiel, to the 11th chapter, and familiarize ourselves with the whole setting. The date of this is 594. Ezekiel himself is one of those young Jews carried away in that early period of the captivity. There is little doubt that Ezekiel, after being in Babylon and the vicinity for a few short years, constantly reminded himself of what all did take place. Why did this all come about? We find him caught up in a vision and the Lord has taken him in the Spirit, (not literally) back to Jerusalem. He has give Ezekiel a little insight of what went on, and of what happened. Ezekiel (in the Spirit) saw how the glory of the Lord left the city by departing first from the temple, and then going out over the Mt. Of Olives, the way of the east, and there is where the glory of the Lord disappeared. Now to get the background about this glory of the Lord, we have to look back to when the children of Israel came through the wilderness on their journey to the promised land. God gave them the law, then He gave them the blueprint of how to build the tabernacle, which in reality was a tent. Inside the tent there was a separate room. In there, was a certain table on which sat the ark of the covenant.
There was a veil that closed off this room from the rest of the space inside, making it total darkness in this little room. When the ark of the covenant was placed in there, there were two cherubims, (winged angels) placed at the end so their wings reached over and tipped each other. The Shekinah glory, a manifestation of God’s divine presence, would move in there over that ark, and I would just say it was a manifestation like a lick of fire. There it hovered over that mercy seat, the ark of the covenant, all the time the ark was in there. There was only one man that could go into that place. That was the high priest, on the day of atonement. WE know whenever the children of Israel would go into battle, the priests that were to go into battle with the army, were to go in and take this ark out; and on each side there were rings that stuck out, through which certain poles were placed to carry it by. It was carried on the priests’ shoulders. The ark was removed only in warfare. Nowe we know there was a time the children of Israel were found in conflict many times with the Philistines. You read in 1st Samuel 5, and see how important the ark was in the early centuries of Israel’s existence in this land of promise. This ark was significant, it was important. There was an importance about it because it typed Jesus Christ, the Messiah Israel looked for. That is really what it was for. Everything about it represented the oncoming Messiah, which in reality was God incarnated in the person of a man. The fact that this box was made of wood speaks of this flesh of Jesus Christ. However the fact that this box was totally overlaid with gold, speaks of the divinity, the divine spirit of God invested in Christ Jesus. Inside this box, was two tables of stone, which was God’s word for that dispensation, and pointed to the fact the New Testament apostles spoke of, expecially in the gospel of John, that the word of God for this dispensation of grace was in Jesus Christ, the very Son of God begotten by the Spirit which is God. That is why we see in the gospel of John, that the word was made flesh, (or made flesh) and that flesh dwelt among mankind, and mortal man was privileged to see the glory bestowed upon Him by the Father. Therefore we can see, that what the two tables of stone signified, is now a reality. When you read in 1st Samuel 5, you see that Israel had come to a very low state of spirituality. Eli was 90 some years old, and his eyes had become dim. His sons had not been living up to the standards and principles of what the law required. Saul was in battle; and had been killed. The two sons had fallen, on the field of battle. The ark then fell into the hand of the Israelites’ enemies. As we look at this event, we can understand why God would let such a thing happen.
First, only Israel was going to be dealt with in relationship to that ark. When that ark would get in the hands of any other people who did not know what it really meant, there was no benefit for them in it at all. That is exactly like a sinner trying to go to church, trying to look good, yet refusing to accept Jesus Christ into his life and be made a new creature. He had just as well go out and sell peanuts on a street corner. He will benefit more by something like that than he will by sitting in a church somewhere with true Christians, thinking he will be blessed just like anyone else. That ark was never supposed to be a blessing to a bunch of pagan unbelievers. When you read the story, how the Philistines took the ark back into the land of the Philistines, look what happened: They had a god by the name of Dagon. They brought this ark and placed it before their god; and at that time, we realize, God still looked upon the ark as an important item in respects to His relationship to the people who had lost it. At that time it was very important. When the Philistines had placed it there, what did they find the next morning? Something had caused the statue of Dagon to fall flat on its face. The head was broken off, and the hands, and certain other parts. The Philistines looked at that and begin to realize they did not want that strange looking box there any longer. They decided to move it to another city; and as they did, people began to break out with sores. Then they moved it to another city; and the same thing happened again. Then they called in all the elders of the Philistines and said, This God of the Israelites, we have to do something with it. Instead of it being a blessing to those who captured it, it became a curse. They took counsel and decided to send it back to the Israelites; and also to send an offering along with it to try to appease the God of that thing. I can almost hear them as they counsel among themselves and say, Look, if we are going to send it back, then we ought to send an offering with it to try to appease the God that dwells in it. Well they made some images of gold into the shape of mice and such and put them with it, on a cart, to send it back. They hooked two young calves to the cart and turned them loose saying, If they go by a certain route we will know it is their God’s way of directing this, then we will know He is truly the one behind all this curse; but if they take off and go some other way we will know this all happened by chance: that it was just a coincidence that these things happen. That is the way a lot of people today look at things. Well what do you think? When they turned those young calves loose they put their necks to the yoke and headed a certain route, because God was leading them. They walked right straight on to the border land, lowing as they went. God was doing the driving. He was taking the ark home to the people it belonged with. There is no need to say any more. You can read it in the 5th and 6th chapters of Samuel, how important it was for the ark of the covenant to be in the Israeli’s possession. They worshiped God through the medium of that, what it symbolized and typed. As time went on David became king. The ark was back in the tent at Shiloh; but David decided he wanted to bring it closer. That is when David had captured Jerusalem. Little did he realize when he captured this ancient city of the Jebusites, God was using him to capture a strategic place within this land of promise, a place wherein God was going to place His name and everything was to function around that city. How was God going to place His name there? When David captured the city, he established himself a palace. Then he got the idea he wanted to number all Israel. WE know God never wanted His people to be numbered. You know how it is today: you go into church houses and there before your eyes is a bulletin board: 110 in Sunday School, and offering was such and such. All over the world it is like that. God is no more interested in that than He is in what you throw into the waste basket. Anyway King David called in his chief commander of the army and said, I want you to set in order a decree that all the people be numbered. Even his own right hand man begged him, Do not do such a thing: it is wrong. David said something to the effect, you do what I told you to do. Naturally I am reading between the lines on this; but I believe David did this out of disgust. Why? Just imagine how many times while out fighting the Philistines, those Philistines would parade their king before him in a beautiful chariot all decked out; and how the Philistines would parade their military men, boasting about their numbers. David got tired of it. The Philistines would stand there and say, Hey, there are more of us than there are of you. God never did want the children of Israel to trust in numbers. You have heard the chorus, Little is much of God be in it. That is the way God has always proved Himself. But in disgust David no doubt thought, I will number Israel and the next time we are in combat I am going to throw a number at them that will take them for a spin. However the minute he started this, the hand of God started smiting the children of Israel with a serious sickness and death. When David realized his wrong, after seeing all those innocent children of Israel dying, God gave him a choice between three things as punishment for his disobedience. Let us read it. (2nd Samuel 24:10-14) “And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. For when David was up in the morning, the word fo the Lord came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, God and say unto David, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, (Here are the three things.) Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? Or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? Or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? Now advise, and see what answer I shall return to Him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for His mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.” When David fell on his face and began to weep he looked out the window and saw an angel of the Lord standing in a certain spot with a sword drawn. Then as David reached his decision in his prayer, the hand of God stayed the thing that was about to take place. (You can read the rest of it.) David then set about to purchase that piece of ground where he saw that angel standing, after he saw the sword lifted. There, David said, is where we will place the ark. You can read this in the chronologies. David set about the task of bringing the ark from Shiloh. You read what happened. He also sat it on a cart; and when that cart hit a rough spot in the road, a young man reached out to stabilize the ark and God slew him. That grieved David in his heart, to think that God would do such a thing; so they took the ark off the cart and put it into the house of Obededom. It was there so many months. While it was there, the scripture says the household of Obededom was blessed. Finally in that interval David came to his senses and began to realize there was a certain way that ark had to be transported. It was not supposed to be on a car pulled by oxen, even though God did allow it to be brought home that way. When David did see the divine order, that it was to be carried by the priests, then is when he had the tabernacle set up in this place, and from the point where it was, in the house of Obededom, they brought it and placed it in its proper place. David danced, and shouted and sang in front of the musicians. What a glorious time it was. That was before 1000 B.C. and God was still, we will say, dealing with the nation of Israel by the medium of that ark, and the children of Israel worshiped, obeyed, and served the Lord by the medium of what it all typed and represented. That ark was simply a type of Him in whom the Spirit of the great Creator would one day dwell. I am talking about the only begotten Son of God Jesus, the Christ, that the Bible says He (God) was pleased to dwell in. He is the only vessel the Spirit of God has chosen to place the fullness of His great presence in since the day John baptized Jesus in the river of Jordan; and the Spirit of the Father descended from heaven in the form of a dove and incarnated Him. Therefore when God again begins to deal with the Jews, in the seventieth week of Daniel, He will not be presented to them as a God whose presence is represented by a wooden box. They will have the revelation presented to them of the One that box typed: which will be none other than Jesus Christ: the Messiah their forefathers rejected and crucified.
SOLOMON BUILT GOD A HOUSE TO DWELL IN
When we come to the time of Solomon, which was David’s son, he was moved upon to build God a permanent house, doing away with the tabernacle. You can read how God dealt with Solomon. When you read how it took seven years to complete the temple, be aware that this set a type of something else. The Gentile Church is completed in seven specific periods of time referred to as Church Ages in the dispensation of grace. Watch its type; how perfectly God had it all pictured. The children of Israel were given the Passover, the slaying of the lamb, the feast. It started with a feast. For seven days, starting with that first day: they were to feast and eat unleavened bread. There again we see a type of the seven Church ages: which followed the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. These types are not in the Bible just to take up space. They are there to help us understand the unfolding of time and how God deals with us in those times related. Well when that temple was dedicated, the ark was brought in and the Shekinah glory was so great: It tells how it was so great the priests could not minister because of it. In other words it was like they were almost spellbound by the glory of the Lord as it filled the house and the surroundings; and the people worshiped and the sacrifices were made; and the feasting went on for several days around that glorious event. However coming on through time from the time that temple was built and dedicated and the ark was moved in, by the time 600 B.C. came, Israel had fallen into apostasy. She had been rebuked by different prophets. They had their ups and downs spiritually; buy by the time we reach 608 to 600, God had turned His back on the nation and is solely bent on letting the enemy come and take them out of there; and that is exactly what happened. God will not tolerate foolishness forever. He is long-suffering; but there is always an end to what He will allow before He begins to chastise.
GOD’S GLORY DEPARTED THE TEMPLE
Ezekiel being of the captivity, was in Babylon, and wondering, Where did the glory fo the Lord go? Let us read that. He saw this in the Spirit. (Ezekiel 11:22) “Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city. (The mount of Olives.) Afterwards the Spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me.” Keep in mind saints, At the time Ezekiel had this vision, Jerusalem was totally in a desolate state spiritually. The temple had already been demolished. That lets me know Ezekiel must have been concerned, Where did the glory of God go? That is why he was taken back in the Spirit and allowed to see how the glory of God left the city. In leaving the city, keep in mind, it was leaving the holy temple spot. That is the only place it dwelled when the ark was stationary; and in that ark was the only place it could be stationary in the city of Jerusalem. He saw the glory leave the temple spot and cross over to the Mt. O f Olives, and there, was the last time it was ever seen. That causes me to have the feeling that God showed Ezekiel this for a specific reason. Therefore as we go on with other scriptures, we come to why. When we come to 536 B.C, when the Jews out of Babylon were told by Cyrus to go back and build their temple to their God, there was never any communication about the ark. I do not find it in any writings, where those Jews ever inquired in any way, Where is the ark? There has to be a reason why there was not a question asked about. Why has it not become an item of great importance? When long prior to this time it was an item very important to them, whether they were going into battle, building the temple, or just in the process of moving it from place to place. Follow me, as we continue. When God showed Ezekiel how His glory left, to me that was a sign, it will never come back in that particular manifestation; because God was bringing the children of Israel closer to the hour of time when what it was in type was about to be fulfilled right before their very eyes. The temple they built when they came back out of captivity was the temple Jesus came to in His first advent. Just keep these various points in mind; and we will now go to Daniel 9:1. At this stage, which was approximately two years before Cyrus’ decree, we will read in these first two verses how Daniel was concerned and asking God, How much longer are we going to be here? “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.” That is what was in Daniel’s mind. Daniel knew they had been there approximately that number of years; and he was praying and confessing before his God, the sins of his people when the angel of the Lord appeared to him to give him understanding. That is when he was told, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” You can see what all was to be accomplished in the seventy weeks of years; so let us go to the book of Ezra and read a few verses concerning the decree of Cyrus, king of Persia, as he determined to fulfill his part of what had been prophesied concerning him.
KING CYRUS: A SERVANT OF GOD
We are going back to 536 B.C. Ezra was a priest who was also in the land of Babylon, in captivity. We are reading in Ezra 1:1-2. “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it aso in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.” When you read Jeremiah, you find that Jeremiah was the prophet that told the children of Israel, You will be carried away into captivity and there you will serve another king and you will be there for the space of 70 years. Afterward I will visit you and will bring you back into this place. With that on his mind, Daniel talked like he did and began to seek the favor of God. Ezra was also living during that same time. It was also said by Jeremiah that God would have a servant and Cyrus would be his name. If that is not predestination, what would you call it? That is the only prophecy in the Bible where God spoke in advance of a man who, being a pagan and sitting on a pagan throne, would be dealt with to actually show favor to the children of Israel. He was even called by name. Listen to this, as I read from Ezra’s writings, (chapter 1:3-11) “Who is there among you of all His people? His God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lrod God of Israel, (He is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. (4) And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem. (5) Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, (These were from the two southern tribes) and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. (6) And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered. (7) Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; (Listen to this, I like this, We read from 2nd Kings and Chronicles earlier, how, when Nebuchadnezzar came, both writers in Kings and Chronicles tells how out of the Lord’s temple he carried all those sacred vessels that had been made for that house and carried them off to Babylon and put them in their temple. Now here is Cyrus completely in reverse.) 8, Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. (9) And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, (10) Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand. (11) All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.” Here, we see all of those things going back to Jerusalem where they belong. The same utensils, the same golden vessels, all the items that were carried away from there, Cyrus has made a decree saying, You can take all of that back. Where was the ark? Why was it not even mentioned in any of these writings? Think of it: What is so important about these items, if God had not already determined at that particular time, that the ark had already served its purpose? I have to say, Wherever the ark was, something happened that caused it to be lost. It had dropped out of sight, and out of their memory. It is not even written about. We find none of these exiled Jews coming back in this period of time to build the temple even asking, Where is the ark? To me, that says, The ark is no longer needed. Yet here are all these other utensils being sent back. They were going to have altar sacrifice; so all those things were very important for the reconstruction of the altar, and the sacrifice of animals and the general functioning of things. From 536, as the Jews returned from Babylon with all those items, they were faced with the responsibility of building their God a house. Keep in mind, as we go to the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, who somehow or other had been two young prophets raised up among them, of the Jews that returned. The point is, (which is my reason for saying it like this) they came out of nowhere. At no time prior to this do we read where they were even mentioned as prophets while they were in the Babylonian areas. But from 536 to 520 and 519, when these two prophets prophesied, there was that number of years of disappointments. They came and all they saw at Jerusalem was a big mountain of stones where Solomon’s temple had stood in former times. There it laid: all in shambles. You read in Zechariah how the Jews, as they returned back, they had been there quite a while and they would look at this big mountain and become so discouraged. Naturally it was discouraging to look at such a pile of stones lying right where the temple was supposed to be. They probably just looked at themselves saying, We are such a few people, to be faced with the responsibility of clearing all of this first, before we can start building. That caused Zechariah to be inspired by God to speak to them in the manner we are about to read. Zechariah 4:6-7) “Then he (an angel) answered and spake unto me, (Zechariah) saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.” In another place it says the Spirit of the Lord put in the heart’s of the people a willing spirit to come and labor. That lets me know, when we Gentiles look for unity in our day, and about all we see is confusion in the churches throughout the world, it takes a move of the Spirit of God in the heart’s of His true bride people to bring it about. That is just as big a mountain to us, as that pile of rubbish was to them in that day. How in the world can you get through all this junk, all these human ideas? All you can hear is, “That is not the way I see it. Bless God, I have a revelation; and that is not the way God showed it to me;” and all such as that: Yet ever last one of these people claim to be expecting to go with the Lord in the catching away of the bride Church. That is the pile of rubbish true saints are looking at today. It gets very discouraging to those who are seeking to find the truth in this hour of time. I can almost hear those Jews, as they stood looking at that pile of stone and such like, Well I’m not going to do the whole thing by myself. If Uncle John and my brother Jim do not get here, I am not going to do anything either. See, They were looking at it as though it was an impossibility, to get the job done. However when the Spirit of the Lord moved on the scene, (And I will say, He had to) it made all the difference in the world. That is why He raised up Zechariah to utter words like we just read. When those people heard those words, they knew that God was in their midst and they knew that God wanted them to stop looking at that pile of stones and get to work. Just take it stone by stone. That is the way to approach such a task. I tell you, When the Spirit of God began to put in the heart of those people a willingness to come and work, then is when they no longer looked at the hugeness of what stood between them and what they were there to do. Each day, as the sun would go over the horizon, they could see that mountain was slowly going down also. They were moving the stones away because they had to get right back down to bedrock, where the foundation was. That temple had to come right back down to its original foundation. The church in the endtime has to be anchored right back on the same word of God it started out on. It cannot be a little bit of this and a little bit of that. You hear all the time, What makes you think my idea is not as good as yours?” The answer is, The Church is not built upon human ideas: it is built upon the revealed word of God. Well saints the point is, The Jews faced the resonsibility clearing away all that rubbish and building back the temple of God; and it was not going to be done by their own human power alone. It is the Spirit of God in the heart’s of His people, that enables them to do what they are called to do. The heart of people being changed from disgust and disappointment, to the point that they enjoy what they are doing because they are doing it for the glory of God, is what makes the difference. When you read Zechariah, you begin to see how that thing went about. In 520 and 519, is when you see those two prophets come into the picture. Where did they come from? It does not say; but they were right there with the people all the time. What school did they go to? What seminary did they graduate from? God raised them up at a precise time and put a revelation in them. Those two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah set a precise type to be carried over here, when we have reached the point in time where Revelation 11 is going to drop right down and be fulfilled in this world, in that 70th week of Daniel. That is why Revelation 11 speaks of the two olive trees. Those two olive trees mentioned by Zechariah, will appear on the scene in Israel as it is recorded in Revelation 11:1-7; but they will not be reincarnated prophets from past days; they will be two spiritual Jews anointed with the same Spirit as those of former times. That same anointing will rest upon them. As we see those children of Israel coming back to the land of their fathers to perform a service to their God, go with me to Ezra 6. The first thing that was done, they erected the altar. That is what will happen in Revelation 11 too. Then they started to work on the house. The time is 519; and in the 6th chapter of Ezra we are reading verse 14. “And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered (Listen, they prospered. In other words they got something accomplished.) Through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. (15) And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. (16) And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy. (17) And offered at the dedication of this house of God an hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. (18) And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of Moses.” Saints: In all of that, not one thing was said about the ark of the covenant: Yet they brought back all of those other items which were taken from the temple. That is why I have to say, We are 500 years before the advent of Christ. There is a mystery here that is hidden to a lot of the church people of the world today; so we need to see if there is not something portrayed here in the Bible that will help us. Let us go to Ezekiel 43. No doubt Ezekiel was again wondering much about the future of Jerusalem and the temple that will be in that day. Again the Spirit of God give him a vision. I will never forget 1968, when we were privileged to go to Israel the first time. We met a rabbi there and I asked him, Do you Jews of today know how the temple that is to be built for the coming of your Messiah is to be built? Do you know the description of it? Here is what he said, Gentlemen, have you read the last chapters of Ezekiel. I said yes. He said, There is the portrayal. Yes saints, they know what the Millennial temple is to be built like. In those scriptures, you read exactly what the temple that will be built when the world faces Daniel’s 70th week will be like. That temple and the altar which John was told to take the reed and measure, all of this is the temple. Let us read it. Here sits a beautiful pictu7re that portrays what I feel is how we look ahead, as to whether there is ever going to be an ark even sought after. (Ezekiel 43:1) “Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east.” That is the gate Jesus entered, called the Gate Beautiful. That is the gate Peter and John came through when the lame man was lying there begging for alms. When Peter looked down and said, Silver and gold have we none but such as we have give I unto thee. He took the man by the hand and raised him up and the man began to leap and praise God. HE went right on into the temple compound, leaping and praising God. When Peter was compelled to preach another sermon in the temple court, and five thousand more Jews were added to the Church that day, that is the gate it speaks of. Ezekiel was still in Babylon. (2) “And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and His voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with His glory.” (You see that when they were on the mount of transfiguration.) In chapter 11, he saw how it left the city: but keep in mind, this prophecy is not even showing you how the glory of the Lord is coming back to Jerusalem for this second temple, built by these people. That is not the way you interpret these scriptures. What Ezekiel saw here is how the glory of the Lord is coming back to the Millennial temple. I want you to notice how this glory is portrayed. In Revelation 1:15 you find that same description. It says, “And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters.” (43:3) “and it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: (in other words that points you right back to chapter 11. He saw there how it left, and here he saw how it has come back, but the beauty of it is, it is not coming back with a box portrayed in it.) And the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. (4) And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect (or entrance) is toward the east.” (That is the gate Beautiful. It is closed now. The Moslems closed it.) That shows there is a temple involved. IN chapter 11, as he saw it leaving the city he saw that it went by the east over to the Mt. Of Olives, and there is where it disappeared; but here he sees it coming back from the Mt. Of Olives, he watches as it comes back to the city; but it is coming into a particular house, and it was not this house built by those Jews Ezra wrote about. We do not read anything about the manifestation of the Shekinah glory when that house was dedicated. WE just read about it in Ezra 6; and there was no mention of such a manifestation; but here it is: coming back into the Millennium temple, in Ezekiel’s vision. (5) “So the Spirit took me up, (His position is being changed.) And brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house. (That was not seen here in this second temple) And I heard Him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.” Remember, Jesus was not even born when this prophecy was given; but it shows us a vision pointing ahead to the time when Jesus will come again to rule and reign on this earth. That is exactly the way He is coming back: because it plainly tells you in Zechariah that in that day the Lord shall descend and His feet shall rest on the Mt. Of Olives; (How many realize what that prophecy is speaking of?) And how the mount will cleave asunder. That is His approach. (7) “And He said unto me, Son of man, (This is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, shrouded in all this Shekinah glory. Keep in mind, it is a future event, not as though it existed in the time of Ezekiel. It is a vision of the future.) The place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, (In other words, when you read this, read Revelation 11 and that is why the temple is built. It is to get it ready for the coming of the Jewish Messiah, for He shall rule and reign from that temple.) Where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.” That whole chapter is built around the manifestation of the glory of God, as Christ comes in that time, to fulfill this scene in reality. Let us now go to Jeremiah 3, beginning in the 16th verse. In the reading of this you are no longer looking back. You are looking ahead. Picture the temple in Revelation 11 as it moves it off into the beginning of the Millennium. Picture the Lord Jesus Christ coming into that temple. Literally, He is everything the ark typed. Here is how Jeremiah the prophet picked it up and described it. Jeremiah was the prophet that prophesied to the Jews that lived at an hour when they were to be carried off into Babylonian captivity. He is the one that prophesied of the 70 years in exile. He is the one that told them God would raise up a king by the name of Cyrus who would give them the decree to come home. Here he is telling the Jews how the time would come when there would be a temple and such like. (Jeremiah 3:16) “And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, (He is speaking of the future tense, not of the time when they would be building this temple) in those days, saith the Lord, (this points you to Revelation 11 and onward.) They (the Jews) shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. (17) At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. (18) In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, (That is just what you and I are seeing unfold today before us. Not only the tribes of Judah but the whole house of Israel being regathered for this great and glorious event that is just in front of us as the 11th chapter of Revelation drops down and begins to come into focus.) And they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.” They are being gathered back into their home land to wait for their Messiah. Of course they are not all aware of what is being fulfilled as they come from various places to a land they have never seen; but God knows why they are there; and we know why they are there.
THE MILLENNIAL TEMPLE
When they built the second temple, they built it with whatever means and material they had. Cyrus commanded that certain silver and such like be given to them along with public materials, for the building of this temple; but when you read Haggai you find that it was a far cry from being what the first one was. Haggai seemed to be very sensitive as to how some of the older Jews stood there that day looking at the house being dedicated, and seeing how disappointed they were because it was so much smaller and so forth, God impressed him to remind them that they were not to look at that house as though it were not important. God assured them He was with them; and that He was going to use that place; but He also spoke saying, The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts. Let us read a few verses from Haggai 2. (4) “Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts: According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my Spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. (8) The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. (9) The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.” When Haggai was anointed to speak those words, they were not pointing to that particular temple, nor to the one King Herod renovated and enlarged and decorated somewhat: that was standing in existence at the time of Christ. It was pointing over to this one that is going to be built right in front of us: as this Gentile age runs out. That is what Haggai’s prophecy was pointing to. God saw those Jews that had built that temple, how disappointed they were; but He knew they could only build with what means they had to build with; so He assured them, The silver is mine and the gold is mine; and saints, that is still true today. That next temple will be built with the best of everything; even though we are living in a time when the governments in the world are broke. We hear the news, the economic reports; and it is obvious that the nations are broke. They are constantly moving their debts ahead, living constantly on borrowed money. That is why I have to say, We do not need to be looking for any better material times. Any upswing will only be temporary. One day soon though, when God is ready to change the order of events in the Middle East, He will set certain things in order that will force the children of Israel to begin to take things into their own hands, to fulfill the word of God. When the world begins to see God with the Jews on the battle field, I have no doubt whatsoever that He will create circumstances that will necessitate they take back their holy temple spot. There will be no wavering and bickering, should we? Can we? Is it really necessary? Nor any of that: God is going to move on the heart of some Jewish people to do what it takes to get their temple ground back. If I have been reading the scriptures right, It will not be because they suddenly find the ark and that is what they have been waiting for. Out of somewhere will come two anointed Jewish men. Something will begin to move that society; and I assure you it will not be some doctor of divinity from New York City. It is going to be two Jews that God’s anointing has dropped upon. Those men are going to stand before public officials and begin to point their finger and say, It is time for us to begin to build God’s house. Whether it is Shamir, Bergin, Perez or whoever may be in power, they are not going to begin to show those men to that nation in such a manner that the spiritual Jews and even many of the political Jews are going to realize, God is on our side. They will stop writing articles like just came out in the Jerusalem Post. When they start that temple, even though our nation is broke, England is broke, Germany is broke, and all the rest of them are broke, God says the gold is mine, the silver is mine. When people begin to realize God is on the scene, and that He is with that people, I cannot help but feel that rich people from around the world, people you never would have thought would ever loosen up, will suddenly feel that they want to help build that temple. People from various nations of the world will be just like those Egyptians were when the children of Israel were ready to take their flight from there: they will gladly give them what ever they need. Those Egyptian people gave gladly: not necessarily knowing what their generosity would be used for. They wanted to share in whatever their God had for them in the future. Therefore those Jews left there with all the gold and silver they needed to take them right straight on through their journey. Yes brothers and sisters, I am convinced that not too far in front of us we will see an event just as it plainly tells us in the 60th chapter of Isaiah, take place. (You can read it.) Gentiles will contribute their labor and wealth for the task; because they will be convinced that God is with Israel. I am looking forward to the time when whoever is the king, or the sheik, or those rich oil nations begins to get their eyes open to what is taking place in the land of Israel. Those Arabs are not going to look at the Jew then, like they do today. They are going to look at the Jew as something important, and they are going to want to contribute to their wealth and resources to whatever God is about to do in Jerusalem. That is why there will be a temple built in Jerusalem in the beginning of that 70th week of Daniel. They will not have to run all over the world borrowing money. God knows exactly how to touch the hearts of kings, princes, and the wealthy element of the world. It is just the governments of the world that are bankrupt, so to speak: all of the world resources are still here; and God knows how to draw from the to get sufficient funds and labor for building the temple. When you read Isaiah 60, it says, “And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.” Then another verse says, “The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee; The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” That is how I know what is going to take place: Isaiah has it all spelled out for us. Various technicians and experienced people of various skills and trades will, when that hour comes, become so attached and drawn to what God is doing in Jerusalem with the Jews, they are going to say, Look, I am going to volunteer six months labor free of charge because I want to have something to do in the building of that house over there. Sure I know some will say, Now just listen to that Jackson talk. Who does he think he is? Well I just have to say, Stick around, you will not have to wait long until you know whether I have spoken according to the word of God or not. Furthermore it is all right there in the scriptures, if you care enough to go read it.
HOW TO LOOK AT DANIEL’S PROPHECY
Right now, I want to get back to dealing with the first 69 weeks of Daniel’s 70 weeks. I want to read the full text in order to get the scriptural setting. Actually the setting is 538 B.C., which was about 90 some years prior to the time the count down of the seventy weeks even started. Daniel had been fasting and praying concerning the outcome, wondering what lay in store for his people. AS he studied from the writings of Jeremiah and other writings, he had come to the conclusion that the 70 years they were supposed to be in Babylonian captivity must be about finished. Therefore he was praying and seeking God in connection with that concern; and the Lord sent an angel to talk to him. The angel introduced this 70 week, or 490 year period of time. The angel spoke in this fashion: beginning in verse 24, of the 9th chapter of Daniel, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people (Now if I was to read it like this, 490 years are determined upon thy people, does that make it sound any different? That is exactly what I have read. The weeks are symbolic of groups of 7. It is not 7 days, it is 7 years to each prophetic week.) and upon thy holy city, (Jerusalem) to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, (That takes us on through the 70th weeks and on into the starting of the Millennium. Let me say also for the benefit of any that might not know what the Millennium is, it is the 1000 years that Jesus Christ will rule on earth as KING of kings from the temple in Jerusalem.) and to anoint the most Holy. (Which is actually Christ taking His position in the new, rebuilt temple. Notice how the angel breaks this period of weeks down: as we continue reading.) know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment (The commandment is not in relationship to Cyrus in 536, telling the Jews they could go back and build their temple. No, that was not eh decree. The decree pertained to the time when those Jews that would be doing the work would go back to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, the city itself: Nothing is said about the temple.) to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, (Well saints, this 7 weeks is actually a period of 49 years. Where does that take you to? It takes you to the time of Malachi. In that time, Malachi had given the last prophecy and he was already seeing (if you read Malachi) what has come about as the Jews had not only come back and rebuilt the temple, but apostasy had set in. Anyhow that covers the first 49 prophetic years, 7 weeks; and now comes another 62 weeks, 434 years.) and threescore and two weeks; (434 years) the street (The word street is singular, but you have to understand this is applicable to every street in the old city; because at the time this prophecy was given, Jerusalem was in ruins. The streets were filled with nothing but rubbish. The dwelling places were nothing but heaps of stones and such. Therefore you have to understand that this 434 years, or 62 weeks, was to cover the span of time that it was going to take for the Jews that will respond to this decree, to make their way back to set in motion the reconstruction, the cleaning up of rubbish, building the streets and walls and all of what is mentioned. It was not meant to be done in one day’s time, nor a year of time: It was to cover a period of time that even included the advent of Christ.) the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. (Troublous times indeed, I have a section of history to read to show you what is meant by troublous times.) and after threescore and two weeks (That is the 434 years we mentioned. The word after does not mean 3 ½ years later. After, means, when the 434 years or the last 62 weeks have run their course, the Messiah will be cut off at that precise time: not 3 ½ years later. That 62 weeks was the terminating point. When Christ was crucified, that is what ended the 434 years, plus the 49 prior years, which when you get it all together adds up to 483 prophetic years, or 69 prophetic weeks. That is what it all adds up to.) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince that shall come (The antichrist is the prince that shall come; and the people of that prince, the people that destroyed the city were Romans.) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; (Notice how it puts the people of the future prince in the forefront. They come first. This of course was the Roman army under Vespasian, the Roman general in 69 A.D. The city fell in August 70 A.D. If you try to listen to all the historians, one will say 69 A.D. and the other 70 A.D. I have been guilty myself many times, in sermons, I would refer to 69 A.D. one time, and another time call it 70 A.D. That is why I am going to read to you from a history I have some confidence in. I believe the date was August 10th, Titus and his troops gained entrance to the temple compound. The temple was on fire and the city was nothing more than a smoldering ruins. The year is recorded as 70 A.D. We will get to that in a minute.) and the end (of that destruction) thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” That pertains to periods of desolations toward the city, because now we have to take secular history to find out what has happened since 70 A.D. Gentile powers, one after another have made their way into the Middle East to take Jerusalem under control; and all you have to do is go back and read in your history books, about the wars of the crusaders. You can see what happened; and you can see why it was all referred to as desolations. Between verse 26 and 27 is a span of time. This is where the Grace Age came in. Just like in Revelation 12, between verses 5 and 6. In the 5th verse it tells about the man child, how He was caught up to the throne of God and so forth. Then verse 6 picks up how the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared. Naturally that puts a span of about 2000 years between those two verses, because Jesus was caught up to sit upon the throne of God in 33 A.D. when He was crucified. That put the Grace age in effect; and the woman will not flee into the wilderness until the middle of the seventieth week of Daniel, when the great tribulation starts. The woman element of the Jews has to be back in the land in the last days for verse 6 to become activated. Many people are thrown off course because of these intervals of time between certain events that are described in the Bible. (Verse 27) “And he (the antichrist) shall confirm the covenant (a political, economic covenant with many nations) with many for one week: (That will be the one week of seven years that is still left of Daniel’s prophecy, to be fulfilled at the end of the grace age.) and in the midst of the week (the exact middle) he (the antichrist) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” At this time, I am goign to try to clear up something that places questions in people’s minds. I have been asked by different ones, especially overseas, What does this word abomination that maketh desolate pertain to? In other words, What does it really mean? The dictionary definition for abomination, in its scriptural use, pertains to hatred. I am aware that this same word, in the English language terminology, can apply to anything that is unclean, filthy; but in the Biblical, spiritual meaning, it means hatred. To look upon something with disgust. Anything that shows hatefulness and disgust, that is what the word abomination means in these scriptural usages. Of course the word desolate applied to making lonely, or to make a place uninhabited, deserted, and even uninhabitable, like, to lay waste, to rid the land of its inhabitants. Therefore when you put these words together, it speaks of a period of time when someone, some people, or something, shows a period of excessive hatred toward the Jewish people, and in the hatred they set about to lay the land waste, to deprive the land of its inhabitants. It has already had its two types prior to the one that is coming up; so we will go to Nehemiah. Here is hwere we find when the decree came. It gives us the setting, and how to understand this subject we are on. Nehemiah was a servant in the king’s palace; but he had been talking to a couple of brethren that had just returned from Jerusalem. Keep in mind, the year was 445 B.C., about 90 years after the decree that allowed the Jews to go back to Jerusalem for the purpose of building the temple. Therefore there were Jews back there. The temple has been built at that time; but when Nehemiah asked them, How is the city? How does it look? The walls and such like: that is what initiated this other part.
HOW THE 445 B.C. DECREE BECAME EFFECTIVE
We will begin reading in Nehemiah 1:3. “And they said unto me, (This is the one’s Nehemiah had asked, How are thing in Jerusalem?) The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. (4) And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, (5) And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great a terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love Him and observe His commandments: (6) Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. (7) We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.” He is actually confessing and praying that he, along with the others can find grace before the Lord. Let us now go to the first verse of the second chapter. “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, (this corresponds to a certain time in the month of March) in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. (2) Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, (3) And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? (4) Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. (5) And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favor in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my father’s sepulchres, that I may build it.” I am not going to read the rest, you can read it yourself if you like. As he prayed, he went again before the king and made request, Oh King, my request is that you would grant your servant the privilege and right to go back to Jerusalem and set about the task of rebuilding the walls, the gates, and doing those necessary things. The king asked Nehemiah, How long will it take you to do this, and when will you return? He gave him a fixed time, then he made the request, I pray that you will give me a letter that I can be recognized by the various officials, he called them governors. He also wanted a letter he could show to the keeper of the timbers in the timberland. He would need the material for the gates and such. As for the date of the decree, all historians used the 14th of March, 445 B.C. That is why we have it right here, on our chart. Keep in mind, the red line (which can be seen on the Video, but will not be red in the paper) marks the full year 445 B.C.; but the decree came in the month of March. Right? Therefore you have 31 days in January, 28 days in February, and I took the full 14 days off of March, which makes this 445 year seen here, 73 days short of a full year. If you will just bear with me, and try to follow me, I am going to be dealing with this chart quite a bit until we get these dates fixed in your mind’s. The B.C. period ends with the death of King Herod. That is what this line marks right here. We can use that as zero point, because you are measuring time backwards like this. I have read various histories. They have Christ born all the way from 6 B.C. down to 1 B.C. It is confusing. If I was to try to interpret the 70 weeks of Daniel based on historians that are using different dates for the time of the birth of Christ, I would not know what goes where. I do know this, If this decree and this prophecy is to begin at this point, 445 B.C., and there will be 69 weeks, which is actually 483 years that will elapse between two points, and the other point is the crucifixion of Christ, then it has to be exactly that. You cannot stretch the time, nor can you shorten it: there has to be exactly 483 years expire between these two points. During that time the Messiah will have been born, lived 33 ½ years, and will have been crucified. That is what terminates the 69 weeks, or 483 years. That is the point right there, the Messiah is cut off, 33 A.D., (crucified). Of course various historians have fixed various times from 27 to 31, for the crucifixion; but we are using 33 A.D. It works out right, when you compare prophetic years with solar years. I know this, The 69 weeks, which is 483 years will not have any overlapping periods or missing time involved in them. God is the one that keeps the record of when the sun comes up and sets, which makes another 24 hour day. Since our calendar is out of balance and it takes 365 1/4 days of the sun rising and setting to make one solar year, God is the one watching over this time factor; and HE is going to see to it that the Messiah that is the be cut off here, at the end of the 69th week, is going to be born precisely at a fixed time in the B.C. period, so it works out perfectly. On earth, during His life span, He grew up and fulfilled all the prophecies that were relative to His life span. When that 69th week had reached its terminating point, then every prophecy that was related to the crucifixion of Christ went into effect. It did not make a bit of difference how much mortal mankind has messed up the calendars they were marking time by: God has His own calendar. God does not mess up His records. That is the conclusion I had to come to, in order to look at this whole thing correctly. God does not mess up His records; and God is not going to have written in His word, that at the end of this 62 week period, which is actually the end of the first 69th weeks of the total prophecy, the Messiah shall be cut off, and then set back and play around with overlapping years and let 3 or 4 extra years somehow get in and stretch the time. Neither is He a God that would get disgusted and say, I am going to cut it short. He did none of that. He knew exactly what He was doing. Therefore I had to come to a conclusion, as to what year Christ was actually crucified. That is why I am thankful to God that I have two things I can read to you. I am going to let the Jewish history speak for itself. I have a little more confidence in them than some of these Gentile church historians; because we cannot get our calendar straightened up from here, going back 2000 years. Let me read to you from this Jewish history. This book came from England. A sister in the Church gave this to me years ago. It is a little history book that covers the chronology of the order of the priest, all the way from 400 B.C. right to the crucifixion of Christ and the fall of Jerusalem. I am reading from page 56. “It was in this period of time in the New Testament occurred Joshua, called Jesus, son of Joseph of Nazarreth, became noted as a teacher of Asene doctrines. (Well that is what the Jews would say.) He was accused of blasphemy before Pilot and was condemned and put to death by the Romans in the Jewish year 3801, or the Christian era 33 C.E.” Did you get that, 33 C.E.? Several years ago when we were privileged to drive out to Califormia, as we were coming back through Tulsa, Oklahoma, I got a paper one evening and took it into the motel to read. The article that interested me was about two British scientists using up to date technology. “The exact date of Jesus Christ crucifixion has been debated for centuries. (I will agree with that.) Two British scientists say they have concluded with reasonable certainty that Christ died on Friday April 3rd in the year 33. Colin J. Humphries and W.G. Waddington, both of Oxford University said in an article published today in the British magazine, Nature. They based their conclusions on astronomical calculations and Biblical and historical references. Humphries works at Oxford department of metallurgy and science of materials and Waddington works at the department of astrophysics. The scientists said they were able to reconstruct the Jewish calendar at the time and to the date a lunar eclipse that the Bible and other historical sources suggests followed the crucifixion.”