40 Comments

Temple Institute wants to Offer Biblical Passover Sacrifice


A quote and a question,

(IsraelNN.com) The Temple Mount Institute has filed suit in its fight for the right to sacrifice a sheep on the Temple Mount prior to Passover, as commanded in the Torah.

“The command to perform a Paschal [Passover] sacrifice is a positive commandment; the punishment for failing to perform it is ‘karet’ [lit. — ‘cut off…  (link)

I know a number of Christians personally, who have sent money to the Temple Mount Institute for years in support of their work. While I don’t have the link I do recall reading that Christians in the US contribute more money to the Institute then Israeli’s do.

My question is hypothetical at the moment for the Institute may not win this suit, but lets say they do win the right legally to sacrifice a sheep on the Temple Mount;  if not now, next year, or sometime in the future.

Will God see this as sin on the part of the Christians who have been financially supporting the organization…especially in light of it being common knowledge that resuming animal sacrifices was one of their goals?

40 comments on “Temple Institute wants to Offer Biblical Passover Sacrifice

  1. While I don’t have the link I do recall reading that Christians in the US contribute more money to the Institute then Israeli’s do.

    Don’t know, but would not be at all surprised. Per an Israeli citizen on one of the web boards I follow, you do not have to be remotely observant to be accounted a Jew, in the modern state of Israel. Secular, atheist, even pagan, count as long as there’s Jewish ancestry. I would bet, even, that US evangelicals of the dispensationalist persuasion outnumber all adherents of Judaism everywhere.

    Will God see this as sin on the part of the Christians who have been financially supporting the organization…especially in light of it being common knowledge that resuming animal sacrifices was one of their goals?

    Very good question, and I suspect so.
    Judaism is now, having rejected Christ, a false religion. There are important historical and spiritual ties with Christianity, granted, but we should not be taking our cues from them, or assisting the practice of a false religion.

  2. I find this horrifying and sacrilegious, was Christ’s precious spilled blood for naught? What a slap in the face…..

  3. I think I would be careful about linking past contributions to TMI with sin. A lot depends on the motivations of the individual doing the contributing. But, at this point it is a different story. CONTINUING to contribute to TMI now would be like contributing to a Mormon Church genealogy project or a Unification Church political moral action project. CONTINUING to contribute after this announcement would raise some major red flags. I think it is also important to note that this raises some interesting prophetic flags. There are some scriptures that seem to tie the Antichrist with the Temple in Jerusalem. While I think we need to be careful about how we deal with Bible prophecy, at times there are things that come around that just have that creepy factor on their peripheries. This is potentially one of those. Certainly NOTHING in scripture would seem to tie a resumption of Temple worship with Jewish spiritual revival. Instead everything seems to point in the other direction. The Lamb has already been sacrificed once and for all. The work of man can not and will not add to it a jot or a tittle.

  4. This is an excellent question. It’s probably legitimate to refer to Christian support of such actions (endeavoring to sacrifice a sheep as commanded under Mosaic Law) as sinful. To some degree, there is ignorance involved. That is, many Christians have blindly accepted the type of dispensationalist and Zionist theology taught by Christian leaders that would condone this. Still, God’s Word is very clear on this matter, for those who will search the Scriptures for themselves as Bereans, that Jesus offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice and therefore put an end to the need for any further sacrifices. He is the reality to which all types and shadows pointed. Hebrews 7-10 is crystal clear on this, as are other passages.

    Whatever one thinks of John Calvin, I believe he was correct when addressing this very matter, and he used an even stronger word than “sin.” Speaking of the sacrifices which continued in the Second Temple after Christ went to the cross, he called them “abominations.” The following quote from Calvin comes from his commentary on Daniel 9, particularly the phrase “wing of abominations” in Daniel 9:27–

    “I have no hesitation in referring this language of the angel to that profanation of the Temple which happened after the manifestation of Christ, when sacrifices ceased, and the shadows of the law were abolished. From the time, therefore, at which the sacrifice really ceased to be offered; this refers to the period at which Christ by his advent should abolish the shadows of the law, thus making all offering of sacrifices to God totally valueless… God’s wrath followed the profanation of the Temple. The Jews never anticipated the final cessation of their ceremonies, and always boasted in their peculiar external worship, and unless God had openly demonstrated it before their eyes, they would never have renounced their sacrifices and rites as mere shadowy representations. Hence Jerusalem and their Temple were exposed to the vengeance of the Gentiles.”

    Source: http://www.preteristarchive.com/StudyArchive/c/calvin-john.html

    Calvin’s reference was to the period between 30 AD – 70 AD, before the Second Temple fell, but the same is just as true now. The work of the cross is just as finished now as it was then. The attempted act of offering a sacrifice now is just as much an abomination now, and is an insult to and rejection of Jesus and His work on the cross. Therefore, Christians who support this act are sadly making themselves accomplices of this blasphemy. Supporting the proposed rebuilding of the temple has implications for believers as well, since it was God who acted in judgment to bring about the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. The true and solitary temple now is the body of Christ (I Cor. 3:16, 6:19; II Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:11-22).

    PJ, I did a quick search and found a quote that substantiates what you said about US Christians contributing more to the temple rebuilding project than Israelis have. At the following link, Yehuda Glick, the executive director of the Temple Institute, says this:

    “Since its foundation, the Temple Institute has become a fixture for Americans on evangelical tours of Israel. Thanks largely to their donations, the Temple Institute has so far spent $US27 million ($A29 million) on preparations.

    ‘We started with $US100,’ says Mr Glick. ‘There are 70 million evangelical Christians around the world, and most of them have become Israel’s strongest supporters.'”

    Source: http://www.theage.com.au/world/faithful-funds-help-museum-prepare-for-the-end-20091113-iert.html

    P.S. Lee N. Field, how are you able to enhance your comments with italics and offset quotes? I believe you’re right in noting that Judaism has historical significance, but that it is today (and since the cross) a false religion that is not to receive support from followers of Christ.

    • Since its foundation, the Temple Institute has become a fixture for Americans on evangelical tours of Israel. Thanks largely to their donations, the Temple Institute has so far spent $US27 million ($A29 million) on preparations.

      Thanks for locating a source Adam.And thank u also for the Calvin quote.

      Though im not what is known as a Calvinist, i too agree (with him) in referring to it as an abomination.

      While the Jews (lost Jews) do this in ignorance, evangelicals have no such excuse. So knowing better, it would be sin..

    • P.S. Lee N. Field, how are you able to enhance your comments with italics and offset quotes?

      Using the “blockquote” and “i” HTML tags. Linkys point to some info on how to use them. Not all blogging software let’s you use many html tags, unfortunately.

      I believe you’re right in noting that Judaism has historical significance, but that it is today (and since the cross) a false religion that is not to receive support from followers of Christ.

      Bad eschatology has consequences. See, for instance, here, here and especially here.

    • PJ, you’re welcome for the source and also the Calvin quote. I’m not a Calvinist either, but recognize that many of Calvin’s teachings on various matters (such as this one) are valuable.

      You’re right that Evangelicals have no legitimate claim to ignorance on this matter. I was too gracious. Christian support for these actions is not probably sin, it’s definitely sin.

      Lee N. Field, thanks for pointing me to some sources on how to use HTML tags. That was helpful. I tested it out on my own blog and seemed to have figured it out. If so, then the word “probably” in the above paragraph should be italicized, and the word “definitely” should be in bold.

  5. At the very least, it can viewed as a lack of discernment,As for the question as to whether it is sin, well, all sin will be forgiven if one repents and seeks forgiveness.I think the question here is why would any one contribute to something that is blatently abominable.Christ made that sacrifice once for all time, is this so difficult to comprehend?

    • Ray, its tied into ones beliefs concerning eschatology. But you’re correct, it shouldn’t be difficult to understand, but regrettably it is for many Christians.

    • Hi Joseph!

      I read and posted something on the Noahides awhile back, after coming across an announcement concerning a conference:

      https://pjmiller.wordpress.com/2008/04/04/noahide-nations-world-conference/#more-1201

      I’m thankful for the links you provided to your blog–i’d like to read more on the subject. 🙂

      While visiting your blog i read the about page.

      The Rosh Pina Project is an online meeting place for Messianic Jews and all those who believe that Messianic Jews deserve fair treatment in Israel and the Diaspora, and protection as a religious minority in Israel. Yeze and Gever, both affiliated with Messianic Jewish fellowships, are currently the main contributors to this site. The Rosh Pina Project will be highlighting the persecution of Messianic Jews in Israel, unfair treatment of Messianic Jews in the mainstream media, and post cultural and political reviews.

      God bless you (all) in your work. I’ve attempted to post stories concerning the unfair treatment of Messianic Jews inside Israel for the last 3 years. I’ll be checking in regularly at your blog now, for the latest news..

    • Thanks PJ! It’s a delicate one for sure, we’re trying to be honest and fair but at the same time compassionate to those who persecute us.

      Here’s our Noahide category:
      http://roshpinaproject.wordpress.com/?s=noahide

      Judaism isn’t, on the whole, a missionary faith in that it actively seeks converts to Judaism, but with the Noahides it’s a different story.

      The thing is for the Noahide evangelists that the only thing preventing Christians from being Noahides is belief in Jesus, so they actively seek to dissuade Christians from this one topic to make them Bnei Noach, and in their eyes, to abandon “idolatry”.

  6. As having come out of the Hebrew Roots Movement three years ago this Passover, I can tell you that there is a HUGE but quiet movement in the U.S. of Christians going back to their “roots” and seeing no problem with this. We knew HRM followers who were sacrificing animals at Passover here in the States, practicing for when the Temple would be rebuilt and they would be finally allowed to make Aliyah. These are GENTILES.. who claim to believe Jesus is the Messiah!!! Many lust to live in Israel so badly they finally just give up their Messiah, convert to Judaism so they will be allowed to immigrate. Since leaving, every church we have been in we have seen individuals being pulled into this movement and keeping the feasts of Israel, or have close friends or family who have become strictly Torah Observant. These deceived people think they are going back to the pure form of faith, but are instead falling for the antichrist spirit of Judaism. I love the Jewish people, but I believe one mother lode of a deception is going on in this area at the moment. We praise God for our deliverance and are trying to warn others, but so few people realize the urgency.

    • We knew HRM followers who were sacrificing animals at Passover here in the States, practicing for when the Temple would be rebuilt and they would be finally allowed to make Aliyah. These are GENTILES.. who claim to believe Jesus is the Messiah!!!

      Good grief!!!! That is something i didn’t know–thank you for bringing it to our attention.

      Many lust to live in Israel so badly they finally just give up their Messiah, convert to Judaism so they will be allowed to immigrate.

      Yes, amen. While i won’t go into detail, having posted on it in full in the past,there was one well known Christian author who did just that–became so deeply involved she renounced Jesus as Messiah, changed her name and relocated her entire family to Israel, while she studied with a Rabi.

    • Since leaving, every church we have been in we have seen individuals being pulled into this movement and keeping the feasts of Israel

      Just for giggles, see this, from “Elijah List”. (I was there when a Sunday School teacher at our church taught this, straight out of the Elijah list post. It rattled me badly. I brought it to an elder, and fortunately it was dealt with. But nobody else seemed to notice.)

      or have close friends or family who have become strictly Torah Observant.

      “Oh Really?”, would be my response. What would St. Paul have to say about that?

    • 8thday4life,

      Praise God that He has delivered you from this movement. My heart skipped a beat when I read your testimony, for I immediately thought of my aunt and uncle. I don’t know that they are sacrificing animals, but they do celebrate Passover and the other feasts and they attend a Messianic Jewish synagogue. They don’t have a drop of Jewish blood in them (ethnically speaking), but on their Facebook profiles they refer to themselves as “Messianic Jews.” They observe Sabbath from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday, and meticulously observe the Jewish diet.

      My uncle grew up in the Church of the Brethren (I’m not sure about my aunt), they later attended the Pentecostal church where my parents still attend (in Ohio), and then some years ago made the switch to the synagogue where they are now. I attended there with them once, and did enjoy the service except for the bashing of the Palestinian people. In April 2009 my parents went on a trip to Israel. Last July when I visited Ohio for a week, my mom showed me their pictures from the trip. My aunt was there to see the pictures as well. I remember her gushing over how much she wishes she lived in Israel, and how she said that she and my uncle might make the move one day. I didn’t realize one had to convert to Judaism in order to be allowed to immigrate. I pray that they’re not contemplating doing this! They’re just one small step away from making this tragic error, and I grieve for them.

      Some of the teachings at the Pentecostal church where my family attends were/are a natural bridge for my aunt and uncle to hop over to the synagogue. The Associate Pastor seems to be unable to preach a single sermon without centering it upon the nation of Israel. When my parents and others followed her on that tour to Israel last spring, every one of them were baptized in the Jordan River. I was shocked to hear that, especially when my dad spoke of the experience as if the river itself had atoning qualities. I used to think that the Associate Pastor was an ethnic Jew, because of her strong bent toward everything Jewish, but later realized that she is merely obsessed with the subject.

      What you said is so true. Folks in this movement are not returning to a pure form of the faith, “but are instead falling for the antichrist spirit of Judaism.” May God deliver many more from this deadly deception, just as He has done for you.

    • “in the past,there was one well known Christian author who did just that–became so deeply involved she renounced Jesus as Messiah, changed her name and relocated her entire family to Israel, while she studied with a Rabi.”

      We have been profiling such cases over at RPP, here is an ex-Pentecostal pastor and missionary who converted to Judaism and is now a supporter of one of the most radical of the anti-missionary groups in Israel.

      http://roshpinaproject.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/introducing-gavriel-areyeh-sanders-from-missionary-to-yad-lachim-spokesman/

  7. I at times wonder if Cain was upset and hurt when God rejected the offering. It troubles me knowing many who profess Christ blindly follow the blind. We know Cain’s heart was religiously obligated to the offering; yet his brother’s heart apparently knew God’s heart. Like many today who profess Jesus their heart is set on some obligation toward the offering, but not asking, or seeking God on the matter.

    … always so very cautious to call sin what it is… sin.

    Seriously doesn’t make me feel good to know more people professing Jesus will encourage such sin rather than to remind the person of the consequence of such sin.

    I want to be reminded, and when I am I feel like the person really cares about my soul, but when they try to smooth things over it only makes me wonder… what will they give in exchange for Christ.

  8. The Jews sacrificing is not a sin, and as Christians we should not hinder their rights to do so(In thought or deed). Israel belongs to the people of God, and those who who disagree whether they be professing Christians or non-Christian should understand the historical and biblical significance of this desire to sacrifice. God knows the heart of man, don’t hedge yourself in on such foolish issues. Let the Jews worship, there is no crime in that raised against Christ. By the measure you judge you will be judged, and we all fall desperately short of the mark. The Jews are still God’s chosen people.

    • After Jesus came, died and rose again, bringing in the new covenant,God’s chosen people are they who accept Him as Lord and Savior:

      “For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people'” acts 3:22,23

      The election is no longer based on physical lineage, but on one’s relationship with the Christ: “He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” rev. 17:14

      We are part of God’s chosen people only if we are in Christ and remain in Him.

  9. The whole Temple issue is quite a curious issue. In the latter chapters of Ezekiel, in the time of the millenium, there very clearly is a Temple – a huge one at that. There are animal sacrifices, offerings etc. and the Messiah is there – Jesus. I was absolutely gobsmacked to read this. My automatic understanding was this was all done away with with the sacrifice of Jesus.

    Pondering and asking the Lord what is the meaning of this, I came to realise that when Jesus returns, faith will no longer be required. Afterall He is amongst the people in real time, faith is no longer the big issue, like it is now. We in this era before Jesus Christ returns have the most amazing privelege of being children of faith – as He said to Thomas the Disciple, ‘blessed is he who has not seen, but believes’. Our faith, to God Himself, is much more precious than gold tried in the fire. What a unique body of believers we are in this day, in this time.

    Why the animal sacrifices in the new Temple when Jesus returns – beats me….will have to wait and see, hey 🙂

    • Shoshana,

      I encourage (actually, urge) you to stick with your “automatic understanding” that animal sacrifices, offerings, etc. were indeed “all done away with with the sacrifice of Jesus.” I very much agree with George Mitchell’s response to you (below). As he said,

      If the “millenial” references in scripture are actually symbolic of the church age as historic amillenial doctrine teaches, that changes the whole picture.

      By the way, George, I didn’t know about the First Council of Constantinople’s rejection of chiliasm in 381 AD, but I have learned recently some details about the early church’s rejection of this school of thought. Have you seen this article before? The title is “Why the Early Church Finally Rejected Premillennialism” by Dr. Charles E. Hill (1999). He made some strong statements for sure, but I found it to be quite enlightening.

      Shoshana, a couple of years ago PJ created a very good post on this same subject (the idea of renewed animal sacrifices in a future Millennial period). It’s based on a book excerpt by Kim Riddlebarger, an amillennialist, and I would encourage you (and anyone else) to have a look at it:

      https://pjmiller.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/a-return-to-types-and-shadows-in-the-millennial-age/

      A couple weeks ago I shared my own thoughts on both articles (Riddlebarger’s and Hill’s) in this post here.

  10. Me :

    The Jews sacrificing is not a sin, and as Christians we should not hinder their rights to do so(In thought or deed). Israel belongs to the people of God, and those who who disagree whether they be professing Christians or non-Christian should understand the historical and biblical significance of this desire to sacrifice. God knows the heart of man, don’t hedge yourself in on such foolish issues. Let the Jews worship, there is no crime in that raised against Christ. By the measure you judge you will be judged, and we all fall desperately short of the mark. The Jews are still God’s chosen people.

    Wow! Dispensationalism rears its ugly head! Leave the Jews alone. They have their own deal with God. Apparently Paul got it wrong

    Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Romans 10:1-4

    Christ is the end of the law for ALL – not just for some – not just for gentiles – for all – both Jew and gentile.

    All their attempts at righteousness via animal sacrifice is an abomination to God and it is high time we stop enabling them in this fantasy and tell them that the only acceptable sacrifice was Christ in the cross 2,000 years agao

  11. What this all boils down to is that Christ either is or He isn’t. If He is, then we should be focused on Him and not on the nation of Israel. Its that simple. Most Christians have cut themselves off from the ancient Christian church, convinced that it was apostate. Now many are looking for their “roots” in the truly apostate Jewish religion instead. How sad. But scripture says something about those unwilling to receive the truth being given over to a lie. With this, I repeat. I consider myself to be a friend of Israel. I have known both Jews and Muslims on a personal level and I care for people on both sides of the equation. But I am convinced that the Jews have a better case for being able to live peacefully in their homeland. And that their Muslim neighbors need to be willing to make room for them. AND they have every right to practice their religion, sacrifices and all as they choose. But biblically and historically, IF Christ IS the Messiah, their religion is apostate. If not, ours is. Its that simple. Since I believe that the Lord Jesus is the true Messiah, while I will show godly respect for their religious convictions, I will NOT bow down and worship at their alter. Those who do ARE choosing apostasy.

  12. Adam, it sounds like your family has succumbed. My guess is from what you have said, there may be alot they are not telling you. We knew what not to tell family because it sounded “too crazy”. Sacrificing animals was an extreme element, but it’s there. Our testimony is on my blog (google 8thdy4life) and there are links to some other blogs there on my resources tab for anyone dealing with these issues.

    I was especially grieved when we came out to learn of Palestinian Christians suffering very much in the area – and we were more concerned with patronizing unconverted Jews and sending them money for the Temple Mount and did not even think about the suffering of Christians there. Since then I have had the awesome privilege to help host a Palestinian pastor here through Voice of the Martyrs. I love all the people in that region – and can’t subscribe anymore to hate mongering on either side.

    • 8thday4life,

      Thanks for pointing me to your site. I was able to locate it, and did some perusing already. You have some excellent resources there. I subscribed to your RSS feed, and also read the short version of your beautiful testimony.

      You’re very correct about the suffering Palestinian (and Jewish, I’m sure) believers in Israel being “the odd ones out.” May God richly bless you in the ministry He has called you to.

  13. shoshana :

    The whole Temple issue is quite a curious issue. In the latter chapters of Ezekiel, in the time of the millenium, there very clearly is a Temple – a huge one at that. There are animal sacrifices, offerings etc. and the Messiah is there – Jesus. I was absolutely gobsmacked to read this. My automatic understanding was this was all done away with with the sacrifice of Jesus.

    EXCEPT, that understanding relies on a literal interpretation of this passage AND a belief in the millenium itself. Most of the early church fathers seem to understand BOTH this passage and the brief “millenium” passage in Revelation 20. Belief in a literal millenium was known in the early church as “chiliasm”. Chiliasm was rejected along with Arianism by the First Council of Constantinople in AD381 and the doctrine of the Trinity was clearly outlined for the first time. I think this whole mess regarding the church’s entanglement with Israel is based not only on dispensationalism, but also on problems with modern escatology that is fixated on an end of time timeline that is not clearly presented in scripture or the teaching of the early fathers, but is rather a rather recent innovation relying on conjecture are and subjective interpretation of scripture. If the “millenial” references in scripture are actually symbolic of the church age as historic amillenial doctrine teaches, that changes the whole picture.

    • Belief in a literal millenium was known in the early church as “chiliasm”. Chiliasm was rejected along with Arianism by the First Council of Constantinople in AD381 and the doctrine of the Trinity was clearly outlined for the first time.

      Charles Hill was mentioned above. Also worth looking at is his book Regnum Caelorum: Patterns of Millennial Thought in Early Christianity . It’s dry, and can be heavy going, but he documents well that there were both those that looked for a literal earthly millennium and those that did not, in the early church writers. Chiliasm in the early church was associated with beliefs regarding the intermediate state that we would find unusual (believers go to Hades, the good part, to wait for the resurrection).

    • Chuck,

      Good reference. I was also made aware of this book by Hill a little while ago, and received it in the mail not too long ago. It does look to be very thorough and well-documented. I’m very much looking forward to reading it once I get the time.

  14. 8thday4life :

    I was especially grieved when we came out to learn of Palestinian Christians suffering very much in the area – and we were more concerned with patronizing unconverted Jews and sending them money for the Temple Mount and did not even think about the suffering of Christians there.

    Without a doubt the Palestinian Christians are the ultimate victims in this struggle. Neither the Israelis or the Islamists care anything about them other than how they can be used to further their specific agendas. They are non-combatants in the middle of a never ending battle zone.

  15. Hello everyone. This has been a most interesting blog to follow. Certainly, I believe that Jesus was and is the final sacrifice, having sacrificed Himself once for all time (Heb 10:12). But ti seems like everyone is missing one issue when it comes to the Jews reinstituting the sacrifice. There were 70 ‘sevens’ declared for Israel. Jesus was cut off at the end of the 69th. There is still one more ‘seven’ for in which God will complete his purposes for Israel (Daniel 9:24). And at the end of this seven, their eyes will be opened, and they will see Him whom they pierced and will mourn bitterly (Zech 12:10). This clearly speaks of Armageddon, taking place at the end of the 3 ½ yrs of tribulation.

    1 “On that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the residents of Jerusalem, [to wash away] sin and impurity. Zech 13:1 (HCSB)

    26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Liberator will come from Zion; He will turn away godlessness from Jacob. 27 And this will be My covenant with them, when I take away their sins. Romans 11:26-27 (HCSB)

    So, while the sacrifice the Jews offer no longer has any substitutionary merit in the eyes of Yahweh, because it was fulfilled in Christ, Yahweh’s purposes with Israel under the first covenant are not finished. Now I’m not teaching a dual-covenant theology here. Like said above, the sacrifices point to their fulfillment in Christ, but it seems to fit God’s purposes to reinstate this last seven, to establish the millennial reign of Christ at the end of the final ‘seven.’

    What’s interesting is that Zechariah indicates that during the millennial reign, all the nations will participate in sacrificing in the Festival of Booths, I assume as a memorial to the Lord.

  16. I was thinking on this question a little more and a verse from a passage in Romans 11 came to mind,
    Romans 11:7
    What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking.The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,
    God gave them a spirit of stupor,
    eyes that would not see
    and ears that would not hear,
    down to this very day.

    This blindness was a form of judgement from God on national Israel, as witnessed by many accounts in the gospels of those who were unable to recognise Christ as the messiah.In a way, thinking this through methodicly, any one who associates themselves with those who are ” blinded” are in reality blinded themselves and are placing themselves in grave danger of the same sort of judgement.I am of the opinion that more than ever , the study of doctrine is paramount, how many well intentioned people are going to perish simply for failing to understand the word of God.

    • In a way, thinking this through methodicly, any one who associates themselves with those who are ” blinded” are in reality blinded themselves and are placing themselves in grave danger of the same sort of judgement.

      That’s an excellent point ray. (thanks!)

  17. chuck bridgeland :

    Charles Hill was mentioned above. Also worth looking at is his book Regnum Caelorum: Patterns of Millennial Thought in Early Christianity . It’s dry, and can be heavy going, but he documents well that there were both those that looked for a literal earthly millennium and those that did not, in the early church writers. Chiliasm in the early church was associated with beliefs regarding the intermediate state that we would find unusual (believers go to Hades, the good part, to wait for the resurrection).

    For a concise definition of chiliasm see: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/chiliasm

  18. Adam Minneapolis :

    By the way, George, I didn’t know about the First Council of Constantinople’s rejection of chiliasm in 381 AD, but I have learned recently some details about the early church’s rejection of this school of thought. Have you seen this article before? The title is “Why the Early Church Finally Rejected Premillennialism” by Dr. Charles E. Hill (1999). He made some strong statements for sure, but I found it to be quite enlightening.

    Adam, You might want to check this: http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/end/chiliasm.shtml

    It contains some interesting history and arguments.

  19. Here is another interesting chiliasm link:

    http://www.the-highway.com/chiliasm_Masselink.html

    • George,

      Thanks so much for these links RE: chiliasm (the ancient form of premillennialism). I especially appreciated the article titled “The History of Chiliasm” by William Masselink. What an excellent analysis. As a teaser for others who might be interested, this is a brief excerpt from his article (written in 1930):

      Premillennialism is a descent of ancient Judaism. There is a striking resemblance between the off-spring and the parent. The old Jewish conceptions of an external Messianic kingdom have found their perfect embodiment in the Chiliastic theory of the millennium. Premillennialism is a relic of Judaism. Dr. Hodge says of this, “It is a Jewish doctrine. The principles adopted by its advocates in the interpretation of prophecy are the same as have been adopted by the Jews in the time of Christ; and have led substantially to the same conclusions. The Jews expected that when the Messiah came He would establish a glorious earthly kingdom at Jerusalem; that those who had died in the faith should be raised from the dead to share the Messianic reign; that all nations and peoples on the face of the earth should be subject to them; and that any nation that would not serve them should be destroyed. All the riches and honors of the world were to be at their disposal… This relic of Judaism was still in the subconscious mind of the followers of Jesus before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It touches our hearts with pain to think that this Judaistic expectation which was repeatedly corrected and even severely rebuked by our Master, should again thrive within the present day Christian church.

  20. True believers in Jesus Christ know that any worship outside of our Savior cannot redeem them. Besides, the Bible clearly indicates that the modern nation of Israel is NOT true Israel. Therefore, while one may consider their effort in support of the modern nation of Israel a scriptural demand, the truth is that only those whom have Jesus Christ in their heart are the Israel of God.
    But what may surprise some is the fact that the modern nation of Israel is the horse that the anti-Christ will ride to the throne. When the devil said in Isaiah 14 that he would ascend into heaven and exalt his throne above the stars of God this was not an idle thought but a challenge that he will attempt. He has no other options. He is defeated and knows it and the only out for him is to try and overcome his Judge.
    Lucifer also said that he would sit upon the mount of the congregation, also known as the Temple Mount (Psalm 74:2), in the sides of the north (where the throne of the great King is placed (Psalm 48:2). Therefore, the devil plans to be worshiped like God through his false Christ in Zion.
    Paul the Apostle agrees in 2 Thessalonians 2: 4 that the anti-Christ would sit in the temple of God, showing himself as God. Jesus Christ said that the abomination spoken of by Daniel the prophet would be in the secret chambers (Matthew 24: 26) and Daniel said that the anti-Christ would take away the daily sacrifice (Daniel 8: 9-12). One cannot sit upon a throne, be worshiped as a God or stop the daily sacrifices unless a temple exists, sacrifices are given and the people worship him because they think he is their king.
    Hence the question, is the temple described in Ezekiel 40-48 the very temple where the anti-Christ will demand worship, or as it is written in Ezekiel 43:2-7 will this temple be the dwelling place of God? As the source for truth, the Bible says in verse 7 that God will dwell there as the ‘Glory of the Lord’ Jesus Christ. But, in verses 8 & 9 God said that He had consumed them for their abominations because they have defiled His holy Name.
    Then in chapter 44: 2 Ezekiel confirms that Jesus Christ will dwell in this temple and again in verses 6-9 God reminds the prophet that His nation had brought in strangers and polluted His sanctuary. This is why Ezekiel says in 43:2 that he was reminded of the vision he had by the river Che-bar in which God punishes the nation of Israel (chapters 1-7). Therefore, this suggests that Jesus Christ will come and cleanse this temple because it has been defiled and polluted by abominations. The prophet Daniel also said in 8:13-14 that the temple would be cleansed after 2300 days in reference to the anti-Christ who had caused the sacrifices to cease.
    Hence the next question, since Jesus Christ is the only pure sacrifice for the atonement of sin, why would God institute the old ordinances to be practiced once again, especially since Jesus Christ dwells in the temple? Zechariah 14 very bluntly provides an answer to this question in verses 9-12 when Christ returns and cleanses the temple. Then in verses 16-21 the prophet says that ‘everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem’ shall go to worship the King.
    In other words, those that survive Armageddon will be required to go once a year to worship the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But if they don’t go, then there will be no rain. Note that verse 18 calls these survivors the heathen and that in verse 21 those that do go will ‘seethe therein’. The archaic word for seething means to boil in reference to the pots and bowels before the altar.
    However, the context in relation to the heathen that survived would indicate that the modern meaning of to ‘seethe therein’ would mean to be violently agitated. If one has survived the battle of Armageddon as a heathen, then the requirement to come to the temple each year to worship the King would certainly agitate or irritate that sinner whom has no chance for salvation because they either accepted the ant-Christ and his mark, or have rejected Jesus Christ.
    During the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ those that survived as indicated in Zechariah will produce off-spring that also will be required to come and worship Jesus Christ, and of those that do with a repentant heart and keep God’s commandments will receive an inheritance (Ezekiel 47:22-23). But, those whom do not come with a good heart shall eventually be led by the devil when he is loosed from the pit at the end of the one thousand year reign of Jesus Christ at the final battle before Judgment Day.
    It is extremely important to note that the devil and his false Christ will try to duplicate this vision through false teaching and lead many to erroneously believe that this new temple where the false Christ dwells is God with us. This is why scripture study should be conducted with the Spirit of God where these truths are preeminent above the thoughts and ideas of men no matter how old they are or how successful they appear.
    Many see the vision in an esoteric manner or believe that the events prophesied are historical please consider that the Arch-Angel Gabriel tells the prophet that the appointed time is for the end (Daniel 8:17 & 19) and that the anti-Christ will stand up against the Prince of Princes, but he shall be broken. Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 also states that this kingdom of the anti-Christ will be broken by Jesus Christ and given to His saints.
    Paul also says in 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9 that the anti-Christ whose power is the working of the devil will be revealed at the coming of Jesus Christ. If this is historical, there should be no doubt as to the identity of the beast. Further, in the Book of Revelations 19:11 to chapter 20: 6 the writer John confirms that the anti-Christ will take a stand against Jesus Christ but he and his false prophet will be cast into the Lake of fire when Jesus Christ returns to establish His kingdom rule.
    Therefore, rather than interpreting text, one would be wise to consider all text as the source of verification because there are many scriptures that all state that when Jesus Christ returns He will come to Jerusalem, destroy the beast and establish His rule in the land promised to Jacob.

  21. Haggai 1 (KJV):

    2 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying , This people say , The time is not come , the time that the LORD’S house should be built . 3 Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying , 4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? 5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 6 Ye have sown much , and bring in little; ye eat , but ye have not enough; ye drink , but ye are not filled with drink ; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes . 7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

    Could He be speaking to the “true Israel” today?

  22. There are two Jerusalems. The Antichrist will rule over the old one. The Lord of Glory will rule over the new. Those who look to an earthly Jerusalem, like the Jews, seek an earthly kingdom. Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, but of the world to come. The city we look forward to is this heavenly city. The city with true foundations whose builder and maker is the Lord. The eternal city of God. What the Antichrist will attempt will be but a cheap earthbound imitation.

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