Three thousand years ago the greatest human fortune ever amassed on Earth was passed on from father to son. Please turn with me to I Chronicles 22.
King David in 970BC gave Solomon 1 million talents of silver (that means somewhere between 60 and 100 million pounds of silver, or 30 to 50 thousand tons of silver, worth 14.4 to 24 billion dollars today at recent market closes of about $15/ounce).
David also gave Solomon 100 thousand talents of gold (that is between 6 and 10 million pounds of gold, or 3-5 thousand tons of gold, worth between 90-150 billion dollars today at $950/ounce).
Just to help put this into perspective for us living in 2009, David had 1 million more pounds of gold, than is in Fort Knox, the largest gold holdings, of the wealthiest country ever in history, the USA.
Another piece would help and that is David held the equivalent of more than half of all the wealth of the world. Today’s world is worth about $250 trillion dollars, so in terms of 2009, David had an equivalent of 125 trillion dollars of wealth.
The First temple: Giving All to God
And what did the richest man in the world do with all that? He gave it to the Lord for his son to use in building the First Temple.
So, from this incredibly vast inheritance, Solomon built a Temple (known as the First Temple). Join me reading about that amazing event as you open there with me to I Chronicles 22:14:
Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the LORD one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant. I have prepared timber and stone also, and you may add to them.
Then at the end of his life David made one more transfer, he called it his “special” treasure. Turn over to I Chronicles 29:2-5 and stand with me:
I Chronicles 29:2-5 Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance. 3 Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: 4 three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses; 5 the gold for things of gold and the silver for things of silver, and for all kinds of work to be done by the hands of craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the LORD?”
And look what David’s lavish gift prompted in v. 6, the people began to give lavishly to God.
Riches are very uncertain in life. Just 40 years later in 930BC Pharaoh Shishak came, sacked the city of Jerusalem, stripped away most of the gold from the First Temple, and took it back to Egypt. The dazzling treasures of King Tut’s tomb (though from an earlier era) remind us of the vast amount of gold surrounding the Land of Israel. In 586 BC Nebuchadnezzar took what was left of the gold and destroyed the First Temple completely.
In about 19BC King Herod the Great vastly expanded and lavishly adorned the Second Temple started by Zerrubbabel in 520BC. This Temple became a magnet for the wealth of the Jewish people so that by AD 70 it there was so much gold, that the Roman conquerors tore apart the Temple stone by stone the scrape off and recover the wealth.
But this evening we are looking at the Third Temple.
• The First Temple (three thousand years ago) was built by Solomon; and the
• Second Temple (two thousand years ago) enlarged and adorned by Herod are both gone, completely destroyed so almost no trace of them remains.
But Jesus , Daniel, Paul, and John all saw and described a fully functioning Temple in Jerusalem during the Tribulation period. There is also a Fourth Temple that is during the Millennium that Ezekiel describes at great length in Ezekiel 40-48.
Tonight, we look at the Third Temple as a part of our study of:
The Signs of The End of Days
As we read the newspapers and see how intense the hatred is of Israel by her enemies, even the continued existence of the Jews after centuries of dispersal and persecution unique in human history. Israel’s continued existence is a mute, but eloquent testimony, to fulfilled prophecy. The restoration of Israel as a nation among nations in our own generation is merely the most recent in a long line of fulfilled prophecies dealing with the Jewish people.
But now, this evening, the final sign and the staggering implications it has to us who read about this sign every day in the news. As I explain what God has told us, it should send a prophetic shiver up your spine. Everything God said would happen is happening right now.
Today’s news sounds like the prophets Daniel, Ezekiel, or Zechariah wrote it. And the headlines each day sound like the Apostle John is reading them from Patmos. Tonight we finish our look at the final sign.
Sign #10 is a time when the world’s entire attention will begin to revolve around Israel, the Nation made up of God’s Chosen People of Destiny :
We have already looked at the first four elements of this final sign which were:
The Global Hatred of God’s Chosen People the Jews of Israel; and the Global Return of the Wandering Jews to the Promised Land; and the Global Fixation upon the “status” of Jerusalem; and the Complete Encirclement of Israel by Mortal Enemies; and now:
Fifth, we see this sign in the fact that, during the Tribulation, four of the most trusted witnesses in the history of mankind say that they saw a Third Temple Built in Jerusalem.
Following a literal, historical, grammatical interpretation of Scripture, is known as a Dispensational Hermeneutic (or model of interpretation); and for end times prophecy or eschatology, the seven year Tribulation comes from the key passage in Daniel 9.
In this passage we see the timeline from Ezra and Nehemiah, to Christ’s on the Cross, to AD 70’s destruction of Jerusalem and then all the way to the final 7 years called the Tribulation.
So, what did Jesus, Daniel, Paul, and the Apostle John all have in common? Each of them saw a future Temple of God standing in Jerusalem at the end of earth’s days. Plans to rebuild the temple in Israel anticipated in many Scriptures.
• Daniel 9:24-27 “ Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. 25 “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks [69 of the 70]; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. 26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”
• Matthew 24:15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),
• II Thessalonians 2:1-
4 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
• Revelation 11:1-2 Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But leave out the court, which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.
So, all four of these very trustworthy witnesses, saw a place, a temple that is in use by Jews worshipping God in the Tribulation period. Which brings us to:
Sixth, and finally, we this sign in the fact that just before Christ’s Return God tells us that there are Temple Sacrifices Reinstituted in Israel.
Daniel was shown by God a time when the restored daily sacrifices are ended by the Antichrist. Therefore, the Jewish sacrificial system must have first been restored in the last days.
Did you know that today, in the city of Jerusalem there are scores, if not hundreds of Jewish people working day and night to try to get a Third Temple built, furnished, and operating. They are not believers, born-again, or Messianic Christians. They are ethnic Jews, much like Old Testament Jews we read about in the Bible. Zealous like Paul, but blinded mostly, to the truth of the Gospel.
Currently, the Temple Institute Organization has created all the temple furniture and vessels. There are also several hundred young Jewish men in training for the Levitical priesthood.
Daniel 9:27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”
Daniel 12:11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
How did all this start? One key event was 5 years ago in late 2004, the rise of a Jewish Sanhedrin after 2,000 years of absence has sent tingles up and down the backs of those who know God’s Word. Preparations by the Temple Institute are nearly complete.
Two remarkable developments took place recently, that are extremely relevant to students of Bible prophecy. For the first time in 1,600 years, the Israeli Sanhedrin was re-established. It occurred in Tiberius, the site of the Sanhedrin’s last meeting in AD 425. On Jan. 20, 2005 IsraelNN.com reported:
Revived Sanhedrin Discusses Temple
A unique ceremony – probably only the second of its kind in the past 1,600 years – is taking place in Tiberius today: The launching of a Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish-legal tribunal in the land of Israel.
The Sanhedrin, a religious assembly that convened in one of the Holy Temple chambers in Jerusalem [before AD 70], comprised 71 sages and existed during the Tannaitic period, from several decades before the Common Era until roughly 425 C.E.
Because there is a growing conviction among devout Jews that the Messiah promised in the Old Testament is coming soon, there was a need for an established religious body that could verify the Messiah. The convictions of Messiah’s coming have been growing since the birth of Israel as a nation, and the 1967 re-conquest of Jerusalem.
On Feb. 9, 2005, just a few weeks after the Sanhedrin’s re-establishment, in Tiberius, the devout Jewish sages began discussing how to build a Third Temple to God. But they knew that needed to follow what God revealed to Moses in His Word.
To build a Third Temple, the exact location of the First and Second had to be determined. Here is an article about that event:
Sanhedrin member Rabbi Yisrael Ariel is the most ardent believer that the Temple is to be rebuilt in this generation. He is the former Yeshiva head, founder of the Temple Institute, and one of the paratroopers who took part in the 1967 liberation of the Temple Mount.
The most difficult problem is to determine with certainty exactly where the previous Temple’s foundations are. The Sanhedrin determined that there are only two viable theories as to where the Temple stood. One teaches that the Temple stood on the same basic site on which the Muslim mosque known as the Dome of the Rock was built.
The second theory (which I am convinced is the most accurate) is that the Temple was built north of the Dome of the Rock. Dr. Asher Kaufman developed this theory, using certain archeological evidences that he found before the Muslim’s destroyed them. However, the most important archeological sign is the position of the Eastern Gate. According to ancient accounts of the Temple, its east-west centerline passed through the center of the Eastern Gate.
We have absolute evidence as to where the ancient Eastern Gate stood. I have viewed personally the remains of the ancient Eastern Gate, which is located under the modern Gate that was built on top of its ruins. The east-west centerline from the Eastern Gate.
“I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, ‘Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.'” (Revelation 11:1-2 NIV)
If you measure the distance from the centerline to the point where the wall of the inner court would stand. There was at least 6 meters clearance from the nearest points of the Dome of the Rock and the Temple inner-court wall. The Apostle John clearly predicts that “the outer court was not to be included in the rebuilt Temple, because it was given to the Gentiles.”
So what does all this mean? The Temple can be rebuilt and stand alongside the Dome of the Rock without disturbing it. And since the outer court, also known as the Court of the Gentiles, is given to the Gentiles in this period just before the Messiah comes, it infers that there would be a Gentile building there, i.e., the Dome of the Rock.
The fact that a re-established Sanhedrin is now considering the rebuilding of the Temple after 2,000 years is extremely important to students of Bible prophecy. I believe that we are very near the final climactic events that end with the Second Coming of Christ.
The Jews are The Final Sign
Satan the Dragon has a fixation on destroying the people of the Name (Rev. 12).
God has written history, and put on paper that He is going to save a remnant of Israel at their final and most desperate hour (Zechariah 12-14).
Satan can read. He knows the written down parts of the plan, and for the past 2600 years since that plan and other parts were revealed, he has intensified his efforts to thwart God.
Satan wants to Thwart God’s Plan
Actually none of those pogroms, holocausts, and massacres were the ideas of Haman, Roman Emperors, Hitler, or Muslim terrorists. All those murderous, extinction desires flow from the most evil one of all. Satan wants to disrupt God’s plan. He knows that God’s plan is centered on the Chosen Jewish people of Promise. If Satan can destroy them, he has won.
God’s plan is to bring back His Chosen People of Promise the Jews into the Land He gave them, and to see them come to faith, and then deliver them from the whole world under Satan’s sway, seeking to finally destroy them all.
And that is exactly what God’s Word explains to us, and that is what we clearly see happening over there in Jerusalem, as the world fretfully watches each day. The Scriptures as Jesus said, cannot be broken!
God’s promises to Israel brings us right back to where we started this evening with David’s investment in God’s plan. The First Temple was perhaps the single most costly human object ever made. But like the Second Temple it is gone, destroyed and all that gold is now re-distributed among the nations around the world.
So did David lose all that he saved and gave? Is there a way to gain treasures that we never lose? Remember what Jesus said? Turn back to Matthew 6:19-21:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Laying Up Treasures In Heaven
Probably every one of us in this room have heard the famous life’s motto that the great missionary Charles Thomas Studd (1860-1931) lived and died by–
“Only one life,
‘twill soon be past;
and only what’s done for Christ—
However, few of us realize when it was that he said those words. It was on his deathbed with his precious family gathered around him. He had already told each of his children that he wished he had something to give to them, but he had nothing left. Then he said, “..but I gave it all to Jesus long ago.”
When Avis B. Christiansen (1895-1985), the wife of the Vice President of Moody Bible Institute heard these precious words spoken by C.T. Studd at his death, she began to ponder them.
A few years later in 1937, she wrote a now famous hymn, “Only One Life to Offer”. Listen to her reflections that turned into a prayer of devotion to the Lord she also served with all her heart (hymn # 378):
Only one life to offer–
Jesus, my Lord and King;
Only one tongue to praise Thee
And of Thy mercy sing;
Only one heart’s devotion–
Savior, O may it be
Consecrated alone to Thy matchless glory,
Yielded fully to Thee.
Only this hour is mine, Lord–
May it be used for Thee;
May ev’ry passing moment
Count for eternity;
Souls all about are dying,
Dying in sin and shame;
Help me bring the message of Calv’ry’s redemption
In Thy glorious name.
Only one life to offer–
Take it, dear Lord, I pray;
Nothing from Thee withholding,
Thy will I now obey;
Thou who hast freely given
Thine all in all for me,
Claim this life for Thine own to be used, my Saviour,
Ev’ry moment for Thee.