Keep Your Eyes on Jerusalem

Posted in Common Errors

At least two different Jewish organizations are preparing for the building of a new temple in Jerusalem. These groups have been busily preparing for construction by assembling building materials and temple implements. The rebuilding of the temple is also highly anticipated by many Messianic believers (Christians who recognize that Jesus is the Hebrew Messiah who intended to preserve the institutions that God gave to the Hebrews, rather than a generic Messiah who came to start a new religion called Christianity). Unfortunately, I believe that many Messianic teachers are making a fatal error in their interpretation of Scripture, which could end up with their congregations being eternally lost.

They start by giving a literal interpretation of Revelation 11:1-2, which speaks of measuring the temple of God. This verse bolsters their belief that a temple will be rebuilt, and that it will be of God. I believe this passage should be taken figuratively. We, the followers of Christ, are now the temple (1 Corinthians 3:16), so this refers to judgment (measuring) of God’s people.

This error is compounded by coupling an incorrect interpretation of five verses in Daniel (8:11, 8:12, 8:13, 11:31, and 12:11). These verses refer to the abomination of desolation, and say it is when the sacrifices (presumably at the yet-to-be-built temple) cease. The problem with this interpretation is that the five verses in Daniel don’t include the word sacrifice in the original Hebrew. You’ll see that the King James interpreters inserted it since “sacrifice” is italicized, which is what the KJV authors did every time they inserted words.

The Hebrew version says that the “tameed” (Strong’s 8548, translated throughout Scripture as continually, always, and daily) will cease. That didn’t seem to make sense, and translators apparently assumed it meant a daily sacrifice would cease, most likely because with many of the uses of this word, it is talking about some type of perpetual offering or sacrifice.

So, then, what does tameed (daily) really mean in these verses? How is the “continual” made to cease? Although this word appears more than 100 times in the Hebrew script, these are the only verses where it appears as a noun instead of an adjective. I believe that it refers to the one thing that is eternal: God’s power and authority. But then, how can that be taken away by the beast?

It isn’t the actual power of God that is taken away, but man’s proper worship of it when the beast usurps the throne and begins to receive worship that belongs to God. Revelation 13:12-15 and 14:9-11 both talk about worshipping the beast. So I believe what is taken away in the verses of Daniel, and thus brings on the abomination of desolation, is something that consists of the breaking of one of God’s laws as a form of worship to the beast. (Please refer to my prior article studying the meaning of the phrase abomination of desolation.) One possible scenario would be a law mandating Sunday worship. It breaks God’s Sabbath (4th Commandment) and transfers it to the day of the pagan sun god (as a form of worship). There could of course be other events which may fulfill the definition of an abomination which makes desolate – we just have to watch and see what happens.

My point here is that by thinking Daniel refers to stopping an actual sacrifice, people are setting themselves up for soul-losing deception. They believe that it is the antichrist who stops the sacrifices, and that we should therefore be in favor of the new temple and renewed sacrificial system. But this denies the fulfillment Jesus made once and for all for the need of a sacrificial lamb. I believe it is the antichrist that starts the sacrifices, and if a new temple is built in Jerusalem and sacrifices begin, we should interpret prophecy with an understanding that the person or power who begins the sacrifices is the antichrist or his agent.

We live in exciting times. The events which prophecy states will come to pass at the end of this world’s history sound very frightening. It will only be through the peace that passes all understanding that we will be able to keep our faith strong. Take heed that ye be not deceived.