Third Temple, Rapture & Gog/Magog
Commonly, it has been taught, by many Bible teachers and prophecy scholars, that three events will take place at or near the beginning of the final seven years, also known as the 70th Week:
There are many who believe that there will be a Third Temple standing in Jerusalem prior to the Messiah’s return, in which sacrifices and offerings will be ceased in the middle or midst of the 70th Week, in accordance with
In fact, a new altar in Jerusalem was dedicated, by the Jewish Sanhedrin, in December 2018:
Ritual in Jerusalem (R$E)
Also, in April 2019, a Passover sacrifice service took place in Jerusalem, where a lamb was sacrificed and burned:
It is exceedingly implausible that orthodox Jews would be able to construct a Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which is under Islamic control. One of the ultimate goals of radical Islam is the destruction of Jerusalem.
Most likely, then, if even one stone of a Jewish temple’s foundation were laid there, it would create a conflagration of controversy. Presumably, it would result in an immediate, violent backlash by Muslims against the Jews in Jerusalem and in Judea (usually called the West Bank).
Some, including Ernest Martin and Robert Cornuke, have attempted to show that Solomon’s and Herod’s temples stood at a location other than on the Temple Mount. If so, this would seem to leave room for the possibility that a Third Temple might be constructed somewhere besides on the Temple Mount. I remain unconvinced, though, that any temples in the past were located anywhere other than on the Temple Mount.
Some will point to Jesus’ reference to the “holy place”
Interestingly, there already is a shrine standing on the Temple Mount: the Islamic Dome of the Rock. Inside of it is located the Foundation Stone or the Noble Rock. On top of this stood the Holy of Holies or Most Holy Place
Although the Dome of the Rock certainly would not be considered by God to be a “holy” building, the spot on the Temple Mount upon which it stands still would be a holy place
Incidentally, we typically think of a “temple” as a building or edifice where God was or is worshiped. However, another definition of “temple” is a place or location dedicated to the service or worship of God. Thus, loosely speaking, the place on the Temple Mount where the Dome of the Rock now stands could still be considered to be a “temple” even if no structure stood there, since it originally was the place or location dedicated to the service and worship of the one, true God.
It would seem quite possible, then, that the abomination that causes desolation
Presently, the Temple Mount is under Islamic, rather than Jewish, control and management. The language in the following verse verifies that the area on the Temple Mount, which constituted the outer court of the temple long ago, will be under the control of Gentiles (non-Jews), who will trample Jerusalem for 42 months = 3˝ years:
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.Most likely, then, the next temple to stand in Jerusalem will be the millennial Temple, to be crafted by Yeshua/Jesus after He returns.
Besides believing that a Third Temple will be constructed at or near the beginning of the 70th Week, many also believe that a Rapture event will occur at that time. In their view, this is when believers in Jesus will be caught up and away into heaven. They believe that this will enable them to be protected from God’s wrath
I am absolutely convinced, however, that this perspective of the Rapture, known as the “Pre-tribulation” view, contains flaws. Firstly, the wrath of God will not be poured out during the entire 70th Week, which should not be equated with the Day of the Lord period. Secondly, the Rapture will not be a “silent, unexpected” event (see Rapture not unexpected). More information about the “Pre-tribulation” Rapture view can be found in the first few questions/responses of my Rapture Questions & Responses section. I feel certain that the Pre-wrath Rapture view is correct, as explained in my two-part commentary: The Rapture.
So although I do believe that a Rapture of multitudes of people will happen, I am confident that it will take place at some point during the final 3˝ years. In fact, I think it is very likely that it will take place on a Rosh HaShanah = Feast of Trumpets, soon after the opening of the Sixth Seal, about a year prior to Jesus’ return to earth on a Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement.
Furthermore, God’s wrath will not encompass the entire 70th Week. It is not until after the opening of the Sixth Seal, following a brief foreshadowing of God’s wrathful vengeance, that the terrified people of the world will realize that the onset of His wrath is imminent
It is believed, by many, that the hordes of Gog and Magog probably will attack Israel
For numerous reasons, I take issue with both of those views. Although I feel it is likely that the hordes of Gog will begin their attack on Israel sometime during the final 3˝ years, I am convinced that the final Gog/Magog bloodbath will take place on the day that Jesus returns and treads the winepress of God’s wrath, with the Battle of Armageddon occurring 30 days later.
Firstly, a direct comparison can be made between the following passages, initially when the Gog/Magog nations are attacking Jerusalem and then when Jesus returns to strike down the nations:
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.Secondly, a comparison can be seen between the birds and/or animals sent by God to feast on and eat the flesh of mighty men and other attackers who have been slaughtered. The first passage, in Ezekiel 39, shows what will happen to the Gog/Magog attackers after they are destroyed in a huge bloody mess like wine in a great winepress; and the remaining passages, in Revelation 19 and Revelation 14, shows what will happen when Jesus returns:
Call out to every kind of bird and all the wild animals: “Assemble and come together from all around to the sacrifice I am preparing for you, the great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. There you will eat flesh and drink blood. You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth.... At the sacrifice I am preparing for you, you will eat fat till you are glutted and drink blood till you are drunk. At my table you will eat your fill of horses and riders, mighty men and soldiers of every kind,” declares the Sovereign LORD.Many more details about the winepress of Gog/Magog and the Battle of Armageddon can be found in the Final Battles Questions & Responses section of my email responses page, as well as in my Final Battles commentary.