I was really excited about what I'm going to speak about. I was so excited that I call Joe Baity. I called Joe because he is responsible for the news articles on the church website. I want to thank you, Joe, because I use those quite a bit. So thank you for all you post for us. After talking to Joe, I was still excited, so I called Clyde Finklea. I called Clyde because he is kind of a prophecy buff. And we talked for a while. I was still worked up after talking to him, so I called Charles Whittaker, because is very knowledgeable on the Bible in general, and we talked, but I was still excited. So then I called my nephew in California, who attends the United Church of God, and I worked him all up.
There are three things that are prophesied to come about before the return of Christ and before Christ will usher in the Millennium. We all know what they are; they are not a secret.
Deuteronomy 17:6 Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.
We all know that many, many people will lose their lives when the seals of Revelation are opened and the trumpet plagues are let loose upon mankind by God in the Tribulation, so there has to be two witnesses.
3) The daily sacrifices must be re-instituted.
Here is what I was excited about. The following is the newsletter that got me excited:
On December 10, 2018 [the letter says] on Monday morning, the last day of Hanukkah, a new altar, fit for the Temple, was dedicated outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.
What does Hanukkah have to do with the new altar and the daily sacrifices?
Following the Maccabees’ defeat of the Seleucid Greeks in the historical events of Hannuka, the Maccabean Jews cleansed and restored the Temple after Jerusalem was liberated, and built a new altar, since pigs had been slaughtered on the old altar by the Greeks.
—By Antiochus Epiphanes.This is the abomination of desolation found in Daniel 8 and 11. You'll find Antiochus Epiphanes to be a type or forerunner of the anti-Christ.
On the last day of Hanukkah - which literally means “dedication” - a new altar built in accordance with all the Jewish laws pertaining to the Temple vessels and infrastructure was unveiled . . . . The altar itself weighs some four-and-a-half tons, and the ramp another two tons.
The Jews involved in this had a practice sacrificial exercise, where the front legs of a sheep was burned on the altar.
Although the Passover and daily sacrifices do not require a full temple, they must be done on an altar built according to the requirements of Jewish law, and placed at the appropriate spot on the Temple Mount, believed to be several meters east of the Islamic Dome of the Rock shrine.
This new alter can be moved. It is portable. The question is, is this the altar that will really be used for the daily sacrifices and placed by Dome of the Rock? Maybe. I do not know, brethren. Maybe this is, maybe it is not.
In Daniel 11:31, it says,
Daniel 11:31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.
There is no temple mentioned here, only that they take away the daily sacrifices and place the abomination of desolation there. But in II Thessalonians 2:4, it says,
II Thessalonians 2:4 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.
So I do not know if the temple is needed or not; I probably need to do more study on this. But Charles Whitaker shed some light on this. He said that he did not think that the Jews had to do it all correctly, referring to the blood and what they would do with that blood, and with needing a temple. He just thought the sacrifices must be reinstated.
I do not know, but we could be a lot closer than we might think to the beginning of the Tribulation. This is just pure speculation on my part. But there is another piece to the puzzle, and it's found in Daniel 8:14:
Daniel 8:14 And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”
This verse is now history. This verse was filled by Antiochus Epiphanes, but the 2300 days is really 1150 days. What is being talked about in this first is the morning and evening sacrifices—two per day, for 1150 days total. Antiochus Epiphanes was a forerunner of what is still to come.
The second time the abomination of desolation takes place is mentioned in Daniel 12:11:
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.
So we know that the daily sacrifices will be stopped by the anti-Christ for 1290 days, or a little over 3 1/2 years, or during the tribulation—this is the time of the Tribulation, once they are stopped. The thinking is that the daily sacrifices will be instituted for 3 1/2 years, during the time God calls, "peace, peace, peace, when there is no peace," mentioned in Jeremiah 8:11 and in other places. And then the abomination of desolation will be taken away, and the Tribulation will start.
The building of the altar is not what got me excited, brethren. What got me excited was the fact that these Jews now living in Israel—some of them—are really serious about reinstating the daily sacrifices—restarting them. These Jews living in Israel today are doing their best to restart the sacrifices.
There is opposition to this by the Jewish authorities in Jerusalem. So when they really will begin, I do not know. But I have heard about the reinstituting of the daily sacrifices for about forty-nine years now, and now for the first time, there are some Jews that are serious about making this happen. The only hold-up is the Jewish government, because they do not want to go to war with the Muslims and upset them. But the Jews are absolutely serious about this. They built an altar that weighs 4 1/2 tons and it portable. They're not kidding around.
Brethren, God tells us to watch in a number of verses. I just picked out Mark 13:32-33:
Mark 13:32-33 But of that day and hour no one knows [talking about Christ's return], not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.
But we do know that three things must occur first before His return, and one of those things is the daily sacrifices. God does not tell us to watch so we can save our physical skin. He tells us to watch so that we, when we see prophecy starting to be fulfilled, we can prepare ourselves spiritually and draw close to Him.
I do not know if this altar is the one that is talked about in the end-time prophecy or not, but I do know that the Jews are serious about reinstituting the daily sacrifice. Don't you think that we, as God's people, should be excited by all this and have a real sense of urgency about making changes in our lives and becoming more Christ-like?
I'd like to also read out of Romans 13:11-12:.
Romans 13:11 Another reason for right living is this: You know how late it is. Time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of the Eternal is nearer now than when we first believed.
Richard apologized to us in one of his commentaries, for he said he thought the World War II generation would not pass away before the Tribulation. My dad fought in World War II; he was a Marine and he made three landings in the Pacific. He landed on Guam. Marcus, and Taipan Island. My dad died sixteen years ago. His younger brother also fought in World War II. He was in the army. He made the Normandy landings in France. He is also dead; he died thirteen years ago.
So I know that Richard is right when he says that he was wrong in his speculation of the "Greatest Generation" not passing away, because that generation is just about all gone now. But I think Richard just might be in the ballpark, brethren, especially if the daily sacrifices are re-instituted in the next few years.
Now I will read verse 12:
Romans 13:12 The night is far gone. The day of his return will soon be here.
I think we all need to be watching where things go with this altar and the daily sacrifices, and I really think we should be working on ourselves and trying to become a Christ-like is possible.