What Is The Most Holy Place Part 2
Posted by Job on October 28, 2008
A lot of very good responses were to the effect that the most holy place is the new temple, the believer. That would conform to the teachings of the book of Hebrews. However, are we speaking of individual believers or of a collection of believers as a whole? Some Christian scholars have created works such as Robinson’s “Corporate Personality in Ancient Israel”, Klein’s “The New Chosen People: A Corporate View of Election”, Best’s “One Body in Christ”, Shedd’s “Main in Community” and Malina’s “The New Testament World” (among others) which assert that the temple that God’s spirit now dwells in is the corporate body of Christ. That we are one body of Christ that together constitutes one temple, not little individual temples. (From that viewpoint, which is very spiritual, as opposed to the naturalist concept that the Holy Spirit dwells in a manmade institution i.e. the the Roman Catholic Church, makes the doctrine of the indwelling Holy Spirit easier to grasp. Or at least it does for me.)
Now if this is the case, then does the abomination of desolation refer to the apostasia, the falling away of 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4? “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
If so, then this is a very difficult thing for me to get my mind around indeed. It is actually easier for me to conceive of the anti-Christ entering a rebuilt Jewish temple! But the best that I can come up with at this time is A) the great apostasy occurs, resulting in a false church of people who are only Christian externally and B) then the anti – Christ comes onto the scene “entering” or taking advantage of such a church i.e. that described in Laodicea in the warnings of Revelation 2 and 3? The ending of the sacrifices then would refer to Christian worship stopping, again even if this worship was only superficial. Is it replaced by the worship of the anti – Christ, or the false religion that the anti – Christ and the false prophet will set up?
Also, it is fair to presume that even during this time a tiny number of believers will yet remain on the earth to represent the church during the great tribulation. The 144,000 perhaps? Now it is interesting, the Philadelphia church Jesus Christ states will be spared the hour of temptation. Rapture adherents seize upon that verse, Revelation 3:10. But they ignore that no such promise is given to the other churches! Quite the contrary, Jesus Christ explicitly stated that the Smyrna church WOULD suffer, and note that the Smyrna and Philadelphia churches were the only ones that Jesus Christ did not criticize. (By contrast, the Laodicea church was the only one that Jesus Christ did not praise!)
However, where Jesus Christ states that the Smyrna church was strong due at least in great part to their POVERTY, the Philadelphia church had only “a little strength” left, only that required to not deny the Name of Jesus Christ. “I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” So, how will the Philadelphia church escape tribulation? Rather than rapture (or going to some earthly place of refuge) the answer will likely be martyrdom, death. The Smyrna church will be left to endure the final purging, trying etc. as representatives of the body of Jesus Christ before the mystery is completed, Jesus Christ returns, and the perfection takes place.
Please keep in mind that both the martyred Philadelphia church and the Smyrna church will have to endure their portion during that awful time as part of their duty as representatives of the entire church. It is interesting to note, also, that of all the apostles John was the only one to see a natural death. 1 out of 12, how do you like that ratio, and what does that mean for the church in terms of how many are Smyrnans versus how many are Philadelphians? And as for the number of Laodiceans that will be in the false church that Jesus Christ spits out of His mouth – apostasia or falling away – right before the beast waltzes in … well again I will leave that to speculation.
Please remember: the depiction of the Laodicean church in Revelation 3 is indeed one where its members are preoccupied with gaining wealth and political power and perceiving those things to be godliness in and of itself or evidence thereof. The Laodicean church is worldly, but not in the usual contemporary sense. It is not just a description of Christians that have forsaken sound doctrine and personal holiness. If anything, those less than perfect but not apostate Christians are described by at least 4 of the other 6 churches (and remember with the Philadelphians their sole attribute or for that matter sole characteristic seems to be their lack of flaws, a not insignificant thing to ponder … it is better to humbly merely lack flaws than to be great in this area while having flaws in another area). No, the Laodicean church is one that has intermingled itself with the harlot mystery Babylon the great, and has woven into its doctrines and practices a regard for and love of the power and wealth of the world. These aren’t Christians who simply like money and power (or other things of the flesh) but instead rather Christians that have made the love and pursuit of money and power part of their theology; given it an exalted position in their sanctuaries and pulpits.
Make no mistake, this power does include civil power. Military, economics and culture if you are on the right. Government, social welfare and civil rights if you are on the left. Either way, it is Babylon, and if you bring it into your church then your church is either Laodicean or well on its way there. If that is the case, then the place where the anti – Christ will enter in, declare himself as God and commit the abomination of desolation will not be in any Jewish temple, but rather in your own heart.