We are continuing the question “Will believers offer sacrifices when they flee to Petra” during the latter half of the Birth-pains. There are many concepts that need to be brought here. We know that the blood is applied to the altar during the ceremony. One of the 11 steps calls for the blood to be “jerked” against the altar. Imagine thousands of offerings with the blood jerked against the white altar for six days (the altar was cleansed every Sabbath). The smell of the blood after a few days would really get your attention. What if you brought your child to the Temple for this for the first time. What would he learn? He would learn how to approach his King and what to say. He would learn never to turn his back on the Lord (the Holy of Holies). He would learn that he cannot sit or rest and he would see the blood-soaked altar. The smell after six days is noticeable, and this is a picture of the blood of six thousand years of sin, and how the altar would be cleansed on the seventh day. You would be barefooted in the courts which speaks of putting away paganism and walking with sensitivity to God. It gets much deeper than that, but the sacrifices instruct us (Hertz Siddur, p 61).
We know that believers in Yeshua continued to offer animal sacrifices until 70 AD. That flies in direct contradiction to “church” theology today. All the writers of the Gospels and Epistles offered them, so how can they teach in their writings that all of this was done away with? It is because they never taught it, it is not there. It is the false teaching of men that propagate this lie. There are no sacrifices today. Why? Because the people, the place and the other things associated with having a Temple are not ready. When the sacrifices are reinstituted on Rosh ha Shannah, year 6001 from creation, they will continue to about Nisan 10 at the middle of the Birth-pains. The entire nation became believers after Russia was defeated six months before on Tishri 10 (Yom Kippur) and offered sacrifices for those six months, until the false messiah stops them. Let’s review. We know from Acts 18, 21 and 24 that sacrifices were offered by believers until 70 AD and the destruction of the Temple. The Temple has not stood since, but sacrifices will start again on Rosh ha Shannah, year 6001, the first day of the last one thousand year period called the Day of the Lord. For three and a half years the nation offers sacrifices, and for the last sis months of that period the whole nation believes that Yeshua is the Messiah. The false messiah will stop the sacrifices at the mid-point of the Birth-pains, or Nisan 10 in the fourth year. The Jews flee into the wilderness, possibly with the Mishkan, and will offer sacrifices there. Once Yeshua returns on Yom Kippur, the offerings will continue and Ezekiel’s Temple (Ezek chapters 40 through 48) will be built where these offerings will be brought during the remaining years of the Messianic Kingdom (Isa 66; Zech 14).
The layout of Ezekiel’s Temple, also called the Messianic Temple, is different than Herod’s Temple. It will be built by Yeshua and its purpose is to instruct the survivors of the Birthpains and their children during the Day of the Lord. This will help them make a decision as to whether Yeshua is the Messiah or not. Why did God go from a tent (the Mishkan) to the massive Temple found in Ezekiel? The Temple is like a “university” and people go there to be instructed about the Lord. God has been expanding his revelation to us in stages. Like the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and it is certainly true here. The question is: “Do believers in Petra offer sacrifices?” Matt 23.37-39 was said between Nisan 10 through 13. It is possible that the Abomination of Desolation was prophesied in v 38-39. The “house” mentioned there is the Temple and it will be “desolate” (somem) around Nisan 10, mid-week of the Birthpains, because it is the day the false messiah will declare himself God and cause many to worship his image. Then the Jews will flee to the wilderness. He then says “Baruch haba B’shem Adonai” or “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” This is a wedding term used to greet the groom and a term used on Rosh ha Shannah. He uses this wedding term to say that they will see him again, on Rosh ha Shannah. He then goes into telling believers in Matt 24 what to do when they see the Abomination of Desolation. Forty years later to the very day he says this, the Romans come and surround the city (Luke 21.20-24). In Ezek chapters 8 through 10, the Shekinah (the dwelling presence of God) departs the Temple, and it was seen leaving. The Shekinah was the “cloud” that was over the Mishkan and the Temple. When the Jews flee to the wilderness in response to these words of Yeshua, the Shekinah will depart with them, leaving the Temple “desolate” again.
The word “zekor” means “remembrance” and this indicates that the fullness is not there yet, but you must have a remembrance. Many who do Passover know that the Passover plate is full of “remembrances” like the Beitzah (the egg) and the Zeroah (the shankbone of a lamb). These recall the second offering called the “chagigah” and the Passover lamb itself. In the Jewish Encyclopedia, there is an article on “Sacrifice.” It states that the Torah reveals that one proceeds with the idea that “whenever” and “wherever” the opportunity presented itself, a sacrifice was offered (see Gen 8.20, 31.54; Exo 24.4). No fixed place was selected (Exo 20.24) until there was a central sanctuary. But even then, offerings were done in many different places. This freedom to offer sacrifices at any place reoccurs in the eschatological visions of the later prophets. So, in other words, we see sacrifices in the latter days outside of the Temple, blessed by God (Israel Today, p156-158 on Ezek 40 through 48; Zeph 2.11; Mal 1.11; Zech 14.20-21; Isa 19.19-21). This confirms the thesis that the end is always a reproduction of the beginning (Ecc 1.9, 3.15; Isa 41.23; Rom 10.4). They offered outside of Jerusalem before and they will again. By the way, Ezekiels Temple is not in Jerusalem. If they have the Mishkan, it is the place where the Lord will “put his name” in order to bring the offerings there (Deut 12.11), but if it isn’t, they may still be able to do it because the Shekinah will be with them, and offerings were done in various places before there was a Temple. Based on this, we believe that it is possible that they will offer sacrifices in Sela (Petra-Isa 16.1).
Let’s move into what happens next. As the Jews flee, the false messiah sends an army after them and they are probably destroyed by an earthquake (Rev 12.16). Now, Petra (Sela) is 8 miles long and there are valleys all over. There are thousands of buildings there and the entrance is called the “Siq.” Look at a layout from the Internet and you will see what we mean. However, you could still enter in by going down the slopes at the other end. A modern army would have no problem penetrating this area, but God will protect them because they will be living in a supernatural environment, just like they did when they fled Pharaoh into the wilderness during the Exodus. The false messiah will be fighting for his life, but he will station armies around the Jordanian/Moabite wilderness where the Jews have fled. Sound crazy? It is, but it has been done before. Hitler had nothing go right towards the end of the war. The Allies were coming from the west and the Russians from the east. Nothing he tried worked or went right. He needed every spare man, machine and train. But, even then he still ran the concentration camps and pursued the Jews. He still used man, machine and train to go after the Jews, contrary to every point of logic and self-preservation. Haman had everything, but Mordechai bothered him so much that he planned the destruction of the Jews and he ended up on the very gallows he had prepared for Mordechai, along with his ten sons. We will see as we read Isaiah, Jeremiah and others that the false messiah will station his troops around the areas where the remnant Jews have gone for refuge. Major battles will be fought in these areas as a result. Remember, the kings of the last three and a half years (Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoachin, Zedekiah). We have looked at Manasseh, who is a picture of the false messiah. He sets up images in the Temple, he makes war on the saints and he leads the people into idolatry. In the first three and a half years, the Jewish people are located where? In the land. In the last three and a half years, where are they? In the wilderness, from Petra, Arnon Valley, Jabbok Valley and Pella. What we have now is the false messiah, having come down from Europe, occupying Jerusalem and the land (Dan 11.41; Rev 11.1-2; 13.5). We have mentioned before that the 8th century prophets teach details on the first three and a half years of the Birth-pains (Obadiah, Isaiah, Micah, Hosea, Amos) and the enemy is Assyria (the Russians in the latter days). The 7th century prophets teach details of the last three and a half years (Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Nahum, Daniel, Joel, Zephaniah) and the enemy is Babylon (the Kings of the East in the latter days). The question is “If the Jews left half-way through the Birth-pains, and Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Nahum, Daniel, Joel and Zephaniah prophesied about Jerusalem and Israel in the last days, then who are they speaking about and who is in control?” We will pick here in Part 12 and begin to develop who these prophets were eschatologically referring to when they speak of Israel and the events that happened during their ministry.