Building a Home for the Antichrist
Hinn's vision for the church to help in rebuilding the temple.
Pastor Mike Oppenheimer
Last night I watched Benny Hinn on This is Your Day program telecasted from Israel (Nov.18, 2003). He had a Rabbi on his program and I was basically stunned (but not surprised) by what I heard. In fact I expected something like this to happen as he has made statements on prophecy before that were not only suspect but leading to a very different concept of end times (some which involve him personally).
Rabbi Chaim Richman is also associated with the Temple Institute of Jerusalem, which is “dedicated to every aspect of the Biblical commandment to build the Holy Temple of G-d on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem” (full text at www.templeinstitute.org/about.html). The temple institute which has built more than 60% of the implements for the Jewish temple (including the high priests garment now being worked on).
I have nothing personal against the Rabbi whom I know believes in what he and others are doing is the right thing. But they are doing this without the understanding of the Messiah who came therefore do not fully understand the implications of what they are endeavoring to do in their fulfilling Bible prophecy. What I do expect is more from believers in Jesus.
While the Temple Institute's short-term goal is to “rekindle the flame of the Holy Temple in the hearts of mankind,” its long-term goal is to “do as much as possible to bring about the building of the Holy Temple in our time” (ibid.).
The Temple Institute also provides research, publications, educational materials and conferences to promote its efforts. Rabbi Chaim is also the Founder of “Light to the Nations” (an organization which seeks to build a bridge between Jews and Christians). The temple institute has produced a 2004 Jerusalem Temple Calendar to aid in the funding of the Temple by Christians in the world (with pictures of the instruments of the temple). Hinn has made the Calendar available to Christians-- through his ministry--for a gift of $35.00. Quite a steep price for a calendar no matter how well done. I can only wonder how much is going to the Temple institute and to Hinn's ministry. Hinn at the end of his program elicited people to “Call the 800 number on the screen and make sure to get this calendar today.” “You going to see in it the instruments that have been prepared, by the temple institute 60% are ready to go, wow, to God be the glory.” While we can be excited seeing God’s plan unfold this is not something to give God blessing for.
Hinn introduced the Rabbi from the Temple institute in Jerusalem on his program and said, “Saint’s I have news for you, the Lord is coming.” People cheered. However, what is presented throughout this broadcast makes me and others wonder what exactly what he meant by this.
He calls up with him Joe Van Koevering of “God’s News Behind the News” who stated he met Rabbi Chaim Richman. Van Koevering states: “The temple institute and the man you are about to hear from pioneered a number of years ago with a passion to see the temple rebuilt in its proper place.” That he wants to see the coming of messiah. Hinn breaks in saying: “By the way this is the first time we have a rabbi on this is your day, so this is historic today.” This is true, as Hinn has had many Arab and Muslim representatives on his program before (Hinn is Arab), but never a Rabbi. Van Koevering explains that “he is not what we would call a messianic rabbi as some rabbis are, Hinn breaks in again to say “but he is a family member” Koevering affirms “he is our brother and God’s hand is upon him…”
Rabbi Richman is not a Messianic Jew, yet both Van Koevering and Hinn recognize him as a “brother.” Certainly no true Jewish organization that takes upon itself a task like this one would knowingly have a believing Rabbi work for them.
Van Koevering said he is thrilled for the Rabbi to be on the program “with all of us crazy wild Christians and talk about the coming of Messiah.” Hinn breaks in “Well because we believe the same thing, look, we are part of the Olive tree, right.”
Do we ALL believe the same thing? It was clear the Rabbi is waiting for Messiah but which one? Because the Bible says the false one comes first and makes his home in the rebuilt temple.
Although the Rabbi had a lot of things correct he was missing the New Testament revelation of the Messiah and the order of events. What is disturbing is that Hinn and his audience were in agreement, as if the New Testament had nothing else to say on this.
Posted on Google search engine is Rabbi Chaim Richman’s response to a letter written to him concerning Jesus as Messiah -“ I am including a list of Biblical verses that I would like you to look at, please also see Matthew chapter 24. Also the Psalms speak of many prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. I have a book with a better list - I will send it with this letter. Please take a look and see if Jesus was the Messiah. I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to write. Again I say that I hope that this letter did not offend you, however I must do what G-d requires of me. Thank you very much. (signed ---)”
His response: “Jews do not believe that the Messiah is a part of G-d, or Divine in any way, more than any other person. No indication of this can be found in the Old Testament, since this is not a Jewish concept.
“We do not accept the notion that Scripture “foretells” that G-d would robe Himself in flesh. We believe that this idea is the very embodiment of idolatry”
“The reason why Jews like myself do not accept Jesus as the messiah is a very basic one - we do not see that he fulfilled any of the requirements for the job. If he never qualified, it is not even a question of rejection. G-d outlined these requirements in the Bible. The identity of the messiah is not up to you or me; it is up to his performance to prove” (Rabbi Chaim Richman, “A Jewish View of the Messiah.”
‘’FOR THE NOTION THAT THE MESSIAH DOES NOT ACCOMPLISH THESE THINGS UPON HIS APPEARANCE, AND THEREFORE MUST RETURN A SECOND TIME, DOES NOT EXIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. WHEREVER THESE THINGS ARE FORETOLD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, WE ARE TOLD THAT THE MESSIAH COMES AND DOES THESE THINGS - ONCE” (The full text at http://members.aol.com/baryeh/richman.html). [research on this done by Bud Press -- firstname.lastname@example.org)
Clearly we do not all believe the same thing as Hinn abruptly put it.
Rodney Levi the Rabbis assistant was brought up and after a bit of smoozing where he says he watches Hinn's program every day and likes the way here dresses. He states, “it is blessing to work with him (Rabbi Richman) and take part of this important mission… Everyone has to take part of this prophecy… together we can do something real for our future for the peace of the world…”
Certainly peace is on everyone’s mind. To bring peace will be part of the false messiahs platform, even the “peace of Jerusalem.” But building this temple will not bring peace, in fact it will be useful in a false peace that will deceive many (1Thess. 5:3; Rev.6:4).
Hinn calls up the Rabbi and tells his people that we are not just living in the last days “but the last moments. We are so close” “I am so convinced we are so very close to the coming of the Messiah.” Again what Messiah? The one who occupies this temple is not the right one. We have to remember that it is this Messiah that Hinn said not too long ago would personally show up in his crusades.
The Rabbi spoke on Jerusalem and its significance in the Bible and how God has used Jerusalem in history and it is the center of human history, he is certainly correct. And we as Christians should support Israel as a nation and people but should we participate in their rebuilding of the temple?
Yet there were some erroneous statements of Jerusalem such as “ the word Jerusalem is synonymous with everything that is right and good in the world.” This is not exactly true, even in the Old Testament God had proved that Jerusalem was not faithful at times. In Isaiah 1:21: The God of Israel says “How is the faithful city become a harlot!” This is Jerusalem, the city of God, called Zion; she become a prostitute. In the New Testament Jesus the Messiah wept of Jerusalem and their rejection of him as Messiah, not knowing the time of their visitation. It seems the Church would be making a similar mistake by following what Hinn is presenting, as I will explain.
While we are in agreement that to be on the side of Israel is to be on the side of the God of Israel (this is Biblical - Gen.12). We must be able to distinguish what Israel is doing for God and what they are not. We are indeed to pray for the peace of Jerusalem but this prayer can only be answered with the Messiah coming, not by a peace treaty (a false one) being signed with their enemies and a rebuilt temple to resume sacrifices.
The Rabbi went on to explain how the temple is the central theme of the Jewish faith. This too is no longer valid from a Christian perspective. The Messiah is the focus of our faith, the temple was only a temporary shadow of him, the true substance. Of course from the modern Rabbis’ perspective this is not true, but it is from the New Testament believers perspective (2 Cor.3). So we are NOT in agreement on this at all. The book of Hebrews is a commentary on Leviticus (among other things) and compares all the things of the law, Christ showed he is superior to what God gave through Moses. When Jesus Christ died, the veil, through which the high priest entered into the Holy of Holies once a year, was torn from top to bottom (Matt. 27:51). Heb. 9:26 “…but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb.7:27; 10:8-11) What they are approving of and asking Christians to support is making Christ’s sacrifice of no effect. It is the very thing book of Hebrews warns not to do.
The Rabbi said of the temple that, “We never received the cancellation order, not for that commandment and not for any commandments.” This again is based on the Old Testament covenant with Israel but from the New Testament perspective (covenant) it is not correct. The temple, the priesthood, the sacrifices and all the commands attached to it are no longer applicable to believers, be it Jewish or gentile.
He then spoke about the testimony of all the prophets bearing testimony that the “era is a time which is going to unite all of humanity in a true recognition and understanding of who God is.” Yes there will be a uniting but not under the true Messiah but a false one first (Rev.13), the signs can only be discovered from the New Testament revelation. It is this application that the Jews today miss even from the Old Testament because they deny the Messiah came before the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. The key reason for the destruction of the second temple was Israel’s rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus. Jesus declared their house would be left desolate. Now Israel wants their temple back without their repenting of their rejection of the Messiah. Which puts them in a precarious position.
Why would the true Messiah have anything to do with this third temple? Does God want the temple rebuilt by man? He does not renew any command in the New Testament to rebuild it, especially before He comes. This is what happens when one has only the Old Testament without the Messiah, they are not able to see what has been accomplished. They are presenting the building of temple with the priests and sacrifices to be renewed, which God does not accept. The sacrifices will be resumed as Daniel prophecies (Dan. 9:27; Rev.11:1-2) but will also be cut off by the one who goes into the temple and desolates it (Dan.12:11).
Ezekiel also describe the priesthood and the sacrifices in Ez.44:1-46:24. This should be obvious to any student of the Bible that this is about the Millennium when the Messiah is physically on earth again (also Isa.56:6-7; 60:7 66:18 Jer.33:18 Zech. 14:16-21). Not rightly dividing the word on these issues can be crucial for ones end time view.
Would the apostle Paul or Peter approve of this building? Of course not, since Paul wrote about the one who would stand in the temple and desecrate it. We are also taught in the New Testament that we are now the temple, the body of Christ (1 Peter 2:5;1 Cor. 6:19). Christians do not need to seek to build temples made by hands because we are the temple made by His Spirit. No temple is authorized to be built until after the Messiah is physically on earth and cleanses all wickedness. First comes the false messiah who uses the rebuilt third temple. Scripture seems to uphold that he will help approve of it as will the people who act hastily (Isa.28:14-16). Israel will need permission to rebuild the temple, which will probably come by an agreement from both parties.
I do not want to get to far off the subject, as this program was loaded with postulations; much of this has to be explained and put in perspective of how wrong this is. For this is a temple built for God that God does not approve. This can’t be the temple by Solomon or Zerubbabel that were approved nor can this be the Millennial temple that the Messiah approves of. For God does nor require sacrifices or a priesthood at this present time, but faith, (specifically in the death and resurrection of the Son of God), we have a high priest and we have the final sacrifice. It is the faithful remnant that will NOT participate in the temple being rebuilt, for it ends in judgment. There is a fourth kingdom that devours the whole earth which Messiah destroys when he returns (Dan.2:40-43). What Ezekiel saw was the fourth temple referred to as the Millennial Temple. Ez. 45:1-8 describes to us a high mountain having a flat plateau, on its top that is 50 miles square the Millennial Temple will rest, being one mile square. It is obviously not located in the middle of the City of Jerusalem that we know of today. It is after the Messiah comes back and destroys the false one that there is a Millennial temple built that is approved, which is referred to in Isa.2:3.
Near the end of the program Hinn turned to the Rabbi to say “Yesterday when I was at the temple institute it was mentioned that in 2 Chron. 35:1,2,3 King Josiah gave an order that mentioned the ark. You said its been known that the ark never left Jerusalem…” The Rabbi proposes that it was never lost but hidden and that there are some who have always known exactly where it is. This is interesting, considering that it was not present in the time of Messiah. He proposed that the ark is in one of the chambers that Solomon built under the temple and he and others know exactly where it is and when the time comes it will be restored to the newly built temple.
The Rabbi also stated that the jar of manna, Aaron’s rod and the anointing oil are in the ark. However the Bible teaches when the temple was completed by Solomon and the ark was transferred from the tabernacle, “Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they had come out of Egypt ”(2 Chron. 5:10).
As far as finding the ark -- what was missing in Jesus’ day will also be missing in the Millennium. Jer. 3:16-17 “Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days,” says the LORD, “that they will say no more, 'The ark of the covenant of the LORD.' It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore. “At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.”
So any ark found or built can’t be the ark related to the temple that the Messiah will rule from when He comes. Jesus Himself is to reign from Jerusalem so there is no need for the ark.
As far as the third temple and its relationship to the Messiah in biblical prophecy, there are some very specific statements. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.”
Notice the order of events that Paul gives which also agrees with Jesus in Mt.24. The coming of the Lord does not come UNTIL the man of sin takes his place (which will be in the temple Mt.24:15). This tells us that the man of sin is coming first before the Messiah comes. This third Temple is built for the Tribulation period, and Jesus warns the Jews who will be living in the middle of the tribulation to flee because of what will take place in it (Matthew 24:16-22).
Lets sum up so far what we heard from Hinn's program… The lord is coming back and that he would have something to do with this third temple now being built as the Rabbi explained …
Which Messiah is going to be in the third temple? Not Jesus whom we are waiting for. The false messiah comes and enters the rebuilt Jewish temple (Matthew 24:15). At a certain point he stops the sacrifices (Daniel 9:27) that are then practiced. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself he is God.”
2 Thessalonians 2:6 that reads: “and you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.” The Anti-Christ does not come looking as the Devil but as a lamb “he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon” (Revelation 13:11-12). In other words with great authority “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.” In other words, there will come a time where the power of Satan will not be restrained, having full strength he will perform signs and wonders unlike any modern man has seen before (Matthew 24:24). Both the false prophet and the Antichrist will be able to deceive everyone on the earth by their miracles. You can apply this as you see fit.
After Rabbis speech Hinn summed it up by telling his audience we must do something: “Ladies and gentleman its time we, the church not only begin to pray that the temple will be rebuilt its time we do something about it.” All this shows how biblically illiterate Hinn is, and his followers cannot spot it.
After the Rabbi giving an explanation of our part to play Hinn states: (the strength of these words needs to be seen instead of read) “In other words God will not do it without us.” “Its time we believers begin to pray the temple will be rebuilt, its in the word,” “…I believe God is about to give life to this dream of rebuilding the temple, and it will become reality, it’s the word of God. What part we will play we don’t know … I believe it’s important we all pray and seek God, and if God says do this, we’ll go do it.”
Yes it is in the word but its not a good thing, it is trap as the false prophet and the Antichrist will make use of it. Hinn has endorsed for Christians to help contribute to its building. What part you will play is important. This is where false teaching eventually leads to. On Hinn's recommendation Christians who can’t tell the difference are now are going to contribute to help build the third temple which the false messiah (the one we know as Antichrist) will occupy. This type of action separates the faithless from the faithful; the question is: where will you stand?