Cleansing the Temple
Issue No. 306
The Year of the Open Door began on Rosh Hoshana, September 5, 2013. But as most of you know, there is also a Prophetic Year which starts soon after the Feast of Tabernacles, usually in the first half of November.
This prophetic year reaches its culmination at the Feast of Tabernacles and has to do with what God is doing and revealing from year to year. Each Prophetic Year begins with two periods of cleansing (76 x 2 days), followed by the sequence of feast days from Passover to Tabernacles.
The Prophetic Year 2014
This year the new Prophetic Year began on Nov. 14, 2013, marked by our pastors conference in Lake Sebu on Mindanao, Philippines. At that time we saw the prophecy of Elisha’s ninth sign played out, along with the fourth and fifth sign in John’s gospel.
The multiplying of the bread in 2 Kings 4:42-44 and in John 6:4-13 is expected to result in the revaluation of the Iraqi dinar and the Global Currency Reset when we see it emerge into the world. But the word has gone forth as of Nov. 14, establishing the sign by divine decree.
In the previous sign (8th sign of Elisha), we made the decree on July 9, 2010, and then it took six days to emerge into the world (July 16). So we already have precedent for a two-step fulfillment of these signs. We are yet unsure, as of this writing, how long it will take for the 9th sign of Elisha to be seen in the world.
We do know, however, that the first cleansing period of 76 days began Nov. 14, 2013 and will end Jan. 29, 2014. The second cycle will then end on April 15, 2014, which happens to be the day of Passover and the first day of Unleavened Bread.
That is not surprising, since we often see the second 76-day period end either at Passover, Good Friday, or on the Wave-sheaf offering (“Easter”).
Individual and Corporate Temples
This year these 76-day cycles seem to be emphasized in a greater way, because our present revelation tells us that we are in a time of the cleansing of the temple. You are the temples of God as individual believers, for you house the presence of God, for 1 Cor. 3:16 says,
16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
However, there is also a corporate temple in which you as an individual are just one “living stone” in its structure. Paul speaks of that corporate temple in Eph. 2:19-22,
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is grow-ing into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
Hence, we see that the body of Christ, including “strangers and aliens,” are all part of “God’s household,” and are being placed as stones in this Temple. Paul’s reference to God’s household goes back to the days of Abraham, when there were 318 men of his household of faith, though not born of Abraham himself (Gen. 14:14).
Jesus Cleansed the Temple Twice
Scripture tells us that Jesus cleansed the temple twice during His ministry. The first was toward the beginning of His ministry, as recorded in John 2:13-17,
13 And the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money-changers [bankers] seated. 15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables [or records]; 16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a house of merchandise.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Thy house will consume Me.”
The disciples remembered the prophecy in Psalm 69:9, where “zeal” is from the Hebrew word kinaw, “ardour, jealousy, anger, passion, zeal.” In the translation into Greek and then into English, we have lost some of the Hebrew nuances of this story.
The term Canaan (Heb., Kena-an) means “lowlander, merchant, money-broker, banker.” So the priestly money-changers in the temple were acting like Canaanites. Jesus countered their “low-life” desecration of the temple by “zeal.” In other words, kena-an was countered by kinaw, a Hebrew play on words.
The second occasion where Jesus cleansed the temple was on Monday, shortly before His death. This is the cleansing that is recorded by the other three gospel writers in Matt. 21:12, 13; Mark 11:15, 16; and Luke 19:45, 46. On this second occasion, Jesus accused them of turning the temple into a den of thieves, or a “robbers’ den” (NASB).
It is perhaps of interest to us today that we have entered prophetically into two cycles of cleansing, one for each of the times that Jesus cleansed the temple. In that sense, the cleansing recorded in John 2 is most applicable to the time from Nov. 14 to Jan. 29. The other occasion applies more to the second cleansing period from Jan. 29 to April 15.
These times of cleansing can be viewed as precursors to the Year of the Open Door Ministry. The feast days in the coming year, then, characterized by an unusual array of eclipses, should prove to be packed with revelation and activity.
Today, we have only an early, overall view of what to watch for, but it is enough to give us some direction as we watch what God does in the coming year.
The First Cleansing Mission
Jesus’ words in John 2:16 give us the primary purpose and theme of this first cycle of cleansing: “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a house of merchandise.”
In other words, let’s stop mixing church and banking. More to the point, stop oppressing the poor by charging interest on loans to them. The Jewish priests, of course, knew better than to charge interest, but they got around the spirit of the law by charging exorbitant fees. At the bottom of it lies the spirit of greed and the love of money.
There was a prophecy from an old Norwegian woman back in 1968, reported by an evangelist named Emanuel Minos about conditions in the world and in the church before the second coming of Christ. Part of it reads:
“A lukewarmness without parallel will take hold of the Christians, a falling away from true, living Christianity. Christians will not be open for penetrating preaching. They will not, like in earlier times, want to hear of sin and grace, law and gospel, repentance and restoration. There will come a substitute instead: prosperity (happiness) Christianity.”
When people came to Jerusalem to sacrifice at the temple, the animals had to be inspected by the priests to see if there were any blemishes that disqualified their animals for sacrifice. It was in their own interest to find something, however small, which disqualified the animals and forced the people to buy the animals on hand from the priests at inflated prices. This made it more difficult for the people to worship God.
Likewise, when foreigners brought monetary offerings for the temple, such as the Roman coins with the image of Caesar on them, they were forbidden to give such “idolatrous” money to the temple. Instead, they had to exchange it at scandalous rates of exchange for temple currency. It was akin to a National Bank.
The half-shekel of silver “atonement money” that each had to pay (Exodus 30:15) suddenly cost them a lot more money than the law prescribed. Further, the people had no court of appeal (except to God Himself). How does one obtain justice when the judges themselves are corrupt?
Jesus became angry that the priests not only turned the temple into a profit center, but that they also gouged the foreigners who had come to worship the true God at the temple in Jerusalem.
The Jews then asked Jesus, “What sign do You show to us, seeing that You do these things?” John 2:19-21 says,
19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews therefore said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
We understand how this was fulfilled when Jesus’ body was killed many years ago, and how He was raised up again in three days. But our question is how this is to be fulfilled in our time, relative to the second work of Christ that involves those who are the Body of Christ?
The fulfillment is obviously multi-layers, but we are now mostly interested in what God is doing now in 2013-2014. Take note that the Jews took control of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War in June 1967. It has now been 46 years since then. (1967 + 46 = 2013) So this prophecy seems particularly applicable this year.
It also seems to imply a three-year cycle from 2013-2016, at the end of which time we should see some sign of national resurrection of the Kingdom.
As I wrote earlier, the first cleansing focuses on the problem of the temple being a house of merchandise that is patterned after the Canaanite practice. The priests in Jerusalem had become spiritual Canaanites, merchandisers of the church in their day.
This is what must be cleansed, for if it is not cleansed, the church will reject Christ in His second coming as surely as the temple priests rejected Christ in His first coming. The altars to the god of greed must be destroyed.
The Second Cleansing Mission
Matthew and Luke tell us that Jesus cast the bankers out of the temple after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. That would seem to put it on a Sunday, commonly called Palm Sunday. However, Mark’s account tells us that He cleansed the temple the next day. Mark 11:1-10 speaks of His entry into Jerusalem, and verses 11, 12 then say,
11 And He entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking all around, He departed for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late. 12 And on the next day, when they had departed from Bethany, He became hungry.
Jesus then saw the fig tree, which had no fruit on it, and He cursed it in an act of spiritual warfare against the Fig Tree Nation (Judea). Verse 15 then says that when Jesus came to Jerusalem, He cast out the moneychangers.
In other words, on Palm Sunday He arrived at the temple too late to do anything serious. He just looked around and then returned to Bethany with the twelve. It appears that Jesus pondered that night what He had seen and then returned the next day to curse the fig tree and to cleanse the temple.
The other gospels leave out these details and just lump the two temple visitations together. So we have to read Mark’s account in order to get the actual order of events.
In the second cleansing Jesus no longer accused them of merchandising, or turning the temple into a center of Canaanite worship, but this time they were “a robbers’ den” (Matt. 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46). Here Jesus drew from Jeremiah 7:11,
11 Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight? ...
The significance of this is in the fact that Jeremiah had uttered those words as the final reason for the coming destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of Babylon. The prophet said that God was about to leave that place “as I did to Shiloh” (Jer. 7:14).
Shiloh was held up as the example of what God would do when the glory departed from a place. God’s presence had left Shiloh in the days of Eli and his corrupt sons. God never looked back, nor did His presence return to Shiloh. Instead, He made preparations to move to Jerusalem more than 80 years later after the reigns of Saul and David.
So Jeremiah said that He would treat Jerusalem as He had treated Shiloh—implying that He would move to a different location, a new Temple made of living stones. This began on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
Jerusalem and its temple was then destroyed in 70 A.D. according to prophecy and history, but God’s presence had already departed from that place as in the prophecy of Ichabod (1 Sam. 4:19-22).
I believe that we are now approaching the third round of prophetic fulfillment for Jerusalem. Though Jeremiah 19:11 prophesied that at some point the city would be destroyed so completely that it would never again be repaired, the city has always been repaired and rebuilt. Hence, the prophecy remains to be fulfilled.
On June 9, 1967 the Jews occupied Jerusalem and took authority over the temple mount during the Six-Day War. It has now (2013) been 46 years since that event. Hence, the prophecy of John 2:20 is now looming before us.
Twenty years ago, we began the Jubilee Prayer Campaign on Nov. 21-29, 1993. This was the 46th anniver-sary of the Palestinian Resolution. They began debating the Resolution on Nov. 21 and passed it on Nov. 29, 1947. Forty-six year later, on Nov. 29, 1993 we petitioned the Divine Court on behalf of the overcomers, asking that the authority of the Kingdom be returned to the overcomers.
Babylon had held world authority since 607 B.C.
On a spiritual level, the Saul church had also held it for 40 Jubilees (33-1993 A.D.), and in a more specific way, the Roman Church “little horn” of Daniel 7 had held it since 529-533 A.D.
Finally, the Jews had had 46 years in the old land since they were given jurisdiction over the land in 1947.
All had failed to fulfill the terms of their contract with God. They had all failed to declare a Jubilee, to set all men free, and to restore the rule of Jesus Christ in the earth.
So we asked that jurisdiction and authority would be transferred to the saints of the Most High—that is, to the overcomers. We knew that we had won our case, but we also knew that we would have to engage in spiritual warfare to secure that inheritance. After all, when God first gave Canaan to Israel, Joshua led Israel into Canaan, but it took years of warfare to secure that inheritance.
Even as it was 46 years from 1947 to 1993, so also are we seeing a dual fulfillment of this time frame from 1967 to 2013. This is the second witness. It took 20 years for the Israelis to take Jerusalem (1947-1967). It has now been 20 years from 1993-2013.
The Importance of 2013-2014 in Prophecy
In the October FFI, I showed the importance of the time period from 2009-2013, as it was 1480 years after the rise of the “little horn” of Religious Rome in 529-533. This is the beast that thought to change times and laws (Dan. 7:25). The beast did so by abandoning the calendar from the old Roman calendar that had been based on the founding of Rome. It was replaced by the calendar based on the birth of Christ, which is in use today.
Likewise, the entire Roman legal system was replaced by Church Law in 529, revised in 530, and the text books compiled for law students in 533 (or in 534, according to some historians).
The number 1480 represents the numeric value of the Greek word Christos (Christ). In chronology, it is the time until deliverance, since Christ’s death on the cross to set us free from the bondage of sin occurred on the 1480th Passover since Moses led Israel out of Egypt.
Now in 2013-2014 we are 1480 years since 533-534 A.D. It tells me that the time of the little horn of Daniel 7 has been completed. This completion coincides with the 46 years of Israeli occupation of Jerusalem since 1967.
Dan. 7:21, 22 says that the little horn was to make war on the saints until the time came for the authority to be passed to the saints of the Most High. I believe that this authority began to pass to the saints in 1993, and a greater measure was given in Nov. 30, 2000, and the final measure on Nov. 30, 2013.
In other words, the time given to the little horn to make war on the saints is now being completed. During the conference in Dallas on Dec. 7, we received revelation during a private prayer session that we were to declare the end of the war on the saints.
The Seven Times of Punishment Completed
A prophetic “time” is 360 days in short-term prophecy and 360 years in long-term prophecy. The “seven times” of punishment prophesied in Lev. 26:18, 21, etc. turned out to be a long-term judgment of 7 x 360 years, that is, 2,520 years. This was the time allotted to the Babylonian beast empires prophesied in Daniel 7.
This was a continuous time period, except for a brief period of Judean independence from 163 to 63 B.C., when the actions of Antiochus Epiphanes moved God to give Judea a hundred year rest or vacation from the rule of the third beast (Grecian Empire). In other words, this Grecian beast forfeited the last century of its divine mandate by desecrating the temple in Jerusalem and trying to turn it into a shrine for Zeus.
The Judeans rose up and threw off the yoke in 163 B.C. Their independence lasted until the Roman general Pompey took Jerusalem in 63 B.C. Then the fourth beast (Rome) was given dominion, and their mandate continued until the fall of Rome in 476.
Then the little horn rose up, securing power in 529-533 to rule for 1480 years to 2009-2013.
Since Babylon first received its 2,520-year mandate in 607 B.C., 2,620 years have passed, but only 2,520 years of actual beast rule. Hence, the judgment of the law has now been completed, and we ought to see major changes in the nations in the time ahead.
The war is now over. The final transfer of authority has been made in the divine court to the saints of the Most High. The decrees of the overcomers have always carried authority, but many have had to wait for the appointed time. We have now come to a new day where many of the prayers and decrees of past ages can now be answered.
I believe we will now begin to see the evidence of this in the world in the days and years ahead.