Staff & Sling

Joseph E. Hébert, Ph.D.

98119 N 3745 Rd
Okemah, OK  74859
918 623 3078

Daily Sacrifices

Understand that I don't usually concern myself with eschatology, with end time matters. To begin with, I've never been particularly concerned with such things. I basically believe that the church will be taken, that is to say raptured, before the 70th week, the seven year Tribulation period, promised by God in Daniel 9: 24 - 27 begins. Thus, such matters are of no real concern to me. Oh, I am curious about the end times. Even Jesus' disciples were curious about the end times (Matthew 24: 3). But in the end (literally), I don't expect to be here.

Moreover, I do not want to be one of those myriad false prophets who have led, and will lead, others astray (Matthew 24: 11). I want to know what God's Word says, and to rightly divide the Word of Truth (II Timothy 2: 15 - 18). But even as far back as in Paul's day others have been getting eschatology wrong, apparently unwilling to accept only what God's Word tells us, wanting instead to be privy to some special revelation.

So concerning matters of eschatology, I tend to concentrate on the one theme, that singular warning, that is common to, and repeated in, all of Jesus' teachings concerning such matters (Matthew 24: 36, 42, 44, 50). We can not know when His second coming will be. Only the Father in heaven knows. And when He comes it will be suddenly and without warning. So we are all to be prepared for Him to return at any moment.

Still, as I wrote previously, I do want to rightly divide the Word of Truth. And Jesus did say "So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors," (Matthew 24: 33). But don't think that I am now about to present some new revelation that the end is near. In point of fact I do believe that Jesus will return in our lifetimes. But so have men for thousands of years. And this is as it should be. But today I fear that many have been deceived into a false sense of complacency. That too many do not believe that the end could literally be any day now, and this is not good. This is contrary to Jesus' teachings on the matter (e.g. Matthew 24: 44).

On 28 February, 2007, the Jerusalem newspaper Haaretz published an article entitled "Present-day Sanhedrin court seeks to revive ancient Temple rituals." It tells how the new Sanhedrin has purchased a herd of sheep with the intention of holding the Passover sacrifice on Temple Mount. This is significant.

This is not just another earthquake in some diverse place. This is not just another war or rumor of war. Even when Christ warned us about wars and rumors of wars, the end of that very sentence was, "..., but the end is not yet" (Matthew 24: 6) No, that the Jews are actively attempting to reinstate their Temple sacrifices is indeed significant. This is one of those signs which indeed portends that the end is near, even at hand (Matthew 24: 33).

But how many believe that the Western Wall must first be destroyed? Didn't Jesus say, as recorded in Matthew 24: 2, that not one stone would be left standing on another? Read Matthew 24: 1. He was referring to the buildings. Nothing needs to happen to the Western Wall before Christ can return for His church.

Similarly, many see the Dome of the Rock standing on the Temple Mount and somehow believe that this is a hindrance to the procession of prophecy. They somehow believe that as long as that mosque stands, the Jews will not be able to rebuild their Temple and so they are waiting for it to somehow be destroyed. But I am telling you now that the Dome of the Rock does not need to come down, nor does the Temple need to go up, before the Lord returns.

Daniel 9: 27 tells us that the Antichrist (the prince that shall come, whose people destroyed the Temple, from verse 26) will broker a deal whereby the Jews will be allowed to conduct their Temple rituals, the daily sacrifices, for "one week," that is for seven years, and midway through the week he will break the covenant (see also Daniel 12: 11). But nowhere do I find that it says anything about rebuilding the Temple.

Moreover, historically there is no basis to believe that the Jews will need to rebuild the Temple. Look at what happened after the Babylonian captivity. In Ezra 3: 1 - 6 we read that when the Jews finally made it back to Jerusalem, they didn't set about rebuilding the Temple. They first built an altar and reinstated their daily sacrifices. Notice the last sentence in verse 6. "But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid." They didn't even lay the foundation for the Temple, but instead reinstated their daily sacrifices, their Temple rituals, first.

So why then do so many today wait longingly for news of the destruction of the Temple Mount, or the Dome of the Rock. I see the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall both as great symbols by which many are lured into a false sense of complacency. But there is no reason to expect either of them to be removed so that God's Word can be fulfilled. The last significant sign was the restoration of the Jews to Israel in 1949. The next will be the brokering of a deal to allow the Jews to resume their daily sacrifices, for seven years. There is no need for the Dome of the Rock to first be removed, or to ever be removed for that matter.

And the Jews, the Sanhedrin, are actively attempting to accomplish just that at this very moment. So stop looking for the Dome of the Rock to be destroyed. Stop looking for the Western Wall to collapse. Look instead for the Lord to return at a time when you do not expect, literally (today moreso than ever before) at any moment (Mark 13: 32 - 37; Luke 12: 41 - 48).

Do not be like the five foolish virgins who took their lamp but no oil (Matthew 25: 1 - 13), or the servant who buried his talent (Matthew 25: 14 - 30).

Understand that oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, by whom we are sealed. Many today believe they are saved because they come to church and try to live a good life, they have their lamp, but they never actually accept Christ as their savior. They are never actually born of the water and the Spirit, which is to say they never actually repent their sins and get sealed with the Holy Spirit. And on that day the Lord will tell them, "..., I know you not," (Matthew 25: 12).

Neither be like the servant who hid his one talent. The talents here are symbolic of faith. We are all given that measure of faith necessary for salvation (Ephesians 2: 8), but we do not all invest it wisely. Too many believe that they are saved because of what they do, but they never put their faith in Christ to save them. And on that day the Lord will say, "Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth," (Matthew 25: 28 - 30).

And that day is closer than many believe. That day could literally be any day now. So make certain that you've invested your talent, that you've put your faith in Jesus to save you. Make certain that you have not just your lamp, but your oil as well. Make certain that you've been sealed with the Holy Spirit. And look for the Lord's return at any moment. Stop looking to the Western Wall, or the Dome of the Rock. Look to the Lord and be ready for His return.

Daniel 9:
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

II Timothy 2:
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

Matthew 24:
1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 
25 Behold, I have told you before. 
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 
49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 
51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Daniel 12: 11    And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Ezra 3:
1 And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem. 
2 Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. 
3 And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD, even burnt offerings morning and evening. 
4 They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required; 
5 And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD. 
6 From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid.

Matthew 25:
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. 
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Mark 13:
32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 
34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Luke 12:
41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? 
42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 
43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 
44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 
45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 
46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 
47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 
48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Ephesians 2:
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.