Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lesson From the Bethlehem Innkeeper

Nathan JonesPDFBy

Was the Bethlehem Innkeeper a jerk?

Visiting downtown San Antonio, Texas, is to visit a city rich in historic buildings, most famously the Alamo. The city is filled with grand hotels which boast of unique and interesting histories. While my wife and I were residing in one such antique hotel this Christmas season its ambiance drew me inexplicably to that wonderful Christmas-time passage in Luke 2:1-7 concerning another famous (or infamous) inn. The story reads:

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world... And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem... He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

I was just struck by the harsh reality that the coming King of Kings was turned away from the little town of Bethlehem's possibly only local establishment. Certainly the unnamed innkeeper didn't know the Messiah had just shown up at his doorstep, but just what kind of person would turn away a pregnant woman who was well into labor? Sure, the inn was full of visiting guests, but was the Innkeeper so heartless? Was the guy such a big jerk?

The Scriptures are silent about there even being an innkeeper, but we must assume an inn must have one. The Bible is also silent about the character of this person. Nevertheless, I was determined to track down just what kind of man (or woman) this was. What I learned was that the character of the Innkeeper could be determined based on what the definition of what an inn was in Bible times.


1) The Inn was a hotel, therefore the Innkeeper was a jerk.

Ask any Westerner to picture an inn and they'll most likely picture a building with tens or maybe even hundreds of cube-like rooms all tended by a front desk person who supplies coarse towels and magnetic swipe cards. This could have been what the Bethlehem inn was like (minus the cards), as Jesus explains one inn very similar in the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.

If the Bethlehem inn was a type of hotel, then I can only conclude that the Innkeeper actually was a jerk. Even if (let's say it was a he) he actually didn't have any rooms available, he must have had a room to himself which he could have lent to a poor young girl in the pangs of labor pains. Maybe even once hearing Joseph's Galilean accent beg for mercy a bit of prejudice crept into his thinking. Who knows? Nevertheless, the cretin sent the poor family away to retreat to an open stable to give birth to their first child among the filth of the local animals. Great guy!


2) The Inn was a house, therefore the Innkeeper was indifferent.

Because the Greek transliterated word for "inn" in Luke 1:7 is kataluma (Strong's Number 2646), the Western style hotel was most likely not the setting for Bethlehem's inn. Kataluma has a number of meanings, one in particular is used of the Upper Room during the Last Supper. If this is a truer description of a Bible times inn, then it was not a hotel but a private residence. The families were all returning to their ancestral homes due to the census, so the kataluma could very well have been Joseph's own extended family's house and the innkeeper the patriarch.

Family town homes in Jesus' day consisted of two story structures. The family slept in the large upper room while the animals were brought into the lower floor for protection and to add heat. There being no room in the inn could well have meant that Joseph's family were occupying the upper room, leaving Mary to give birth downstairs among the animals and to lay baby Jesus in the house manger. If this is the true scenario, then Joseph's family were the real jerks for not giving up some space upstairs and the Patriarch/Innkeeper was merely indifferent to the dire needs of yet another extended family member crowding up his home.


3) The Inn was a courtyard, therefore the Innkeeper was generous as well as shrewd.

Although kataluma could mean an upper room of a house, in essence it means "a loosing down place." Such places were widely known throughout the Middle East as a resting stop for caravans. This type of inn was more like a camp ground, all open but for a surrounding stone wall incorporating stall slots for the animals like camels and donkeys and providing areas to pitch a tent.

If the Bethlehem inn was a camp ground, then the thought of Mary giving birth out there in the open among the crowds of tents would be just awful for any woman to contemplate. The Innkeeper would have been sensitive to this lack of privacy and generously moved Mary to the place where he kept his animals far up the hills in the caves. He also would have been shrewd because he could still make a little extra money renting out his personal stable, the mark of a true Jewish businessman.

That the inn was a courtyard is the most likely scenario out of the three possibilities, for the hills of Bethlehem are filled with limestone caves. Justin Martyr in the Second Century AD stated that Jesus was born in one of those caves. Emperor Constantine later built the Church of the Nativity over the widely accepted site which can be visited this very day. Jerome who translated the Bible into Latin spent 30 years living in that cave so as to give the world the Latin Vulgate, a translation used for almost 1,100 years. So, there's strong doubt that Jesus was born downstairs in the family house, but rather he was born in an external cave.

Since the historicity of the Bethlehem inn was most likely a courtyard, then the benefit of the doubt can be given to the Innkeeper. History can go easy on this person for generously giving Mary the seclusion any woman in the pangs of delivery would greatly desire, providing the only lodging suitably available. And, the label jerk (or more ethnically schmuck) should not be granted to this individual.


What I Learned From the Innkeeper

While I was researching the meaning of the Bethlehem inn and Innkeeper, I had one of my own "innkeeper experiences." I must admit that I'm not proud of myself.

My wife and I that evening were walking the famous River Walk that runs through downtown San Antonio. Lining each side of the river is an amazing 1.8 million LED Christmas lights, making San Antonio the eighth largest Christmas light show in America. Fancy restaurants and gift shops also line the way, filled with mariachi music and bustling strollers enjoying the lights and joy of the Christmas season.

We were reveling in all of this Christmas atmosphere when I was stopped short by a woman accompanied by two small children. She asked me if I could give her something before they headed back to the shelter. Her question affected me like throwing a penny on the railroad tracks. I was so caught up in the lights and extravagance of the festivities that the very thought of someone being in need caught me so off guard. My mouth just stuttered something like, "Shelter?"

When sense returned, I looked this way and that for a simple place to take her little family to eat, but only expensive sit down restaurants surrounded us. Serving in Philadelphia I knew not to give a person money directly, so that didn't seem like an option either. Surrounded by bounty I felt helpless. Exasperated at my indecision, she moved on to question the couple behind us and the crush of the crowd pushed us down the waterway. Guilt washed over me.

So, what was I? The Innkeeper rang in my head. Was I the jerk of a hotel innkeeper who seeing someone in need turned them coldly away? I sure hope that wasn't the case. I cared about her needs, but like the house innkeeper, did I end up being indifferent? The result sadly was a certain yes. I wanted to be the courtyard innkeeper, quickly coming up with a solution to her needs, but I was unprepared.

The lesson I learned that night was to be the courtyard innkeeper. I shouldn't have let the hustle and bustle of Christmas catch me off guard. I should have been better prepared to help a young mother in need. And, in the future, I'll make sure I will be.

We need to be prepared when the Lord sends our way a chance to serve those in need, or we may miss out on one of God's amazing Christmas miracles.

56 comments:

Billy said...

Re: Innkeeper a jerk? Won't know for sure until we start our eternal body eternal lives. Those are just the kind of things, however, that will be incredible to discover the truth about. (Maybe from the innkeeper himself? Who knows.)

Re: Nathan's personal story. Thank you for your honest personal story. It's can't be easy for someone in your line of work to shed light on such a poor choice for all of us to read. But your words may be in our minds next time we are in that situation. So some good may come from it in the end.

(p.s. People begging should not be given money. It will likely go to drugs, booze, cigarettes, lottery tickets (I've seen that), etc. Offer to by them food instead, even if just a sandwich from the 7-11. Most times when I've offered to buy a "will work for food" person a meal they decline. Decline! Your money is better donated to groups like the Salvation A
rmy or local food bank or shelter.

Billy said...

...or donate specifically to a part of your church set up to help these people...

hartdawg said...

Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy ; question, ur driving home from work in heavy traffic and thoroughly exhausted and by the road you see a car with emergency flashers on and hood open. do you a) say a prayer and keep driving, b) get mad cuz they're holding up traffic, c) assume someone is coming or d) stop and help? sadly i do a and c and rarely d even tho i been there repeatedly .

DianefromKY said...

Nathan! I have another theory on this detail of the "No room at the inn." It is based on Zola Levitt's observations.

Recently, The nation of Israel excavated lambing caves along a path extending several miles going into Bethlehem. Zola speculated that since the Inn's of the time would have been "Unclean" for the birth of a orthodox Jew, The shepherd would have given them a very ceremonial "clean" sacrificial Lambing cave to give birth in. The Swaddling cloth's would have been strips of cloths from retired priestly linens given to prepare sacrificial lambs! They would have known how full the Inn's were because of the traffic walking through and told the young couple in distress to come in because they had the only clean, warm, dry place for miles!

Exciting to contemplate isn't it!

Nathan Jones said...

Zola was always great at seeing the Jewish ceremonial angle. We'll be doing a "Christ in Prophecy" episode on him to be released later in 2012.

Hartdawg, I used to worry about folks on the side of the road (and been there many times myself as well), but with cellphones people have easy access to help nowadays. That might sound a bit cold, but after my pastor pulled over to help some guys out who ended up being escaped cons who beat him senseless and stole his car, I'm a lot more wary about stopping for folks on the side of the road.

Billy said...

Hartdawg, I agree with Nathan...stopping on the side of the road is too dangerous. Sad but true.

Actually, I will stop if and only if it is daylight and the only people clearly needing the help are elderly or a woman (especially if stranded with kids). And even then it is very rare that I stop at all.

By the way Hartdawg, good to "see" you here. I take this early opportunity to wish you, Sue, Susie, Rodney, dr. nofog, thunder and all the rest, and Dr. Reagan, Nathan and all of Lamb & Lion a very Merry and blessed Christmas and happy and healthy new year!!!

Laura said...

No use beating yourself up, Nathan. You were looking for a proper way to help this woman, and she decided to move on to someone else. Where's the reason to beat yourself up over that?

Perhaps this thought which often crosses my mind during Christmas will help: No matter what the situation with Joseph and Mary, you KNOW Joseph had to feel like a failure. He knew this baby was special; he knew it was from God; he probably even knew it was the Messiah. Most likely he had been searching for hours for a place for Mary to deliver the baby, and all he could find was a lowly stable! Can you imagine how devastated he must have felt? After all, I'm sure Joseph realized that this baby was royalty--He deserved to be born in a palace, so what a let-down it must have been that Joseph couldn't provide anything better.

And yet . . . we know from looking back at this event that a stable is EXACTLY what God planned. So although Joseph may have felt like a failure and that he let God down, God didn't see it that way at all.

It just goes to show you that our view of a situation often isn't God's view.

So Nathan, take heart! It appears to me that you weren't the right person to help this woman. There's no shame in that and certainly no reason to feel guilty about it. God is in control--of even the small stuff like this!

hartdawg said...

Good advice Nathan....merry Christmas to you too billy

travelauntie said...

An interesting discussion of the innkeeper. However, I'm very disappointed that Lamb & Lion would use such a derogatory and stereotypical phrase as "the mark of a true Jewish businessman." Jewish businessmen are no more inherently greedy than non-Jewish businessmen.

"Let your speech always be with grace ..." (Colossians 4:6a)

Anonymous said...

Awesome article and discussions from all. There are so many ways to imagine it playing out... what if Joseph didn't tell the inkeeper she was in labor... what if she had not started the labor at the time they got the room... so many possibilies. But I love the jerk application and I know there have been times that has been all of us. I hope I remember that for times I am given the opportunity in the future. Thanks for sharing everyone. Merry Christmas to all of you.

C~ in Salem

Billy said...

Travelauntie said "I'm very disappointed that Lamb & Lion would use such a derogatory and stereotypical phrase as "the mark of a true Jewish businessman." Jewish businessmen are no more inherently greedy than non-Jewish businessmen."

Travelauntie, that didn't stand out when I read the article so I read it again. At first I thought you may be right. That could be a poor choice of words. Then I looked up the definition of "shrewd" in the dictionary and found the following:

Dictionary.com:

1. astute or sharp in practical matters: a swhred politician
2. keen; piercing
3. artful
4. (Archaic) malicious
5. (Obsolete) bad

Synonyms
quick, discerning, perceptive, discriminating, intelligent

Note that shrewd can be taken in a positive or negative way. The negative ways of malicious and bad are specifically said to be both archaic and obsolete uses of the word. That means the modern day usage of the word is not generally considered negative. Note also the synonyms of intelligent.

Therefore I conclude that if you take a moment and think it through further you will realize that there was absolutely no intention of negativity on the part of Nathan or Lamb & Lion. And I'm pretty sure, in your heart, you KNOW that NO ONE at Lamb & Lion is negative against Jews in any way.

Please reconsider your comments.

God bless.

Billy said...

Travelauntie,

Your objection was "the mark of a true Jewish businessman." and my reply may seem not to address that. But the "mark" that was implied in your statement was the use of the word "shrewd" and therefore I believe my reply is relevant.

Billy said...

Travelauntie,

Finally, YOU used the word "greedy". Not Nathan. No where in the dictionary does the word "greedy" apply to the description by Nathan of the Innkeeper as "shrewd". Therefore on could conclude the "greedy" image you chose was YOUR OWN ASSOCIATION of greed to Jews.

See how this can backfire on you?

I'm know YOU are not against Jews...well, neither is Nathan.

Please retract your comment.

Nathan Jones said...

Travelauntie, who said Jewish businessmen are greedy? They're shrewd. Ask any Jew and they're quite proud of that compliment.

We do indeed live in an age where everyone's ultra sensative.

David Bergsland said...

I heard the other day that the real issue was that having a baby in the Inn would make it unclean and therefore unusable as an Inn until it was ritualistically cleansed.

Do you know if this is true?

Nathan Jones said...

Someone wrote in asking how we could be ready when someone needy on the streets asks us for help. Great question!

I was going over some ideas with one of our trustees and thought he came up with a good solution. In his wallet he plans on keeping a gift card like to Subway or some other eatery like that wrapped in a track. It's portable, provides the food and the Gospel, and is easy to pull out in a pinch. You could even add contact info to your church in the tract if local.

Eli said...

Nathan,
Fulfilling Messiantic Prophecies, Jesus Christ came first as a servant; Ben Yoseph or Son of Joseph. He will soon return as King of Kings, Ben David or Son of David. Being born in a lambing cave in the hills outside of Bethlehem would be appropriaste for the Lamb of God who would be our lamb sacrifice for all of our sins at Passovwer time. The Innkeeper may not have known this, but offering what space he had showed hospitality.

Nathan Jones said...

Good point, David! According the the Mosaic Law in Leviticus 12, the woman after giving birth would be unclean for seven days. If Joseph touched the blood covered baby, which he most likely did, then he would be ceremonially unclean as well.

As for a baby being born in a building like an inn, I haven't found anything that would say the building needed cleansing, though.

texas wolfie said...

Hi. Thank you for sharing the story with me. Having worked with the homeless myself, I can give you a suggestion on how not to be unprepared when you encounter a homeless person or people. I carry some one dollar bills which I give 3 or 4 to the person in need. I also carry McDonalds 5 dollar gift cards which they sell all year around. This gives some cash which they may need for a personal item (toothbrush or the like) but is not enough for drug or alchohol use. It also gives them a hearty breakfast or lunch which may be fattening, but how many overweight homeless types have you seen? This system has worked for me here in McKinney and they seem grateful. Keep up the good work and God bless you and brother Reagan. Robert

Billy said...

Giving money to beggars isn't a good idea. If they get enough few dollars from a lot of people now they can buy booze, drugs and cigarettes.

I gave money to some homeless men in the park once. I went in the Library and when I came out there they were - at a picnic table drinking the beer they bought with my money. Other times I offered to buy food for beggars. No, thanks was the reply. Other times I've told the guys on the freeway that if they walk just one block down the street they can get help at the temporary aid center. "Yeah, I know." was the reply. Another time a co-worker told me that the guy who stands around with his hand curled up against his chest begging for money was later seen by him in the alley counting the money with his supposedly crippled hand. Most all beggars want MONEY. And NOT for food.

I'll stick with an offer to buy food for them or donate food to the food bank or church or the great idea of a gift card. You're NOT helping by giving cash.

Anonymous said...

Very good article, Nathan! Interesting, timely, relevant. I would have responded the same way, but will pick up a food gift card to carry around with me in the future. God bless you and your family, and have a great Christmas holiday time.

Brian Potts said...

There is NO innkeeper in the Bible. The Bible doesn't even say anyone turned them away. We need to quit believing songs and traditions and read what scripture plainly teaches. This is why over 80% of churchgoing kids never return to church after leaving high school. They have no truth to fall back on because we teach untrue traditions instead of facts and these are easily contradicted by non believers.

David Bergsland said...

Lighten up, Brian... We're speculating entirely, but with knowledge of the times.

Merry Christmas! It'll all work out. He promises...

Billy said...

"She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

Brian,

Someone likely ran the inn. That someone was likely an innkeeper. Someone likely inquired if there was room in the inn. Someone likely must've said no. Doesn't sound likely an issue to get peeved over.

Of all the reason that kids stop going to church, I hardly think that any would say because they were told about an inkeeper in the Bible and their secular friend said "Nuh-uh".

Tom O. said...

Enjoyed the story of the experience in San Antonio. I lived there 20 years, and still remember the River walk and the wonderful lights. But, I also remember people "sneaking" around looking for handouts from the generous visitors. if you go down to Mexico, just across the border, you'll see even more. And, it's not just at Christmas. There are a lot of sign holders for handouts in Texas and Mexico. Sad but true.

Susie said...

Guess everyones on vacation!!!! Just wanted to tell my friends nathan, dr reagan, sue, billy, dr nofog, and the others who have so kindly befriended me here at l&l .......... merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!! Happy new year! Pray for my strength as i have given Jesus a bday gift.... i quit smoking after 32 years! Its been only 2 days but praise God!!!! Happy bday Lord!!!!!

Expected Imminently said...

Love and blessings to everyone and trusting you will all have a wonderful Christmas.

Maranatha!
Sue
x

Rodney said...

As the Lord God is presently planting hooks in the jaws of the Gog/Magog participants and drawing them to the borders of Israel, I fully expect the Battle of Gog/Magog to occur between Hanukkah and the second month (Zif/Iyar) on the Jewish Calendar!

In the second month was the foundation of the First and Second Temple laid, so will it be for Third! Christ ascended during this time becoming the foundation stone or Chief Cornerstone for the Heavenly Temple as well! On this second month was the earth dried after the great flood of Noah's day! Manna also was provided for the children of Israel during this time. Israel became a modern Jewish State (Iyar 5, 5708), Jerusalem was conquered during the Six Day War (Iyar 28 5727).

The intervention of Western intelligence agencies to foment regime changes in several nations bordering Israel have ensured that violent and extreme antisemitic elements of Islam are in power! The withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq gives Iran a corridor for aircraft and ground troops to rapidly deploy to the borders of Israel!

The present clash of Sunni states backed by Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood allied with the West against Shiite elements backed by Iran is increasing daily!
The West desires to see the Assad regime collapse utilizing mercenaries, Al Qaeda, and Muslim Brotherhood as was the case in Libya, yet this will not occur! Russia and Iran fully back Syria!

A coordinated attack by U.S. or Israeli military forces on Iran also will not occur, though rumors of such an operation have existed for some time. China as well as Russia has made it clear that they will defend Iranian territory against any military aggression!

While many scholars are now predicting the Destruction of Damascus and of Iran as Elam, they willfully neglect that the northern border of Israel, is the gathering point of the Gog/Magog alliance as they gather like a storm to cover the land! While many of the participants are being gathered on opposite sides of the spectrum (Sunni and Shiite), they are being gathered regardless.

"And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother"-Ezekiel 38:21! The "mountains" in this context exists as the borders of Israel, all the present enemies that share a common border with Israel will slay each other. The present enemies not immediately bordering Israel are being gathered to the borders that they too may join their allies in the pit as recorded in Ezekiel 32:17-32.

Rodney said...

A few short days after the foundation of the Temple is laid, the Lord God will pour out his Spirit upon the house of Israel as documented in Ezekiel 39:29 and in complete prophetic fulfillment of Joel 2:28:29.

"And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgement that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them"-Ezekiel 39:21.
"Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD"-Ezekiel 39:29. "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit"-Joel 2:28,29.

Expected Imminently said...

At the 2nd coming of Jesus all the geography will be changed and the mountain of the Lord will be raised much higher and Jerusalem will become a port. It is then that the Messiah will raise up the 4th (Ezekiel) Temple of the Millennium.

The Tribulation sanctuary that is made an abomination is destroyed thirty days after the end of the Tribulation. It is 'house' not sanctioned by God.

The Tribulation is 2,520 days long split into two parts of 3 ½ years each or 1260 days x 2.

In 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.

The AoD is set up in the middle of the ‘week’. From that point there are 42 months remaining or 1260 days (3 ½ years) The AoD remains standing for a further 30 days making 1,290 days before it is destroyed.

12Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

This is a further 45 days making 1,335 days = 75 days from the end of the Tribulation when Jesus returns. It is during this time that the sheep and goat judgments also take place which are surviving Gentiles amongst other important factors.

The Tribulation or 3rd Temple does not survive into the Millennium.

From Footsteps of the Messiah AFrucht.

Perhaps the Tribulation will start on the 9th of Ab year ? which is the date of the destruction of the 1st and 2nd Temples. (July/August)

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/946703/jewish/What-happened-on-the-Ninth-of-Av.htm

Rodney said...

"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, showing himself that he is God"-2 Thessalonians 2:4. The context here identifies with a literal physical Temple of God, obviously sanctified by God and defiled by the AntiChrist.

"And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD"-Ezekiel 20:34-36. Compare this with Ezekiel 39:27-29.

"For in my holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers"-Ezekiel 20:40-42. Compare this with Ezekiel 38:18 and Ezekiel 39:28.

It is of a truth that the Third Temple will exist as a Temple of God and that it will be the Lord GOD that will require the sacrifices as recorded. These sacrifices will be ordained by GOD and accepted by him. The belief that this will be a profane structure with profane sacrifices has its origins in the camp of Replacement Theology!

The unity of these passages provided indicate that they will take place during and after the Gog/Magog battle of Ezekiel 38-39.
"Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD-Ezekiel 39:29.

You will also notice that the context of the passages provided of Ezekiel 20 do not make reference to a Millenial Temple or that the nations are required to present themselves before the Lord, obviously this is a reference to the coming Third Temple, a Temple of God with sacrifices Holy unto the Lord. Do not be persuaded to follow fables of those who seek to identify a Holy Temple of God and the required sacrifices by a Holy God as being profane, that would be a clear and dangerous error.

Rodney said...

"Then I heard one saint speaking and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; the shall the sanctuary be cleansed"-Daniel 8:13,14. Notice that the sanctuary will be cleansed, for the Lord will come swiftly to the Temple and destroy the AntiChrist.

Rodney said...

We all know of the Messianic passages in Zechariah that describe the return of Christ planting his feet upon the Mount of Olives. We also know that the Lord will enter the gate and thereby enter the Temple as King of Kings and Lord of Lords! The sanctuary will be cleansed and the Millenial reign of Christ our Lord commenced!

Rodney said...

Merry Christmas to all and may we celebrate this most precious gift next year in his presence, casting our crowns before his feet.

Expected Imminently said...

Arnold Fruchtenbaum is a Messianic Jew and has never believed in 'replacement theology', or taught it.
You are combining separate prophecies that don't belong together. The Ezek Gog Magog war is at least PreTrib; the Armagedon conflict is at the end of the 70th Week when Jesus returns and is not the same as the Armageddon Campaign.

The East Gate or the Golden Gate is part of the defensive city wall of Jerusalem and leads to the courtyard outside the Temple proper. Jesus enters as King into Jerusalem, this gate is not the entrance to the Temple, but the court outside the structure of the defiled 3rd Temple of the Tribulation. He comes to the Mt. of Olives after He returns from Bozrah and has defeated A/c forces defending the Jerusalem Jews.(Treading the winepress)

Expected Imminently said...

PS.To clarify.
Armageddon campaign Scriptures are not the same as the Ezek Gog-Magog war. Two separate conflicts that you are combining as one.

When foundational Scriptures are taken out of context, the conclusions arrived at are bound to be wrong.

Expected Imminently said...

Not to forget that when Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation the geography will be turned upside down. Old structures will fall and the Mountain of the Lord will be raised much higher and Jerusalem will become a port. It is on this raised mountain that Messiah will build the 4th Temple of the Mill. This is what Ezekiel refers to, not the 3rd human built Temple'of the Tribulation.

Rodney said...

I am very much aware of the differences associated with the campaigns, yet the Prophet Daniel identifies clearly that the Third Temple sanctuary will be cleansed by the triumphant Lord! There is no mistaking this clear passage of scripture as declared in Daniel 8:14.

The Gog/Magog campaign allows for the construction of the Third Temple while the Armageddon campaign expires in the Lord cleansing the sancturary of this same Third Temple taking his rightful place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

"For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground"-Ezekiel 38:19,20. Obviously we can expect tremendous topographic changes associated also with this coming battle as plainly recorded here.

Expected Imminently said...

Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

The context of this verse is placed within the fulfilled prophecy after the Temple was desecration by the 3rd Bronze Beast of Greece by Antiochus Apiphanes and has NOTHING to do with the Tribulation Temple being ‘cleansed’ by Christ at his coming.

Daniel heard a holy one say "two thousand three hundred mornings and evenings." Bible students debate if this means 2,300 days or 1,150 days. 2,300 days is almost seven years.2,300 years.
Either understanding is possible, but it is more likely that this means 2,300 days.

The HISTORICAL date when the temple WAS cleansed is WELL KNOWN AND established as December 25, 165 B.C. Counting back 2,300 days from then, we come to the year when Antiochus Epiphanes began his persecution in earnest (171 B.C.). The context refers to the 1st Temple built by Solomon which was cleansed and rededicated to God. The miracle of the oil that lasted is today celebrated as Hannakkah.

The above bears no relation to Daniel 12:22 which is still future.

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. ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED NINETY DAYS (1,290days)

Rodney said am very much aware of the differences associated with the campaigns, yet the Prophet Daniel identifies clearly that the Third Temple sanctuary will be cleansed by the triumphant Lord! There is no mistaking this clear passage of scripture as declared in Daniel 8:14.

To be clear Daniel 8:14 is NOT connected with Daniel 12:11 at all, their time markers are centuries apart with only the connection of Antiochus being a ‘TYPE’ of the future ‘little horn’ of THE REAL A/c. the last Gentile ruler.

Because you have misapplied the timing context, you have arrived at a pretext in all your calculations. So the The 3rd Temple remains desecrated and isn’t entered by Yeshua!
The Gog-Magog battle is either Pre/Trib or just at the start of the 7 years. Armagedon is near a full seven years distant. The construction of the sanctuary begins either before or just after the start of the Trib thereafter, there are massive earthquakes, many dreadful disasters allowing for few building to stand let alone be built.

The 3rd Temple is still desecrated when Jesus enters the city via the Eastern Gate at the end of the Trib – so he doesn’t enter it then, and it is still standing thirty days later when it is judged.

Ezek38:19,20,"For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground"-Ezekiel 38:19,20.

Obviously we can expect tremendous topographic changes associated also with this coming battle as plainly recorded here.

Yes; BUT, it is not in context with Daniel 8 which has already fulfilled several hundred years previously. While Ezekiel 38 Gog Magog, takes placed 7 years before Jesus returns to earth and fights at the Armageddon campaign,. The Tribulation Temple is an invalid house and it is destroyed thirty days after the end coming of Jesus. The earthquakes and the topography will be further altered massively and every WALL BE THROWN DOWN and the mountain of The Lord raised MUCH higher and will become a port.

You are mixing and matching prophecies that don’t belong in the same time-scale at all.

Sorry to waffle I am really very tired and need my sleep.

Expected Imminently said...

Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

The context of this verse is placed within the fulfilled prophecy after the Temple was desecration by the 3rd Bronze Beast of Greece by Antiochus Apiphanes and has NOTHING to do with the Tribulation Temple being ‘cleansed’ by Christ at his coming.

Daniel heard a holy one say "two thousand three hundred mornings and evenings." Bible students debate if this means 2,300 days or 1,150 days. 2,300 days is almost seven years.2,300 years.
Either understanding is possible, but it is more likely that this means 2,300 days.

The HISTORICAL date when the temple WAS cleansed is WELL KNOWN AND established as December 25, 165 B.C. Counting back 2,300 days from then, we come to the year when Antiochus Epiphanes began his persecution in earnest (171 B.C.). The context refers to the 1st Temple built by Solomon which was cleansed and rededicated to God. The miracle of the oil that lasted is today celebrated as Hannakkah.

The above bears no relation to Daniel 12:22 which is still future.

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. ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED NINETY DAYS (1,290days)

Rodney said am very much aware of the differences associated with the campaigns, yet the Prophet Daniel identifies clearly that the Third Temple sanctuary will be cleansed by the triumphant Lord! There is no mistaking this clear passage of scripture as declared in Daniel 8:14.

To be clear Daniel 8:14 is NOT connected with Daniel 12:11 at all, their time markers are centuries apart with only the connection of Antiochus being a ‘TYPE’ of the future ‘little horn’ of THE REAL A/c. the last Gentile ruler.

Because you have misapplied the timing context, you have arrived at a pretext in all your calculations. So the The 3rd Temple remains desecrated and isn’t entered by Yeshua!
The Gog-Magog battle is either Pre/Trib or just at the start of the 7 years. Armagedon is near a full seven years distant. The construction of the sanctuary begins either before or just after the start of the Trib thereafter, there are massive earthquakes, many dreadful disasters allowing for few building to stand let alone be built.

The 3rd Temple is still desecrated when Jesus enters the city via the Eastern Gate at the end of the Trib – so he doesn’t enter it then, and it is still standing thirty days later when it is judged.

Ezek38:19,20,"For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground"-Ezekiel 38:19,20.

Obviously we can expect tremendous topographic changes associated also with this coming battle as plainly recorded here.

Yes; BUT, it is not in context with Daniel 8 which has already fulfilled several hundred years previously. While Ezekiel 38 Gog Magog, takes placed 7 years before Jesus returns to earth and fights at the Armageddon campaign,. The Tribulation Temple is an invalid house and it is destroyed thirty days after the end coming of Jesus. The earthquakes and the topography will be further altered massively and every WALL BE THROWN DOWN and the mountain of The Lord raised MUCH higher and will become a port.

You are mixing and matching prophecies that don’t belong in the same time-scale at all.

Sorry to waffle I am really very tired and need my sleep.

Rodney said...

A Temple of God can not be desecrated or become desolate if it does not first inhabit the presence of the Lord in the form of the Shekinah glory! The Lord also warned those that are present when this occurs to flee to the mountains of Judea, for this desecration of the Temple of God will bring forth the judgements associated with the Great Tribulation or the final portion of the Time of Jacob's Trouble.

If it were true as E.I. suggests that this Third Temple, is not a Temple of God and it's sacrifices profane, then surely no such Abomination could take place, for no one can make anything desolate that is already desolate. I believe common sense identifies the truth concerning this matter. If the sacrifices were not warranted by the Lord God or accepted then how can they be a threat to the AntiChrist, obviously we already know the answer to that one! Sorry to burst your bubble E.I.!

Expected Imminently said...

What has burst is a faulty presentation of fulfilled prophecy in an attemp to support a faulty premise. Removal from the context can only produce a pretext.

The third Temple is raised up by Herod in the NAME of God for the Jews (political gesture)

The Shekinah was seen leaving Solomons Temple in stages by Jeremiah and the Shekinah. When God told Nehemiah to rebuild the city and Temple the
the Shekinah still was absent.

When the 2nd Temple was built by Herod FOR God there was no Shekinah UNTIL Jesus went in and out of it (didn't stay) to preach but calling it 'my Father's house'. It was raised in God's Name only and many untutored believers went with honest hearts to hear the twisted Scriptures of the Scribes and Pharisees. Jesus taught them truth in the courtyard or in the great oudoors. Where Yeshua was, there was the Shekinah.

Likewise, the 3rd Tribulation Temple is to be built FOR God, but there will be no Shekinah because The Church is the sanctioned Temple of God. Meaning we may see it's un-sanctioned building, but more likely the Church/Temple has left earth and is in THE Heavenly Sanctuary where the Shekinah lives.

The 3rd Temple is raised as a house not sanctioned by God. It is used by religious Jews in HONOUR of God. It is The Honour of God that is defiled. By that time MANY Jews will have realised Yeshua was indeed their promised Messiah. When Elijah returns, there is no mention of him going into the 3rd Temple, why? Same for the two witnesses, if memory serves me, they witness OUTSIDE on the courtyard for 3 1/2 yrs.

One more thing it is the A/c image that is called 'the desolation that makes desolate'.

I need tea, I have a stinking cold and hope you can find the verses about the 2 witnesses.

Expected Imminently said...

Rodney
I want to do this better justice than I am because I am not trying to say you arel ALL wrong, you do have some valid points, as always. I know Nathan can do a better job than me when he returns, so until I feel better I don't want to be the cause of confusion by lax Bible study. In particular because of Susie.

I am feeling really rough with a nasty cold plus my kidneys are causing problems. Its a guess only, but I think I may have passed a stone? Perhaps I shall feel better as a result fairly soon and able to do this justice.
Praise the Lord always.
Maranatha
Sue

Rodney said...

The Church will have been translated to Heaven by the time the Temple is constructed, the focus of the Lord God will have returned to his people Israel. The Shekinah will be in the presence of the people as it was for their Father's in the wilderness. In the "Final Week", the Church will not be present, the restoration and redemption of Israel will be taking place!

Rodney said...

E.I., may the "Great Physician" provide healing to your body and may his Spirit give you strength and comfort.

Rodney said...

The Prophets Zechariah and Haggai were present to aid in the construction of the Temple, so too will the Two Witnesses be present at the construction of the Third!

Anonymous said...

There is no Innkeeper in the Bible. This is speculation and extra Biblical and Catholic in origin.
There are hundreds of inns scattered over the hillsides of Israel.
Each family plot had one associated with their threshing floor where they stored their grain and slept. David's family plot was Boaz's threshing floor a few yards down the hillside from the Tower of the flock where Jesus was born as prophesied in Mica 4:8.
He was wrapped in the same cloths the sacrificial lambs had been for centuries for this was the place of the paschal flock watched over by the sanctified shepherds.
This is how they came with haste and found the Mary ,Joseph and the baby lying in the manger. The same manger where the sacrificial lambs were inspected at birth and before being sent to Jerusalem for sacrifice.

Susie said...

O my gosh sue! Dont hold back on my account!! Haha im just a humble student...... i look stuff up as u guys discuss..... but i dont want to keep everyone from spirited debate just cuz im kjnda new at end time study. I know the foundaions of what i believe. Im an imminent rapture believer for sure and have been for many years... i am going to pray for u to get better right now in my prayer closet.

Nathan, how is dr reagan doing?

Susie said...

I know this is off subject but please please everyone could u pray for my deliverence from smoking? Im having a hard time and i feel helpless because im usually not weak. Thank u. Susie

Expected Imminently said...

Rodney and Susie
I really appreciate both your prayers. I know its silly, but I don't feel well enough to go to the doctors just yet, but I am overdue so its my own fault! I need some anti-inflamatories, but kidney's don't like them, so what to do but trust Jesus and the prayers of friends.

Rodney It is very recently that I put forward the same Zechariah and Haggai as possible contenders for the two witnesses as opposed to your first choice of Enoch and Elijah - (or was it Moses) However I wasn't dogmatic about it as it is far from being being certain. At best it is an ssumption based not on The Word, but 'feelings'. Remember the Holy Spirit Never by-passes the written Word. It MUST be compatible.

By making definite assertions of something being a fact, without Biblical support, it is merely a theory wide open to being ridiculed.
IMO it is wiser to put these ideas forward only as possiblities to look into. This is what I find so difficult with your style of writing Rodney; you say things as though you think you have a hotline to God and produce a tone sounding as 'I'm right snd your wrong'. It is baound to cause rancour when a tiny bit of investigation proves a theory to be just that, a theory of gueswork.

Now I must wend my way to my snuggly duvet; and await some clarity from Nathan about the Tribulation Temple .

Maranatha PLEASE!

P.S. Anonymous it isn't worth the effort of straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. For ease of telling a story spread over about three years, condensing the simple Gospel account is really is no big deal. Taking it at face value helps tell the story with no complications.

Night night God bless
Maranatha - double quick.
Sue
x

Expected Imminently said...

Susie thrown them in a fire in Jesus name and trust Him to get you through.
Just think how you must smell like an old ashtray to others. Praise the Lord with Vim,vigour and absolute faith and trust.

Chew sugarfree-gum and mark off each day from the celendar. "I CAN do ALL things through Christ Jesus that strengthens me!

God will bless you in your efforts for him to have a sweet smelling place of residence. Don't think about it, DO it in Jesus Name and say NO to temptation.

(Hugs Sue)

Rodney said...

Sorry E.I., you must have me confused with someone else, my view is that none of the Old Testament saints will consist of the Two Witnesses, having died or been translated! I do believe they are however alive at this time being prepared for their appointed time to present themselves to Israel and to the world.

Expected Imminently said...

Hello Rodney

Yes, I agree, the two witnesses are NOT revived O.T. saints.

They are 'types' that have been used by God in the past as their powers will be like those give to Moses and Elijah as well as the two priests the two Olive trees.
It’s POSSIBLE they are alive right now but we cannot KNOW that for certain.

Elijah has to come before them, and the Church MAY see him, but I doubt it as his ministry will be to begin re-uniting the Jewish family and returning the remnant of Israel to The Lord. He will show them the truth about Yeshua the Messiah. Their faith will be in Him.

If that happened before the Rapture which ends the Church age, they would become part of Christ's Bride.
However, Israel is the WIFE of Jehovah. As His remnant, they start to return to Him by believing in Yeshua as Messiah.

Therefore the Church needs to be completed and removed so that Israel the wife can begin her return to her Husband.

That return begins, but isn’t finalised until the end of the 70th Week when Jesus commands the angels to gather Israel living and dead, from the four corners of earth and heaven. Mark 13:27; Matt24:31.
The second and final promised WORLDWIDE gathering; this time in faith, not un-belief as in 1948.
Praise The Lord!

Expected Imminently said...

Rodney said "As the Lord God is presently planting hooks in the jaws of the Gog/Magog participants and drawing them to the borders of Israel, I fully expect the Battle of Gog/Magog to occur between Hanukkah and the second month (Zif/Iyar) on the Jewish Calendar!..."

Well Hanukkah 2011 is over and gone....still you've got until mid May!

Betcha Psalm 83/Isaiah 17 comes first - IF the Rapture hasn't come. :)

Expected Imminently said...

The Third Temple by Dr. D Reagan fyi :)

http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_jews10.php

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