Believe in Acts, Part 2 - Israel and Their Temple in Jerusalem:
The third time the Greek word “pisteuo,” translated “believe” is used in Acts is in the context of additional believers being added to the Jewish Pentecostal church. That church met on Solomon’s porch in the Temple in Jerusalem and were all in one accord; many signs and wonders were done among them by the 12 Apostles to the point that people with unclean spirits were brought in from around Jerusalem to be healed and the sick were laid outside their homes, all of whom were healed when Peter’s shadow passed over them as he walked by, Acts 5:12 - 1612 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
. Considering this passage along with Acts 2:44 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
1 - 4441 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
, 4:1 - 4 that church may have had over 10,000 Jews living together in harmony off the common treasury they created after selling everything they had and donating thereto, Acts 2:4444 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
; 4:32. This was made possible only because the entire Pentecostal Church of Jewish believers were filled with the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:4, 38; 4:31.
The Temple in which the Pentecostal Jews gathered, fellowshipped and worshiped had been rebuilt and expanded by Herod the Great and is sometimes referred to as the Third Temple. It was on Mount Moriah, which in present day is called the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. King Solomon built the first Temple at the same place, 2 Chronicles 3:11 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
, about 900 years before Christ, which was subsequently destroyed when the Jews were carried off into Babylonian exile. Then, Zerubbabel and the Jews returning with him to Jerusalem from that exile built the second Temple. It was inferior in size and grandeur to Solomon’s, Ezra 3:8 - 138 Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD.
9 Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites.
10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.
11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:
13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.
; Haggai 2:33 Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?
, because Zerubbable and those with him didn’t have the wealth and resources of Solomon. *
King Herod prided himself on building beautiful buildings and according to historical accounts he began work remodeling the existing second Temple around 16 BC, ultimately doubling its size while the Priests continued serving in it during remodeling. Thus it was when Jesus was about 30 years old that the Jews told Him it had taken 46 years to build, John 2:2020 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
. However, according to historical accounts, work on it was not totally completed until 64 AD. Then in 70 AD, during Roman Caesar Vespasian's reign, his son General Titus crushed a revolt by the Jews, captured Jerusalem and completely destroyed the Temple. A million people are said to have died in Titus’ siege of Jerusalem. Materials from Herod’s Temple were carried off to Rome and used to build the Arch of Titus at the end of the Roman Forum nearest to the Coliseum. That Arch commemorates Titus’ victory and Bas-reliefs on it today picture Roman soldiers making off with booty from the temple. *
Israel had no homeland from 70 AD until 1948 AD. Mohammad was born about 500 years after Herod’s Temple was destroyed. Satan, the Prince and Power of the air who works in the children of disobedience, Ephesians 2:22 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
, worked in Mohammad to establish the false religion Islam, which has deluded millions of its followers by turning them away from the true God of the Bible. Under Mohammad and his followers, Islam was spread as people were conquered and their land claimed. At one time the Islamic empire stretched from the borders of China and India, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Sicily, and the Iberian Peninsula, to the Pyrenees. Subsequent Islamic leaders have attempted to continue Mohammad’s pattern of conquest up through today. *
Solomon’s, Zerubbabel’s and Herod’s Temples were all located on what is now called the Temple Mount in Jerusalem where Islam built The Dome of the Rock as a Shrine in 691 AD. It collapsed in 1016 and was rebuilt in 1021. The Christian Crusades began in 1095 AD aimed at taking Jerusalem and the Holy Land back from Islamic rule. The Ottoman or Turkish Empire, which was Islamic, came into existence at the end of the 13th century and ultimately controlled the Holy Land. They formed an alliance with Germany in the early 20th century, joining in World War I with the imperial ambition of recovering its lost territories. The Ottoman Empire collapsed during that war and Britain took over Palestine and in 1917 issued the “Balfour Declaration,” which declared its intent to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The Arabs contested this so Britain ruled it throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s. Jews from Russia settled in Palestine and fighting ensued between them and the Arabs. Finally, in November 1947 the United Nations voted to partition Palestine allowing the Jews to possess more than half of Palestine. The Arabs subsequently started wars with Israel but Israel prevailed and actually gained more land. Now, it is basically the anti-Semitic adherents of Islam who lead the movement to restrict the Nation of Israel in the land, however their real goal is to eliminate Israel as a Nation as they do not believe Israel has a right to exist. *
Shortly after Christ ascended into heaven, as recorded in the first part of the Book of Acts, the leaders of the Nation of Israel did not believe and accept Him as their Messiah. They persecuted those Jews who did believe in Jesus (the Pentecostal Church) and drove them from their land at the stoning of Stephen, Acts 11:1919 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
. Then, in 70 AD, even the unbelieving Jews were driven from the Holy Land. The Jews who returned as a Nation in 1948 created a Democratic secular government and I certainly believe the United States should back them as a Nation. But, as a Nation, they do not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah; they are not of one mind, living off a common treasury while worshiping in the Temple on Mount Mariah and thus are a far cry from the Holy Spirit empowered Jews who made up the Pentecostal church described in early Acts. Islam’s Dome of the Rock still sits on the Mount leaving the Jews to pray at what is left of the Western wall of the Temple Mount, which was built as a retaining wall in the expansion by Herod. *
For almost 2000 years now, a failure to recognize the transitional aspect of the Book of Acts has caused untold confusion in understanding Israel’s status as God’s chosen Nation, as compared to the Church, The Body of Christ, which consists of believing Jews and Gentiles. Israel’s status as God’s chosen Nation has to do with their position and standing on this earth, while the Body of Christ has a heavenly calling. Paul explains that the Nation of Israel was (temporarily) cut off from their inheritance because of their unbelief, Romans 11:2020 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
. Many believers that make up The Church, the Body of Christ still don’t understand the teaching of the book of Acts, which causes the confusion. Simply put, Peter and the 12 Apostles were promised by Jesus Christ they will sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel, Matthew 19:2828 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
& Luke 22:3030 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
, and this will literally happen someday because God keeps His promises, 2 Peter 3:99 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
. When Christ returns to earth and stands upon the Mount, Acts 1:9 - 129 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
, at the end of the Tribulation Period, then and only then will Jerusalem be restored with the Lord Jesus Christ reigning for 1000 years (the Millennium). At that time the Nation of Israel will be made up of Jews, all of whom will be filled with the Holy Spirit as were those in the Pentecostal Church. Thus Israel will be grafted back into God’s blessings as promised, Romans 11:23 - 2923 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
. It appears there will be a temple in Jerusalem during the Tribulation that the anti-christ will ultimately desecrate and there may be one during the Millennium when The Lord Jesus Christ reigns.
When Peter and the 11 judge Israel during Christ’s 1000 year reign, Jerusalem will be the headquarters or Capital of the entire earth and men from other nations will “take hold of the skirt of a Jew” and ask him to take them to Jerusalem to pray before the Lord, Zechariah 8:22 & 2322 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.
23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
. However, after that 1000 years and the Great White Throne Judgment, we know from the Apostle John in Revelation that there will be a new heaven and earth, Revelation 21:11 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
, when the Lord Jesus Christ will bring a magnificent New Jerusalem down from Heaven to the earth, Revelation 21:2 & 102 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
, in which John “ ... saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” Revelation 21:2222 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
But thank the Lord, the Great Tribulation, which begins the resumption of the Prophesies to Israel, as described in the Book of Revelation, will not occur until after we believers today who make up the Church, The Body of Christ, are taken to heaven when the Lord Jesus Christ comes for us in the air, 1 Corinthians 15:51 - 5351 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
: Philippians 3:20 - 2120 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
; I Thessalonians 4:13 - 18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1 - 31 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
; Titus 2:11 - 1411 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
; Col 3:3 & 4. The truth of Christ’s coming for us (referred to as the Rapture) is found only in the writings of the Apostle Paul because it was kept secret before it was revealed to Paul. The book of Acts is all about this - the setting aside of Israel as God’s Holy Nation while the Church, the Body of Christ was ushered in by the message God revealed to the Apostle Paul, a message never before known to mankind, Romans 16:25 & 2625 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
; Ephesians 3:3 - 123 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
; Colossians 1:26 & 2726 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
And so for almost 2000 years, Gentiles as well as individual Jews who have understood they/we are lost sinners and believe that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures are secure Members of the Body of Christ, 1 Corinthians 15:11 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
-4. Recaping - we who are members of the Body of Christ await the Rapture when we will meet The Lord Jesus Christ in the air and be taken to Heaven. Then the Tribulation will engulf this earth, after which Jews filled with the Holy Spirit will make up the Israel of Israel and find their promised place on this earth as God’s Holy Nation.
* Secular information for this article was taken from the Zodervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, page 834; an article titled “Coliseum built with loot from sack of Jerusalem temple” by Bruce Johnson, January 15, 2001 reprinted in “The Telegraph” December 25, 2016; various Wikipedia references and This Day in History - http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/state-of-israel-proclaimed and http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/16412/was-the-temple-built-in-46-years-or-was-it-46-years-old-during-jesus-time#16415.