Saint Thomas the Apostle is remembered as “Doubting Thomas.” That may be a little unfair. To be sure he was a skeptic concerning the resurrection of Jesus:
Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with the other disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:24-25)
On the other hand, Thomas was faithful as a disciple. He was willing to sacrifice for what he believed was the cause of Christ. As Jesus was speaking about going to Jerusalem which proved to be his last trip there, Thomas was aware of the danger involved:
Then Thomas said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (John 11:16)
Following Jesus is not easy. Many churches preach a grace that has little cost to it except for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We must be prepared to make sacrifices if we are to live out the faith in our day. This is especially true in our nation today. Are we willing to go the distance? Thomas was willing.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.For,
“In just a little while,
he who is coming will come
and will not delay.”
And,“But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.” (Hebrews 10:35-38)
During times of test and trials are we will to stand our ground for the Lord? We will if we have a vision that God has given us to embrace. If we do not have a vision then we must ask God for one. It is in the difficult times that our vision is most clarified, provided that we seek God and His Word and provided that we are willing to wait on His response.
I will stand at my watchpost,and station myself on the rampart; I will keep watch to see what he will say to me,and what he will answer concerning my complaint. Then the LORD answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets , so that a runner may read it. For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith. (Habakkuk 2:1-4)
Living by faith is trusting in God without seeing around the next corner. Jesus has gone ahead of us and He is leading us. Are we willing to follow. Thomas was willing. When he realized that Jesus had risen from the dead he said: “My Lord and my God!” Is Jesus is our Lord and our God?
Now Thomas (also known as Didymus ), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. (source)
First pope to be born outside Europe since Gregory III (731-741) and the first from the Americas; first pope from the Southern Hemisphere. First Jesuit pope. First to use a new and non-composed regnal name since Lando (913–914).
The Third Temple
It’s very important that we stay alert in these times. One thing that we should pay close attention to is the Third Temple that is to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. We are to know the seasons. The following exert from an article from Prophecy News Watch helps explain some things that we should know and look for.
According to Rabbi Friedman, the architectural plan of the Third Temple will resemble that of the Second one, and will include an organized plan for the Chamber of Hewn Stone, the seat of the Sanhedrin [the ancient high court assembly]. There will be a menorah, an altar, a shewbread table, the Holy of Holies. However there will be no entryway (hall) in the sanctuary that existed in the First and Second Temples, and changes to the basin which according to the Talmud has had 12 spigots added to it. It’s unknown how many they had before that.
Friedman further explains that modern era conveniences, such as computers, legal documents, fruit mixers, electric ovens, and even that will transmit what’s happening there to the whole world. But he notes that modern advances could also create some difficulties: “The temple subsisted on the half-shekel tax. This money became sanctified when it was transferred to the temple. Today, when payments are made by direct deposit, they will only be numbers in bank accounts and there’s no actual sacred currency. It’s a nuance that needs to be considered.”
Segal and Friedman agree that everything is ready except two additional “small” matters:
1. The “easy” one is surprisingly, the absence of the Ark of the Covenant. Friedman stated that “There are 10 studies about the location of the Ark of the Covenant. We read them and studied all of them, and reached the conclusion that the right answer is that it’s buried in the tunnels under the Temple Mount. When the day comes, we will get to it.” It is also noteworthy, as pointed out by Segal, that the Second Temple did not have an ark.
2. The more problematic issue is the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, which slightly impedes the architectural plans. “The temple will not be built through private acts and blowing up mosques,” emphasizes Segal. “That’s not the direction. The direction is changing consciousness. The preparations are mental more than anything.” One of the people involved in preparations, who requested anonymity, explains, “If not for the problem of the Dome of the Rock, they would build the temple today, and the temple would be built there. The third temple will be built by the government of Israel, not by private individuals. No one will do what shouldn’t be done, like an underground action to blow up the Dome of the Rock. The people who are committed to establishing the temple are normative and rational people, and just like we established the State of Israel, the day will come when we will build the temple, in an orderly, state-sanctioned manner… the location of the altar where sacrifices are allowed on the Temple Mount is not within the bounds of Al-Aqsa, so at least they should let us sacrifice on the Temple Mount.”
However before any sacrifices take place there, the State of Israel will need to authorize Jews to ascend to the Temple Mount and allow them to conduct any specifically related activities.
For students of Biblical eschatology, the interest is more on the prophetic significance of these events: what does it all mean, especially in relation to end-time prophecies mentioned particularly in the books of Daniel and Revelation?
It is noteworthy to remember that as with most prophetic/end time prophecies, although Bible Scholars tend to agree on most prophetic Biblical themes and events specified, in some cases they also tend to differ on interpretation and timing of certain details.
He Is Near.com explains that based on Revelation 11:2 and 13:1, once a 7-year Mideast Peace Agreement is signed by the End -Time Antichrist or “man of sin”, then the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem will be built within the first three and a half years of the Tribulation and “will be a prime cause of the massive bloodshed, terror & death that will occur worldwide at that time”. Once it is completed, the Antichrist will be the ultimate world leader who will enter into the 3rd Temple at the exact Mid-7 year point of the 7-year Tribulation period. The man of sin then “takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God” (2 Thess.2:4; Rev.13:1-18; Dan. 9:27). This act will launch the Great Tribulation period, the most horrific & deathly three and a half year period that will ever occur in world history, all at the hands of the Antichrist.
Based on this interpretation, the other key event to watch for in addition to the rebuilding of the Temple is the signing of a peace treaty in the Middle East, which will then trigger the timetable of events prophesied to occur after that.
Nowtheendbegins.com also states that based on Daniel 9:24-27, at the time of the ‘Great Tribulation’ or the ‘time of Jacob’s trouble’, this Temple will be taken over, as Daniel the prophet foresaw, by the Lawless One, commonly known as the Antichrist, at exactly three and one half years after the start of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. The Antichrist is also prophesied to interfere with the sacrifices being made in the Temple once it has been rebuilt:
And he shall enter into a strong and firm covenant with the many for one week [seven years]. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and offering to cease [for the remaining three and one-half years]; and upon the wing or pinnacle of abominations [shall come] one who makes desolate, until the full determined end is poured out on the desolator. (Daniel 9:27 – Amplified Version)
Clearly the rebuilding of the 3rd Temple reflects how close we are to the fulfillment of all the other Biblical prophecies relating to the end times, especially the chaotic 7 years of time commonly described as Daniel’s 70th week, and ultimately the return of Jesus Christ to rule the earth in righteousness, peace and justice, as prophesied by the prophet Isaiah:
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:6, 7).