As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” Mark 13:1
I never realized just how massive and magnificent these stones were, until doing a bit of research. From their quarrying to their installation, the construction feat of Herod the Great’s temple in Jerusalem still marvels the world. Cut from a limestone quarry above the ancient Temple Mount, some stones of the temple wall and retaining wall weighed up to 160,000 pounds while many a mere, but still impressive, two tons. Each of these stones is the reversed image of a typical framed piece of art, with a raised flat center and embossed edges, a masonry technique called “ashlar”. The larger of the ashlars are cornerstones weighing up to 80 tons, 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and 3 ½ feet tall. The temple building, fifteen stories tall, was made out of white marble, and embellished with gold. A hundred sixty-two pillars of grandeur formed from single blocks of white marble, lined the colonnade in the location of the “Royal Porch”. The historian Josephus remarked that the temple appeared as a shimmering “snowy mountain” in the sunlight.
Within the inner court at the location of the altar of sacrifice, the stonework changed to unhewn stones following God’s decrees in Deut 27:4-8 and Exod 20:25 (Dan 2:34; 1 Pet 2:4,5). At its entrance to the inner court, a stone now housed in the museum in Istanbul has the following inscription concerning foreigners:
"Let no foreigner enter within the parapet and the partition which surrounds the Temple precincts. Anyone caught [violating] will be held accountable for his ensuing death." (Ezek 44:6-9; 2 Chron 13:9)
Herod enlarged the footprint of Solomon and Zerubbabel’s earlier accomplishments to around 35 acres. What was his motivating factor for taking on such a tremendous project? He had established a reputation for enhancing many cities and building pagan temples, but Jerusalem was his capital and thus far, fell behind in works of achievements. Also, his reputation among the majority of the Jews was less than appealing; being known as a brutal tyrant appointed by, and upholding the Roman emperor, although he being a Jew. He heavily taxed the citizens to support his ambitious effort. Building the temple was an act of appeasement as “king of the Jews”, but more so, it appears to be the result of his insatiable desire to build upon his fame and legacy to follow.
As Edomites of the lineage of Esau, Jacob’s brother, his family line converted to Judaism in the second century b.c.; yet, Herod’s luxurious life-style and appointment by Rome was unacceptable by the majority of Jews. On ,the one hand he insisted on Jewish priests to build the temple, but for political advantage he eventually appointed high priests from outside of the traditional Levitical priesthood to serve in the temple – a contradiction of the stone’s writings near the inner court.
This man spearheaded what historians call the “Massacre of the Innocents” in his attempt to find and kill, the young Jesus – the “chief cornerstone” of the spiritual Temple of God and a perceived threat to his kingship. Herod, the rebellious hunter acting in the same manner as his Edomite descendants, was obsessed with keeping power at all costs; and it brought about his mental and physical ruin. Jesus was still a child when he died an excruciating death from chronic kidney disease and its complications. Matt 2:3,4,7,8,19,20
“Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” Mark 13:2
Herod’s massive stone legacy was attacked by the Romans and their siege engines, beginning in 66 c.e. and ending with complete destruction of the temple in 70 c.e.
Today, we have an intriguing correlation to Herod, his tyranny and his desire to build a legacy in stone, manifested in the leadership of the Watchtower organization. We see again a spiritual progeny of Esau (Edom) building “Jehovah’s Mountain”, which is taught as the avenue for “God’s people” to stream in from the desolate places of Christendom. Mal 1:4;Obad 1:2-4; Jer 49:4; Heb 12:15-17; Rev 8:10,11
Wt 55/12/15 In great numbers the inhabitants of the isles are hearing the call of the Right Shepherd, Jesus Christ, as they hasten to flee to Jehovah’s mountainlike ORGANIZATION.
Would the chief cornerstone of God’s SPIRITUAL Temple call individuals to a deceiving stone imagery, under the pretense of offering “peace and security”? John 18:36; Rev 13:1,4-8,15;1 Thess 5:1-3
The woman at the well in John 4 commented:
“Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father NEITHER ON THIS MOUNTAIN NOR IN JERUSALEM 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers MUST worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:20-24
JWs, please consider the Watchtower 2016 No. 2 pp. 8-10 comment on these scriptures:
“The Jewish temple was a tangible structure at a specific geographic location. But spirit and truth are not material, nor are they limited to any physical place. Thus, Jesus was explaining that true Christian worship WOULD NOT BE CENTERED IN OR DEPENDENT ON ANY MATERIAL STRUCTURE OR PHYSICAL LOCATION, whether Mount Gerizim, the temple in Jerusalem, or any other sacred place.”
Now, notice the brief quip from this video about assembly halls entitled, “Caring for Centers of Pure Worship”:
“The assembly hall is an educational center. This is A CENTER OF PURE WORSHIP for all the congregations that come. Taking care of JEHOVAH’S HOUSE is part of sacred service, even going back to the temple everyone had an assignment. They had someone open the doors, of course they also had someone maintaining things.”
(Please read 1 Chron 23:28 to see who “everyone” refers to)
In an off-handed way, Watchtower’s gathering places are compared to the early temple, as places of “sacred service” in “Jehovah’s House”. The only “house” sanctioned by God since the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple, is the anointed Body of Christ where spiritual sacred service is to be carried out by his priesthood. 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22; 1 Cor 3:9; Heb 3:6; 1 Pet 4:17; Rom 12:1; 2 Cor 9:12,13
In this video, Wt. is basically telling JWs to forego their previous remark, and maintain “Herod’s” impressive buildings and pagan “shrines”. The organization has a large portfolio of them, as did Herod the Great.
We can see a grim future for the anointed “living stones”/priesthood of the Temple of God residing under the spiritual progeny of Esau. Gen 25:30-33; Rev 17:7,12,13,18 Using their labor force, including all JWs, Watchtower’s “Herods” have built their TEMPLE IDOL, leaving God’s priesthood/stones misplaced and scattered unidentifiably, throughout the organization. Masked tyranny is one of the trademarks of deceit. It is employed effectively by false ‘kings of the Jews’ to construct not only their idol, but its wall of lies; all the while robbing God of His living stones who fail to join the chief cornerstone and Head of the true Temple, Jesus Christ. Obadiah 1:8-10; Matt 21:42; Acts 4:11,12; 1 Pet 2:7,8
Herod the Great never blinked an eye when it came to killing his family members if his authority seemed at risk; similarly, the governing body think nothing of it when authorizing their false “Gentile” priesthood, the elder body who “sits” in God’s Temple, to disfellowship - spiritually “kill” - their “fellow slaves”, the chosen anointed priesthood who may challenge both their authority and their teachings. 2 Thess 2:3,4; John 16:2; Matt 24:48-51; Obadiah 1:11; Rev 13:15; Rev 11:3,7
Jesus said, “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. Luke 10:5-7
Herod hunted down Jesus going house to house wanting to destroy him; similarly today, this sly hunting technique has effectively captured the anointed “firstfruits” into the Beast /organization using basic truth. Once caught, he liberally feeds them lies from the Harlot’s mouth. We know God allows this period of testing by Satan, just as He did with Job. Job 1:12; Luke 22:31; Mal 3:1-4
Watchtower’s counterfeit Zion is doomed to fall. “Jehovah’s mountainlike organization” and its wall of lies is crumbling quickly and will soon become dust. Ezek 13:1-16; Zech 4:7;Rev 8:8
“Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”
“When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where itdoes not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” Mark 13:4,14
As for “Jerusalem”, the city gone apostate, its Temple wall or protective defense of Truth has already been breached by a “Gentile” army, which upholds the Harlot/governing body’s lies. Job 1:10; Ezek 38:10,11,14-16;Rev 9:1,3,4,7 This “Herod” uses his delegated “Gentiles” to trample down the Temple – a Beast that is the very fabric holding the wall of demonic expressions in place. Dan 7:23; Matt 24:15; Rev 16:13,14 When Jesus told his disciples that the stones of the early temple would be thrown down by the Romans, I can imagine how difficult it was to comprehend his words, since its striking beauty and mass appeared invincible; yet it happened. Over the last 100 or so years, a new “temple” of “hewn stones” and a “wall” of lies with its detestable sacrifices, has grown and surrounded the already scattered and unused “living stones”. Mal 1:6-8; Dan 11:31; Isa 28:7,8; Rev 20:7-9
I hope, JWs, that you can perceive this.
“In the first Century, the Temple was already under the dominion of the Romans, before either attack on Jerusalem. So too today (Dan.7:25; Rev.13:7; 9:3,5,10; Matt.5:13).
The point at which the first assault by the Gentiles occurs today, is when the faithful anointed, are "killed", or, disfellowshipped/expelled (John16:2; Isa.66:5; 2Chron.13:9). This is comparable to the first century, and it's temple's "wall" being breached at the first siege (Isa.5:5; Ps.80:12; 89:40; Prov.24:31). Today, not all of the anointed Temple, are made powerless with this first breach. That complete collapse of "Jerusalem" is yet to come (Dan.12:7).
This "wall" today, (Matt.21:33; Neh.1:3; 2:17) was a defensive boundary (Job1:10) for the "Temple" (1Cor.3:16; 1Pet.2:5; Eph.2:21,22) and all the unsealed priests (both invited leaders and invited followers/Steward and domestics) within it. Once the “wall” is initially breached (Rev.8:10,11; 13:1; 9:1,3; Job 30:14) by the spiritual "weapons" the false prophet gives to the Gentiles (deceptive doctrines, lying arrangements, illicit power and false authority Rev.9:1,2,3,7; 13:2,11,12,14,15; 16:13,14; 2Thess.2:9,10; Hosea4:6; Dan.8:24 (Rev.13:12); Luke21:24; Rev.11:1,2), (1st Century-- Matt.27:1,2; John18:30,31; 19:12,15; Luke23:2)
The previous defensive “wall” no longer protects the invited priests within it (Ec.10:5,6,7; 2Thess.2:4; Ps.82:6). Once the breach expels those who take a stand for truth, the stage is then set for the demise of the ENTIRE temple, ...INCLUDING THE “HARLOT” (Ec.10:8; Isa.47:10; Dan.8:13; 11:13).
The second siege is the point after which all have had the opportunity to "flee" apostate Jerusalem. Once you see the faithful trampled upon, you know that "Jerusalem" is "surrounded by encamped armies" of Gentiles, and it is time to FLEE (Luke21:20,21,22).”
That time is now, JWs! Seek the true Mountain of God, the true Zion where Christ is the cornerstone and worship is in “spirit and truth”. God’ true Temple is His handiwork,(Eph 2:10,20-22; 1 Cor 3:16,17) not the work of men who are obsessed with obtaining your money and slavery to build their temple. Someone on a forum pointed out the covert meaning behind the chosen address of Warwick’s “Bethel” – 1 Kings Drive. The book of 1 Kings concerns the building of Solomon’s temple; yet the conglomerate temple the GB has built is an IDOL, diverting your attention from the true Temple in God’s anointed priesthood.
Watchtower 2017/10 “Today, millions of people worship Jehovah. They are happy to give him their “valuable things,” such as their time, energy, and material resources. In this way, they support Jehovah’s great spiritual temple.”
Since when does a “spiritual temple” that “WOULD NOT BE CENTERED IN OR DEPENDENT ON ANY MATERIAL STRUCTURE OR PHYSICAL LOCATION,” need another's "time, energy and material resources”? (Wt 2016 No. 2) God’s “valuable things” are his “special possession” (1 Pet 2:5,9) and His faithful sheep who listen strictly to the words of Truth from the cornerstone of His True Temple. 1 Pet 2:7,8; John 13:20
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else." Acts 17:24-25
“First the ‘wall’…Then the Entire ‘Temple’”
“The day of the Lord is near
for all nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you;
your deeds will return upon your own head. 16 Just as you drank on my holy hill,
so all the nations will drink continually;
they will drink and drink
and be as if they had never been. 17 But on Mount Zion will be deliverance;
it will be holy,
and Jacob will possess his inheritance. 18 Jacob will be a fire
and Joseph a flame;
Esau will be stubble,
and they will set him on fire and destroy him. (Jer 23:29; 5:14; Rev 11:5; Hos 6:5;1 Cor 3:13)
There will be no survivors
The Lord has spoken. Obadiah 1:15-18