The Third Temple  The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
If you don’t believe Genesis 1-11, how can you possibly believe John 3:16?
“Indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.” (2Tim 3:12)
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

Please Note: Absolutely nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church or anti-Rabbinic. I am not anti-anything or anti-anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth (see “Philosophy”), but sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. I know it certainly upset mine! For example, see “Why Isn’t My Theology Consistent Throughout the Website?”

Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.” [Bowman]

“It must be clearly and unequivocally stated that theology cannot save you. Only faith in Messiah Yeshua can save you. Theology can only give you sound doctrine.” [RLS]

Unless otherwise specified, throughout the Theology section of my website I use the term “Torah” in the wider sense of including the entire body of inspired Scripture: both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings. I personally do not consder any other so-called “sacred writings” either inspired by God or authoritative for the Believer’s walk of faith. Thus, I do not consider the Mishnah (the “Oral Torah”) as part of Torah. You should make up your own mind.

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]

The Land Covenant

Adapted in part from
accessed 30 August 2016. Used with permission.[a]

The Land Covenant[1] (Deut 9; Deut 10:11, Deut 11:8-12; Deut 11:22-25; Deut 11:29-31; Deut 12:10-12; Deut 12:29; Deut 30:1-10) amplified the land aspect of the Abrahamic covenant and was sovereignly established and eternal. HaShem promised to the nation of Israel the land from “the river of Egypt” to the Euphrates river (Gen 15:18). God had made this promise to Abraham. According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, the “river of Egypt” is the Nile or its eastern branch (see River of Egypt and Exod 23:31). So, the land that God has promised Israel stretches from the vicinity of the Nile to the Euphrates (see map, below).

Moses, as an agent of Ruach HaKodeshthe Holy Spirit, spoke prophetically of Israel’s disobedience and dispersion throughout the world. The nation was frequently disobedient throughout its relationship with HaShem, and HaShem disciplined her. For example, the nation broke the Torah by refusing to keep the land sabbaths (Exod 23:10-11; Lev 25:2-7; Lev 25:18-22). HaShem judged Israel for this lapse by bringing in the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar. The nation had disregarded the land sabbaths for 490 years. HaShem declared that He would have His sabbaths and brought the nation into captivity for 70 years-- the precise length of time they should have been taking for the land sabbaths (2Chron 36:16-21; Jer 25:9-12; Jer 26:6-7, Jer 29:10). Moses prophesied this would happen (Lev 26:32-35; cf. Jer 25:11-13; Dan 9:2-20; Neh 1:8). During this time, the land lay fallow and was desolate (Neh 1:3; Neh 2:13-17). Both the Bible and history record that when Israel is out of the land, it becomes desolate. After the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 CE the desolation was recorded by Dio Cassius.[2] Many observations have been made throughout history that have confirmed that when the Jews are outside of their land it was desolate.[3]

Thie following paragraph is from the original article. I left it in as an opportunity to correct several misunderstandings.

Israel’s greatest disobedience was the rejection of its Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth[4]. Jesus presented himself officially to the nation as the Messiah (cf. Matt 21:1-9; Mk 11:1-10; Lk 19:28-44; John 12:12-19). While some Jews believed in him as the Messiah, the leaders of Israel rejected His Messiahship and conspired with the Roman authorities to have him crucified [to protect their power]. After Jesus’ resurrection, national Israel was given other opportunities to repent and accept their Messiah and His kingdom (Acts 2-3; Acts 13; Acts 18; Acts 28). Indeed, this is the theme of the book of Acts. The purpose of Acts is to give us an understanding of the temporary fall of Israel in God’s plan.[5] The destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE marked the end of national Israel (until 1948 when it was again re-established) and its destruction was judgment for rejection of the Messiah.[6] Jesus had foretold this destruction (cf. Matt 24:1-2).

In the Land Covenant, God promised that Israel would return to Him and that He would restore them to the land. Once there, they would become more prosperous than they had ever been before.

1“When the time arrives that all these things have come upon you, both the blessing and the curse which I have presented to you; and you are there among the nations to which ADONAI your God has driven you; then, at last, you will start thinking about what has happened to you; 2and you will return to ADONAI your God and pay attention to what he has said, which will be exactly what I am ordering you to do today - you and your children, with all your heart and all your being. 3At that point, ADONAI your God will reverse your exile and show you mercy; he will return and gather you from all the peoples to which ADONAI your God scattered you. 4If one of yours was scattered to the far end of the sky, ADONAI your God will gather you even from there; he will go there and get you. ADONAI your God will bring you back into the land your ancestors possessed, and you will possess it; he will make you prosper there, and you will become even more numerous than your ancestors.  (Deut 30:1-5)

Second, God promised to regenerate the Israelites by circumcising their hearts so that they would love Him. . This will be fulfilled under the New Covenant made “with the house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudah.”

6Then ADONAI your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your children, so that you will love ADONAI your God with all your heart and all your being, and thus you will live. (Deut 30:6)

30 (31) “Here, the days are coming,” says ADONAI, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra’el and with the house of Y’hudah. 31 (32) It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them,” says ADONAI. 32 (33) “For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days,” says ADONAI: “I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 33 (34) No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, ‘Know ADONAI’; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more.”  (Jer 31:31-34)[7]

Third, God promised to judge Israel’s enemies.

7ADONAI your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hated and persecuted you; (Deut 30:7)

Lastly, Israel will obey God and God will prosper them in their obedience.

8but you will return and pay attention to what ADONAI says and obey all his mitzvot which I am giving you today. 9Then ADONAI your God will give you more than enough in everything you set out to do - the fruit of your body, the fruit of your livestock, and the fruit of your land will all do well; for ADONAI will once again rejoice to see you do well, just as he rejoiced in your ancestors. (Deut 30:8-9)

Numerous passages indicate that God will bring Israel back into the land where they will be faithful to Him (e.g., Jer 32:37-41).

HaShem owns all the land of the world. Kings, potentates, and nations occupy that land only with HaShem’s permission, and He gives and revokes that permission according to His sovereign will. The Torah teaches that HaShem explicitly gave to Avraham, Yitz’chak, Ya'akov, and to all their descendants forever an irrevocable land grant of all the territory from “the river of Egypt” (the Nile River) to the Euphrates River, and that land was then, as it is now, Israel’s irrevocable possession.

It therefore can be rightly stated that almost of all of Eretz Yisra'el is being illegally occupied by the nations of Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. (Click here for more details.)

Occupied Territories     1. Israel’s territory currently occupied by Lebanon
    2. Israel’s territory currently occupied by Syria
    3. Israel’s territory currently occupied by Iraq
    4. Israel’s territory currently occupied by Kuwait
    5. Israel’s territory currently occupied by Saudi Arabia
    6. Israel’s territory currently occupied by Jordan
    7. Israel’s territory currently occupied by Egypt


  a. From that website: “©2002 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.” Much in the original article was based on anti-Semitic Replacement Theology and other gross errors of Church interpretation, but much of it was solid and the outline was too good to not be of very good use. There is much in the original article that I personally disagree with, and I have commented on significant disagreements. [BACK]

  1. The Church has traditionally called this covenant the “Palestinian Covenant.” Judaism has never referred to it this way, however, because there has never been a country called “Palestine.” They call the land they were given “Israel” or “Judea.” Since the covenant applies to Israel and the Jews never called their land “Palestine” it makes little sense to call this covenant the “Palestinian Covenant.” More accurate terminology would be to call it the “Land Covenant” or “Restoration Covenant” since in it God promised to return the people to the land and give it to them forever, which began in the early 20th century and culminated in the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. It expands the land promise of the Abrahamic Covenant.

The name “Palestine” refers to a region of the eastern Mediterranean coast from the sea to the Jordan valley and from the southern Negev desert to the Galilee lake region in the north that was occupied by the “Plesheth,” a name that appears has come into English as “Philistine.” Plesheth, (root palash, פָּלַשׁ) was a general term meaning rolling or migratory. This referred to the Philistine’s invasion and conquest of the coast from the sea. The Philistines were not Arabs nor even Semites. They were most closely related to the Greeks originating from Asia Minor and Greek localities. They did not speak Arabic. They had no connection, ethnic, linguistic, or historical with Arabia or Arabs. The Philistines reached the southern coast of Israel in several waves. One group arrived in the pre-patriarchal period and settled south of Beersheba in Gerar where they came into conflict with Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael. Another group, coming from Crete after being repulsed from an attempted invasion of Egypt by Rameses III in 1194 BCE, seized the southern coastal area, where they founded five settlements (Gaza, Ascalon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gat). In the Persian and Greek periods, foreign settlers – chiefly from the Mediterranean islands – overran the Philistine districts. From the fifth century BCE, following the historian Herodotus, Greeks called the eastern coast of the Mediterranean “the Philistine Syria” using the Greek language form of the name. In 135 CE, after putting down the Bar Kochba revolt, the second major Jewish revolt against Rome, the Emperor Hadrian wanted to blot out the name of the Roman “Provincia Judaea” and so renamed it “Provincia Syria Palaestina,” the Latin version of the Greek name and the first use of the name as an administrative unit (not a country-- no actual country was ever established here between 70 CE and 1948). The name “Provincia Syria Palaestina” was later shortened to Palaestina, from which the modern, anglicized “Palestine” is derived. See Origin of the Name Palestine. [BACK]

 2. Dio Cassius, History of the Romans, lxix, 12-14. [BACK]

 3. For example: In 1835, the French poet Alphonse de Lamartine wrote:

“Outside the gates of Jerusalem we saw indeed no living object, heard no living sound. We found the same void, the same silence, as we should have found before the entombed gates of Pompeii or Herculaneum. … A complete, eternal silence reigns in the town, in the highways, in the country … the tomb of a whole people.”

In 1867, Mark Twain wrote in Innocents Abroad (chapter 56) the following:

“Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies. Where Sodom and Gomorrah reared their domes and towers, that solemn sea now floods the plain, in whose bitter waters no living thing exists–over whose waveless surface the blistering air hangs motionless and dead–about whose borders nothing grows but weeds, and scattering tufts of cane, and that treacherous fruit that promises refreshment to parching lips, but turns to ashes at the touch. Nazareth is forlorn; about that ford of Jordan where the hosts of Israel entered the Promised Land with songs of rejoicing, one finds only a squalid camp of fantastic Bedouins of the desert; Jericho the accursed, lies a moldering ruin, to-day, even as Joshua’s miracle left it more than three thousand years ago; Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and their humiliation, have nothing about them now to remind one that they once knew the high honor of the Saviour’s presence; the hallowed spot where the shepherds watched their flocks by night, and where the angels sang Peace on earth, good will to men, is untenanted by any living creature, and unblessed by any feature that is pleasant to the eye. Renowned Jerusalem itself, the stateliest name in history, has lost all its ancient grandeur, and is become a pauper village; the riches of Solomon are no longer there to compel the admiration of visiting Oriental queens; the wonderful temple which was the pride and the glory of Israel, is gone, and the Ottoman crescent is lifted above the spot where, on that most memorable day in the annals of the world, they reared the Holy Cross. The noted Sea of Galilee, where Roman fleets once rode at anchor and the disciples of the Saviour sailed in their ships, was long ago deserted by the devotees of war and commerce, and its borders are a silent wilderness; Capernaum is a shapeless ruin; Magdala is the home of beggared Arabs; Bethsaida and Chorazin have vanished from the earth, and the “desert places” round about them where thousands of men once listened to the Saviour’s voice and ate the miraculous bread, sleep in the hush of a solitude that is inhabited only by birds of prey and skulking foxes. Palestine is desolate and unlovely. And why should it be otherwise? Can the curse of the Deity beautify a land? Palestine is no more of this work-day world. It is sacred to poetry and tradition–it is dream-land.” [BACK]

 4. This is a very common misconception. It was the Jewish leadership, not the people, who rejected Yeshua as Messiah. The leaders rejected Him because He threatened their power and authority. Multiplied tens of thousands of Jews in Jerusalem had come to faith in Yeshua as the Messiah within 15-20 years after His resurrection. During Sha’ul’s meeting with the Zakenim, they had told him, “You see, brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Judeans, and they are all zealots for the Torah.” (Acts 21:20) As David Stern correctly translates in the Complete Jewish Bible, the Greek word in this sentence that most English translations render as “thousands” is the Greek word muriaß (murias), which should be translated “myriads,” which means “ten thousand,” not “thousand.” By most estimates, the population of Jerusalem at this time was about a hundred thousand. One or two myriads would not be referred to as “how many myriads,” but three or four myriads might be, and three or four myriads would represent between 30 and 40 percent of the population of Jerusalem at the time. Would that 30 or 40 percent of America’s population be followers of the Messiah! [BACK]

 5. Again, this is a common misinterpretation, and is one of the grander themes of the heresy of Replacement Theology. The purpose of the book of Acts is clearly not “to give us an understanding of the temporary fall of Israel in God’s plan.” The purpose of the book of Acts is to give us the history of how the Good News of the Kingdom was spread throughout Asia Minor and how, through the work of Ruach HaKodesh, Gentiles came to be admitted to the Commonwealth of Israel and the Kingdom of God without being required to formally convert to Judaism. More here. [BACK]

 6. Another antisemitic tenet of Replacement Theology. The real reason for the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE was to permanently rid the Land and the People of God of a corrupt priesthood. In the first century, the priesthood was determined by political appointment, not by right of paternal succession as required by Torah; whoever bid the most money to purchase the priestly offices were granted those offices by the Hellenistic puppets of the Roman overlords. It is highly questionable whether there were any legitimate priests at all serving the Temple. By right of succession, Yochanan the ImmerserJohn the Baptist would have been the rightful High Priest and Yeshua would have been the rightful King of Israel. Speaking to the “chief priests and Pharisees,”

Yeshua said to them, “Haven’t you ever read in the Tanakh, ‘The very rock which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone! This has come from ADONAI, and in our eyes it is amazing’? Therefore, I tell you that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to the kind of people that will produce its fruit!” … As the head cohanim and the P'rushim listened to His stories, they saw that He was speaking about them. (Matt. 21:42-45)

Yeshua wrested all spiritual authority from the Levitical priesthood and the Temple, and transferred it to His hand-picked Shliachim and their legitimate spiritual successors. The destruction of the Temple simply placed an exclamation mark on that transfer of authority.

America needs to take this lesson to heart: Hashem holds the nation responsible for the actions of its leaders. Just as Israel was dispersed and the Kingdom was delayed due to the actions of Israel’s leaders, so will HaShem hold the people of America (and other nations) responsible for their actions against the State of Israel and against the God of Israel. [BACK]

 7. The Complete Jewish Bible uses chapter and verse numbers from the Hebrew Tanakh, so they are sometimes a bit different from most English Bibles. [BACK]

Originally posted on Shabbat, 15 August 2020

Page last updated on Tuesday, 26 September 2023 01:32 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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