Chapter 4 – The Judgment

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“Mankind has entered a period of judgment…a judgment of professed Christian organizations that has been apparent since ‘the last days’ got under way with the slaughter of World War I.”

 -April 1, 1996, Watchtower- 

THE-MAN-OF-FIRE3A few months after being immersed in the waters of the Jordan by John the Baptizer, Jesus undertook his first sojourn to Jerusalem as the Messiah. Upon arriving for the passover festival Jesus went into the temple courtyard and threw out the merchants and overturned the tables of the moneychangers who had set up shop there, saying to them: “Take these things away from here! Stop making the house of my Father a house of merchandise!”.

During his last trip to Jerusalem, also on the passover festival, which ultimately led to his arrest, trial and execution, Jesus once again evicted the moneychangers and merchants from his Father’s house. No doubt to the astonishment of his disciples, immediately prior to his cleansing the temple the second time Jesus announced the coming destruction of both Jerusalem and the temple. The stated reason being: “Because you did not discern the time of your being inspected.” As the appointed Messiah, Jesus was the Inspector of his Father’s house and because of their deplorable lack of faith the majority of the Jews failed to pass that inspection. 

However, a new temple was going to be constructed. No, not another temple made with wood and stones—this time a spiritual one. Jesus had previously spoken of this new “temple” on the occasion immediately after the first time he threw the moneychangers out of his Father’s house; when the Jews demanded to see a sign from him as proof of his authority from God, Jesus said to them: “Break down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews, of course, assumed that Jesus was speaking about the physical structure of Herod’s temple, and so they responded: “This temple was built in forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But the apostle John, who likely witnessed the conversation, later clarified what Jesus actually meant. At John 2:21-22 we read: