Friday, July 24, 2009

WILL THE THIRD JEWISH TEMPLE BE BUILT?

There are actually four temples spoken of in the Bible.

FIRST TEMPLE

Solomon’s temple – Built by King Solomon, the son of David.

When Moses delivered the Israelites out from Egypt as a new community, he built a tabernacle so that God can be worshipped and revered in one place. Since they were travelling from one place to another, the tabernacle could be dismantled and also set up. Later Joshua, Moses’ assistant led the Israelites into Canaan land, defeating the natives there and formed a nation as God instructed him to do. And in the days of Judges, when they sinned and rebelled, the nation was disunited and in chaos. The furnitures in the tabernacle were taken and transported from place to place!

When King Solomon took over the nation after a superb rule by King David, he built the temple for God as instructed by Him. It was built in 972BC and stood 210 feet high.

The primary reason is that temple in Jerusalem signifies to the world that Yahweh is the God of Israel and there is none other.

The secondary reason for this temple is to unite the nation of Israel to worship Yahweh, the one true God.

The temple was destroyed 586BC by the Babylonians! The Israelites were shaken to the core because they thought there were other gods who could be more powerful than Yahweh. But God had shown to them that He was not just the God of Israel but the God who controls the whole world! He does not confine Himself in the temple, of course!

SECOND TEMPLE
Zerubabbel’s Temple – Built by Zerubabbel, an exile in Babylon who was allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. It was built in 516BC and was 100 feet high, half the size of Solomon’s temple. When the Romans became a superpower, King Herod refurbished and embellished the temple and it became a very famous icon. At this time, where the temple stood, Jesus was born!



THIRD TEMPLE

Tribulation Temple – Still in the minds of some at this time of writing.

The second temple, Zerubabbel’s or Herod’s temple, was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70, just as predicted by Jesus Himself. When Jesus died, the veil that separated the holy place from the holy of holies was torn into two from top to bottom. This is to signify that the time has come to enable everyone to come before God without fear. Instead of only the high priest could enter, that is only once a year, now everyone can go before the presence of God but through Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Lamb, dying for the sins of the world.

Will this third temple be built?

Definitely it will be built because it was written clearly in the Bible. Since everything in the first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, second temple by the Romans, this temple will be built without those original articles, perhaps some replica ones. When the New Testament was written, there was no Israel as a nation since they fell to the Babylonians. Since then, the Jews were dominated by Persian, Greeks, and the Romans and after the destruction of AD70, they were dispersed all over the world.

But the Word of God had said there would be a rebuilding of a temple in Israel (2 Thess. 2:4; Daniel 9:27; Rev. 11:1-2; see also, Matthew 24). And in 1948, miraculously, Israel became a nation and thus the Word of God was proven right yet again.

There is this group who called themselves Temple Mount Faithful where they already prepared the foundation stone for the building (or rebuilding) of the temple of Solomon. The garments for priests and furnitures are all ready for service once the temple is built. There is also an increasing attempt to produce a red heifer (currently there is a farm in America doing that) to initiate back the animal sacrifices. Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute claimed to be ready for the temple to be built and that the Red Heifer has now been qualified for temple sacrifice. (Whew! How close we are to the rapture? A time where God would snatch away believers from His wrath in what is known as The Great Tribulation) There are many religious nationalistic Jews in Israel today who are all for the rebuilding of the temple but there are also many secular Jews who don’t bother about it.

The only major obstacle to the building of the temple is that the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic architecture and a mosque in the vicinity that stand in the way. The Dome is in an area called the Temple Mount where the original Solomon’s temple once stood. That particular area of the Temple Mount is controlled by a Muslim Trust (Jordanians) named the Wakf. This control was handed to them by Israelis themselves after they annexed Jerusalem from the Arabs in 1967! Although the overall security is still under the jurisdiction of the Jews, that place itself has become a hyper sensitive issue for both the Jews and the Palestinians.

Recently, some people had suggested building the Temple Mount side by side with the Dome of the Rock. One young scholar of Jewish law, Frankel, spearheaded the thought. Dome of the Rock could be the outer courts for non-Jews. Since most of the world is weary of the wars between the Jews and Palestinians, so there could be a possibility that Jerusalem to become an international city for all. This could lead to the temple being built. However, there are oppositions all round by Muslims as well as Jewish people who wanted to do away with the Dome of the Rock.

There is also this political guy called Moshe Feiglin who harbours the ambition to become the next Prime Minister and rebuild the temple by all means. He said the temple is the essence of the Jewish state.

No one knows how the temple will be built but according to the Bible, God already did away with the temple of God as Jesus had set everyone free from animal sacrifices and rituals. These are but shadows of things to come! So the tribulation temple is not what God intended it to be yet I believe God still views it as important because it would cause Jews to come together for the worship of the true God. It will be trampled by the Gentiles in the last days as they attack Jerusalem again. The temple will be destroyed but to what extend no one knows.

Many Christians believe that when the temple is built, rapture will take place and when Jerusalem is being attacked, led by the Anti-Christ, Jesus would return. He would defeat the enemies and rule for 1,000 years. During those days, a millennium temple (fourth temple) will be built in which we now turn.

FOURTH TEMPLE



Millenium Temple – Ezekiel’s vision (Ezekiel 40 – 47; Rev. 7:14-15)

There are some differences in the Ezekiel’s temple as compared to the others. The outer court mentioned there in Ezekiel did not speak of Gentiles at all. During that time, God receives everyone who wants Him. No articles of the temple, no high priest or a change in order of priests, no ceremonies or rituals except the animal sacrifices. Why do animal sacrifices still needed during the time of Christ’s physical reign on earth?


Animal sacrifices in the Millenium Temple could be used as a illustration of a Greater Sacrifice of Christ in Israel during that time, just like we do communion in the church. It is like a remembrance that Christ has become the ultimate Sacrifice for sins. Anyway, animal sacrifices before Jesus died on the cross could not forgive sins, just a covering of sins, in wait for the death of Christ on the cross (Hebrews 10:4, 11)


The articles and rituals exclusion I believe are reminders that Christ is the center of worship!


There are still entrances and gates which are also reminders of God’s holiness and to keep out unholy things. As far as Jerusalem is concerned, the city has become the ultimate worship center in the millennium reign of Christ (Isaiah 4:2; 62:1-3)


After 1,000 years are over, there will be a new Jerusalem coming from heaven (Rev. 3:12; 21:2) and note this, without a temple! (Rev. 21:22)







9 comments:

  1. I will try to say this in all humility - may the Lord assist me.

    I believe you are somewhat mistaken in thinking that there will be a third physical temple.

    When Christ talked about the destruction of the second temple and its being rebuilt, was he talking about a physical temple or a spiritual one :His body? The prophets talk on the temple, but I am led to believe that they refer to a spiritual one. The temple in Ezekial is not just the milleniuem temple.. Consider penticost, was not Christs body that temple where the waters flowed out? Was not the spirit poured out then ? Are we not given the Holy Spirit.
    nay my friend, I dare to challenge that belief.

    I used to believe that a third should be built first, but serious study of the matter no longer leads me to presume that.

    The anti-christ is already present according to John and his wickedness already started according to Paul.

    The temple ( Christian body) wherein he sits - as a God almighty - he sat already and has done for centuries. I need not go any further - study history it is self-evident. What man is seated in christiandom, self-proclaiming himself to be Christ carnate?... Can you not see who this may be? Check with the historians.. they shall offer sufficient evidence.

    Therefore, we ought not be so certain about the interpretation of that prophecy. So made the Jews the wrong interpretation of the first coming and did not see Christ in it. " Christ will come as a political king"... when Christ had to re-teach them that he "must suffer first".
    As for the rapture. I believe we shall be brought up to Christ too. But this is a detail of the second coming. There are no 2.5 comings of Christ..
    Why people suggest we shall be raptured beforehand is anyone's guess. Often people quote Jesus' promise to the disciples about the thief in the night.. but my dear friend.. is it not already clear to you that they were NOT raptured but brutally martyred? For all of the martyrs throughout history - many there have been -which of these were raptured?
    Great tribulation? "I shall give you tribulation ten days".
    Try to tell those martyrs, in particular the reformers, that they were not in a great tribulation??? Millions have been executed for their faith as history is stained with their blood. Sheep amongst wolves have they been slain since Stephen's death. Are we SO sure about what constitutes a "great tribulation"?

    Our western remote-control, sofa-loving, microwave culture think that we are not in a tribulation. Try preaching in China,muslim countries, Afghanistan, Asia, many parts of Africa, India etc... They are already in their tribulation.. not raptured either. Maybe they don't have as much "faith" as us. Apparently the last century in history has been one of the most bloodiest ever.

    It's foolishness.

    Revelations holds the clearest chronology of events.. I defy ANYONE to find a rapturest event in that book!
    The trumpet blast of "our rapture" IS the second coming.

    But... let everyman believe as he sees fit. Some the rapture, some not.. Pitance, fiddlesticks and irrelevant what a fuss we make about the rapture or not. What is relevant is we die to ourselves and Christ becomes our life. Christ himself choses his bride, He knows His own.

    Well at this point, I wish you the best and feel free to make little of my writing. It will change nothing either way, for the Lord will do His will whether we like it or not.

    God bless you brother

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  2. Thank you for your views, Anonymous. Feel free to dispute my writeups as I am still learning along the way.

    I believe in the ultimate restoration of the Holy Land of Israel in the millenium ruled by Jesus Christ, our LORD and Saviour in His Second Coming. This earth will still produce people who have the sinful nature and needing Christ's blood to cleanse. Christians will reign with Him in glorified bodies, on a renewed earth.

    I believe in Rapture not as an escape from persecution or a pie in the sky thing waiting for the rapture bus but as a form of a blessed Hope to spur me to serve God. If persecution comes, so be it! If I die before the Rapture, I would have a personal rapture. If the Rapture comes before I die, then it's Hallelujah! Anyway, I hope to die pleasing the LORD who gave everything to me.

    Do not let our doctrine distance us from being brother or sister in Christ. God bless you and keep on serving God.

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  3. For all the posters regarding a third temple, maybe you are not aware, but the Jews attempted to build a third temple in 363 AD. God did not allow it, why do you think that God would allow a third temple to be rebuilt now. A third temple is not going to be built. When the Jews attempted it in 363 AD, God raised up fire from the ground and burned many and killed many third temple workers and I imagine the same will happen if the Jews try to build a third temple in our time.

    When God rent the Holy of Holies veil, that was a pretty good sign that secular temple worshiping, live sacrifices, etc, had become a thing of the past.

    God will not allow a third temple to be built.

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  4. Dear Anonymous 4.21AM

    First of all, thanks for visiting and comment.

    I have read about the attempt to rebuild the temple in 363AD and many people died in the fire and strange weather.

    I have done some research on this subject and my personal understanding of the Bible that it did say about a temple that existed when the Jewish people would make a covenant with Antichrist (Daniel 9:25-27, Matthew 24:15-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 and also Rev. 11:1) I know many scholars (and I am not a scholar) argued that all these verses above had already taken place when the destruction of the 2nd Temple took place on AD70. On closer look, these verses very much refered to the END of the age which is still future.

    It is a well known fact that some prophecies do have double fulfillment. Sometimes it falls within the lifetime of the prophets but also times when Daniel, Isaiah or Ezekiel may not even understand or live to see its fulfillment.

    I know that Christ had finished all His work on the cross. So, why still need a temple? Perhaps to unify the people of Israel which today are very secular and majority don't even bother about the God who chose them a long time ago. And God will then show them Christ, the Messiah which they pierced some two thousand years ago.

    Anyway, let not our doctrine of the temple distance us from being a brother or sister in Christ. God bless you and keep on serving God and shine the light!

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  5. Hi there,

    I am tending to think that this temple Ezekiel 40-47 is at least a spiritual metaphor in at least some ways, i.e. reading Ezekiel 47, if this temple will be rebuilt by men how exactly will they achieve this river:

    Water Flowing from the Temple (Ez 47:1-6)
    "Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. 2Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side.
    3Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits, and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. 4Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. 5Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. 6And he said to me, "Son of man, have you seen this?"

    Carrying on the following verses to me certainly seem to be talking a bout Jesus, i.e. where ever the living waters flow it brings life to the dead:

    "Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8And he said to me, "This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh.[ 9And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. 10Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. 11But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. 12And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing."

    Regards,
    Andrew

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  6. Hi again,
    I would also like to talk about the East gate (Also Known as: the Shushan or HaKohan gate, and Golden Gate)
    Ezekiel 43:4 ...the gate that looketh toward the east: "And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east."
    Ezekiel 44:1-3 Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east; and it was shut. And he said to me, "This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it; for the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut. Only the prince may sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall go out by the same way."

    I think this was fulfilled buy Jesus:
    "During the time of the First Temple the Eastern Gate was the main entrance into the Temple area. It was also the gate that Jesus entered on a humble donkey in His triumphal entry. If one were to stand on the Mount of Olives he could look over this Eastern Gate into the huge area presently north of the Dome of the Rock and see all the gates (at different levels) in a perfect line: the East (Shushan) Gate --Outer Court Gate --Inner Court Gate --Temple Entrance. The Talmud makes an interesting observation:

    "All the walls which were there were high, except the wall in the east, so that the priest who burned the heifer, standing on the top of the Mount of Olives, and directing himself to look, saw through the gateway of the sanctuary, at the time when he sprinkled the blood." [Mishnah, Middot 2:4].

    The Golden Gate (Eastern Gate) in the eastern wall of Jerusalem gave access to the courtyards of the Temple from the Kidron valley."
    From: http://www.bible-history.com/jewishtemple/JEWISH_TEMPLEThe_Golden_Gate.htm
    “Facing the Mount of Olives on the eastern side of the Old City of Jerusalem is the Golden, or Eastern Gate. The Bible indicates that Jesus passed through this gate many times while he was in Jerusalem. Jewish religious tradition teaches that the coming Messiah will enter Jerusalem through this gate. To prevent this, the Muslims sealed the gate during the rule of Suleiman. Visitors to the Mount of Olives stand on holy ground. Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ stood on this hillside overlooking the Old City making prophesies that would change the world. According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah will come through the Golden Gate (or Gate of Mercy) of the Old City and bring about the resurrection of the dead in the cemetery on the Mount. Unlike the lush expanses of grass associated with many cemeteries, the Mount of Olives is a mountainside of stones. Ironically, Jesus ascended up into Heaven from the Mount of Olives, which overlooks the Eastern Gate to the west. Ironically from that stony mountain top, Jesus ascended as the chief cornerstone for the up-building of Mount Zion. It is to the Mount of Olives that Jesus will return in the last days.”
    From: http://focusonjerusalem.com/easterngateinprophecy.html
    The above writer also thinks the Ezekiel 40 temple will be rebuilt but that does not make sense to me as the prophecy is already fulfilled for that temple, i.e. He has been and gone already, the East gate is shut now (still shut for all to see) Animal sacrifices’ are no longer needed, in-fact they could be considered an abomination as it would be denying the sacrifice of the Son of God.

    Regards,

    Andrew

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  7. Dear Andrew,

    Thank you for visiting and comments.

    First of all I think that the Temple Ezekiel foresaw is a Temple that would usher in the millenium era where the LORD Jesus Christ would reign for 1000 years on earth. During that period, it could be built miraculously by God's Power and not necessarily by hands of men. Remember at the coming of Jesus, the mount of Olives would be spilt into two (Zech 14:4).

    It is interesting that you brought up the East Gate as I believe the Messiah would usher in His rule on earth when His glory would return through that Gate (Ezekiel 43:1-5). This is confirmed in v7 (The House of Israel will never again defile my holy name...) where no earthly High priests would be needed to stand in between God and man.

    The Law of the Temple (v12) is still needed as there are people who have the sinful nature around during that millenium period.

    As I said to all contributors to the comments, let not the Doctrine of the Temple become a sore point for us to continue working together to further God's kingdom and His glory!

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  8. No sore points here Brother, thanks for sharing your thoughts so I have something to read and comment on.

    The article above does talk about the temple bits already being prepared to build again by men hence my comments.

    I think this is a hard to understand section of the Ezekiel, so much detail of the construction of the temple, what does it all mean…

    I’m sure Satan did not know that by killing Jesus it would be his biggest down fall and take the power from his accusations against men. The enemy therefore misread or was confused by these verses also I think, and also the Israelites in general.

    Reading thought Ezekiel 40 again something interesting came to mind. That is the people only go into the temple when “the Prince” does and the leave when he does. “The Prince” sits in the east gate while the people ether come in the North or south gate and must leave by the opposite gate that they came in on. There is no West gate the Holy of Hollies is on that side “The glory of God”.

    So just a thought…. When people go past in front of the inner temple, if the Glory of God looks out to them who walk North to South or South to North who is behind them? The Prince (Jesus) in the East gate, Therefore when God looks at us he sees Jesus covering over us always. We cannot go into the temple without Jesus.

    Regards

    Andrew

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  9. Dear Andrew

    Thanks for responding. First of all, I did not write in my article that Ezekiel's temple being built by men.Your temple bits being prepared sounded more like the third temple (tribulation temple).

    I couldn't agree with you more that Ezekiel's temple is a hard nut to crack and this keeps us humble. I thank God for that.

    Scholars are baffled with who's the prince in Ezekiel's Temple and this person does not fit the bill of Jesus Christ, the Ultimate Messiah who is to come. Perhaps the prince is just a leader (like king David, Zerubabbel) who rule and reign with Jesus in the millenium?

    We should not put God in a box. When the glory of God ushers in the temple at the East Gate, God fills the entire temple! What can contain God? He fills the whole Universe!!

    Lastly, most of us may not have to go into the temple - it is only for flesh and blood worshippers who live during the millenium!

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