Rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem

Since 1987 the Temple Institute has been dedicated to the reconstruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. A great deal of work has been done in this project, including the manufacture of various pieces of Temple furniture; some of the High Priest’s vestments etc. It is the goal to have again a fully functional Temple for the worship of God in Jerusalem. It is claimed that every aspect of this work is carefully based upon the detailed descriptions of Levitical paraphernalia in the Scriptures.

But what does the Bible have to say about this matter? The Scriptures have a lot to say about Temple worship as far as this present age is concerned, as well as the role the Temple will play in the very last days and at the return of Christ. It is important for the Bible-believer to have a grasp of what God has revealed on this subject as the re-emergence of the Temple in Jerusalem is an important marker on the Biblical time line to Christ’s return.

1. Israel will continue for a long time without Levitical ritual.

This is the clear meaning of Hosea 3:4-5. This situation will prevail right up until the latter days when there will be a conversion of the nation from their rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ as David’s Son and heir. The prediction made by Hosea describes the state of national Israel that has prevailed since the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in AD 70 as predicted in Daniel 9:26.

2. The rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem is clearly predicted in Scripture.

In the context of revealing the development of the events of the last days and the return of Christ it is clear that there is a role for a Temple in Jerusalem. Naturally, this presupposes its reconstruction!

a. Haggai 2:7. The prophet speaks of a Temple situated upon the site of previous Temples – the reason why it is referred to as this house – at the time of Christ’s return.

b. 2 Thessalonians 2:4. Paul, in speaking of the Antichrist who will be destroyed by Christ at His return describes him sitting as God in the temple of God. Other prophetic Scriptures indicate that this together with the associated abomination of desolation takes place in the Temple at Jerusalem. See Matthew 24:15.

3. Any such rebuilding is done in ignorance of God.

The rebuilding of the Temple is in unbelief and continued rejection of God’s Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. The present project of Temple construction is just an evidence of the nation of Israel’s apostasy from God. The coming of the Lord Jesus as the Messiah fulfilled all the Levitical types and they fell into immediate disuse! Cp Hebrews 8:13.

The words of the Lord Jesus as He left the Temple for the last time prior to His crucifixion are important in this regard. See Luke 13:35. The Lord left the Temple on that occasion and Ichabod (1 Samuel 4:21) was written over it – the glory had departed. This, according to Christ’s words, is to be the state of any Temple until the nation of Israel welcomes Him as their Messiah at His return in power and glory.

One example of the spiritual ignorance that currently prevails over the minds of those involved in the rebuilding of the Temple is seen in the project to restore the lamp of Queen Helena. You can read the details here and watch a video about this project here. Queen Helena was from territory that is found in modern day Iraq and was a convert to Judaism from Pagan Romanism. Her lamp contained a crystal was positioned so that it reflected the light of the rising sun. It is the stated aim of the Temple Institute to recreate this light in order to be a “light-filled clarion call for all nations to turn their eyes and hearts towards Jerusalem and the Holy Temple” and to “fill the world with the light of the Divine presence” (quotes from the video linked above). When the light of God’s presence and God’s Christ left the Temple, and spiritual darkness descended on Israel, such schemes for the provision of man-made ‘spiritual’ light became necessary. This is not the light of truth or of God, but evidence of the darkness of superstition and paganism. It is heart-breaking to see the darkness that Israel labours under so long as she continues to reject her Messiah.

While the Christian may look with interest at the efforts to rebuild the Temple, we must never forget that this project is a reason to mourn over Israel’s spiritual blindness, rather than any reason to celebrate a revived interest in the truth of God.

4. This ignorance of God climaxes in the role of Antichrist in the function of the Temple.

The words of Daniel’s prophecy make it very clear that the Temple will function for the first 3 1/2 years of his 7 year period of prominence, under his protection. This is seen in Daniel 9:27. He allows the daily sacrifice for this time. Clearly, the Temple practice of this time is such as is accommodated by the man of sin! It is evidently apostate religion, certainly not the true worship of God. In the second 3 1/2 years, according to Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 11:31-32, Antichrist in alliance with the openly irreligious in Israel, terminates the daily sacrifice and moves to set up the abomination of desolation, an idol of himself in the holy place. This time becomes a period of great tribulation in Israel.

5. Christ returns to the Temple in power and  glory at His second advent.

This is the plain meaning of Haggai 2:7. The desire of all nations is Christ Himself – but evidently awaited by the Gentile world as well. This cannot therefore refer to His first advent! He comes in glory as the Lord of Hosts. He comes to the Temple. It is true that the Saviour came to the Temple as an infant during His life on earth, but that event cannot fulfill the details stated here by the prophet.

Equally, Malachi 3:1-2 speak of the Saviour’s coming to the Temple in a manner that can only be fully explained in the context of His return rather than His first advent.

The prophetic Scriptures also speak of a role for the tribe of Levi and Levitical ritual of a sort in the wake of Christ’s return. There will be a functioning millennial Temple. This, I believe is described by the prophet Ezekiel – see Chapters 40-48 of his prophecy. Zechariah 14:16-21 and Jeremiah 33:20-21 teach that God has a work for Levi to do in that period. This will involve sacrifices; the Feast of Tabernacles is also spoken of; and the Temple in Jerusalem is seen as a centre for global worship of God while Christ is reigning in Jerusalem.

5 Replies to “Rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem”

  1. Excellent article.Well balanced and Scripturally sound,unlike the plethora of fantastic,End Time’s Pre-Trib hype that has flooded the market and beome a multi-million dollar business.
    I look forward to futher articles on this subject. The total madness in the World today sure seems like the End is near.
    Even so,Come Lord Jesus!

  2. Sir, I beg your pardon but your are incorrect about the Jewish people not accepting Yeshua as their Messiah and rebuilding the Temple of Jerusalem out of ignorance. Do you remember Yeshua saying to His people…. “You will not see me again until you say BLESSED is HE who comes in the Name of ADONAI the Lord.” Today, in Israel you will see this Scripture over the doorpost of just about every dwelling place of the Jews. They do see Yeshua as their Messiah. The Temple will be rebuilt for the Lion of Judah’s return. For the King of kings and the Lord of lords will come to rule and reign over all the earth for 1000 years. Satan will be bound and Lion will lay down with the Lamb, as we beat our swords into plowshares. It is you, Sir, who is very ignorant of Truth not only of the Scriptures, but also of the Jewish people. Just remember, Yeshua is a Jew and when Yeshua returns as our Lion of Judah, HE is coming back as a JEW. Thus is why Yeshua told the Gentiles like you, that “Salvation is of the Jews.” “Come out from among that Whore of Babylon and return to your First Love. Paul told the Gentiles they MUST be grafted onto that True Olive Tree of the Jewish Nation whose ROOT is Yeshua. We know HIM as Yeshua Ha’Moshiach ….. God of my Salvation, my Messiah!

  3. It is a Biblical and historical fact that as a nation, Israel rejected Jesus the Christ and continues to do so. That is not to say that there are not many Jews who accept Him as their Messiah redeemer. Paul describes the current spiritual state of Israel in the following terms:

    • “Even so at this time there is a remnant according to the election of grace,” (Romans 11:5)
    • “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” Rom 11:25
    • “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes…” Rom 11:28
    • “But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.” 2Cor 3:14-16

    The Scriptures that you quote actually prove beyond doubt that as a nation Israel has been broken off and the Gentile temporarily grafted in until the time when the natural branches (i.e. the nation of Israel) is again grafted in – when Jesus comes again. It is at that time that the remnant of the nation, preserved through the persecution of the times of Jacob’s trouble, will all mourn over the Messiah their nation wounded and receive Him as their Saviour – “..and so all Israel shall be saved, (Rom 11:26) when the Redeemer comes to Zion. This is detailed in Zechariah 12:9-13:1 and elsewhere. The Scripture you cite from Revelation 18 indicates that as the time of Jesus return comes, many Jews will be part of the Babylonish anti-christian system. These are not believers in Christ but rejecters of Christ at this point! Yet in the mercy of God He purposes to save them and calls them to escape from wrath.
    As a Bible-believer, and a Gentile follower of Christ, I love the nation of Israel – the people of my Saviour – and am eternally frateful that indeed “salvation is of the Jews”. Through that nation I have a Bible; I have a Saviour; I have an eternal hope. Gratitude to God for these mercies does not prevent me being grieved to see the national rejection of Jesus Christ by Israel that continues to this day. I tremble for what lies ahead for the nation and the dreadful times of persecution that will be the final phase of Divine chastisement necessary to turn the nation back to Himself and to faith in Christ.
    Maybe you would like to take the time to listen to the following messages I preached on Revelation 11 dealing with the ministry of the two witnesses in Jerusalem in the last 3 1/2 years of the age. I deal a little with the matter of the Temple in existence at that time.

  4. My question is what is the temple of God? Acts 17:24 tell us that God does not live in temples made by man, so how can 2Thess 2 be referring to a rebuilt temple as the temple of God or in Daniel as the holy place?
    If the temple is rebuilt along with revived sacrifices, (which it may very wee be )then it most certainly won’t be the temple of God, nor will it be a Holy place. We, the church are the temple of God and an holy nation/ priesthood.

  5. Just for the record, Acts 17:24 teaches that the presence of God is not limited to a Temple building, nor is the enjoyment of His presence exclusive to a Temple. Obviously for protracted periods of Israel’s history His presence was found in the Tabernacle/Temple. Yet one could have God’s presence and no Temple or have a Temple and be without the presence of God.
    The people of God have always formed a spiritual temple as is clear from the fact that Paul cites Old Testament passages in support of his statements about the spiritual temple in 2 Cor 6. Alongside the spiritual temple there has also often been a natural Temple building. Clearly the context is going to decide whether it is a spiritual Temple or a natural Temple that is in view at any given time. 2 Thess 2 cannot refer to the spiritual temple of God since that temple, composed of the true people of God, will never be occupied by Antichrist. In 2 Thess 2 it is a natural Temple that is nominally “the Temple of God”. As far as the nation of Israel, who will build it in Jerusalem as part of their revived Judaism, is concerned, it will be the Temple of Jehovah. However, from a Biblical/Divine perspective, it will actually be a seat of apostasy. Christless Judaism is apostasy from God and will naturally coincide with the religion of Antichrist at the end. It would be a grave mistake for a Bible-believer to rejoice in the restoration any form of Temple worship that will appear prior to Christ’s return because it is Christless, Christ-rejecting worship. The Scripture does teach the existence of a Temple in Jerusalem at the end which will be purged by Christ and become a seat of the worship of God in the millennial period.

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