If so, when? Would this be before or during the tribulation?
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Whether a 'third temple' will be built or not before the return of the Messiah is a subject of debate for both Christians and Jews alike. The short answer is: we will not know "for sure" until either a third temple is built, or Jesus returns and no such temple has been built. The long answer is a bit more complicated. Those who insist a third temple must be built either before or during the tribulation usually base this thought on a handful of verses: Dan 9:27, II Thess 2:3-4, and Rev 11:1-2. Sometimes prophetic references to a temple in Ezekiel, Micah, Zechariah, etc. Are also used as a support. However, these passages do not support the idea that a third temple must be built before the return of Christ. Dan 9:27 is not about an antichrist figure stopping temple sacrifices. The covenant prophetically spoken of here is the New Covenant, attested to by Christ's blood. (Dan 11:22-32, Jer 31:33-34, Lk 22:20, Heb 8:6-13, I Cor 11:25.) It is Jesus who truly stopped sacrifice by becoming the perfect sacrifice. The 'temple' then in the passage is not speaking of a future temple, but the second temple which was existing at the first coming of Christ. That temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. I Thess 2:3-4: The temple here has several potential explanations - the Jerusalem temple which at the time of Paul's letter had yet to be destroyed; a third temple as yet to be built; a figurative reference to the church as the temple of God (I Cor 3:16-19, Eph 2:20-22, II Cor 6:16; Rev 3:12); or even a figurative prophecy of someone making a formal claim to the honors and rights that men would offer a 'god.' Rev 11:1-2: In this passage, John (in his vision) is given a reed and asked to 'measure' the temple. This vision has parallels with Zech 2, Zech 4, Amos 7, Ezek 40, etc. The measuring symbolically implies God's protection of His people even during times of trouble. There is also some symbolism with excluding the Gentile court of true believers vs. Those who have the appearance of being in the church, but really are not. Furthermore, the physical 2nd temple was still in existence at the time John wrote this. There wouldn't be a requirement for a third temple to be built for the events of Rev 11, past or future, to come to pass. [Question: When was the book of Revelation written? See Answer: http://ebible.com/answers/28088?ori=167400] As for the prophetic passages about a future temple in the Old Testament, such as in Ezekiel, Isaiah, Micah, etc. - these are about a future 'millennial' temple which is established by Christ after His return. "Behold, the Man whose name is the Branch! From His place He shall branch out, And HE SHALL BUILD THE TEMPLE, Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord. He shall bear the glory, and sit and rule on His throne; So he shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both." Zech 6:12-13 "And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." Isa 56:6-7 "...He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place for the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the Israelites forever. The house of Israel will never again defile My holy name—neither they nor their kings...I will dwell among them forever. As for you, son of man, describe the temple to the people of Israel, so that they may be ashamed of their iniquities. Let them measure the plan, and if they are ashamed of all they have done, then make known to them the design of the temple...its statutes, forms, and laws." Ezek 43:6-12 That millennial temple, if literal and not figurative, would be built on the New Earth after Christ returns.
Jerusalem has seen two temples built on the Temple Mount. The first was built by King Solomon about 3000 years ago - it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar’s armies in 586 B.C. The second temple was built under Zerubbabel and was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans. Will a third temple be built in Jerusalem? Probably not! There are some who believe that the temple will be rebuilt, and entire Christian ministries, as well and orthodox Jews, are supporting such efforts driven by the hope of Jesus’ soon return and the start of the final events of earth’s history. However, there is no Bible prophecy, promise, or commandment that says the physical temple would ever be rebuilt after the Romans razed it nearly 2,000 years ago. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the earthly temple ripped in two from the top to bottom, signifying that the temple no longer held meaning. In Chris’s blood the humanity was reconciled with God – the Lamb of God took upon Himself the sin of the world (John 1:29; Heb 9:22; 10:4; 10:10; Col 1:20). The temple sacrifice has stopped and today would be as meaningless as it was then. Jesus’ prophecy that the temple would be destroyed was poorly receive by the Jews. (Matt 24:1, 2.) In John 2:19, Jesus was speaking of rebuilding a temple - not of stone, but of living stones (1 Peter 2:5). Yet many refused to grasp this teaching (John 2:20, 21). They even mocked Jesus on the cross regarding His prophecy (Matt 27:40). The NT makes it abundantly clear that the temple is Jesus and His Church, and us as members of His Church (Eph 2:19-22; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:9).
Three Important points to remember: 1. Jesus Himself was a true form of Triune God: Born with flesh and blood and received the seal of the Holy Spirit. 2. Jesus' body is in itself a true temple with the reference of the specifications of the temple in the law, and points as a shadow of the things to come. 3. With Jesus' sacrificial death and resurrection, we too are the partakes of Him, since our bodies are now being called the temple of God. We are like a living stone being built in harmony by the power of God. We are His bricks who are built into a beautiful temple in the spiritual places. This is in itself a third temple, because in the reconciled heavens and earth we do not need a temple, or a sun or day or night, because God Himself will be there as a light and will be there among us. I hope this will put our faith into perspective. In Jesus' Name Amen.
"Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, 'This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord." Jeremiah 7:4 Here Jeremiah is giving a warning before the congregation and Solomon's temple, which contained the Ark of the Covenant which contained the Word of God engraved in stone, for the ancient people to mend their ways because of sin, their oppression of the foreigner, widow and orphan, and idolatry etc., that unless they repented, the wrath of God would come upon them and destroy the city. Also when David wanted to build a temple for God, the Word of God came to the prophet Nathan to proclaim to David, "Are you the one to build a house for Me to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since I brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt, but I have been moving about in a tent, even a tabernacle." (2 Sam. 7:5-6) This is clearly a reference to the exodus and that the Ark was kept in a tent. Further, the Word of God was proclaimed to David that it was God that would build a house for David. "I will build a house for you" (2Sam7:27) This is a Messianic reference which is consistent with the New Covenant teaching that Messiah is the temple. He makes a place for us, it is not us doing it, it is His loving kindness, grace and mercy and because of His mercy, His sacrifice, His conquering of death, He has made us the temple of God. Not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit. Will there be another temple built in Jerusalem? Anyone can build a structure and call it a temple and even dedicate it to God (Hence Jeremiah 7:4). But, how can there really be another temple? He is the Temple. That is the truth and those that worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth. For God has already made the New Covenant, there is no other way to eternal life but by Him. He has done this and it is a marvelous thing.
Yes, there will be a third temple built. The antichrist will rule and reign from that temple. He sets himself up as the savior of the world. He always comes as an angel of light. He will promise to protect the nation of Israel, but after 3 and 1/2 years break his covenant. That is when the 144,000 Jews will be saved. God has prepared a place for them to go into hiding. Revelation 7. And Revelation 14. The rapture of the church, those saved by faith alone apart from works, will go before the tribulation starts. First Corinthians 15:51-53 and First Thessalonians 4:13-18. John 6:40. John 3:18 and John 3:36. We will go to meet the Lord in the clouds as He does not come back to earth until the end of the tribulation, and we will come back with Him. Everything is in place to rebuild the temple. It may be built shortly after the rapture or catching away of the church. The bride of Christ. It could even started before we go to meet the Lord in the clouds. But we know it will be rebuilt. Gods word says so.
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