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).
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