Third Jewish Temple?

Model of 516 B.C. Second Temple in Jerusalem (Ariely)


Various Islamic leaders have accused the nation of Israel of making plans for a temple in Jerusalem.  Various Protestant prophecy teachers (as well as some prophecy teachers that claim to be in the Church of God) have claimed that a Third Jewish Temple needs to be built prior to the return of Jesus Christ or sometime during the time of of the Great Tribulation.

Of course, groups like the Temple Institute want to build a new temple in Jerusalem (it would be considered the third, with Solomon’s temple, which was destroyed around 586 B.C., the first).  I visited that group a while back and they have their hopes which they have attempted to turn into reality with the creation of various implements that could be used in such a temple.

Politically, the nation of Israel would not currently risk building an actual temple in that region. However, that does not mean that it would not be interested in making provisions to do so.

While various ones believe that the Bible requires that another temple be built in Jerusalem in order to fulfill biblical prophecies, such as those involving physical animal sacrifices, this is not strictly so.

In New Testament times, Christians are repeatedly referred to as “the temple of God,” and all that the Jews actually require to perform sacrifices is an altar in the general area where the temple used to be, such as the type of altar that Temple Institute already has available. Notice what the Bible clearly teaches:

6 From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, although the foundation of the temple of the Lord had not been laid. (Ezra 3:6)

From a Church of God perspective, notice what the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

God made a prophecy in the third chapter of Malachy…Continuing, “…shall suddenly come to His temple…” What kind of temple is He coming to? Are the Jews going to tear down the Dome of the Rock and build a new temple? Oh, no!… A holy temple! Christ is coming to His church! Christ is coming to His temple! Do we see that? The church is the temple. “…in whom ye are also builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Armstrong, Herbert W. Congress of Leading Ministers Hears Defined and Reemphasized Spiritual Organization of Church. Worldwide News, March 6, 1981, p. 10)

While some have made a variety of false claims about Herbert Armstrong and the fulfillment of Daniel 11:31, notice what he actually wrote:

But, verse 11, “from the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away . . . . ” Consider this a moment. This does NOT imply a material temple to be built in our time in Jerusalem. It does seem to imply the Israelis may restore the daily (twice daily) sacrifice – – possibly at the wailing wall. The indication is the armies of the “beast” of Revelation 17, entering Jerusalem (Dan. 11:41, Zech. 14:2), will stop this daily sacrifice. (Armstrong, Herbert W. The Time We Are In, Now. Pastor General’s Report-Vol 1, No. 15, November 20, 1979, Page 2)

Thus, Herbert Armstrong taught that there would be sacrifices that would be stopped. And that would, without a temple, at least require an altar in the appropriate area in Jerusalem. Which is consistent with other parts of the Bible (like Ezra 3:6).

But that does not mean that the Jews do not want a temple and may not ever try to have one. But from a strictly biblical perspective, a new temple in Jerusalem is not required.

As far as the view that a temple is needed for the ‘man of sin’ in 2 Thessalonians 2 to sit in, this also does NOT require that a Jewish Temple be built as the Jews are not the “temple of God’ in the New Testament.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? What does the Bible teach about the temple in the end-times?
Solomon’s Temple This is a a 5 minute animated film that shows one artist’s understanding of the details about Solomon’s temple.
The Temple and the Work This article discusses the two temples of the Old Testament and gives insight as to their possible relevance to the situation which has impacted the Church during this past decade or so.
Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill Could this building, often referred to as the Cenacle, which is located on a Mount Zion, possibly have been the oldest actual Christian church building? There is also a video titled Does the ‘Cenacle’ deal have prophetic ramifications?
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?

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