18 Comments

Answering Pat Robertson and Hal Lindsey


If you agree or disagree with Pastor Bill Barnwell, this makes for interesting reading; as well, it raises legitimate questions concerning a rebuilt Temple which many students of Prophecy are anticipating. (written in 2005)

quote..

One of the strangest teachings from proponents of dispensationalism is the assertion that the ancient Jewish temple will be rebuilt.

It is understandable why some extremely conservative Orthodox Jews would desire to have a rebuilt temple, but logically it makes little sense why so many Christians are clamoring to see a third temple. Last week, Hal Lindsey wrote an excited column titled “Revived Sanhedrin discusses temple” where he cites evidence of plans for a renewed temple in Israel. While Mr. Lindsey is a fine Christian and no doubt has done many good things for Christianity, his theological views on the “end-times” which he has been teaching for years are, I believe, full of errors and pose both theological and political concerns.

Temple Background

Before I go into my arguments let me give some background on the concept of the temple itself.

In the Old Testament, there was a central place of worship for the Israelite community. In the book of Exodus, Moses received from God plans to build a “tabernacle” which would serve many of the same functions as the temple would in later Israelite history. The design, description and purpose of the tabernacle can be found in Exodus 25–26 and 36–40. It was there that God would dwell directly amongst His people. The tabernacle was to be portable. Though elaborate the tabernacle could be taken apart and set up by the Levites (one of the 12 tribes of Israel who were designated to have the priestly responsibilities) who would transport it as the Israelites moved from place to place. It was at the tabernacle where the Israelites would present a variety of sin, guilt, fellowship, etc. offerings that are described in better detail throughout the book of Leviticus.

Fast forward a number of generations to the time of King David.

David desired to build a permanent temple to God, where He would dwell amongst His people and the sacrificial and worship system would be centrally and permanently located. God told David, however, that his son Solomon would instead build the temple (The background and building of the temple can be found in I Kings 5–6; I Chronicles 28–29; 2 Chronicles 2–7).

The temple was tragically destroyed around the time of 586 B.C. when the Babylonians swept up the southern kingdom of Judah where the temple was located (2 Chronicles 36:15–23). The Israelites were stunned seeing both northern and southern kingdoms overran (first by the Assyrians and then by the Babylonians) and also their temple destroyed.

Eventually a new empire arose, the Medo-Persian Empire.

King Cyrus decreed that foreigners could return to their homelands, including the Israelites. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah detail the return to the homeland. It was at this time that the temple was rebuilt (Ezra 6:13–18). However the second temple was not as magnificent as the first temple. The Israelites had a new temple and a new central place of worship, but it was not as beautiful and they were still under foreign domination.

Then the Roman Empire arose (after the Persians and Alexander the Great’s empire) which is the setting the New Testament takes place in.

The temple had some renovation done by the time of Christ’s ministry. It continued to hold great prominence in the religious life and rituals of the Jewish people. However, in A.D. 70 the temple was destroyed by the Romans who ransacked the city. It was another time of deep mourning for the Jewish people. Since that day the temple has not stood and Jewish religion and practice have never been the same.

Why It’s Important to the Dispensationalists

Dispensationalists believe that the temple must be rebuilt a third time. They interpret certain passages of Scripture (wrongly in my view) to suggest that the Antichrist can not appear until the Temple is rebuilt. In the dispensational view, the current nation state of Israel holds great prominence. It is supposedly “God’s time clock of prophecy.” However, contrary to what the popular preachers and “end-times” books say, the current political entity of Israel has little if anything to do with the “end-times.” Yet dispensationalists teach that the temple will be rebuilt in Israel and then the Antichrist will exalt himself in the temple proclaiming to be God. This will take place before or after the “rapture” where Christ will secretly come for His saints (as opposed to with His saints for the “real” Second-Coming). Eventually, the Antichrist and the false prophet will be defeated and Satan bound for a 1000 years while Christ will set up His millennial Kingdom on earth. After the 1000 years, Satan will be loosed for a final battle but will be defeated and eternity will begin.

The Antichrist exalting himself in the Temple mainly comes from a futuristic interpretation of Daniel 9:20–27 where the Antichrist is supposedly forming and then breaking a covenant with Israel and then overtaking the temple.

Let me just say that this interpretation is highly suspect and scholars have never agreed on a proper interpretation of this passage (who is the “he” of verse 27? The Anointed One or the ruler? And what is the identity of those two people? The standard response is Christ and the Antichrist, but it’s not as cut and dry as most think). My own opinion is that every prophetic camp has their short-comings in interpreting this passage. As of now, the full meaning and interpretation of this passage is very much debatable.

Dispensationalists also point to the gospels where Christ delivers His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) and tells of coming judgment.

While most Christians want to read these as strict accounts of the end of the world, Christ was first and foremost discussing the coming destruction of Jerusalem.

Read Matthew 24 for yourself. It begins by the disciples drawing attention to the temple and its surrounding buildings. Christ responds “Do you see these things?” (vv. 2). The “things” that he is referring to as the subject are the things the disciples just drew attention to – the buildings of Jerusalem. He then goes on to say that the day was coming when the area would be destroyed (vv. 2). In verse three the disciples ask him when that is going to happen and in verse 4 he begins to give the “signs” of this judgment.

When the passage is read in context this way, it becomes obvious that the main meaning of the passage refers to the destruction of Jerusalem (which Christ just mourned over at the end of chapter 23).

“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’

In verse 15 Christ cites the “abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel.” Dispensationalists see this as a clear reference to the Antichrist exalting himself in a rebuilt third temple.

However, Luke’s gospel seems to clearly suggest that the “abomination” is Jerusalem being surrounded by armies (Luke 21:20–21) which is why this passage was historically interpreted to refer to Roman plundering of Jerusalem which took place in A.D. 70.

Some object and claim that the Olivet Discourses are examples of “Double Fulfillment” meaning that the prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70 and will receive its final fulfillment in the coming end-times. This is possible perhaps, as examples of this are seen elsewhere in Scripture. For example, look at where the NT writers cite Old Testament prophecy and you will see different historical layers of fulfillment. In those instances however, the Biblical writer cites a verse or two. I’m a little hesitant to take entire chapters of Scripture and apply the same method. Also one must keep in mind that the Biblical writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit in what they wrote and interpreted.

The same cannot exactly be said for Tim Lahaye. Basically, any claim of double fulfillment is speculative for a variety of reasons and such a position should only cautiously be held to.

Theological Problems of a Rebuilt Temple

In Lindsey’s article, he is clearly very excited about the prospect of a rebuilt temple. In the column he asserts that plans to rebuild the temple are part of Bible prophecy. He also claims that the reemergence of a Jewish Sanhedrin (the Sanhedrin was a community of interpreters who were the religious and theological authority before the fall of the temple) is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy as well.

The second claim is extremely strange (please show me Scripturally, Mr. Lindsey, where a new Sanhedrin is even alluded to) and doesn’t warrant much discussion, but the first is more theologically problematic.

The big question is this:

Why in the world would a new temple be a good thing in light of the work of Christ? Christ replaced the temple and temple worship. Sacrifice for sins are not atoned for through the blood of bulls and goats at a temple, sacrifice for sins were accomplished once and for all through the sacrifice of Christ. Therefore, when Mr. Lindsey seems eager to see the Old Testament sacrificial system reintroduced, I am highly offended and puzzled why he thinks this would be a good thing.

Dispensationalist temple theology runs directly counter to what is taught in the book of Hebrews where the earthly tabernacle (the forerunner of the temple) was described as a shadow and imperfect compared to the work of Christ.

How any Christian could read Hebrews 8 and 9 and claim that there is a need for a new temple is puzzling.

The message is clear in these chapters: The Old Covenant was inferior to the New, the tabernacle (and by extension, the temple) was inferior to Christ, the sacrificial system of the Old Covenant is inferior to Christ’s sacrifice of the New Covenant, the OT priesthood of the Levites was inferior to the NT priesthood of Christ, etc. Consider Hebrews 9:8–14, where after discussing the man-made tabernacle and its religious rituals, the author writes:

“The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshipper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings – external regulations applying until the time of the new order. When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once and for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

In the light of the teachings of Hebrew and actually the whole of New Testament theology, it seems highly problematic to cheer on a rebuilt temple. Therefore, it would be unwise to interpret certain OT and NT passages as referring to a future rebuilt temple. Such a temple would have no salvific power and it seems bizarre that God would put such emphasis in a false idol in terms of the timing of His Second Coming.

Of course most dispensationalists do not believe anyone could actually be “saved” through renewed temple worship except for those who believe in a “dual covenant” theology.

Dual covenant basically meaning that one did not have to believe in Christ as long as they were faithful to the Old Covenant – but this runs directly counter to the teachings of the New Testament (John 14:6; Hebrews 8:7–13). However, even the vast majority of dispensationalists reject such a belief as heretical. The question is why then would they want people to waste their time through more temple worship?

The answer is because a peculiar interpretation of Bible prophecy and their hope to see these events happen so they can be “raptured” off to heaven while those that are “left-behind” bear the brunt of God’s judgment.

There are all kinds of problems with modern day rapture theologies as well, though that is not the point of the present column.

My own view of the “end-times” best resembles the historical premillennial view (throughout church history the Church was split between amillennialism and what is now considered “historical” premillenialism) that was embraced by a large part of the church throughout church history that believes in a literal millennial reign of Christ, a literal Antichrist, a literal Second Coming etc., but not the dispensational views of Israel and the Church, the secret rapture, the rebuilt temple, etc.

I also think the contention that Christians will not endure a future tribulation runs completely contrary to Christian experience all throughout history. The saints have always been persecuted and have always had to endure struggle.

I certainly don’t claim infallibility on these matters but at this time the position being outlined seems to me the closest to Scriptural teaching.

Political Problems of a Rebuilt Temple

The most obvious problem of a rebuilt temple will be further inflammation of hostilities between Jews and Muslims.

While Lindsey’s article asserts that the actual location of the second temple was in current territory of modern-day Israel, many others believe that the temple needs to be rebuilt on top of the Dome of the Rock, which is, of course, holy Muslim land and on Muslim territory. As a result many who hold this interpretation are determined to see more wars and hostilities between Jews and Arabs to make sure that “Bible prophecy” is fulfilled.

This is a clear case of bad theology trying to determine political policy. This is not something that should be encouraged by Christians today and leaders who develop and influence public policy and opinion.

This is part of the larger issue of dispensationalism’s influence of Christian public opinion (and by extension the resulting pressure from Christian groups that affect public policy). According to the dispensationalist, modern Israel is always right and the Arabs are always wrong. Not only that but the people who make up modern Israel are “God’s chosen people” and hence can never be questioned (according to the New Testament, however, God’s chosen people are people of faith in Christ). This has lead to a very uneven and unfair approach from most modern day Christians to the problems of the Middle East. Israel certainly has a right to exist as a nation. There are good reasons to be generally supportive of Israel. But Israel is not always right, and every atrocity or bad move by today’s state of Israel is not honoring or glorifying to God. Also, the idea that we should unflinchingly support Israel in every circumstance is rooted in bad theology and the silly idea that God will curse us if we criticize Israel (a bad interpretation of Gen. 12:3).

It’s time to stop letting faulty theology influence our foreign policy. Some Christians should also stop cheerleading violence and problems in the Middle East and stop seeing any proponent of peace as being a candidate for the Antichrist.

Conclusion

The whole of the Biblical Scriptures and Biblical Theology strongly leans against a rebuilt third temple. The desire for a new temple is a smack in the face to the work of Christ and shows little regard or concern for the people who would be caught up in false temple worship.

Instead of showing concern for the Jewish people, this and other areas of dispensationalism simply make them pawns in a fantasy game of what appears to be fictional theology. Not only is the idea of a rebuilt temple theologically problematic, it is politically problematic and would increase tensions between Jews and Muslims. Christians should stop letting highly questionable theology guide their opinions and views of Jews and Arabs and their desired approaches to public and foreign policy.

In conclusion, I offer a friendly challenge to Mr. Lindsey or any other dispensational writer in print to rebut the claims and assertions found in this essay.

Not only does “iron sharpen iron,” but there is much at stake in our understanding of these matters. If it can be proven that I am in error then I will humbly concede that this is so. Hopefully the dispensationalist would do the same. In the meantime, let the readers decide who has the more persuasive interpretation of the Biblical text.

Bill Barnwell is a pastor in Flushing, Michigan. He spent most of his undergraduate college career studying politics and government before feeling called to the ministry. He has completed a Master of Ministries degree and is currently working towards a Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree at Bethel College in Mishawka, Indiana.

Source, Answering Pat Robertson/Hal Lindsey-Christian Zionism

18 comments on “Answering Pat Robertson and Hal Lindsey

  1. As an historic premillenial guy, I like this article! Points out a few of my issues with the ‘other’ premillenialism out there, the ‘popular’ one.

    And to be fair, if I felt myself grossly in error in historic premillenialism, I would capitulate to amillenialism rather than dispensationalism. I have more in common scripturally with that position than the gymnastics it takes to get a secret rapture and a third temple with animal sacrifices.

    I am very glad the point of the third temple was brought up. It’s like the brethren who believe that forget Who the real Temple is, Who the real Sacrifice is, etc. Once the real has come (Jesus Christ), what glorifies God about bringing back the shadow?

  2. Apropos of the temple, somewhere on Kim Riddelbarger’s website there is audio from an author’s forum at his church, where G. K. Beale discussed his book The Temple and the Church’s Mission, which covers the temple and temple imagery from Eden to the New Jerusalem. Well worth finding and listening to. I’d love to read the book, in my “Abundant Free Time”. (I have that audio here, and can get it to you if you can’t find it. In fact, Beale is a very engaging speaker, it’s worth tracking down all the audio of his you can find.)

    The upshot is, the physical temple in Jerusalem, and the tabernacle before it, were only two in a series of places the Bible discusses where God had a special (temple like, with identifiable features) presence in the world.

    And also, from my most recent impulse purchase:

    ““The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews has a special motive in his representation, however, being less doctrinal than Paul, and more practical. He sought to cure the readers of their religious externalism, and this externalism was attached to their distorted eschatology. They were dissatisfied because they did not as yet possess the external things, and therefore they were intensely interested in eschatology. The writer shows them that the eschatology is present for the most part, only certain features of it being reserved for the future. The internal, spiritual part is the important part, and this we have now.”” — The Teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Geerhardus Vos, Eerdman’s, 1956, p 51-52

    Anyway,

    In the light of the teachings of Hebrew and actually the whole of New Testament theology, it seems highly problematic to cheer on a rebuilt temple.

    Seems to me, anything done by way of sacrifices in that hypothetical future Jewish temple would be an religiously problematic at best, abomination at worst. Do we want people involved in that? I think not.

    many others believe that the temple needs to be rebuilt on top of the Dome of the Rock, which is, of course, holy Muslim land and on Muslim territory.

    I have seen Christians saying “someone should just knock over that Dome of the Rock” — ie., forcibly demolishing another’s property. Watch your ethics, folks.

  3. I love the tenor of this article. it was written in humility and with clarity. It will be great if Hal Lindsey will respond to it.

  4. The author started out by stating the teachings on a rebuilt temple were “One of the strangest teachings from proponents of dispensationalism” …and i agree.

    You know for years i believed it as absolute bible truth, like many who hear certain doctrines repeated over and over for years, you just accept it!

    But something about it began to nag at me some years ago, so i decided to study exactly what ‘did’ the bible say about this, and i was shocked to see it didn’t really say anything! LOL

    Besides Daniel chapter 9, (which is debatable) it would seem the only other scriptures which could possibly cause someone to think another man-made temple has to be built is in 2Thess. 2:

    3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

    And, if you read many of the older writings on these verses, including older bible commentaries, the thought was not of an actual re-built temple but it was interpreted to mean either the church as a whole, or believers who had fallen away as mentioned in verse 3. (we should remember also, the temple in Jerusalem was still standing at the time Paul wrote this letter).

    for instance:

    A reason why they should not expect the coming of Christ, as at hand, is given. There would be a general falling away first, such as would occasion the rise of antichrist, that man of sin. There have been great disputes who or what is intended by this man of sin and son of perdition. The man of sin not only practises wickedness, but also promotes and commands sin and wickedness in others; and is the son of perdition, because he is devoted to certain destruction, and is the instrument to destroy many others, both in soul and body. As God was in the temple of old, and worshipped there, and is in and with his church now; so the antichrist here mentioned, is a usurper of God’s authority in the Christian church, who claims Divine honours. (Matthew Henry Commentary)

    Verse 4. Who opposeth and exalteth] He stands against and exalts himself above all Divine authority, and above every object of adoration, and every institution relative to Divine worship, himself being the source, whence must originate all the doctrines of religion, and all its rites and ceremonies; so that sitting in the temple of God – having the highest place and authority in the Christian Church, he acts as God taking upon himself God’s titles and attributes, and arrogating to himself the authority that belongs to the Most High. (Adam Clarke’s Unabridged Commentary)

    I finally concluded that the possibility is very likely that a complete doctrine, one of a rebuilt temple, is new! And that there really is no biblical proof of it being true.

    My question has been where did the teaching originate, that a temple had to be rebuilt before the coming of Christ?

    From my limited research it appears to have first begin to trickle into church doctrines in the west about 150 years ago.

    This is also interesting:

    The Greek wording in II THESSALONIANS 2:4 refutes any idea of Anti-Christ sitting in a literal, physical Temple at Jerusalem.

    If Paul had wanted to state that the “Man of Sin” would be seated in a rebuilt Jewish Temple, receiving worship, he would undoubtedly have used the Greek word “HIERON”, which is used on some twenty five other occasions to describe the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem.

    Instead Paul uses the Greek word “NAOS”, which according to Young’s Analytical Concordance, means a “dwelling place” or “inner sanctuary”.

    When the Lord Jesus used this same word “NAOS “in JOHN 2: 19-21, He used it to refer not to a building in Jerusalem but to His own body:

    “Destroy this temple (NAOS) and in three days, I will raise it up…….He spake of the temple (NAOS) of His body.”

    In the other Pauline Epistles, the word “NAOS” has a definite meaning other than the building in Jerusalem.

    A} “And what agreement hath the Temple (NAOS) of God with idols? for ye are the Temple (NAOS) of the living God;” – II CORINTHIANS 6:16

    B} “Ye are the Temple (NAOS) of God. If any man defile the Temple (NAOS) of God, him shall God destroy; for the Temple (NAOS) of God is holy, which Temple (NAOS) ye are.” – I CORINTHIANS 3: 17

    C} “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy Temple (NAOS) in the Lord;” – EPHESIANS 2: 21

    From WILL THE JEWS REBUILD THE JERUSALEM TEMPLE?

  5. PJ maybe you are right but I don’t want to be dogmatic to say the temple will never be rebuilt.
    While Jesus comes to fulfill the old testament, doing away with the OT rituals and the temple sacrifice, nations are asked to come to Jerusalem to keep the feast of tabernacles in the millennium.(read Zech 14:16-19) In the past Jews celebrate feast of tabernacles by making booths and also performing certain rituals in the temple. Why the need of all nations to keep this Jewish ritual if Jesus already fulfills it and is ruling as King on earth, dwelling among men?

    • PJ maybe you are right but I don’t want to be dogmatic to say the temple will never be rebuilt.

      Lee i don’t think we should be dogmatic concerning last day prophecy. I don’t think we can afford to be…if wrong, we can lead others astray.

      Take for instance this…the rebuilding of a temple. Many teach and believe its the next thing we’re to be looking for to happen. What if its not…what if there is never to be a rebuilt temple? Its like people who are always trying to determine a rapture date or ‘who’ the ac is…

      As far as the temple –personally, i’ve never been convinced in the scriptures it is to be rebuilt. But if all at once it happens, im not going to freak out and question my theology. In other words my theology and even many of my speculative ideas concerning eschatology don’t hing on if its built or not.

      BUT, there are christians who have based their entire theology around one certain ‘view’ or set of teachings on end times. And if something were to occur [or not occur] exactly as they staunchly believe it will…well, it could cause them to fall into doubt and seriously shake their faith .

  6. This is an excellent and informative article. I agree with the author that the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15) apparently was fulfilled when Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman armies in early 67 AD (Luke 21:20-21). When I wrote a term paper on 70 AD recently, I discovered that the following church writers (and probably more) held to the view that the abomination of desolation occurred at that time: Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD), Eusebius (263-339) Athanasius (296-372), Augustine (379), Chrysostom (379), Jerome (347-420), and Remigius (437-533).

    Thomas Newton (writing in 1753), John Wesley (1754), Adam Clarke (1837), C. H. (Charles) Spurgeon (1868), and Philip Schaff (1877) specifically said that the abomination of desolation occurred, not when the Romans entered the temple itself in 70 AD, but when the Romans entered Judea and surrounded Jerusalem in the spring of 70 AD. This info is found and referenced here:

    [1] http://kloposmasm.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/pp14-abomination-of-desolation/
    [2] http://www.preteristarchive.com/StudyArchive/e/eusebius.html
    [3] http://www.preteristarchive.com/BibleStudies/Bible_NT/Matthew/matthew_24-15.html

    I also agree with the author of this article that it is highly unlikely that there could be any future dual fulfillment of Matthew 24:1-35.

    He’s right that Dispensationalism’s heavy emphasis on a future rebuilt temple has problematic political implications. As he said, “many who hold this interpretation are determined to see more wars and hostilities between Jews and Arabs to make sure that ‘Bible prophecy’ is fulfilled.” At least one of these folks, John Hagee, has even had a personal audience with US national leaders.

    PJ, the quote you pointed to in your comment about the usage of the Greek words “heiron” and “naos” was very enlightening. While writing my term paper, I also discovered that Victorinus (2nd century AD), Lactantius (260-330 AD), Chrysostom (347-407 AD), and Augustine (354-430 AD), among others, taught that Nero was the man of sin in II Thessalonians 2. At least some of them clearly held to the position that “the temple of God” spoken of by Paul was the Church, and not a physical temple. In other words, Nero attempted to usurp the place of God as the object of supreme worship in the Church (and anyone who didn’t comply was eligible to be put to death). This info is here:

    [1] http://kloposmasm.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/pp15-the-man-of-lawlessness-ii-thess-2-part-1/
    [2] http://kloposmasm.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/pp16-the-man-of-lawlessness-ii-thess-2-part-2/

    Like Yemi said, it would be good to see Hal Lindsey or another influential Dispensationalist take up the author’s challenge. This article was written in 2005. I wonder if anyone has taken it up?

    • One small correction from my comment above…

      I wrote, “…the Romans entered Judea and surrounded Jerusalem in the spring of 70 AD.”

      That should have been “spring of 67 AD.”

    • PJ, the quote you pointed to in your comment about the usage of the Greek words “heiron” and “naos” was very enlightening.

      A friend of mine who worked on the same Christian board, first pointed that out to me a few years ago [his name is Michael]. Once i saw what he was saying it was like a light bulb went on and so much which had confused me, made sense! ahaha…

      I agree with the author that the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15) apparently was fulfilled when Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman armies…

      Yes, i believe that too.

      He’s right that Dispensationalism’s heavy emphasis on a future rebuilt temple has problematic political implications. As he said, “many who hold this interpretation are determined to see more wars and hostilities between Jews and Arabs to make sure that ‘Bible prophecy’ is fulfilled.”

      At least one of these folks, John Hagee, has even had a personal audience with US national leaders.

      And beyond the obvious doctrinal problems with dispensationalism, its that right there which proves to me dispensationalist teachings cannot be correct!

      When a theology or eschatology takes one into a belief that war and killing is ‘right’ there is something seriously wrong with it. Especially when those who teach it to others encourage them to instigate it’s continuing so that their interpretation of prophecy can be fulfilled.

  7. Wow. What to say!
    Thank all of you for so much information.
    The more I studied end-times scripture, the more the Holy Spirit led me to believe that the temple in question was the temple of our spirits where, as Christians, Jesus is our King, of course.
    Thanks especially for the Greek NAOS which seems to prove the point.
    As to the rebuilt temple, I just can’t see it. Satan’s influence is already sitting pretty in the hearts of so many (even Christians have pockets of wordliness to one degree or another, which the Spirit works to remove from us in our sanctification). Besides, since when does God need man to do something in order for Him to do His own will?
    Like so many, I used to believe the rapture would occur and we would be hidden away with Jesus for seven years while turmoil ran rampant down here. It’s interesting how the Lord will gently work within us to make us see Him in truth. That doctrine doesn’t even sound Godly. It really began to bother me when I heard a woman say of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, “oh boy! Seven years of eating!”
    We may not be subject to wrath (thank you, Lord) but nowhere does scripture claim we can avoid the problems of this world. One of my favorite verses is John16:33–“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Amen, Lord!
    Noah and his little family and God’s called-out animals were safe in the ark. The water thrashed them but they were kept by Him, not removed. He was not dining for years somewhere beyond earth. We will probably go through some things but we are saved, we are held in His love and we are His forever. The Ark of God (Christ Jesus) holds us now.
    As long as Jesus reigns in our hearts, as long as we enthrone Him there, that is all He needs. He has always looked on the heart. Always. I would venture to say He ever will. He wants our hearts, not our man-made temples. The acts of 70AD in Jerusalem show how easily the man-made variety can be taken down.
    God Bless you all.

    • As to the rebuilt temple, I just can’t see it.

      Satan’s influence is already sitting pretty in the hearts of so many (even Christians have pockets of wordliness to one degree or another, which the Spirit works to remove from us in our sanctification). Besides, since when does God need man to do something in order for Him to do His own will?

      Good point Phil 4:8.

      Your whole comment blessed me…thank you so much for sharing. I sensed the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, when reading your comment.

      God bless you…

  8. Yes I have had those same feelings about the subject my self.
    Right now, right at this very moment there is a movement to stop the true Temple of God, We who are born again by the Spirit of God, from praying to him in school in government by governments. Not just in public alone and prayer but because we say the only true way is the faith in Christ and the work he accomplished on the cross is the only way. They say that our message is a hate crime. The AoC of the UN has plans that will put a stop to our sacrifices of prayers.Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
    Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

    But those who endure to the end shall be saved.
    Mat 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
    But who can’t help but think that the time is short.

    • jonathan

      Nothing or no one can really stop us from praying. amen?

      When our heart is one with God we can pray anywhere! I use to pray silently while on my job.

  9. We can think on it logically as well, although, the reasoning of men is NEVER on par with or above whatever the Word of God states.

    The temple, the sacrifices, the purification rituals, etc of the OT all foreshadowed Christ. They were merely forms and shadows pointing to the One about Whom is all of scripture, Christ our Lord.

    He has come in the flesh, died, and risen, now sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven. All things are placed under His feet. One sacrifice for all time.

    What, logically (and again, referring to my first statement), could possibly be the point of bringing back the shadows when the Real reigns even now? Why go back to performing rituals that cannot save once Salvation has come?

    There is no logical reason that I can imagine for Almighty God to have yet another building built with hands of men erected, when the fulness of His Spirit indwelt the Temple of His Only Begotten’s Body.

    • The temple, the sacrifices, the purification rituals, etc of the OT all foreshadowed Christ. They were merely forms and shadows pointing to the One about Whom is all of scripture, Christ our Lord.

      Amen. 🙂

      I was blessed with a pastor who taught on types and shadows in the old testament and their fulfillment in the new, many years ago. To this day i can say it was the most enlightening classes i ever attended.

  10. The third temple and animal sacrifice won’t save the jews, only Jesus can save. So christians, I think should not support the building of the temple. But, whether we support it or not temple will be rebuilt. Third temple is another sign for the second coming of Jesus like earthquakes, plagues, rumours of war and famine and other things.Antichrist wil defile the Jewish temple and the christian temple(body of the believer).

    Ezekiel describes one temple in great detail. Is it the description of the third temple?

    Also we need to be pro Israel, always praying for the salvation and safety of Israel. I do not think God has done away with Israel. All prophecies about Israel will come to pass. Otherwise God wouldn’t have established the nation Israel in these end times and protected it so far from her enemies.

    • Ezekiel describes one temple in great detail. Is it the description of the third temple?

      Golda, some bible scholars believe Ezekiel was describing the Millennial Temple..

      others believe its a description of the Temple today in heaven…the one which Solomon’s temple was patterned after.

      and still others believe it is describing a spiritual temple:

      Jesus is the architect and builder of this temple. He identified this temple not built by hands when He identified himself as the corner stone — the first Living Stone — of this majestic building when he said [Luke 20:17-18 (refer to Psalms 118:22)]:

      And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

      So what temple did Ezekiel see? He saw a temple not built by human hands. He saw a temple that has been under construction for the last two thousand years as God has been fashioning living stones into the building blocks of this majestic structure. This temple is nearing completion.

      Jesus said that the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world and that then the end will come.

      Soon the last stone will be fitted into place. Soon the Glory of the Lord will fill the temple. (Ezekiel’s Temple by Joseph W. Gaut)

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