The Coming Temple
(Originally published as "The Third Temple", August 2010. Revised and updated.)
Greetings! There has been much in the news concerning a peace treaty, (covenant Daniel 9:27) between Israel and the Palestinians, some of which we have published on this web site. There has also been numerous articles dealing with the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, some of which have also appeared on this web site.
Those familiar with Bible prophecy will know the significance of these events, in that they herald the soon coming return of Jesus Christ and His thousand year reign on earth, more commonly referred to as the "Millennium".
We would like to give you some thoughts we have had on the temple, and let you draw your own conclusions. We found these points interesting and thought you may as well.
Thoughts concerning the coming "Temple".
Revelation, Chapter 11, verses 1 and 2 says: "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."
The temple described here seems that it could only be the rebuilt Jewish temple from which the Anti-Christ will rule. Now the question that arises, is that in verse one, it calls this temple 'The Temple of God'. How can the rebuilt Jewish Temple from which the Antichrist rules be called the "Temple of God".
Also, Matthew 24:15 states, "When ye, therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)."
Again the Temple, or at least the inner sanctuary, is referred to as the 'holy place'.
Daniel 8:11 and 12 says, "Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host,...And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of the transgression , and it cast down the truth to the ground;..."
We again see a reference to 'truth' in the temple and the prince.
One possible explanation may be that up until the time of the breaking of the covenant the religious Jews are actually allowed to worship in the temple. With today's technology, through lasers or other means, a fake, but very realistic God-like 'Shekaniah Glory' could be made to appear between the wings of the Cherubim.
This explanation, however, does not really answer the question as to why it is called "The Temple of God". We know from Romans 2:28, and 29: "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." The Scriptures show that God is no longer in Jewish ceremonial worship.
A possible clue could come from Isaiah 2:2-4: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
We know that these verses refer to the "Thousand Year Reign" of Christ upon the earth. We also know that Jerusalem serves as the center of Christ's Kingdom on earth from where "...the law and the word of the Lord" go forth. (Even though in Revelation 11:8, it is referred to as 'Sodom' and 'Egypt'.)
Then in Revelation 20:7-9: " And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."
Again 'the beloved city" would seem to be referring to Jerusalem during the thousand year reign of Christ. Therefore Jerusalem seems to be of primary importance throughout the entire thousand year reign of Christ. Which brings us to a possible explanation poised at the beginning of this letter.
We cannot find in the Bible the fate of the soon to be built "Temple" explained. In the past it was assumed it was destroyed during the Battle of Armageddon, but nowhere is that written, that we are aware of.
The Temple, from what we understand, is to be rebuilt and designed to the specifications of the earlier temples. If the Temple is not destroyed, what is to prevent Jesus from cleansing and sanctifying that Temple for His use, "..for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem" and making it his earthly headquarters during the millennium.
This could explain why Revelation 11:1, calls it "The Temple of God". Daniel 8:13 and 14 says; "Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Cleansed not destroyed!
We find there has been a precedent of such an event occurring before. The entire conquest of Canaan/Israel and Jerusalem. The land of Canaan was occupied by seven Canaanite tribes who dwelt in thirty one fortified cities which included amongst others, Jericho, and Jerusalem. Jerusalem before its conquest by the Israelites was called Jebus and inhabited by a sub grouping of Canaanites called Jebusites.
To give you some idea of Canaanite religious practices, we will quote from Halley's Bible Handbook: "Baal was their principal god; Ashtoreth, Baal's wife, their principal goddess. She was the personification of the reproductive principle in nature. Ishtar was her Babylonian name; Astarte her Greek and Roman name, Baalim, the plural of Baal, were images of Baal...In an excavation at Gezer, MacAlister of the Palestine Exploration Fund, 1904-1909, found, in the Canaanite stratum, which had preceded Israelite occupation, of about 1500 B.C. the ruins of a 'High Place,' which had been a temple in which they worshiped their god Baal and their goddess Asntoreth (Astarte).
Under the debris, in the 'High Place', McAllister found great numbers of jars containing the remains of children who had been sacrificed to Baal. The whole area proved to be a cemetery of new-born babes."
The very parcel of ground where Solomon's Temple was believed to have been built was bought by King David from a Jebusite named Araunah.
The point being made here with that reference, is that God took a Satanic strong hold and turned it into the place of His presence here on earth where He dwelt between the wings of the Cherubin represented as the 'Shekaniah Glory'.
If He could do that, with a seat of Satan, could He not do it with the rebuilt Temple from where Jesus will rule and reign for one thousand years after the battle of Armageddon!
In the Doway-Rheims version of the Bible, in Jeremiah 38, it talks about a great destruction taking place in Jerusalem and the temple being saved. Jeremiah.30:18; "Thus saith the Lord: Behold I bring back the captivity of the pavilions of Jacob, and will have pity on his houses, and the city shall be built in her place, and the temple shall be found according to the order thereof." (Other versions of the Bible use the word palace instead of temple.)
This however raises another question concerning Ezekiel, chapters 40-48, which of course follow Ezekiel 38 and 39, the battle of Armageddon, and deals with the building of another temple, sometimes referred to as "Ezekiel's Temple". From what we understand this temple has never been built. There are also marked differences in the practices of this temple in that it does not exclude the Gentiles.
There are also other important differences: A prince will enter through the eastern gate: "Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same."
In the previous two temples that were built, the high priests entered through the south gate. Also, from reading these scriptures, especially verse three, the prince and the Lord are two separate individuals.
Another thing different about this Temple is that, it is much bigger than the two temples preceeding it.
One possible explanation for this is the that the geography of the area will be altered after Jesus returns, as explained in Zechariah 14:4: "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."
This restructuring of the land after the Mount of Olives is split could provide the area needed for the completion of Ezekiel's temple.
(See further explanation below, and our article "If I Forget Thee."
Zechariah 14:8 is very interesting: "And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be." This is very similar to Ezekiel 47: 1-12:
"Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.
And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles.
Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins.
Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over, for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river.
Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.
And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.
But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine."
Today the Brook Kidron flows very intermittently toward the Dead Sea, but with the advent of the Mount of Olives splitting, it could very well open up underground reservoirs that could turn the Brook Kidron into a river that flows into the Dead Sea and create another river that could flow into the great Mediterranean Sea.
Something remarkable happened to that natural spring [Gihon]. It was a most important event that had a profound effect upon the Jewish population at Jerusalem and the need for their presence in the Holy City. In the year 1067 C.E., another major earthquake hit Jerusalem. It was so devastating that the records show 25,000 people died in Jerusalem alone, and only two houses remained standing in the Jewish quarter of the city on the southeast side.191 A few years before this time, the Gihon Spring was referred to as having good waters, but after 1067 C.E., the waters of the Gihon Spring turned bitter and unpalatable for normal drinking. All historical works (including Greek, Roman, Jewish and Muslim) show evidence that demonstrate the freshness of the Gihon Spring waters prior to this date. Indeed those waters from time immemorial had been fresh waters that were the envy of all. So pure were they that they symbolically came to represent the "waters of salvation" that issued from the throne of God in the Temple (mentioned many times in the Scriptures).
All of a sudden those "holy waters" became brackish and unsuitable for normal drinking. The earthquake may have moved underground strata introducing impurities into the water, or seepage from the city sewage areas. The change from fresh pure water to a brackish and tarnished state had a mystical and prophetic significance to the Jewish people of Jerusalem. The original "Mount Zion: had become polluted, and it reminded them of the same type of description in the prophecies of Jeremiah that also occurred at the time of Nebuchadnezzar.
"The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot", pages 150-151.
191The waters of the Gihon turned bitter at least once in the time of Jeremiah. The prophet told the Jews of his time that God sat on "a glorious high throne from the beginning in the place of our sanctuary [which had a fountain of living waters but] they have forsaken the fountain of living waters" (Jeremiah 17:12-13).
This condition happened just before the destruction of the Temple in the time of Jeremiah. Later, the Gihon Spring that came from the throne of God within the Temple precincts again became fresh and clean."
Will the Gihon need to become fresh and clean again before the building of the Temple, or will the Temple be built within the Haram Al-Sharif and later be moved south to the vicinity of the Gihon Spring when Jesus returns and the Mt. of Olives is split in half, with half of it moving toward the north and half of it moving toward the south. Or does the Lord have something different in mind. Zechariah 14:4
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?" (Romans 11;34-35)
If God caused the Gihon Spring to become bitter through an earthquake He could certainly cause it to become fresh again through another earthquake.
"Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight,  and the rough places plain: 5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." (Isaiah 40:4-5)
"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:38)
In Ezekiel's Temple it even describes the Levites, (who worshiped idols), still having a place of service in the Temple. Ezekiel 44:10-14
"The Levites who went far from me when Israel went astray, and who wandered from me after their idols, must bear the consequences of their sin. They may serve in my sanctuary, having charge of the gates of the temple and serving in it; they may slaughter the burnt offerings and sacrifices for the people and stand before the people and serve them. But, because they served them in the presence of their idols and made the house of Israel fall into sin, therefore I have sworn with uplifted hand that they must bear the consequences of their sin, declares the Sovereign LORD.
They are not to come near to serve me as priests or come near any of my holy things or my most holy offerings; they must bear the shame of their detestable practices.
Yet, I will put them in charge of the duties of the temple and all the work that is to be done in it."
It seems pretty clear from Zechariah 14:2,3,8-10 that, once the Lord gathers the nations against Israel, He then turns around and defends them.
"For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
What happened to the Ark of the Covenant?
"And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more." Jeremiah 3:16
What happened to the Ark of the Covenant after the complete destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar and his armies in 586 BC?
If 2 Maccabees is correct, it is in a cave on Mount Nebo.
The book of 2 Maccabees, is in "The Apocrypha". The Apocrypha is usually applied to the books in the Roman Catholic Bible or the Christian Old Testament, or the Eastern Orthodox Bible, but not the Protestant Bible. In Luther's Bible of 1534 the Apocrypha was first published as a separate intertestamental section. Luther was making a polemical point about the canonicity of these books. As an authority for this division, he cited St. Jerome, who in the early 5th century distinguished the Hebrew and Greek Old Testaments, stating that books not found in the Hebrew were not received as canonical. Although his statement was controversial in his day, Jerome was later titled a 'Doctor' of the Church and his authority was also cited in the Anglican statement in 1571 of the Thirty-Nine Articles.
There was agreement among the Reformers that "The Apocrypha" contained "books proceeding from godly men" and therefore recommended reading. The Geneva Bible said this in 1560. (Wikipedia)
"It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God.
"And when Jeremy came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door. And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it.
Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people again together, and receive them unto mercy.
Then shall the Lord shew them these things, and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was shewed under Moses, and as when Solomon desired that the place might be honourably sanctified." 2 Maccabees 2:4-8
Until next week...keep on believing.
"The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." - (Isaiah 11:9)