With mounting conflict over the Jerusalem temple,
the Israeli and Arab world are at odds over the
possession and destiny of the “sacred” mount as
it is called.
Israel remains divided. Some desire the temple to
be rebuilt. Others choose to abandon it entirely
to the Arabs.
The secular Israeli government opposes religious
control fearing it would render it obsolete thus
dismantling the secular government.
To answer the question, What temple will you build me
in Jerusalem?, consider the:
- Nature and
The Temple in Jewish History
A center of Jewish life since the time of Moses,
the temple has a rich history. Moses, instructed
by God, received a command to build the tabernacle
according to the patter shown in the mount.
Perhaps the battle for the Jerusalem temple by
the Jews, Arabs and Evangelicals could learn from
the original plans given to Moses.
The pattern derives from heavenly and divine origin,
earthly and human, (Hebrews 9:11, 23–24). However,
a few years removed from the wilderness of Sinai,
men reversed God’s pattern and opted for the shadow
verses the pattern as a guide for the temple.
The pattern given to Moses did not resemble any
previously existing earthly structure.
While David sought to build God a permanent house
(temple) which Solomon fulfilled, Isaiah proclaimed
that the Most High does not dwell in temples made
by man’s hands.
“Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool.
What house will you build for Me? says the Lord, Or
what is the place of My rest? Has My hand not
made all these things? (Isaiah 66:1, 2; Acts 7:49)
Yet, in spite of the above, men write volumes on
the temple simple because their end time clocks
have a broken hour hand and clogged internal
Distinguishing The Temples
Jerusalem temple history records the first temple
i.e. permanent building, (Moses’ tabernacle was
truly the first), suffered desecration by idolatrous
worship and practices (Ezekiel 8). It suffered
destruction at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar’s
Babylonian army in 586 B.C.
Restoration and Rebuilding
Lying in ruins following the return to Jerusalem after
70 years of captivity, Zerubabbel, governor of Judah,
and Johsua, the high priest began to rebuild the tempe
Most call it the second temple. It accords with Herod’s
temple of the New Testament. John adds that temple
underwent a 46 year renovation project to embellish it.
Nevertheless, in the days of Ezra and the prophet Haggai,
the rebuilding project met with mixed emotions. The old
men wept because it paled in comparison to Solomon’s
On the other hand, the young men, totally bliss of the
former glory, extolled its virtues.
Haggai, prophesied that “in a little while” God would
shake all nations and destroy heaven and earth,
covenantal and apocalyptic terms for yet another
destruction of Jerusalem.
He wrote this while they were in the very midst of
rebuilding the “second temple.” (Haggai 2:6–8). Paul,
quoting from Haggai, records the fulfillment of this
“shaking” as occurring at the writing of the Hebrews
The Glory of the Prophesied Future Temple
Haggai asked, who had seen the glory of the former
temple, i.e. Solomon’s? Then he stated that the glory
of the latter temple would far exceed that glory.
In other words, the new temple which the Lord would
build (without man’s hands) would surpass the glory
of Solomon’s temple.
This means that it would be a significant step up in
glory, versus a step down as true of Zerubabbel’s
temple. Even 46 years of embellishments by Herod
would not overshadow the glory of this temple God
This presents a huge dilemma for the advocates of
a third temple rebuilding project in modern day
For example, Dr. Randall Price, author of The
Coming Last Days Temple, acknowledges the
“Trouble in the Temple” syndrome involving man-made
He draws a pattern of desecration from Solomon’s
temple, through the Zerubabbel-Herodian temple
to the newly proposed third Jerusalem temple.
Neither, according to his views escapes the desecration.
How then could the glory of a so-called third Jerusalem
sanctuary (if built) excel the glory of Solomon’s. It’s
impossible. Thus, we search for a more consistent
view of Scripture.
The New Temple
Perhaps we should look more carefully upon the words
of Christ who said, “Destroy this temple and I will raise
it up. Inspiration records he spoke of his own body.
John offers that Jesus, as the Word was made flesh and
tabernacled among us (those first century disciples),
John 1:14. Any study of the temple/tabernacle typology
must take into consideration the words spoken of Christ.
As in the type of Moses’ temporary, transient and
transportable structure, Jesus’ dwelling in the flesh
typified a kind of tabernacling among God’s people
that was temporary and which foreshadowed a
greater presence then yet to come.
Consider also his death (described as an exodus,
or departure Luke 9:31), implying a cutting off of
his relationship to Israel in the flesh that he might
take up a new relationship with them in the Spirit,
(Romans 1:3, 4).
God did not cut Israel off entirely but redirected
Israel to obtain the promises they sought through
In other words, Israel’s destiny transferred from
the earthly and fleshly to the heavenly and spiritual
wherein God would consummate the promise made
to their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
“In Christ” becomes the new promised land for the
new Israel of God in the Spirit. Ezekiel 36:24–26 and
John 3:3–7), addresses the “new birth” of Israel in
the Spirit, saying it is the time when they enter the
land, under the new king David (Christ, the Messiah).
At that time, God sets his tabernacle in their midst.
Thus, following Jesus’ death, Israel could no longer
know Jesus according to the flesh, meaning through
his Old Covenant existence (2 Corinthians 5:16;
That Jesus had in mind all along the rebuilding of a more
glorious temple not made with hands emerges from his
conversation with the woman at the well in Samaria.
They debated over the divinely mandated placed of worship.
The woman, of Samaritan descent offered Mt. Gerizim. In
so doing, she challenged the Jews’ claim to worship in the
temple in Jerusalem.
Jesus responded by saying “woman the time is coming and
now is when the true worshipers will worship the Father in
Spirit and truth for the Father seeks such worshipers to
worship him.” (John 4:23)
Thus, he told her neither in this mountain (Gerizim) nor
yet in Jerusalem (the physical land of Palestine) would
men worship God. “The new place of worship is in the
The solemn warning and fate of the “second” Jerusalem
temple met with destruction by the Roman General Titus
in A.D. 70. (Matthew 24:3, 34, Luke 21:20–22; Acts 6:14).
This temple is confused with a so-called third temple for
an imaginary last days battle. Physical Jerusalem is not
the sought out place to worship God any more than
Baghdad, Tehran or Harlem in New York.
We see throughout the epistles that a transition occurred.
The church is the new Jerusalem temple of God. God
dwells in the church. Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone.
It all comes clear in the final chapters of Revelation. Speaking
of the new temple mount in Jerusalem, John saw the holy
city coming down out of heaven from God.
Declaring this the new Jerusalem prepared as the bride of
Christ, he affirms that the tabernacle of God is with men,
As John surveys the city, he saw no temple within it for
God and the Lamb are its temple, (Revelation 21:22). This
temple has the glory of God. Can the glory of Moses,
Solomon or Zerubbabel/Herod’s temples exceed and
surpass the glory of God?
Then none can exceed this glory of the temple made without
hands. God wants each of us to know that He is our temple.
In him alone must we worship. No physical building can
exceed his glory.