A little more than a month ago we shared the increasing signs of interest in the possible rebuilding of the Jewish Temple on its historic sight in Jerusalem.
The responses to that article “The Return of the Temple: The Possibility of an Unlikely Prophecy” have been interesting indeed.
On the one hand, we have heard from the proponents of what is called “Replacement Theology”.
These kind folks believe that God is finished with the Jewish people. All of the promises and predictions of God’s future dealings with the sons and daughters of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not to be taken literally, but spiritually and apply to the church, not the Jews.
They believe there is no further need for a temple here on earth, and that all references to a temple apply to the one found in heaven.
Certainly there are a number of references to a heavenly temple – especially in the book of Hebrews and Revelation.
“But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.” (Hebrews 9:11)
Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail. (Revelation 11:19)
But there are also references to a coming temple that cannot be identified with the one in heaven.
Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. (Revelation 11:1-2)
How could a heavenly, perfect temple be divided up with the Gentiles as part of their treading the holy city underfoot for three and a half years?
And how would the Antichrist be able to pull off his ultimate act of blasphemy in a heavenly temple?
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (II Thessalonians 2:3-4)
There is no doubt the Bible speaks of a temple in heaven. But there is also no doubt it speaks of a future temple that will be rebuilt right here on earth.
On the other side of the coin, we have also heard from our friends in liberal circles who deny that the supernatural exists, and so the notion that Bible prophecy can be fulfilled is hype and hysteria.
The notion that the Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt is straight out of the supermarket tabloid school of philosophy.
Again, it appears that God sees things differently.
I am the LORD, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another,
Nor My praise to carved images.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
And new things I declare;
Before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isaiah 42:8-9)
The so-called scholarship on this side of the critical wall states that all Biblical prophecy is either faked, or made after the events and dressed up to look like a prediction.
Of course this doesn’t explain how the book of Ezekiel predicts with stunning accuracy that the Promised Land would be desolate for centuries, then miraculously reclaimed physically, and that the Jews would return and thrive in their previously abandoned historic homeland. (see Ezekiel 36-37)
What we have maintained is that not only will a rebuilt version of the Temple be constructed on its historic site, but that we are already seeing the pieces of this predicted event coming together.
Temple Institute to Build Sacrificial Altar on Tisha
(IsraelNN.com) The Temple Institute will begin building the sacrificial altar on Thursday, Tisha B’av, a fast day when Jews mourn the destruction of the Temple some 2,000 years ago.
The sacrificial altar was located in the center of the Temple, and upon it the Kohanim (priests) offered the numerous voluntary and obligatory sacrifices commanded in the Bible.
The Temple Institute, which has already built many of the vessels for the Holy Temple, such as the ark and the menorah, has now embarked on a project to build the altar. Construction begins Thursday in Mitzpe Yericho (east of Jerusalem) at 5:30 p.m.
“Unfortunately, we cannot currently build the altar in its proper place, on the Temple Mount,” Temple Institute director Yehudah Glick said. “We are building an altar of the minimum possible size so that we will be able to transport it to the Temple when it is rebuilt.”
Even a minimum size altar will work out to be approximately 2 meters tall, 3 meters long, and 3 meters wide. Workers have collected around 10 cubic meters of rocks weighing several tons already.
The rocks were gathered from the Dead Sea area and wrapped individually to assure they remain whole and are not touched by metal, as the Bible requires.
“The Torah says that no iron tools should be used on the altar’s stones,” Glick explained. “The altar represents a connection to life and to the creation of the world. Iron is the opposite – it is used to build tools of war, death, and destruction.”
The stones will be cemented together with a mixture of sand, clay, tar, and asphalt. Researchers from the Temple Institute visited the Finish glass factory near Yerucham to learn how to create a mixture which would remain as cool as possible under the altar’s unremitting fires and protect the Kohanim, who always worked in the Temple barefoot.
Glick said that Tisha B’av, a day associated with mourning, is really the ideal time to begin to build the Temple. “People mistakenly think Tisha B’av is only a day to cry,” he explained. “It also has to be a day of action. We have the ability in our era to begin the construction of the Temple.”
“There are many positive developments recently with regard to the Temple,” Glick added. “Hundreds of Jews visited the Temple Mount this week, and more and more continue to come, after undergoing the requisite ritual immersion.”
Some might say that the actions of the Temple Institute represent a tiny faction of “enthusiasts” far outside the mainstream of Israeli public opinion.
Don’t be so sure.
Survey: 64% want Temple rebuilt
Almost two thirds of Israelis, including half of seculars would like to see Temple rebuilt, believe it is important to commemorate Tisha B’Av
About two thirds of the public want the Temple rebuilt, including about half of secular Israelis, a new survey conducted for Ynet and the Gesher organization revealed.
Initially, the respondents were asked what happened on Tisha B’Av (Ninth of Av), and showed impressive knowledge. Ninety-seven percent responded that the Temple was destroyed, while only 2% said they did not know.
The second question was whether respondents wanted to see the Temple rebuilt. Sixty-four percent responded favorably, while 36% said no. An analysis of the answers showed that not only the ultra-Orthodox and the religious look forward to the rebuilding of the Temple (100% and 97% respectively), but also the traditional public (91%) and many seculars – 47%.
When asked whether it was at all justified to mark something that had happened 2,000 years ago, 80% said that it was, while 13% said only events related to the State of Israel should be commemorated.
Another 7% categorically replied with a “no.”
Here too an analysis of the answers revealed that the positions on Tisha B’Av transcended religious divisions – 74% of seculars and 100% of ultra-Orthodox responded that dates like Tisha B’Av should be commemorated.
Gesher Director General Rabbi Danny Tropper told Ynet in response to the survey results: “We are a nation with a remarkable historic affinity. The Temple was destroyed 1,942 years ago, and almost two thirds of the population want to see it rebuilt, including 47% of seculars.
“I don’t think this is a practical proposal, but it seems that Tisha B’Av really does constitute a day of meaningful memory to most of the people.”
As we stated in our first post on this subject, the book of Daniel indicates that this desire for a rebuilt temple will be part and parcel of the “strong covenant with many” the Antichrist will make as he brings his false peace to the world (see Daniel 9:27).
As a Bible believing Christian I am certainly not “pushing for this to happen”.
But I do feel obligated to report that the Bible clearly says it will happen.
Just as surely as Jesus’ first coming was predicted and fulfilled, so will the events surrounding His second coming come to pass.
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:28)
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