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  "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
 . . .  Colossians 1:10  . . .
 
Temple History

Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
 

Solomonís Temple

It was King David who first proposed to replace the portable tabernacle (elaborate tent-like structure) with a building (2Sam. 7:1-5). He was not allowed of the Lord to carry out his desire but the Lord gave the task to his son, Solomon (2 Sam. 7:12-13). 1 Kings 6 gives us an overview of the building of Solomonís Temple. This temple stood until the fall of Judah to Babylon, when it was destroyed and the Jewish people were either killed or taken captive.

Zerubbabelís Temple was erected after Israel returned from captivity in about 520 B.C. It was not as elaborate as Solomonís Temple and the older men wept while the younger men rejoiced that they once again had a temple (Ezra 3:12).

Herodís Temple was the temple standing in Christís day. In 19 or 20 A.D. Herod the Great announced his intention to rebuild the old temple. It was not entirely completed until 64 A.D. by Herod Agrippa II. Then on Friday, August 9th, 70 A.D. it was destroyed by the Roman General Titus and his army and the Jews were scattered to the four corners of the earth..

The Tribulation Temple is interesting because nowhere in the scriptures is it stated what it will be like or when it will be built. But in October of 1989 interest in rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem rose to a fever pitch. A group calling themselves "The Temple Mount Faithful" attempted to lay a cornerstone for a new Temple at the West Wall plaza. They were denied access. Then Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kolleck was outraged by the attempt to lay the stone. I think his major concern is that Arabs would launch a Jihad (holy war) against Israel if they push building a new temple in the same area as their Dome of the Rock. Yehuda Cohen and his followers took the cornerstone to a nearby quarry and are waiting for the right time to make another attempt.

So why all this interest in a New Temple? I donít think anyone here is Jewish. The fact is, unless the Bible has left something out, the next temple that will be built is The Tribulation Temple. In fact, the Temple Institute in Jerusalem has researched Temple implements, priestly garments, musical instruments, etc. and has already prepared many of these needed items, stored them away. They are ready for service the moment they are needed. Furthermore, rumor has it that the Ark of the Covenant has been found and is ready to be placed in the new Temple whenever it is built. It is in this Tribulation Temple that Antichrist will set up his image to be worshipped (Daniel 9:27 & 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). This will happen when Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel 3 Ĺ years into their 7 year agreement (Daniel 11:36).

  • THE TEMPLE OF THE MILLENNIUM

The grandest of all Temples will be the Millennial Temple. This is the Temple that you and I will visit during the Millennium. It will surpass Solomonís Temple in all of its glory. Zerubbableís Temple looked like a shack compared to what the Millennial Temple will look like. Herodís edifice, though grand, cannot compare and though we do not know much about the Tribulation Temple, it will not hold a candle to Godís Millennial Temple.

Turn with me to Ezekiel 42:15-20. A quick reading shows that the temple structure itself will measure 500 reeds square. So how big is that? A reed is approximately 10 feet, making the temple building almost one mile square. Now thatís a BIG BUILDING! It will be the largest, most magnificent building ever erected.

  • WHERE THIS TEMPLE WILL BE BUILT

The Millennial Temple will be built on the sight of the present-day city of Jerusalem. In fact, by the time you add the inner court, the outer court and the court of the people, this complex will be bigger than the present city. Present-day Jerusalem is 2,500 feet above sea level and therefore there must be a change in the landscape for this temple to be built. Thatís where Zechariah helps us to understand what is coming. Passages in this book indicate that at least three geological and topographical changes will take place at the Second Coming of Christ that will allow this massive temple to be built.

First, the Mount of Olives will split open from east to westÖ"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. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee."

Zechariah 14:4-5

Second, life-giving waters shall flow out of Jerusalem to both the Mediterranean and Dead Seas.

Zechariah 14:8 "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."

Third, Jerusalem will have to be lifted up and the area round about it.

Zechariah 14:10 "All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjaminís gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the kingís winepresses."

Ezekiel 45:1 "Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the LORD, an holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand. This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about."

According to this portion of scripture what we have is a Holy portion of land measuring 50 miles in length and 20 miles wide. In the center of this section will stand the temple that is one mile square. This entire area will be lifted up by an earthquake and become a high plain.

  • THE RETURN OF THE GLORY OF THE LORD

In Ezekiel 10:18-19 we read of the glory of God departing from Israel. This was the same Shekinah Glory that led Israel through the wilderness. For hundreds of years Godís visible presence had been with Israel, but because of idolatry and occult practices that turned them away from worshipping the Lord, Godís Glory departed from Israel. Icabod (meaning the glory is departed) was written over Israel.

In Ezekiel 43:1-5 we read the account of the Glory of God returning to Israel through the Eastern Gate. For 1,000 years believers will literally rule and reign with Christ. He will direct His earthly kingdom from this Millennial Temple in Jerusalem, though Jerusalem will be modified in that day. That is going to be awesome!

Closing Thoughts

I do not deny the fact that I am excited about the events surrounding the preparations for the New (Tribulation) Temple. That means the Rapture is closer than ever. And when I read of the Millennial Temple, that boggles my mind! But, do you know what Temple is most important today? For the answer we need to turn to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV) "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Godís." The Temple in which God dwells in today is the Christianís body.

Letís take a look at several other verses relating tow where the Lord dwells today.

1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1 Peter 2:5 (KJV) "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

It is easy to see, just from the few verses that I have pointed out, that today the Temple of God is the believerís body. Having said that, I am reminded of the Old Testament account of two priests that did not honor the God of the Temple. Turn to Lev. 10:1-3 "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace."

God does not take lightly the defiling of HIS TEMPLE! 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive youÖ"

1Corintians 3:16 warns, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile (5351) the temple of God, him shall God destroy (5351); for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

The word translated "defile" and "destroy" is a Greek word which means to waste or pine; to corrupt or spoil in a moral or spiritual sense. In other words, God is saying if you corrupt yourself inwardly, where the Spirit of God dwells, He will allow your life to come apart and be spoiled outwardly. Believers, we must be on guard that we do not defile the temple of God! A closer look at 1 Corinthians 6 reveals that sexual sin is one of the key ways Godís Temple, our body, is corrupted. Ephesians 4:29-32 reveals that bitterness, wrath and anger are things that grieve the Holy Spirit Who abides in The Temple of our bodies. Thatís something to think about.
 

 

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First Baptist Church of Oak Creek

10550 S. Howell Ave. - Oak Creek, WI 53154

Phone: 414-762-7575

Pastor: David L. Brown, Ph.D.

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