Will the Jerusalem Temple Be Rebuilt? (Part 1)
Just before Jesus went to the cross He said of the temple in Jerusalem, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down (Matthew 24:2). Roman General Titus fulfilled that prophecy in 70 A.D. Since the Jewish temple could only be built on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Jews have not had a temple or a sacrifice since 70 A. D.
However, in that same chapter Jesus referred to a future time when there would be a Jewish temple again. He said, When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (Matthew 24 15). Jesus could only be speaking of the temple. He refers to Daniel 9 where the prophet says the Messiah would come, be cut off (i.e. die), and a little later, Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed (vs. 26). Then he says a prince of those same people (Rome) who destroyed Jerusalem would confirm a covenant between the Jews and many other countries for one week of years (seven years) of peace (vs. 27). The modern European Community appears to be a restoration of what was once Rome. I believe a leader of the EU will confirm a peace covenant between the Jews and Arabs for seven years. This may allow the Jews to rebuild their temple and restore the sacrifices. Daniel goes on to say that this Roman prince will change his mind half way through those seven years and stop the sacrifices in the Jewish temple. He will bring abominations into the holy place that will make it desolate.
Daniels prophecy was partially fulfilled in 168 B. C. by Antiochus Epiphanes, who actually offered a sow on the great altar and installed an altar to Jupiter in the temple. This led to the Maccabean revolt, which the Jews celebrate as their Feast of Dedication, popularly known as Hanukkah just before our Christmas. But Antiochus destroyed neither Jerusalem nor their temple at that time. In fact, the Jews defeated him. This happened 168 years before Christ. Jesus spoke of this desolation of the temple as future, so Jesus was saying the temple would be rebuilt and then defiled. This prophecy of our Lord has not yet been fulfilled.
Paul also says the temple will be rebuilt. He speaks of the Anti-Christ as the man of sin and the son of perdition, Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (2 Thessalonians 2:4). The temple has to be rebuilt if the Anti-Christ is to sit in it in the future.
The burning question of millions of Jews around the world today is, When will our temple be rebuilt? Three times a day at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, devout Jews pray: May our temple be rebuilt in this day in the holy city.
Why hasnt the temple already been rebuilt? A major Muslim temple called the Mosque of Omar, or the Dome of the Rock, is located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, on the very spot the first and second Jewish temple sat. Even though Israel regained Jerusalem in 1967, the political leaders have not believed they could tear down the Mosque of Omar and rebuild the temple without starting a major world war. This is one of the major issues of the Jew/Arab conflict.
The temple will be rebuilt because the Bible says so. In part 2 of this Bulletin, we will discuss known plans already in place in Jerusalem for rebuilding the temple including information on the Red Heifer of Numbers 19. The temple could be rebuilt just before the rapture or just after. The Bible is not clear on that point. However, when there are so many plans in place for rebuilding the temple, you know the rapture is near. Are you ready to meet the Lord? Maranatha Amen!
© 2002 D. B. Martin
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