Rebuilding the Temple
The temple has already been rebuilt.
Jesus said that He and God are the temple (Rev.21:22). The temple of God is spirit and it lives in our hearts. The Book of Hebrews tells us that the temple and its "Holy of Holies" now exists inside our own soul because that is where Jesus transferred it (Heb.9:8-14; 10:1-23). It has been rebuilt inside each of us, stone by stone, as each one of us convert our lives into the way of Christ. The Book of Revelation assures us that this is to be the structure of God's temple in the New Jerusalem of heaven.
The Book of Hebrews tells us that the physical temple (the Jewish temple) was the outer chamber that had to be torn down before anyone could enter the new spiritual one erected by Jesus. As long as that outer tent remained standing no one could go into the true Holy of Holies of God (Heb.9:8-10). It had to be torn down.
The Book of Maccabees addresses these fallen stones:
"They discussed what should be done about the altar of holocausts which had been profaned, and very properly decided to pull it down so that it might never become a reproach to them, from its defilement by the pagans. They therefore demolished it and deposited the stones in a suitable place on the Temple hill to await the appearance of a prophet who should give a ruling about them." (1 Macc.4:44-46).
That prophet was Jesus Christ. The Jewish high priest and Sanhedrin were put in power temporarily only until this "trustworthy prophet" of God arrived to replace them:
"...the Jews and the priests had agreed that Simon should be their perpetual leader and high piest until a trustworthy prophet should arise..." (1 Macc.14:41)
When Jesus came, the prophecy He gave concerning the stones of that outer tent was this:
"Jesus left the temple and as he was going away his disciples came up to draw his attention to the Temple buildings. 'You see all these?' he told them, 'I tell you solemnly, not a single stone here will be left on another: everything will be destroyed.' " (Mt.24:2).
This means that far from rebuilding another outer tent in the future, even more stones remain there that still must come down before Christ's prophecy is completely fulfilled. These form the western wall of the temple mount that continue to stand even to this day. That tells us the future offers continued physical destruction, not physical rebuilding.
Most of the structures Jesus pointed to, including the vaunted temple built by Herod, came down in total ruin just 37 years after Jesus had issued this prophecy.
That destruction turned everyone back to the scriptures in an attempt to determine when another temple would be constructed to replace the vanished building so holy to the Jews.
Those scriptures decreed the rebuilding of the temple in just three days.
What happened in three days? Jesus rose from the dead. Three days produced Easter. The Temple is Christ. That Temple comes into each of us when we make our decision for Jesus.
In keeping with this understanding, it was revealed to John in a vision that there would be no temple in the divine Jerusalem in heaven.
"In the spirit I saw Jerusalem, the holy city , coming down from God out of heaven...I saw that there was no temple in the city since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were themselves the temple..." (Rev.21:10, 22.)
The earthly temple only existed for the purpose of making sacrifices to God. Jesus removed the Holy of Holies from the temple in Jerusalem and deposited it into the inner soul (the naos) of every Christian baptised in His name. That action occurs when Jesus comes into our hearts.
At the same time, Peter said that Jesus made us a line of priests and kings so that we could offer the sacrifices that Jesus made acceptable to God, sacrifices of mercy, love and good faith. These we offer to God from within ourselves, from the temple which is God and Jesus who dwells within us. And we make these sacrifices by putting into practice the commandments of the Gospel.
"Didn't you realize that you were God's temple and that the Spirit of God was living within you? If anybody should destroy the temple of God, God will destroy him, because the temple of God is sacred; and you are that temple." (1 Cor.3:16-17).
"Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you since you received him from God." (1 Cor.6:19).
1. The Temple
2. Temple -- Warning from God
3. God Does Not Live in a Human House
4. 'The Last Days of Babylon', Chapter 14, 'The Citadel of the Proud'
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