The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TEMPLE

“THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TEMPLE” Part I

The interest in the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple has accelerated in recent days. A video on “YouTube” shows the building of a special training center for priests who will be ready to serve in this Temple. The Jewish Sanhedrin has been reestablished and their efforts are centered in the reestablishment of the Jewish Temple.

The word “temple” is used 204 times in the Bible – 117 of those times in the NT. The words “temple of the Lord” are found 24 times, once in the NT. The words “temple of God” appear 9 times. The word “tabernacle” is used 328 times, 20 in the NT. The words “holy place” are found 60 times – 5 in the NT. The words “the most holy” appear 24 times and the words “the most holy place” another 10 times. The phrase “the mountain of the Lord” is found 4 times, and the words “the house of the Lord” occur 234 times. Other usages include “the mount of the Lord” and “the holy mount.” The word “sanctuary” appears 137 times of which 21 usages are in the last nine chapters of Ezekiel that describe a future temple of the Messiah Himself. The evidence totals up to over 1000 usages in the Bible. Isaiah 27:13 speaks of a future day when people will come to “worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.”

The Hebrew word for “temple” that is used 81 times is the word “hekal” – meaning “big house.” However, in describing the temple, the Bible uses the term “Beit Adonai” meaning “the house of the Lord” of “Beit Elohim” – “the house of God.” Both the tabernacle and the temple are referred to with the Hebrew word “mishkan” meaning “dwelling.” The words “Beit Hamikdash” meaning “the house of holiness” are translated “sanctuary” and today describe the temple.

In spite of many attempts by the Islamic world to deny the presence of a Jewish temple on the holy mount in Jerusalem, the evidence speaks powerfully that they are wrong. A recent discovery from the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found has produced nine rare silver coins that date back to the Jewish revolt in the 2nd century AD. The largest Jewish coin ever issued, a half-ounce silver coin called the “Petra Drachma” has been found. One side of the coin shows Jerusalem’s Second Temple which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. The other side of the coin shows the image of the four plants known as the four species used during ceremonies of the Feast of Sukkot or Tabernacles.

While most Biblical scholars refer to three temples (Solomon, Herod, and Messiah) the words describing the temple are used in the Bible in the following ways:

1. The TABERNACLE OF MOSES (First Temple) – Exodus 15:17-18 – in the Song of Moses.
The instructions for its construction are found in Exodus 25-40 – 25:8 – “and let them make Me a Sanctuary that I may dwell among them.”

2. The TEMPLE OF SOLOMON (Second Temple)
II Chronicles 3:1 – This temple was destroyed in 586 BC by Babylon – II Chronicles 36:18-19 – “and they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire.”

3. The RESTORED TEMPLE (Third Temple) was built under the protection of Persia and the preaching of Haggai and Zechariah and the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua – Ezra 5:1-2

4. HEROD’S TEMPLE (Fourth Temple) – project of King Herod – usually referred to as the Second Temple – destroyed as Jesus predicted in 70 AD – Matthew 24:1-2; Luke 21:20-24

5. The TRIBULATION TEMPLE (Fifth Temple)
will exist during the coming Tribulation –
Revelation 11:1-2 – the Bible seems to teach the following about this temple:

(1) A political AGREEMENT will allow a place for Jewish worship on the Temple Mount, but its location will be shared – Daniel 9:27; Rev. 11:2 – “But the court which is without the
temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles; and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”

(2) A personal ARROGANCE of a coming world leader will cause him to enter the temple and demand that he be worshipped – Daniel 11:36-37, 45; Matthew 24:15

II Thessalonians 2:4 – “so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

In our next article, we will focus on the Temple of the Messiah (often called “The Third Temple”) and the usage of the word “temple” to refer to the Church!

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