Many Christians believe that the temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. There are several reasons for this belief, but they are all incorrect.

  1. Some Jews would like to see the restoration of both the temple its sacrifices. This view fails to understand the change brought about by Jesus ministry. His death was the perfect sacrifice, so there is now no need for sacrifice or altar (Heb 8,9). To establish sacrifices in a restored temple would be a terrible insult to Jesus. The reason that God allowed the temple to be destroyed in AD 70 was that the sacrifices offered there had become repugnant to him. Once Jesus had completed his sacrifice upon the cross, the sacrifices in the Jewish temple were no longer necessary. They had been replaced by Jesus' one, true, perfect sacrifice, and should have ceased. When continued after the perfect sacrifice of Jesus, they were an abomination to God. The tearing of the temple curtain at the time of the crucifixion showed that a better way to God had been opened. If animal sacrifices are restored, Jesus will be insulted and the powers of evil given authority to attack.

    Note: the temple described in Ezekiel 40-44 has animal sacrifices, so it must either be a spiritual temple or a prophecy for Old Testament times. The prophecy cannot be literally filled now that Jesus a perfect sacrifice has been completed. The valley of bones described in the preceding chapter and river flowing to the sea in the following chapter are not literal, so the Ezekiel temple is most likely a spiritual picture of a heavenly reality.

  2. Some Christians believe that the temple will be restored as a place of worship without sacrifices. People will go to the temple to worship Jesus. However, this view also fails to understand the change wrought by the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, but through faith, we are seated there with him (Eph 2:6). We do not need to go to a temple to meet with him. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we can commune with him wherever we are. The Holy Spirit is present throughout the world, so there would be no benefit in going to a temple in Jerusalem. There is now no function for a temple as a place for worshipping of God.

  3. The most common belief is that Jesus will return to earth and rule the world from the temple in Jerusalem in a millennial kingdom. The teaching that Jesus will personally come back to establish the Kingdom of God is one of Satan's worst lies. The church has given up on establishing the Kingdom of God because Satan has fooled it into believing it cannot happen until Jesus returns.

    The truth is that the Church is called to establish the Kingdom. In Daniel 7:27, there is a description of the Kingdom coming to power, when all the "power and sovereignty under the whole heaven is handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High" (while the Son of Man is seated with the Father). The Bible declares that God will bring the church to victory.

    His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose, which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord (Eph 3:10,11).

    This passage teaches that the defeat of Satan and his forces will be accomplished through the church. Christ will not have to return to display his glory, for his glory will be displayed through the victories of the church. These victories will take place "now" in the present age.

    God's people will establish the Kingdom while Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. He returns to receive the kingdom established by the church and hands it back to the Father (1 Cor 15:24,25). Since Jesus does not have to come back to earth to establish the kingdom, he does not need a temple to rule from. The belief that the temple needs to be rebuilt before the Kingdom of God can come is part of Satan's lie. Christians who want to see the temple rebuilt are declaring their lack of faith in God's ability to fulfil his promises through the church.

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