Apologetics, Bible, End times, Main, Teaching, z35
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What will Israel’s third temple look like?

Model of Herod's Temple at the Israel Museum. Photo: Berthold Werner/Wikipedia

Model of Herod’s Temple at the Israel Museum. This is the one Jesus visited. Photo: Berthold Werner/Wikipedia

An interesting article on Breaking Israel News (BIN) recently caught my attention. I have reported previous how some Orthodox Jews in Israel are preparing for the construction of a third Temple – the first one being Solomon’s temple and the second built by King Herod that was in place during Jesus’s day and destroyed in 70 AD.

A group of Orthodox based in Israel found the The Temple Institute (TTI) in 1987 to prepare for the construction of a third temple. TTI has already made a number of temple utensils (including a massive altar), ordered architectural drawings for a new temple and even started a school to train priests in how to make sacrifices.

Their desire to build a third temple is based in part on an Old Testament prophecy found in Ezekiel. In a vision, God carries the Prophet Ezekiel to a future temple that is not remotely similar to either of the two temples previously constructed (Ezekiel 40).

This leads some to conclude that God intends to have a third temple built.

However, the biggest hindrance to its construction is that the Muslims now control the Temple Mount. It is also generally believed the Islāmic Dome of the Rock sits on the original site of Herod’s temple.

But an intriguing video produced by a respected Jewish Torah teacher, Sarah Yehudit Schneider, suggests the third temple will not be a physical (brick and stone) temple but rather a spiritual one.

She produced the video as Israel celebrated the Jewish feast of Tisha B’Av that marks Rome’s destruction of Herod’s temple in 70 AD.

Schneider is considered a Kabbalist. It is an arm of Orthodox Judaism that provides a more mystical interpretation of the Bible. Some believe at times practitioners can veer into the occult.

Like most Orthodox Jews, Schneider ties the third temple with the arrival of the Jewish Messiah. Though Orthodox Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah, they still believe a Messiah is coming and with recent events many believe His arrival is imminent.

In her video, Schneider said:

“The original vision – the one Hashem (God) had in mind from the start – was the community of Israel itself to become a living Mishkan (tabernacle). The people themselves going about their God-centered lives would embody the Presence and shine it into the world.”

She believes it was God’s original plan to have His Presence within the people or community of Israel. However, they lost this ability to do this because of sin, and as result the Tabernacles and Solomon’s Temple became the place where God appeared  — on top of the ark of the Covenant.

Herod’s Temple did not have the ark because it had mysteriously disappeared centuries earlier.

Schneider then asks will the coming third temple be a physical one like the previous two or will the Messiah so heal the people, that God can dwell within the community as He originally envisioned.

In an interview with BIN, she said:

“If the Temple is built at the beginning of [the Messianic] period, then it is likely that the Jewish people will start off with a physical Temple and then we will eventually outgrow it.”

Schnieder’s video was stunning because it presents a vision of the temple very much in tune with the New Testament.

During His time on earth, Jesus made some startling statements about the temple. Jesus prophesied that it would eventually be destroyed (Matthew 24:1-2). In fact, it was this statement the High Priest used to accuse Jesus of blasphemy (Matthew 26:59-63)

But the Apostle John adds a curious note when Jesus made a cursory statement about the Temple’s destruction early in His ministry:

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. (John 2:19-21 NASV)

He gives the reason why God allowed the Temple to be destroyed — Jesus’s body was going to replace it.

It was only after the Day of Pentecost, the Apostles finally grasped what this meant. Because of the filling of the Holy Spirit, they realized that believers are so cleansed by the redeeming work of Jesus the Presence of God is able to reside inside them.

Christians and the church were the temple of God.

The Apostle Paul writes:

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.

16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (I Corinthians 3:9-10, 16 NASV)

In verse 16, when Paul says “you” (Greek este) are the temple of God, he uses the plural form — in other words it is believing community that makes the temple.

Each believer is an individual block used to construct the full temple (Ephesians 2:19-22). The Apostle Peter calls us the “living stones”:

you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5 NASV)

So what Schneider envisions for the future Messianic temple is already being fulfilled in the Church. Though, it does not seem at this point, she envisions Jesus as the Messiah.

But it is interesting that one of Israel’s most famous Kabbalists, Rabbi Kaduri, did. After he died, he told his followers to wait a year before opening a mysterious document in which he would reveal who the Messiah was through a coded message.

His followers were stunned when they found out it was Jesus.


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