It seems to me that Christians too often are more interested in defending a position, rather than surrendering to what the Bible teaches. Let’s see what the Bible teaches about a rebuilt temple. Fear not to be challenged and changed.
- Re-instituted temple sacrifices would be blasphemous to Jesus. The New Covenant began in the first century; there is no New New Covenant. SUPPORTING EVIDENCE: The writer of Hebrews said that Jesus’ sacrifice was ONCE FOR ALL (Hebrews 10:8-14).
- All promises of restoration of Israel have come true in Messiah Jesus (Luke 1:54-55, 69-75; 2 Corinthians 1:20). Jesus replaced the temple as the focus of our faith. He is the cornerstone and believers are living stones. So, the physical temple has been replaced by a spiritual one. SUPPORTING EVIDENCE: Matthew 21:42; 27:40; Mark 14:58; John 2:19-21; Acts 4:11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 1:20; 6:16; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:5; Revelation 21:22.
- The Abomination of Desolation (Matthew 24:15) has already happened. SUPPORTING EVIDENCE: Jesus told his contemporaries that THEY would witness it. (“When YOU see the abomination of desolation. . . .”) “YOU” are the people to whom Jesus was speaking. It happened when the temple was defiled by the zealots and then by the Romans in the Jewish-Roman War of AD 66-70.
- The Man of Lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:3) was already at work when the inspired Apostle Paul was writing. SUPPORTING EVIDENCE: Paul himself said so in 2 Thessalonians 2:7. While there are several first-century candidates, a likely suspect for the Man of Lawlessness was the zealot leader Eleazar ben Ananus, the ruthless instigator of the rebellion that caused the Romans to attack in AD 66―leading to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70. Eleazar sat in the temple and acted lawlessly in the very manner Paul described. Jewish historian Josephus described him as if defying God in his lawlessness, abominations, and atrocities.
- There is not a 2,000-year gap between Daniel’s 69th and 70th week in Daniel 9:26-27. SUPPORTING EVIDENCE: There is no hint of a large gap in the text. Inserting one there is reading something into the text that simply isn’t there. Daniel’s 490-year prophecy ends in the first century with the Abomination of Desolation and the “end to sacrifice and offering.” That happened in AD 70 when the temple was destroyed (cf. Daniel 12:7, 11).
- The Great Tribulation was not a worldwide event and it has already happened. SUPPORTING EVIDENCE: Jesus told his followers they could escape it by fleeing to the mountains (Matthew 24: 16). This would happen when Jerusalem was surrounded by armies in AD 66 (Luke 21:20-21). Ancient historian Eusebius wrote that the Christians followed Jesus’ advice and did in fact flee the city to avoid the coming devastation of the war.
- The Antichrist was already at work when John was writing. SUPPORTING EVIDENCE: John said so (1 John 4:3). John also proclaimed that IT WAS THE LAST HOUR (1 John 2:18).
But wait. What about Ezekiel’s vision of a new temple (Ezekiel 40-48)? There is solid evidence that it is a spiritual temple rather than a physical one. See this article: