Posted on October 30, 2020 by Christian Widener, Ph.D.
In my book, The Temple Revealed, I argue that the former location of the Jewish temple can now be known with certainty, and that the Church should support the rebuilding of the temple. But for some, the idea of Christians supporting the Jews rebuilding a temple is very controversial. Many Christians believe that God no longer has an interest in, or purpose for, a physical temple. Near the end of the book, after going through the prophetic, historical, and archaeological case for identifying its proper location, I make the scriptural case for Christians supporting the rebuilding of the temple.
I have also come across objections to supporting the rebuilding of a Jewish temple based on the metaphor used in the New Testament describing Christians as “living stones” in a new spiritual temple. The idea is that somehow this must mean that all scriptural references to a real temple, after A.D. 70, must be understood solely as metaphors that do not refer to any real structure. Since others may also have a similar question or just be unsure of what the Bible really has to say about temples in the Last Days, I thought it would be good to look at the scriptural references for temples in the Bible and then study the example of communion.
First, let’s list the seven temples found in scripture:
1. God’s eternal temple in Heaven– We see this several places in scripture (Isaiah 6:1-4, 2 Corinthians 5:1, Revelation 7:15 & 11:19). This is the place where God dwells in Heaven in unapproachable light, but after the Great White Throne judgment, it will come down to the new heaven and a new earth where believers will dwell with God as his children forevermore.
2. Solomon’s temple– The temple first built by Solomon found in 1 Kings chapters 5-9, which was built on the location shown to his father David—the threshing floor of Araunah.
3. Zerubbabel’s temple– A rebuilt temple, which was only a shadow of its former glory and is described in the book of Ezra.
4. Herod’s temple– The reconstructed and beautified temple built by Herod the Great around the time of Christ, which replaced Zerubbabel’s temple and is mentioned in Luke 21:5, John 2:20, Mark 13:1 and was also described in great detail by Flavius Josephus.
5. The Church– A temple made of living stones not built by human hands. The spiritual temple that Paul and others described in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 & 6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:5, 2 Corinthians 5:1, and Revelation 3:12, 21:9-14 & 21:22.
6. The Tribulation temple– Daniel 9:27, 11:31 & 12:11, Jeremiah 33:11, Ezekiel 43:1-4, Mathew 24:15, 2 Thessalonians 2:4, Revelation 11:1. The Bible describes that there will be a temple and sacrificial service and offerings during the time before Jesus returns to defeat the Antichrist, in accordance with the prophecy pronounced by Daniel.
7. Ezekiel’s temple/millennial temple– Ezekiel chapters 40-42 and Isaiah 2:2-3 & 66:20.After the devastation and destruction of the Tribulation, the tribulation temple will be either damaged or totally destroyed and will then be purified and repaired/rebuilt and expanded under the reign of Christ (which may also be another and final fulfillment of the 2300 mornings and evenings in Daniel 8:13-14).
Now, some might wonder why I haven’t included the tabernacle in this list. The answer is because the tabernacle was not a fixed location, but a temporary dwelling until Solomon’s temple was constructed. After the construction of the temple though, the temple became the fixed and permanent location for everything that had originally been in the tabernacle.
One could also argue that there is actually an eighth temple described in Revelation chapter 21. That might work in a Hebraic sense, since the final description of a temple would also work numerically as the “eighth” and perfect or complete temple. However, since what is described will be the unification of God’s temple in Heaven with the living stones of His children, I would argue that chapter 21 is just describing the fulfillment of the “living stones” promise.
Revelation 21:9-14 & 22
9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
22I did not see a templein the city, because the Lord God Almightyand the Lambare its temple.(Video) SEVEN TEMPLES in the Bible
Therefore, although Christians are already called “living stones” in God’s temple, the complete fulfillment of that promise doesn’t come until after the final judgment. Since this is true, it would be a mistake to attempt to read the accounts of temples in the Tribulation and Millennium as just spiritual references to the Church. In order to show how that would be an improper understanding of scripture, I’d like to make an analogy to communion, as a hermeneutical example of why I think the passages about the temple should be read literally.
One of the more difficult teachings of Jesus is found in John 6:43-59, where he said that one must eat his flesh and drink his blood in order to have eternal life. Although many at that time were offended and stopped following him because of that, we clearly understand that he was speaking metaphorically. He was teaching that believing in this death and resurrection is to partake (eat) of his flesh and blood and therefore to be saved.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”Ephesians 2:8
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”Romans 10:9-10
Consequently, even though we know that the act of taking communion does not bring salvation, and the true reality of communion is found in the Spirit through faith in Jesus, we are still taught to practice the ordinance of communion with bread and wine (or crackers and grape juice;). We see this clearly documented in scripture (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Taking communion does not save us, it is only an earthly and physical representation of the spiritual reality of receiving salvation through belief in the name and sacrifice of Jesus.
Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.1 Corinthians 10:16-17
Now what does this have to do with a rebuilt temple? Because, just like a symbolic spiritual meaning does not invalidate the literal practice of regularly taking communion in church, it also doesn’t invalidate the testimony of scripture regarding a real physical temple at the place that God said one would stand and be a “house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7). I’m trying to show that underlying spiritual truths add meaning to the physical things mentioned in scripture, but they don’t replace or contradict the plain meaning of the text. Therefore, the physical structures and events associated with temples during the Great Tribulation and the Millennium should also be understood literally.
In conclusion, the biblical teachings about a temple in the last days can no more be spiritualized than can be the whole book of Revelation. To hold to the idea that the book of Revelation is either historical or purely metaphorical and will not have a specific temporal fulfillment, i.e. no future last days judgement of the nations on Earth, no physical return of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem, and no 1000 year reign of Christ on the Earth, etc., is to adopt an amillennial or post-millennial viewpoint, which I see as being outside of a proper understanding of Scripture.
Category: Prophecy, TheologyTags: jewish temple
← Beyond Babel
Balaam’s Error and ReplacementTheology →
2 Comments on “The Seven Temples in theBible”
So insightful(Video) Solomon's Temple Explained
Thank you for this article. It was helpful. You could also include 1 Cor. 6:19 where are bodies are described as temples for the Holy Spirit; no only the church as a whole is God’s dwelling BUT the individual bodies of Christians. Just a thought. Thank You
Leave a Reply
Where are the seven temples? ›
The Plaza of the Seven Temples (or Plaza de los Siete Templos in Spanish) is an architectural complex in the ruins of the Maya city of Tikal, in the Petén Department of northern Guatemala.What are the seven holy places in Bible? ›
The Seven Churches of Asia as stated in the Book of Revelation are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Today, all these are existing names in Turkey as they are ancient cities protected by the Culture and Tourism Ministry of the Republic of Turkey.What are the temples of God? ›
The temple is where God dwells with his people throughout the biblical story. So if the people of God are the temple, that means it is through these people that God reaches the world. In the ancient world, people traveled from far and wide to encounter God at the temple in Jerusalem.What is the name of the temple in the Bible? ›
Location. According to the Bible, Solomon's Temple was built on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, where an angel of God had appeared to David (2 Chronicles 3:1). The site was originally a threshing floor David had purchased from Araunah the Jebusite (2 Samuel 24:18–25; 2 Chronicles 3:1).Which temple was destroyed seven times and rebuilt? ›
Somnath Temple: The 'Eternal Shrine' That Survived Destructions Seven Times! The beautiful Somnath Temple stands facing the blue expanse of the Arabian Sea on the western coast of Gujarat in Prabhas Patan, historically known as Dev Patan.What does the Bible say about temples? ›
Having temples on the earth is a witness of God's love for us. Everything in the temple testifies that God is our Father and that Jesus Christ is His Son and the Savior of the world. (Isaiah 2:3). For members of the Church, a temple is the most sacred place of worship on the earth.What are the 7 churches in Revelation? ›
According to Revelation 1:11, on the Greek island of Patmos, Jesus Christ instructs John of Patmos to: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven Churches: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamum, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."Which are the 7 spirits of God? ›
The sevenfold ministry of the Spirit
Including the Spirit of the Lord, and the Spirits of wisdom, of understanding, of counsel, of might, of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, here are represented the seven Spirits, which are before the throne of God.
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. While some Christans accept these as a definitive list of specific attributes, others understand them merely as examples of the Holy Spirit's work through the faithful.What is the First Temple of God? ›
According to Jewish tradition, the Temple of Solomon, also known as "the First Temple," was built by King Solomon (circa 990–931 BCE) long ago on the spot where God created Adam, the first man.
What are the 3 types of temples? ›
What are the major styles of Indian temple architecture? The two major styles of temple architecture in the country are known as Nagara in the north and Dravidian in the south. The third style, Vesara Style, is fusion of Nagara and Dravidian style of architecture.What was the purpose of the temples? ›
The temple was a sacred place to the ancient Israelites. There, Israel's priestly representatives entered into God's presence on behalf of the people to offer sacrifices and be in the presence of Yahweh. The temple attracted Israelite pilgrims for centuries and was a cornerstone of their covenant relationship with God.What is the First Temple in the Bible? ›
According to Jewish tradition, the Temple of Solomon, also known as "the First Temple," was built by King Solomon (circa 990–931 BCE) long ago on the spot where God created Adam, the first man.Where was the First Temple in the Bible? ›
As the site for a future temple, David chose Mount Moriah, or the Temple Mount, where it was believed Abraham had built the altar on which to sacrifice his son Isaac. The First Temple was constructed during the reign of David's son, Solomon, and completed in 957 BC.What was the temple in Jesus day called? ›
The Herodian temple was, as we well know, the chief figure of the city of Jerusalem as Jesus knew it. It was the finest of the three temples which the Jewish nation had possessed.Why was the 2nd temple destroyed? ›
In 66 CE the Jewish population rebelled against the Roman Empire. Four years later, on 4 August 70 CE (the 9th day of Av and possibly the day on which Tisha B'Av was observed) or 30 August 70 CE, Roman legions under Titus retook and destroyed much of Jerusalem and the Second Temple.Who destroyed the 2nd temple? ›
The Jews led a revolt and occupied Jerusalem in 66 CE initiating the first Roman-Jewish war. In 70 CE the Romans reclaimed Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple with only a portion of the western wall remaining (though recent archeological discoveries date portions of the wall to later periods).When was the 2nd temple rebuilt? ›
Of major importance was the rebuilding of the Second Temple begun by Herod the Great, king (37 bce–4 ce) of Judaea. Construction began in 20 bce and lasted for 46 years. The area of the Temple Mount was doubled and surrounded by a retaining wall with gates.What is the difference between a temple and a tabernacle? ›
The tabernacle is first mentioned in Exodus 25 when God instructed Moses to build one – also referred to as a tent of meeting – to host the presence of the Lord. The temple in Jewish life refers to the temple built in Jerusalem that was the central place of worship.What did Jesus say about temple? ›
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
What is the difference between old temples and new temples? ›
Ancient temples are old, cracked, fallen and rough whereas the modern temples are brand new, fixed and smooth. Modern temples are built with modern technology whereas ancient temples were not even built with any technology. Even the surface of modern temples is smoother than the ancient ones.
According to Catholic tradition, the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ. The New Testament records Jesus' activities and teaching, His appointment of the twelve Apostles, and His instructions to them to continue His work.What is the true church according to the Bible? ›
The church of God is composed of those who "have truly repented and rightly believed; who are rightly baptized ... and incorporated into the communion of saints on earth." The true church is "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation," and "a congregation of the righteous."What is the significance of 7 in Bible? ›
Seven was symbolic in ancient near eastern and Israelite culture and literature. It communicated a sense of “fullness” or “completeness” (שבע “seven” is spelled with the same consonants as the word שבע “complete/full”). This makes sense of the pervasive appearance of “seven” patterns in the Bible.What are the 5 names of the Holy Spirit? ›
- Breath of the Almighty.
- Power of the Highest.
- Spirit of Judgment.
- Spirit of Life.
- Spirit of Christ.
- and many more.
In some Christian numerology, the number 888 represents Jesus, or sometimes more specifically Christ the Redeemer.What are the 12 Holy Spirit? ›
The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: “charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.”What are the 3 names of the Holy Spirit? ›
In the New Testament it is identified with the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, the Paraclete and the Holy Spirit.Is OMG using God's name in vain? ›
"If you say something like 'Oh my God,' then you're using His name in vain, but if you're saying something like OMG it's not really using the Lord's name in vain because you're not saying 'Oh my God. ' It's more like 'Wow.What are the 3 titles of the Holy Spirit? ›
The Holy Spirit, who was the Spirit of the Lord that would rest on the messiah, is the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
Who destroyed God's First Temple? ›
During the First Temple period (1200-586 BC), the First Temple was built in 1000 BC by King Solomon after King David conquered Jerusalem and made it his capital. The Temple was destroyed in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, when he conquered Jerusalem.What destroyed the First Temple? ›
According to contemporary accounts, the Babylonian Army destroyed the First Temple in 586 B.C. The ark of the covenant disappeared, possibly hidden from the conquerors.What is the oldest temple? ›
Göbekli Tepe is famous for being the oldest temple in the world. According to historians and archaeologists, this temple was erected in southern Turkey 11,600 years ago. Therefore, the sanctuary predates the invention of writing or the wheel, or even the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry.Why are they called temples? ›
The temple where one worships comes from Latin templum, itself derived from the Indo-European root *tem-, “to cut, divide.” Latin templum probably referred originally to the fact that temples were on sacred ground that was “divided” or separated from ordinary ground.How many temples do humans have? ›
Unlike other large church buildings, there is no large hall or sanctuary inside a temple. Instead, temples contain a variety of rooms designed to accommodate certain functions such as marriages, baptisms, and religious instructional services.Why did they build temples for gods? ›
The Role of the Temple
They were meant to serve as homes for the individual god or goddess who protected and sustained the community. It was the needs of the gods that were most important. They controlled the forces of nature— the sun and rain, which nourished their crops, and the winds that drove their ships.
Temples were destroyed by invading rulers as they were a symbol of the power, prestige and wealth of a king. The king was viewed as a representative of god. They were also a large store of treasure and riches. Thus, temples were viewed as targets that were to be attacked in the course of battles.Which scripture says your body is the temple of God? ›
In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV), he asks, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” The context of this astounding assertion pertains to the avoidance of sexual immorality.What was the Second Temple in the Bible? ›
“Second Temple Judaism” is a common designation for the Jewish traditions that flourished between the return of exiles from Babylon and the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple under Persian patronage from 538 to 515 BCE, and the destruction of the Temple by Roman forces in 70 CE.
How many temples were there in Jerusalem? ›
The Temple in Jerusalem, or alternatively the Holy Temple (Hebrew: בֵּית־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, Modern: Bēt haMīqdaš, Tiberian: Bēṯ hamMīqdāš; Arabic: بيت المقدس, Bayt al-Maqdis), refers to the two now-destroyed religious structures that served as the central places of worship for Israelites and Jews on the modern-day Temple ...Where is the Ark of the Covenant now? ›
According to church leaders, the Ark of the Covenant has for centuries been closely guarded in Aksum at the Church of St. Mary of Zion.Where was the Temple when Jesus was born? ›
Bethlehem lies 10 kilometres south of the city of Jerusalem, in the fertile limestone hill country of the Holy Land. Since at least the 2nd century AD people have believed that the place where the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, now stands is where Jesus was born.What are the 3 parts of the Tabernacle? ›
On the north side stood a table, on which lay the showbread. On the south side was the Menorah, holding seven oil lamps to give light. On the west side, just before the veil, was the golden altar of incense.Was Jesus alive during the Second Temple? ›
The era from roughly 4 BCE to 33 CE is also notable as being the time period when Jesus of Nazareth lived, primarily in Galilee, under the reign of Herod Antipas. It is therefore considered in specifically Jewish history as being when Christianity arose as a messianic sect from within Second Temple Judaism.What Temple did Jesus teach in? ›
Luke 4:16–37 describes Jesus teaching regularly in the synagogue, cf. Luke 4:23, where Jesus, speaking in the Nazareth synagogue, refers to "what has been heard done" in Capernaum. John 6:22–59: contains Jesus' Bread of Life Discourse; verse 59 confirms that Jesus taught this doctrine in the Capernaum synagogue.What Temple did Jesus go to when he was 12? ›
The episode is described in Luke 2:41–52. Jesus at the age of twelve accompanies Mary and Joseph, and a large group of their relatives and friends to Jerusalem on pilgrimage, "according to the custom" – that is, Passover.Where are the 7 churches in Revelations? ›
The Seven Churches of Revelation, also known as the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse and the Seven Churches of Asia, are seven major Churches of Early Christianity, as mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelation. All of them are located in Asia Minor, present-day Turkey.Where are the Greek gods temples located? ›
Where are the greek temples located in Greece? The Acropolis, the city center of ancient Athens, is a great place to start. The Parthenon is an ancient Greek temple on the Acropolis dedicated to Athena, the city's namesake and patron goddess. Enjoy sweeping views of Athens from the top of Acropolis hill.What are the 8 new temples? ›
New temples will be built in Pago Pago, American Samoa; Okinawa City, Okinawa; Neiafu, Tonga; Tooele Valley, Utah, USA; Moses Lake, Washington, USA; San Pedro Sula, Honduras; Antofagasta, Chile; and Budapest, Hungary.
Where are all your temples? ›
The temple is a latch where four skull bones fuse: the frontal, parietal, temporal, and sphenoid. It is located on the side of the head behind the eye between the forehead and the ear.What does 7 stars mean in the Bible? ›
The Seven Stars are the Angels of the Seven Churches; and the Seven Candlesticks are the Seven Churches, i. e. of Asia, which are particu|larly above named.Can you visit the Seven Churches of Revelation? ›
Overview. The Seven Churches of Revelation, mentioned by Jesus to John of Patmos in Revelation 1:11, are all located in western Turkey. On this tour, set out on a 3-day pilgrimage to visit all seven churches—Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.Who destroyed the temples in Greece? ›
But Alexander said that he wished to take vengeance on the Persians, in retaliation for their deeds in the invasion of Greece, when they razed Athens to the ground and burnt down the temples. He also desired to punish the Persians for all the other injuries they had done the Greeks (translated by E.J. Chinnock).Where is the Temple of Zeus located today? ›
Olympia Temple of Zeus: The ruined Temple of Zeus that stands today in the archaeological site of Olympia was built to honor the chief of the gods.What are the 7 new temples were announced? ›
- Busan, Korea. This will be the second temple in South Korea. ...
- Naga, Philippines. ...
- Santiago, Philippines. ...
- Eket, Nigeria. ...
- Chiclayo, Peru. ...
- Buenos Aires City Center, Argentina. ...
- Londrina, Brazil. ...
- Ribeirão Prêto, Brazil.
Temples are for worship, so praise for God should always arise from our lives. As God's temples, we are not our own but are called to be living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1). The church is the body of Christ, so it too is holy. Every believer in Christ is a part of that body and is a temple too.What does temples mean in the body? ›
Temple indicates the side of the head behind the eyes. The underlying bony framework comprises of the temporal bone as well as part of the sphenoid bone. The temple region is covered over by the temporalis fascia.Is my body a temple of God? ›
The Apostle Paul said: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? … The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16–17). Your body is a temple for your spirit. Just as you treat temples with respect, you should treat your body with respect.