"Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD" Zechariah 6:12

The Temple – physical and spiritual

The second Temple in Jerusalem - from the gates at the south by which one would enter

The second Temple in Jerusalem - from the gates at the south by which one would enter

If you look up “Temple” in a concordance, you will come up with passages that do not refer to the physical temples that existed until the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans.

It is interesting to notice that David Stern does not use “Temple” for all the occasions that some other translations do in 2 Chronicles, but uses “House”. Indeed Temple is not the Hebrew name of the building, and pagan places of worship are also called temples (eg the Temple of Dagon) The Hebrew name for the Temple is Beit HaMikdash – “biet” in Hebrew being “house” In English.

The Temple in Heaven

There is the Temple in Heaven mentioned in Revelation (ch11 v19

Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

(see also ch16, ch7v15, ch7 v1, ch14 v17, ch15 v5 and ch16 v1)

Remember also that the Tabernacle was modelled on a Heavenly Tabernacle. Exodus 25 v8

"Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.

You and I as the Temple

There are references to humans being a Temple as opposed to visiting one. (eg Rev 3)

1 Corinthians 3 v 16

Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

2 Corinthians 6 v 16

What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." ,

Ephesians 2 v 19

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

If you think about it, the Temple was not God’s home, but the place for His glory to dwell with mankind. (2 Chronicles) .

Once the Holy Spirit came to indwell believers, the body of believers is equivalent to the Temple.

Yeshua compared the Temple to His body, talking of restoring it in three days if his opponents destroyed it. Yeshua was definitely the glory of God dwelling within an earthly shell.

Notice however, that the above quotes are about believers together - I am not a temple on my own - see 1 Corinthians 3 v16 (CJB) "Don't you know that you people (plural) are God's temple (singular) - not much room for talk of "my body is a temple".

The Letter to the Hebrews was written to Jewish believers under severe pressure to return to pre-Yeshua, non-messianic Judaism. The writer explores the earthly/heavenly comparison of their earlier and present faith and the ministry of the Messiah compared with that of the priests (Cohanim). Also, Paul refers to Temple Worship in Romans 9.

However, before jumping to any unjustified conclusions, check through the book of Acts and notice that the followers of Yeshua the Messiah continued to meet in the Temple and to observe the Feasts and sacrifices in the Temple, while it remained. The above perspectives did not render the Temple irrelevant.

The Third Temple

If and when the Third Temple is built – which, presumably, it must be in before the antichrist can set himself up there, it will be the Jewish (Rabbinic - non-Messianic) Temple that is being prepared by the Temple Institute and is written about by Dr Randall Price. A new Temple for the (name of the ) God of Israel raises big questions about how the world will cope with animal sacrifice as detailed in the Tanakh; but this is not the place to explore that issue.

Is the Third Temple the one measured and described by Ezekiel ? You can visit a model of the Ezekiel Temple in the old city of Jerusalem.

What about the reference to the Temple being built by “the Branch” ( a messianic title - Tzemach in Hebrew) in Zechariah 6 v 12 Is the reference to a physical building, a spiritual building or both?

Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: `Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD . It is he who will build the temple of the LORD , and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne.

The Messianic Age

So what will the Temple look like and what will it be used for in the Messianic Age, the thousand year reign of the Messiah on Earth, (the Millennium) – Clearly, the Messiah will reign and rule from Jerusalem; presumably from the Temple.

What form will the Temple take during that time, remembering that the curtain was torn (Matthew 27 v4) signifying that the believer now has direct access to God because Messiah Yeshua has died? Remember also that the Ark of the Covenant was not behind the curtain when it was torn. (The cover of the Ark being the Mercy Seat, where the glory of YHVH dwelt and to which the High Priest went to make atonement) Why would the Ark be needed when the Messiah himself is in the Temple?

Just remember John’s description of Messiah Yeshua when he returns Revelation 19 v11

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORD S.

And Finally

Revelation 21 v22 mentions there being no Temple in the New Jerusalem that comes down from Heaven,

“ I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. “

Updated 18/12/07

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