There is much chatter among TV ministries and their guests about undercover operations in Israel, preparations and plans being made for rebuilding of the temple proper on the temple mount. It is rumored that even the mercy seat, the sacred vessels, and the trappings of the Jewish priesthood are being duplicated. Many seem excited about this possibility, deeming it a fulfilling of prophecy.
"However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made with human hands, as the prophet says, 'Heaven is my Throne, and earth is the footstool for My feet; what kind of house will you build for Me? Or what place is there for My repose? Was it not My hand which made all these things?'"
Interchangeable words: "temple," "sanctuary," "tabernacle," "house," "building," "dwelling," "abode."
Consider these words of Jesus:
"And Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. He said to them, 'Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down.'"
Matthew 24:1, 2
After Jesus drives the money-changers out of the temple the Jews ask Him, "What sign do you show us, seeing that you do these things?"
"Jesus answered... 'Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.' The Jews replied, 'It took forty-six years to build this temple, and you will raise it up in three days?' But He was speaking of the temple of His body. When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture."
Most generations since, including this one, have not remembered that He said this -- nor have we believed His words.
Nor have we paid attention to the other Scriptures that expand on His meaning.
"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness... Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?
For we are the temple of the living God just as God said; I will dwell in them and walk among them..."
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
"Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? ...The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him... Or do you not know that your body is a temple (or sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body."
1 Corinthians 6:15-20
"Do you not know that you are a temple (or sanctuary) of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the sanctuary, God will destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, which you are."
1 Corinthians 3:16, 17
"Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. Every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.
Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ (was faithful) as a Son over His house, whose house we are..."
"For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building."
1 Corinthians 3:9
"Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, 'Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart...'"
"For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; in as much as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked."
2 Corinthians 5:1-5
Is there any doubt that the word temple has been redefined and Jesus is heralded as the Builder and Cornerstone and those who are His, as the building.
"Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord. Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on the throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.'"
Zechariah 6:12, 13
"For no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is laid, which is Christ Jesus."
1 Corinthians 3:9, 11
Is there any doubt that it is not a structure made with hands? Is there any doubt that this is what the following Scriptures are describing?
"So then, you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones, and are of God's household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the chief corner stone in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple (sanctuary) in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit."
"And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but chosen and precious in the sight of God, you also as living stones are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable in God through Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 2:4, 5
And consider these Scriptures, the first coming with an instruction and the remaining summing up for us the wondrous possibility of becoming a temple of The Living God.
"The firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, the Lord knows those who are His, and let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness."
2 Timothy 2:19
"Jesus was asked, 'Lord, what has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?' Jesus answered... 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and the Father will love Him, and We will come to Him, and make Our abode with him.'"
"For thus says the High and Exalted One
Who dwells in eternity, whose name is Holy,
'I dwell on a high and holy place
And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart of the contrite.'"