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The Third Temple Fallacy August 2, 2011

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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There are many Evangelical Christians who believe that Christ cannot come until after a third Jewish temple is built in the city of Jerusalem, arguably on the site where King Solomon’s temple stood. Aside from the fact that there are problems associated with the sighting of the third temple on the Temple Mount where the al Aqsa mosque currently stands, one of the central questions here from a Christian point of view is whether the building of such a temple is indeed written in Bible prophecy. There are no prophecies which directly require the building of another temple to usher in the return of Jesus Christ, although Dan 9:27 has been cited as ‘proof’ text. In spite of this fact it would appear that many in Evangelical circles have been duped into believing that such a temple is required and that they have a responsibility in contributing to the fulfilment of prophecy, as if God needed our help. One of the consequences of this fallacy has seen Evangelical Christians, particularly across America, contributing vast sums of money to support the rebuilding of the temple.

Whatever the relative merits of the Jews rebuilding their temple are, Christians have no business contributing to such an effort. In the first place such a temple, with its revived sacrifices and ordinances would be an affront to God considering the fact that Christ did away with all this through his death on the Cross. Evangelical Christians who support this rebuilding work are therefore unwittingly denying the work of Christ on the Cross and are making the Cross of non-effect. To return to the works of the Law is to deny the election of Grace through Christ’s death on the Cross but this reality seems to be lost on those who are committed to the establishment of a third Jewish temple. If the Jews want to rebuild their temple, let them do so but Christians should be preaching “Christ crucified” (1 Cor 1:23).

There is a wave of “Christian Zionism” sweeping acrossAmerica and many organisations have been established with the expressed purpose of promoting Judeo-Christian values and heritage (ecumenism). One such organisation is the “Battalion of Deborah” whose expressed belief it is that Christians should be standing shoulder to shoulder with Jews in an attempt to fulfil the “Abrahamic covenant”, a view which they based on Gen 12:1-3. Here is a quote from their website:

“….we believe it is Biblically Correct for us, as Christians and fellow believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to stand together with Israel and the Jewish People, in education to the masses regarding the promises of God, in support, in prayer and in our physical presence in the Land. It is for this purpose that we have been ordained and called out as ‘like-minded’ group of people and that we pledge to work toward being a blessing to Israel…”

As Christians however we are called to observe the teachings of Christ and we are ordained to fulfil the Great Commission. There is nothing in the teachings of Christ which encourages Christians to engender ecumenical relationships with unbelievers whether they are Jews or otherwise. Instead scripture commands Christians to come out from among them and be separate (2 Cor 6:17). However these organisations are entering churches and sharing the pulpits with Jewish religious leaders in order to drum up support for Israel and to raise funds towards the Temple Mount development plans.

This ecumenical construct has been made possible however due to a distinct lack of discernment on the part of many Evangelical Christians. In accordance they misapply scriptures such as Dan 9:27 in order to justify their position. In Dan 9:26, Daniel related the destruction of the SECOND TEMPLE that was to be built by the decree of Cyrus. Yet, some have insisted on inserting a gap of over 2000 years between verse 26 and verse 27 in order to arrive at a conclusion that verse 27 refers to the ending of sacrifices in a third temple. Even if such a gap could be established verse 27 does not make mention of a temple and the absence of a temple does not preclude sacrifices and oblations from being performed. 

In summary, the third temple is a Jewish ambition which has nothing to do with Christians or the fulfilment of Bible prophecy as concerning Christ’s return. Prophecy does not indicate or give instruction for the constitution and the construction of a third temple, which would actually be an abomination in the face of the Cross.  With the destruction of the second temple, the Old Covenant vanished away and has been replaced by the New Covenant in Christ’s blood. Christians therefore have no business working to fulfil a mission that denies the Christ who bought them out.

For a more detailed expose on this topic read this article: http://www.thomaswilliamson.net/temple_next_event.htm