Apologetics Theology
R. L. Solberg  

Will the Temple Be Rebuilt?

(Watch the video here.)

In the year AD 70, the Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. It forced a massive change in Judaism. Suddenly there were no more sacrifices, no more Levitical priesthood, no more Temple ceremonies. For the Jews, who believed they were still under the Law of Moses, many of the 613 mitzvot (commandments) required in the Torah had to be modified or stopped altogether. This led to a new era known as Rabbinic Judaism, which continues to this day.

I asked a Jewish man named Shlomo—who is part of an organization called Mechon Mamre in Jerusalem—about the Jewish expectations for the future, and he shared with me the following:

This might seem strange, but all of the commandments of the Torah are permanent, in effect from the time they were given till the very end of time. So, while we have not had the Temple sacrifices since 70 C.E., we do need to eventually rebuild the Temple and renew the sacrifices as they were done originally. If we have not renewed the Temple before the Mashiach comes, then the Temple will be renewed in his time.

Shlomo of Mechon Mamre

The Jews are not alone in this belief. Many who hold to Torahism—the belief that followers of Yeshua (Jesus) should be keeping the Law of Moses—also claim the Temple will one day be rebuilt. Moreover, they believe that all the Temple ceremonies, including sacrifices, will be renewed at that time. Indeed, several prophets write about the rebuilding of the Temple. We see this in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Malachi. What do these prophecies mean? A full examination of biblical prophecy on this point is beyond the scope of this article, but let’s look at a few important biblical truths that can help point us in the right direction.

Torahists agree with orthodox Judaism that the prophets’ writings clearly teach that the Temple will be physically rebuilt one day, and all its duties and responsibilities under the Torah will be renewed. Of course, the renewing of all the Temple laws is a challenging position to defend since many of those laws would undermine the work of Yeshua (Jesus). For example, if the blood sacrifices for sin required in the Torah are to one day be renewed, what was the point of Yeshua’s blood sacrifice on the cross? This issue puts our Torahist friends in a tough spot. On the one hand, if the blood sacrifices for sin are to be renewed, Yeshua’s sacrifice doesn’t seem to have accomplished anything. It was not “once for all,” as the Bible tells us in Heb 10:10 and elsewhere. On the other hand, if the blood sacrifices for sin are not to be renewed, then the Law of Moses is no longer binding. Because those sacrifices are required by the Law.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be a new Temple built one day, but it certainly impacts what we would expect the Temple’s purpose to be. There are Jews and Christians who believe the prophets’ visions will be fulfilled literally and they offer the actual blueprints of a new physical Temple. There are also Jews and Christians who believe that these prophecies—like many of the other prophecies throughout the Tanakh—are symbolic depictions not intended to be taken literally. They tell of God’s presence returning to His people in the Messianic kingdom, but not necessarily through a physical structure.

For example, the book of Ezekiel contains an elaborate vision of a new Temple and a new city. (Some believe the city in question is the new Jerusalem, though Ezekiel never actually uses the name “Jerusalem.”) In the book’s final two chapters, it becomes apparent this vision is most likely not literal. Ezekiel sees a tiny stream of water pouring out of the Temple, quickly growing into a deep flowing river. The water leads out of the Temple, then out of the city, then into the desolate desert, leaving behind a trail of new growth. It ultimately flows into the Dead Sea, turning it into a living sea teeming with life. This is imagery from the Garden of Eden, and I believe it reveals the full scale of Ezekiel’s vision. It’s not simply about constructing a new building in a new city, but rather it encompasses God’s ultimate plan to restore all of creation—including human beings—back into His life-giving presence.

Of course, in looking at the future rebuilding of the Temple—whatever that may or may not look like—we need to consider both the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament teachings on the subject. For example, we’re taught in several places that we believers in Yeshua are now the Temple in which God dwells (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:19-22; 1 Pet 2:4-5).  And in the book of Revelation, the apostle John wrote the following about his vision of the New Jerusalem, “And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb” (Rev 21:22). How do we square John’s prophetic vision with those of the Old Testament prophets?

The biblical prophecies about rebuilding the Temple are mysterious and enigmatic, which is why the debate over whether or not they should be understood as literal has been going on for millennia. And it certainly won’t be solved here. Whichever position we take, we have to consider the final outcome in the context of the whole story of Scripture. In the excellent book Reading Moses, Seeing Jesus—written by three Israeli scholars who have come to follow Yeshua—we find the following regarding the Temple:

The continuous operation of the tabernacle with its sacrificial system, the Levitical priesthood, the ceremonial washings, etc. (i.e., the Sinai covenant), was specifically designed not to last. And as we meditate on the description of the tabernacle and its significance as found in Scripture for all believers today, its symbolism and built-in limitations are designed to point us to a better high priest, a better sacrifice, and a better temple to which we now have direct access in Yeshua.

-Postell, Bar, Soref, Reading Moses, Seeing Jesus

And in the book, In Christ Alone, theologian Sinclair Ferguson writes:

In John 2, Jesus cleansed the temple. Presumably, there was anger in the voices that demanded to know his credentials. On what authority did He do this? He answered by a prophetic appeal to His own death and resurrection couched in terms of the destruction and raising again of another temple (John 2:19-22). Could any more daring way have been found to express the old order’s inadequacy? To a Jew, the temple was the most important building on earth. To Jesus, however, it was but a shadow, a temporary context for entering the presence of God. Christ was the reality to which such shadows pointed. He was God the Son come to ‘tabernacle among us’ (John 1:14). Jesus Himself is the new temple.

-Sinclair Ferguson

Prophecies are challenging to work out. Even the prophecies that we see fulfilled in Scripture don’t always turn out the way we would have thought. Some are literal; for example, the prophecies about the Messiah being born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), born of a virgin (Isa 7:14), and riding a donkey (Zech 9:9) were literally fulfilled by Yeshua. But many prophecies are not so literal, such as Ezekiel’s vision of the valley full of dry bones that come to life in Ezekiel 37.

This is why we can sometimes get prophecy wrong. Which is exactly what happened in the New Testament when not only the Jewish leaders but Jesus’ own disciples were expecting the Messiah to be a political king who would overthrow Rome. Yet, they weren’t totally wrong. In Acts 1:6-7, the disciples ask the resurrected Yeshua if He is now going to restore the kingdom to Israel. Yeshua answered, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” He did not say “no,” but rather “not yet.” The first-century Jews had no expectation that there would be a two-part coming of the Mashiach. They misunderstood the messianic prophecies, thinking they were all to happen all at once. Even as Yeshua was preaching about the Kingdom of God, no one realized it was being inaugurated in stages.

There are various legitimate ways to look at the prophecies about the rebuilding of the Temple. The fact is we won’t know if they are meant literally, or figuratively (or maybe some hybrid of the two) until they are actually fulfilled. It is not for us to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. This is why I believe it’s best not to be too dogmatic about how these temple prophecies might be fulfilled. What we do know is that whatever the outcome, it will not nullify the saving work God has already completed through His only begotten son, Yeshua.


3 thoughts on “Will the Temple Be Rebuilt?

  1. Raymond S Schulte


    Here is a question that someone put out on the internet, concerning keeping the Torah without the temple, that I would like your insight.

    What are the scriptural requirements to keep God’s feasts and are they in place today? One thing that jumped out at me is Leviticus 23:9-11 indicates that this observance had to be in the land of Israel, and the waiving of the sheaf is to be done by the priest. How are we to be obedient to the command when we do not live in the land and there is no priesthood or temple?

    If the HRM is saying based on Matt. 5:17-18…..
    Matthew 5:17–18 — King James Version (KJV 1900)
    17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    1. Was God caught off guard with the temple being destroyed in 70AD? In other words, God , who has showed always to have the supply before the need, in the instance of the temple being destroyed, did not provide a way for his followers to keep Torah as he wrote it, but we must now just do their best on what we know? What am I missing here?
    2. Based on Matt. 5, above, there is nothing there that says the animal sacrifices ceased, “not one jot or tittle will in no wise pass,” should not the Torah observant continue to practice them, especially for all feast and in the proper way and location? If in essence, HRM is saying Christ work did not fulfil the law, but only to show us the proper way, with better insight and understanding, as model of obedience, then this would have to be the case or you have sinned against the law?

  2. Bezalel

    Will the Temple Be Rebuilt?=YES Jezekiels vision.

    Dear Rob,
    First of all, God told the prophet Zechariah to make a crown of silver and gold and place it on Joshua’s head (Zechariah 6:11). Zechariah was to say, “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. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two” (Zechariah 6:12–13). The coronation served as an encouragement to Joshua in his work of rebuilding the temple and also as a prophecy of the future Messiah—the priestly king who will be “clothed with majesty.” Even Joshua’s name foreshadowed the Messiah. The name Joshua is the Hebrew equivalent of Ieosus in greek Yeshua in Aramaic. so “Jesus ” actual Name translated IS JEHOSHUA/JOSHUA. Transliterated you get “Jesus”. through greek and latin.

    The dimensions of Jezekiel’s temple are far larger than the temple in Jehoshua’s/ yeshua’s (Jesus) the messiahs day, and that temple was a grand structure.

    I have heard one view that a literal fulfillment of Jezekiel’s temple is expected to be erected in the millennial kingdom, a 1,000-year reign of Mashiach upon the earth. During the millennium, glorified saints from the present age will live in contact with natural human beings who will still need to make a decision for Mashiach in order to be saved—and many will choose not to trust Him. The sacrificial system described in Jezekiel cannot be for the forgiveness of sins as in the Law of Moshe, for Mashiach has accomplished that once and for all. (Hebrews 10:1–4, 11–14). In this interpretive approach, it could be the sacrifices performed are seen as memorials of Mashiach’s death or as rites for the ceremonial cleansing of the temple, but not as a means to forgive sins.

    OR …On The fourteenth day of the month Nisan; the first day of the Pesach/passover, shall the prince (David) prepare for himself, and for all the people of the land, a bullock for a sin offering; here everything again is new, no one circumstance according to the law of Moshe; which shows that this respects Gospel times; when the law would be fulfilled they were shadows of things to come, and the antitype take place, Mashiach the sum of all.

    Under the law of Moshe, every family was to prepare a lamb for themselves; but here in the New temple the prince (David) is to prepare for himself a scarifice (as a memorial), and all the people of the land; by that it was to be a lamb, but here a bullock, and that for a sin offering; whereas not a bullock, but a goat, was used for a sin offering. David is the Prince he’s not king David in this time, he is now Prince David and we know the prince is indeed David= ( Jezekiel 37:25), who has prepared himself a sacrifice, for himself, and the people in-front of the true and perfect High priest and KING Jehoshua/Yeshua/Jesus. THE LORD and Mashiach whom was prophesied to come through David’s Line Psalm 110:4 and Hebrews 7:11-17.
    Notice In 2 Samuel 8:18, David’s sons are called “priests” Kohanim in hebrew (in English version, “chief rulers;” margin, or princes). The Maschiach would not only be a descendant of David but Greater than David and would also be the Son of God, making Him both David’s son and Lord. Matthew 22:42-45.

    Hebrews 8:5 Could be that sanctuary revealed.

    The Division of the Land
    Jezekiel 48 :1-35 Notice its called “the Lord is there. The city Jezekiel saw will rightfully be called YHWH-Shammah, because the Messiah will be there. The Lord is there= Different physical place.

    There are several passages in the Septuagint or Tanakh that clearly indicate animal sacrifice WILL be re-instituted during the millennial kingdom. Some passages mention it in passing as the topic of the millennial kingdom is discussed, passages like Isaiah 56:6-8; Zechariah 14:16; and Jeremiah 33:15-18.

    Again,The passage that is the most extensive, giving the greatest detail, is Jezekiel 43:18-46:24. It should be noted that this is part of a greater passage dealing with the millennial kingdom, a passage that begins with Jezekiel 40.

    In Jezekiel 40, the Lord begins to give details of the temple that will exist during the millennial kingdom, a temple that dwarfs all other temples previously built, even Herod’s temple that was quite large, which existed during the earthly ministry of Mashiach.

    After giving details concerning the size and appearance of the temple and the altar, the Lord then begins to give detailed instruction as to the animal sacrifices that will be offered (Jezekiel 43:18-27). In chapter 44, the Lord gives instructions as to who will be offering sacrifices to the Lord. The Lord states that all of the Levites will not be offering blood and fat to the Lord due to previous sin; it will be those from the lineage of Zadok (verse 15). Chapters 45 and 46 continue to mention that animal sacrifices will be made.

    The primary objection made to the idea of animal sacrifices returning during the millennial kingdom is that Messiah has come and offered a perfect sacrifice for sin, and there is therefore no need to sacrifice animals for sin. However, it must be remembered that animal sacrifice never removed the sin that spiritually separated a person from the Lord.

    Hebrews 10:1-4 says, “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things TO COME and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins”

    It is incorrect to think that animal sacrifices took away sins in the Tanakh/Septuagint, and it is incorrect to think they will do so in the millennial kingdom. Animal sacrifices served as object lessons for the sinner, that sin was and is a horrible offense against God, and that the result of sin is death. Romans 3:20 says, “Because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”

    Most premillennial scholars agree that the purpose of animal sacrifice during the millennial kingdom is memorial in nature. As the Lord’s Supper is a reminder of the death of Mashiach to the Ecclesia today, animal sacrifices will be a reminder during the millennial kingdom. To those born during the millennial kingdom, animal sacrifices will again be an object lesson. During that future time, righteousness and holiness will prevail, but those with earthly bodies will still have a sin nature, and there will be a need to teach about how offensive sin is to a holy and righteous God. Animal sacrifices will serve that purpose, “but in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year” (Hebrews 10:3).

    The primary objection made to the idea of animal sacrifices returning during the millennial kingdom is that Messiah has come and offered a perfect sacrifice for sin, and there is therefore no need to sacrifice animals for sin. However, it must be remembered that animal sacrifice never removed the sin that spiritually separated a person from the Lord.

    Conclusion: Why are the animal sacrifices resumed during the millennium?
    The answer is that the sacrifices will remind us of Messiahs vicarious sacrifice. On the night in which Jehoshua/Jesus was betrayed, He instituted the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-29) as we know it today in our (Messianic/ Notzrim Synagogues -see Jacob/James 2:2 in greek or literal translation)
    and Some Places of worship call it communion.

    It is a celebration that we observe today to remind Saints of Messiahs vicarious sacrifice for our sins. We are to remember what Messiah did for us (1 Corinthians 11:24-26). The millennial sacrifices will also remind us of Messiah since each sacrifice has a special symbolic meaning or reminder of Messiah.

    The millennial kingdom IS the time where Messiah will rule on the earth I believe with this temple Before the heavens and earth are destroyed.

    1 Enoch 1:9
    9 And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones
    To execute judgement upon all,
    And to destroy all the ungodly:
    And to convict all flesh
    Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed,
    And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

    Judah/Jude 11:14-15 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, also prophesied about them: “Behold, the Lord is coming with myriads of His holy ones 15 to execute judgment on everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of every ungodly act of wickedness and every harsh word spoken against Him by ungodly sinners.”

    Mashiach will be back with Saints and Angels. One of those saints is David The Prince!.

    Zechariah 14:9-21 is one important description of the kingdom on earth. Joel 3:17-21 is another description. Messiah will rule as king and be worshipped. The Feast of Booths will be celebrated (Zechariah 14:16) in the millennial kingdom along with two other feasts.The Feast of Booths symbolizes Messiah’s millennial reign. The feast of the Lord will point us to Messiah and the sacrifices will point us to Messiah. Praise our Lord Jehoshua The Messiah( Jesus The Christ).

    Those who believe that Jezekiel’s Temple is an allegorical representation of this present “Ecclesia age “introduces unwarranted allegorization and tends to read ideas into the passage rather than drawing out the truth that is there. Furthermore, thee is very little that corresponds to the Ecclesia in Jezekiel’s vision” (ibid., p. 81).

    I hope this helps Shalom from a Jewish Saint and Culturally torah- observant.

    Let me know your thoughts.

  3. Bezalel

    What is your thoughts in regards to what I said Here Rob.

What do you think?

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial