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  • « and this was just part of Spurgeon's sermon introduction.. | Main | “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”- Romans 9:13 »

    The New Temple

    inchrist.jpgIn 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.

    Quote from Sinclair Ferguson's, In Christ Alone.

    Comments: With this in mind, Christians who think that rebuilding the physical temple is somehow a positive development are actually taking us backwards in redemptive history. Returning to the shadows is severely warned against in the book of Hebrews as a rejection of Christ Himself ... a profound misapprehension of the gospel. Christ is a better high priest, and, in His resurrection, a complete fulfillment of the temple. A fulfillment of all shadows.

    Posted by John on April 30, 2010 12:42 PM

    Comments

    (in response to the comment at the end of the blog post:) as someone who does not hold such an interpretation of Hebrews (which i understand places me in an extremely tiny minority, historically speaking), this is perhaps a good time to ask a question i've had for awhile.

    as i grow in my understanding of reformed theology, beyond the five points, the five solas, God's omni-controlling sovereignty (all life-changing, awe-inspiring and worship-inducing to be sure - thank you john, RT blog and monergism.com!) and towards getting a better handle on covenant theology, amillennialism, an historical-redemptive hermeneutic, etc., one place i get bogged down is reading the Prophets. as only one example, and one that pertains to this particular blog entry, the latter chapters of Ezekiel and the temple described there seem hard to dismiss as merely symbolic of Yeshua and His work.

    this is a temple which has not yet been seen on earth, and therefore taken at face value would seem to be pointing forward, toward a future temple. this in turn has many of us looking ahead to precisely this temple, not at all as a step backward, but simply something that God still has in store for us (why couldn't sacrifices be done looking backward to Messiah as a memorial, just as well as they were done looking forward to Messiah as a promise? this would seem perhaps a better explanation of why the disciples continued participating in temple worship in the book of Acts, rather than dismissing their behavior as ignorance/confusion). i would be quite uncomfortable telling "the prince" in those Ezekiel passages that somehow he (He!) had it all wrong, was "taking us backward in redemptive history," was "returning to the shadows," and then asking him, "haven't you read Hebrews?"

    i'm wondering if you could point me to some resources for further study (a reformed commentary on Ezekiel?) to see how these passages are understood in this framework.

    shalom,
    kevin

    It seems that many today subscribe to the notion that another temple will come to be. Our foreign policy (US) is even tainted and supported by many with this idea. Would it not be an insult to Christ that the temple find greater honor than his death? Would it not dilute Gods gift and love? Should this not be pursued with great vigor in the US so to help the many lay christians to see why many think/believe in the coming temple today? Especially in light of what you said above, - "Returning to the shadows is severely warned against in the book of Hebrews as a rejection of Christ Himself ... a profound misapprehension of the gospel." This is an enormous charge which many should be made aware of as many TV evangelist press this Jewish/temple notion into the minds of many world-wide!
    I too once assumed they were correct and so believed them as they claimed they were true christians who spoke the truth! It was a massive spreading everywhere I looked and it continues to make Jesus an alternative option for the current Jews! They really do not see the need/value for Jesus as so many teach of the temple these days to come for them.

    This is a first for me to hear that maybe they are getting both; the temple as a memorial and jesus the other temple fulfilled (who is not the memorial) so long as they have the first temple to remember their sacrifices and own works.
    Should this not be shown clearly for all the church's to hear and see? It is big today! Real big! Big hinderance as teachers are teaching this in the church as well! Are they in great danger here of rejecting Christ as you said?

    Hi Kevin

    Thank you for your post. Appreciate your openness to reading from a different perspective.

    I would highly recommend the following two books on this issue:

    The Temple and the Church's Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God by G.K. Beale
    http://www.monergismbooks.com/The-Temple-and-the-Churchs-Mission-A-Biblical-Theology-of-the-Dwelling-Place-of-God-p-16498.html

    And

    People and Place: A Covenant Ecclesiology by Michael Horton
    http://www.monergismbooks.com/People-and-Place-A-Covenant-Ecclesiology-p-18199.html

    IMHO to think that Ezekiel’s temple is going to be built in the future --- I believe you may have misapprehended the core issue in the Book of Hebrews and of the purpose of the prophets themselves.

    Christ is my high priest
    Christ is my sacrifice
    Christ is my temple (John 2:19-21)

    ALL of the OT was pointing us to Christ as the fulfillment of prophesy (Jesus said, these given witness to me). All the promises have their yes and AMEN in HIM. The Bible is not Israleocentric but Christocentric. So I would encourage you to put your eyes on Christ, not the temple, which was but a faint shadow that pointed to the reality.

    It is not "symbolic" when Jesus himself claims to be the fulfillment of prophesy.. I also recommend re-reading Ephesians 2:11-21 (especially verse 19 and Galatians 3 in this light.

    Wow, I really need to use the scriptures instead of my emotions which do not like that which is not the truth. My background has been filled with many teachings I believed and later learned they were wrong. But the scriptures ought to be known to speak the truth in love as you did with such care. So much yet to go through and learn! Your answer to Kevin's question was so great and loving and filled with "scripture" truth - not my truth which. So much confusion in my past and yet it was all for my good to get me to where i need to be. I fear teachers not teaching the truth and misleading many!
    Learning more of my need of scriptural growth and its knowledge! Pray i can find a church one day which teaches the truth of scripture alone! I just live so far away from any! Yet, God can make a way! I am so glad you guys know the bible so well and speak the truth with love to all people. You speak with authority in all its confidence! Thank you for your patience and even letting me see my error!

    hi john,

    thank you for the resource recommendations. the beale book has been on my wish list...i've heard good things about it. i justed picked up another book in that series on race at the T4G conference that i'm looking forward to reading.

    though i don't want to drag this out unnecessarily (i would love to continue the discussion off-thread, if you've the time, but i certainly understand if not), and don't want to appear overly contentious, but...just to clarify your position: reading those final several chapters in Ezekiel (40-48), in all their detail addressing all the minutiae of temple dimensions, priestly procedures, calendars, who the priests can marry, the family of zadok taking priority over other levitical families, land allotments, and on and on and on, we are simply to say, "oh that was symbolic of Jesus."

    how exactly does one interpret a wall being 500 cubits long as being symbolic of Jesus without completely abandoning credible hermeneutical methods and relying on sheer allegorization? how does the description of a kitchen where the sacrifices are boiled symbolize Jesus?

    however, if one takes a more literal approach and understands Jesus to be "the Prince" who is actually leading His people in worship via real sacrifices/offerings (curiously there is no Yom Kippur/day of atonement sacrifice described), this seems to be just as honoring to Messiah and His work and a FAR more respectable handling of Scripture (IMO). it strains credulity to think the initial and subsequent readers would have plodded thru all that detail and arrive at chapter 48, reaching the conclusion that none of that was to be a promise of actual things to come or literal instruction, but instead a heavily-veiled teaching about a Messiah who would come and abolish the very things described therein.

    i have no problem saying all of Scripture points to Yeshua, but a more literal understanding in this instance does so in a far more clear-cut way, again IMO.

    do you happen to know if the beale book touches on the Ezekiel temple at length? i'm really curious to find a detailed discussion of these passages from the covenantal/reformed/amil/historical-redemptive hermeneutic view...i continue to be convinced on nearly every other front by this perspective, but as i mentioned i'm having trouble interpreting the Prophets by it.

    thanks again,
    kevin

    Is it possible to keep this discussion online so I can watch it unfold? Is the christian, a christian based upon this kind of intellectual pursuit for the truth? That when he come to the truth by his mind and efforts, than he is a true Christian? I ask that because of the danger John mentioned in returning to the old ways. I did notice the reuse of the word "symbolic" having thought it was resolved with the word "fulfillment"! That all the temple proceedings had all their fulfillment in Christ but were not symbolic activities? The sacrifice was fulfilled in christ, so what than is being mentioned as symbolic but mans instructions? My brian needs a major boost after suffering a stroke! Why this confusion unless my mind cannot understand these things others seem to be able to debate forever? No matter, I still and for reason far beyond my own mind can say as a gentile, "Jesus is the fulfillment of all in my life, mind and heart. No other can do! Is this what academics in seminary or a christians life all about - mans debates? Or our their instructors who are of authority to teach that which is true?
    Please respond here so i can watch and follow so to know how it is many thing and so believe. In the end I think I shall be blessed here with this topic as so many in the church! This seems far to great to ignore in this day! Us little guys who lost many brian cells need lots of help! Like make it simple for us to see why this occurs and if it is important to know! I really love the puritans in how they help many in seeing all things in the exaltation of Jesus and the humbleness of man. But here is a good teaching to know for the little guys being told all these things of the temple! John Haggee is not so difficult to see of his teachings in this area, but than others can be who are not so prominent a speaker as he is. Calvary chapel, the left behind people, the dispensationalist, and others. This can clear up so much and if God gave you this gift than i charge you to use it for our benefit! Please continue this!

    Bruce,

    Thanks for your post. Yes, Beale's biblical theology on the Temple covers the Ezekiel Temple extensively.

    Let me get this straight. You don't believe Jesus Christ is the final fulfillment of the temple even though the book of Revelation plainly indicates this?

    Bruce, have you considered that your position actually invents another type of sacrificial system in order to prop up your interpretation of Ezekiel's temple? Ezekiel himself says that the sacrifice is for the remission of sin (using language from the Mosaic system). So aren't you really the one who are giving a symbolic interpretation of the text?

    Ezekiel 44:29 They shall eat the grain offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering; every dedicated thing in Israel shall be theirs. 30 The best of all firstfruits of any kind, and every sacrifice of any kind from all your sacrifices, shall be the priest's; also you shall give to the priest the first of your ground meal, to cause a blessing to rest on your house. 31 The priests shall not eat anything, bird or beast, that died naturally or was torn by wild beasts.

    Ezekiel’s new temple is not a physical building that will yet be erected on a mound of dirt in the earthly city of Jerusalem, but is Jesus Christ and the spiritual body of Christ (cp. Ezek. 40-48 with John 2:18-22 and I Pet. 2:1-10) both Jew and gentile.. The church never replaces Israel but expands upon it. Jesus is the True Israel as are all who are grafted into Him.

    David Holwerda's book Jesus And Israel: One Covenant Or Two is also VERY helpful in dealing with some issues of promise and fulfillment. ...particularly his discussion of Jesus and the temple is a convincing alternative to the standard dispensational approach.

    Ezekiel describes various courts, gates, and rooms and finally describes the glory of the Lord returning to this temple (43:1-5). It is in this temple that the Lord will dwell with Israel forever (43:7). Along with this temple is a renewal of the sacrificial system (44:10-31; 45:13-46:24). Ezekiel also describes a river flowing from this temple (47:1-12), and he concludes his book by describing the boundaries of the land and the gates of the city (chptrs.47 & 48).

    Dispensationalists, using their literal hermeneutic and not finding this temple with these exact floor plans and details described anywhere else, expect this prophecy to be fulfilled literally during the millennium of Rev.20. This raises several problems. First, there isn't even a hint of any of this in Rev.20 itself. Second, the book of Hebrews (esp. chapters 8-10) teaches that the better and final sacrifice of Jesus Christ has fulfilled the OT sacrificial system. Thirdly I would ask, if we are to expect to see Ezekiel's temple literally fulfilled what about the altar and sacrifices in Egypt that Isaiah speaks of (Is.19:19-21 )? Shall we expect this too in the millennium?

    I think not. Viewed theologically, we have to conclude that in light of the finality of Christ's death, there will be no renewed sacrificial system. Also, in terms of dominical/apostolic interpretation we should view Ezekiel's temple and its associated details as fulfilled in three stages: Jesus Christ, the church, and the eschatological temple of Rev.21 (which is "the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb" v.22).

    Jesus and John indicate that our Lord fulfills this temple and its sacrificial system. Jesus tabernacled among us (Jo.1:14); He is the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (Jo.1:29). Jesus describes Himself as being the temple (Jo.2:18-22), the significance of which was obscure for the disciples until after the resurrection. "Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken" (Jo.2:22). In part, I think the Scripture they believed was the book of Ezekiel which described this coming temple. Additionally Jesus fulfills the river of life described by Ezekiel (and Zechariah); see Jo.7:37-39. (note, Holwerda has an excellent discussion of this whole issue on pp.74-79.)

    In this connection again I must point out that Hebrews describes Jesus Christ as both priest and sacrificial victim. Also, Paul refers to Christ as "Christ our Passover Lamb" in 1Cor.5:7. The point seems clear; the NT presents Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the latter chapters of Ezekiel.

    Not only does Christ fulfill Ezekiel's temple, so also does the church. It is well known that Paul describes the church as a temple (1Cor.3:16-17; 2Cor.6:14-7:1; Eph.2:19-22). This is due to our union with Christ; a point made particularly clear by Paul in the Ephesians passage.

    Apostolic interpretation does not end with Paul, however. John again picks up this temple theme in the Apocalypse. There he describes an eschatological temple (Christ and God, Rev.21:22) and a river of life (Rev.22:1-2).

    So rather than putting Ezekiel's temple and a renewed sacrificial system in a future millennium, it seems preferable to follow Jesus and the Apostles and to see it primarily fulfilled in Christ Himself and secondarily in the church. In other words, the NT (i.e. dominical/apostolic interpretation) gives us the fulfillment of this OT prophecy. To seek a different fulfillment with no scriptural warrant for doing so (as dispensationalism does) indicates that an a priori theory drives one's exegesis rather than an objective assessment of the Scriptures.

    As a final note on this principle of literal interpretation, I would suggest that part of the difference in understanding some prophetic passages is not a matter of literal vs. non-literal, it is rather a matter of time.

    For a general example there are numerous passages that speak of a future time of peace and blessing. Typically, dispensationalists expect this to happen during the millennium. But what if they are fulfilled in the new heaven and new earth (Rev.21:4, 24-27)? This is no less literal; it is simply a temporal difference. As Grier points out in his brief article, "The 'a-mil' takes many promises which the 'pre-mil' relates to the earthly millennium as more appropriately applied to the new earth" (p. 514).

    The standard dispensational objection to the above would be to claim that this spiritualizes OT prophecy. This claim perhaps would be true only if one thinks of eternity as being spent in heaven. But the biblical picture of eternity is not one of saints dwelling in heaven. Rather it pictures the saints forever dwelling on the new earth with God who "will live with them. They will be His people, and God himself will be with them and be their God" (Rev.21:3). In light of this, to see some of the prophecies of a coming time of peace as having their fulfillment on the new earth is every bit as literal as any dispensationalist could want.

    As a footnote, I must call attention to the covenantal language in the verse just quoted from Revelation (21:3), "they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." Compare this language to Gen.17:7-8; Ex.6:6-7; 19:4-5; Lev.11:45; De.4:20; De.29:13; Jer.31:33; Zech.2:10-12; 8:8; 2Cor.6:16; Heb.8:10; 1Pe.2:9-10. There are two things that I would like to highlight here. The first is the unity of the people of God. The second is that, contrary to the claims of dispensationalism, these promises--God's covenant--find their ultimate fulfillment, not in a future millennium, but in the new Jerusalem where God dwells in the midst of His one people.

    Thanks for this John. I do believe that Christ is the fulfillment of the temple though! I think you meant to address Kevin instead of me. I wanted to know how it was any could believe otherwise. Why they teach otherwise? Like John Haggee. Wondered where their teaching came form and now I see. Also needed to understand better the old testament temple. This helps me to understand my frustration as well. Rather, it clears it up when someone clearly sees this and teach's the truth as opposed to these other things. Now I have lots to read so to know and help others to see. Thank you. Humbled by this as i die to my own judgements by frustration. But the question came form Kevin here and i only responded in frustration that some teach these things.

    Thanks for all that and your time well spent to help David. This all helped so much! Especially in the new earth/world and the use of the word literal.

    i am just not getting the amil/covenantal hermeneutic on this one...as nearly all my questions went unaddressed, here is hopefully a more specific question which will prove more productive:

    can someone offer a brief EXEGETICAL handling of, say, Ezekiel 45:1-8?

    please explain not only how Jesus is symbolized by this passage (which though a stretch, i think could be done), but THEN why such an interpretation should be allowed to completely obliterate the meaning of a straightforward reading...namely that THERE WILL BE a city with a certain appearance, with certain people living in certain places doing certain things.

    if i'm following, we are to assess that in this passage Ezekiel meant - and his readers were to understand - that the coming Messiah was actually what was being described by all the details of the sanctuary, by the holy district, by the part of the land assigned to the levites, by the part assigned to the priests, by the part assigned to all of israel, by the part assigned to the prince...AND by the levites, by the priests, by israel and by the prince themselves?

    how would that have given those readers any clarity whatsoever about Jesus and His work? how does it now give us any clarity about his work? are all the dimensions and details given in these several chapters just red herrings? this seems to be pure allegorization.

    i think if my proposed interpretation of a few chapters in the book of Hebrews necessarily forced me to take this scorched-earth approach to the rest of the Bible, emptying the writings of the Prophets of nearly all discernible meaning to their original hearers/readers, i think it might be time to reconsider those few chapters.

    i must say this is disappointing, but sadly, what i feared i would find once i asked. i do hope the beale book is exegetical in its handling of these passages, and definitely intend to pick it up at some point. i plan to look into some of the other recommended reads, as well.

    i do appreciate the opportunity to voice these questions here, and apologize if anything came across too sarcastically.

    -kevin

    p.s. john, your last post was addressed to bruce, but seemed to be dealing with some of my points...i was reluctant to respond to them as i wasn't clear to whom you were speaking.

    p.p.s david, (1) i'm not a dispensationalist, either, and (2) "fulfil" doesn't mean abolish, cf. Matthew 5:17-20...Jesus actually sets them as antithetical. Jesus can "fulfil" all these things without in the least abolishing them. are we sure that there are no temple sacrifices because of the work of Yeshua, or is it simply because there is no temple? if the former, why apostolic participation in the book of Acts...were they simply confused about what Messiah had accomplished? (3) i couldn't disagree more with the a prior accusation, as i think the charge goes the other way, in this instance. (4)lastly, good point on the temporal comment...agreed.

    -kevin

    This is very good and really helping me to see the views of others so much clearer. My view is simple having not much scriptural learning. But this helps me to see how i must dig to know of all views. so to defend Scripture. Not qualified here except as a student.

    1) Jesus is the temple. Immanuel - God with us.
    2) The temple has always been God with his people!
    3) The new earth will be God dwelling with his people!
    Is there more to this?
    But now, I found another view I never knew about. I thought all that was thought of as an earthly millennial reign where a temple was built for the jews, was a dispensationalist view. It seems another one has emerged without this dispensationalists view and yet believe in a physical temple yet to be built! Is that true? That God dwells with us in the new earth and heavens as well as with somebody in this new temple without a dispensationalist millennium, but in the current earth?? Confused for lack of the knowledge of this view. Am I wrong as to your view point Kevin? Where is this temple you speak of where God dwells with his people and has this type of worship and preparation for the messiah? Makes no since to me but it ought not to until i learn more.
    But it is getting clearer as i learn much here. Really good things! God with us - my hope with a whole new immortal body.

    Emet

    Consider it from this perspective... If someone were to promise to leave you a house in his will, but then when you got the inheritance you received a whole city instead, and then complained "but he promised to leave me just the house" it would seem like the wrong response. Or if God were to promise the Jews they they would inherit the land but then they find out later that they will "inherit the [whole] earth" instead, to complain about this that they only wanted the small piece of land would be absurd. Likewise, when God promised a Temple which pointed to Him but then actually gave Himself, to complain that they did not get what was promised is to seek after shadows rather than reality. It would be to look at the sign rather than the thing signified. You would be busy inspecting the sign that points to Jerusalem, rather than go where the sign actually points to experience it first hand. I believe this is what you are doing with the temple.

    All of the Bible is to be read in light of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and interpreted in that fashion. Jesus said that all the the Scriptures ‘spoke of me’ and that He was the fulfillment of the ‘law and the prophets.’

    Ez 40-48 says that actual animal sacrifices will once again be literally offered for the blood atonement and sin-offering that purifies the nation of Israel. When you say this will be a memorial, you are spiritualizing the text in a way never intended or making symbolic which the passage itself teaches is actual sacrifice for sin.

    Loraine Boettner said ‘Old Testament thought forms are employed to teach New Testament spiritual truths, truths which in that day could be expressed intelligently only through those forms with which the people were familiar’

    That is, when the Bible foretold a time when ‘priests’ would be offering ‘sacrifices’ in the ‘temple’ of God as in Ezekiel Paul understood this prophetic vision to be Christians (‘priesthood of believers’) to be offering sacrifices (‘living sacrifices’ because of the efficacy of the ‘once and for all time sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God’) in the ‘temple of God’ which Paul explicitly called the ‘household of God’ and the ‘assembly’(ekklesia). Thus, Ezekiel foresaw a time using ‘thought forms’ of Levitical imagery to convey spiritual realities in Christ. The reality of Christ is conveyed through the type and shadow. Ezekiel, then, was seeing ‘the reality in Christ,’ but his language was decidedly cast in ‘shadow and type’ language. This is not difficult to assess at all.

    why slaughter animals when it is at once REALIZED Who they are memorializing - AND HE IS STANDING RIGHT THERE IN THEIR MIDST??? The ‘literal’ picture one can imagine is our God and king Jesus, sitting on his throne in Jerusalem, while people are spending all their time looking elsewhere slaughtering lambs in His memorial. I will not accept a statement that they are ‘memorial’ without full and scriptural warrant to that effect. If these sacrifices are NOT memorials, then we have blood-atoning sacrifices being offered AFTER the one time sacrifice of Christ.[Samuel M. Frost]

    Remember that Ezekiel, like Revelation, is filled with visions and is a highly symbolic book. I assume you do not take the creatures with multiple heads literally? The Bible is to be read Christocentrically, not Israeleocentrically. That is why I cannot see that your interpretation even has the remotest possibility of being correct.

    How glorious and amazing it will be to stand in the Holy Presence of Jesus Christ when all shadows will fall away, when we will no longer need books to read about him since such knowledge will seem like dust covered cobwebs next to the Reality. For now we look through a glass darkly but there we will see Him face to face.

    Hope this helps
    John

    first, i want to thank you for patiently tolerating and attempting to answer my questions. i keep thinking, "ok, this'll be the one that gets me kicked off." very much appreciated.

    however, these remain theological system answers, which sound great when stated generally, but completely break down when one reads verse after verse, chapter after chapter. you guys are stripping any real meaning from the words because you are (seem) so vehemently opposed to the symbols God chose to provide hands-on teaching for His people (sacrifices, Feasts, etc.) that you can't imagine them ever being brought back. the apostles in Acts who appear to continue right along with these symbols in some fashion clearly do not share your presuppositions or your conclusions.

    they knew the sacrifices pointed to Yeshua before and apparently thought they pointed to Him after. they knew the Feasts pointed to Him before, and apparently were eager to have them point to Him after. i would prefer to follow their lead than put myself above them in knowledge and understanding.

    yes, it requires some speculation on my part to say the offerings so intricately described in Ezekiel have some memorial quality to them, along with their sin-removing quality. but that seems a lot less fanciful than simply discounting the passages and all their details. i would also say i have precedence for such an interpretation because the pre-Jesus sacrifices essentially had a memorial quality to them (pre-memorial?) since they didn't remove sin either, right? according to your line of reasoning, once Moses realized what the sacrifices represented, he could have stopped offering them, once David realized this, he could have stopped offering. i assume we agree that many people in the OT recognized what was going on, yet they didn't stop them, they participated in them MORE fully (and i'd say the same for the apostles).

    again, this amil/covenant interpretation grid appears to try to cram huge chunks of square Scripture into tiny round holes created by a couple chapters in Hebrews...it lets those few chapters absolutely rule out a straight-forward interpretation of passage after passage after passage of the TNK. maybe it is those few chapters that need to be taken in an other-than-woodenly-literal fashion? when Hebrews was written (pre-destruction/post-destruction), to whom it was written, regarding what situation it was written all make HUGE differences to how one would interpret this sermon/epistle, and yet we KNOW none of these specifics. that is not where i want to be putting all my hermeneutical eggs (and don't get me wrong - i love Hebrews!).

    anyway, thank you, thank you, and thank you yet again for your patience and willingness to share your thoughts and let me hog so much time and space with mine...your comments were indeed helpful in better understanding this perspective. can't wait to check out the beale book and again, i'd take any suggestions on an Ezekiel commentary from a reformed, etc., perspective. like i said, i'm not dispy, but i'm having trouble not landing in some sort of premillenial camp when reading Scripture and not viewing amil as some hangover from the papists.

    bruce - a quick reply here on your last questions/comments:

    though dispensationalism revived premillennialism, and to my knowledge all dispy's are premil, not all premils are necessarily dispy's. i would distance myself fom dispensationalism as i see far more continuity in the covenants and agree that Gentiles are added to the church/ecclesia/assembly of Israel rather than being a separate entity.

    -kevin
    (let me know if you'd like to continue the conversation off-blog as i don't want to take up any more space here)

    Wow! I am absolutely without knowledge of Gods word! But this is opening my eyes ever so greatly. At least to loosen up the hard dirt in my mind into crumbs so to be made able to dig further.
    But it is also causing me to question even some very basic things i have taken for granted and on the surface.
    Can any of you please put the difference here into simple statements/positions?
    I will read this again and again and look into these scriptures mentioned. I will pray God help me to see all he choses to reveal here. But I would like it to be two easy to understand positions so to see them both as I read and search.
    Kevin, I cannot see your position here though it is becoming clearer. Can you please write your summary/bottom line thinking here? Was your original blog posed as a question to or a position to help show us/me/whoever of here? Can you make it simple for me so I can see what it is I am looking for? Like the sacrifices - what are you thinking they were for in the past and today? Both time periods! Anything else like pre, amil, etc. Do you have web site to look up these things? Thanks, a real first grade student in the science of the invisible.

    This I know solidly. The veil was torn when christ died ending all old testament means of entering into the holy of holies. So we come boldly to the throne of grace this day! No need for any sacrifices for our sin has been atoned! They have ended and have no need! Why any "symbolic" mention is here I do not know except that some did not know Christ back than and these sacrifices showed them the need of atonement of sin. Even today, many do not know Christ and continue to offer up their works and own righteousness. It is almost like they are still offering up sacrifices by their own hands as some of the old did. Ironic, it was the religious jews who killed christ though not as a sacrifice. They wanted to keep the old system alive and going as it benefited them.
    I cannot see why all the saints offered the sacrifices back than, but I do know that the veil has been torn in two when Christ died. What more needs to be added? Nothing! So, I am lost here in this discussion and return only to that I know as certainty and truth. I really wished I could see what you are saying Kevin. What you are arguing for? The return of symbolism or something else? eludes me! I want to know though! Too many brain cells destroyed when
    I was in the world and after my stroke! But i am able to try my best to understand these things. Just don't know what it is i am to see here so to understand? What are you questing to do here with this discussion? What side/position do you represent? And how does it differ? Thanks for this discussion and allowing me to ask such ignorant questions. It does send me to the bible though!

    Emet,

    hi again. Thanks for your posts. I am surprised that you don't seem to find it the least bit ironic that the position you hold about the future temple sacrifices being symbolic (in memorial to Christ) cannot stand under your own hermeneutic. As I showed clearly earlier (Ezekiel 44:29), the sacrifices in the book of Ezekiel are for actual sin. Now unless you can show us that Ezekiel intended these sacrifices to be symbolic/memorials to what Christ has already done for us, I believe your own hermeneutic destroys the very possibility of the interpretation you offered. Consider that it is you who are making, what the text says are real sacrifices for sin, into mere symbols. The question then is really, how do you see all these literal readings and end up symbolic, when even your own hermeneutic demands literalistic interpretation?

    Christ claims he was the fulfillment of the temple and temple sacrifice and yet you are still chasing the shadows and openly on this blog willing to go so far as to slaughter beasts in the very presence of Christ our LORD. No believer should go down this road. Let's call your view what it is: sin.

    ok, that's more what i'd expected a few days ago...

    pretty sure i answered all those very questions, and was still awaiting rebuttals from those answers...but, instead, i'll restate/reask:

    the Torah states the sacrifices/offerings take away sin/provide a ransom for sin, and yet we know from Hebrews they did not clear the conscience and truly deal with sin. yet, those Torah passages never specifically state they were "symbolic" of Messiah's future work. how is it "sin" (!?) to suggest the same for future sacrifices? if this is what God has for us His people, who am i to say, "no, God, sorry that doesn't fit my interpretation of Hebrews 8-10."? instead i'm going to trust that He can figure it out. this is in no way dishonoring to Christ (and i don't particularly appreciate the accusation). i am not saying Christ AND sacrifices are necessary...i'm a die-hard 5 solas kinda guy; i'm simply looking at the text and trying to deal with what the words say, rather than what i wish they said and allegorizing page after page, book after book.

    i continue to await explanation for the apostles' behavior in the book of Luke-Acts, after the ascension...there is NO hint they abandoned the temple as central to their worship, but rather knowing that Messiah fulfilled (which yet again, does not mean abolish, cf. Matt. 5:17-20) the work of the temple, "they were continually there with joy, blessing God (Luke 24:53, as but one example)."

    please do not tell me you would have been so bold ("hard-hearted" to quote your deleted post) to stand there and tell them they were in sin. (i'm still a bit stunned you used that word.)

    of course, this is largely all a moot point. if/when Jesus is standing in the new temple as described in Ezekiel, as the prince and leading us all in worship that entails sacrifices (for whatever reason that i certainly don't claim to understand), i'm sure you will say, "oops," and join right in. if/when we find out we weren't supposed to actually believe anything that was stated in the TNK because God had "something better" in mind, then i, too, will say "oops," and move forward.

    i find it interesting to consider, however, since there are people in Israel staunchly moving forward with attempts to rebuild the temple, and re-instate a sacrificial system, etc. this is something the papist amils and the early reforming amils never envisioned as they formed their theological frameworks. i think it makes for stimulating discussion. however, once people start labeling Bible study and thinking as sin, it's probably time to wrap up the conversation.

    yet again, i appreciate the opportunity to share my opinions, form my thoughts and once more, i'll try to bow out before any more names get called. also, thanks again for all the work here and at monergism.com...i'm a huge fan, and have been blessed tremendously over the last few years by your work.

    shalom,
    kevin

    Emet

    "Woops?" you will say. This is not name calling Emet. It is the love of a brother calling another to repent. I have no ax to grind with you. Just want to see Christ honored. To the degree ANY OF US misrepresent God and His word, to that same degree we commit idolatry, which we all, unfortunately do at some levels... To call the interpretation sin is more accurate than calling it "wrong" which would imply there is no moral problem with misrepresenting God's word.. Especially on something with these kind of far-reaching implications.

    The brief and simple answer is that Ezekiel promises that the glory of God would return to a temple. Think about how a Jewish reader would understand Jn 1:14—the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (a very strong reference to Exodus 34).

    Then consider Jn 2—Destroy this temple and I will raise it up—but He was speaking about the temple of his body. Every Jewish reader would understand what John is implying—the glory of God has returned to a temple. Ezekiel’s promise has been fulfilled!

    This, like so much other prophecy, has an already/not yet component. It has begun to be fulfilled in Christ (and, by extension Paul tells us, in the Church), but its consummated expression will occur in the new creation.

    To answer your other question: the apostles going to the Temple did not imply they would go on Yom Kippur to get their sins atoned for but went to pray and preach and undergo regular temple rituals as a means of reaching the Jews with the gospel which proclaims that the Temple curtain has been torn in two from top to bottom. There is not a chance they would engage in deceptive practices giving the Jews the impression they still believed their sins were being atoned for, when they actually didn't because they were proclaiming from the rooftops that the true Temple and final atonement for sins had arrived in Christ.

    Emet, as for "sin" ... of course, Bible study itself is never sin but what you draw from it has heretical overtones. your interpretation focuses and turns us back to shadows and types and signs rather than what is signified by the signs - and you have until now still refused to answer adequately how your symbolic interpretation stands together with your literal hermeneutic and then blame us when we do the same ( but we are following the hermeneutic (glasses) Christ gave us to read with). But you read into the text something that is not there. As long as you misrepresent Christ on this matter I cannot but call it sin in the hope you will repent. It was meant to shock for that very purpose. I know we are supposed to be nice and non-confrontational as American Christians .. but God's word would bind me to say it like it is, however uncomfortable it may sound to you. If you don't see wrong believe about this as a sin issue then perhaps you are looking at Christianity a little too much through the academic lens.

    Solus Christus
    John

    Thank you so much john. I will read all this with scripture until I know this topic by scripture in a deeper and far clearer manner than I now know. This has given me much comfort as well - don't know why? But it has done me good and causes me to go further in reading and praying particularly, so to understand Gods word deeper toward Christ alone! You are saying very much here. Very much!
    Thank you Anet, for your words have been used to help me look deeper into all reformed topics and truth. May Christ be exalted here!

    I would like to make a comment on something that kevin said in an earlier post,

    "if i'm following, we are to assess that in this passage Ezekiel meant - and his readers were to understand - that the coming Messiah was actually what was being described by all the details of the sanctuary, by the holy district, by the part of the land assigned to the levites, by the part assigned to the priests, by the part assigned to all of israel, by the part assigned to the prince...AND by the levites, by the priests, by israel and by the prince themselves?

    how would that have given those readers any clarity whatsoever about Jesus and His work? how does it now give us any clarity about his work? are all the dimensions and details given in these several chapters just red herrings? this seems to be pure allegorization."

    One of the main arguments against a fulfillment understanding of OT prophecy (even that in Ezekiel) is that to interpret any of these passage without regard to the original audiences comprehension of the passage and therefore benefit to them renders any objective hermenutic impossible. And yet I believe that it is the New Testament (especially Jesus) that expected the original audience not to comprehend but instead for a future generation of readers to comprehend and see that all the OT ultimately pointed to a future generational benefit. The disciples of Christ as well as the Scribes and Pharisees obviously didn't understand any of the prophecies concerning Christ. They misinterpreted Jesus' interpretation of OT Law and Prophecy all the time. It wasn't until Jesus' resurrection and the illumination of the Holy Spirit that the followers of Christ finally start to get it. I mean in Acts 1:6 they were still looking for Jesus to restore a physical kingdom with himself as king. The disciples on the road to Emmaus didn't get it Luke 24:24-27 until Jesus himself revealed to them. Paul says that it was all a mystery to the OT audience as well as the prophets Eph 2. My point is this, demanding that all these passages in the OT be fulfilled in Christ does not ruin the Original intent of the author or nullify the authority of the scriptures because the original intent of the author (Holy Spirit) was not for the original audience but for a future audience to come. Was there a benefit to the original audience, maybe or maybe not but that is not the point, the point is that which is revealed in scripture, that all OT prophecy ultimately pointed to Christ. We interpret the OT in light of the NT (or Christocentrically) because that is what the NT tells us to do not because of some hermeneutical system. Rather the reverse is true our system is determined by the pattern of the NT. Just because the original audience didn't get it doesn't render a spiritual interpretation impossible or improbable because the original audience wasn't supposed to get it. When we understand that the scripture wasn't necessarily concerned with the original audience's comprehension of what was being revealed we understand that comprehending unclear passages (OT) in light of clear passages (NT) is ultimately the proper means of interpretation. thanks for your time and consideration, beauregard.

    Beauregar,

    Well said. You really make some excellent points. As you said, it is possible that the meaning was completely veiled to the original readers and was meant to be understood later. And even if some of the the original readers understood the prophesy to be speaking of a literal walled temple, in revealing Christ as the true final Temple the hazy shadows fall away, and Something/Someone more excellent than they could ever anticipate arrives as the NT declares. Many truths in the Bible are partially hidden until later clarified.

    "and you have until now still refused to answer adequately how your symbolic interpretation stands together with your literal hermeneutic and then blame us when we do the same...you read into the text something that is not there."

    sadly, i've actually answered it multiple times, and it's disappointing you don't seem to even be trying to listen. one final time, did the offerings outlined in the Torah deal with sin? were they called sin offerings nevertheless? did they look to another time period? does the Torah ever explicitly say that? this seems adequate ground for my *speculation* (not dogmatic assertion) that Ezekiel's sacrifices *could* have a dual meaning as well.

    differing views on eschatology = a sin issue and misrepresenting Christ...got it...how charitable.

    i'm still not buying the likes of John 2 somehow fulfilling Ezekiel's kitchen for boiling sacrifices, but enough already. i'll read the scholars you've recommended instead for now.


    beauregard...agreed, nice explanation. thank you. a position that could put us on a slippery slope as non-inspired exegetes tackling passages not specifically mentioned by the Apostles...but plausible nevertheless, and i understand that is one explanation out there. i appreciate you actually listening and taking the time to respond.

    heretically overtoned and quite possibly doomed to hell along with all the other abominable premillennialists (who knew?),
    kevin

    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?

    This comment begs the question: was Jesus cleansing of the Temple a strike at the inadequacy of the “old order?” I’m not entirely sure that this is the point of John 2. Rather, it seems that Jesus is upset with the corruption of unjust weights and turning the house of Yahweh into “a house of merchandise” (vs. 15, 16). Clearly, his zeal was for the house of the Lord (vs. 17).

    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.

    Two questions: 1) why do you pit Jesus against “a Jew” if Jesus was a Jew (2) if his zeal is said to be for the house of the Lord (vs. 17), does Jesus really view the Temple as merely a shadow?

    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.

    In John 2:18-22, after Jesus cleanses the Temple, the Judeans ask Jesus for a sign in order to verify his authority to cleanse the Temple. It is then that Jesus proclaims his death, burial and resurrection as a sign authenticating his position of authority.
    This does not mean that Jesus is saying the Temple is no longer of God. Jesus is responding to a question of his integrity and authority concerning his actions.
    This does not assume that Jesus has no respect or love for the Temple; rather, the text says He is zealous for it (vs. 17).

    Quote from Sinclair Ferguson's, In Christ Alone.
    Comments: With this in mind, Christians who think that rebuilding the physical temple is somehow a positive development are actually taking us backwards in redemptive history. Returning to the shadows is severely warned against in the book of Hebrews as a rejection of Christ Himself

    The Jewish believers of the first century were tempted to go back into a form of Judaism that did not believe Jesus was the Messiah. This is the shadow they were tempted to turn to. This does not mean that a form of Judaism, with a Holy Temple, cannot exist with Jesus as the Head.
    Believing in a future Temple with Jesus as the Great High Priest in that Temple does not automatically mean a person has rejected Christ.

    ... a profound misapprehension of the gospel.

    Once again, believing in a future Temple with Jesus as the Head is far from a “misapprehension of the gospel.” A “misapprehension of the gospel,” would involve total rejection.

    Christ is a better high priest, and, in His resurrection, a complete fulfillment of the temple. A fulfillment of all shadows.

    Yes, Jesus fulfills all shadows. But does this mean he rids himself of all aspects of the previous shadow? Aren’t we now merely a shadow of what we will truly be on the day of resurrection? When this day is fulfilled, will I stop being myself, or will I become a sinless version of myself?
    Couldn’t the Temple be restored into a sinless version of its self?

    תודה אחי! well said.

    Shabbot Shalom!

    P.S. I do have a problem with the idea that all of the Old Testament points to the Messiah.

    Where do the Scriptures say this?

    How does this apply to the Song of Solomon? Am I to think of Yeshua's breasts when I read the Song of Solomon?

    typically the proof text is Luke 24:27 - "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself."

    i happen to think this is sufficient motivation to look REALLY hard for Him on every page, in every passage, etc...., but i agree perhaps that can get stretched beyond a certain limit at times.

    it says He explained everything in Scripture about Himself...it does not say He explained Himself into every Scripture.

    but perhaps we'll find out in future posts that we can take license with NT Scriptures and mold them to our system, as well (he said tongue-in-cheek, hoping not to be accused of sinning again).

    Ben & Emet

    1) No one pits Jesus against the Jew. This is a misunderstanding of what has been said actually. Jews and Gentiles are all one in Christ. -- the church did not replace the Jews, they expanded upon them. There is an organic connection. Jesus fulfilled the promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed through him. All who are in Christ are all part of the body of Christ, Jew and gentile and we share in the same promises (Eph 2:18 & Gal 3)

    2) Jesus views the physical Temple as a mere shadow, but not the final temple -- See this Text:

    "And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb." "Revelation 21:22"

    Do this text means anything to you with regard to our discussion??

    Listen... if you are going to read Ezekiel literally then you need to be consistent. There is no indication that these would merely be memorials to what Christ had done in the past. Either you read it to be real atoning sacrifices that will be taking place in the millennium or you understand that when it says that Jesus came to "tabernacle among us" and that he would "raise the temple up in three days" after destroyed was a claim by Jesus himself that the prophesy had been realized. The gospel of John has so many other fulfillments, why is this one so difficult to see? I am the water of life... I am the bread of life... etc. these kind of allusions all pointed to festivals and things in the OT that the Jews knew. But Jesus claiming that he was the fulfillment of the Temple cannot be accepted ????

    Question: Is Jesus the final fulfillment of the temple Kevin? As yes or a no should do. I would strongly encourage you to prayerfully answer this.

    I will repeat the following Text: "And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb." "Revelation 21:22"

    As for the comment about me not being "charitable" perhaps not to an American sensibility, but it is one of the most charitable thing I could say to a fellow Christian. Correction and exhortation is often not acceptable in academia, but it sure is in the Scriptures and among brethren who are in danger of going astray. As Sproul says, we cannot kill truth in the streets for the sake of peace. Truly Kevin (Emet) these things are not said just so I can be right about some theology. The Dispensational interpretation of Ezekiel misses the whole point of the Bible which is Christ. This is no small oversight.

    >>>>Emet you said "it says He explained everything in Scripture about Himself...it does not say He explained Himself into every Scripture."

    Perhaps this is true, but this IS a place where Jesus emphasizes that he is the fulfillment of Scripture. John, Hebrews and Revelation all make this abundantly clear. is this not enough?

    JWH

    Revelation 20:4-8 4 ¶ And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. 7 ¶ Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.

    = Messianic reign for 1,000 years, during which, according to Ezekiel, the Messiah will reign from the Holy Temple (Ezek. 43:1-7).

    But, as Revelation 20 says, this time will last 1,000 yrs. until the New Heavens and New Earth. The New Heavens and New Earth, described in Rev. 21:1, as you have noted, does not have a literal Temple (Rev. 21:22).

    Therefore, there will be a Temple that the Messiah will reign from during the Millennium, but afterwards the Temple will be no more. If this is not true, than neither Ezekiel nor John the Apostle can be considered trustworthy (Deut. 18:20-22).

    Note: Ezekiel 43:7 says “forever” in the English text, but, as TWOT explains:

    “Though olam is used more than three hundred times to indicate indefinite continuance into the very distant future, the meaning of the word is not confined to the future. There are at least twenty instances where it clearly refers to the past. Such usages generally point to something that seems long ago, but rarely if ever refer to a limitless past, Thus in Deut 32:7 and Job 22:15 it may refer to the time of one's elders. In Prov 22:28; Prov 23:10; Jer 6:16; Jer 18:15; Jer 28:8 it points back somewhat farther. In Isa 58:12; Isa 61:4; Mic 7:14; Mal 3:4, and in the Aramaic of Ezr 4:15, 19 it clearly refers to the time just before the exile. In 1Sam 27:8, in Isa 51:9 and Isa 63:9, 11 and perhaps Ezek 36:2, it refers to the events of the exodus from Egypt. In Gen 6:4 it points to the time shortly before the flood. None of these past references has in it the idea of endlessness or limitlessness . . .”

    Point: Olam does not always necessarily mean "forever" nor is it limitless . . .

    “Listen... if you are going to read Ezekiel literally then you need to be consistent. There is no indication that these would merely be memorials to what Christ had done in the past. Either you read it to be real atoning sacrifices that will be taking place in the millennium or you understand that when it says that Jesus came to "tabernacle among us" and that he would "raise the temple up in three days" after destroyed was a claim by Jesus himself that the prophesy had been realized. The gospel of John has so many other fulfillments, why is this one so difficult to see? I am the water of life... I am the bread of life... etc. these kind of allusions all pointed to festivals and things in the OT that the Jews knew. But Jesus claiming that he was the fulfillment of the Temple cannot be accepted ????”

    Jesus being the fulfillment of the Temple can be accepted. Assuming Jesus replaced it cannot. Fulfillment does not mean replacement.

    Second thought: Why take “communion” (which really is Passover)? Jesus fulfilled it!

    Bearegar,
    You make a good point: “The disciples of Christ as well as the Scribes and Pharisees obviously didn't understand any of the prophecies concerning Christ. They misinterpreted Jesus' interpretation of OT Law and Prophecy all the time.”

    I believe this is the true heart of the issue. I believe the disciples misunderstood Jesus because they interpreted all of OT prophecy in light of the 2nd coming. But, the Christocentric system does the complete opposite: it reads the 1st coming into every OT prophecy.

    This is the heart of the issue. Is the OT prophecy I’m looking at speaking about the 1st or 2nd coming.

    Ben

    We do not believe in replacement theology but that Christ fulfills the prophesies of the OT. i.e. Jesus is the Temple (Revelation 21:22) who will exist eternally to be worshiped. In fact the only time I used the word "replaced" in this entire discussion was when I said "the church did not replace the Jews, they expanded upon them."

    I am assuming from your response that Jesus is not currently the fulfillment of the Temple? But only at some future time?

    Ben, We are not Dispensationalists or premillennialists so we do not affirm the 1000 years described in Rev 20 comes at a time AFTER Jesus returns. Too many NT and OT passages reveal that the resurrection of the just and the unjust occur simultaneously when Christ returns.(See John 5:28-29 when Jesus specifically speaks of the resurrection of all men at one specific time) But this is another discussion entirely.

    I highly recommend the following MP3 on this issue of the Temple:

    The Temple and the Church's Mission
    G. K. Beale (mp3)
    http://links.christreformed.org/realaudio/20070330a.mp3

    Yet, your definition of "fulfill" involves replacement. My argument is that this is not necessary. Jesus can fulfill the purpose of the Temple, and still reign from it.

    I suggest the following resources:

    http://www.worldofthebible.com/Bible%20Studies/An%20Overview%20of%20the%20Future%20Temples.pdf

    http://www.worldofthebible.com/temple.htm

    Ben

    You are forcing the Text to say something it does not. There is not even a shred of evidence form Revelation (esp rev 20) that Ezekiel's Temple will be rebuilt into a structure. In fact Revelation teaches that Jesus (the lamb) is the temple. You are just forcing the dispensational hermeneutic here by speculating that Ezekiel's physical temple must be at the time of Rev 20. This is what is called 'unaided logic'. You can't find your Temple in Revelation so you just assume this is where it must be. This is not exegesis but sheer speculation.

    Again, Jesus doesn't replace the temple, because he is the literal Temple come down from heaven to tabernacle among us. The Israel temple was merely a shadow of the heavenly temple. So I would argue that it is actually you who are replacing Jesus with the structure of the temple. I will say this again, this part of dispensational theology is both unbiblical AND is dishonoring to Christ.

    Haggai 2:6-7 6 " For thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7 'and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,' says the LORD of hosts.

    Actually, my logic is not “un-aided.” I would be a fool to simply assume something that is not there (which would be more of an “argument from silence”).

    Rather, my “logic” is aided by a solid understanding of the Old Testament. On numerous occasions, the Prophets speak of a literal temple, existing in Jerusalem, during the reign of the Messiah. Consider the following examples: Joel 3:18; Isaiah 2:3; 56:6,7; 60:7-13; Daniel 9:24; Haggai 2:7,9; Jeremiah 33:18; Zechariah 14:16-21. The list could go on and on.

    Since the prophets speak of this Temple existing during the reign of the Messiah, and Rev. 20 speaks of Christ’s millennial reign, I think it’s pretty clear that the Temple will be there. I do not think that it’s wise to assume that John the Apostle would contradict the Prophets, since the faith is, “built on the apostles and prophets . . .”

    I personally believe that a lot of misunderstanding concerning this subject comes from the Churches lack of understanding concerning the Old Testament. When the Old Testament is studied, it becomes very clear what the future holds, and the book of Revelation makes a lot more sense.

    Concerning your thought that Jesus is the “heavenly temple,” have you considered the fact that Hebrews teaches that Jesus is in the Heavenly Temple, right now, interceding for the saints (Heb. 4; 10:12-21)? The structure in the Old Testament was considered a replication of what existed in the Heavens. Now, Jesus is in the Heavenly Temple, functioning as the Great High Priest.

    How can he replace (or in your terms “fulfill unto non-existence) the Temple in Heaven, if Hebrews describes Him being in it?

    Lastly, I’m glad you have the ability to directly communicate with Yeshua. If He has appeared to you in a theophany and informed you that my theology is “not exegesis but sheer speculation,” and “unbiblical AND is dishonoring to Christ,” could you please pray for my repentance?

    . . . while you’re at it, I’ll pray that the Lord works on your tone when attempting to discuss theological issues.

    God bless!

    P.S. Here’s another good resource written by Dr. John Whitcomb: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/proph/templemi.htm

    P.S.S. If you would like to begin arguing from exegesis, that'd be great.

    I seem to be the only one thus far that has actually exegeted a chapter of Scripture (John 2); yet, no one has directly responded to that exegetical argument with exegesis. Rather, I have only heard arguments from systematic theology (and I have admittedly retaliated with the same tactic)

    Why don't we pick a book and begin!

    ben,

    you said>>>>have you considered the fact that Hebrews teaches that Jesus is in the Heavenly Temple, right now, interceding for the saints (Heb. 4; 10:12-21)?

    Of course, isn't this what I just confirmed in my last post? That is the whole point. I affirm that he is the Heavenly Temple now AND when Heaven and Earth converge. AND (this is important) THERE IS NO POINT AT WHICH HE WILL NOT BE, AS YOU AFFIRM.

    you said >>>>I personally believe that a lot of misunderstanding concerning this subject comes from the Churches lack of understanding concerning the Old Testament.

    Yes I could not agree more. This is exactly where I believe you have erred. Your theology here does not honor Christ, but honors the shadows instead. Here's how: In your view, Christ is the Temple now in the heavens, IS NOT in the millennium, and is AGAIN in the eternal state. What a confused jumble. You appear to be quite beholden to the traditional dogmas of dispensationalism rather than the Scripture. The Scripture, rather, declares that Jesus Christ is the True Temple both now and forevermore - we will never go back to the shadows, as you affirm.

    So Ben I do not think continuing the conversation will be fruitful. It will only generate heat ...

    comments closed.

    I said, “have you considered the fact that Hebrews teaches that Jesus is IN the Heavenly Temple, right now, interceding for the saints (Heb. 4; 10:12-21)?”

    There is a big difference between Jesus being the Heavenly Temple and being IN the Heavenly Temple.

    Therefore, I did not say, “Christ is the Temple now in the heavens, IS NOT in the millennium, and is AGAIN in the eternal state.”

    I believe Christ fulfilled the purpose of the sacrifices in the Old Temple, now serves IN the Heavenly Temple before the Heavenly Throne of God, will serve in the Earthly Temple in the Millennium and then there will be not Temple in the New Heavens and New Earth.

    I so thank you people on this site for your insights, your studies and all you write and do. After reading this I went to a web site called "hebrew4christians.net" (not intentionally). I read an article written by a professor in the university of israel on his arguments in support of his "remnant theology" which included the other ones. While he sought to debunk covenant theology along with dispensationalist, what he really did for me was to reveal to me covenant theology for the first time in my life! Its simplicity became so clear to see! This professor leads the reader to return to the shadows through his highly intellectual light and hope for the nation of physical Israel. My final thoughts, which had come painfully, ended in how nice and wonderful the truth of christ come into this world when the gentiles were than also called into the church. The mystery of the one church opened my eyes so to see that indeed God does reveal more and more to man by his own work and plan throughout history (he said this was a flaw in covenant theology)! But, gentiles could not come into the church before Christ but than he opened the door as God called us into the church - which has always been Gods church and christ the head called Israel - "the people of God"! One people not two people of God!!! How wonderful it is he called me a vile gentile who was with ungodliness unlike the pharissees. All to show mans condition to all the world to see christ crucified and God sovereign!
    The short is that this hebrew artiicle ended up showing me (uncleaverly) how it is many are trying to return to the old shadows (the torah) so to avoid the truth in Christ of all man by the fall!
    Gods love is incomprehensible to the gentiles such as me bit also the very stumbling block to the pharisee! How could he save me a wretch unlike them who do all the right things of the torah before man and god?
    One church of Gods people from of the past and the present! WOW!
    The fall of man is incredible and so very painful to see in all its ugliness as a gentile as me can see its truth of my self so clearly and my incredible need of Christ though undeserved! How can it be he called a person such as me to be of the elect? Not pride or any goodness of my self for sure!!!! I cannot even lift my head to him but he lift it for all my shame and filth!
    God is so good! My heart worships christ in thanksgiving and i can do nothing without him! Nothing!
    The church I see!! How wonderful it is! The temple which is God with us! Christ in us! All of his together as one built by Christ!
    - a gentile entering the church on my knees for all he did for all sinners he calls!

    The whole church is doing the same thing it has ever done. Worshiping God for all he did to save us! Not different things like customs and the jewish "heritage" stuff of the Torah!
    Christ came and than the gentiles entered! Almost at the same time in history and now all man must enter the same way and leave all other ways behind them! There is only one way and it is plain to see for all man! Its very clear! It is the simplicity of Jesus crucified for sin! The curtain has been ripped! It has been made very clear when Jesus came! No need for anything else!!! We all do the same thing as all Gods people do who are with him and he is with! Worship him together as one bride!
    God made it clear for me to see!!! I ask these "hebrew remnant of jewish heritage" to read the bible of Christ and that of Peters life in following him and it shows our condition and Christ! Read any of it to its end and man can see if he will seek to see by why Christ was crucified by those of "Hebrew heritage".

    But the increase in revelation is clear for me to see now - it is plain as day! These hebrews of "jewish heritage" seeking the worship of the torah need to move along into the future and not stay stuck 4000 years back. They can't even get back there in a time machine so to do what they claim those of the past "heritage" did! They can't keep their works and still worship God for all he did in Christ! He cannot be shared as an equal with the Torah and mans pride having his own heritage! He either did or did not become sin so to be the offering for Gods people and redemption! Its finished!
    I love seeing the church now! The clouds and mystery is found in Christ! It is one people doing one thing and it is all Christ centered! Christ is God come to man! The temple is Christ dwelling in us and we together as one bride!! One bride!
    I am very vocal because who can help but to tell others of what Christ did for him and revels to him through the truth and Gods word? It is great! So great! The confusion has left and my eyes opened to see clearer! ONE CHURCH! Its not for man to be debatable as though we have a buffet of things to choose from of which to believe for our own glory and goodness so to be special before all!

    *sighs* I just got done reading this entire thread, with nothing to show for it. Like Kevin, I came here hoping to find an exegetical walkthrough of the Ezekiel temple from a reformed hermeneutic, but the issue was entirely skirted many times over. I'm going to check out some of the provided resources, but if this discussion is any reflection of the scholarship behind Covenant Theology, then I'll have to conclude that Covenantals don't have an exegetical leg to stand on.

    Kevin, Ben, solidarity; I'm running into the same brick wall at my Presbyterian church, though my pastor and friends and I have had a much more grace-filled conversation. John, you're in danger of becoming a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal; we're called to speak the truth, in love (Eph 4:15). Even if your position were correct, which I am heavily inclined to think not, some of your comments have been harsh and unwarranted. I really hope this is not how you speak with unbelievers, those who have legitimately heretical views. Christ tells us that it is by our love for one another that the unbelieving world will know that we're His disciples. Please don't make the mistake of Ephesus.

    I know this is three years old; not hoping to resurrect a dead thread. I just hope to express my exhaustion with Covenantal rhetoric and unloving theological debates.
    ~ Nate

    P.S. for completeness, for anyone else reading this thread, it should be noted that we do have record of the early apostles partaking in animal sacrifice. That point was not fully stated earlier, and it bears relevance.

    Acts 21:15-27

    Here is Amit not Emet. I have a question about "temple". Paul uses "naos" exclusively for the Church. So when he naos in 2 Th 2:4, does it mean that the Man of Lawlessness is in collusion with the church?

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