Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How should Christians view efforts to build the Temple?

Below are excerpts from a lively discussion with a brother in the Sabbath-keeping Church of God:

It is interesting how God uses Duality in the scriptures, but isn't it always true that the "physical" type always precedes the "spiritual" fulfillment?

That's true, but are you denying the "Elijah" prophecy has been relevant more than once? By your human reasonings it could've only been used once, the "Elijah" of John the Baptist only, which our critics contend, and Mr. Armstrong or the Two Witnesses (the leader of the two) couldn't be "in the spirit and power of Elijah."

You would again be limiting how layered the prophecies of God can be when Antiochus Epiphanes defiled the Temple and later in the Ephesus era the great apostasy began and culminated in a pagan pope pretending to be God, yet you don't deny that such an evil attitude, a polluted person hasn't defiled God's Church in these latter days, so why would you try and deny that there can't be a Temple with Europe's wannabe divine emperor proclaiming himself God? I say DUALITY can be as often as God chooses it to be applicable and the prophecies clearly show it's happened time and again.

I confess, I do not know what God wants physical Israel to do now.

I confess I do: "Remember the Law of Moses" (Malachi 4:4). God restored Judah to the Land, liberated Jerusalem and expects them to follow through with their divine duty to build God's House upon His Temple Mount.

I do know what Stephen said to the Jews in the book of Acts:
Act 7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet

Who said He did? I do know you need to remember CONTEXT. He was speaking to that generation who had literally seen and rejected Yeshua, "God with us."

Have you forgotten that Yeshua called the Temple "My Father's House?" That it was only after THAT GENERATION rejected Him that God rejected, for the most part, THAT GENERATION?

Did God dwell within "God's House," Ambassador Auditorium? Have you missed where Jesus made clear reference to the Temple, speaking against those who would be where they ought not? trespassing in the MOST HOLY PLACE? Some professing Christians would say there's no such place, that the Church is the only "holy place" and important "Temple" and they would be dead wrong! Blind to duality and the God-ordained role for the physical and the spiritual, each important to God.

Have you forgotten Solomon's dedication prayer at the Temple God ordained him to build?

1 Kings 8:27-29
27 "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! 28 Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O LORD my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You today: 29 that Your eyes may be open toward this temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, 'My name shall be there,' that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place.

The true servants of God have always known that the House of God, the Temple of God, is merely like an "Embassy of the Eternal" as I refer to it within Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall. And, as such, it deserves our respect and honor as is due, even as Daniel continued to face Jerusalem in his prayers, turned purposely towards the Temple Mount.

What has a Temple to do with us who are the Temple of God????

Are you no longer a physical Israelite now that you've become a spiritual Jew? Are you no longer a man because spiritually in Christ we're neither male or female, Gentile or Israelite? Paul was a physical Israelite and a spiritual Jew and didn't forget it! He went out of his way to go up to Jerusalem, according to the Law, to keep the biblical festivals at the Temple! Do you deny this? Read the Book of Acts and see for yourself, and see what a great difference in attitude the early Church of God had towards fellowshipping and worshipping in the physical Temple! They didn't consider themselves so superior and spiritual that they shunned it!

If you're part of the Temple of God then you should rejoice that God has been faithful to physical Israel and Judah, and rejoice that Judah is prophesied to remember the Law of Moses (that will bring them this time to Messiah, since God will soon lift the blindness as He has prophesied) and repent of their woeful neglect of the Temple Mount that is presently under a Nazi-Muslim occupation, a disgrace to the God of Jacob and a shame for us (physical Israelites and Jews).

What physical Israel does will be God's will but He has shown us nothing in His word that would indicate that we should rebuild a temple devoted to physical sacrifices before He comes again.

I never said the Church is supposed to build the Temple. It's a great start if God's Church would at least recognize that God has given this biblical responsibility to our Jewish brethren, to the NATION of Israel, but I would hope that we would at least, in attitude if not in actions, support such a holy endeavor. It's sad and interesting, quite telling, most revealing, that such an uproar never occurred when Mr. Armstrong taught THERE IS A PHYSICAL PREPARATION FOR THE COMING OF A MESSIAH, as well as a spiritual! Where were all the "spiritual" brethren hiding out when Mr. Armstrong was excited about the City of David archaeological digs in Jerusalem, Israel in cooperation with Hebrew University? Where was the outcry about that's none of our business, we're past that now since we're so spiritual?

God's Word calls for the NATION (I never said the Church) to build His House of Prayer for All Peoples, and Jesus said He did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets - that command is still in effect since His generation of Jews were punished with Jerusalem and the Temple's destruction and their dispersion, but this is a NEW GENERATION, a generation of Jews who are prophesied to welcome King Messiah, for Yeshua said He wouldn't return and the Jews and Jerusalem wouldn't see Him again until they had this change of heart and attitude that's coming, the Temple is part of it, saying "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!"

JESUS CHRIST IS FOCUSED ON JERUSALEM AND HIS PHYSICAL BRETHREN THE JEWS, while working simultaneously with the Church. But mind you that we're going to Jerusalem! They're not coming over here or to any of the many Church headquarters - but to JERUSALEM! I guess that physical location is still important to God and it should be to those who claim to belong to Him.

You know it is a dangerous thing to get ahead of God in a thing. Zionism has to do with God bringing His people back to their land and God rebuilding their Temple and God ruling over the entire world, NOT Judah!

Read your Bible again and see how God brings Judah back and works with them once they're back in the Land, and that God brings them back through people, human instruments, not on a magic carpet, and that God build His Temple through His Jewish hands, just like He always has, since God is consistent. And in the World Tomorrow, converted Judah will be the leader as God has ordained under the Kingdom-Family of God.

The New Covenant will be made available to physical Israel when God is ready but it is available to us RIGHT NOW!

In principle, but it will not take full effect until the Resurrection to perfection, when God's LAW is truly written upon the tablets of our hearts and minds forever.

No Temple built today will carry over into the new world in any case. The destruction will be far too great for that.

There isn't any mention of the Third Temple (that God reveals in Revelation 11:1) being destroyed. Malachi gives every indication it will be standing and in need of cleansing and a purification of the priesthood, which Christ NEVER did when He came before. Think about that, and don't try and spiritualize away the Levites and sacrifices and all, because the Church will have already been made ready, as the spiritual Temple, for Christ's coming! Malachi shows the Messiah - who is more than a man - comes to HIS Temple! Again, God claims the physical Temple as His own.

If the Jews build a new Temple what design do you think they will use? Solomon or the description in Ezekiel?

They'll use everything God inspires them to, as God has given this responsibility into their hands, not the fickle and Gentilized Israelites. They'll prayerfully take everything into consideration and get it right, and God puts His seal of approval on it since He refers to it as the "Temple of GOD."

Interesting. If the sacrifices could be made without a temple why aren't the Jews doing so?

For the same reason they haven't built the Temple YET. The Feast of Tabernacles is over and the traditional books to read are Ezra and Nehemiah. I encourage all to read them. They reveal the sacrifices were restored BEFORE the foundation of the Temple was laid!

Christ told the Samaritan women that we would no longer be looking to a physical place of worship but we would Worship the Lord in Spirit and TRUTH.

He was making a point and not disrespecting the most holy place on Earth, the Temple Mount, especially since HE is the God who said that place ALONE is where He would place His Name and have HIS House! God doesn't contradict Himself. Jesus also said "salvation is of the Jews and we know who we worship," and all the Jews knew they could pray anywhere, as the NT reveals they prayed in places other than the Temple, but for OFFICIAL NATIONAL WORSHIP they gladly met where God had placed His Name: the Temple Mount.

Please note that in answer to the direct question about WHERE she should worship God Christ, in essence, told her it did not matter. We would worship God in Spirit and did not need a place to do so.

If you're worshipping God in spirit and in truth, "thy Word is Truth" and the Word of God reveals that Christ will command all nations to come up to Jerusalem, to worship the King of Israel, and learn Torah at THE TEMPLE! Maybe Jesus just doesn't get it and isn't as spiritual as some think they are!

Again, I said it would be great for God's Church to at least recognize that God has commanded ISRAEL to build the Temple, but hopefully God's Church would have this same holy and excited attitude:

Isaiah 2:2-3
2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the [Temple] mountain of the LORD's house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. 3 Many people shall come and say,
" Come, and let us go up to the [Temple] mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Please remember that the reason given for doing that, David, was to try and stop the Jews from killing him. (Paul's literal sacrifice at the Temple with other Jews)

May you refresh your memory and read it again and see that was not the reason! His reason, listening to the Jewish Church elders, was to PROVE that he still kept the Law and the Jewish customs, unlike all the lies against him were saying.

I do not care if the temple is rebuilt.

That is a casual attitude that is most selfish. We should hope and pray the Jews repent of their woeful neglect of the Temple Mount and build the Temple since God has commanded THEM to do so. Are you only concerned about yourself and not our nation and peoples?

You seem to be blending them in some way I do not find in the bible.

Ever heard of Paul the Benjaminite?

We have God's Holy Spirit within us. He is Tabernacling with us even now, David. This is not something national Israel has available.

The Law and the Prophets prove otherwise. Our Israelite and Jewish brethren are sanctified as the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and God's spirit in times past was only in our prophets, but through them was in and with the NATION. Besides, holy men and women filled with the Holy Spirit loved the holy Temple!

A physical temple is not something God's church should be involved with at all, in this age.

But teaching English to Thai people is? Or buying gifts of Steuben crystal for world leaders or being involved in other different physical projects? What a corner-Church mentality that I would hope God's people would break free from who haven't already!

Again, God has commanded ISRAEL to build His Temple and I'm excited they soon will, and I would hope the Church would at least encourage them to obey God as they're given to understand Him at this point in time - not carp from the sidelines like those evil men you'll encounter (who opposed God's Work in Judah and Jerusalem) in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

Those who truly are Children of Light will see and recognize the fulfillment of prophecy taking place, recognizing the Temple as a magnificent SIGN of how close we are to the Two Witnesses' worldwide ministry from Jerusalem, with a special message to the cities of Judah, and rejoice knowing King Messiah is on His way!
A House of Prayer For All Peoples?

Will the pope act like Belshazzar or Cyrus?

Major Upheaval in Israel?

Third Temple Coming Soon to Jerusalem!

The Temple of God in Holy Jerusalem

Where's the Temple On the Temple Mount?

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