Summary: While Israel and world awaits the building of the Third Temple we must realize that the true temple is a spiritual house that each of those who are born again are living stones that make up the House of God.
THE THIRD TEMPLE
By Pastor Jim May
We are living in a time when all of those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord are watching the events of this world and wondering just how close we are to that day when we shall all be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. Hardly a day goes by that the subject of the Rapture of the Church doesn’t somehow work its way into our conversation or into our thoughts.
Since we are preoccupied with the end time, it is only natural that we have a curiosity about the prophetic Word and what it has to say about these last days.
One of the things that we have spoken of, and read much about, is the fact that in these last days the nation of Israel would rebuild the temple and re-institute the observance of the sacrificial system that was in operation throughout the Old Testament times, first in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, then in Solomon’s Temple and finally in Herod’s Temple that was destroyed in 70 AD by the Roman Army.
The only thing that remains of the temple is a small section of the wall. We see that wall in pictures and on the news quite often. It is called the Western Wall or the Wailing Wall and it is the place where devout Jews often come to pray, to cry out to God for deliverance and to place small scraps of paper containing their prayers into the cracks of the stones.
(Show Pictures of the Wailing Wall)
There is a lot of planning and preparation going on right now, getting everything ready for when the time is right to build the temple again. According to some news sources, the cornerstones for the third temple are already in Jerusalem and some of the vessels to be used in the temple worship are being stored under guard just waiting for the day that they can be used again.
Surely we live in some exciting times. Don’t allow the daily cares of life to distract you from realizing how close we are to the coming of Christ to take His Bride away.
It’s interesting and exciting for us to examine prophecy and to watch as God prepares the way and fulfills His Word and His promises to Israel, but I want to show you something this morning that perhaps you haven’t seen before.
Surely there will be a third temple built in Jerusalem before the end of time as we know it comes but I am convinced that there is already a third temple in existence right now. It exists, not in the stone and materials of the natural, but in the realm of the Spirit. All of you here have seen that third temple. You look at it every day, but you may not have realized it. Let me begin to show you that temple just in case you haven’t seen it.
1 Peter 2:5-10, "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."
It is no coincidence that Peter refers to the saints, those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, as lively stones. As you have seen, stones are the building blocks of the temple in Jerusalem, but those are natural stones. You and I, as spiritual stones, are the building blocks of the third temple that I want to show to you right now.
When the Jews started gathering stones for their temple they had to find a quarry that was filled with the right kind of stones. Those stones had to be a bright white in color and soft enough to cut out of the solid bedrock. But they also had to be able to harden over time and exposure to the elements. Even today, some engineers in Israel believe that they have found some of the old stone quarries that King Solomon used because some of the stones in the quarry have already been cut and grooved to fit but were never used. According to these engineers, there has been enough stone removed to build the Old City of Jerusalem several times over. Could it be that some of these same stones will be used some day?