Some people believe the third temple mentioned in Scripture is symbolic and not a physical structure. A component of this false teaching is that the biblical third temple is actually representative of every Christian. While it’s true that Jesus’ followers are called the temple of the Holy Spirit (cf. Ephesians 2:21 and 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 & 6:19), there’s no reason to believe the third temple itself will be anything other than what the Bible says it will be: a temple of the Lord built for God by the Jews, and desecrated by the Antichrist. God’s Holy Spirit does reside in and with Christian believers, negating the need for them to have a temple, but apocalyptic literature in the Bible has revealed that the Jews will build one in fulfillment of end-times prophecy.
Is anyone serious about building the third temple? You bet! Many Jews have looked forward to this since June 1967 when the Israelis once again controlled the Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock (where they believe the Holy of Holies and Ark of the Covenant had been in Solomon’s days). The control only lasted for a few hours, but many Israelis still hope to one day obtain permission to rebuild the temple. Several significant sources raise funds, create temple articles, or educate the public on the topic of the Temple Mount and temple: Temple Institute (www.templeinstitute.org), Temple Mount Faithful (templemountfaithful.org) and Temple Mount resource compilation (www.templemount.org).
Some of the preparations already made for the third temple include:
- Reestablishment of the Jewish Sanhedrin.
- Creation of cornerstones in 1989 (attempts made annually to place these have been unsuccessful thus far).
- Attempting to determine the exact location of where the temple should go (the location may be several hundred feet from the Dome of the Rock, allowing it and the new temple to exist simultaneously and peacefully).
- Seeking the Red Heifer (the ashes of which are necessary for the process of temple purification).
- Creation of various temple vessels to include the menorah and temple utensils.
In the end, both ‘temples are necessary: the bodies of Jesus’ followers for the Spirit of God; the Jewish temple for prophetic fulfillment.