2004-10-24 - The Temple,
Haggai, Part 21
While Titus didn't intend the destruction, it was a natural result of the
battle that was going on. It had to be destroyed, and God was the real instrument
of this action. Christ had predicted its end some forty years earlier.
"Jesus left the temple and was walking away, when his
disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings: "Do you
see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here
will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."" (Matthew 24:1-2).
This temple is, of course, the one that Christ attended. You might want to
do a study in the gospels of Jesus, and his interactions in and around both
the temple and the temple mount. And so the Jew has been left without a temple.
All that remains is the "Wailing Wall," a symbol of loss and destruction
and a site of worship.
But this isn't the end of the story. For its end, we have to go back to ...
Ezekiel's Temple: This temple is a vision, and it doesn't exist in
time and space, or at least not yet. It is the Millennial Temple. If you
want to read about it in detail, the information can be found in Ezekiel
(40:1-46:24). There are a number of views regarding this passage.
Pentecost quotes James Gray's delineation of them:
||Some think they describe the temple at Jerusalem prior to the Babylonian
captivity, and are designed to preserve a memorial of it. But the objection
is that such a memorial is unnecessary because of the records in Kings and
Chronicles, while the description is untrue, because in many particulars
it does not agree with that in the books named.
||Some think these chapters describe the temple in Jerusalem after the
return from the seventy hears in Babylon, but this cannot be, because there
are more marks of contrast than likeness between the temple here described
||Some think they describe the ideal temple which the Jews should have
built after the seventy years' return, and which they never realized. But
this lowers the character of the divine Word. Why should this prophecy in
Ezekiel have been given, if it was never to be fulfilled?
||Some think this temple in Ezekiel symbolizes the spiritual blessings
of the church in the present age. But this appears unlikely, because even
those who hold the theory can not explain the symbolism of which they speak.
Moreover, even as symbolism, it leaves out several important features of
Christianity, such as the atonement and intercession of the high priest.
||The last view is that in the preceding comments, that we have here a
prediction of the temple that shall be built in the millennial age. This
appears a fitting and intelligent sequel to the preceding prophecies.
To be continued. Final part next week.
Comments or Questions?