Where Is the Temple Today?

Date: 04/03/2021 
Where is the temple today?

A Divine Design - Paper or Digital Download

A Divine Design - Paper or Digital Download
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Doug Batchelor: It's been many years, but it still feels like yesterday. Living in a cave, high above Palm Springs, no money, no prospects, just drifting through life, deeply confused about who I was and wondering if life held any purpose. Coming from a wealthy family, I could have had it all: money, power, fame. But this all struck me as plastic and empty. It wasn't until I was at the lowest point in my life when I found true meaning. Somebody had left a Bible in my cave. And I quickly discovered why this is the number-one best-seller in the world.

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Doug: As I was preparing for this subject, there's so much to talk about when you talk about the sanctuary, because you really do find the sanctuary in principle all the way from Genesis to Revelation in the Bible. Where is the temple in prophecy today?

And I like to always start with an Amazing Fact. And one of the places I'd like to go, we've been all over the world, but I've never been to Cambodia. And in Cambodia, they have the biggest religious complex in the world. It's called Angkor Wat. And there, they have temples. Angkor Wat actually means the city of temples. They've got temples that are spread over an area of 248 square miles, dedicated to temples. And there's more stone used, some of them 200 feet-plus tall that are covered with-- surrounded by moats that are like 3 miles around, 16 feet deep, an enormous amount of work. More stone went into these temples than in the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The thing that really fascinated me is someone obviously went into a lot of work to build these temples to dedicate to the worship of their God. Originally built as a Hindu shrine, but it was annexed by the Buddhists and they put their Buddhist idols in this--these temples that were originally built for a whole different religion. But now Cambodia is largely Buddhist and, you know, it made me think of a verse in the Bible that says, "They chose new gods. And then there was war in the gates," spoken by Deborah in Judges chapter 5--in the Bible, you see a battle over worship, all the way from Cain and Abel to Revelation chapter 13.

The final war is a war over worship, true and false worship. Not only did the devil say to Jesus, "Fall down and worship me and I'll give you everything," but he has been battling against the truth because it is the truth that sets us free. And the whole reason that God said, "Let them make Me a sanctuary that I might dwell among them," and "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary," is because God wants to communicate that saving truth through this edifice.

The purpose of cleansing, the sanctuary is not about a building, and Jesus is not in heaven right now with Soft Scrub, Windex, and 409, cleaning the sanctuary. The cleansing of the sanctuary is about cleansing His people. It's about cleansing the universe from sin. So there's a verse in the Bible that's often been misunderstood and I'd like to have you take a look with me. In 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, verse 3, talking about the Antichrist in the temple.

Now way back in the days of the apostles, they said there are already many Antichrists. The truth was under siege. 2 Thessalonians 2, verse 3-4, and you'll see it there on the screen. He said, "Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day," speaking of the day of the Lord, Second Coming of Jesus, "will not come except there come a falling away first and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God showing himself that he is God." Talks about before the Lord comes, there'll be a great falling away. And that doesn't mean a falling away in the world, the world's already fallen. Talking about a great falling away in the church, and that falling away in the church, it started right after the time of the apostles. Paul warned, "After my departure, God's shown me grievous wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock." But there's a great apostasy, a great falling away from the truth, that happened during the Dark Ages.

Now, many of my evangelical friends, good Christian people, they read that verse and they're sure that that means that they're going to rebuild another temple in Jerusalem. Will there be a future temple in Jerusalem? And they think then the Antichrist, a particular person, kind of maybe half devil, half man, I've heard all kinds of theories, is going to sit in this fourth Jewish temple. I say fourth because you've got the Tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness, and then you've got the temple that Solomon built and that was destroyed. And then it was rebuilt again during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. That was the same temple that was refurbished by Herod. And so this would be then, after that was destroyed by the Romans, talk about it a little bit. Is there going to be a future temple?

Now, this is a very unique time of year. It was this time 1990 years ago that Jesus died on the cross, slept in the tomb, and rose from the grave. A very significant time in the Christian year. And it's amazing how much the temple played into those final events during that last week. If you read in your Bible--I'm giving you a quick overview. In Matthew chapter 21, Jesus rides into Jerusalem the week before He dies. He cleanses the temple for the second time. Chases them all out, says, "This is My Father's house. My Father's house. You've made it a den of thieves." Then He commences teaching there and the children are singing in the temple and He's healing there. And then He gets into a debate and you read there in Matthew and He debates with the Herodians, with the scribes, with the Pharisees, with the Sadducees. And they continue to challenge and disagree and refuse His teaching. The priests and they, they wanted to know how to kill Him. When he completed that teaching time, He says in Matthew chapter 23, verse 38, "He walked out of the temple. He said, 'Behold Your house is left to You desolate.'"

Now, that's very significant. Beginning of the week, He said, "My Father's house." During that week, he curses a fig tree because it was fruitless. And He said, "No man will ever eat fruit from you again." Period. Then He walks out of the house and He says, "Your house is left to You desolate." And the disciples must not get it because they say, "Lord, let us show You the buildings of the temple. Look at the stones of the temple." And Jesus said, "Don't you see, all these things?" And this is Matthew chapter 24:1-2. "See you not all these things? Verily, I say to you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down."

A couple of years ago, we went to Israel, my third trip, but we took some Amazing Facts friends with us, and you can still see where those stones were thrown down, today. It's never been rebuilt. I don't believe it ever will be. I think that is a diversionary tactic. People are looking for a physical temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. I can tell you from what I know about Jewish history that would quickly bring on World War III. If the--if the Jews try to bulldoze the Dome of Omar there, the Dome of the Rock, the Mosque of Omar, and rebuild another temple there, I can't even imagine a scenario that would allow that. And I can't imagine why Jews, my mother's family is Jewish, that really want to launch a sacrificial system again. They haven't had that for 1900 years. And so--but yeah, many evangelicals are talking about that and preaching about it. And I don't know why evangelicals would support that because now that Jesus is the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world, why would you ever encourage your Jewish brethren, "Build another temple," so you don't need the real Lamb anymore? You'd think you'd be telling your Jewish friends, "You don't need that temple anymore. Jesus is the temple." And so there's a lot of misunderstandings.

Then, as Christ is being tried during that week, 1990 years ago, the only 2 witnesses they could get to agree are the ones who said, "We heard Him say, 'Destroy this temple that is made with hands. And in 3 days, I will make one without hands.'" That was a little different from what He said, but it was close. And He had said that more than once. The beginning of His ministry, but He spoke of His body. And then, as Jesus hangs upon the cross, they cast that in His teeth and say, "You who destroy the temple and rebuild it again. If you are the Messiah come down." Does that sound familiar, "If you are the Christ?" But now they're not talking about bread.

Now they're talking about the temple. If You're really the one, bring Yourself down from the cross. And then He finally says, "It is finished," and He closes his eyes. "Father, into Your hands, receive My Spirit," and then the Earth shakes, the sky is dark. They're just getting ready to sacrifice the Passover lamb inside the temple. And just before that very auspicious moment, in the midst of the earthquake, an unseen hand of an angel, like the hand that wrote on the walls of Babylon, goes to the top of that massive veil and there is a terrible ripping noise that is heard and the Holy of Holies is exposed as the veil is torn, signifying what God had said in Daniel chapter 9 that Jesus in the middle of that last week would cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease.

Jesus was the fulfillment of the whole sacrificial system. We do not need another earthly tabernacle fashioned like the old one, but we still have a temple. There is still a temple in heaven and there is still a temple on Earth. Where is the temple today? All right, we're going to go now to that verse I touched on, John chapter 2:19 through 21, "Jesus answered and said to them, 'Destroy this temple, and in 3 days, I will raise it up.'" The Jews said, "It's taken 46 years to build this temple." Again, this is the temple of Ezra and Nehemiah that Herod the Great spent 46 years renovating, made it very beautiful, expanded it in many ways. "It's taken 46 years. How are you going to raise this up in 3 days?" But He was speaking of the temple of His body and what is the church called? It's the body of Christ.

Now further proof for this is found in the Old Testament. If you look in the Old Testament in 1 Chronicles 17, verse 11, David, you know, the whole time they went through the wilderness experience, they had this tabernacle, a tent, portable tent. And sometimes when we talk about the sanctuary this week, you're going to hear interchangeably words used like tabernacle, temple, sanctuary, house of God. They had the portable temple. And even after they settled in the Promised Land, God told the children of Israel, through Moses, He said, "When you get settled in the Promised Land, I will designate a place where I will put my name." Several times, he said, "I will tell you the place." And you know that place was finally revealed when David made the mistake of numbering Israel.

Because of pride, David was thinking, "Our kingdom has gotten so great. We've expanded, we've taken over several other kingdoms, and I wonder how big our army is." And he said, "Joab, go number the nations. Go number the people, the soldiers." And Joab said, "Why would you do that? David, since when have you worried about numbers? You went against Goliath? You took your 400 men against the armies. Now you want to count?" He said, "Do it." So Joab hated doing it, but he did. He began to take a census and God saw the pride in David's heart and a plague fell on the people.

And well, David was actually given a choice. Do you want to be pursued by your enemies? Do you want a famine or you want to have a plague? And he says, "I want to fall into the hands of the Lord." So the Lord said, "Okay, plague." So there's a plague for 3 days, thousands died. And David saw the angel of the Lord had then come to Jerusalem with a sword drawn, like the sword of Damocles. And he's going to begin to execute the judgment of the plague. We can all relate to plagues, huh? They had a pandemic and He's getting ready to execute judgment for that. And David sees the angel and he says, "Lord, what have these sheep done?" And he intercedes, he puts himself down, he says, "Take me in my Father's house. But what have these sheep done?"

Like a good shepherd, he intercedes for the sheep and God hears his prayer. He says, "Okay, go make a sacrifice for Me." And He designates the place where the angel is hovering, which happens to be the threshing floor of Ornan. It was a big flat area that was on top of Mount Moriah, Mount Zion, where one of the Jebusites who had converted to Jehovah, he was threshing his wheat and David bought that threshing floor. And God said, "This is the place where I will put My name. This is where I want you to put the temple." And so God had designated that.

Well, now David was busy fighting battles and now he's old and he's sitting in his house one day. King Hiram had helped David build a beautiful palace. Hiram from--King of Tyre said, "I'm dwelling in a house of cedar," but the ark is still in this tattered patched tabernacle that is all rusty and dusty. And it had been through the wilderness for hundreds of years and been carried from hither to yon. And at one point, the ark had been captured by the Philistines and he thought we need something more secure. He said, "I want to build a temple for God." And Nathan, the prophet, came to him. First, Nathan said, "Go for it. The Lord is with you." And later, Nathan came back and said, "No, I spoke too soon. I was just telling you my advice. But the Word of the Lord came to me." And this is what Nathan said to David, 1 Chronicles 17, verse 11. I think you've got it on your screen there. "And it will be when your days are fulfilled, when you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who will be of your sons and I will establish His kingdom. He will build Me a house and I will establish His throne forever."

Now, who is this prophecy talking about? Who is the son of David that was going to build the temple? This is one of those places, I think you have a dual prophecy in the Bible. Didn't Jesus just say, "Destroy this temple and in 3 days, I will raise it up"? Which one of the sons of David had a temple that was going to last forever? He says, "I--well, He will build Me a house. I will establish His throne forever. I will be His Father and He will be My Son and I will not take my mercy away from Him as I took it away from him who is before you," meaning Saul, "and I will establish Him in My house," tabernacle, sanctuary, temple. "I will establish Him and in My kingdom forever, His throne will be established forever."

This is Jesus, the son of David, whose throne and temple would be established forever. If you read in Revelation 21:22, "But I saw no temple in it for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple." Now, if that's clear, say "Amen." So you and I are the temple of God. This is our next point. We are a temple. I think we all know that your body individually is a temple of the Holy Spirit. God wants to fill you with His glory and His Spirit. But also His church collectively is a temple. Let me give you a few witnesses on that. You read in 1 Corinthians 3:16: "Do you not know that you," and the word "you" there means ye, "are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you?" 2 Corinthians 6:16: "And what agreement has the temple of God with idols, for you are the temple of the living God. As God has said, 'I will dwell in them and walk among them and I will be their God and they will be My people.'"

One of the most horrific things that happened in Bible times is when the holy vessels of God ended up in enemy hands. You can see that that happened with--when the ark was captured by the Philistines. And that, boy, I'll tell you that was a tragic day in Israel. And it happened because of disobedience among God's people. God's presence had been there. It was signified by the ark, but you read about the sons of Eli and even Eli and the people began to compromise with the pagans and there was extortion in the kingdom and there was corruption. There were still good people. You had Elkanah and Hannah and Samuel. But they went into battle against the Philistines and they thought "We're just going to carry the ark into battle. It's our secret weapon."

But if you're not obeying the Lord, you can't use your Bible like it's some good luck charm. And they took their Bible into battle against the Philistines, and they even shouted and make the earth shook. And they had a great rally. Boy, the Philistines fought and they not only conquered them, Hophni and Phinehas were killed, the ark was taken. A messenger comes from the battle and Eli is now 98 years old and he's leaning against the wall. He said, "Tell me news. What happened, my son?" He says, "The Philistines have defeated us. Your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas have died, and then brace yourself: the ark has been captured by the enemy. And they carried it off and they put it in the temple of Dagon." That was how they showed that they had conquered their god.

See, when you--when you start worshiping other gods, there's war in the camp. When the children of Israel began to compromise with other gods, there was war in the camp. An interesting thing happened right about then. Eli got that word, it broke his heart. He just fell backwards in shock. It broke his neck and he died. That same moment, his daughter-in-law was great with child. Never tells us her name. She was the wife of Phinehas. She--the anguish of this news. What news? Father-in-law dying? No. Brother-in-law dying? No. Army being defeated? No. Was it the news that her husband had died? That wasn't really it. But the ark had been taken. She went into labor. She died in labor and in dying, she named her son "Ichabod." Ichabod means "The glory is departed."

God's people think well, because we got the temple that we're invincible. Later, the temple of Solomon was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and they stole the holy articles. Why? Because the people had begun to worship other gods. Jeremiah talks about that. They had brought other gods into the temple. Manasseh brought other gods into the temple. Even Solomon began to worship other gods, as he got old. And so you may have the truth. You may have the ark, you may have the Word of God. But if we're not obeying the Word of God, then what you've got is Ichabod.

Now, during this whole time, there were still faithful people. Even when the ark was captured, praise God, there was a young man in the temple named Samuel who would grow to be one of the greatest judges and high priests and prophets in Israel. So even during these times of darkness, even when they were in Babylon and the holy vessels were being mocked at a party, praising the pagan gods, they used the vessels from God's temple. There was still a Daniel in Babylon, amen? It's happened before, even during the time of Christ. You know, the glory of Ezra's temple was greater than the first one because Jesus, God incarnate, preached in that temple. But He said, "There will not be left one stone upon another in that temple," and that temple was destroyed.

So does God still have a temple? Is it possible for us to defile that temple and bring in idols to that temple? And what happens? How sad when the Antichrist sits in the temple of God showing himself that he is God. What are we talking about now? We're not talking about physical buildings. We're talking about when the beast's power begins to rule and be worshiped in the temple of God among the people of God. And they don't even know it. Obeying the laws of the beast instead of the laws of God, claiming to be Christians, sitting in the holy place. Now, just in case you are still wondering, the Bible is very clear that the temple that God abides in is not a building. Peter said it, don't take it up with me, take it up with him. Acts 17:24: "God who made the world and everything in it since He is Lord of heaven and earth does not dwell in temples made with hands."

Even Solomon when he dedicated his temple, one of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible. He said, "This is purely symbolic." He says, "God does not dwell in temples that are made with hands. The heavens of heavens cannot contain Him. How much less a house that we build?" And the little tabernacle they carried through the wilderness, that was, you know, a symbol of the dwelling place of God. But it's just a model of the real dwelling place of God in heaven. It reminds us how He wants to have a dwelling place in us. Buildings do not need cleansing from sin.

God is not interested in cleansing plaster and two by fours. He wants to cleanse your heart. That's the sanctuary that needs cleansing. 1 Peter chapter 2, verse 5: "You also as living stones are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." You and I are the temple of God.

Now, one more verse I'll give you on that. That's Ephesians 2:19: "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone in whom the whole building being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." We want to be a Spirit-filled temple, amen?

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