The Chosen People, Pt. 4

The Chosen People, Pt. 4

Scripture: Acts 15:12, Amos 9:11, Ephesians 2:19
Does the temple of God need to be rebuilt in Jerusalem in order to fulfill prophecy? What does the Bible say about the temple being made new? This broadcast discusses the temple of God in Scripture and prophecy and how God's church not a building is the temple of God.
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw, as they open the Bible to deepen our understanding of God's word.

John Bradshaw: Hi, and welcome to Bible Talk, where we talk about the Bible, and how the Bible affects us today. I'm John Bradshaw.

Gary Gibbs: And I'm Gary Gibbs.

John: We've been talking about some subjects that affect a lot of people. These have been hot button issues, and we're not letting up. Today, we're going to be talking about the Temple, the Temple in Israel, the Temple in Jerusalem, God's true Temple, and rebuilding the Temple. That would have to be a big job, rebuilding the Temple. You've been in Jerusalem, you've seen what's left of the old Temple, right?

Gary: And there's not much left of the old Temple. What stands on the Temple Mount now is one of the three holy sites of Islam. There's a big mosque there, and you could imagine that the Jews would love to have their Temple rebuilt there. They worship now at what's called the Wailing Wall, because that's the last remaining wall of the old Temple complex. A lot of Christians would also like to see the Temple rebuilt on the mount there, because they see that as a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, and that Jesus can't come until the Temple is rebuilt.

John: Yes, somehow the Temple has to be rebuilt. That means that prophecy is going to be fulfilled because you've got this prophecy concerning the Anti-Christ in two Thessalonians, Chapter Two, it says that he, as God, sitteth in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Somehow this means that the Temple has to be rebuilt, the Temple of God, so the Anti-Christ can sit in there, prophecy can be fulfilled. In other words, we really want the Jews can do their thing there in Israel, so Anti-Christ can come in there and deceive them, which is quite a backhanded thing to want. So who's the Temple there today?

Gary: When you're helping the Jews, people are spending money to bring the Jews back out of Russian and other places to be there in Israel, and if they were to say, "We're helping you because we want the Anti-Christ to come and take over your Temple, and destroy all you Jews," it's not quite a compliment at all.

John: No, there's nothing really very nice about that.

Gary: You know John, there's a lot being done in reference to this. I want to say right upfront we're going to show from the Bible today that the Temple that's going to be rebuilt, predicted in the Scriptures, has already been rebuilt. It's not referring literally to Israel and the Temple there. We've already covered this in a number of topics. We're going to cover the Temple today, but we've looked in previous programs at who the true Israel is. We want to make an offer, John, to our listeners today that they can catch up by writing and calling to get the special book that covers who is Israel?

John: At the end of the program today, you're going to get an address, you're going to get a telephone number. Contact us, we want to send you Spiritual Israel. We want to send that to you. It's one of the most concise, insightful, clear studies on this that you'll ever find. We'll give it to you free, we want you to contact us and get Spiritual Israel, it is well worth getting. Won't cost you a penny, we'd like to give that to you. This Temple, the Temple was obviously very important. God Himself dwelt in the Temple. It was the focal point of Israel's worship, preceded by the Sanctuary in the Wilderness, which was filled with the glory of God. We're not just talking about another church here, this whole idea of there being a Temple at all is a very, very big idea. The Temple was of profound significance and important.

The Bible talks about a Temple being rebuilt or reestablished. We're going to find out what the Bible says about the identity of that Temple today.

Gary: The first temple, that was built by David and Solomon, more specifically Solomon, David gathered the materials. That Temple was destroyed, and the reason it was destroyed was because the Jews, at that time, had rebelled against the true worship of God.

John: I tell you, they brought all kinds of horrible stuff into the Sanctuary, really hadn't they, into that Temple?

Gary: They had. Then it was rebuilt when they came back from Babylon, with Ezra, Nehemiahthose guys. Some of the texts that are used today to talk about a rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem actually apply to that rebuilding when they came back. This would be the Temple that Jesus worshiped in, when he was on the earth.

John: That Temple was destroyed in the year 70 A.D. Four decades or so after Jesus' death. The Temple was destroyed, the question is, is it going to be rebuilt? If it was on the Internet, you'd be calling it an urban legend. You hear this stuff, they're going to build it. They've got the materials already.

Gary: They have all the marble, they have the gold, they've made all the elements, and they have even traced the genealogy of the priesthood, so that they have the priests there.

John: Some actual Levites.

Gary: That boggles my mind, because with the dispersion of the Jews in sixth century, seven century B.C., we lost track of a lot of that. I should say with the 10 tribes, we lost the 10 tribes. You can't tell, you really can't tell with that.

John: Impossible would probably be the right word to use, to all intents and purposes. The other thing I love hearing about is there's a red heifer. Somebody found a red heifer, and this means that they're getting ready to re-institute the red heifer service. I don't know how rare or common red heifers are today. I wouldn't mind putting one in my backyard and keeping the grass down. I think that would be about the only use for the red heifer, and I don't mean to be irreverent. But we want to make it very clear, the Bible is clear on this. It's very, very clear. These things, it is anecdotal evidence. Let me say this, even if there is a fellow with his garage full of marble somewhere in Jerusalem, waiting to rebuild the Temple, if there is a guy with a couple of red heifers in his backyard, four or five fellows running around, claiming they're Levites, doesn't change what the Bible says about the Temple.

Here it is, God's Temple in the last days. I think you'll be blessed as you see the Bible evidence uncovered here.

Gary: Let's go back and begin with one of the prophecies about the rebuilding of the Temple. Let's go to Amos nine, verse 11. In that day, while I raise out the tabernacle, David, that's fallen, and close up the breaches thereof, and I'll raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old. Here we have this prophecy that God's going to resurrect the Temple, rebuild it as in the days of old. This prophecy, as well as others like it, are being taken to apply to the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, as we mentioned.

John: So why wouldn't it be? That's pretty clear. I will rebuild it. I don't think between Amos' time and our time there's been a real big rebuilding program going on in Jerusalem concerning the Temple. Why not? What is a man supposed to think, or a woman for that matter?

Gary: You have to be thinking, shaped by the word of God. You have to let the New Testament interpret the Old Testament. When you go to the New Testament, you go to Acts 15.

John: Careful here. One thing I don't want us to do is get in the area in Bible Talk, of all places, where we say, "You've got to interpret this," and then whip out some obscure little verse that could say anything you want it to say. If Amos there isn't talking about rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem, and you've got a verse in Acts 15 that makes that clear, it better be a zinger. Otherwise someone's going to tune you out and say, "That wasn't convincing at all, he's twisting this to suit himself."

Gary: I think it's a real zinger, so let's zing through this.

John: Zing us with Acts 15, if you would.

Gary: Acts 15 is when Paul and Barnabas, who were having great experiences on their missionary journeys and seeing Gentiles come to the faith, they were questioned on this, because they weren't requiring these Gentiles to be circumcised and to keep the law of Moses.

John: This is the Jerusalem Council, right?

Gary: The whole church gets together in Jerusalem and says, "We've got to settle this issue." When they get together, Paul and Barnabas say, "We can't help it that God's spirit is being poured out and converting thousands of Gentiles. It's God doing it, not us."

John: Good point.

Gary: Here's what James, who seems to be leading out in this council, here's what he says about this, reading from Acts 15:12. Then all the multitude kept silent, and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles. After they had become silent, after they'd present their case, James answered, saying, "Men and brethren, listen to me. Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name. With this, the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written."

John: There has been no zing. This has been...

Gary: He's getting ready to quote an Old Testament prophecy.

John: This is a zing-free Bible study so far.

Gary: He's getting ready to quote the Old Testament prophecy, right from Amos 9, and he's going to apply it to the Gentiles being converted.

John: Wait a moment, he's quoting Amos here?

Gary: We're getting to it right now. Here he is, he says, "With this, the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, Amos 9:11. After this, I will return, and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles that are called by my name."

John: What he's doing here is he's talking about the call of the Gentiles equaling the rebuilding of the Temple. Have I got that straight?

Gary: That's exactly what he's doing. He's saying look what's happening through Paul and Barnabas, all these Gentiles are coming into the church. My, this is fulfilling a Bible prophecy. This is what God predicted, the rebuilding of the Temple. Gentiles would join the Christian church.

John: Powerful. That is very, very clear. If that's the case then, the stress on there being a literal Temple is misplaced, correct?

Gary: It is. If there were any question on this, all you have to do is go to Ephesians, Chapter Two. In Ephesians 2:19, Paul says, "Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners." Who's he talking to?

John: He's talking to the church.

Gary: The Gentiles. The Gentile comers, you're no longer strangers and foreigners, but you're fellow citizens with the saints and the members of the household of God. Having been build on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself, being the chief cornerstone. Listen to this carefully, in whom the whole building being fitted together grows into a holy Temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together, for a dwelling place of God and the spirit. He says that you are the Temple. As you come to Christ, you give your life to him, you accept the teachings of the Apostles and the Prophets, like the Gentiles did, and you come to Christ. Now, together, collectively, they are the habitation of the spirit of God, to show forth God's praises to the world, which was the original intent of the literal Temple.

Since the Jews did not worship God purely, and allow their hearts to be a Temple, God destroyed the literal Temple, and He said, "OK, we're going to fill this in the lives of the converted people."

John: It becomes real clear in the New Testament that God is not interested in a literal Temple. You got to the book of Hebrews. The writer of the book of Hebrews, which many of us believe was the Apostle Paul, spends so much time telling him get your eyes of the earthly Temple, we have a high priest in the heavenly Temple, and that's where the action's taking place. In fact, I'll give you another one. That's worth repeating. Paul says the action is in the heavenly Temple. You see how clever the Devil is? He gets your mind off what's going on in heaven, looking for some fable to be worked out here with the rebuilding of some Temple that doesn't need to be rebuilt. Matthew 23, he said to the Jews, you'll remember in one place, you made my father's house a den of thieves. Later on, he said, "Behold your house, is left to you desolate." It's not my father's house anymore, it's your house.

Gary: I think this is a topic, John, that all our listeners need to look at, because this is a critical foundation doctrine in most churches out there today. The literal Israel is still God's covenant people, and for the prophecy to be fulfilled, the Temple is going to be rebuilt over there in literal Israel. We've got to get back to the Bible on this. We need to read the book of Hebrews, we need to read Ephesians and Romans. You'll see very clearly that literal Israel today can only be God's covenant people as individuals, as they accept Jesus as their savior. That's what we need to be thinking about too, friends. We need to make sure Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and that we are allowing his grace and his love to shine through our lives, so that the purpose of the Temple can be fulfilled through us.

John: We mentioned the prophecy earlier, second Thessalonians two, the Anti-Christ would sit in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Now it makes sense. Consistent with what else it says in the Bible, he's going to rise up in the church. There will be a falling away, and there will be this rising up among you of the Devil's workers, drawing people away. See, now it makes sense. That Temple becomes the church, and friend, you by God's grace, are to be a stone in God's great Temple. His plans for these last days include you. I hope your plans include joining us next time for more, here on Bible Talk.

Announcer: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible Study Guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed, and expands on the subject, including information you want to know. To receive this free informative Bible Study Guide, simply call, write or email, and ask for Spiritual Israel. The toll free number is 866 BIBLESAYS. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, P.O. Box 1058, Roseville, California, 95678. That's P.O. Box 1058, Roseville, California, 95678. Or email us at bibletalk@amazingfacts.org. bibletalk@amazingfacts.org.

Bible Talk has been produced in association with Amazing Facts, in the studios of Life Talk Radio.

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