The Three Temples
Introduction:  January 8, 2001, over 300,000 Jews gathered west of Jerusalem’s walls to
express their solidarity with the city and the Temple Mount.  Former Jerusalem Mayor, 
Ehud Olmert, spoke for them all: “The state of Israel is not just the country of those who
dwell in it.  It belongs to all the Jews of the world.  Just as we received the Temple Mount
– the very heart of the Jewish people – we must pass it on the generations that are to
come after us.”  Jews still mourn the fall of Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple on the 
9th of Ab (or July 10th, 586 BC) – and the awful Roman destruction which came to the
city in AD 70.  Since that time Jews have dreamed of and prayed for a third Temple, and
biblical prophecy predicts that Temple will be built!  We could live to see the beginnings
of that Temple!
The Tabernacle: God’s basic pattern for the Temple.
A.  Specific Tabernacle instructions from God to Moses, cf. Ex. 25:9, 40.
B.  Reasons for those specific Tabernacle plans, cf. Heb. 8:1-6; 9:23-28.
     1.  They were a copy – a shadow – of God’s heavenly sanctuary where Jesus
          continually serves as our High Priest in the presence of God the Father.
     2.  They symbolize how we now have access to God the Father through Jesus Christ
          our Lord, cf. Heb. 4:14-16.
C.  It was filled with the Shekinah Glory of God, cf. Ex. 40:34-35.
The Two Temples:
A.  Solomon’s Temple: the first Temple
     1.  King David gave the plans to his son Solomon which the Spirit of God put in his
          mind, (similar to the Tabernacle plan but permanent and more ornate), 
          cf. I Chron. 28:1- 29:9.
     2.  Descriptions found in I Kings 5-8; I Chron. 17, 21-22, 28-29, and II Chron. 2-7.
     3.  Time of construction: 967/966 BC to c. 959 BC.
          Time of destruction: 586 BC by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar.
          Time of duration: c. 380 years.
     4.  It was filled with the Shekinah Glory of God, cf. I Kings 8:10-12.
B.  Zerubbabel’s Temple: the second Temple
     1.  Construction made possible by the decrees of Medo-Persian Kings Cyrus (538 BC)
          and Darius (520 BC), cf. Ezra 5:2.
     2.  Description found in Ezra 3,6 (not as impressive as the first Temple).
     3.  Time of construction: 536 BC to 516 BC.
     4.  No Shekinah Glory of God since the Ark had been destroyed in the first Temple.
  A.  Herod’s Temple: the rebuilt Temple of Zerubbabel
       1.  Rebuilt by order of Herod the Great.
       2.  Description not found in the Bible – but know to be built in grant style.
       3.  Time of construction: c. 20 BC to AD 64.
            Time of destruction: AD 70.
            Time of duration (beginning from 516 BC when Zerubbabel’s Temple was
            completed): 486 years.
       4.  No Shekinah Glory of God.
       5.  No Temple has since been built.
The Third Temple:
A.  II Thessalonians 2:4.
      1.  Before Christ returns the counterfeit Messiah, known as the Antichrist, will set
           himself up in the third Temple claiming to be God.
      2.  That Temple, of course, is yet to be built.
B.  Isaiah 2:1-4 and Micah 4:1-8.
     1.  “God’s mountain” and “God’s house” are terms referring to the third Temple.
     2.  This Temple will exist during Christ’s millennial reign: Is. 9:6-7; 11; Jer 23:5-8;
          Ez. 37:15-28; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14, 26-27; Mt. 19:28; Rev. 20:4-6.
C.  Ezekiel 40-43
     1.  Third Temple construction pattern – again very important, cf. Ez. 40:4; 43:10-11 
     2.  The Shekinah Glory of God returns, cf. Ez. 43:1-5!
D.  Malachi 3:1-5
     1.  The Lord Jesus comes to his Temple – the Messenger of the Covenant.
     2.  Worship of God for all nations is centered on the third Temple, cf. Zech. 14:16ff.
Conclusion: Having had the opportunity to be present at the Temple Mount, it is
fascinating for me to ponder the immense focus of history which centers on that spot
which has experienced so much turmoil over the centuries.  Arguably no real estate on
earth is more crucial to past, present and future history.  I think it can be safely said that
no other site has as much significance for three great religions of the world together --
Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  Even now there is continuing conflict over the Temple
Mount since more than a billion Muslims clamor for control -- but a relatively tiny Israel
(with somewhat over five million Jews) firmly continues to maintain political authority –
while giving day-to-day responsibility to the Muslim Wakf centered in Jordan.  For those
of us who are convinced of the future construction of a third Temple, there will need to
be some kind of cataclysmic event to destroy the Al-Aksa mosque and Dome of the Rock
first – perhaps an earthquake?  At any rate, when third Temple construction begins, I’m
convinced it will set in motion events which will usher in the glorious return of our Lord
Jesus Christ!