Temple is Being Built!!
By Moshe Morrison,
Tents of Mercy Congregation
in Kiryat Yam, Israel
Yes, it’s true. The Temple of God is under construction even
as you read this article. Prophecy regarding this is being fulfilled
every moment that passes by. However, I’m not speaking of
the third Jewish temple made of mortar and stone that some believe
will soon be rebuilt upon Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. The truth of the
matter is that that temple may or may not be rebuilt before Yeshua
returns to Jerusalem. Though there are some who insist that it must
be, there are ample numbers of God-fearing, Spirit-filled, students
of the Scriptures holding to widely different views of the end-times.
This should give us pause if we think that “our” position
is the only option. To assume that one has figured out how it’s
all going to play out in the end hinders the ability to see and
participate in what the Spirit of God wants to do. Mature faith
recognizes the differences between the speculations of eschatology
and the fundamental principles regarding the nature and work of
the Messiah which are clearly stated in the Bible.
The temple construction of which I speak belongs to the second
category and is the one described in 1 Peter 2: 4-6, “And
coming to Him as to a living Stone, rejected by men, but choice
and precious in the sight of God, you also as living stones are
being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer
up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Messiah Yeshua.
For this is contained in Scripture: ‘Behold I lay in Zion
a choice Stone, a precious Cornerstone, and he who believes in Him
shall not be disappointed.’” If the majority of the
body of believers would get as excited about that temple being built
as some do about the physical one, we would see a greater manifestation
and advancement of the purposes of God on the earth in these days.
There are Christians who are caught up in expecting a physical
temple to be built so that the anti-Christ can show up there and
then they can be caught up in the “rapture” while the
Jewish people get stuck here with a useless temple and a great tribulation.
The tragedy in this is that some of them are willing to give thousands
of dollars to fringe Orthodox Jewish groups who are making all kinds
of preparations to reestablish the priesthood, sacrificial system
and rebuild the temple. (Incidentally, it is by no means a majority
of religious Jews who are actively working to build that temple.
Though the traditional liturgy contains unequivocal prayer for the
restoration of the temple and its services, most observant Jews
are content to pray for it and leave it in God’s hands. Opinions
on how it might come about are as widely varied in the Jewish community
as they are in the Christian community.)
The great irony is that many of those Orthodox Jews who are the
most involved in the move to rebuild the temple despise us Messianic
Jews. One very prominent leader in this physical temple restoration
movement told a Messianic Jewish friend of mine how much he hates
us and that we are traitors and worse than Nazis because our faith
in Yeshua. However, this should come as no surprise since Peter
points out that the very foundation upon which we are being built
was rejected by the leaders of our people. “The stone which
the builders rejected, this became the very cornerstone,.”
and “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” (1
Peter 2:7,8 quoting from Psalm 118:22 and Isaiah 8:14) Accordingly,
it is especially the temple that is made up of Messianic Jewish
living stones in the land of Israel that is far more significant
in the eyes of God than the temple made of stone and mortar which
our unbelieving brethren wish to rebuild. One of the most important
signs of the end times is not a physical building project, but a
growing Messianic Jewish presence in the land of Israel which has
not been seen for nearly two millenia. This is what believers ought
to be watching for and praying for and supporting with their resources.
The first and second temples in Jerusalem served their purposes
in providing a place for Israel to receive atonement and also as
a place for intercession on behalf of the nations. However, Yeshua
changed that sacrificial system by the sacrifice of Himself nearly
2000 years ago. If a third temple now only serves as a platform
for the anti-Christ to unveil his program, I would think that true
believers would have a greater stake in the true Messiah unveiling
His program in the spiritual temple that He is building. The salvation
of Israel is near and dear to the heart of God. It should also be
near and dear to the hearts of his followers. The fact that there
are all sorts of temple preparations being made by various groups
should not unduly occupy the hearts and minds of followers of Yeshua.
Red heifers, priestly garments, and setting a symbolic cornerstone
mean nothing compared to the setting into the walls of living stones
more Jewish believers in Messiah Yeshua. As the living temple of
believers grows within the household of Israel it will have a greater
impact on outreach to the rest of the nations of the world than
anything we have seen since the first century (Romans 11:15).
One brother in the United States who has been teaching prophecy
for many years told me that people tend to call him when they hear
rumors about what is happening in Israel. They figure that he can
confirm whether or not what they’ve heard is true and whether
it is a sign of the imminent return of Yeshua. He said that some
one called him because they heard that all the stones for the temple
had been cut and numbered and each one was hidden in a different
K-Mart department store all across America, waiting for the right
time when they would be rapidly brought out and shipped to Jerusalem
and quickly assembled. He graciously informed the caller that his
information was incorrect. Though somewhat humorous, it is sadly
just one of many wild stories that find wide and willing circulation
because of a wrong emphasis in large segments of the body of Messiah.
If it is the will of the Lord that the physical temple of God be
built in Jerusalem to facilitate the outworking of His plans in
the last days, it shall be done. In fact, there is no other way
that it could possibly be accomplished. The Islamic authorities
that control the temple mount as well as Muslim leaders around the
world have clearly stated that any action that would compromise
the Islamic presence and authority there would result in a major
war. Even if the Dome of the Rock mosque collapsed due to an earthquake,
Israel would be blamed for it. In spite of all that, if God wants
it, it would be built. However, we’ll only know for sure once
it has happened. However, there is no question about the living
temple. It is happening now!
Make no mistake by thinking that because it is a “spiritual”
house it is less tangible than one made of stone. For the stones
in the temple being built here are living, flesh and blood Jews
dwelling in very real communities in the same Land that God gave
to our forefathers and to us. As we move forward in the year 2007,
let us pray that the world will be able to see a manifestation of
the presence of God in this temple like they have never seen before.
Not only with Jewish stones in Israel, but also among the nations.
It is God’s desire now for the true holy priesthood to offer
up spiritual sacrifices in this temple built by the Spirit on the
cornerstone of Messiah Yeshua. ?
Morrison is the Associate Leader in Ohalei Rachamim, or Tents of
Mercy congregation in Kiryat Yam and a Tikkun Ministries associate.