Revelation 11:1-2, "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."
I have seen for a while now that according to the teachings of the Bible, in particular the words given by Messiah Himself, that there does not need to be a 3rd Temple built in Jerusalem before the Lord comes back to Earth.
I know this may blow peoples' mind and I used to think this myself. However, it is not until you soberly look at what is actually being said about this subject in ALL the scriptures, that you realize men have only been guessing on this subject and only 'think' this because of what has been told to them. Often we have simply believed what we have been told without further investigation.
The rebuilding of the 3rd Temple has long been discussed as a 'given' but let us look into this. I don't have the space here to bring every argument, but we can begin with a couple. This subject is a great example of the blindness and misplaced zealousness of people assuming they really know the heart of our Lord. I pray those with 'ears to hear' will see how the Spirit of the Lord blinds some and opens up the eyes and ears of others.
Does there require a man made Temple to be built in Jerusalem before the Lord returns? Let's take a good look. I don't think so.....
In our days, right at this very instant, when so many Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled before our noses, people say, 'Yes, but the temple has not yet been built." Well, have you ever considered that a temple being built in Jerusalem is not a prerequisite for anything? So many are hung up about a subject that the Bible isn't even talking about. At least it is not being discussed the way people have presented it. The emphasis of the temple is not steering God's people toward Yeshua when you think a building is the important point. Traditional, religious eyes bring error in judgement and lead us astray in the way so many of us have been taught. All who follow the Lord and are lead by the Holy Spirit need His direction when studying the scriptures. We need to be able to openly, and honestly, question everything and look closely at old, sometimes centuries old, preconceived notions. Let God's Word be true and every man a liar.
Has it ever really occurred to people that if there is going to be a 3rd Temple in Jerusalem they should get on it really quick? Similarly, if the revival of the old Roman Empire is the ruling beast of the end times, shouldn't they start getting busy doing their dirty work? Today, let's look at this subject of the 3rd Temple.
First, it needs to be brought out that the Brit Chadashah, or New Testament, mainly uses two Greek terms for temple: they are 'hieron' (ίερόν) and 'naos' (ναος or ναον). While the Greek term 'hieron' always seems to refer to a physical temple in the New Testrament (usually a Jewish one, but sometimes a pagan one, e.g., Acts 19:27), the term 'naos' does not always do so. Maybe it is because 'hieron' is used more frequently (71 times), and is the term most often translated into English as temple, some seem to have confused it with the 'naos' term for temple. This is an important distinction and needs further exploration.
'Naos' is used 47 times in the New Testament, and while it is sometimes clearly referring to a physical temple, approximately 19 times (mainly in the Gospels and Acts), it is also often, and clearly not referring to a physical temple on earth. You must be able to see what is being discussed between these 2 terms because it is central to what the Messiah was conveying. Yeshua was the first in the Brit Chadashah to use 'naos' to refer to something other than a Jewish temple in scripture:
So, while the Jews were thinking that 'naos' was referring to a physical Jewish temple, in verse 20, the scripture is clear that in verses 19 and 21 that Yeshua is referring to 'naos', which is clearly meaning something else. It is amazing that the followers of Yeshua have not seen this. We are to be considered God's Temple! May the Lord open our spiritual eyes! The Kingdom of God is not about buildings!
Revelation 11:1-2 is another place in the New Covenant which uses the 'naos' 'temple of God' expression related by Yeshua the Messiah. Although this can be a tricky passage, let's be careful to notice what it does and does not say:
While at first look the passage above may suggest that a physical Jewish temple is being referred to, the fact is, it does not state that a Jewish temple would be built, or that the Jewish temple will even be God's “the temple of God”. The implication to some may be a physical temple but the angel is giving important directions of a deeper, spiritual nature. It says the worshippers are also to be measured! The 'Outer Court' is left to those outside the realm of the presence of the Lord. They are the ones who do not give real worship in their hearts to Yeshua the Messiah. The message to me seems to be very clear: During this time of great persecution, those with true hearts before the Lord will be fine. They are sold out and untouchable being in the Spirit of the Lord. Everyone 'outside' will be liable to the enviornment they have chosen to live in. They are very much like the 5 virgins who did not have oil for their lamps and were denied entrance to the banquet. They are unprotected, spiritually during the tribulation. Even though a “temple of God” and a reference to Jerusalem are both referred to here, the meaning is understood by those sold out to the Lord. We, the believers in Yeshua the Messiah, ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD! We will always have full provision in Him!
Also, although some have suggested that the use of a measuring rod requires that a physical Jewish temple is required, it should be mentioned that the Bible shows that Messianic believers are the ones actually measured (2 Corinthians 10:12-18). This really does appear to be the scriptural and valid way of viewing Revelation 11:2. In addition, we see Revelation 11:2 specifically contrasts and separates what happens to the “temple of God” (which the Gentiles DO NOT tread upon) to what happens in physical Jerusalem (where the Gentiles do tread upon). This seems to be the point of this vision.
The Bible is clear that a third temple will eventually exist (Ezekiel 40-48), but it will only be in existence after Yeshua the Messiah returns (cf. Ezekiel 48:35). Also, we know that much of mainstream Orthodox Judaism today seems to believe that the rebuilding of the temple is not to occur until after the coming of the Jewish Messiah. There is controversy about this subject in virtually every camp. Yet, among believers in Yeshua, in our contemporary world, we see Jewish and Christian scholars contending that a physical Jewish temple must happen according to Biblical prophecy. I humbly disagree. They think that the animal sacrifices must happen in order to be stopped. Who ever said that sacrifices had to happen only at the Temple anyway? The Bible doesn't say that. Many sacrificed without the Temple. These thoughts and beliefs, and some others, are based more on religious tradition than the Bible. We need spiritual eyes and ears. There are Jewish traditions. There are Christian traditions. We all must check out everything according to God's Word. Yeshua Himself specifically warned against taking the traditions of religious teachers above those things actually brought to us in the Bible:
Mark 7:13, " Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye."