Zionist Dispensationalists are awaiting the rebuilding of a third temple in Jerusalem. They believe this will be a divine occurrence by God and with this the Jews will all convert to Christianity. Some believe the Jews do not even need to convert and the third Temple will be a fulfillment of the Old Covenant which they believe God still has with Israel. Christians who believe this false teaching, however, should be ashamed of supporting these false doctrines as the third Temple already exists through Jesus Christ and His body–the Church. A quick look in the mirror, and one can see the third temple that Zionist are rejecting.
If we look in the Old Testament, we find prophecies of a future “cornerstone”:
Therefore thus saith the Lord, [even] the Lord, Behold, I lay for the foundations of Sion a costly stone, a choice, a corner-stone, a precious [stone], for its foundations; and he that believes [on him] shall by no means be ashamed. (Isaiah 28:16)
The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner. (Psalm 118:22; (117:22 LXX))
And in the New Testament, we find multiple references to these prophecies, both from Christ and the Apostles:
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes?’ Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. (Matthew 21:42-45)
And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? (Mark 12:10-11)
And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (Luke 20:17-18)
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (Acts 4:10-11)
Wherefore? Because [they sought it] not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 9:32-33)
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. (1 Peter 2:6-8)
Apparently, given the amount of references to this Old Testament prophecy, it is very important. And in conjunction with other New Testament passages, we quickly learn the full meaning of the prophecy above, including the building of the third Temple.
You see, Jesus is that cornerstone that was rejected by the builders–the Jews. And He has become the “head of the corner.” But what exactly is a cornerstone? Dicitonary.com has four definitions for a “cornerstone,” three of which we will apply here: 1) 1. a stone uniting two masonry walls at an intersection. 2) something that is essential, indispensable, or basic. 3) the chief foundation on which something is constructed or developed. 1
Definition 1: Jesus is the cornerstone bringing together two walls. “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby” (Ephesians 2:14-16)
You see prior to Christ, there was division between the Jew and the Gentile. In Christ, however, the “middle wall of partition” has been torn down, and the two have been brought together. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13) “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:26-29)
For those of you who say the Jews are separate from the Christians, and will be saved as such, completely neglect this Bible teaching. There are no longer two groups, but Christ has brought them together being the cornerstone of Christianity, “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:15)
Defintion 2: Christ, as the cornerstone, is essential to Christianity. Without His incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection there would be no way for man to establish a communion with God. Not only this, but His teachings are the foundation of Christianity. He came and taught exactly what God wanted in the first place. He taught us how to love God and how to love our neighbor, even our enemies. Without this essential piece, we would have nothing.
Definition 3: Lastly, He is the chief foundation upon which the new temple has been built. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” (John 2:19-22)
When Christ spoke of the temple being destroyed, the scribes and the Pharisees thought He was speaking of the literal temple. In reality, however, Christ was speaking of the true temple which was His body. When Christ was baptized, He saw “the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.” (Matthew 3:16) In the Old Testament, the Spirit of God dwelt among the people inside the tabernacle, or the “tent of meeting.” But through Christ, the Spirit of God dwells within us. And, therefore, Christ, and we as followers of Christ–Christians–are the third temple:
Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.’ (John 14:23)
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2 Corinthians 6:16)
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:1-5)
As you can see, the Bible is quite clear that we are the third temple. Through Christ, we now have direct access to the Holy Spirit within our own bodies. “For this is my covenant which I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will surely put my laws into their mind, and write them on their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” (Jeremiah 31:33) We no longer need temples built by hands to house the Spirit of God, but we are that temple. We are a new creation in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17) To deny this simple fact, and assume that the Jews will reconstruct a literal third temple is to deny everything Christ and His Apostles taught. There is only one way and that is through Jesus Christ.
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