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16.5.9. Tribulation Temple

Regarding Preterist assertion that this is Herod’s temple, to be destroyed in 70 A.D., there are at least two problems with this view. Firstly, most scholars date the book of Revelation after that destruction and secondly, It does not matter at all whether the temple is thought to still be standing in Jerusalem at the time that John sees the vision, since that would not necessarily have any bearing upon a vision. John is told by the angel accompanying him during the vision to ‘measure the temple’ (Rev. Rev. 11:1+). Measure what temple? The temple in the vision. In fact, Ezekiel, during a similar vision of a temple (Eze. Eze. 40:1-Eze. 48:1) was told to measure that temple. [Preterists] would agree, that when Ezekiel saw and was told to measure a temple, that there was not one standing in Jerusalem.3

Therefore, when he [the antichrist] receives the kingdom, he orders the temple of God to be rebuilt for himself, which is in Jerusalem; who after coming into it, he shall sit as God.—Ephraim the Syrian, A.D. 373.4

But when this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is, the rest, the hallowed seventh day; and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance, in which kingdom the Lord declared, that “many coming from the east and from the west should sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”5

The early Jewish church—before the destruction of the Temple—was indwelt, sealed, and filled with the Spirit and yet continued to worship in the Temple! This would imply that the Third Temple could be built during the church age and even sacrifices commenced without there being a necessary conflict with “spiritual worship.”6

Notes

1 We have only included passages which are definite references to the Tribulation Temple. Other passages may be related to the Tribulation Temple, but such reference is less certain (e.g., Rev. Rev. 13:6+, Rev. 13:14+). Some see a passage in Isaiah as denoting an unaccepted Temple at the time of the end: “Isaiah [Isa. Isa. 66:1-6] speaks of a house or temple being built for God which He does not sanction. It cannot refer to Solomon’s Temple or the Temple built by Zerubbabel, because God did sanction both of them. Nor can it refer to the Millennial Temple. That one will be built by Messiah, and God will certainly sanction it. Therefore, the only temple that this could refer to is the Tribulation Temple. . . . What God wants Israel to do at this time is to return to Him in faith, not merely to build Him a house.”—Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of Messiah, rev ed. (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2003), 138. Although this may be possible, the passage may simply denote God’s dislike of insincere worship offered within the existing temple.

2 The city of Babylon in Revelation Rev. 18:1+ is taken to be Jerusalem. God’s defense of the city of Jerusalem recorded in Zechariah Zec. 12:1, Zec. 14:1 is taken to describe its destruction by Rome. For an excellent summary comparison of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 with Zechariah, see [Thomas Ice, “The Olivet Discourse,” in Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice, eds., The End Times Controversy (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2003), 182].

3 Thomas Ice, “Has Bible Prophecy Already Been Fulfilled?,” in The Conservative Theological Journal, vol. 4 no. 13 (Fort Worth, TX: Tyndale Theological Seminary, December 2000), 309.

4 Thomas Ice and Timothy J. Demy, When the Trumpet Sounds (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1995), 113.

5 Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. I (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997), s.v. “ECF 1.1.7.1.5.31.”

6 Randall Price, The Coming Last Days Temple (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1999), 501.

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