In recent years, there have been many reports about various
Jewish organizations in Israel who are preparing to construct a
Temple for the resumption of animal sacrifices in Jerusalem.
Such a temple would replace Herodís Temple which was destroyed
by the Romans in 70 AD, as predicted by Christ (Matthew 24:1-2), as
a judgment on the Jewish people for rejecting and crucifying their
It has been reported that there are devout Jews practicing to
resume the animal sacrifices, and that a cornerstone has been
prepared for the new Temple.
For the most part, Temple advocates want to build the Temple on
the Temple Mount which is currently occupied by the Mosque of Omar,
one of the holiest sites of Muslim worship in the world. The removal
of the Mosque of Omar would be regarded by Muslims as a hostile act
which would plunge the Middle East into war.
Most Israelis do not favor the construction of the Temple at this
time, and the Israeli government, which has controlled the Temple
Mount since 1967, is strongly opposed to any suggestion that the
Temple Mount be transferred from Muslim to Jewish hands. However, it
has been reported that some Christian fundamentalist groups in the
United States are actively supporting plans to remove the Mosque and
build a Jewish temple, with financial and other assistance.
What does the Bible have to say about all this?
Should Christians come to the aid of those Jews who want to
construct a Temple for animal sacrifices in Jerusalem?
In the Old Testament dispensation, it was clear that God wanted
all true worship to be centralized in one place, Deuteronomy 16:6,
Shiloh was the first place appointed by God for divine worship.
Joshua 18:1, Psalm 78:60, Jeremiah 7:12. Then Jerusalem
(specifically Solomonís Temple) became the place where God placed
His name, 1 Kings 8:29.
But with the coming of Christ and the Church Age, the true
worship of God was no longer to be centralized in any one place.
Christ would be present in any local church meeting, regardless of
geographical location, Matthew 18:20.
Jerusalem, which had been the Holy City for 1000 years, was soon
to lose that distinction. Jesus told the woman at the well, "Woman,
believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain,
nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father," John 4:21
The Apostle Paul emphasized that as Christians, our allegiance is
to the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly city in Palestine: "For
this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which
now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is
above is free, which is the mother of us all, " Galatians
The author of the epistle to the Hebrews advised his readers to
decisively reject all the obsolete, outmoded forms of the Jewish religion,
including the Temple sacrifices, in favor of the heavenly Jerusalem:
"But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the
living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of
angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which
are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the
spirits of just men made perfect...." Hebrews 12:22-23
The main theme of the epistle to the Hebrews is that the Temple
sacrifices had been replaced forever by the sacrifice of Christ on
the Cross (Hebrews (9: 8-12, 10:1-14, etc.) and that for the Hebrew
Christians to return to such sacrifices would be a rejection of
Christ and an unforgivable act of apostasy (Hebrews 6:6, 10:26-31).
We are assured that the patriarchs, including Father Abraham,
have absolutely no interest in the earthly Jerusalem Ė they are in
a much better place, the heavenly Jerusalem: "And truly, if
they had been mindful of that country, from whence they came out,
they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they
desire a better country, that is an heavenly; wherefore God is not
ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a
city." Hebrews 11:15-16.
In the light of Bible teaching on this subject, it is evident
that we as Christians should give no encouragement to Jews who are
seeking to regain control over territory in Jerusalem and/or
reinstitute the Old Testament sacrifices. Instead, we should
encourage Jews to accept the once-for-all sacrifice already made for
them by their Messiah, and to take their place with Father Abraham
in the heavenly Jerusalem.
As a practical matter, the Muslims now occupy the Temple site, as
they have for 1300 years. To dislodge them would take a world war, possibly nuclear in nature. Not only that, but to the extent
that it is perceived that evangelical Christians have given
encouragement to the Jewish side in such a war, then Christian
missionaries and nationals in the Middle East will be subjected to
rejection and persecution.
In my humble opinion, it is not worth all that trouble, just to
transfer title of the Temple Mount from one non-Christian (Islam) to
Letís concentrate on preaching the Gospel and getting people
ready for the Jerusalem that is above, which is the mother of us
Mr. Thomas Williamson is an
ordained Baptist minister who lives in Chicago, Illinois. He contributes
to Media Monitors Network (MMN)
from time to time.