Rebuild The Temple

The Temple at Jerusalem was a place where people could meet God. It was a house of prayer and reflection upon who God is and what our relationship with Him requires. David said that He would rather spend one day in the House of the Lord than a thousand at any other place.[1]

The Temple also represented the presence of the One God of the universe as the Ruler over God’s people. Everyone who loved the Lord could come into His House and worship Him. Although the Temple was uniquely Jewish in it’s origination, God ordered that a place be provided in his Temple for people of any nation to come and worship God. We see “the courts of the Gentiles,” on either side of the main Temple complex. It was here that Jesus came on the Palm Sunday before He was Crucified, to announce to the world that the Messiah had arrived. God was ready to provide a single method, whereby any person could find the forgiveness of their sins and acquire eternal life. As Jesus saw the money changers in the Court of the Gentiles, He was infuriated that this place that was set aside for the Gentile nations to worship God, was being used for merchandise. The people who came from all over the world to meet God, saw His house filled with people who were seeking to take advantage of them. This misrepresentation of who God is, compelled Jesus to overturn every table and drive out these men who corrupted the purpose for which God had ordered this Temple to be built, in the first place.

The Lord wants all people to know Him and experience His love, mercy, provision, and compassion.

The Prophet Haggai writes that when the Messiah returns to earth, He will build the Millennial Temple and fill it with His Glory. It will be a greater Glory than all of the previous Temples.

Old Testament Prediction:

Haggai 2:9 “For thus says the LORD of hosts: …“The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts.

New Testament Fulfillment:

Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.

Revelation 3:12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

The Four Temples

The first temple in Jerusalem was built in 957 B.C. by king Solomon, who reigned from 970 B.C. to 930 B.C.[2]

The Second temple in Jerusalem was ordered rebuilt in 536 B.C. by Cyrus. However, it was not until the passage of an additional 17 years, that his command was followed and the actual construction began in 520 B.C.[3] The “Desolations of Israel” ended on December 17, 520 B.C., seven days later on the 24th day of the 9th month (December) of the 2nd year of Darius, the King of Persia, according to Haggai 2:18-19, the Temple Foundation was laid. Three years later, in 517 B.C., the second temple was completed. See the chapter: Arrival of the Messiah for a detailed chart of the specific details.

In 175 B.C., Antiochus Epiphanes became the king, replacing his older brother who ruled for just one year.[4] The Jews rebelled against his strict laws, outlawing the Sabbath and the rite of circumcision. In 167 B.C., Antiochus Epiphanes erected a statue of the Greek God, Zeus, in the Holy place of the temple and thereby committed the first incidence of the abomination of desolation.[5]

“When these happenings were reported to the king, he thought that Judea was in revolt. Raging like a wild animal, he set out from Egypt and took Jerusalem by storm. He ordered his soldiers to cut down without mercy those whom they met and to slay those who took refuge in their houses. There was a massacre of young and old, a killing of women and children, a slaughter of virgins and infants. In the space of three days, eighty thousand were lost, forty thousand meeting a violent death, and the same number being sold into slavery.”[6] —2 Maccabeees 5:11-14

“Not long after this the king sent an Athenian senator to force the Jews to abandon the customs of their ancestors and live no longer by the laws of God; also to profane the temple in Jerusalem and dedicate it to Olympian Zeus, and that on Mount Gerizim to Zeus the Hospitable, as the inhabitants of the place requested…They also brought into the temple things that were forbidden, so that the altar was covered with abominable offerings prohibited by the laws. A man could not keep the sabbath or celebrate the traditional feasts, nor even admit that he was a Jew. At the suggestion of the citizens of Ptolemais, a decree was issued ordering the neighboring Greek cities to act in the same way against the Jews: oblige them to partake of the sacrifices, and put to death those who would not consent to adopt the customs of the Greeks. It was obvious, therefore, that disaster impended. Thus, two women who were arrested for having circumcised their children were publicly paraded about the city with their babies hanging at their breasts and then thrown down from the top of the city wall. Others, who had assembled in nearby caves to observe the sabbath in secret, were betrayed to Philip and all burned to death.”[7] —2 Maccabees 6:1-11

This defilement of the temple in Jerusalem was an earlier fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy of the final seven years—when the antichrist will also erect a statue of himself in the newly rebuilt third temple at Jerusalem and command all the world to worship him as God.[8] In 167 B.C., the Jews rose up in rebellion against Antiochus Epiphanes and the Seleucid rule, with Mattathias and his five sons, winning the freedom of the Jews. Judas Maccabeus—the son of Mattathias, called The Hammer, rededicated the temple in 165 B.C.[9] The Jews began the celebration of Hanukkah as a result, which is celebrated to the present day.

In 54 B.C., the temple was again desecrated by Crassus.[10]

In 20 B.C., Herod the Great renovated the temple, which was known at the time of Jesus as “Herod’s Temple.”[11]

In 70 A.D., the Roman army under Titus, destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the temple, fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus “not one stone will be left upon another.”

One of the amazing facts that concerns the first and second Temples is that they were both demolished on the exact same day.[12]

The first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians on August 9th of 586 B.C.

The second Temple was destroyed on, August 9th of 70 A.D (“Tisha B’Av)

The Third Temple will be built by the antichrist in the first three years of the seven year Tribulation, the identical amount of time that it took to build the second temple.

The Fourth Temple, the Millennial temple, will be built by Jesus during His one thousand year reign over the earth. It is this temple that is the subject of this prophecy from Haggai 2:9.

The final Millennial Temple as described by Ezekiel:

Ezekiel 43:1-7 Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw—like the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face. And the glory of the LORD came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east. The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple. Then I heard Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me. And He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. No more shall the house of Israel defile My holy name, they nor their kings, by their harlotry or with the carcasses of their kings on their high places.

Zechariah records a similar view of the Messiah’s final Temple:

Zechariah 6:12-13 Then speak to him, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: ‘Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD; Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” ’

It is clear that Haggai is speaking of the glory of the Messiah when He returns to the earth at the end of the Tribulation. Ezekiel saw the final temple that will be built in Jerusalem by the Messiah. The prophet describes His voice: “like the sound of many waters,” which is identical to John’s description of Jesus in chapter 1:15.

Revelation 1:15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters…

Zechariah also sees the final temple and describes the one who will build it: “the man whose name is the BRANCH,” identical to the name for the Messiah given in the prophecies of Isaiah 4:2 and Zechariah 3:8.

Both Ezekiel and Zechariah designate Him as filling this final temple with the Glory of God in a way that no previous temple has ever experienced.

Can you imagine—someday, we will be able to see this temple, and all of the Glory of the Lord that fills it? No human being has ever looked upon the beauty and magnificence that we will behold during the time of Jesus’ reign on the earth. The Bible describes the fact that no man has ever seen the Lord in the full intensity of His Glory, but we shall see Him, face-to-face.

There is a glorious day coming for all of us who wait for Jesus return. The whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. The nations will come to Jerusalem to be taught by Jesus. We who follow the Lord now, will be given rulership positions all over the earth upon His return. The mortals who come out of the Great Tribulation will come to us for counsel, guidance, and judgement. We will have the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16) and be able to adjudicate even the most difficult matters that are before us.

If a situation should present itself in which we need help or counsel from Jesus, all that we must do is speak to Him in prayer and the answer will return quickly to our mind. Our prayers today will become the method by which we receive communication from the Lord during His future reign upon the earth.

We should begin now to prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of this kingdom. We should think today in terms of what kind of rulership the Lord will give to us when He returns. Our authority at that time will be based upon the degree of faithfulness that we exercise now—in the tasks that we are currently involved in. Realizing that everything we are doing at this very moment, has been entrusted to us by Jesus. If we would perform all our tasks as unto the Lord, desiring that everything we say and do would be pleasing to Him, it is certain that when He returns—He will reward us. Knowing that it is the Lord who we serve, and not men, we look to the Lord’s reward for what we do, not the recognition or rewards that can be gained from men.

Colossians 3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.


[1] For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. Psalms 84:10
[2] 1. New American Heritage Dictionary, entry: ‘Temple’
2”. Temple, the.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005.
[3] 2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 5:13. 536.4 B.C., see the chart at Prophecy 309 for details.
[4] Encyclopedia Britannica Online: Antiochus IV Epiphanes
[5] Josephus, Wars of the Jews 1:1:1–2
[6] 2 Maccabees 5:11–14
[7] 2 Maccabees 6:1–11
[8] Daniel 11:31, 12:11, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14, Luke 16:15
[9] “Temple, the.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
[10] 1. Josephus, The New Complete Works, translated by William Whiston, Kregel Publications, 1999, “Antiquites” Book 14:7, p.463
2. Michael Grant, The Jews in the Roman World, Barnes & Noble, 1973, p.58
[11] Secrets of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Leen Ritmeyer, Kathleen Ritmeyer, 1998
[12] The First Temple’s destruction began on the 7th of Av (2 Kings 25:8) and continued until the 10th (Jeremiah 52:12). The fire was lit on the afternoon of the 9th (Ta’anit 29a)