Will Israel Try to Rebuild the Jewish Temple?
By Scott Michael Rohter, January 2020
Some people think that in light of recent events in the Middle East such as the United States moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol, recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and its right to build settlements in the West Bank, and with the most pro Israel president in U.S. history in the White House, plus the current thaw in Israeli / Saudi Arabia relations that the time is right for Israel to rebuild the Jewish Temple… In my opinion that would be a huge mistake.
The Jewish Temple was built on Mt Moriah, on the exact spot where Abraham in the single greatest act of human faith ever recorded was willing to sacrifice his own son Isaac. Of course God did not permit Abraham to kill his son. God was merely testing Abraham’s faith. God knew Abraham’s heart. That is precisely why God chose him and promised that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed. It was Abraham who did not know the strength of his own faith. That is why God required this of him, that through his seed the blessing would come to the whole world in the person of Jesus Christ.
From the time the Temple was first conceived by King David and built by King Solomon until the time that it was ultimately destroyed by legions of Roman soldiers in 70AD it was the place where Jews brought animal sacrifices and burnt offerings to make atonement for sin, yet the Bible tells us that even as it was occurring in the Old Testament it tells us clearly that God did not desire animal sacrifices, and the blood of animals cannot atone for sin.
The first time the Jewish Temple was destroyed was by Nebuchadnezzar in the fifth century B.C. when the Jews were conquered by the Babylonians and sent into exile. It was later rebuilt by Ezra under King Darius of Persia, and the entire Old Testament System of animal sacrifices to atone for sin was restored by the Levites.
Then In the first century A.D. God put an end to all of this when He sent His own son to make the final atonement for sin in an act reminiscent of what he required Abraham to do thousands of years earlier… When Jesus died on the cross it officially ended the Old Testament System and the Levitical Priesthood, yet there were still many Jews who had rejected Jesus, and the Temple still remained.
In defiance of God these Jews who rejected their Messiah continued to bring animal sacrifices and burnt offerings to the Priests in the Temple to make atonement for sin. Obviously the existence of the Temple posed a significant problem, and a generation later in the year 70AD Roman soldiers entered the Holy City and destroyed the Temple the second time putting an end to the Levitical Priesthood and the religious authority of the Sanhedrin forever..
The Jews who were not killed fighting Roman soldiers were captured and resettled in other parts of the Empire. Without a Temple and without a homeland many were forced to live abroad as slaves. This was their punishment for rejecting the Messiah.
Two thousand years later in the fullness of time when God appears willing to give Jacob another chance He has allowed the nation of Israel to be reborn, but it does not come without grave dangers for the Jewish people, and the greatest danger of all is this. The overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews still reject the Messiah…
The Jews of the Exodus who doubted Moses wandered through the wilderness for forty years before they entered the Promised Land. The Jews of the Diaspora who refused to believe Jesus were forced to wander through Europe for two thousand years before they were allowed to re-enter the Promised Land…
If they wandered through Europe for two thousand years because they failed to recognize the Messiah the first time He came what will the consequences be if they reject Him the next time He comes or if they continue to reject Him after they have resettled in the land? What if they recognize someone else as their Messiah like they did once before with Bar Kochba, or God forbid if they should try to rebuild the Temple without accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior and they try to re-establish the Levitical Priesthood ?
The Jews who worshipped the Golden Calf, who stoned the Prophets, and rejected the Messiah are a stubborn lot. They don’t learn from their mistakes. I would not want to be in their shoes when Jesus comes again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords with all the Heavenly host. It will be too late then.