Futurism mandates that a new temple must be rebuilt so the events of Matthew 24 can be fulfilled. History records that the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, with the events of Matthew 24 preceding its demise. Not one verse in the New Testament mentions the need for a rebuilt temple, a fact admitted by those who believe a future temple is necessary for prophecy to be fulfilled. Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy write: “There are no Bible verses that say, ‘There is going to be a third temple.’” [1]

Of course, there’s a good reason for this. The real temple of God in the New Testament is obviously the church of Christ with Jesus as the “cornerstone” (1 Peter 2:7). The Old Testament prophecies predicting a rebuilt temple were fulfilled in the post-exile period and in the first coming of Christ. [2] Some point to the temple of Ezekiel 40–48 as an example of a prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled. But this passage is simply a visionary expression of the faithful remnant that returned after the exile and the glorious future they would have. Ezekiel’s temple is a picture of the New Covenant under which the church, made up of believing Jews and Gentiles, is the new temple.

Last Days Madness

Last Days Madness

In this authoritative book, Gary DeMar clears the haze of ‘end-times’ fever, shedding light on the most difficult and studied prophetic passages in the Bible, including Daniel 7:13-14; 9:24-27; Matt. 16:27-28; 24-25; Thess. 2; 2 Peter 3:3-13, and clearly explaining a host of other controversial topics.

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On today’s podcast, Gary responds to a comment about the need for a “rebuilt temple.” The New Testament knows nothing about a future physical temple, but it does speak often about the one standing in the first century being torn down. Jesus Himself is the true temple and the church is built with living stones (1 Peter 2:5). He is the ultimate fulfillment of what the temple represented: God dwelling with His people.

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[1] Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, The Truth about the Last Days’ Temple (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1996), 13.

[2] William Hendriksen, Israel in Prophecy (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1968).