Temple: Destroy This Temple

Destroy This Temple

John 2:18 The Jews therefore answered and said to Him, “What sign dost Thou show to us that Thou doest these things?” 19Yeshua answered and said to them, “Destroy this Temple, and I will raise it up in three days!” 20The Jews therefore said, “Forty and six years was building this Temple! And Thou wilt raise it up in three days?” 21But He spoke concerning the Temple of His Body. 22When He was raised up from among the dead, His disciples therefore remembered that He had said this to them. And they believed the Scripture and the word that Yeshua had spoken.

 

To what Temple is Yeshua referring?

In verse 21, the text testifies that He spoke of the Temple of His Body. This is not Yeshua’s physical body. Had it been, the wording in verse 21 would have been different—more like this: “But He spoke concerning His death and resurrection.” Instead, this Temple is the Body of Christ—that is, the entire entity and group over which He is head.

 

The next text demonstrates that His Body is the Church:

 

Colossians 1:24 …who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Messiah in my flesh for His Body’s sake, which is the Church.

 

This body first consists of Israel, Messiah Yeshua’s property. Israel is and always has been the core of this Body. All Israelis in faith and out of faith together constitute this Body. As Israelis die in unbelief, they are removed from this Body. Thus, Israelis are temporary members unless they come to faith. Romans explains this:

 

Romans 11:16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also. And if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17And if some of the branches are broken off, and thou, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them, and partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree with them, 18don’t boast against the branches! But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee! 19Thou wilt say then, “The branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in!” 20Fine! They were broken off because of unbelief, and thou standest by faith! Don’t be highminded, but fear! 21For if God spared not the natural branches—lest He also spare not thee!

 

I have drawn a representation of this tree:

 

Olive Tree

 

If an Israeli comes to faith, he/she is grafted into the tree again, now being a living branch.

 

Persons who are born of God are also added to the Israelis making up this Body. They are connected to Avraham, as the following text explains:

 

Romans 4:13 For the promise that he will be the heir of the world is not to Avraham or to his seed through the Torah, but through the righteousness of faith. 14For if they who are of the Torah are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is made of no effect 15because the Torah works wrath. For where no law is, no transgression is. 16Therefore [the promise]is of faith so that [it] is by grace to the end the promise will be sure to all the seed—not only to that which is of the Torah, but also to that which is of the faith of Avraham (who is the father of us all, 17as it is written, “I have made thee a father of many nations”) before Him Whom he believed—God Who makes-alive the dead and calls those things that are not as though they were—18who believed in hope against hope so that he will become the father of many races according to what was spoken: “So shall thy seed be.”

 

Some non-Jewish folks who become Saints join themselves to Israel, and are thus named on another branch in the above picture.

 

There is another group to consider. They are non-Jewish, non-believing friends of the Israelis who will risk their lives for them during the Tribulation. (They will become part of that Body in faith later, after the Tribulation). They are often described in the Bible, with two texts specially describing them: Matthew 25:31 and following, and Psalm 1. They are the ‘sheep’ in the so-called Sheep/Goat Judgment of Matthew 25. Messiah states this of that event:

 

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, He shall then sit upon the throne of His glory. 32And all races shall be gathered before Him. And He shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divides sheep from goats. 33And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, and the goats on the left. 34Then the King shall say unto them on His right hand, “Come, ye blessed of my Father! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world! 35For I was hungry, and ye gave me food! I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink! I was a stranger, and ye took me in!—36naked, and ye clothed me! I was sick, and ye visited me! I was in prison, and ye came unto me!” 37Then the righteous shall answer Him, saying, “Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed, or thirsty, and gave drink? 38When did we see thee a stranger, and took in, or naked, and clothed? 39Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came unto thee?” 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, “Faith I say unto you! Inasmuch as ye have done unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done unto me!” 41Then He shall say also unto them on the left hand, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and His angels!! 42For I was hungry, and ye gave me no food! I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink! 43I was a stranger, and ye didn’t take me in!—naked, and ye didn’t clothe me!—sick and in prison, and ye didn’t visit me!” 44Then they also shall answer Him, saying, “Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?” 45Then He shall answer them, saying, “Faith I say unto you! Inasmuch as ye didn’t to one of the least of these, ye didn’t to me!” 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, and the righteous into everlasting life!

 

Messiah classified the sheep-side folks with the following descriptions:

 

 

  • Blessed of my Father (verse 34)
  • Inheritors of the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world (verse 34)
  • Righteous (verse 37)
  • Entering into everlasting life (verse 46)

While they are not yet part of that Body of Messiah, they certainly will be!

 

The Temple as a Type

The Temple is a type: an item that is important in itself, and properly pictures and portrays another item that is far more important, along with events that happen to that item. Every temple in the world (I propose—if the word isn’t being used in some other way) is a living quarter for a god; that is what a temple is designed to be. The Temple of the Body of Messiah is a residence for the God of Israel. That Temple (that is, the answer to the type, and not the type itself) will experience a fragmentation (I will explain that shortly), and then it will be brought back together within a three-day period.

 

What does the word translated destroy truly mean?

Translators did great violence against the text when they applied their own theology to the translation instead of leaving the word alone with its normal meanings. The following are the acceptations given in Thayer’s lexicon for this word:

 

To loose any person (or thing) tied or fastened; bandages of the feet, the shoes; of a husband and wife joined together by the bond of matrimony; of a single man, whether he has already had a wife or has not yet married; to loose one bound, i.e. to unbind, release from bonds, set free; of one bound up (swathed in bandages); bound with chains (a prisoner), discharge from prison, let go; to loosen, undo, dissolve, anything bound, tied, or compacted together; an assembly, i.e. to dismiss, break up; laws, as having a binding force, are likened to bonds; to annul, subvert; to do away with, to deprive of authority, whether by precept or act; to declare unlawful; to loose what is compacted or built together, to break up, demolish, destroy; to dissolve something coherent into parts, to destroy; metaph., to overthrow, to do away with.

 

The basic flavor of this word isn’t to destroy; it is to separate into various parts; to break up a whole item into parts. It can include scattering a group into smaller groups, and this is what will happen during the Tribulation. What the Temple represents (typifies) will be separated into small units to save the lives of Jewish folks (and others).

 

Who does the destroying?

Yeshua said, “Fragment this Temple…” He spoke to the Israelis when He said this. Jewish leaders in Israel will be the Israelis responsible for this during the Tribulation by making a covenant with death:

 

Isaiah 28:14 Therefore, hearken-ye-to the saying of Yehovah, men of the scoff, the rulers of this People that is in Jerusalem. 15For ye said, “We cut a covenant with Death!” and, “We made a vision with Sheol!” “The scourge is gushing! For he passed! He will not come-to us! For we placed a prevarication, our shelter! And we were hidden in a lie!” 16Therefore, so said my Lords Yehovah, “Behold, I am establishing a stone in Zion—a chosen stone, a corner, preciousness of a foundation—a foundation of the Believer. He will not hasten! 17And I will place justice for a commandment and righteousness for a plummet. And hail shall sweep-away the shelter of the prevarication; and waters shall gush-away the hiding-place! 18And he shall cover your covenant with Death. And your vision with Sheol will not stand. The scourge that will pass-over gushes! And ye shall be to him for treading! 19He will take you from the time-of his passing-over! For in the morning, in the morning he will pass-over, in the day and in the night! And he shall be only frustration to understand a report!”

 

That covenant will drive all Israelis who fear Yehovah to either leave the area or to work underground. They will have to work in small groups if they will save lives of other Israelis. Yehovah will have already sent many Israelis to the farthest locations throughout the world long before this time for their preservation and protection. This will be the backdrop to the time of Jacob’s Tribulation. While this fragmentation will last for a few years, the last part of the gathering itself will be within three days (I will show my evidence for this shortly).

 

The Hosea text

Hosea 5:15 “I will walk. I will return to my place until they declare themselves guilty and seek my faces! They will seek me sunrise in their Tribulation!” Hosea 6:1 “Come! And we shall return unto Yehovah! For He tore, and He will heal us! He smote, and He will bind us up! 2He will make us alive after two days! He will raise us up in the third day! And we shall live in His sight! 3Then we shall know! We shall follow on to know Yehovah! His going forth is prepared as the morning. And He shall come unto us as the rain—as the latter, former rain unto the land!”  

 

These Israelis know the exact timings of these events! He will raise up that Temple (consisting of Israelis and all His Body) in three days.

 

The Significance of Three Days

Why do a number of texts refer to events that are three days or within three days? If anyone will have a hope during terrible times, knowing when those times will end is vital. Some have given up just before the end of the terrors in previous terrible times, not realizing how close they were to the end. They might have endured to the end, had they known.

 

At the same time, being too specific will give information to enemies; they may use that information to commence a terrible slaughter in vengeance. Thus, Messiah has given information that is specific to the week, but not to the day or the hour:

 

Matthew 24:29 “Immediately after the Tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light. And the stars shall fall from the heavens, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. 30And then the sign of the Son of man shall appear in the heavens. And then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn. And they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the heavens with power and great glory. 31And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet; and they shall gather His elect together from the four winds—from one end of the heavens to the other. 32Now learn a parable of the fig tree: When his branch is yet tender, and he puts forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh. 33So likewise, when ye shall see all these things, ye know that it is near—at the doors. 34Faith I say unto you, this generation shall not pass until all these things are fulfilled. 35Heavens and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36But no one knows of that day and hour—no, not the angels of the heavens, but only my Father.”  

 

Mark 13:24 “In those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light. 25And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in the heavens shall be shaken. 26And then they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27And then He shall send His angels. And they shall gather together His elect from the four winds: from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of the heavens! 28Now learn a parable of the fig tree: When her branch is yet tender and puts forth leaves, ye know that summer is near. 29So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh: at the doors. 30Faith! I say unto you that this generation shall not pass until all these things are done. 31Heavens and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 32But no man knows of that day and hour—no, not the angels that are in the heavens or the Son, but the Father. 33Take ye heed! Watch and pray! For ye don’t know when the time is, 34as a man taking a far journey who left his house. And he gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work. And he commanded the porter to watch. 35Watch ye therefore! For ye don’t know when the master of the house comes: at even or at midnight or at the cockcrowing or in the morning, 36lest coming suddenly, he finds you sleeping! 37And what I say unto you I say unto all: Watch!”

 

These two texts refer to the gathering as well as the coming of the master (the Messiah). The gathering will be within a three-day period within the last week of the Tribulation; the coming of the Messiah will be exactly 1,290 days after the False Prophet of the Assyrian (antichrist) sets up an image of the Assyrian in the Temple:

 

Daniel 12:11 From the time that the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

 

Thus, any reader can know the very day of Messiah’s coming (once the abomination—a ‘living’ statue of the Assyrian that has power to kill—has been set up). The gathering is a different issue. Messiah Himself doesn’t know the day or the hour. Any careful reader can know the week in which the gathering takes place (it will be within the last week of the Tribulation). If the person knows the week, the person will also know the month and the year once the abomination has been set up.

 

These three-day periods are long enough that enemies will not believe them, and they are short enough that those who truly hope and believe will be able to easily wait. Another text refers to a shortening of the length of a day during the last part of the Tribulation, so that the maximum of three days that one must wait will not be 72 hours, but instead will be 48 hours:

 

Matthew 24:21 For great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be, shall be then. 22And except those days shall be shortened, there shall no flesh be saved! But those days shall be shortened for the elect’s sake.

 

The amount of the shortening is specifically described:

 

Revelation 8:12 And the fourth angel sounded. And the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars, so as the third part of them was darkened. And the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

 

The last phrase describes a shortening of a day and a night by a third. Thus, a 24-hour day/night cycle becomes a 16-hour day/night cycle. The most any Saint will have to wait to be gathered is 48 hours.

 

Raising it up

The Hosea text above mentioned raising up: “He will make us alive after two days! He will raise us up in the third day! And we shall live in His sight!” The word translated raised used here includes the following acceptations: to arouse (from sleep, from death), cause to rise, to awake; to recall the dead to life; to cause to rise from a seat or bed, etc. The purpose of the Temple’s fragmentation into its various parts will be to save lives. When the antitype of the Temple (that very real Body of persons of which the Temple is a picture) is caused to rise, all its various parts will ascend Mount Zion, literally rising up that very large mountain. (Mount Zion is presently quite small; it will become a great mountain during the Tribulation.) While the Temple (that is, what the Temple typifies) will be fragmented for quite a while, the gathering will bring it all together on Mount Zion within the period of three days by the act of Yeshua.

 

For those who thought that this text referred to Yeshua’s death and resurrection, Yeshua said in this text that He (not Yehovah the Father) will raise this Temple up, whereas Yehovah was the one who raised Yeshua from the dead:

 

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death so that, just as Messiah was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also shall walk in newness of life.

 

1 Peter 1:21 …who by Him do believe in God Who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory so that your faith and hope will be in God.

 

The Matzah in the Passover

Yeshua stated the following:

 

1 Corinthians 11:24 And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take! Eat! This is my Body that is broken for you! Do this in remembrance of me.”

 

Luke 22:19 And He took bread. And He gave thanks. And He broke it and gave unto them, saying, “This is my Body that is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

 

What did this show-and-tell act of taking Matzah, breaking it, telling them to take, telling them to eat, then telling them that this is His Body broken/given for them portray? Why did Yeshua break Matzah, and then tell them to take, to eat, and that it was broken for them?

 

In order to understand the answer to this question, another question must supercede: Whom did the disciples represent when Yeshua spoke to them in so many recorded discourses? The disciples themselves often found Yeshua’s words very confusing. He said things to them that didn’t make sense to them—at least, not to all of them. For example,

 

John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God; believe also in me.”

 

He said, “your (plural) heart (singular) as if they all had one heart, one mind. Then He said, “Ye believe in God.” That was true, except for Judas Iscariot. When He said, “Believe also in me,” He implied that they didn’t believe in Him. That was true of Judas Iscariot, but not of the rest of the disciples. The rest definitely believed in Him. I noticed these types of comments made by Yeshua throughout His ministry, and finally figured that He spoke to the disciples through the disciples to another group of disciples during the Tribulation. Those disciples will believe in Yehovah the Father, and won’t know who the Messiah is. Thus, we would call them unbelievers regarding Yeshua.

 

When Yeshua took the Matzah, broke it, and told them to take it, He was commanding them to receive something important. Matzah itself typifies a group (of persons) that is without sin, since leaven is a type of sin. If they take that piece of Matzah, they are receiving a small part of the Body of Messiah—a small group of folks (who are very likely fleeing for their lives, since the fulfillment will be during the Tribulation.

 

After they received this, He next told them to eat it. In the Bible, eating anything is becoming participant with it. That is why offerers of sacrifices ate of the sacrifices. It is also why Messiah said,

 

John 6:49 “Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50This is the bread that comes down from the heavens so that a man may eat of it and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from the heavens. If any man eats of this bread, he shall live forever. And the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 52The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us flesh to eat?” 53Then Yeshua said unto them, “Faith! Faith, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. 54Whoso eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life. And I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me, and I in him. 57As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father, so, he who eats me, even he shall live by me. 58This is that bread that came down from the heavens—not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He who eats of this bread shall live forever.”

 

Anyone who eats Passover bread (Matzah), or better, what it typifies, has become participant with what it typifies: pieces of that sin-free section of the Body of Messiah. That is why Messiah stated, “This is my Body that is given/broken for you.” Those folks who are part of the Matzah groups will risk their lives to save the lives of those Jews who are disciples, yet who have not come to faith in Yeshua; they make up the you.

 

Are the Temple and His Body Two Different Entities?

The expression, “Temple of His Body” gives the impression that they are two different identities. Had Yeshua spoken to the Jewish crowds in Greek, this might have been obvious. He spoke in Hebrew. If He used Aramaic, it is a variant of Hebrew. In either case, a Hebrew expression with of in it nearly never provides the equivalent Hebrew word for of; it is constructed into the phrase by the order and sometimes form of the first noun. For example, saying “the men of the city” in Hebrew would sound like this: “the men the city,” “men city,” or “men the city.” One speaking or reading Hebrew would know to supply the concept of the word of. Yet, there are cases where a reader or a hearer might not know whether the of is appropriate. Consider this phrase: the angel of the Lord. Now, suppose that “the Lord” is actually Yehovah; it would be, the angel of Yehovah. Is this angel one of the beings that Yehovah created, or is it Yehovah Himself? The Bible shows cases for both. In some cases, this is a separate being from Yehovah, and not deity; in other cases it is Yehovah Himself.

 

  • When it should be rendered the angel of Yehovah, the angel is a separate being.
  • When it should be rendered the Angel Yehovah, the angel is Yehovah Himself in messenger form, a reference to the Messiah.

If Yeshua is referring to the physical structure known as the Temple, the one that will be built during the Millennium, I have not seen a reference indicating that it will be built in three days, and I do not expect it to be built that rapidly. If Yeshua is referring to the Temple consisting of His Body, I have every expectation that He will assemble it to Mount Zion within the three-day gathering period. If this is the case, the Temple and His Body are one entity.

 

Did the Disciples understand this?

Verse 22 states, “When He was raised up from among the dead, His disciples therefore remembered that He had said this to them. And they believed the Scripture and the word that Yeshua had spoken.” The Spirit of Yehovah is giving readers an infallible editorial comment on what took place.

 

  • After Yeshua was raised up from among the dead, His disciples therefore remembered that He had said this to them. That does not tell the reader what they understood, but only that they remembered this statement.
  • His disciples believed the Scripture. What Scripture did they believe? That was something written. Which text was in mind? I propose that the Hosea 5 and 6 text given above was what they identified with what Yeshua had said. They believed that text. If this is the case, look again at that text:

Hosea 5:15 “I will walk. I will return to my place until they declare themselves guilty and seek my faces! They will seek me sunrise in their Tribulation!” Hosea 6:1 “Come! And we shall return unto Yehovah! For He tore, and He will heal us! He smote, and He will bind us up! 2He will make us alive after two days! He will raise us up in the third day! And we shall live in His sight! 3Then we shall know! We shall follow on to know Yehovah! His going forth is prepared as the morning. And He shall come unto us as the rain—as the latter, former rain unto the land!”

 

If they believed this, what did they believe about this text? What timing did they consider this text to hold? Did they properly understand it? I ask, because I remember another text where they thought they understood what Yeshua was saying, and they didn’t. They had set the wrong timing on Yeshua’s words. One example is when Messiah said the following:

 

Luke 22:36 He then said unto them, “But now, he who has a purse, he shall take it, and likewise his scrip. And he who has no sword, he shall sell his garment, and buy one. 37For I say unto you that what is written must yet be accomplished in me: ‘And he was reckoned among the transgressors.’ For the things concerning me have an end.” 38And they said, “Lord, behold, here are two swords.” And He said unto them, “It is enough.”

 

They did not understand timings.

 

 

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