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Temple Of God?

  

Jesus taught his disciples about the last times, of false prophets (Matthew 24:11), of the abomination of desolation foretold in Daniel (Matthew 24:15), and of a proliferation of both false Christs and false prophets (Matthew 24:24-25). Paul adds more information in II Thessalonians 2 regarding the man of lawlessness who John calls the Antichrist (I John 2:18, 22; 4:3 and II John 7)

Paul begins II Thessalonians 2 by encouraging the believers not to be troubled by the report that the day of the Christ had already come. Two things must happen before the day of Christ:  1) the apostasy or falling away 2) the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction (II Thessalonians 2:1-3). The man of lawlessness is an eschatological person. He will not appear until just before the Lord returns. Many men in history have seemed qualified but none are the one because Jesus destroys him with his coming (Verse 8 ).

He will insist on being the supreme object of worship. He demands religious veneration from all. The man of lawlessness will claim to be God.

II Thessalonians 2:4  “who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”

It is difficult to know exactly what is the “temple of God” referred to here. Paul and the Thessalonians apparently understood.  According to Ephesians 2 the temple of God is the Christian Church. So does this say he will be in the center of Christianity? There was a material temple in Jerusalem at the time of the writings which represented to the Jews the presence of God. Many think there must be another temple built so that this prophecy can be fulfilled. Could the temple of God be used figuratively representing the authority and power of God? Where will the man of lawlessness make his blasphemous claims?

When the man of lawlessness is destroyed by the Lord of Glory we will understand for sure what the temple of God is.

7 Responses to “Temple Of God?”

  1. on 05 Dec 2006 at 11:10 amJohnO

    I haven’t had the time to look up – but I’ve heard claims that the greek phrase that Paul uses there “temple of God” he *always* uses to as a metaphor – meaning the body of Christ, or the individual. But I don’t know if that is a conclusive claim.

  2. on 05 Dec 2006 at 11:54 amSean

    I think the key to understanding this verse {2 Thes 2.4} lies in the allusion made to the King of Babylon {Is 14.14}. Take a look at both of these texts side by side.

    “[the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction] who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”
    2 Thes 2.4

    “But you [the king of Babylon: see verse 4] said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'”
    Is 14.13-14

    There are some striking parallels here. The king of Babylon exalts himself {2 Thes 2.4} by trying to raise his throne above the stars of God {Is 14.3}. He takes his seat in the temple of God {2 Thes 2.4} and sits on the mount of assembly {Is 14.13}. He displays himself as being God {2 Thes 2.4} and makes himself like the Most High {Is 14.14}.

    If these two are tied together, that is, if Paul had the prophecy of the king of Babylon in mind while writing this letter to the Thessalonian believers, then it seems reasonable that the temple is literal. Besides how can the king of Babylon exalt himself and sit in the people of God? We wouldn’t be the people of God (i.e. the figurative temple of God as in Eph 2.19-22) if we have the king of Babylon exalted in our hearts. In fact, having the anitchrist reigning in our hearts, or exalted in us, would be a guaruntee that we are not God’s temple.

    Further support can be garnered from the phrase “abomination of desolation” used primarily by Daniel & Jesus. Someone will come “who will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate” {Dan 9.27}. Jesus warned his followers to flee to the mountains when they see “the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” {Mat 24.15}. For more references see Dan 8.11; 11.31; 12.11; Mark 13.14; Luke 21.20; Rev 11.2. Jesus expected some horrible thing (or person) to stand in the holy place. In this remark of our Lord, it seems clear that he is speaking of the literal temple {see Mat 24.1-2}.

  3. on 29 Dec 2006 at 12:56 pmWolfgang

    Sean,
    I think your points re the prophetic reference in Daniel and Jesus making reference to it as well (abomination of desolation in the holy place) does establish that the literal temple of God at Jerusalem is meant.

    The problem now arises how that could be since this very temple has already been destroyed and is no longer standing for anyone to take a seat there. How can Paul’s words be correctly understood in light of this established fact about the no longer existing temple?

    God bless you
    Wolfgang

  4. on 30 Dec 2006 at 4:09 pmJohnO

    That will always be the location of any temple. The Jewish people are serious about reclaiming the site and erecting a temple. Paul’s prophecy isn’t about the very stones of that temple – but the site. It is the place, the location that is holy – not the actual building – because that is where God told David, on the threshingfloor of the Jebusite.

  5. on 31 Dec 2006 at 10:56 amWolfgang

    Hi John O,
    the term “the temple” does not seem used in Scripture as a reference to the temple location or temple site … The context is quite clear that Paul is referring to a physical building IN which this “man of lawlessness” establishes himself and from which he acts as if he were God.

    The idea that a new physical temple will be erected on the same site / place where the former temple was destroyed in order for this passage of 2Thess to be fulfilled, is strange for several reasons …. such as: why would Paul make reference to a distant future temple when there was a temple still standing at the time? why should there be another physical temple when in the meantime the type of the temple has already found its fulfillment in the real and spiritual house of God?

    God bless you
    Wolfgang

  6. on 02 Dec 2007 at 6:20 pmjimS

    Might it not be that the “daily sacrifice” or “place of continual exultation” as revealed by the hebrew text
    (tamiyd:H8548 ruwm:H7311 ruwm:H7311 shalak:H7993 miqdash:H4720)
    include the church of the body and some literal place?

    Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them:

    Dan 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

    This states antichrist will make war with the saints. It does not say Israel. I don’t believe modern Israel can be considered “saints”.
    Maybe this might seem far fetched, but scripture has been dark before until the Father found those who would dare to believe the simplicity of the scripture. consider this also:

    Dan 11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
    Dan 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

    People who know their God are not neccesarily modern jews or modern “christians”. They are those who acknowledge the covenant of the sacrifice of messiah and the call to make diciples.
    The text also calls into motion those who do wickedly against the covenant.
    I submit we’ve had many false ones (christs, preachers, ministers, ets…) do wickedly against the “covenant” for thousands of years as spoken of by Paul at Ephesus…

    Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
    Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

    One also might consider “polution of the sancutary” to be exactly that. Have not we ,the sons of God, been poluted by heretical teachings…

    Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Jude 1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
    Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
    Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
    Jude 1:8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

    2 Pet 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
    2 Pet 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

    It seems possible both the Israel of God (saints) and the state of Israel might be included in these attacks by antichrist. This would explain how after the majority of the saints were rendered powerless by false teaching that then the man of lawlessness would come. Somehow I see both situations like dominos falling in order. I pray then for the remnant of those who don’t fall prey to false christs and would “be strong and do exploits” to the glory of Yaweh!

  7. on 05 Nov 2014 at 4:08 amlion

    i think the temple of god is our body , the antichrist destroyer etc will seek to raise from the inside out, through feelings, no faith, void and lawlessness in our bodies, we will lose control if God deems it so. this is to do with the crucifixion of jesus Gods body, it is the only thing lawlessness destroyer can do, Jesus gave him the way in and will still destroy him

  

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