Friday, August 28, 2015

Was Paul not referring to a Temple Building, But somehting Spiritual?

It seem odd to most of us good Futurists that such a debate exists, but it's out there.

Before beginning this study it is necessary to address a common teaching regarding a temple being built in Israel. Many Christian's teach and believe that the next temple to be built in Jerusalem Israel will be one in which "the man of sin" or "the Antichrist" will enter into and defile by declaring himself to be God. These beliefs are supported mainly from one verse in Second Thessalonians 2:4, which states that the man of sin "sits as God in the temple of God showing himself that he is God."

There are two different Greek words that are translated as "temple" in English. One word "hieron" is used by Paul when referring to an actual building made with wood and stones. The other word "naos" is used when referring to the spiritual temple of God which refers to His people. The word "naos" is the one used in this 2 Thessalonians 2:4 verse, and therefore is NOT talking about a physical temple.

Doug Fortune, in his article "Antichrist Revealed" writes:

    Beginning with the Book of Acts, after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, through the Book of Revelation, the word naos is used ONLY referring to people as the temple not made with hands. When referring to the physical temple building the word hieron is used. Of course, throughout the Book of Revelation, the word naos is used, as that Book is the REVEALING of Jesus Christ, and He is revealed in the MIDST of the Lampstand, the CHURCH (Revelation 1:20). Why then is there so much confusion when 2 Thessalonians 2:4 speaks of the man of sin seated in the NAOS of God, “...which temple (naos) YE ARE...”(1Corinthians 3:17). Why are we looking for a man seated in a building yet to be built in the Middle-East, when we should be looking in the mirror? As the man of sin, the Adam nature is revealed and "the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and bring him to an end by His appearing at His coming.” or “the brightness of His coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:8) as some translations read.5

The New Covenant addresses first spiritual matters and secondarily natural matters (Likewise the Old Testament speaks first to natural things and second to spiritual things). Therefore, 2 Thessalonians 2:4 is NOT referring to an actual physical temple. Even if there is another "temple building" built in Jerusalem before Ezekiel's temple, it has nothing to do with the construction of Ezekiel's temple discussed in this study, because the Messiah Yahoshua (Jesus) will be responsible for building the Millennial Temple. Zechariah 6:12 and 13 is clear that the Messiah (and not unredeemed Jews) will build the Lord's temple:

"Behold, the Man whose name is the Branch (a term for the Messiah)! From His place He shall branch out, And HE SHALL BUILD THE TEMPLE, Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord. He shall bear the glory, and 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 (both natural and spiritual governments - or kings and priests)."

The apostle Paul speaks of mankind as God's temple often. A few examples include 1 Cor. 3:16, 1 Cor. 6:19, and Eph. 2:21. Now that we have established that Second Thessalonians 2:4 is referring to the "temple of mankind," rather than an actual physical temple in Jerusalem, we can interpret the rest of this verse:
First off, I obviously agree Ezekiel's Temple is the not the one the Man of Sin will violate, as do all Futurits/Premillenals , this was a pointless detour for the author's main focus.

Also this person doesn't even understand the Allegorical/Spiritual Temple Paul refers to in the verses cited. It's not Mankind it's The Church. And many would argue Ezekiel's Temple is the one Paul has in mind when he defined The Church as The Temple of God, which is also New Jerusalem. I have a study on the common misconceptions of what's talking about the Millennium and what's the New Heaven and New Earth.

But to suggest these verses tell us how to Interpret this Verse where Paul is talking about Eschatology is absurd. Both Thessalonian Epistle's talks on Eschatology are effectively an a further elaboration of Matthew 24's Olivite Discourse.

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:"

The Reference to Daniel tells us to look at the Last verse of Chapter 9 and also Chapter 12 where we're told the Evil Act Antiochus Epiphanies committed will be repeated.

This is also supposed to be something Unmistakeable, something that clearly hasn't already happen therefore they need not worry that they've somehow missed the Second Coming. When you take such a vague defining of the verse your essentially allowing anything to be what the passage refers to. What they believe this refers to is

"The antichrist comes out from among us (the temple of God) just like Judas came out from among the disciples of Jesus, yet he was not manifested (made known) until the end of Jesus' ministry. Likewise, "the man of sin" who has been among us for the past 2,000 years just like Judas, will be made known (manifested) now at the end of this age in a more obvious manner. This Judas spirit, which is the selfishness in all of us, is being dealt with by God."
Yes, what a wonderfully chronologically helpful thing for Paul to reassure his readers with.

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