“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
(2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 ESV)
God may or may not allow the Jews to rebuild a physical temple in Jerusalem, sometime in the future. But one thing is for sure, the temple the New Testament writers are mainly focused on, is the church. This temple is made up of both believing Jews and Gentiles, who are now one in Christ. Many believers are being distracted and have become more focused on a future rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, than what Jesus has been doing in his church, for the last 2000 years. The Antichrist will take his seat in the temple of God for a short time, which is the church, performing false signs and wonders.
“He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,and shall think to change the times and the law;and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.” (Daniel 7:25 ESV)
“… Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” (Ezekiel 9:4 NIV)
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV)
God’s end time temple is the church, and it was never meant to remain a localized structure in Jerusalem. His plan from the beginning was to cover the earth with his glory, not just inhabit a temple in Jerusalem. Jesus came to call all ethnic groups into one community, as one holy nation, he and his people are the final temple where his presence dwells. God calls each of his children to live holy lives, as the one who lives in us is holy.
The Spirit of Antichrist is presently making inroads into God’s temple. As G. K. Beal says, “The practical relevance of this discussion for the contemporary church, the temple, is that the spirit of the Antichrist may already be found hovering in its mist when its leaders change God’s word and contradict its meaning.”(1)
We must resist this spirit by learning the proper fear of the Lord, and living according to God’s word. We’re not sinless, but we must seek his presence and discernment and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in the days to come.
(1) G.K. Beale, The Temple And The Church’s Mission,