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Themes of the End Times (The Temple)

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Themes of the End Times (The Temple) Empty Themes of the End Times (The Temple)

Post by zone Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:01 pm

Themes of the End Times (The Temple)

A. The basic meaning of the Temple, Priesthood, and Sacrificial System
The Temple ultimately signifies God’s presence among his people.
The Priesthood signifies the need for one to bring God’s people into his presence and to enable them to dwell there by his mediation, forgiveness, and cleansing.
The Sacrificial System signifies the means by which the Priest can bring the people into God’s presence.
Each of these three is perfectly and ultimately fulfilled in Christ.
The expanding role of the Temple has important eschatological implications.

B. The expanding role of the Temple
1. Original creation
Psa 78:69 He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded forever.
Courtyard – with “the sea” (1 Kings 7:23-26) and altar, which was to be built of earth and unhewn stone (Ex. 20:24-25)
Holy Place – with the lights of heaven, the table of bread of the presence (like manna, which is called “angels’ food” and “grain from heaven” – Psalm 105:40; 78:24-25)
Most Holy Place – with cherubim and the mercy seat where God sits enthroned
2. The Garden of Eden
Three tiers: the outside world; Eden; and in Eden, a fruitful garden, where God walks with Adam (Gen. 2:8)
Adam is God’s ruling representative on earth, the “go-between” where God’s presence meets with his creation.
3. The Tabernacle
Made according to the “pattern shown” – there is a heavenly archetype (Ex. 25:8-9; Heb. 8:1-5; 9:1-5); the significance of the furniture is seen throughout the Gospel of John
Altar – “Behold the Lamb of God!”
Laver – Discourse with Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman (life-giving Spirit, purification, eternal life) Bread of the Presence – feeding of the five thousand; “I am the Bread of Life”
Candelabrum – giving sight to the man born blind; “I am the Light of the World”
Altar of Incense – The High-Priestly Prayer
4. The Temple in Jerusalem
Association with permanence; with Jerusalem, the City of God; with the house of the Davidic King (2 Sam. 7:1-17; 1 Kings 1:9-5)
Anticipation of a greater temple (Ezek. 40-48)
Anticipation of eternal, worldwide temple, synonymous both with Jerusalem and the New Heavens and Earth (Isa. 65:17-18; 66:1, 20-24)
5. The physical body of Christ
Perfect fulfillment of the Temple’s meaning – the Immanuel principle (cf. Gen. 17:7; Ex. 25:8; 1 Kings 6:11-14; John 1:14, 18; 2:18-22)
Perfect fulfillment of all the Temple’s furniture (Heb. 9:1-5)
Particular fulfillment of the Temple’s veil (access to the Most Holy Place through his rent flesh – Mat. 27:50-51; Heb. 10:19-22)
6. The mystical body of Christ
Christ is the Foundation and Cornerstone of the new Temple, and the Church which is spreading throughout the world is a growing Temple (1 Cor. 3:9-11, 16-17; 2 Cor. 6:16-17; Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:4-9; Rev. 3:12 ).
Inner court and outer court signifies true and false Christians (Rev. 11:1-4 – note difference between Tabernacle and Temple in the matter of courtyard[s]).
7. The climactic opposition to God’s growing Temple: Antichrist
The climactic enemy to Christ and his people is Antichrist (the “Man of Sin”), who sits as Christ in God’s Temple, deceiving God’s people (2 Thes. 2).
Even today, there are “many antichrists among us” (1 John 2:18)
8. The climactic conclusion of God’s growing Temple: the New Jerusalem
The New Jerusalem is the new Eden, with fruitful gardens, the tree of life, etc.
The New Jerusalem is the new Temple/City of the Davidic King/Priest (foundations of precious stones, as Solomon’s Temple; perfect cube, as Most Holy Place; no sun, but instead the Lamb shining as the candelabrum, etc. – cf. Heb. 12:22-24). The New Jerusalem is worldwide and eternal (“no temple”; “without are dogs,” etc. – Rev. 21:3, 22; 22:15).

C. The Symbolism of the Priesthood
The priestly consecration: washing, anointing, sanctifying
The priestly clothing: righteousness, holiness, and representation
The priestly service: mediation and redemption
The priestly caste: High Priest and nation of priests

D. The Symbolism of the Sacrificial System
Principle of substitution is paramount (e.g. Lev. 1:4)
Burnt offering – completely consumed by fire, which represents God’s wrath
Meal offering – in conjunction with other offerings, and conveying additional truths: anointed with oil (the Spirit); for the nourishment of the priests and Levites (Christians); without leaven (defilement); without honey (added good works); with frankincense (intercession and sweet-smelling effects); with salt (inviolate and preservative)
Sin offering – providing forgiveness and justification for the non-presumptuous and truly penitent
Trespass offering – providing redemption, freedom from sin and slavery
Peace offering – glimpse of the results of the sufferings: joyful, corporate fellowship with God, feasting on the sacrifice (cf. Rev. 19:6-9)

E. Study Questions
1.How does a biblical theology of the Temple affect our understanding of eschatology? What does it teach us of the unity and significance of the entire biblical story, including its prophesied conclusion?
2.The bible tells us to be “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (2 Pet. 3:12). Does the goal of the future, as clarified by a biblical theology of the Temple, with its priesthood and services, provide any insight into how we can practically go about hastening the day of God? What is the relationship between the ongoing growth of the Temple, personal holiness, world missions, and the events surrounding the conclusion of history?
3.Does this biblical theology of the Temple give us any insight into what the eternal state will be like? What makes heaven heaven? Why do we want to be there? Does this study stir up our desire to be in the New Jerusalem?

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