The Temple meant far more to the Jews than we understand today. It was not just like another church building but it was THE ONE AND ONLY PLACE where GOD himself resided at the heart of Israel. It was the place where HEAVEN met EARTH.
Matt 24:1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying,"Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" NKJV
The Temple was the place which was at the centre of the Jewish religious life...God resided there, sacrifices were offered there and festivals were held there.
It was the centre of the Hebrew nation and it was the physical expression of their unique and special covenant relationship with God and it's existance confirmed their entitlement to occupy the Land.
Numerous prophets however spoke of the coming destruction of the temple and Jerusalem....
Isa 64:10 Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and beautiful temple,
Where our fathers praised You,
Is burned up with fire;
And all our pleasant things are laid waste. NKJV
Context is AFTER Messiah's death (Is 53)
Dan 9:24 "Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
26 "And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined. NKJV
The context again is AFTER Messiah's death (line 2)
The destruction of the Temple celebrated the END of the Age of the Law. This will NEVER be reversed!
John 4:21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." NKJV
Material religion located in one place came to an END with the destruction of the physical temple.... God now can be found by ANY and EVERY believer who seeks Him and in EVERY NATION of the world.
Luke 17:20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say,'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you." NKJV
Israel is no longer the centre of the spiritual world ... their Temple was destroyed...their priesthood extinguished (when the genealogical records were all burned up)...their sacrificial system ended (there is now no sacrifice for sins)... their land was taken from them....and their nation decimated when 1.1 million were executed and most others taken into slavery.
God DEMONSTRATES His judgment on Israel in the destruction of the temple.....their response to being given the Law was to REJECT GOD HIMSELF in Christ Jesus. God demonstrates that the covenant relationship with natural Israel (Israel according to the flesh) is OVER.
Dan 12:7 ... and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished. NKJV
The 'power of the holy people' refers to the exclusive covenant relationship Israel had with God. God describes this as a marriage in many places. BUT Israel betrayed the covenant. God first divorced the northern Kingdom of Israel for their adultery. (This was done when the Assyrians took the nation capitive and spread the people all over the Assyria and then populated the northern part of Israel with other nations they had defeated)
Jer 3:8 And I saw, when, for this very cause that backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a bill of divorcement, yet treacherous Judah her sister feared not; but she also went and played the harlot. ASV
Judah was the southern kingdom...and was represented by Jerusalem. (The Romans took the capital city and destroyed the nation in AD 70 showing that she too was divorced ... the seven sealed scroll of Revelations can be seen as the bill of divorcement for Judah)
Jesus interprets that Dan 12:7 would be fulfilled with the destruction of the temple in Mat 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 and that this would be 'the time of the end'. The apostles knew that the timing of these events was to be 'the end of the age'. In AD 70 this was fulfilled together with the destruction of the priesthood and the end of sacrifices and the death of more than 1.1 million Jews with the balance being taken away as slaves. This leaves us with one other unshakeable conclusion.....
Just as this prophecy of Daniel concerning the destruction of Jerusalem was certainly fulfilled in AD 70.... so ALL THESE things are now FINISHED... according to scripture
All the things spoken of by Daniel include:-
1) the second coming on clouds...Dan 7:13
2) the tribulation ...Dan 12:1
3) the resurrection and judgment... Dan 12:2&3
4) the everlasting and unending Kingdom of Heaven being established ... Dan 2:44; Dan 7:13-14 & 27
Now if Daniel states that ALL these things are finished, what basis is left for any futurist escatology in the prophetic scriptures?
Luke 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. NKJV
Jesus also confirmed that ALL prophecies concerning Him would also be fulfilled at this time ...by the same series of events
AND NOW God offers a NEW AND LIVING WAY ...by residing in ALL His children wherever they are.....
John 2:19 Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
20 Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"
21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. NKJV
1 Cor 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. NKJV
1 Cor 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? NKJV
We today as believers are THE ISRAEL OF GOD... together with the believing remnant of Israel who formed the foundation of the early church and those who have become believers throughout the centuries since then, we have been grafted into THE vine and now each draw our LIFE from Christ directly. (John 15 and Rom 11)
Will a new physical temple be built in Jerusalem as some believe, so that some further prophecies can be fulfilled?
Those who believe in a new physical temple and a new physical glorious Jerusalem have misunderstood the prophecies of the Old Testament....and the book of Revelations.
2 Cor 4:18 For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. NKJV
Col 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. NKJV
God is NOT going to restore the Old Covenant...with a new temple and a new Jerusalem. JESUS himself is the FULFILLMENT of the Old Covenant and the temple.
Rev 3:12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. NKJV
Rev 21:2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. NKJV
Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. NKJV
Gal 4:24 .. which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar — 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children — 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. NKJV
(The Old Covenant came down from a mountain through an intermediary...the new covenant has come directly from God Himself)
WE are the temple....and the New Jerusalem is the NEW COVENANT...the realm in which we all can fellowship with God today as His children.
1 Peter 2:4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. NKJV
There will be NO future animal sacrifices...Jesus is the fulfillment of the sacrificial system
Heb 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. NKJV
The NEW temple brethren is US... and God will NEVER again dwell in a physical temple in Jerusalem. In the same way the HEAVENLY Jerusalem is the NEW covenant. Just as God will never again dwell in a physical temple, He will NEVER again return to 'Israel after the flesh' in the covenant of the Law.
Deut 24:4 (after being given the bill of divorcement).. then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD NKJV