Sunday, July 19, 2015

Red Heifers and a 3rd Temple? - Pastor Carl Gallups Weighs In


For PNN News and Ministry Network
By Pastor Carl Gallups
July 19, 2015



Today, WND.com is running an article on its site titled, "Red Heifers In Israel Prompt 3rd Temple Speculation."

While I believe WND always does a tremendous job in its reporting, especially concerning controversial matters within the Christian community, I wanted to add more of my original comments concerning the Red Heifer controversy to the already excellent WND article. 

Joel Richardson, Mark Biltz, and I were interviewed for the WND article. The TOTALITY of my statements submitted to WND for that article are given below.  Because WND certainly cannot include every single comment that an interviewee submits, I thought it prudent for the readers of PNN to know everything that was on my mind when I submitted my comments to WND.  I encourage you to read the WND article as well. It is well-written and offers tremendous insight from Richardson and Biltz - both very dear friends of mine and wonderful Bible scholars and brothers in the Lord. 

=======================================================

 
There has long been a scholarly debate among Christians concerning whether or not a literal temple must be reconstructed in Jerusalem before Christ returns. Both sides make very salient scriptural arguments. The details of the interpretation of all the particular scriptures involved in the argument would be too lengthy for this article, however the essence of the argument can be stated rather simply.

There are those who point to scriptures like 2 Thessalonians 2:4, "... who [The antichrist] opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God," and point out the obvious "sitting in the temple" required of the ultimate antichrist character. Yet there are others, including many of the classical and highly respected Christian commentators who declare this "temple" is none other than the Christian Church (the temple being built with “living stones”) of the last days.

Those who hold to this view make their scriptural argument from the plethora of New Testament declarations that clearly state that the "new temple" that God builds in the last days (since the time of Jesus' completed work through the cross and the empty tomb) is none other than the Bride of Christ itself. If this is so, then the verse in 2 Thessalonians would indicate that the antichrist, through his demonically deceptive power, will be one who sets himself up as a "ruler claiming the authority of God" over the "church," attempting to direct the affairs of all of last days Christendom. Again, the totality of the arguments are complex and involve much dissection of scripture and the original languages in which they were written - but this is the jest of the argument. I want to reiterate that the arguments are strong for both biblical understandings of this issue - and they are intricate.

But, if the second line of biblical argument is followed [the church is the "temple"], then there is no necessity for a literal Jewish temple [built by the people who rejected Jesus as Messiah!]  to be rebuilt in order for end time prophecy to reach its ultimate fulfillment. However, it cannot be argued that a segment of the modern day orthodox Jews obviously believe that a new temple must be constructed and cleansed with a red heifer ceremony before their long-awaited Messiah (not Jesus) finally appears.

Regarding the "red heifer;" there is no biblical mention of an end time "red heifer prophecy" in and of itself. Rather, the command to sacrifice the red heifer came with the construction and dedication of the first temple that Solomon built (Numbers 19). The temple has been destroyed twice since Solomon built the first temple. It was rebuilt during the Persian period and then again (or added to and completed) under Herod's domain under Roman rule. In neither of these instances is a preliminary red heifer purification process mentioned in the scriptures.

Some bible scholars argue that Ezekiel 40:18ff is a description of the rebuilding of the "tribulation” temple. If this is so - there is no mention of a red heifer cleansing process there either. Furthermore, there is absolutely nothing mentioned in the New Testament about a red heifer purification process. The only purification process featured in the New Testament is the purification offered by Jesus Himself, by His blood, for the "temple" on earth (which is the church) and in the actual temple in Heaven (the main point of the book of Hebrews), which is the ultimate temple of God.

As I elucidate in my book, FINAL WARNING, there are also those who point to the current Islamic Dome of the Rock as an undeniable and literal fulfillment of the “abomination of desolation” currently standing in the “holy place.” They would also point out that the undeniable “spirit” of antichrist is attached to the whole of the Islamic message, especially as it relates to the biblical Jesus. Furthermore, they would say, its demonic influence continues to wreak destruction and spread its influence throughout the world in our own historical timeframe.

So, as the clamoring for a red heifer, and a red heifer ceremony, reaches a frenzied pitch, I watch all of this with great prophetic interest – admitting that I am not fully convinced of its necessity for the return of Jesus Christ. Jewish clerics may in fact be looking for a red heifer and believe this to be an integral part in the process of reconstructing the temple and re-instituting the temple rituals. But, whether the religious authorities of Israel go through the red heifer process or not and whether or not they do so in a "biblically prescribed" manner does not necessarily have to be, in my opinion, of great prophetic importance regarding the return of Jesus.

However, the solid signs of Jesus' soon return are all around us – beginning with the fact that a 2,500-year-old prophecy regarding the last days return of Israel has already occurred. Israel has been back in the land for almost 70 years. Add to this fact that the Ezekiel 38 nations are now aligning themselves to attack that returned Israel, as well as the rise of Islamic terrorism and dominance in the Middle East, along with the pervasive Sodom and Gomorrah spirit that is now sweeping the planet (quickened along by the recent US Supreme Court ruling) – we certainly have an undeniable convergence of last days prophetic happenings … with or without a red heifer.




Does the antichrist requrie a literal rebuilt "temple?"  (A biblical word study)


By Pastor Carl Gallups
=================

Following, I have provided a quick WORD STUDY concerning the subject of the antichrist "setting himself up in the temple" and whether or not this "temple" is a literal rebuilt temple in Jerusalem - or, perhaps, a metaphor for the "temple mount" or perhaps even the "church" (corrupted) in the last days.


I am not dogmatic about this subject either way. I am just taking an honest look at the two biblically allowed possibilities. There certainly could be a literal rebuilt temple in the last days before the return of Christ and occupied by the antichrist. Alternatively, there is ample BIBLICAL evidence to support a metaphorical "temple" and not a literal rebuilt temple.

We shall see!  These certainly are interesting and prophetic times!

MARANATHA!


The Word Study
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THERE ARE TWO GREEK WORDS FOR "TEMPLE"

1. hierón  (STRONG'S 2411)  (Pronounced hee-er-on)
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2411

Hieron is used to denote the actual physical temple - the building itself.
(Every time it is used in scripture it is used this way.)

Definition: a temple, either the whole building, or specifically the outer courts, open to worshipers.
http://biblehub.com/greek/2411.htm
==================

2. naós  (STRONG'S 3485) (naw-os)
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3485


USED TO DENOTE:

1. A literal Temple (when used in NT for the temple in Jerusalem, it always refers to the holy place or the Holy of Holies - but not the entire structure of the temple complex. (See the excellent article excerpt at the end of this PNN article.)
2. Any heathen temple or shrine
3. Metaphorically - the spiritual temple representing all Christians joined by Christ - The Church.

There is not a SINGLE place in scripture where this word is used to denote the entire literal and physical temple complex of God in Jerusalem (as specifically and clearly defined by the text in which the word is used).
==================

II Thessalonians 2:4 is the only verse in the New Testament that seemingly and directly connects the antichrist with a "temple" of some short.

II Thessalonians 2:4
He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

However, this passage uses the Greek word naos instead of hieron ... giving it the  possibility of use #3 of naos - metaphorically - and possibly representing the church (or some apostate form thereof) in the last days.


BY THE WAY
Every single use of the word "temple" in the book of Revelation uses the Greek word naos.

This is VERY IMPORTANT, because whenever John talks of a literal temple building (throughout the Gospel of John for example) he uses the word hieron. Whenever he speaks of a symbolic temple he uses the word naos.  There are only two places in the entire Gospel of John where he uses naos:

First - here is an example where John uses hieron to denote the literal temple edifice in Jerusalem:

John 2:14
In the temple (hieron) courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.

BUT, JUST FIVE VERSES LATER: John uses the word "temple" again!

John 2:19
Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple (naos - obviously SYMBOLIC), and I will raise it again in three days."

AND THEN TWO VERSES LATER  - HE USES THE SAME WORD AGAIN

John 2:21
But the temple (naos) he had spoken of was his body.

These are the ONLY two places where John speaks of a "symbolic" temple in the Gospel of John (and he even tells us it is symbolic!) and these two times (only) he uses the word naos and not the word hieron (which always speaks of a literal temple building). This is a huge clue!


So - when John, the same writer of Revelation and of the Gospel of John, comes to the book of Revelation - what Greek word does he use in Revelation 11 (and EVERY other place in Revelation)? He uses the word naos! This is a huge consideration in getting a proper interpretation. John has already laid down for us his pattern of word usage. The pattern could not be any clearer.

Also observe that in Revelation 11:1, John is told to count the number of "true worshipers" in the "temple."

Revelation 11:1
"I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple (naos) of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there."

Why didn't John use the word hieron here?  He uses it everywhere else when he speaks of a literal temple...but he did not use it here! And this is especially important since he was told to measure the outer courts. Please remember that one of the definitions of heiron is literally - the outer courts of a literal temple where the worshipers gather!  But John did not use this word - he used the word naos - which can also mean a temple in the metaphorical - or symbolic sense.

Additionally - consider this important fact - - when John wrote Revelation (in the 90s AD) there was no temple in Jerusalem. The Romans had already destroyed it. If Revelation 11 is speaking of a "rebuilt" and literal temple - why did John leave out this monumentally important fact? Surely he would have mentioned the miraculous "rebuilding" of a brand new and glorious temple in the last days - on the temple mount?  But there is no mention of this being a rebuilt temple - only the use of the Greek word naos - rather than hieron.


Also, remember that Jews reject Jesus as Messiah. Obviously then, they cannot be counted as  "true worshipers" of God, according to every teaching of Jesus and of the New Testament.  So - if there is a rebuilt literal Jewish temple in the last days - there would be no true worshipers there! BUT - if John is talking symbolically of the true New Testament temple (the church) then he would definitely use the word naos - which he did!
 
ANOTHER ASTOUNDING PIECE OF INFORMATION!

The word "temple" is used 15X in the book of Revelation. In EVERY instance (except for Rev. 11) it is used to speak of the "temple" in HEAVEN!  And  - every time the word "temple" is used, John uses the word naos! He purposely distinguishes between hieron (the literal temple in Jerusalem) and naos (a metaphorical temple - or - the temple in heaven!).

In Revelation 11 it would have been so easy for John to use the word hieron if that temple were a literal and rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. That is the word John uses throughout the Gospel of John for the literal temple in Jerusalem. But, John purposely did not use this word in Revelation 11. There must be a very important reason for this.

The preceding information is especially important in light of the fact that out of over 450 verses in the Bible mentioning the word "temple" there is not a single verse that clearly and specifically prophesies of a third temple being rebuilt. The passage in 2 Thessalonians only infers that this might be the case - but when considering the specific Greek word used in that ONE verse alone - it certainly is not a conclusive statement of a rebuilt third temple.

Jesus' ONLY statement making a connection with the antichrist and, perhaps, a "temple."

Matthew 24:15 (and Mark 13:14)
[Jesus said] "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel-- let the reader understand--

This is the only place where Jesus says something about the antichrist in a "holy place." In this passage the Greek words for holy + place - do not necessarily designate the temple. There is no Greek word for temple used in this verse.

Rather, Jesus said - the "holy place" would be defined by what you read in Daniel. Jesus told the reader to read Daniel's description of this matter with "understanding."   So, let us examine what ALL the passages in Daniel, that speak of the antichrist in a "holy place" or "sanctuary," have to say - in the original language in which Daniel was written. But before we go to Daniel there is one other  -

IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATION ( ANOTHER HUGE CLUE!):

Compare Paul's use of the two words for "temple" in the book of Corinthians,
(and throughout every other letter he wrote in the New Testament).

1 Corinthians6:19

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.  (This use is obviously metaphorical. The word naos is used.)

1 Corinthians 9:13

 Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?  (In the same book - the same author now uses a different Greek word [hieron] when speaking of the literal temple in Jerusalem)

Why is Paul using two different Greek words in the SAME book? Because the words have very different shades of meaning.

Don't forget, it was Paul who wrote 2 Thessalonians 2:4 - the ONLY verse in the New Testament that directly connects the antichrist with a "temple." And what word did Paul use to describe this "temple" in 2 Thessalonians?  He used the word naos. In fact - in EVERY instance in the New Testament where Paul speaks of the temple metaphorically as being the church (or the believer), instead of a literal temple in Jerusalem,  he uses the word naos. 

So, when he comes to 2 Thessalonians - he uses the word naos there as well. If Paul meant that the antichrist would sit in a "literal temple" why not use hieron - but instead he purposely chose naos. This is a huge indication as to what Paul might have meant.


Also consider: The entire book of Acts (written by the Greek expert - Luke) ALWAYS uses the Greek word hieron when speaking of the temple in Jerusalem or even a pagan temple. But he NEVER - in the entire book of Acts - uses the GK word naos to refer to the temple.

Of course - Luke never speaks of a spiritual or metaphorical temple in Acts ... so he uses heiron. However, both Paul and John do reference a spiritual temple - and every time they do - they use the word naos!  The same word used in 2 Thessalonians 2:4.

  
 ------------------------------
THE TWO HEBREW WORDS FOR TEMPLE IN THE BOOK OF DANIEL

(Daniel is the only Old Testament book seemingly associating the antichrist with a "temple.")

---------------------------------

1. Strongs # 1965 - heykal (An Aramaic word) 

This word means - a palace or TEMPLE - a literal building used for worship ...

(Example - Daniel 5:2 - "the temple in Jerusalem.")
 http://www.studylight.org/lexicons/hebrew/hwview.cgi?n=1965

Brown-Driver-Briggs' Definition - heykal
  1. palace, temple
    1. palace
    2. temple (in Jerusalem)
    3. temple (pagan)  In Ezra 5:14 - this word is used for the temple in Jerusalem as well as a pagan "temple" in Babylon.
---------------------------------

2. Strong's # 4720  - miqdash
 http://biblehub.com/hebrew/4720.htm

Definition:
a sacred place, sanctuary (of any type)
Often used in the spiritual sense.


Uses of the word miqdash (as in Daniel 8 and 11) in the Old Testament:
holy (1x), holy place (2x), holy places (1x), places (1x), sacred part (1x), sanctuaries (5x), sanctuary (65x).

But, miqdash is NEVER used for the "temple" itself - as a building, and especially the edifice in Jerusalem. (http://biblehub.com/hebrew/4720.htm)
 
-----------------------------------

The book of Daniel uses this word (#1965) every time - EXCEPT for when the word "temple" is associated with the antichrist!

This fact is a striking revelation. It seems there is a purposed use of another word for that particular designation alone.

-------------------------------

There are only two places in the Old Testament that modern translations use the word "temple" in conjunction with the antichrist.  Both are found in the book of Daniel. There are only four verses in Daniel that might imply that the antichrist is in a "temple."  Let's examine those four verses:

Daniel 8:11
"It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low."

But - the word sacrifice is not in the original text. And the word for sanctuary is miqdash - not necessarily speaking of a literal temple edifice.

Daniel 9:27
He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."  (NIV)

But the words "of the temple" is not in the original text ... this is why some translations have the word in []. The word was added by the translators as an "interpretation" or a "commentary." The original text only says, "and on a wing he will set up the abomination that causes desolation ..."  The translators "assumed" it meant a "wing of the temple."  They also "assumed" it meant a wing of a "literal temple in Jerusalem on the temple mount."  However, these are ONLY assumptions and not clear renderings of the actual Hebrew text of the scriptures.


Daniel 11:31
"His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.  
(This is a verse Jesus referred us to in Matthew 24)

But this translation for "temple" is STRONG'S 4720 (miqdash). The word is not a literal "temple" (as in an entire building such as the one in Jerusalem) although it is sometimes translated into English as the word temple. Rather, its true Hebrew meaning is simply a generic "sanctuary" or "holy place" of ANY kind or type. Messianic Rabbi Zev Porat says it is most often used in the Hebrew in the strictly spiritual sense. Of course, it can also be used to speak of the sanctuary or holy place in the temple in Jerusalem - but it does not have to be used for that designation alone. This truly is an important consideration.

STARTLING FACT!

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the first kiblah (direction that is prayed to) of Muslims and one of the three places of worship considered most sacred. In Aramaic, the Al-Aqsa Mosque is referred to as Beth Makdesha (Miqdash).   This is the same word (miqdash) used in Daniel 11 for where the antichrist will make a desecration!

http://www.lastprophet.info/search/tag/Beth%20Ha-Miqdash



Daniel 12:11
"From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. (This is another verse Jesus referred us to in Matthew 24)

In this text - the word sacrifice has been added by the translators. It is not in the original text.  
No literal temple building is mentioned.



Again, this is a striking revelation! Because if in this verse it is meant to speak of a literal rebuilt temple in Jerusalem - then it is the ONLY verse in the entire Old Testament that uses this particular word to designate that fact. It appears highly unlikely that the "temple" spoken of in this verse is a literal rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.

Again - this important fact leaves the option open for a greater New Testament fulfillment in naos, or a metaphorical temple, rather than an actual "reconstructed temple" in Jerusalem.

So we see that the Old Testament has not a single verse that uses the direct word "temple," as a literal temple building in Jerusalem, that connects specifically to the antichrist. It just is not there in the original languages.

And we also see that the New Testament only has ONE verse (2 Thessalonians 2:4) that appears to do so, yet the Greek word used in that verse specifically clearly and specifically allows for a metaphorical interpretation of the word.   It seems the total, biblical, linguistic picture might be a bit clearer now.

BOTTOM LINE BIBLICAL TRUTHS:

1. There is not a single verse of scripture that insists upon, nor prophesies, a rebuilt third temple in any direct fashion at all. There are only a couple of verses (out of many hundreds about the "temple") where one could infer that declaration - but from the study above - even those are not strong, rock-solid arguments.  The idea of a rebuilt third temple in Jerusalem is simply NOT a solidly biblical "declaration."

2. There is not a single Old Testament verse that directly ties the antichrist to a rebuilt literal temple in Jerusalem. In its most literal statement form - it just is not there - as demonstrated above.

3. There is only ONE verse in the entire New Testament (and therefore in the entire Bible - out of over 450 verses about the temple) that is tied to the antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:4). And in THAT verse - the Greek word naos is used for "temple". It is undeniable that ONE of the interpretations of naos is metaphorically in reference to the "church" (or even a pagan temple) and not a "temple" in Jerusalem. So, even this ONE verse is not a dogmatic, categorical statement of a rebuilt third temple. This is why some prophecy experts speculate the "temple" of the antichrist could well be the Dome of the Rock - or even the Vatican. According to the specific Greek word used in this verse - these are very real possibilities.

4. There is not one verse in the entirety of the Bible that predicts a "red heifer" sacrifice for a third temple rebuilding ... not one. The only mention of a red heifer sacrifice is in the building of the first temple under Solomon (Numbers 19:1-22). After that we read of the second rebuilding of the temple of God under the Persians and the adding on to that temple project under Herod in the New Testament days - yet not a single mention is made of a red heifer sacrifice ceremony being performed, or being required, in either of those rebuilding projects ... not one.

5. On the other hand, there are a myriad of New Testament verses that speak of the "new temple" being the born again believer and being the redeemed Church, and that Jesus is the only sacrifice necessary for our purification in the last days (Heb. 9:13).  This fact is indisputable. These verses are dogmatic, direct, and to-the-point statements of theological fact.

6. It very well may be that the Jews will rebuild a third temple in hopes of encouraging the return of their messiah (not Jesus - they utterly reject Him!). They may even sacrifice a red heifer of "purification." However, as you have seen, these are not purely biblical concepts regarding the "need" for a third literal temple in Jerusalem for the antichrist to be seated in before the return of Christ.

7. This study has been read by a native born Israeli Hebrew, Zev Porat, who is a believer in Yeshua. He attests that this study and the Hebrew word meanings are accurate according to his understanding. He speaks, reads, and writes Hebrew as his first language.

Share this entire teaching in an interview/video format:





EVERY TIME "TEMPLE" IS  USED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 

NEW and STARTLING FINDINGS!EVERY use of the word "temple" is examined in the New Testament!
The conclusions are amazing!  See for yourself:
=========================

Pastor Carl Gallups has examined EVERY use of the word “temple” in the ENTIRE New Testament – in the original Greek text.  Following are his startling conclusions:

Pastor Carl says:
======================
There are two Greek words that are translated as "temple" in the New Testament - hieron and naos.

When a word study of the uses of hieron and naos is conducted upon the ENTIRE New Testament - some striking observations are made.

THE FACTS concerning word usage of hieron and naos in the New Testament are as follows:

Hieron is used to indicate a literal temple – 77 times
(This is its only use)

Naos is used to indicate a literal temple (or portion thereof)
only 10 times

Naos is used to indicate a metaphorical “temple” or the temple of God in Heaven – 31 times

Paul NEVER uses naos for a literal temple (unless you say he did, one time only, at 2 Thess. 2:4)

John NEVER uses naos for a literal temple (unless you say he did, one time only, at Rev. 11:1)

=============================
Following is a BOOK BY BOOK review of the word uses of “temple” in the New Testament:

MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE, JOHN, and ACTS

The overwhelming use of a Greek word for the literal temple edifice in Jerusalem is hieron.

Every single time the word hieron is used in the New Testament  - it is used to indicate the literal physical temple building in Jerusalem - or either a literal temple building of a pagan religion.  Hieron is never used in a metaphorical or symbolic sense.

This word is used from Matthew to Acts - approximately 77 times. (I say "approximately" only because some English translations insert the word temple when that word does not actually appear in the Greek text.)

However, the word naos is used from Matthew to Acts – but it is used only 16 times.

Six of those sixteen times naos is used in the STRICTLY metaphorical context as defined by the text itself.

The other 10 times (therefore the total usage of naos in a non-metaphorical sense in the N.T.), naos is used to indicate the literal temple - but most often - only a portion thereof (as in the courts, or the holy place, etc.).

=============================
I CORINTHIANS – 2 THESSALONIANS

Paul uses the word naos 10 times.

The first 9 times he uses it (I Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Ephesians), he uses it in a STRICTLY metaphorical sense to indicate the CHURCH.

The 10th and LAST time he uses it, is in 2 Thessalonians.   Why would he then use it here (only) to mean a “literal” temple? This reasoning does not make contextual sense at all.

Prior to its use here - he never once used the word to mean the literal, physical building in Jerusalem.

===================

1 TIMOTHY to JUDE - the word temple is never used at all.

===================
REVELATION

In the book of Revelation - the word for temple is ALWAYS naos - and it ALWAYS indicates the TEMPLE OF GOD IN HEAVEN!  (Except, perhaps, for Rev. 11:1).

Yet John wrote Revelation. And in the Gospel of John, which he also wrote - he only uses the word naos twice, and in both times it is used in the strict metaphorical sense.

Since, prior to Revelation 11, John ONLY used the word naos in a strict metaphorical sense - or for the temple of God in Heaven - why would we assume that John would suddenly, and only ONCE, use the word naos to indicate a literal temple building in Jerusalem?  This reasoning does not make contextual sense at all.


When Naos Is Used For The Literal Temple

Copied directly from the article at this website:
http://studybible.info/trench/Temple

Hieron refers to the whole sacred enclosure, the temenos including the outer courts, porches, porticoes, and other related buildings. Naos refers to the temple itself, the proper habitation of God (Acts 7:48; 17:24; 1 Cor. 6:19), the oikos [G3624] tou Theou (house of God), the heart and center of the whole. Hagiasma is used to refer to the Holy Place and to the Holy of Holies (1 Macc. 1:37; 3:45; cf. vv. 37-42). This distinction between hieron and naos is found in secular Greek references to heathen temples and in sacred Greek references to the temple of the true God.

When referring to the temple in Jerusalem, Josephus, Philo, the Septuagint, and the New Testament always distinguish hieron from naos. Often the distinction is explicit. After describing the building of the naos by Solomon, for example, Josephus wrote: "Outside the temple [naou] he constructed a sacred enclosure [hieron] in the form of a square." In another passage where Josephus describes how the Samaritans sought permission from the Jews to help rebuild God's house, he used the phrase "to join in the building of the temple [naon]." Although the Samaritans' request was denied (see Ezra 4:2), they were permitted to "come into the sacred enclosure [hieron] to worship God," something forbidden under the penalty of death to mere Gentiles, who were not to pass beyond their own exterior court.

The distinction between hieron and naos helps us better understand several New Testament passages. When Zacharias entered into "the temple of the Lord" to burn incense, the people who awaited his return and who stood "outside" (Luke 1:10) also were in the temple the hieron though Zacharias alone entered the naos, the "temple" in its narrower sense. We often read of Christ teaching "in the temple" (Matt. 26:55; Luke 21:37; John 8:20), and we might wonder how long conversations could have been maintained there without interrupting the service of God. But this "temple" is always the hieron, the porches and porticoes of the temple that were intended for such purposes. Christ never entered the naos during his earthly ministry, since that right was reserved for the priests. Jesus drove the money-changers and the buyers and sellers with their sheep and oxen from the hieron, not from the naos. Even those profane men had not dared to establish themselves in the temple in its strictest sense (Matt. 21:12; John 2:14).

Keeping in mind the distinction between hieron and naos helps us understand how the prophet Zacharias could be slain "between the temple and the altar" (Matt. 23:35). Here the word translated "temple" is naos, which helps to answer the questions: "Was not the altar in the temple? And if so, how could any locality be described as between the two?" The brazen altar alluded to in Matthew 23:35 was located in the hieron, not in the naos. It was situated "in the court of the house of the Lord," where the sacred historian (2 Chron. 24:21) lays the scene of this murder, not in the naos.

Finally, Judas vividly portrayed his defiance and despair by entering into the naos itself (Matt. 27:5) which was reserved for the priests alone and casting down before the priests the accursed blood money


SEE THIS ARTICLE AS WELL ...

A Third Temple and a Pre-trib Rapture?
 http://ppsimmons.blogspot.com/2015/08/a-third-temple-and-pretribulation.html



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