Temple or Sanctuary? — What Holly Thinks
If we’ve entered the 70th week of Daniel, then according to Daniel 9:27 the next major thing we should expect to see is a time of peace dawning over the Middle East, allowing Israel to return to its temple sacrifices. So, many Christians are awaiting the rebuilding of the Jewish temple. But what if that’s not necessary?
Don’t get me wrong here. I believe the temple will be rebuilt, but perhaps the entire temple isn’t necessary now. Here’s why I say this. There are two Greek words for “temple” in the New Testament: hieron and naos. The first word, hieron, refers to the entire temple precinct, including all the buildings, balconies, porticos and courts. The second word, naos, refers specifically to the sanctuary within the temple, where the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies are. Naos can also refer to a pagan temple or to the spiritual temple consisting of all believers joined together by Christ. Check this out here: hieron and naos.
The word naos is used by the apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, where he says the Antichrist will go into the temple and display himself as God. This word is also used throughout the book of Revelation, including Revelation 11:1-2, where the apostle John is told to measure the temple (naos) and altar. But note: he is told to leave out the outer court because it’s been given to the nations (United Nations?) for 42 months (the second half of the 70th week).
Here’s food for thought. What if all that’s necessary for the next prophecies to be fulfilled are that a sanctuary and altar are built, allowing Israel to resume its sacrificial system? If a peace deal were to be made, a sanctuary could be accommodated on the Temple Mount while leaving the Dome of the Rock and Muslim holy sites intact. This could make sense of the command given to John to not measure the outer court which will be defiled by the nations for three and a half years.
Be sure to read all the way through including a very interesting Addendum at the end.