If you take a look at all the Bible prophecy websites out there, you will find the majority of them focusing on the literal nation of Israel with regard to end time prophecy. And Israel is STILL regarded as the "holy land" with Jerusalem as the "holy city". But they make a simple error in this thought.
For something to be regarded as being holy, what needs to happen? Is it not true that it is only the PRESENCE OF GOD that makes things holy? What was it that made the sanctuary holy in the Old Testament? The ACTUAL PRESENCE OF JEHOVAH right? What made the ground on which Moses stood by the burning bush holy? The ACTUAL PRESENCE OF JEHOVAH. Well, does the actual presence of God reside in Israel today? Specifically Jerusalem? There is a simple answer to that question. What is situated on the "center piece" of Jerusalem today? An Islamic Mosque! A shrine dedicated to Muhammad, NOT Jesus Christ. So is the presence of God in Jerusalem today? No. Therefore it is not a "holy" place at all.
Let me give you an example of the majority being wrong about Bible prophecy. Remember what happened back in Jesus' day when He came the first time? What were the majority of people looking and waiting for? They were looking and waiting for a literal, physical kingdom being setup by their Saviour, who they thought would be this great warrior. Were they wrong? Completely! And the reason they were wrong was because us humans like to focus on the physical things in life, rather than the spiritual. We like to touch and feel things, rather than focus on worshipping God in spirit and truth. Is this issue with regards to the temple important during the end times? Yes, any truth is important to help stop us being deceived by the evil one.
The truth is that God would 'rebuild' and 'raise up' a NEW PEOPLE, as a spiritual temple, not a physical one
But what about the temple that is portrayed in Ezekiel? Chapters 40-48 of Ezekiel cover a precise description of a new temple, which has not been rebuilt. Amos also describes a 'tabernacle' that will be raised up in Amos 9:11. Now many modern Bible prophecy students and teachers apply this to a future physical temple that will be rebuilt in the nation of Israel. But what they fail to understand, just as the Jews failed to understand about what Jesus and His kingdom would be like, is that the Bible applies another fulfillment to prophecy that is a 'spiritual' fulfillment, not physical. So often we ignore the spiritual aspect of God and focus on the physical, as I said earlier, we like to be able to touch and feel things, rather than just relying on faith and trusting in God.
Part of the problem also is that so many people believe that the nation of Israel are still the chosen nation of God. If you believe this, then please see the pages Daniels 70 weeks and Israel in the end times.
The Bible confirms that the physical nation of Israel are no longer the chosen people of God. They lost that right when they rejected Jesus and hung Him on the cross ... Galatians 3:28 ...'There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.' ... This verse cannot be any clearer. God no longer respects a Jew of the flesh, but ANYONE whether Jew or Gentile who comes to Christ, is chosen of God, and a son of God ... 1 John 5:1 ...'Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.'
Acts 15:7-9 ...'And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.'
It is true that the New Testament mentions 'Israel', but this is no longer the physical nation, but spiritual Israel. Anyone who comes to Jesus becomes and spiritual Jew ... Romans 2:28-29 ...'For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit.' ... For some reason, these plain verses are ignored by Bible prophecy teachers and students when they come to the physical nation of Israel. Going back to the issue of the temple, take a look at this amazing statement from Christ, when He encountered the Samaritan woman at the well:
John 4:20-24 ...'Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.'
The truth becomes so clear when you understand what Jesus is saying above. Jesus confirms that true worship of God is in a spiritual sense, not a physical one. What would be the purpose of a rebuilt physical temple, when the true worshippers are to worship God in spirit and truth and the ceremonial laws of Moses have been nailed to the cross? There is no need for it anymore. Jesus confirms that it is not where you worship, but HOW you worship God that counts. Notice Jesus also says that salvation is of the Jews. Now if the Jews accepted Jesus, then they would have still been the special chosen nation, but because they rejected Him, then this statement of Jesus is applied to the 'spiritual' Jews as mentioned above in Romans 2. In other words, anyone who comes to Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, salvation belongs to them.
1 Peter 2:5 ...'Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.'
Earlier I mentioned the tabernacle being raised up as prophesied in Amos 9:11 ...'In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old.' ... Now take a look at the fulfillment of this prophesy confirmed in Acts 15:14-16 ...'Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, after this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up.' ... The apostle James confirms that the tabernacle as prophesied by Amos was a spiritual one and that God would 'raise up' a new PEOPLE, not a new physical temple. But how can the people be the new temple?
1 Corinthians 3:16 .....'Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?'
We are now the temple of God. The physical temple of the Old Testament has now become the spiritual temple of the church, made up of Gentiles and all true believers. No one should now be looking for a physical rebuilt temple in Israel, because the body of Christ's church is now the temple ... 1 Peter 2:5 ...'Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.' ... We are the 'lively stones' that make up the 'spiritual house'.
Many people have become confused because a lot of the Old Testament terminology has been carried over into the New Testament description of the church - words like church, kingdom, Israel, temple, Jerusalem, Zion etc. Christ Himself even said to the Pharisees in Matthew 21:43 ...'Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.' ... The kingdom of God shall be taken from you (Literal Israel) and given to a nation (spiritual Israel) who bring forth the fruits. The church (spiritual Israel) now replaces the literal nation of Israel as the chosen temple of God.
As the world's eyes are glued on the physical nation of Israel waiting to see what happens there, the Papal Church (The Real Antichrist), does her thing in the background to bring in the mark of the beast in a bid to deceive the whole world. We need to take our eyes off Israel and search for the truth of what will happen at the end time, before Jesus returns at the second coming. Friend, the Bible does not prophesy that there will be a literal temple rebuilt in Israel. We, the church are that temple that God is rebuilding. Maybe they will attempt to rebuild an actual temple in Israel, but it will not be of God. Christ said 'it is finished', there is no need for another physical temple, other than to lure people away from the truth. Friend, do not be deceived, search the scriptures for the truth.