Tag Archives: temple

Does the Prophet Amos Predict a Literal Rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem?

Plumb LineWhen Donald Trump was running for the office of President of the United States, one of his campaign promises was to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Such a symbolic act would have huge geopolitical ramifications, but why? It all boils down to how you read the Bible.

Look at the prophet Amos. The Book of Amos is mostly a rather devastating prophetic critique of the ancient, northern kingdom of Israel. After discussing all of the problems with Israel’s neighbors, Amos launches into a scathing attack on Israel, and how they are in many ways worse than their neighbors. God pronounces judgment, showing how God’s people do not pass the standard set by God’s plumb line (Acts 7:7-8), and the prophecy came true when Israel was conquered by the Assyrians. It is a rather sober message for a disobedient people.

But at the very end of the book, Amos gives the people a message of hope:

“‘In that day I will raise up
    the booth of David that is fallen
and repair its breaches,
    and raise up its ruins
    and rebuild it as in the days of old,
that they may possess the remnant of Edom
    and all the nations who are called by my name,’
    declares the Lord who does this.
“(Amos 9:11-12 ESV)

Many Jews and Christians today understand “the booth of David” to be a reference to the temple in Jerusalem. The temple was the center of worship for the Jews, and with the destruction of the first temple, built by King David’s son, Solomon, not many years after this prophecy was made, it gave hope to the Israelites that God would one day restore God’s people to the land, along with a rebuilt temple. A second temple was eventually built but subsequently destroyed in 70 C.E. With the reconstitution of modern Israel, partially centered around Jerusalem, there are many who still hope for the rebuilding of yet a third temple, and the full restoration of Israel promised by Amos.

President Trump’s campaign pledge would imply a type of endorsement to this hope. Yet setting aside the geopolitical issues, there is a major question as to how we are to read the Bible on this point: Is this really how we should read the prophecy of Amos today, regarding a future rebuilt temple in Jerusalem? Continue reading

God Dwells Among Us: A Review

G. K. Beale and Mitchell Kim's God Dwells Among Us: Expanding Eden to the End of the Earth offers a grand portrait of how the theme of the temple throughout the Bible propels the church forward into mission to a dark and hurting world.

G. K. Beale and Mitchell Kim’s God Dwells Among Us: Expanding Eden to the End of the Earth offers a grand portrait of how the theme of the temple throughout the Bible propels the church forward into mission, as a light to a dark and hurting world.

Have you ever wondered how the whole message of the Bible fits together? Moreover, how does that message impact your life and the mission of the church?

We have sixty-six books in Holy Scripture, and if you have ever read through it all, it can be puzzling to think about how everything fits in with each other. Biblical theologian Gregory Beale and pastor Mitchell Kim have put together a book that helps you gain the big picture of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, following one theme, one particular thread tying the whole thing together.

God Dwells Among Us: Expanding Eden to the Ends of the Earth is a collection of sermons mainly by Mitchell Kim, based on a more academic work by Gregory Beale, The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God. In condensing and simplifying Beale’s profound work of biblical theology, Kim and Beale take the theme of the temple of God, and trace it beginning from Eden to the last chapters of the Book of Revelation. Kim and Beale’s main thesis is that God’s temple is the dwelling place of God, embodying the presence of God in creation. The temple of God is where we as humans were created to worship God, and that worship catapults the people of God into mission, whereby God’s temple is expanded throughout the whole world.

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