I am presently considering the eschatology of The Parable of the Wicked Tenants (Matthew 21:33-46) in light of the fact that the Jewish authorities understood the parable to point to them (Matthew 21:45). If this is so, and Jesus doesn’t say otherwise, then the parable could point only to 70 AD for its fulfillment. This would put Jesus’ so-called Second Coming (Matthew 21:40) and the establishment of the Kingdom of God, with Jesus as King, in 70 AD. Unless one is able to offer a reasonable counter argument, showing why this couldn’t be true, why shouldn’t we believe the clear intent of the parable?
In my previous study I considered Jesus as the rejected Stone as that pertained to the Kingdom of God (Matthew 21:42-43), but in this study, I want to consider the same scriptures as they apply to the Messianic Temple, because Peter applies this same scripture concerning the rejected Stone (Psalm 118:22-23; see 1Peter 2:4) to the building of a spiritual House, namely the Messianic Temple, wherein we, as a holy priesthood are able to offer spiritual sacrifices (1Peter 2:5-6). Paul, also, speaking of the gentiles says they are no longer strangers and foreigners, but have become fellow citizens of the household of God:
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto a holy temple in the Lord: In whom you also are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:20-22)
So, the idea that Christ is the Cornerstone of the Messianic Temple is clearly made in scripture. Moreover, Psalm 118:22-23, which had been used in Matthew 21:42-43 to point to his being the Cornerstone of the Kingdom, was later used by the Apostles to show that same rejected Stone has become the Cornerstone of the Messianic Temple.
Nevertheless, leading dispensationalists tell us that a physical Temple will be built in Jerusalem sometime in the near future, and the scriptures they use to support their suppositions come from Ezekiel 40 through 48, the same scriptures that point to the Messianic Temple, which was to replace the second, i.e. Herod’s, Temple. Yet, one has to wonder how anyone could conceive of a physical fulfillment of these scriptures.
Ezekiel 43:1-5 claims that the glory of the Lord filled the house, but why would this be so of a Temple fixed to one locality, as though God couldn’t move. This opposes Stephen’s argument in Acts 7 and Jesus’ own argument in John 4:21, 23-24. Although David desired to build God a House in Jerusalem, the Lord later asked what house he could build that could contain him (Isaiah 66:1-2). Even Solomon suggested the same thing when he built the Temple at Jerusalem (1Kings 8:27). So, are we now to believe that a physical Temple, which is to be built, according to dispensationalists, in our near future (cf. Ezekiel 40 to 48) could actually hold or contain the glory of God (Ezekiel 43:-1-5 )?
As I claimed in an earlier study, if Jesus, whom the wicked tenants (Jewish authorities) rejected, was the foundation Stone, the chief Cornerstone of the Messianic Temple, what would such a Temple of God look like? How could a physical temple have a living cornerstone? Therefore, the dispensationalists who look for a physical Temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem, which would be “filled with the glory of God” (Ezekiel 43:1-5) simply cannot be supported in scripture.