The Latter Temple

by Dr. Ken Matto
(Hag 2:8-9 KJV) The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. {9} The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
When we scan verse 8, superficially we can say that God is the owner of all the wealth of the world and this is true. (Psa 50:10 KJV) For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. But when we look a little deeper, these verses tell us of greater truths than just material goods.
When we speak of Silver and Gold, both of these reflect on salvation. Silver being the price of redemption and Gold being the actual salvation itself.
(Mat 27:3 KJV) Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
(Rev 3:18 KJV) I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Now in verse 9, we see two houses in view, a former and a latter. The former house speaks of the law and the old covenant which was centered in the temple at Jerusalem. Haggai was born during the 70 year captivity and God was asking the question in Haggai 2:3, "Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?" There were those at Jerusalem who saw the beauty of Solomon’s temple and basked in its glory. God drove the rebellious children of Judah from the glory of the first temple and asked them how they saw the temple at present? The temple at Solomon’s time was a place of worship to God but by the time of the Babylonian captivity it became a corrupted entity. We see many scathing verbal censures by God against the people of Judah for allowing His temple to become a place of deceit instead of a place of truth.
God knew that Judah and Israel could not keep the covenant of Sinai, so He tells the people here that the latter house will be greater than the former. What is the latter house which will outshine the former house? It is the grace of God which will build the kingdom of God by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. God will build the temple of the church and will fulfill the requirements of the law and covenant with His people. (Jer 31:31 KJV) Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
The new covenant was fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ and is imputed to all His elect as payment for their sins thus fulfilling the holy demands of God’s law. But let us go back to Haggai 2:9 and lay down some truths on why the glory of the latter temple will be greater than the former.
1) Through the law came the knowledge of sin but through grace came the forgiveness of that sin.
2) Through the law we see the enmity between God and man but through grace, the enmity is gone.
3) Through the law man came to see how much of a reprobate sinner he is but through grace they are elevated to sainthood and given the privilege to come before the throne of grace.
4) Through the law we see the hopelessness of man but through grace we see the hope for man.
5) Through the law no one is justified but by grace the elect of God are justified.
6) Through the law our best efforts lead us to hell but through grace with no efforts we gain heaven.
(Isa 43:18-19 KJV) Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. {19} Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
(Isa 65:16-17 KJV) That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes. {17} For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
This is why the latter temple shall be greater than the former temple, the righteous demands of God’s law has been met and the former sins are never brought against us, since they have been abolished by the Lord Jesus Christ, the mediator of the new covenant. So the next time you feel discouraged or abandoned, think of your position in the latter temple versus those who are still in the former temple. This is why God says there will be peace in this place. It is a peace designed for eternity which will take us through this veil of tears known as life on earth. There was no peace under the law only under grace.  (10/01/00)