Why the Temple will never be rebuilt.
The Tabernacle/Temple was based on three different ideas. The basic layout was reflected by the garden of Eden. Added to this were things of heaven and also God's plan of salvation – very ingenious.
The later Temple was based on the Tabernacle. The first one was built by Solomon - David's son. It was destroyed when Israel went into captivity in Babylon.
When the Jews came back from the captivity in Babylon, they wanted to rebuild the temple, but they were in a quandary. The writings of Ezekiel were widely known, but these specifications were so undefined that they finally decided to build a copy of Solomons temple with a few items taken from from Ezekiel temple. (Artscroll Mishna commentary) Besides there was no command to build Ezekiels temple.
God surreptitiously sent Jesus to the cross to atone for the whole world. But on the day of Pentecost Peter preached a very significant sermon to all of Israel. He said that they crucified the messiah – but now all could come to him for forgiveness –*thousands did. God gave Israel 40 years (29AD to 70AD) to repent. In those days the Disciples and Apostles went to all of the known world as a witness.
In 66AD the end times had come - for this was the year of the beginning of the Jewish revolt against Rome. When Jesus died the New Covenant was established in his blood. The Old Covenant place of meeting was no longer needed as the New Holy of Holies was now within the believers. The old Holy of Holies was symbolically the place in the garden where God walked and talked with Adam and Eve. The rending of the Veil of the Temple opened the gates to the Garden once again. God once again walks and talks with all of his people.
God gave Israel many, many signs in that 40 years. It has been recorded that a bright light appeared over the alter for about an hour and removed to the summit of the Mount of Olives for a period of 3 ½ years – the Shekinah. The massive doors of the Nicanor gate swung open at night by themselves – it took twenty men to open them normally. A sound of many voices said that they were departing hence. The scarlet cord never turned white in all those 40 years. In the scapegoat ritual the priests drew by lottery the black stone all 40 times – never the white. The western light (center – Edersheim) on the huge menorah in the Holy Place would go out every night. This light was symbolic of Jesus and was never extinguished. God gave Israel all kinds of signs pointing them to the Cross of Jesus. The Shikinah glory departed the Mount of Olives just before the destruction of the temple never to return again. With the destruction of the Temple the Old Covenant and all of its animal sacrifices and rituals were done away with just like a placenta after the birth.
The Jews have been trying to return to their homeland and rebuild the Temple since 70AD when Israel was destroyed by the Romans – so the idea that the Jews are only recently inspired to return to Palestine is an error - this is nothing new. The problem that they have had is that they have always been an occupied minority and could never get the acquiescence of any government long enough to accomplish their goals – until the USA came along that is. The Jews have tried to do a restart all through history, but God has continually frustrated their efforts. They have made three attempts of record and the closest they came to rebuilding the Temple was under the Emperor Constantine, who had given them permission to do so. But under pressure from the Christian leadership he was convinced that he had made a mistake. He recanted and had the ears cut off of all the priests and craftsmen, so the work stopped. A deformed person was not allowed to build the temple.
So the works fell into ruin. In the ruins of the partially rebuilt Temple was a section of the western wall of the Holy of Holies. This was the rebuilt “wailing wall” of the Jews. On the first day of Passover, while the Jews were meeting in a cave used as a Synagogue under the ruins of the Partially rebuilt Temple - the wall suddenly collapsed. The significance of this event is that this was the day that Jesus was crucified long ago. Another “arrow” pointing to something – the cross. The Temple was to be rebuilt in the time of the Bar Kochba war - it wasn't because the Jews lost again - for the last time. An attempt was made under Julian the Apostate in 363AD - the work was destroyed by subterranian fires.
Even today the Jews are still totally frustrated in their forth attempt to rebuild the Temple because of the fact that the Muslims have control of the so called “temple mount.” This makes their plans impossible because of the potential violence of acquiring the temple mount from the Muslims. Actually, the complete temple was totally destroyed as Jesus predicted – not one stone was left upon another. What they are calling the Temple Mount today is in fact the Fortress Antonia. This is born out by hundreds of historical records. If they weren't so dogmatic on their beliefs - they could start tomorrow on their new Temple simply by moving a few things including a highway.
The answer is that God only has one plan of Salvation – there is no optional one that reverts to the closed covenant of the past. He is herding the Jews*through pressure forward to the cross and not backward to the old system of symbolic rituals, which all depicted the Spiritual realm of the Messiah. When I see how God has frustrated all four or maybe more unrecorded attempts so far - I am convinced that the Temple that the Radical Jews and the Christian Zionists so earnestly desire because it is a major prerequisite of their complex Eschatological beliefs. The Temple will never be rebuilt again based on History.