In John 4:20-24, the Samaritans worshiped on Mt. Gerazim even though their temple there had long ago been destroyed. The long-standing debate and strife between the Jews and Samaritans is illustrated by the woman’s word and Jesus’ response, “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers will worship God in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.'”
In the new heavens and earth after the fall of Babylon, John sees the realization of Jesus’ words, “The hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.” In Revelation the old earthly Jerusalem temple is now gone, and the Father and the Lamb are now the Temple in the heavenly realm, and men of all nations worship the Father (Rev. 21:22-24).
As we have seen, Paul cites the Ezekiel 37:26-27 promise of a new tabernacle, and says to the church, “You are the temple of God” (2 Cor. 6:14-16). While Ezekiel foresaw the coming of a new temple on which the glory of God would reside, Paul identified that temple as the church under construction right there in the 1st century. Notice the present tense nature of the verbs in Ephesians 2, “You are being built up a habitation of God.” Peter agrees with the concept of the on-going “construction” of the temple in the first century. He tells his audience, “You, therefore, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house” (1 Pet. 2:5). The church is the visible realm on earth of the temple and Kingdom in which God dwells àthe Father and Lamb are the Temple in the unseen heavenly realm.
In Revelation 21 in the new heavens and earth after the fall of Babylon, John sees the realization of Jesus’ words of John 4, “The hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father” (John 4:23). John sees the new heavenly Jerusalem (in the unseen heavenly realm), and he says, “I saw no Temple in it” (Rev. 21:22) because, “The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” The temple of God is no longer under construction, it is completed, and in harmony with the Old Covenant examples of the dedication of the temple of the Lord, we see in Revelation the Shekinah glory of Yahweh now comes to rest as the new temple in the new heavenly Jerusalem (Rev. 21:10-11). The old earthly visible Jerusalem temple is now gone, and the Father and the Lamb are now the Temple in the invisible heavenly realm, and men of all nations worship the Father (Rev. 21:22-24). What Jesus foretold in John 4:20-24 has now become a reality.
In Revelation, John sees the realization of John 4:20-24. Jesus foretold the time when Jerusalem would be passe. In Matthew 24:2, He says the physical temple would be destroyed, in Revelation the physical temple is now gone. If Jesus foretold the situation that John sees coming to reality, and Jesus’ prediction dealt with the passing of Jerusalem and its physical temple, upon what basis do we say that John’s vision involves anything other than the timing of the judgment and destruction of Old Covenant Jerusalem, which coincided with the passing of the old heavens and earth and bringing in of the new?
[Also see: “Jerusalem (New)” also “Heavens and Earth (New)”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 16 Lesson 9 Rev. Chapter 21”]