Khajai ha-Nâvi prophesied (2.7-9): "גדול יהיה כבוד הבית הזה האחרון מן-הראשון (Greater shall be the Kâvod of this latter House than the First).
Torâh documented the withdrawal of the Shәkhinâh from the Beit ha-Miqdâsh hâ-Rishon in Yәkhëzqeil 9.3; 10.4, 19; 11.22-23. It never returned to the Beit ha-Miqdâsh ha-Sheini.
While the Beit ha-Miqdâsh ha-Sheini had "a" Mizbeiakh, it lacked the Eish mi-liphnei ha-Sheim that would have made it the legitimate שלחן (see Artscroll Yechezkel not, p. 650, to Yәkhëzqeil 41.22 with Malâkhi 1.12). Five essential elements of kâvod, contained in the First Beit ha-Miqdâsh were never in the Second Beit ha-Miqdâsh: the Aron Bәrit ha-Sheim, the Kaporët, the Kәruvim, the Eish mi-liphnei ha-Sheim and the Shәkhinâh (Masëkët Yomâ 21b; Artscroll Yechezkel p. 691).
Yet, "this latter House" was destroyed in 70 C.E. without any of these five missing elements of kâvod ever having been in it!!!
Therefore, since "this latter House" no longer exists and these five essential elements of kâvod were never in it, the only possibility that this prophecy can ever be true is if the Mâshiakh was the Greater kâvod in the Second Beit ha-Miqdâsh.
Ribi Yәhoshua, who taught in the Second Beit ha-Miqdâsh, is the only possible candidate to fulfill that prophecy.( Yirmeyahu Ben David, http://www.netzarim.co.il/Shared/MessPro.htm)1
Haggai the prophet and Zechariah son of Iddo the prophet prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and in Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, about them. then Zeruabbabel son of Shealtiel and Jesua son of Jozadok arose and began to build the Temple of God that was in Jerusalem, and with them were the prophets of God, assisting them. At that time Tattenai, governor of the Trans-Euphrates region, approached them, along with Shethar-bozenai and their accomplices. They said this to them, 'Who issued you a decree to construct this building and to lay the foundation for these ramparts. Then they said the following to them, 'What are the names of the persons constructing this building?' But the eye of their God watched over the elders of the Jewish, and [Tattenai and his accomplices] did not halt them until the matter could be brought before Darius, when [Darius and his officials] would write a reply about it. (Ezra 5:1-5)
"The purpose of the passage is to console the people regarding their second temple, which was nothing in comparison with the first (vv.2-3)...God encourages the builders of the second temple not to despair over its humble beginnings. The "latter glory" will exceed "the former" declares the Lord. The "former" refers clearly to Solomon's Temple (1 Kings 6). The "latter glory" may refer either to the second temple or the millennial temple. The Temple rebuild by the restoration community was later refurbished by Herod. The temple mount was expanded to about thirty-five acres to accommodate teh fabulous remodeling that was eventaully completed shortly before its destruction by the Romans (A.D. 70)." (J. Cadrl Laney, Answers to Tough Questions from Every Book of the Bible A Survey of Problem Passages and Issues from Every Book of the Bible, page 174).
Interestingly, while setting up his false dilemma (either the Messiah came during the Second Temple Period or the Bible makes false prophecies) Brown had to exile the fact that the "immediate context in Haggai 2 speaks of physical splendor and earthly wealth" to the footnotes, he also had ignore some of his own dubious hermeneutical methods. First of all according to Michael Brown it is perfectly legitimate for a statement to be uttered about one subject while its fulfillment is found in another subject, for example regarding David's Psalm 16 he writes,
"Actually, it is possible that he looked ahead into the future and saw himself supernaturally preserved from death and decay (as suggested by some of the rabbis, as we have read), but what he was actually seeing was not his own deliverance from death (in reality, resurrection) but rather that of his progeny, the Messiah." (Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol.3, page 116).
Why is it any less legitimate to say that while Haggai saw the Second Beith HaMikdash having a greater glory than the first, "what he was actually seeing was not" the Second Beith HaMikdash but the Third (when the Divine Presence will return and in a degree unparalleled in human history)? Similarly Brown argues,
"The prophets saw the future through a telescope. Things far away in time appeared close. They did not realize that centuries would come and go between their initial prediction and its actual fulfillment." (Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, page 191).
To be clear everyone would agree, at least anyone who accepts prophecy and the inspiration of scriptures, that the prophets saw things in the distant future. Michael Brown wishes to extend this possibility to passages which seem to indicate contemporaneous fulfillment, "Did Isaiah see the coming of the Messiah (i.e., a great deliverer) in the context of his very own day?" and "Let's look at Isaiah 9:1-7...where it is predicted that the yoke of the enemy...would be broken by the son of David who was already born." (ibid).
Perhaps Haggai saw the Third Temple "through a telescope" not realizing that this was the House whose glory would be greater than the First Temple? Or perhaps since "Many biblical prophecies are fulfilled gradually (ibid 190) the physical grandeur of the Second Temple began the fulfillment which will continue with the return of the Ark and the Divine Presence in the Third?
Rather than apply his exegesis methods consistently, Michael Brown dismisses those interpreters who see it as a straight forward prediction of the Third Temple, "Of course such arguments become completely unnecessary when it is realized that the Messiah...came to the Second Temple, right on schedule."(Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol.1, page 223) even though we have seen his own methodology could easily support the same conclusion (with more baggage).