The Future Temple Of The Millennium

Menu


 

Part Eleven - The Temple of the Millennium

 

The Temple of the land

Some might find it curious that there would be a temple in the land of Israel during the Millennium. Jesus’ work on the cross did away with the penalty of sin and the need of animal sacrifices. God’s Shekinah glory will now be manifested through His Son as He rules and reigns over all the earth. If there is no need for sacrifices in order to provide for salvation why include a temple? Even more puzzling, why are the sacrifices started up again? Though suggestions have been offered to answer these questions, it is our goal to cover the prophetic description of the Millennial temple in the restoration of Israel to the land.

a) The Size of the Temple: Ezekiel tells us that this temple is unlike any temple that precedes it. Much larger and far grander than that which was build by Solomon or Herod. The temple will be the size of a city (Ezekiel 40:2). The measuring tool used by Ezekiel to measure the temple is a rod equaling the length of about 11 feet. The outer walls of the temple are 11’ wide and 11’ tall (40:5) with gates of the North, South, East, and West side of the Temple. The court yard that surrounds the temple is 500 X 500 rods or approximately one mile square (42:16-20) which is several times larger than the size of Jerusalem at the time of David.

 

 

Map 9   

 

map 10

As we noted earlier, unlike the previous temples that were within the walls of Jerusalem, this temple will be located out side the city limits in the northern section of land given to the priests. If the rod is the measurement used by Ezekiel in measuring the section of the priests in Ezekiel 48 than the land surrounding the Temple will be over 6 times the size of greater London. Based on the measurement of the rod, the size of this section of the land will not fit between the present Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. It would jut out into the present Mediterranean Sea. When one is reminded that the land of the Prince extends beyond its Western border it would therefore demand one of three conclusions. Either the location of this section of land is not properly understood by scholars or the measure we are using is incorrect or the Mediterranean Sea will be much smaller in the Millennium providing additional land for the nation and its people. It is this author’s belief that the later is the best possibility.

Since the temple is many times larger than anything that preceded it, the question should be raised, why does it have to be larger? The answer to this question is actually a simple one. The prophets tell us that this temple will not only be the center of Jewish worship, but also the center of the worship for the entire world.

Isa 2:3, “Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” NKJV

Zech 8:20-23, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Peoples shall yet come, Inhabitants of many cities; The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, "Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, And seek the Lord of hosts. I myself will go also." Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the Lord.' "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."'" NKJV

The prophets also add that this worship at the temple of God will not be an option for the Gentile nations but rather a requirement. Any nation that fails to come up to the temple and worship will undergo the punishment of God.

Zech 14:16-19, “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” NKJV

b) The priesthood of the temple: the priesthood will be restricted to a particular branch of the line of Aaron. This line is first traced through Aaron’s son Phinehas who takes immediate action when many Israelites are lured into temple prostitution with the god of the Moabites, Baal-Peor (god of the mountain of Peor)(Num. 25:13). The situation escalates when one man boldly brings to his tent a Midianite woman in direct violation of God’s commandments. Phinehas takes a spear and kills both the man and the woman and God honors his action by making a covenant with him.

Num 25:10-13, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal. Therefore say, 'Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.'" NKJV

This line is narrowed even further at the time Solomon comes to the throne and is challenged by Adonijah for the Kingship. Zadok remains loyal to Solomon and because of action, God makes a covenant with him that the Priesthood will come from his lineage (1 Kings 1:7).

 

map 11

 

Ezek 44:15-16, “But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer to Me the fat and the blood," says the Lord God. "They shall enter My sanctuary, and they shall come near My table to minister to Me, and they shall keep My charge. NKJV

c) The sacrifices of the temple: The Scriptures declare that in the temple there will be animal sacrifices offered by the priests.

Jer 33:17-18, "For thus says the Lord : 'David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; nor shall the priests, the Levites, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me, to kindle grain offerings, and to sacrifice continually.'" NKJV

Isa 56:7, “Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar;” NKJV

Ezek 44:11, “Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, as gatekeepers of the house and ministers of the house; they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them.” NKJV

Some see this as symbolic Some see this as symbolic and not real sacrifices however there is nothing in the context that would suggest this. This question is discussed adequately in the adjacent reading from the work of Dr. Pentecost. The answer that best satisfied this writer for the need of animal sacrifices comes from one of his seminary professors. In light of the restoration of the planet to its pre-sin condition, the extension of life, good health, blessings for all, freedom from the influence of Satan, no war, no crime, and etc., those born to the surviving Tribulation Saints will not have the understanding of the vial nature and consequences of sin that is so clear to those presently living under the curse of sin. The killing of animals, this violent shedding of blood, may be used of God as a vivid illustration of how vial the sin of humanity is and how much those born during the Millennium need a Savior, Jesus Christ.

There is precedence for this understanding when we consider the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. Never did these animal sacrifices take away the sins of the OT Saint. They at best only provided a covering until Christ removed all sin with His death on the cross. This might be best illustrated by a person sweeping a floor with a broom. As he completes his job he has accumulated a pile of dirt and has to make a decision as to what to do with it. He finds He has no way of disposing of it and so his only option is to raise the rug and sweep it under it. By doing so he temporarily covers the offending dirt until a way can be found to remove it. In the meantime he buys a vacuum sweeper. Now instead of covering the dirt under the rug he now is able to remove it completely from the room. So it was under the OT sacrificial system. Sin was hid under the covering of animal sacrifices but it was never removed. It stayed there until something better came along. When Christ came, he was able take all of these sins and remove them forever.

Heb 10:11-14, “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” NKJV 

The sacrificial system had a second purpose. It was to serve as a vivid teaching tool. Man had to learn that man sacrifices and law keeping could never purchase him a place in heaven. This had to be the work of God and God only. David understood this when he wrote:

Ps 65:1-3, “Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion; and to You the vow shall be performed. O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come. Iniquities prevail against me; as for our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them.” NKJV

Paul confirmed this purpose in Galatians when he writes:

Gal 3:23-25, “But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” NKJV

It would appear then that the reinstitution of sacrifices during the Millennium will be used to fulfill the second purpose of animals sacrifices; teaching those born into the Millennium of their need of the saving work of Jesus Christ. They will need to learn that though they have been born into a perfect environment, they still have a fallen nature that will cause them to sin and place them on the road to eternal punishment. They must turn to Christ for salvation if they are to inherit eternal life.

d) The river of the temple: Ezekiel records (Ezek. 47:1-12) water flowing from the threshold of the temple and it continues to flow eastward to the Jordan River. This river is unique in that it continually grows even though there are no tributaries feeding into it. It is unique also its ability to heal the Jordan and the Dead Sea causing an explosion aquatic life.

e) The inhabitants of the temple: the Scriptures declare that the throne of the King (Ezek: 43:7-9) will be in the temple and His Shekinah glory will fill the temple (Ezek 43:4-5).