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Israel and Jerusalem
- in history and prophecy -
Compiled by Rachel Cory-Kuehl, November, 2016
Most recent Edit: February 10, 2022
Scripture from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.
Part Four of this series deals with this Temple. I believe that Antichrist will sit in this Temple “showing himself that he is God” and demanding that all worship him (2Thess. 2:3-4).
JERUSALEM - THE PLACE OF HIS NAME
1Kings 14:21 “Jerusalem, the city which Jehovah had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there:”
Deuteronomy 12:5 “But you shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go.”
2Chronicles 3:1 “Now Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.”
Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586BC (2Chron. 36:19). Jeremiah the prophet wrote, “The LORD has spurned His alter, and He has abandoned His sanctuary” (Lamentations 2:7). After 70 years (as prophesied by Jeremiah) the captives in Babylon were allowed to return and to rebuild, but the Ark of the Covenant was missing from the Most Holy Place, and no fire descended from Heaven to consume the sacrifice at the dedication of the return Temple.
Four hundred years later, King Herod (an Edomite, despised by the Jews) greatly enhanced both the rebuilt Temple itself and the surrounding structures. He added a “Court of Women” and a “Court of the Gentiles” - features not described in the plans divinely given to King David (1Kings Chapters 5-8). Herod’s Temple (as it came to be called) was finally destroyed by the Roman General Titus in 70 CE, on the same day of the Hebrew calendar year, that Solomon’s Temple was destroyed. Jews still mourn on that day each year.
NO JERUSALEM TEMPLE - for a very long time
John 4:21 “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.’”
Yeshua’s prophecy foretold a period of time during which there would be no Temple at Jerusalem. For almost two millennia there has been no Temple of Yehovah on Mt. Zion.
The apostle Paul wrote, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1Cor. 3:16). Today we worship in spirit - but not in physical presence.
Our High Priest Yeshua Messiah presently ministers as High Priest of “the True Tabernacle, which is Heaven itself” (Heb. 8:2). Every Temple on earth was a copy.
PROPHECY POINTS TO ANOTHER TEMPLE
Prophecies point to a future Temple: Ezekiel 40-48, Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 60:13;
Jeremiah 33:18; Joel 3:18; Micah 4:2; Haggai 2:7-9; Zechariah 6:12-15; 14:16, 20-21.
Prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah, both wrote during the period leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, some 500 years before Christ. Ezekiel wrote from Babylon, where he was one of the first captives taken there. Jeremiah wrote in Judea - and suffered great persecution for his prophecies of coming destruction. The captives in Babylon obviously longed to return to “the land.” They longed for the restoration of the Temple where they could come before God. It would mean the restoration of God’s favor. From the prophecies of Ezekiel and Jeremiah, the people of the captivity would draw hope.
Later generations would become proud and arrogant once again, thinking those prophecies guaranteed both Israel and the Temple would never again be destroyed. They were wrong of course. The Temple was destroyed again in 70AD, and all of the Jews were either killed or expelled from Jerusalem. Was Ezekiel a false prophet? I don’t believe so. Ezekiel’s prophecy points beyond this present age, to the Kingdom of Messiah on the earth made new.
Ezekiel 37:15-27 The LORD will gather the children of Israel. Judah and Israel will be joined into one kingdom - never to be separated again, with one King - from the line of David (v.24). The Lord will then make an everlasting covenant of peace with those He has gathered (v.26). “My tabernacle also shall be with them; . . . The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, WHEN My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
The “whole House of Israel” is gathered and returned to the land (Ezek 37:11). In the vision of Ezekiel, a great resurrection precedes the restoration of His Tabernacle. The “dry bones” come back to life. Because of this resurrection, the “whole House of Israel” is gathered and returned to “the land.” His Sanctuary (Temple) is restored in the midst of “the nations,” (non-Israelites) who see (because of this) that the LORD has indeed chosen Israel.
The “whole house of Israel” (both Israel and Judah) is (1) resurrected, (2) gathered from all the nations, (3) returned to “the land” and (4) joined together into one nation under One King - Messiah the Son of David (Ezekiel 37:11).
The true fulfillment of this prophecy must include all of the faithful dead.
This places the fulfillment after the resurrection of the Glorious Return.
The return of living physical descendants, to the present nation called “Israel” does NOT fulfill this prophecy. Where is Samuel? Where are David and Daniel? Where are all the Christians who died in faith? They are “grafted in” to Israel through Yeshua Messiah?
According to Ezekiel, “the glory of the LORD departed from” the Temple built by Solomon (Ezek. 10:18), and would not return until the future Temple (the one shown to him in the vision) was consecrated (Ezek. 43:1-7).
Isaiah 2:1-4 “And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top of the mountains [above all kingdoms], and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
And many peoples shall go and say, ‘Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach his ways, and we will walk in his paths:’ for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.
And He will judge between the nations, and will decide concerning many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (ASV). See Micah 4:1-2.
NOTE: The word “nations” denotes uncircumcised non-Hebrews. In the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, Israel was separate from “the nations.” Other terms for non-Hebrews are “peoples,” “aliens,” “strangers,” “the uncircumcised” and “Gentiles.”
The involvement of “many peoples” is obvious. “All nations” flow up to Jehovah’s house. Their desire is to learn “His ways.” “He will judge between the nations.” This is the reign of Messiah over the whole earth.
I personally believe that Yeshua Messiah will reign over “the nations” at the 8th millennium - NOT at the upcoming 7th millennium, as is generally believed.
1. The 7 last plagues (Bowls of Wrath) will wipe out all life on planet earth.
2. The existence of “nations”in Messiah’s future kingdom,
will therefore require a great resurrection.
3. That resurrection - of “the rest” - does not take place until the 8th millennium.
Revelation 20:5 “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.” (NIV)
There are two great resurrections:
First: The resurrection at the Glorious Return (of BOTH righteous and wicked)
Second: The resurrection at the 8th millennium (of “the rest of the dead”)
NO TEMPLE THERE
Revelation 21:22 [John wrote of the New Jerusalem] “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”
The New Jerusalem measures 345 miles on each side and 345 miles high. “Its length, breadth, and height are equal”(Rev. 21:16). It is enormous - compared with Ezekiel’s Temple which measures 500 cubits (approximately 730 feet) on each side (Ezek. 45:2). The New Jerusalem will more than cover the land area promised to the chosen Seed of Abraham. I personally believe it will be the portal between Heaven and earth. (Think “Jacob’s ladder.)
Between now, and the forever Temple of the New Jerusalem -
we must place Ezekiel’s Temple.
A few folks believe the Temple of Ezekiel’s vision will never literally be built. They believe it was only a symbolic prophecy of Christ and His church. Many believe it will be the Temple for the Jews, during the 7 years between the Rapture of the Church and the Glorious Return of Christ. Most students believe it will be the Temple of the 7th millennium.
I believe it will be the Temple of the 8th millennium - The 8th Day.
EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE - Necessary Prior Events
Ezekiel’s Temple is NOT raised up until the “whole house of Israel” is resurrected and returned to the land - including all those who have died in faith.
Ezekiel was shown a resurrection, a return, a rejoining (of Israel with Judah).
THEN he was shown a city and a Temple.
The resurrection of “the whole House of Israel” will take place at the Glorious Return. God’s “Israel” includes BOTH believing Hebrews and believing non-Hebrews. Believing non-Hebrews are “grafted in” TO Israel by their belief in Yeshua Messiah, while the unbelieving and rebellious are “broken off” FROM Israel.
See Romans Chapter Eleven. See PVP study: “Who are Israel?”
I believe the “whole House of Israel” will be “returned” to “the land” at the 8th millennium, or perhaps half way through the 7th millennium to rebuild and prepare for the resurrection of “the rest of the dead.” Between the Second Coming of Christ and the “return to the land,” Israel redeemed will live “in the Father’s House” - in the “place prepared” for her by her betrothed “husband.” Our home will be the New Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22-23). Paul wrote, “Our citizenship is in Heaven” (Phil. 3:20).
The “rest of the dead” will be resurrected at the 8th millennium (Rev. 20:5). All of those who died as children (below 20 years of age - Num. 14:29-31) and all of those who died without knowledge of God or His Son, will be resurrected as “the rest of the dead.” They will be raised to continue their physical lives in the Kingdom of Messiah. They will learn about the Father and His Son. Then each one will have to choose whom he or she, will serve.
Ezekiel’s Temple will be the House of the LORD, for the “nations” who are resurrected at the 8th millennium. See PVP study: “The Rest of the Dead.” All of those resurrected or translated at the Glorious Return, will become “priests of God and of Christ” to govern and teach “the rest” (Rev. 20:5-6). Ezekiel’s Temple will be the House of the LORD for the 8th millennium.
See study: “A Kingdom of Priests.”
Continued next page
EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE - ANOTHER TEMPORARY HOUSE
The “rest of the dead” - when they are resurrected at the 8th millennium, will not yet be ready to enter directly into the presence of “the One who sits on the Throne.” These people will still have mortal physical bodies - not immortal spiritual bodies. They can die (Isaiah 65:20). They will need a place where they may approach the LORD, (just as Ancient Israel once did) where they are shielded from His glory. Ezekiel’s Temple will serve this purpose.
Those who are made immortal at the Glorious Return, will serve as the “priests” of this Temple, to govern and teach “the rest” who are resurrected as “nations in the four corners of the earth”(Rev. 20:6).
In our study “The Rest of the Dead,” dozens of passages are sited that reference non-Hebrews (Gentiles, nations, aliens, strangers, peoples, etc) living on the earth - and even in “the land,” with Israel returned. The Son of David is reigning and has restored the House of the LORD at Jerusalem. The wolf lies down with the lamb, and the child plays by the cobra’s hole. This is obviously the Kingdom of Messiah on the earth.
See our “Resources” page for a few books on Ezekiel’s Temple.
BLOOD SACRIFICES - at Ezekiel’s Temple
In His Temple vision, Ezekiel “saw” tables and implements for animal sacrifice. He heard instructions concerning animal sacrifices. If this is to be the Temple of the coming millennial Kingdom of Messiah, what do we make of a return to animal sacrifices? Through the prophet Isaiah, the LORD described this day. “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain” (Isaiah 65:25).
If all the animals in this Kingdom will be vegetarian, and even the snakes are non-poisonous, why would humans still be eating animal tissues? If dragging terrified sheep and goats and cattle away from their herds, up to a place where they can smell blood, slitting their throats and then letting them bleed out, is not hurting and destroying, then my own concept of such must be off. (My grandfather owned a meat market and slaughter house.)
I personally, do not believe there will literally be animal sacrifices in the coming Kingdom of Messiah on the earth.
NOTE: I do believe the sacrificial system will be restored at the Temple built just prior to Christ’s return. See Part IV of this series - “The Temple of Antichrist.”
The Tabernacle (followed by the Temples at Jerusalem) was a prophecy in symbols, detailing the work of Jesus Christ for the redemption of mankind - of all who are willing. He was the sacrifice and He is the priest. His flesh was the veil. He was the manna and the bread. His righteousness was the salt, added to every sacrifice. He was the light of the Menorah. His righteousness was the incense to sweeten every prayer. He was the Ark - the embodiment of the Law of God in the world.
I believe the Temple of Ezekiel’s vision will be THE PLACE where those resurrected at the 8th millennium will come to learn of God, and of His Son - not in symbols, but face to face with Yeshua Messiah (“the Prince”) and His priests who “survived” and “overcame?” They will “partake” of Christ, and of the Gospel, not of animal sacrifices.
The sacrifices and the offerings also represent people who dedicate their lives to the LORD. Isaiah describes the Children of Israel bringing others to Jerusalem to present them at the Temple “as a grain offering to the LORD . . . just as the sons of Israel bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the House of the LORD” (Isaiah 66:20). The LORD tells Ezekiel that the returned of Israel will be accepted by Him “as a sweet aroma” (Ezek. 20:41). The “sweet aroma” is what God called the smell from a burning sacrifice, humbly offered. Paul said he was about to be “poured out as a drink offering” (2Tim. 4:6).
If returned Israelites, converted Gentiles and even Christ Himself, could be represented by animal sacrifices, grain offerings and drink offerings - how can we say absolutely, that animals will be sacrificed at the future Temple of Ezekiel’s vision. Such literal sacrifices have not been offered for almost 2000 years, as millions have been redeemed in the name of Yeshua Messiah. Literal animal sacrifices have not been necessary for salvation during all those years.
I am well aware of those who teach “no change to the Law.” If that is absolute, then why are so many differences seen, between the Mosaic commands and the things described in Ezekiel’s Temple vision?
In his vision of the future Temple:
Ezekiel never mentions Pentecost, the Feast of Trumpets or the Day of Atonement.
Ezekiel never mentions a High Priest (though he does list regulations for a High Priest).
Ezekiel never mentions the Ark of the Covenant, the Menorah, the Table of Shewbread, or the Veil.
The “first apartment” of Ezekiel’s Temple is apparently empty, except for a small wooden alter, 4.5ft high by 3ft wide (Ezek. 41:22). The “most holy place” is empty except for the Glory of God.
Ezekiel mentions only the morning sacrifice “daily,” rather than the morning and evening “continual burnt offering”of the Mosaic Law (Ezek. 46:13-15).
Under the Mosaic Law, the person who brought the animal for sacrifice, also killed the animal, confessing his sins over it’s head, or making his vow, or giving his thanks - depending on the purpose for the offering. In Ezekiel’s vision, the priests kill the animals, (and skin and dress them). The priests then burn them on the Alter in the Court of Sacrifice.
The people stand in the outer court, looking in through the gates. They never enter the Court of Sacrifices (Ezek. 46:3).
In Ezekiel’s vision, the “former priests” are demoted to the role of Levites (44:10-14). We assume these “former priests” served under the “first covenant,” were sinful, then later repented and were forgiven. They “have charge of the Temple” (40:45). The term “Levites” referred to non-priests, who were not descended from Aaron, but rather from Levi’s other sons Gershon, Kohath and Merari. The Levites took care of maintenance tasks and moving tasks for the Tabernacle and later the Temple.
The “priests” of Ezekiel’s vision are all from the line of Zadok (40:46, 44:15-16, 44:46). “The priests of the sons of Zadok” are described as “sanctified, who have kept My charge, who did not go astray as the Levites went astray . . .” (48:11).
We know that all those from the “first resurrection” at the Glorious Return, will become “priests of God and of Christ” (Rev. 20:5-6). I believe these redeemed are represented as priests of Zadok’s line, in Ezekiel’s Temple vision. Priests from the line of Zadok, were faithful to King David during the rebellion of Absolom, and the saints of Christ (who become priests) are faithful to The Son of David - King Yeshua Messiah.
See our study: “The Change of the Priesthood.”
“The Prince” provides every burnt offering: peace offering - sin offering - trespass offering, also every grain offering, every offering of oil, and the “drink offerings” (45:17). The people pay to him a tax, called the “special gift,” (one lamb per 200 sheep) which allows him to then provide every offering for sacrifice at Ezekiel’s Temple (45:15-16). The priests then prepare the prince’s offering (46:2).
The Gate of the Inner Court that faces East, is shut after the Glory of the LORD enters the Temple (44:1). It remains “shut the six working days,” but is opened on the Sabbaths and at the New Moon (46:1). It is opened for the prince, who is allowed into the Inner Court, and then shut after He exits (46:12). The people who come to worship, stand in the Outer Court, looking into the Inner Court, through the North Gate and through the South Gate.
The LORD told Ezekiel that only those circumcised in flesh and in heart would be allowed to enter the Court of the future Temple (44:9). Is this a return to literal circumcision? Does it also exclude women from Ezekiel’s Temple Court? My answer is simple.
We are circumcised in heart by Christ our Savior. We will be circumcised “in flesh” at His glorious return. Our old “flesh” will be gone when we are “changed in an instant” and receive the immortal spiritual body. Righteous women receive the same “change” of both heart and flesh. In the resurrection we will be “like the angels” - no longer in bodies with sex differences (Matt 22:30). Physical circumcision symbolized the future circumcision, just as animal blood symbolized the blood of Christ. See our study: “Circumcision - Under the New Covenant.”
The Tabernacle was a real “tent” and the First Temple was a real building of stone. I believe Ezekiel’s Temple will also be a literal PLACE, outside the future City of Jerusalem (not the New Jerusalem), during the 8th millennium. According to Ezekiel, the Temple will sit 10 miles outside the City (Ezek 45:1-8). It may however, be something quite different from the ancient Temple of Solomon. This may be the place where the death of Christ is seen via highly advanced heavenly means. Worshipers at this future Temple may be able to look back in time, to “see” His entire ministry and death. Yeshua was after all - the sacrifice. And Yeshua will be “the Prince” of Ezekiel’s Temple prophecy.
Those coming up to this Temple are seeking to learn of Him. They want to “partake” of Him. The “sacrifices” may not be animals at all. We know the priesthood will not be exclusively Levite/Aaronic. The Twenty-four Elders of Revelation, sing that they will be priests and kings and will reign on the earth, yet they are redeemed “from every tribe, tongue, people and nation.”
See studies: “The Change of the Priesthood,”
THIS WAS A VISION
A vision may incorporate both literal and symbolic elements. I believe the sacrifices seen by Ezekiel in his Temple vision, symbolize the continued “covering” (by the blood of Christ) over “the rest of the dead” who are resurrected at the 8th millennium. Their sins are those of ignorance. In the ancient Tabernacle, the morning and evening sacrifice “covered” sins committed in ignorance.
IT WASN’T TIME
If Ezekiel’s vision had NOT included animal sacrifices, it might have caused the Jews to abandon the rites, upon their release from Babylon and return to Jerusalem. But it wasn’t time. The prophecy of the Tabernacle/Temple had not yet been fulfilled. The Lamb of God had not yet been offered for the sins of the world.
THE REST OF THE DEAD
The “rest of the dead” will “live again” at the 8th millennium (Rev. 20:5). That’s clear. I believe these will be people who lived and died in ignorance of God and His Son. Their sins were committed in ignorance. It is only just that they be raised to continue their physical lives, to learn of God and of His Son, and to then choose whom they will serve.
Dozens of prophecies describe “peoples,” “nations,” “strangers,” “Gentiles,” and “aliens” living in and around “the land” with Israel “brought back,” with the Son of David reigning, and with the House of the LORD restored on Mount Zion. Multitudes from “all nations” are heard saying “Come, let us go up to the House of the LORD. He will teach us His ways and we will walk in His paths” (Isaiah 2:1-4 and Micah 4:1-8). See our study: “The 8th Day.”
NOTE: Those who knowingly lived in rebellion against God during this present age, will be resurrected, judged and executed at the Glorious Return of Christ (Daniel 12:2-3). The resurrection of “the rest” is NOT another resurrection of those same wicked persons.
See study: “Judgment Day.”
During the 8th millennium, “Israel” (made up of all those redeemed at the Second Coming) will serve as the priests of Ezekiel’s Temple, to govern and teach “the rest,” who are resurrected at that time. See our study: “The Rest of the Dead.”
The size of the Temple seen by Ezekiel will not require the service of all the priests simultaneously, all of the time. They will have lives apart from the Temple. They will build houses and plant vineyards. They will go up to worship the LORD on Mount Zion, at the Temple seen by Ezekiel. They will go up to worship at each New Moon, and for the “sabbaths”(Isa. 66:22-23). The redeemed will commemorate the great events in the history of their salvation.
NOTE: King David divided the priesthood into twenty-four courses of priests, who rotated their service at the Temple (1Chronicles 24:3-5).
The peoples of “the nations” will be invited to come up for the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16-21). Anciently non-Israelites were invited only to this Feast. The rites of this Feast included prayers for the nations.
The name - “family of Egypt,” in Zechariah’s prophecy (Zechariah 14:18) is a metaphor comparing these people with the original “mixed multitude” of slaves, who joined with Israel in the first Exodus, following Moses into the wilderness. Those who refuse to come up for the future Feast of Tabernacles, are LIKE those of the original “mixed multitude,” who were more often the trouble-makers in the wilderness.
Most of “the rest” will finally rebel against the government of King Jesus and His priesthood. They will join together to form the Army of Gog/Magog. Those who join (or support) the army of Gog, will be consumed by fire from heaven as they come up to attack Jerusalem, seeking to overthrow the reign of Christ (Rev. 20:7-10).
That is a very short summary of the 8th millennium - The 8th Day. That is where I believe the Temple of Ezekiel’s vision belongs. Part Four of this series will delve into the next Temple - the one that I believe will be built at Jerusalem prior to the Glorious Return of Christ. I believe the Image of the Beast will be set up in that Temple of Antichrist.
We pray this study will prove a blessing.
Check our Resources page for a couple of good books on Ezekiel’s Temple.
Go back to Part One - “Temples of Yahweh.”
Go back to Part Two - “Who are Israel?”
Go to Part Four - “The Temple of Antichrist - Masterpiece of Deception.”
Go to Part Five - “The New Jerusalem.”
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