The Temples and the Millennial Reign of Messiah

The Tabernacle, the dwelling place of YHVH among His people was built in the wilderness.  It was a shadow of what was in the heavenly realm and took one year to construct. The objects within the Tent of Meeting were made with specific directions from YHVH to Moshe.    The Menorah was built according to specifications that Moshe was shown on the mountain from the one that was in the heavenly Tabernacle.  The Temple services were performed by a Levitical priesthood with a high priest from the lineage of Aaron, Moshe’s brother (Exodus 35-36).   The emphasis of this Tabernacle was known as the Tent of Meeting where YHVH met with His people through a priesthood.

The first Temple was built by King Solomon, the son of King David, on what is traditionally accepted as the temple mount.  (There is some speculation that this Temple was actually built in the City of David near the Gihon Spring.)  This Temple was geometrically similar to the Tabernacle and it took seven years to build (1 Kings 6).   It replaced the traveling Tabernacle and all of the ‘high places’ in Israel.   The emphasis of this Temple came from David’s heart desiring that God should not live in a tent, but in a beautiful building made of stones.  Because he was a warrior, he was not allowed to build it.  His son, who was a man of peace, built it.  It was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzer and the armies of Babylon on the 9th of Av in 556 B.C. (2 Kings 24-25). 

After being exiled to Persia, the Jews (meaning those who are of the Jewish faith and multiple tribes) returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the altar, the second Temple (again, traditionally the Temple mount, but perhaps in the City of David) and eventually the walls around Jerusalem (Ezra and Nehemiah).   This process took about 23 years.   The second Temple was greatly expanded by Herod the Great.  It was in the second Temple that Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the Altar of Sacrifice with a pig and set himself up as God. After the Jewish people, who fought against Antiochus and the Hellenization of their faith, regained their Temple, they were able to cleanse it from the defilement of an anti-christ.  From this event came the festival of Hanukkah or the Rededication of the Temple. 

Yeshua was dedicated, came with his parents to celebrate the Feasts of the LORD at the second Temple.  He taught in the courtyards and threw the moneychangers out of the area.   It was outside the city gates and walls of this Temple where He was crucified.  It was in the Temple courts that the disciples gathered on Shavuot (Pentecost) and received the pouring out of the Spirit of God (Acts 2).   Miracles were performed by the disciples just outside the Temple courts of the second Temple.  The emphasis of this Temple was on the revelation of God’s Son, Yeshua, and his deliverance of the people of Israel (and the nations who would join them through faith in him) from sin and deception.  On the 9th of Av in A.D. 70, it was destroyed by Roman armies leaving no stone upon another as was predicted by Yeshua.    Since that time there has been no Temple in Jerusalem or vicinity.  There has been no altar for the offerings and sacrifices.  There has been nowhere for the Levites to serve God and draw the people closer to Him; there has been nowhere for the glory of God to be revealed EXCEPT through His Son, Yeshua. 

The third Temple is referenced by Yeshua in Matthew 24:15-21 as he quotes the prophet Daniel and the abomination of desolation.   Since Yeshua had already told his disciples that the Temple before them would be destroyed, he had to be alluding to another Temple as only a properly consecrated Temple can be defiled.  The purpose of this Temple is to show how easily people can be deceived through a sincere desire to serve God.  This Temple is only partially built because the nations trample some of its holy areas making them desolate.

“So when you see the abomination that causes devastation spoken about through the prophet Daniel standing in the Holy Place” (let the reader understand the allusion), “that will be the time for those in Judah to escape to the hills.  If someone is on the roof, he must not go down to gather his belongings from his house;  if someone is in the field, he must not turn back to get his coat.  What a terrible time it will be for pregnant women and nursing mothers!  Pray that you will not have to escape in winter or on Shabbat.  For there will be trouble then worse than there has ever been from the beginning of the world until now, and there will be nothing like it again!”

The second mention in the New Testament of this third Temple comes in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 by the Apostle Sha’ul.  The only person to have ever taken his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God, up until that point was Antiochus Epiphanes.  So, Sha’ul is prophesying that another ‘son of perdition’ will sit in ‘another temple’.

“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Messiah Yeshua and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God,” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).

The third reference in the New Testament for the third Temple is given by John in Revelation 11:1-2.

“I was given a measuring rod like a stick and told, “Get up, and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count how many people are worshipping there!  But the court outside the Temple, leave that out; don’t measure it; because it has been given to the gentiles, and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months.”

The Temple Institute in Jerusalem is preparing to rebuild a third Temple.  They have made the Menorah, the Altar of Sacrifice, the Table for the Bread of Presence, the Bronze Laver and the Altar of Incense.  They are just waiting for the return of Messiah ben David, the King of Kings, to rebuild the Temple and begin the Levitical priestly service with the offerings and sacrifices. 

This Temple, along with all of its artifacts, is not the one found in Ezekiel.  It will be one made by the hands of man, a false Messiah,  in order to fulfill the prophecy of Daniel which says that the Messiah must come before the destruction of the Temple (Daniel 9:24-27).  Sadly, many Jews do not read the prophecy of Daniel in the context of the destroyed Temple in A.D. 70.  

Whoever comes before this third Temple is destroyed will be considered ‘the Messiah’.  Israel will be deceived for a time and follow this false deliverer who is nothing more than Satan’s puppet.   When Yeshua returns in the clouds and in glory,  this Deceiver will be bound for 1000 years during Yeshua’s Millennial reign.   No longer will he be able to deceive the nations while Yeshua rules the world from Jerusalem (Revelation 20:1-3).

The King, the Priests, and One Thousand Years

“Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them received authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for testifying about Yeshua and proclaiming the Word of God, also those who had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received the mark on their foreheads and on their hands. They came to life and ruled with the Messiah for a thousand years.  (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is anyone who has a part in the first resurrection; over him the second death has no power. On the contrary, they will be priests of God and of the Messiah, and they will rule with him for the thousand years.”

From where will King Messiah rule in Jerusalem?  A King needs a throne.  From where will Yeshua, the High Priest, serve?  A High Priest needs a Temple.   Who will serve as His priesthood?  A Kingly High Priest needs a royal priesthood that knows and understands His rules. 

“Take silver and gold; make crowns; put one on the head of Y’hoshua (yeshua) the son of Y’hotzadak, the cohen hagadol (high priest);  and tell him, ‘Adonai-Tzva’ot says: “There is coming a man whose name is Tzemach [Sprout]. He will sprout up from his place and rebuild the temple of Adonai.  Yes, he will rebuild the temple of Adonai; and he will take up royal splendor, sitting and ruling from his throne. There will be a cohen (priest) before his throne; and they will accept each other’s advice in complete harmony” (Zechariah 6:11-13). 

According to Zechariah, the returning Messiah will build a fourth Temple.  He will have ‘royal splendor’ like a King and rule from a throne.  He will have priests that minister before his throne as he is High Priest.  These priests will have been resurrected from the dead and will serve in complete harmony with him and with one another before the throne for one thousand years.

The apostle Peter states that believers in Messiah who obey the commands are considered the King’s priests, the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9).  According to Sha’ul, those who sleep in Messiah are waiting for a resurrection and new immortal bodies (2 Corinthians 5:1-5).  It is most probable that the royal priesthood will be raised from the dead at the first resurrection or transformed into immortality ‘in the twinkling of an eye’  to rule and reign with Yeshua from Ezekiel’s Temple.  

Ezekiel’s Vision

Ezekiel’s Temple (chapters 40-48) and the Millennial Kingdom are found in the last eight chapters of his prophecy.  Ezekiel was given a tour of the Temple by a ‘man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, and who had a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand’ (Ezekiel 40:3). 

This Temple in Jerusalem is far larger than any of the previous Temples.  It is about 875 square feet and sits in a ‘holy district’ that is north of the city of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 45:1-8).  It will be the place where the priests who minister in the sanctuary live.  There will be another area for the Levites who minister at the Temple.  Another area will be set apart for the House of Israel.

The Tabernacle and previous two Temples had a mortal Levitical priesthood with a mortal  high priest.  The fourth Temple will have both a mortal Levitical priesthood and an immortal Priesthood with the resurrected and living High Priest, Yeshua.  As the Tabernacle and the previous three Temples were shadows of the things that are coming, Ezekiel’s Temple will be a memorial to what has already been revealed as well as more visions of what is to come in the eternal Kingdom, the world to come.  It’s purpose is to reveal the holiness of God to Israel and all the world while the enemy of God, Satan, is bound.     

In the fourth Temple, there is no wall of partition to exclude the nations from worshipping the Lord with Israel.   Ephesians 2:14 speaks of the removal of the wall of partition by Messiah.  In the second Temple, gentiles were allowed only in Solomon’s Courts, women only allowed in the Court of Women, men only allowed in the Court of Israel.  With the coming fourth Temple, this all changes and a spiritual truth becomes the physical reality of worshipping Messiah Yeshua.  

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor freeman, neither male nor female; for in union with the Messiah Yeshua, you are all one” (Galatians 3:28). 

In the fourth Temple, there is no Laver, no Table of Presence, no Menorah, no golden Altar of Incense, and no Ark of the Covenant.  This is because Yeshua is the true vine of our nourishment (John 15:3), he is the bread of life (John 6:35), he is the light of the world (John 8:12), he is mediator between God and man (Hebrews 9:15), and he is God’s presence on the throne of the Kingdom (John 10:30).

There is no veil in this Temple. The actual veil between the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place was torn in two at Yeshua’s death and no longer remains (Matthew 27:51).  If the Millennial Temple is a memorial to what Yeshua has done, the spiritual veil over the eyes of Israel and the Jewish people will also removed so they can clearly see the Son of Man in all His glory (Zechariah 12:9-11, 2 Corinthians 3:15, Revelation 1:7).

There will be an altar of sacrifice in Ezekiel’s prophesied Temple.  It will be approached by stairs, not a ramp,  from the east and not the south.  The top of the altar will be called an ariel meaning ‘lion of God’ in Hebrew (Isaiah 29:1, Revelation 5:5).  Burnt offerings and sin offerings will be re-instituted in this Temple, for when there is an altar, there must be regulations for using it; however, the regulations will not be the same as what was commanded through Moshe. 

Millennial Population

After the Battle of Armageddon, Yeshua returns with his armies dressed in white linen, the resurrected warrior priesthood (Revelation 19:14).  They defeat the nations that came against Jerusalem, the beast and the false prophet.  He  gathers all of the survivors from the nations outside Jerusalem to determine which individuals will enter the Millennial Kingdom on earth.

The prophet Joel (in chapter 3) explains that Yeshua will judge the nations in the Valley of Yehosafat for how they treated his people, Israel.  For those who don’t consider honoring the Jewish people and Israel now, they will pay a price later: their entrance into the Millennial Kingdom.

According to Yeshua’s own words in Matthew 25, he is going to divide the sheep from the goats (unredeemed nations) based on the treatment of  ‘least of his brothers and sisters’  or the Jewish people. There will be those who do not enter the Millennial Kingdom: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:22). 

Egypt and Edom have obviously shed innocent blood from the time of the Pharoahs through the days of the Middle East crisis and terrorism, but the church also has ‘blood on her hands.’  Over the centuries anti-semitic doctrines challenged everything Jewish, especially in the Scriptures and obedience to the Scriptures.  Jews were forced to convert to an all-encompassing religious system unfamiliar to their Hebrew Scriptures.  They were forced to deny God’s commandments or die.  For the false doctrine that the Jews were responsible for killing Christ and therefore must suffer, there will be a great eternal consequence. 

The Kingdom of Yeshua on earth will be a joyous time for Jerusalem and the redeemed people of God.  Jews will have come to receive their Messiah and there will be life from the dead!  Satan will be in the abyss, no longer able to be blamed for mankind’s sinful and destructive behaviors.   Sinners will be born on the earth and will be instructed in matters of God’s grace and mercy by a faithful priesthood from the lineage of Tzadok.  These royalpriests are so holy that that are instructed to change their linen clothes and turbans when they enter the courtyard so that their holiness will not be passed onto the people.  For allowing idolatry within the Temple, from the beginning of the Levitical priesthood through the anti-messiah sitting on the throne, the  Levites will lose the privilege of ministering to Messiah ben David; they will only have the responsibility of maintaining the Millennial Temple.

The Eastern Gate

“Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east; and it was shut.  And he said to me, “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it; for YHVH, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut.  Only the prince may sit in it to eat bread before YHVH; he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall go out by the same way” (Ezekiel 44:1-13).

The Golden Gate in the Eastern Wall of the Temple mount in Jerusalem, the gate that it is believed Yeshua rode the donkey into Jerusalem,  is shut with stones.  Sometime after the Crusades, the gate was closed and the Arabs plastered the area with tombs to prevent the coming Redeemer’s  entrance.  However, with the changes that will happen to the Mount of Olives and the city of Jerusalem at Yeshua’s return, this is probably not the same eastern gate that Messiah will use to enter Jerusalem.  I suggest that a false messiah will enter a third Temple through this gate, not the true Messiah of Israel.  The deception is going to be so great that even the elect could fall.  

When Ezekiel is shown the outer gate which faces east in his vision, it is also shut.  According to chapter 46 , it will be shut for the six working days and opened only on the Sabbath and Rosh Chodesh (New Moon).  The prince (raised up King David) may enter the courtyard only through the vestibule.  The people are to worship Yahweh at the entrance to that gate on the Sabbath and the New Moon.  This ‘proves’ that the moed’im, the appointed times of Sabbath and New Moon, will remain into eternity.  

(According to Zechariah 14:16-19,  the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) will be celebrated in the Millennial Kingdom. Passover will be celebrated on day 14 of the first month with matzah or unleavened bread.  Offerings will be made for each of the seven days of the festival.)

Another prophecy about the tombs on the eastern hillside is found in Ezekiel 43:5-9.  When our family walked down the road on the Mount of Olives toward the Old City, I took a picture of the sign: “Path of the Cohanim” or “Path of the Priests” which lead into a specific burial area for priests.  Ezekiel is told that this defilement, separated only by a wall (the eastern wall) will never happen again. 

“Next, a spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and I saw Adonai’s glory fill the house.  I heard someone speaking to me from the house, and a man was standing by me.  He said, “Human being, this is the place for my throne, the place for the soles of my feet, where I will live among the people of Israel forever. The house of Israel, both they and their kings, will never again defile my holy name by their prostitution, by [burying] the corpses of their kings [on] their high places,  or by placing their threshold next to my threshold and their door-frames next to my door-frames, with only a common wall between me and them. Yes, they defiled my holy name by the disgusting practices they committed; which is why I destroyed them in my anger.  So now, they should put their prostitution at a distance and the corpses of their kings far away from me; then I will live among them forever.”

River of Water

In Ezekiel’s Temple water flowed eastward from under the threshold of the House of God.  It flowed down from under the right side of the house, south of the altar.  (In its current location, there is no spring or water flowing from or under the Temple mount.  The Gihon Spring, in the City of David, is the only water source in all of Jerusalem. In Hebrew, gihon means ‘gusher’ or ‘bursting forth’.  Perhaps this is why the stairs to the altar are on the east because on the south, water is flowing out from this spring.  Ezekiel waded through ⅓ mile of the stream trickling from the south side of the Temple area.  The water came up to his ankles.  The second ⅓ mile, the water came up to his knees.  The third ⅓ mile of water came up to his waist.  The last measurement became a river that Ezekiel could not cross unless he swam because the water was so deep.  

The river flowed down toward the Dead Sea.   This suggests that the fourth Temple will be in the same general vicinity as Mt. Tzion in the City of David.   Since the holy district in Ezekiel 48 will be quite larger than the modern area around Mount Moriah, Jerusalem will most likely be rebuilt south of the Temple Mount where the water flows toward the Dead Sea and where the City of David was located.   When the water enters the Dead Sea,  it will become fresh water with all sorts of living creatures (Ezekiel 47:10-11). 

The New Jerusalem

The rebuilt city of Jerusalem should not be confused with the heavenly city known as the New Jerusalem.  The Millennial Jerusalem still has an earthly aura about it as well as sinful humans living within it.  Though men live for 1000 years – “men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem with cane in hand because of their age and the city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there,” there is still death.  There is still a priesthood with prescribed ways of worshipping the King within a Temple setting including an altar and sacrifices.

The New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven as glorious as a bride dressed for her husband. It is described as Yahweh’s dwelling with man, not just in the body of His Son, but Yahweh Himself, in all His glory, will live among His people (Revelation 21:3).  He will sit on the throne and say, “I am making everything new” (Revelation 21:5).  Thus, finally, the old order of things spoken of in the book of Hebrews will pass away.

There is no Temple in the New Jerusalem because God’s glory is so bright and pervasive. The city gates never close because there is no day or night. The Tree of Life which grows in the flowing river of life produces the 12 kinds of food for each of the months.  Their leaves are for the healing of the nations.

In order to gain entrance into the New Jerusalem, all of the dead stand before the Great White Throne of God for judgement.  These include the dead who did not experience the first resurrection as well as those who died during the 1000-year Millennial Reign of Messiah.  Each man, woman and child will give an account of their lives, but only those whose names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life may enter the gates into the New Jerusalem. Those who enter the New Jerusalem will see the face of Yahweh.  His name will be written on their foreheads.  Their eternal reward is to live with the Creator of the Universe forever.  Everyone else is thrown into the lake of fire and separated from the presence and glory of God.  They remain eternally outside the New Jerusalem where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Daniel 12:2-3, Matthew 13:43, Luke 13:28). 

©2014 Tent Stake Ministries

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