The Temples in Jerusalem

The Tabernacle, the dwelling place of ‘I AM’ among His people was built in the wilderness.  It was a shadow of the Tabernacle in the heavenly realm and took one year to construct. The objects within the Tent of Meeting were created from specific instructions given to Moshe.  The Menorah was built according to what Moshe was shown on the mountain.  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 purpose of this Tabernacle was where yod-hey-vav-hey met with and lived with His people.

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 in the City of David near the Gihon Spring.)  This Temple was geometrically similar to the Tabernacle and took seven years to build (1 Kings 6).   It replaced the traveling Tabernacle and all of the ‘high places’ in Isra’el.  King David desired that Elohim 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, Solomon, 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 BCE (2 Kings 24-25). 

After being exiled to Persia, the Jews (meaning those who put their faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) returned to Jerusalem and through the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah rebuilt the Temple, the Altar and the walls around Jerusalem.  (Again, traditionally the Temple mount, but perhaps in the City of David) and eventually the walls around Jerusalem.)  The rebuilding process took about 23 years.  The second Temple was 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 fought against Antiochus’ Hellenization of their faith and regained their Temple, they cleansed it from the defilement of an ‘anti-messiah.’  This became known as the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah.

Yeshua was circumcised, redeemed as a firstborn, and came with his parents to celebrate the Feasts of the LORD at the second Temple.  He taught in its Courtyard and threw the moneychangers out of the area designated for prayer for the gentiles. Outside the city gates and walls of the second Temple, he was crucified.  It was in the second Temple courts where the disciples gathered on Shavuot and received the outpouring of the Spirit of Elohim (Acts 2).   Miracles were performed by the disciples outside the second Temple courts.   During the second Temple period, prophetic end times shadows were revealed.  The Word of God became flesh and he delivered the nation of Isra’el from sin.  On the 9th of Av in 70 CE, this Temple was destroyed by Roman armies leaving no stone upon another as was predicted by Yeshua.    For two thousand years,  there has been no Temple in Jerusalem.   There has been no Altar for the offerings and sacrifices.  There has been nowhere for the Levites to serve Elohim and draw the people of Isra’el closer to Him.  There has been nowhere for the glory of yod-hey-vav-hey  to be revealed except through His resurrected Son, Yeshua. 

The third Temple is referenced by Yeshua in Matthew. He quotes the prophet Daniel and the coming abomination of desolation.   Yeshua had already told his disciples the Temple standing in Jerusalem would be destroyed so he was alluding to another consecrated Temple that would be defiled.  The purpose of this third Temple would be to show how easily Isra’el and the nations can be deceived through a sincere desire to serve God.  This Temple will only be partially used because the gentiles, non-believers,  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!” (Matthew 24:15-21). 

The second mention of this third Temple is by Sha’ul in 2 Thessalonians. The only person to have taken a seat in the Temple of Elohim, proclaiming himself to be God, was Antiochus Epiphanes.  Because this happened 200 years earlier,  Sha’ul prophesies about another ‘son of perdition’ who 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 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 the 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 only waiting for the Messiah to sit in 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 described by the prophet Ezekiel. This third Temple will be made by the hands of man and a false messiah will sit in the holy place.  Sadly, the Jewish people and their leaders do not read the prophecy in Daniel about the Messiah in the context of the destroyed Temple in A.D. 70.  According to the prophecy, the Messiah must come before the destruction of the Temple which happened before the destruction of the second Temple after Yeshua was ‘cut off’ (Daniel 9:24-27).  Because of their ignorance and centuries of anti-semitic Christian theology, Isra’el will be deceived and follow a false messiah who will be the Adversary’s puppet.  Only when Yeshua returns in the clouds and the glory of Yahweh is restored to Jerusalem will their eyes be opened.  The Adversary and his cohorts will be bound for 1000 years during Yeshua’s Millennial reign.  

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 who 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 Altar as he is High Priest.  These priests will be resurrected saints who   will serve in complete harmony with him and with one another before the throne for one thousand years.

Peter states that believers in Messiah who obey God’s 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 to be resurrected and receive  new and glorified immortal bodies (2 Corinthians 5:1-5).  It is most probable the royal priesthood will be raised from the dead at the first resurrection and transformed into immortality ‘in the twinkling of an eye’  to rule and reign with Yeshua from Ezekiel’s Temple.  

Ezekiel’s Vision

The fourth Temple (chapters 40-48) and the Millennial Kingdom are found in the last eight chapters of Ezekiel’s  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 will be 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 Isra’el.

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 world to come with the eternal Kingdom.  The fourth Temple reveals the holiness of Elohim to Isra’el and the world while the Adversary is bound.     

In the fourth Temple, there is no wall of partition to exclude the nations from worshipping yod-hey-vav-hey with Israel.  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 living water of the Spirit (john 7:37-39, the bread of Presence (John 6:35), the Menorah of the world (John 8:12), he is mediator between his Father and man (Hebrews 9:15) and his Father’s presence on the throne of the Kingdom (John 10:30).

There is no veil in the fourth 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).  The Millennial Temple is a memorial to what Yeshua has done and the spiritual veil over the eyes of Isra’el 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 the 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 a Temple, there must be regulations for its use, however,  the regulations will not be the same  as what was commanded in Torah. 

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 brothers and sisters.  For those who don’t consider honoring the Jewish people and Isra’el 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 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). 

The Kingdom of Yeshua on earth will be a joyous time for Jerusalem and the redeemed people of ‘I AM.’  Jews will 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 royal priests are so holy they are instructed to change their linen clothes and turbans when they enter the Courtyard so their holiness will not be passed to 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. It is believed Yeshua rode the donkey into Jerusalem through this gate.   Sometime after the Crusades, the gate was barricaded and the Arabs plastered the area with tombs to prevent the coming Messiah’s entrance.  However, with the earthquake and changes that will happen to the Mount of Olives and the city of Jerusalem at Yeshua’s return, this is probably not the gate Messiah will use to enter Jerusalem.  Perhaps the false messiah will enter the third Temple through this gate, not the true Messiah of Isra’el.  

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 will worship Yahweh at the entrance to that gate on the Sabbath and the New Moon.  This is evidence the mo’edim or the ‘appointed times’ of Sabbath and New Moon will remain through the Millennial era into eternity.   According to the prophet Zechariah,  the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) will also 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 (Zechariah 14:16-19).  

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 of Jerusalem, I took a picture of the sign: “Path of the Cohanim” or “Path of the Priests” which leads into a specific burial area for priests.  Ezekiel is told  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 Isra’el 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” (Ezekiel 43:5-9).

River of Water

In Ezekiel’s prophesied fourth Temple, water flowed eastward from under the threshold of the House.   It flowed down from under the right side of the Temple, south of the Altar.  With the Temple mount’s current location, there is no spring or water flowing from or under the mount.  The Gihon Spring, in the City of David, is the only water source in Jerusalem. In Hebrew, gihon means ‘gusher’ or ‘bursting forth’.  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 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 becomes 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.  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.

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

There is no Temple in the New Jerusalem because ‘I AM’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 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 judgment.  These include the dead who did not experience the first resurrection as well as those who died during the 1000-year Millennial era.  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 ‘I AM.’  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 Tentstake Ministries

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