Why did Ezekiel describe a temple?

March 8, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments Ezekiel’s vision of the temple included copious details. His description was given before the second temple was built, but there was no attempt by the Jews who returned from the exile to follow his design. It was a much larger and more impressive structure than either the second temple, or the previous one built by Solomon. In comparison, the one actually built was not ideal, and would not be the temple which was to be filled with God’s glory, as promised for Ezekiel’s temple. [Ezekiel 43:5; 44:4] Stephen said to the Jews, when Herod’s temple was standing, “Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” [Acts 7:48] Paul said the same to the men of Athens. [Acts 17:24] A temple is where people offer sacrifices to God. Some wonder why Ezekiel described an altar, and sacrifices, if his temple has to do with the Christian church, as those things have passed away; but in Hebrews we read, “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” [Hebrews 13:10] In the New Testament, the saints are described as a temple. [Ephesians 2:20-22] They offer spiritual sacrifices. The sacrifices offered in Ezekiel’s temple must be types and figures of these spiritual offerings. Peter said, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” [1 Peter 2:5] Some claim that in the millennium, animal sacrifices will be resumed, but that contradicts scriptures such as Isaiah 65:25, “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.” How can animal sacrifices be offered, if nothing may be hurt there? Jesus identified himself with the temple of God, and the Spirit was given to him beyond measure. [John 3:34] He said God’s temple is to be a house of prayer. [Luke 19:46, citing Isaiah 56:7] He said, “destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [John 2:19] Since Jesus was raised up from the grave, the temple of God was revived, and ascended to heaven. According to Paul, every believer is a temple of God. [1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19] The church, consisting of those who are “in Christ,” is depicted as a temple, [Ephesians 2:20-22] and the saints “sit together in heavenly places.” [Ephesians 2:5-6] Living holy lives, acceptable unto God, is “our reasonable service,” Paul said. [Romans 12:1] He encouraged believers to be “fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” [Romans 12:11-12] He wrote: “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God… therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” [Romans 14:17-19]

but said “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. the altar.” [Revelation 21:22] When Jesus was raised from the grave. Ezekiel specified that the cubits in his prophecy differed from regular cubits. literal one. “I am their inheritance: and ye shall give them no possession in Israel: I am their possession. Of one thing we can be certain.Peter said the saints are “a royal priesthood. The location of Ezekiel’s temple also has a spiritual significance. The land where it is located represents the “better country” in Hebrews 11:16. and with “the mountains of Israel. as for the priests who minister there. the hordes of Gog and Magog are said to come against “a land of unwalled villages. where there is a very prominent wall. that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains. earthly cubit. possessing God is in lieu of possessing land. as spiritual things are not designed with dimensions given in earthly units. courts.” why have a wall? Since there is a wall. located in the promised land. if Ezekiel’s temple was present. on a high mountain. it is not a literal.” [Isaiah 2:2] Jesus represents “the mountain of the Lord’s house. “But now they desire a . its dimensions need to be taken in a spiritual sense. and shall be exalted above the hills. [Ezekiel 43:13] Similarly the heavenly Jerusalem is described in terms of “angelic cubits. [Revelation 3:12] In his vision of the New Jerusalem. it is removed from the existing Jerusalem. Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled: “And it shall come to pass in the last days. in fact. and those mountains represent God’s promises. John saw no temple.” [1 Peter 2:9] John said the saints who overcome will be made pillars in the temple.” That would not apply to the existing Jewish state.” It is. and neither could it apply in a millennium.” The dimensions of the temple provided by Ezekiel reveal that its courts are spacious.” [Ezekiel 40:5] The dimensions of the altar are also specified in these unusual units. why would there be any need for a wall? In the day when the earth is “full of the knowledge of the LORD. and to the city. in some millennial theories. porches. The wall signifies a boundary that separates the church from the outside world. is not an earthly.” [Ezekiel 44:28] The spiritual temple. territory is assigned to the priests and Levites.” who “shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. as in the age to come. when it has a prominent wall? Ezekiel’s prophecy of the temple depicts the church as a spiritual temple located in the promised land. Within its boundaries.” [Revelation 21:17] Who knows what an “angelic cubit” might be? It signifies a spiritual standard of measurement. Ezekiel connected the temple with the promised land. one of the “mountains of Israel. Ezekiel’s description includes the wall. By its central location. The measuring reed employed was “six cubits long by the cubit and a hand breadth. and that everything in the temple conforms to a plan.” as it is a revelation that included several promises. with its impressively thick wall. and ascended to heaven. and the temple itself. A spiritual temple is not measured in units consisting of literal cubits. it could not be a “millennial temple. how could it be a future millennial temple. gates. as the waters cover the sea. Ezekiel’s temple appears as the most prominent feature of the land. This implies the temple must be designed for the present age. The land is associated with Christ.” as some have claimed.

better country. and receive you unto myself. believe also in me. an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. I will come again. that where I am. there ye may be also. that is. . And if I go and prepare a place for you. I go to prepare a place for you. I would have told you.” It is the “place” Jesus said he would prepare for his saints: John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so.

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