The Millennial Temple: the Glorious Messiah on His Throne – Part 3

Shekinah Glory

THE SHEKINAH GLORY FILLS THE TEMPLE

In Ezekiel 43:1-5 the prophet is directed to the gate facing the east to witness the returning glory of the LORD! This glory is the dwelling or nesting presence of the LORD, also known as the Shekinah. The Shekinah will enter through the eastern gate (v. 4), the same gate from which it had previously departed from Solomon’s temple (Ezek. 10:18-19). Its return signals a restoration and reveals much regarding the very nature of the millennial temple. Ever since Israel’s sin drove out the Shekinah from Solomon’ temple it has yet to return. This means that Zerubbabel and Herod’s temple never held the same power or status as the first one (cf. Hag. 2:3). Israel has been under discipline in some form or another ever since the beginning of the Babylonian Captivity. The Second Coming of Jesus will change all of that, resulting in the ideal relationship between Israel and the LORD (e.g. Acts 3:19-21). The Shekinah will return to a temple far grander than Solomon’s, one built under the Messiah’s personal rule.

The voice of God as His glory travels from the east is likened to rushing waters (v. 2). The sound and the appearance of the vision remind Ezekiel of his vision depicting the LORD coming to destroy Jerusalem (v. 3). There Ezekiel had heard rushing water from the cherubim’s wings, like the sound of the Almighty, and what appeared to be a glowing fiery metallic man on a sapphire throne. Brilliant light surrounded the figure, radiating around him like a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day (Ezek. 1:24-28). Ezekiel foresees the same light of the Shekinah glory filling the LORD’s house (v. 5). The glory had previously filled the Tabernacle (Ex. 40:34-35) and Solomon’s temple (1 Kin. 8:10-11; 2 Ch. 5:13-14; 7:1-2) after they were erected. This time God’s glory will shine across the earth (v.2), and from His home the LORD will give peace (Hag. 2:9).

THE GLORY OF THE MESSIAH

The parallels between the departure and return of the Shekinah and those of Jesus are unmistakable. Jesus ascended from and will return to the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-12; cf. Zech. 14:4), east of Jerusalem. In the Olivet Discourse Jesus taught that the coming of the Son of Man would be as lightning coming from the east and shining to the west (Matt. 24:27). The connection between the Shekinah and the Messiah is profound. At the transfiguration, Jesus’ face shone like the sun, His clothes became white as light and the bright cloud of the Shekinah appeared (Matt. 17:2-5). This was a special preview for some of the disciples of what will happen in the millennial kingdom (Matt. 16:28). The earthly reign of the Messiah will manifest God’s glory.

THE PLACE OF HIS THRONE

The Glory of the LORD had come and departed before. But this time it will never depart from Israel again. Ezekiel 43:7.

and he said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the people of Israel forever. And the house of Israel shall no more defile my holy name, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoring and by the dead bodies of their kings at their high places,

The Shekinah glory will be in the temple and among the people of Israel forever because He who emanates it will be with them forever. Though it may be a general statement about the abiding glory of the LORD, the language suggests that here is where the Jesus’ Davidic throne will be located. Jesus did say that when He comes in His glory, then He will sit on His glorious throne (Matt. 25:31). Additionally, Zechariah 6:12-14 certainly implies that the Messiah’s throne is within the temple. And it fits that the priestly King would live where the priests performed their functions. No doubt that the temple will be the center of the Messiah’s rule, which is more important than the physical throne. Wherever the actual throne is, it will be far superior to Solomon’s throne, for Jesus is far superior to Solomon (Matt. 12:42). Therefore, Messiah’s Davidic throne will be more incredible than the one described in 1 Kings 10:18-20:

The king also made a great ivory throne and overlaid it with the finest gold. The throne had six steps, and the throne had a round top, and on each side of the seat were armrests and two lions standing beside the armrests, while twelve lions stood there, one on each end of a step on the six steps. The like of it was never made in any kingdom.

King Solomon's Throne

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