The Millennial Temple: His Sanctuary Shall Rise – Part 8

Millennial Temple Outer WallThese numerous details on Ezekiel’s temple and on the work within require that they be taken seriously.  The exact measurements and point-by-point instruction are nothing like portions of Scripture that are to be understood symbolically, such as the great image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan. 2), or John’s vision of the seven-horned and seven-eyed Lamb (Rev. 5).  The narrative is far more reminiscent of that provided for the Tabernacle (cf. Ex. 25-30) and Solomon’s Temple (cf. 1 Kin. 6-8), actual physical structures.  Additionally, there is roughly the same amount of instruction provided on the construction of and the ordinances for the Millennial Temple as was given for these other vital sanctuaries.  The same kind of phrases used to describe the Shekinah glory dwelling in the Millennial Temple were used to describe God dwelling in the midst of His people in both the Tabernacle (Ex. 25:8) and in Solomon’s Temple (1 Kin. 6:13).  Only this time, the glory of the LORD will dwell among the people of Israel forever (Ezek. 43:7).  Are we really supposed to conclude that God desired physical dwelling places in the past, but He does not actually mean it when He says the same thing regarding a future home?  No respecter of Scripture would deny that the Shekinah departed an actual temple (Ezek. 10:18-19).  We should pay the same amount of respect and believe that its return is also to a physical temple (Ezek. 43:1-5).  All of the intricate design features were not a waste of words, but instructions from God Himself.  Furthermore, if the future temple and priestly system are just a fantasy then some of God’s promises cannot come to pass, such as those He made to Phinehas (Num. 25:13) and Zadok (1 Sam. 2:35).  Remember that when Israel is ashamed of her iniquities she will be ready to observe the design of the temple, its laws and its statutes and carry them out (Ezek. 43:10-11).

To conclude this series, enjoy something that Charles Wesley wrote as part of one of his hymns, which his brother John Wesley included in his hymnal:

We know, it must be done,
For God hath spoke the word,
All  Israel shall their Saviour own,
To their first state restor’d:
Re-built by his command,
Jerusalem shall rise,
Her temple on Moriah stand
Again, and touch the skies.[1]

[1] John Wesley and Charles Wesley, A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People Called Methodists (London: John Haddon and Co., 1875), 424.

Comments

  1. Hello, I really enjoy this and many other articles that have as their foundation, a truly literal hermaneutic.
    When discussing the millennial temple with one of my reformed friends, he reminds me that because there is no height dimension given, we cannot take it literally. Please comment on this.

    • Matthew Ervin says:

      Thank you for reading and for the comment. First, the criticism strikes me as specious. We have chapter after chapter of detail provided. And these are to be ignored simply because there are not more details? It just does not follow. Second, there are some heights given for the complex. For example, the perimeter wall is nearly ten and a half feet high (40:5). The northern chamber building for the priests is specifically three stories high (42:3). There is a nine foot high foundation for the temple building (41:8-9). There are also several pieces of furniture and the altar itself that have heights provided (see parts 2 and 5 in the series). What this indicates is that heights are provided in the areas where the LORD wanted them to be. The implication is that choices are allowed to be made where the instructions are silent. This is just as Solomon and Zerubbabel’s temples were built. Many instructions were given and yet not on every detail.

      I would ask your friend if he believes that Ezekiel is a true prophet. Once he answers “yes,” ask him how his allegorical hermeneutic squares with Deuteronomy 18:20-22.

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