THE THIRD TEMPLE
Ideally, this should be read in conjunction with https://www.creation6000.com/fate-of-the-houses-of-israel on this website.
Upon the return of the exiles in three waves of migration from Babylon the Jews were granted permission by Persian kings to build a second Temple over a period of twenty years at exactly the same location in Jerusalem where Solomon's Temple stood and where the Dome of the Rock now stands. The second temple period in Jewish history lasted between 530 BC and 70 AD. The reconstructed temple was significantly extended by Herod the Great (73-5 BC), a callous and ruthless man but a great builder. Herod's Temple is the second temple that Jesus entered several times and on which Satan caused Jesus to stand tempting Him to throw Himself off (Matthew 4:5-6). The Ark of the Covenant had gone missing long before and was probably destroyed by the Babylonians.
'Almost 45 million Orthodox Christian Ethiopians are certain that the Ark of the Covenant was taken, almost 3000 years ago, to Aksum, in northern Ethiopia, and that it has been guarded ever since by these monks in the humble church of Saint Mary of Zion'.
The Romans destroyed the second temple in 70 AD. Prince Titus took the candlestick (or lampstand) from the Holy Place to Rome to celebrate his triumph over the Jewish revolt. Fired by success in 1948, when the Jewish State was established and the recapture of Jerusalem later on, and more recently by the recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel by President Trump, there is a growing movement amongst Jews to build a Temple, which I am going to call a temple of the Jews. Jews recognize three so-called temples:
1. Solomon's Temple, followed by 2. the Second Temple built by the exiles and extended by Herod, and 3. a third Temple, a mysterious 'Temple of the Jews' that many believe ought to be built. The idea was supported by the minister of housing in Israel. It is proposed to demolish the Islamic Dome of the Rock to make room for the new temple. Imagine how Islam would respond. Rebuilding a physical third temple in Jerusalem with replicas of temple furniture and instruments will not only be futile, but also an act of idolatry (See 'Fate of the Two Houses of Israel'). There is no doubt that according to Bible prophecy such a temple will be rebuilt, but eventually it will be desecrated by the Anti-Christ and used by him to blaspheme God with the pretence that he is god (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). It is a mystery why so much detail is given in Ezekiel on the features of this temple since it contains elements that are physically unreal (Ezekiel Chapter 47) and instead point to it being a shadow of the true temple, the body of Christ.
THE TRUE FIRST AND THIRD TEMPLES
There are only three temples which the Lord has extensively detailed in the Scripture and personally inhabited in the Holy of Holies. The Tabernacle of Moses, Solomon's Temple and Ezekiel's Temple (Ezekiel Chapters 40-48).
Solomon's Temple could never be restored to its former glory by the exiles in 530 BC. For instance, the exiles no longer had the Ark of the covenant nor its contents (Aaron's rod that blossomed, the ten commandments and the jar of Manna), nor did they have the huge 30 cubit-round laver supported on 12 oxen, nor the two huge brass columns, Jachin and Boaz (see Article 9 on the 'Age of the Earth').
The only three temples considered perfect in God's sight:
1. The Tabernacle of Moses 2. The Temple of Solomon 3. The vision of a temple shown to the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel Chapters 40-48). These are/were shadows of the real temple.
Artist's impression of Solomon's Temple with the huge laver for purification of the priests, in the Outer Court. The laver or Molten Sea had a capacity of 3000 baths but contained only 2000 baths of water (1 Kings 7:26;2 Chronicles 4:5). As often the case, the Bible gives no practical details how it was filled or utilized as God does not consider it relevant for our purposes.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TODAY?
As I will begin to unfold and demonstrate below in seed form, you will see that Ezekiel's Temple is a figurative description of the Temple of His body - The body of Christ (The spiritual reality and the real temple). This is God's ultimate desire that will be perfected on Earth and continue into the new heavens and new Earth. It is not a physical structure and certainly not the one that many are hoping to rebuild in Jerusalem. There have been other interpretations of 'Ezekiel's temple' but since blood sacrifices were to cease with the advent of Christ none of the others are possible. Ezekiel's temple, with its descriptions of blood sacrifices, if ever built, will become the dwelling place of demons because Christ's blood was the 'once and for all' sacrifice.
'Jesus answered and said to them, destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. Then the Jews said, this temple was forty-six years building, will you rear it up in three days? But He spoke of the temple of His body' (John 2:19-21).
Apart from loving and obeying the Lord what could be more important to understand towards the time of the end but what the body of Christ will look like and do? In case you haven't noticed with all the social changes already upon us, about to dictate to Christians, we are in the beginning of sorrows that Jesus talked about (Matthew 24:8; Mark 13:8). Jesus warned us to watch out for the signs of the times. Why would He warn us? Because there is a preparation that is required. The five foolish virgins did not prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord (Matthew 25:1-12). They were shut out from the presence of the Lord.
FIRSTLY, WHAT IS FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE?
At first, it would appear that the prophet Ezekiel described the pattern of a physical temple (Ezekiel Chapters 40-48) that might be built in Jerusalem. But it does not appear to be a physical structure! Ezekiel Chapter 47 is a clear indication that the description of this temple was written and purposefully disguised by the Holy Spirit in figurative language. It is a hidden pattern to be revealed in the end of time. It is the structure and workings of the perfected Temple of His Body here on Earth – that includes Israelites and gentiles combined. The true identity of this temple is yet to be revealed by the Holy Spirit. 'The glory of God is to hide a thing; but the honour of kings is to search out a matter’ (Proverbs 25:2).
The Bible is full of five types of figurative language. In the Bible figurative language not only serves to conceal a matter from unwanted prying eyes, but it also defies understanding until explained by the Holy Spirit. I quote from ‘Your Dictionary’ http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-figurative-language.html .
“Anytime your writing goes beyond the actual meanings of your words, you're using figurative language. This allows the reader to gain new insights into your work. One of the best ways to understand the concept of figurative language is to see it in action. Here are some examples:
This coffee shop is an ice box! (Metaphor)
She's drowning in a sea of grief. (Metaphor)
She's happy as a clam. (Simile)
I move fast like a cheetah on the Serengeti. (Simile)
The sea lashed out in anger at the ships, unwilling to tolerate another battle. (Personification)
The sky misses the sun at night. (Personification)
I’ve told you a million times to clean your room! (Hyperbole)
Her head was spinning from all the new information. (Hyperbole)
She was living her life in chains. (Symbolism - Chains are a symbol of oppression of entrapment.)
When she saw the dove soar high above her home, she knew the worst was over. (Symbolism - Doves are a symbol of peace and hope.)”
People who are looking forward and are making preparations for the construction of another physical temple are just as misguided as the Jews were in the days of Jesus (See 'Fate of the Two Houses of Israel'). They are falling into the hands of Satan, who after a great war, will come personified in the Anti-Christ as a man of peace and reside in the Temple calling himself God. See Amir Tsarfati, May 24th 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2CnuZNlB1w This is why Jerusalem will be called Sodom and of the world ( 'And their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified'. (Revelation 11:8). Read also on this website https://www.creation6000.com/fate-of-the-houses-of-israel .
EZEKIEL'S TEMPLE WILL COME TO PASS
‘Jesus answered and said to them, destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. Then the Jews said, this temple took forty-six years to build, will you rear it up in three days? But He spoke of the temple of His body’ (John 2:19-21). This is an example of a prophecy with a double reference: A prophecy that will come to pass on two separate occasions. Firstly, when He arose from the dead on the third day and secondly, when His body is to be perfected over three DAYS into the Millenium - Three 1000-year days!
The three days are the first 2000 years of the church age (AD33 – AD2033+) and then the 1000-year Millenium when all of us will be perfect and sinless in His presence for 1000 years (Psalm 90:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Peter 3:8; Revelation 20:2; 20:6).
‘But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. The second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him a thousand years. And when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be loosed out of his prison. And he will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle. The number of them is as the sand of the sea. And they went up over the breadth of the earth and circled around the camp of the saints, and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of Heaven and devoured them. And the Devil who deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet were. And he will be tormented day and night forever and ever’ (Revelation 20:5-10).
Indeed, Ezekiel’s vision of the third temple on Earth is continued in the book of Revelation,
‘And one of the seven angels who had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying Come here, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of Heaven from God, having the glory of God. And its light was like a stone most precious even like a jasper stone clear as crystal. And it had a great, high wall, with twelve gates. And on the gates were twelve angels, and having names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel: From the east three gates, from the north three gates, from the south three gates and from the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he who talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city and its gates and its wall. And the city lies four-square, and the length is as large as the breadth. And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand stadia. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. And the foundation of its wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city had been adorned with every precious stone. The first foundation, jasper; the second sapphire; the third chalcedony; the fourth emerald; the fifth sardonyx; the sixth sardius; the seventh chrysolite; the eighth beryl; the ninth topaz; the tenth chrysoprasus; the eleventh hyacinth; the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls’. Respectively, each one of the gates was one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, as transparent glass. And I saw no temple in it for the Lord God Almighty is its temple, even the Lamb. And the city had no need of the sun nor of the moon, that they might shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb. And the nations of those who are saved will walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. And its gates may not be shut at all by day, for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no way enter into it anything that defiles or any making an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life (Revelation 21:9-27).
Much in prophecy is still hidden from view, but I believe that the Lord is slowly unfolding His plan and will progressively reveal His intentions to those who seek His will for their lives.
‘Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Those weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, there a little; for with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people’ (Isaiah 28:9-11).
There will be a great harvest of the righteous, but first He expects us to go beyond the milk of the word (Hebrews 5:12).