The Temples Of The Future
The Temples Of The Future
In our previous series (The Temples Of The Past), we discussed all the temples in the Bible that had been previously built. We finished with Herod’s temple Jesus himself walked in. Christ predicted the destruction of that temple which was fulfilled by the in 70 A.D. by the Romans. Now we will turn our attention to the future and look at the temples described.
· 2 Thess 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
· Zech 6:12 Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD. 13“Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD…
The next temple to be built in Jerusalem will be the tribulation temple, where the Antichrist will demand global worship. Almost every prophet speaks of a time of restoration for the nation of Israel and a time where God would once again choose Jerusalem (Zech 2:12). This time will be marked by the Messiah himself building a temple and ruling the world from the Davidic throne in Jerusalem. By a detailed analysis of the prophets, we see that the Antichrist will attempt to appropriate the millennial promises intended for Jesus Christ to himself.
· Hag 2:9 ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts...
· Zech 14:20 In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “HOLY TO THE LORD.” And the cooking pots in the LORD’S house will be like the bowls before the altar.
· Mal 1:11 “For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure...
Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi were the final prophets sent to the nation of Israel. They all speak of a time of glory for the temple whereby the nations would stream up to Jerusalem (Is 2:2) and worship the Lord. The verses above show that incense, grain offerings and even a sacrificial system are prophesied to be offered in Jerusalem again. This time of great peace and prosperity for Israel and the world is brought to light in the New Testament as the 1000-year millennial reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. This period takes place after the tribulation but before the eternal state. Now that we understand what is promised during this time, we can see why the Antichrist would attempt to make a temple in Jerusalem the place of his worship.
· Dan 9:27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate...
· Dan 12:11 “From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.
· Matt 24:15-16 “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
During the first half of the tribulation, it appears the Antichrist will allow the nation of Israel to reinstitute its sacrificial system. Daniel prophesies a 7-year agreement which we now know as the time of Jacob’s trouble or the tribulation period. In the middle of this agreement (half a week or 3.5 years), the Antichrist will stop sacrifice and grain offerings and demand worship of himself alone. This event will usher in the greatest time of trouble the world has ever seen (Matt 24:21). Notice how Jesus warns his followers when they see this happen to flee Judea. The location of this event is clearly in Jerusalem.
· Rev 13:14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
· Zech 14:16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.
· Jer 3:17 “At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of the LORD,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the LORD…
If there is one thing that the prophets make clear it is that Jesus is God, and will one day be worshipped as King in Jerusalem by all the nations of the earth (Zech 14:9). When we understand this, it makes perfect sense that the Antichrist would set up a temple and idol of himself in Jerusalem. The Antichrist is not merely fighting against Jesus, he is standing in the place of Jesus as a false Jesus.
· Rev 19:20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.
During this time the gospel will be preached to the entire world by angels who warn everyone not to worship the image of the beast (Rev 14:9-11). Unfortunately, a large portion of the world will refuse to repent and reject the true Jesus and be given over to the lie (2 Thess 2:10). Christ will then come back and destroy the nations that have gathered against Jerusalem in service of the Antichrist. Finally, he will throw the Antichrist into the lake of fire and begin his millennial reign on earth. Where those who have not worshipped, the image will come to life and reign with him as priests for 1000 years (Rev 20:6).
· Isaiah 2:2 Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.
When Jesus comes back, he will be accompanied by the greatest earthquake that has ever taken place (Rev 16:20). The topography of the entire earth will be changed and all of Israel will be flattened into a plain, but Jerusalem will rise up (Zech 14:10). The nations will stream up to Jerusalem to personally learn from the Lord Jesus Christ who will usher in a time of peace and prosperity. The measurements as well as various aspects of the millennial temple are recorded in Ezekiel chapter(s) 40-48.
We can learn several important details about the millennial temple by focusing on what is present, as well as what is absent from these chapters. First, we will focus on what is present in the temple.
· Eze 43:2 2 and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.
· Eze 43:4 And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate facing toward the east.
In the early chapters of Ezekiel, we see a vision of God’s glory that had the appearance of a man on a throne (Eze 1:26). This appears to be a preincarnate Jesus Christ, interestingly the glory cloud filled the tabernacle of Moses as well as Solomon’s temple. However, when the nation turned away from Yahweh the glory of God left Solomon’s temple from the gate facing east (Eze 10:18-19). The glory cloud never returned to Zerubbabel’s temple but now has returned to the millennial temple. Jesus himself will be surrounded with a cloud of glory as he rules from his throne in Jerusalem.
· Eze 41:18 It was carved with cherubim and palm trees; and a palm tree was between cherub and cherub, and every cherub had two faces. 19 a man’s face toward the palm tree on one side and a young lion’s face toward the palm tree on the other side; they were carved on all the house all around.
· Eze 40:44 From the outside to the inner gate were chambers for the singers in the inner court…
· Rev 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
The temple walls will be adorned with beautiful paintings of cherubim as in the garden of Eden. The cherubim will have two faces one of a lion and the other of a man. Representing Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5). In addition there will be several chambers for singers who will praise the Lord. They will be thanking him for his redemptive work of dying in our place and praising him for making us into a kingdom (Rev 5:9-10). What a mighty God that we serve!
· Eze 46:13 “And you shall provide a lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt offering to the LORD daily; morning by morning you shall provide it.
· Heb 10:3 But in those sacrifices, there is a reminder of sins year by year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
The millennial temple will have a sacrificial system, this is a very difficult point for some to understand. Jesus said the Law would not pass away until heaven and earth pass away. That does not happen until after the 1000-year reign of Christ on earth. The millennium will be a time of unparalleled blessing since the fall in the garden. However, there will still be sin, death, and law as Christ rules the nations with a rod of iron. These sacrifices will be memorial in nature looking back to what Jesus has accomplished at calvary. When we understand that no animal sacrifices in any of the temples ever fully atoned for sin it becomes easier to reconcile this.
· Eze 47:1 Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar.
· Jn 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
Just as a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, so the millennial temple will have a river flowing from the presence of God that brings life (Eze 47:9). The world will be a scorched desert by the time Christ comes due to the tribulation judgements. When he comes back living waters will flow from Jerusalem (Zech 14:8), a spring will go out from the house of the Lord (Joel 3:18), and the wilderness will blossom (Isaiah 35:1). How incredible, that the river flows right past the altar that the lamb will be slain on. Just as when Christ was pierced water flowed from his side, so the water of life will flow out from the place the lamb is slain. During the millennium the law and the gospel will be clearly seen and contrasted. The law will remain that great tutor that leads the nations to see their need for Christ (Gal 3:24).
· Ezekiel 36:35 “By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.”
· Eze 36:35 “They will say, ‘This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.’
Prior to the 2nd coming of Christ God’s wrath will be poured out on the world and the land of Israel will be scorched. During the millennium as the river flows from the temple it will restore Palestine to a state like the Garden of Eden. The nations will stream up to Jerusalem praising Jesus for restoring the earth and eating the fruit of this garden which will heal them. Very similar to how a river flowed in Eden to water the garden that contained the tree of life. Jesus truly bore our sin on a tree so we could partake of the tree of life. We will now turn our attention to several items missing from the temple.
· Eze 43:2 and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.
In the millennial temple there will be no lampstand or menorah. The glory of God will illuminate the entire earth even surpassing the light of the sun (Isaiah 24:23).
· Zech 6:13 “Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices."’
Although the millennial temple will have a priesthood (Ezekiel 44:15), it will not have a high priest. Jesus Christ will rule from his throne in Jerusalem as an eternal priest according to the order of Melchizedek (Gen 14:18; Psalm 110:4).
· Isaiah 25:7 And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.
Just as when Christ died the veil was torn signifying that thru him, we can have access to God. Now in the millennial temple there will be no veil. Because Satan will be locked away for the entire millennia, he will be unable to deceive the nations. This mysterious age may very well be a time of national repentance where untold myriads of people will experience the salvation offered by Jesus Christ.
· Jer 3:16 “It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the LORD, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again.
In the millennial temple there will be no ark of the covenant. The ark represented the presence of Yahweh, during the millennium nobody will miss it, because Jerusalem will be called the Throne of Yahweh (Jeremiah 3:17), where his feet will literally walk (Ezekiel 43:7).
· Rev 20:7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
To the astonishment of this writer even with all the blessings Christ will pour out on the earth people will still reject him. This will be a testimony to the depravity of man, it is a true saying that the light has come into the world and men rejected the light. How is this possible after so much evidence? That has to do with the next temple we will discuss.
· 1 Cor 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
· Rom 8:9 …But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
Mankind cannot come to Jesus unless the Father draws them thru the Spirit (John 6:44). We naturally are alienated and hostile towards God (Col 1:21), not merely ignorant of him. Only when the Holy Spirit gives you a new heart, and dwells within you do we begin to thirst for God.
· Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…
· Rom 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
· Col 3:10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—
After the fall Adam had a son in his own likeness (Gen 5:3). The earth began to produce thorns and thistles in more ways than one, the entire human race from this point on is born in sin. When someone is born again, they are renewed according to the image of God again. Just as in Adam all die so in Christ all are made alive!
· John 14:11 “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.
Jesus is the eternal Word of God that became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). In Christ all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in bodily form (Col 2:9). To be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ is the highest honor a creature could imagine. Somehow mystically thru the Spirit indwelling in us we literally become partakers of the divine nature (2 peter 1:4).
· Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
· John 17:22 “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity
Now that Jesus has ascended and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God, we have been blessed in him in the heavenly places and thru the Spirit are unified with the Godhead in a way beyond our comprehension. This is because Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in us thru his Spirit. If this is confusing you that is okay, it is beyond our comprehension it is revealed in scripture so that we bow in humble adoration of our God!
· 1 Peter 2:4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Christ is building his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. He is the foundation stone and rock of our salvation. We are being built into a spiritual temple founded upon this rock. Just as the tabernacle had the lampstand Christ describes the 7 churches as 7 lampstands (Revelation 1:20). As the Glory of God illuminated the tabernacle and temple so now his Glory shines in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:6). Just as Jesus is the light of the world, so he has told us we are now the light of the world. As the light of God flows from his throne, thru Christ, into the Church and is then diffused thru believers we become the fragrance of Christ to a dying world (2 Cor 2:15-17).
· Isaiah 66:1 Thus says the LORD, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? 2“For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.
What is man that God is mindful of him and takes such great care of him? The heavens and the earth cannot contain him, but he is willing to pardon such great sinners as us? He loves sinners, he saves sinners, he sits with sinners and is even willing to dwell with and in them for eternity! What a high honor the God of heaven has bestowed on us, let us bow in adoration of our God! How sad it is that although God is offering so great a salvation many will reject him. This will lead to a final rebellion at the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:8-10). Followed by the New Heavens and New Earth.
· Rev 21:1 Then I saw a New Heaven and a New Earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away...2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God... 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men...
From ancient times God has promised to restore mankind to himself. We have seen how the temples of the Bible point towards this. One of the great promises of God is that he will walk among us again (Leviticus 26:12), as he did in the Garden of Eden. In the Revelation, John sees a vision of the glorious eternal dwelling place of God and man. A beautiful Eden like creation with a capital city that will house both angels and saints for all eternity with God and Christ.
· Rev 21:11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.
The glory of God filled the tabernacle of Moses, as well as Solomon’s and the Millennial temples. Even so the Shekinah Glory will permeate the heavenly Jerusalem and light up the entire creation as the sun.
· Rev 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
· Gen 2:12 The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there…
Gold is the only metal mentioned during the creation account, it represents the infinite wealth of God. Moses overlayed the Ark of the covenant with gold (Exodus 25:11), the inside of Solomon’s temple was also covered in gold (1 Kings 6:21). In the eternal state the entire city will be covered in gold as well as all manner of precious stones.
· Rev 21:23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
In the eternal state we will not need a menorah or lampstand. Jesus will be the lamp of heaven which the glory of God will shine thru for all eternity! In heaven there will be no more night (Rev 22:5), signifying that what Christ has accomplished for us is even greater than what Adam has lost.
· Rev 21:12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates...
· Rev 21:25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed
The previous temples had limited access points to the presence of God, usually a single gate. This won’t be the case in heaven. there will be 12 gates representing the 12 tribes of Israel and 12 apostles of the Lamb. All of God’s children will have unlimited access to the throne of grace from multiple gates that will never close.
· Rev 22:1 Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb
Just as in Eden there was a river that watered the tree of life. So, in the New Earth Christ delivers on his promises and leads us to living waters. The final chapters of scripture end with several free offers of salvation to humanity. Jesus says he will give anyone who thirsts the water of life without cost, and that anyone who wishes may have it free of price. Anyone who is thirsty please, go to him and drink.
· Gen 2:9 Out of the ground the LORD God gave growth to every tree that is pleasing to the eye and good for food. And in the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil 10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden…
· Rev 22:2 down the middle of the main street of the city. On either side of the river stood a tree of life
· Rev 22:14 blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.
The chief problem of the human race is death which came thru sin. Consequently, we were forbidden to eat of the tree of life. Now that Christ has borne our sins and curse on a tree, we have hope. For all those who believe in him they will indeed one day eat of that tree of life. The continuity of scripture is a clear witness that God is truly it’s author. 40 authors spread out well over a millennium coming to such clear conclusions is not possible apart from the Holy Spirit. Some of the last verses of the Bible warn that anyone who takes away from the words of God will never eat of the tree of life (Rev 22:19).
· Gen 3:8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
· Rev 22:4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.
The great cry of every saint is when shall I see God? Our sins have separated us from God and the story behind all the temples is simply the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only he can bring us back to God so that we might finally enjoy his presence again and no longer hide. Finally, the saints will behold the face of God and be satisfied in his presence (Psalm 17:15).
· Rev 21:22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
It has been well said that the eternal state will be entering into the limitless presence of God. Jesus prayed that we might be glorified and become one, just as the Son and the Father are one (John 17:22). One day Christ will deliver his kingdom to the Father who will then be all in all (1 Cor 15:28). The unity we will have with the Father and the Son for all eternity thru the Spirit is mind boggling. How can we understand this? Heaven is Jesus’ dwelling in us, and us dwelling in Jesus. Heaven is us dwelling in God and God dwelling in us. Heaven is God dwelling in Christ and Christ dwelling in God! Who is sufficient for these things? Who can grasp the infinite and trinitarian nature of our God? Let us be content that we belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God (1 Cor 3:23). We have gained much knowledge, but now it is time to bow in worship of our God. Oh Jesus, come dwell with us Maranatha!
I will end with several verses which need no commentary, may the Lord bless your soul with them.
· Rev 7:14 I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15“For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. 16“They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”