The Millennial Temple

The Millennial Temple

August 25th, 1985 @ 10:50 AM

Ezekiel 40-48

In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me, and brought me thither. In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south. And he brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate. And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel. And behold a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man’s hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth: so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed. Then came he unto the gate which looketh toward the east, and went up the stairs thereof, and measured the threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad; and the other threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad. And every little chamber was one reed long, and one reed broad; and between the little chambers were five cubits; and the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate within was one reed. He measured also the porch of the gate within, one reed. Then measured he the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and the posts thereof, two cubits; and the porch of the gate was inward. And the little chambers of the gate eastward were three on this side, and three on that side; they three were of one measure: and the posts had one measure on this side and on that side. And he measured the breadth of the entry of the gate, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits. The space also before the little chambers was one cubit on this side, and the space was one cubit on that side: and the little chambers were six cubits on this side, and six cubits on that side. He measured then the gate from the roof of one little chamber to the roof of another: the breadth was five and twenty cubits, door against door. He made also posts of threescore cubits, even unto the post of the court round about the gate. And from the face of the gate of the entrance unto the face of the porch of the inner gate were fifty cubits. And there were narrow windows to the little chambers, and to their posts within the gate round about, and likewise to the arches: and windows were round about inward: and upon each post were palm trees. Then brought he me into the outward court, and, lo, there were chambers, and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers were upon the pavement. And the pavement by the side of the gates over against the length of the gates was the lower pavement. Then he measured the breadth from the forefront of the lower gate unto the forefront of the inner court without, an hundred cubits eastward and northward. And the gate of the outward court that looked toward the north, he measured the length thereof, and the breadth thereof. And the little chambers thereof were three on this side and three on that side; and the posts thereof and the arches thereof were after the measure of the first gate: the length thereof was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits. And their windows, and their arches, and their palm trees, were after the measure of the gate that looketh toward the east; and they went up unto it by seven steps; and the arches thereof were before them. And the gate of the inner court was over against the gate toward the north, and toward the east; and he measured from gate to gate an hundred cubits. After that he brought me toward the south, and behold a gate toward the south: and he measured the posts thereof and the arches thereof according to these measures. And there were windows in it and in the arches thereof round about, like those windows: the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits. And there were seven steps to go up to it, and the arches thereof were before them: and it had palm trees, one on this side, and another on that side, upon the posts thereof. And there was a gate in the inner court toward the south: and he measured from gate to gate toward the south an hundred cubits. And he brought me to the inner court by the south gate: and he measured the south gate according to these measures; And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, according to these measures: and there were windows in it and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad. And the arches round about were five and twenty cubits long, and five cubits broad. And the arches thereof were toward the utter court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof: and the going up to it had eight steps. And he brought me into the inner court toward the east: and he measured the gate according to these measures. And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, were according to these measures: and there were windows therein and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad. And the arches thereof were toward the outward court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps. And he brought me to the north gate, and measured it according to these measures; The little chambers thereof, the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, and the windows to it round about: the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits. And the posts thereof were toward the utter court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps. And the chambers and the entries thereof were by the posts of the gates, where they washed the burnt offering. And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side, and two tables on that side, to slay thereon the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering. And at the side without, as one goeth up to the entry of the north gate, were two tables; and on the other side, which was at the porch of the gate, were two tables. Four tables were on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate; eight tables, whereupon they slew their sacrifices. And the four tables were of hewn stone for the burnt offering, of a cubit and an half long, and a cubit and an half broad, and one cubit high: whereupon also they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the burnt offering and the sacrifice. And within were hooks, an hand broad, fastened round about: and upon the tables was the flesh of the offering. And without the inner gate were the chambers of the singers in the inner court, which was at the side of the north gate; and their prospect was toward the south: one at the side of the east gate having the prospect toward the north. And he said unto me, This chamber, whose prospect is toward the south, is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house. And the chamber whose prospect is toward the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, which come near to the LORD to minister unto him. So he measured the court, an hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare; and the altar that was before the house. And he brought me to the porch of the house, and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side. The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits; and he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side. Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the breadth of the tabernacle. And the breadth of the door was ten cubits; and the sides of the door were five cubits on the one side, and five cubits on the other side: and he measured the length thereof, forty cubits: and the breadth, twenty cubits. Then went he inward, and measured the post of the door, two cubits; and the door, six cubits; and the breadth of the door, seven cubits. So he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said unto me, This is the most holy place. After he measured the wall of the house, six cubits; and the breadth of every side chamber, four cubits, round about the house on every side. And the side chambers were three, one over another, and thirty in order; and they entered into the wall which was of the house for the side chambers round about, that they might have hold, but they had not hold in the wall of the house. And there was an enlarging, and a winding about still upward to the side chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house: therefore the breadth of the house was still upward, and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst. I saw also the height of the house round about: the foundations of the side chambers were a full reed of six great cubits. The thickness of the wall, which was for the side chamber without, was five cubits: and that which was left was the place of the side chambers that were within. And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits round about the house on every side. And the doors of the side chambers were toward the place that was left, one door toward the north, and another door toward the south: and the breadth of the place that was left was five cubits round about. Now the building that was before the separate place at the end toward the west was seventy cubits broad; and the wall of the building was five cubits thick round about, and the length thereof ninety cubits. So he measured the house, an hundred cubits long; and the separate place, and the building, with the walls thereof, an hundred cubits long; Also the breadth of the face of the house, and of the separate place toward the east, an hundred cubits. And he measured the length of the building over against the separate place which was behind it, and the galleries thereof on the one side and on the other side, an hundred cubits, with the inner temple, and the porches of the court; The door posts, and the narrow windows, and the galleries round about on their three stories, over against the door, cieled with wood round about, and from the ground up to the windows, and the windows were covered; To that above the door, even unto the inner house, and without, and by all the wall round about within and without, by measure. And it was made with cherubims and palm trees, so that a palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub; and every cherub had two faces; So that the face of a man was toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side: it was made through all the house round about. From the ground unto above the door were cherubims and palm trees made, and on the wall of the temple. The posts of the temple were squared, and the face of the sanctuary; the appearance of the one as the appearance of the other. The altar of wood was three cubits high, and the length thereof two cubits; and the corners thereof, and the length thereof, and the walls thereof, were of wood: and he said unto me, This is the table that is before the LORD. And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors. And the doors had two leaves apiece, two turning leaves; two leaves for the one door, and two leaves for the other door. And there were made on them, on the doors of the temple, cherubims and palm trees, like as were made upon the walls; and there were thick planks upon the face of the porch without. And there were narrow windows and palm trees on the one side and on the other side, on the sides of the porch, and upon the side chambers of the house, and thick planks. Then he brought me forth into the utter court, the way toward the north: and he brought me into the chamber that was over against the separate place, and which was before the building toward the north. Before the length of an hundred cubits was the north door, and the breadth was fifty cubits. Over against the twenty cubits which were for the inner court, and over against the pavement which was for the utter court, was gallery against gallery in three stories. And before the chambers was a walk of ten cubits breadth inward, a way of one cubit; and their doors toward the north. Now the upper chambers were shorter: for the galleries were higher than these, than the lower, and than the middlemost of the building. For they were in three stories, but had not pillars as the pillars of the courts: therefore the building was straitened more than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground. And the wall that was without over against the chambers, toward the utter court on the forepart of the chambers, the length thereof was fifty cubits. For the length of the chambers that were in the utter court was fifty cubits: and, lo, before the temple were an hundred cubits. And from under these chambers was the entry on the east side, as one goeth into them from the utter court. The chambers were in the thickness of the wall of the court toward the east, over against the separate place, and over against the building. And the way before them was like the appearance of the chambers which were toward the north, as long as they, and as broad as they: and all their goings out were both according to their fashions, and according to their doors. And according to the doors of the chambers that were toward the south was a door in the head of the way, even the way directly before the wall toward the east, as one entereth into them. Then said he unto me, The north chambers and the south chambers, which are before the separate place, they be holy chambers, where the priests that approach unto the LORD shall eat the most holy things: there shall they lay the most holy things, and the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering; for the place is holy. When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter court, but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they are holy; and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for the people. Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house, he brought me forth toward the gate whose prospect is toward the east, and measured it round about. He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about. He measured the north side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about. He measured the south side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed. He turned about to the west side, and measured five hundred reeds with the measuring reed. He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place. Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger. Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever. Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them. This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house. And these are the measures of the altar after the cubits: The cubit is a cubit and an hand breadth; even the bottom shall be a cubit, and the breadth a cubit, and the border thereof by the edge thereof round about shall be a span: and this shall be the higher place of the altar. And from the bottom upon the ground even to the lower settle shall be two cubits, and the breadth one cubit; and from the lesser settle even to the greater settle shall be four cubits, and the breadth one cubit. So the altar shall be four cubits; and from the altar and upward shall be four horns. And the altar shall be twelve cubits long, twelve broad, square in the four squares thereof. And the settle shall be fourteen cubits long and fourteen broad in the four squares thereof; and the border about it shall be half a cubit; and the bottom thereof shall be a cubit about; and his stairs shall look toward the east. And he said unto me, Son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; These are the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall make it, to offer burnt offerings thereon, and to sprinkle blood thereon. And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord GOD, a young bullock for a sin offering. And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put it on the four horns of it, and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border round about: thus shalt thou cleanse and purge it. Thou shalt take the bullock also of the sin offering, and he shall burn it in the appointed place of the house, without the sanctuary. And on the second day thou shalt offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they did cleanse it with the bullock. When thou hast made an end of cleansing it, thou shalt offer a young bullock without blemish, and a ram out of the flock without blemish. And thou shalt offer them before the LORD, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering unto the LORD. Seven days shalt thou prepare every day a goat for a sin offering: they shall also prepare a young bullock, and a ram out of the flock, without blemish. Seven days shall they purge the altar and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves. And when these days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord GOD. Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same. Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell upon my face. And the LORD said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the LORD, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary. And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations, In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations. And ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves. Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel. And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity. Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house, and ministering to the house: they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them. Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their iniquity. And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed. But I will make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein. But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD: They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge. And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within. They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat. And when they go forth into the utter court, even into the utter court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on other garments; and they shall not sanctify the people with their garments. Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads. Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court. Neither shall they take for their wives a widow, nor her that is put away: but they shall take maidens of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that had a priest before. And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths. And they shall come at no dead person to defile themselves: but for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister that hath had no husband, they may defile themselves. And after he is cleansed, they shall reckon unto him seven days. And in the day that he goeth into the sanctuary, unto the inner court, to minister in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering, saith the Lord GOD. And it shall be unto them for an inheritance: I am their inheritance: and ye shall give them no possession in Israel: I am their possession. They shall eat the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering; and every dedicated thing in Israel shall be theirs. And the first of all the firstfruits of all things, and every oblation of all, of every sort of your oblations, shall be the priest’s: ye shall also give unto the priest the first of your dough, that he may cause the blessing to rest in thine house. The priests shall not eat of any thing that is dead of itself, or torn, whether it be fowl or beast. Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the LORD, an holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand. This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about. Of this there shall be for the sanctuary five hundred in length, with five hundred in breadth, square round about; and fifty cubits round about for the suburbs thereof. And of this measure shalt thou measure the length of five and twenty thousand, and the breadth of ten thousand: and in it shall be the sanctuary and the most holy place. The holy portion of the land shall be for the priests the ministers of the sanctuary, which shall come near to minister unto the LORD: and it shall be a place for their houses, and an holy place for the sanctuary. And the five and twenty thousand of length, and the ten thousand of breadth, shall also the Levites, the ministers of the house, have for themselves, for a possession for twenty chambers. And ye shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad, and five and twenty thousand long, over against the oblation of the holy portion: it shall be for the whole house of Israel. And a portion shall be for the prince on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy portion, and of the possession of the city, before the oblation of the holy portion, and before the possession of the city, from the west side westward, and from the east side eastward: and the length shall be over against one of the portions, from the west border unto the east border. In the land shall be his possession in Israel: and my princes shall no more oppress my people; and the rest of the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes. Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD. Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath. The ephah and the bath shall be of one measure, that the bath may contain the tenth part of an homer, and the ephah the tenth part of an homer: the measure thereof shall be after the homer. And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs: twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh. This is the oblation that ye shall offer; the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of wheat, and ye shall give the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of barley: Concerning the ordinance of oil, the bath of oil, ye shall offer the tenth part of a bath out of the cor, which is an homer of ten baths; for ten baths are an homer: And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel; for a meat offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord GOD. All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel. And it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary: And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put it upon the posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court. And so thou shalt do the seventh day of the month for every one that erreth, and for him that is simple: so shall ye reconcile the house. In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering. And seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the LORD, seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish daily the seven days; and a kid of the goats daily for a sin offering. And he shall prepare a meat offering of an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and an hin of oil for an ephah. In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat offering, and according to the oil. Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons. And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the LORD in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish. And the meat offering shall be an ephah for a ram, and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah. And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram: they shall be without blemish. And he shall prepare a meat offering, an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs according as his hand shall attain unto, and an hin of oil to an ephah. And when the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of that gate, and he shall go forth by the way thereof. But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it. And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth. And in the feasts and in the solemnities the meat offering shall be an ephah to a bullock, and an ephah to a ram, and to the lambs as he is able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah. Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the LORD, one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, as he did on the sabbath day: then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate. Thou shalt daily prepare a burnt offering unto the LORD of a lamb of the first year without blemish: thou shalt prepare it every morning. And thou shalt prepare a meat offering for it every morning, the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of an hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour; a meat offering continually by a perpetual ordinance unto the LORD. Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and the meat offering, and the oil, every morning for a continual burnt offering. Thus saith the Lord GOD; If the prince give a gift unto any of his sons, the inheritance thereof shall be his sons’; it shall be their possession by inheritance. But if he give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty; after it shall return to the prince: but his inheritance shall be his sons’ for them. Moreover the prince shall not take of the people’s inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession; but he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession: that my people be not scattered every man from his possession. After he brought me through the entry, which was at the side of the gate, into the holy chambers of the priests, which looked toward the north: and, behold, there was a place on the two sides westward. Then said he unto me, This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, where they shall bake the meat offering; that they bear them not out into the utter court, to sanctify the people. Then he brought me forth into the utter court, and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and, behold, in every corner of the court there was a court. In the four corners of the court there were courts joined of forty cubits long and thirty broad: these four corners were of one measure. And there was a row of building round about in them, round about them four, and it was made with boiling places under the rows round about. Then said he unto me, These are the places of them that boil, where the ministers of the house shall boil the sacrifice of the people. Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine. Thus saith the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions. And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another: concerning the which I lifted up mine hand to give it unto your fathers: and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance. And this shall be the border of the land toward the north side, from the great sea, the way of Hethlon, as men go to Zedad; Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazarhatticon, which is by the coast of Hauran. And the border from the sea shall be Hazarenan, the border of Damascus, and the north northward, and the border of Hamath. And this is the north side. And the east side ye shall measure from Hauran, and from Damascus, and from Gilead, and from the land of Israel by Jordan, from the border unto the east sea. And this is the east side. And the south side southward, from Tamar even to the waters of strife in Kadesh, the river to the great sea. And this is the south side southward. The west side also shall be the great sea from the border, till a man come over against Hamath. This is the west side. So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD. Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazarenan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan. And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher. And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali. And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Manasseh. And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Ephraim. And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Reuben. And by the border of Reuben, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Judah. And by the border of Judah, from the east side unto the west side, shall be the offering which ye shall offer of five and twenty thousand reeds in breadth, and in length as one of the other parts, from the east side unto the west side: and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it. The oblation that ye shall offer unto the LORD shall be of five and twenty thousand in length, and of ten thousand in breadth. And for them, even for the priests, shall be this holy oblation; toward the north five and twenty thousand in length, and toward the west ten thousand in breadth, and toward the east ten thousand in breadth, and toward the south five and twenty thousand in length: and the sanctuary of the LORD shall be in the midst thereof. It shall be for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of Zadok; which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray. And this oblation of the land that is offered shall be unto them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites. And over against the border of the priests the Levites shall have five and twenty thousand in length, and ten thousand in breadth: all the length shall be five and twenty thousand, and the breadth ten thousand. And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange, nor alienate the firstfruits of the land: for it is holy unto the LORD. And the five thousand, that are left in the breadth over against the five and twenty thousand, shall be a profane place for the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs: and the city shall be in the midst thereof. And these shall be the measures thereof; the north side four thousand and five hundred, and the south side four thousand and five hundred, and on the east side four thousand and five hundred, and the west side four thousand and five hundred. And the suburbs of the city shall be toward the north two hundred and fifty, and toward the south two hundred and fifty, and toward the east two hundred and fifty, and toward the west two hundred and fifty. And the residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward: and it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion; and the increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city. And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel. All the oblation shall be five and twenty thousand by five and twenty thousand: ye shall offer the holy oblation foursquare, with the possession of the city. And the residue shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other of the holy oblation, and of the possession of the city, over against the five and twenty thousand of the oblation toward the east border, and westward over against the five and twenty thousand toward the west border, over against the portions for the prince: and it shall be the holy oblation; and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the midst thereof. Moreover from the possession of the Levites, and from the possession of the city, being in the midst of that which is the prince’s, between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin, shall be for the prince. As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion. And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion. And by the border of Simeon, from the east side unto the west side, Issachar a portion. And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a portion. And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion. And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward, the border shall be even from Tamar unto the waters of strife in Kadesh, and to the river toward the great sea. This is the land which ye shall divide by lot unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance, and these are their portions, saith the Lord GOD. And these are the goings out of the city on the north side, four thousand and five hundred measures. And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi. And at the east side four thousand and five hundred: and three gates; and one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan. And at the south side four thousand and five hundred measures: and three gates; one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun. At the west side four thousand and five hundred, with their three gates; one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali. It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.
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THE MILLENNIAL TEMPLE

Dr. W.A. Criswell

Ezekiel 40-48

8-25-85    10:50 a.m.

 

I thought today I would preach out of the National Geographic magazine.  That is why I got it up here.  Dr. Merrill, you are going to like that.  Oh dear!  Well, as you know I am preaching through the Book of Ezekiel, which is a new introduction to me.  I went to school for years and years.  I went to school for twenty-two consecutive years, and I cannot remember having ever heard the book mentioned anytime I went to school.  I went to seminary six years.  They just pass it by.  They do not even look at it, and those who do put it down.

Well, as you have been attending these services, I have been studying, and praying, and reading, and poring over the Book of Ezekiel.  And I can say in all truth there has never been a study in my life that has ever meant more to me than these months that we have been reading and expounding the Word of God in Ezekiel.

We have come now to the climax; the end of the book beginning at chapter 40, Ezekiel chapter 40.  And the vision that he has in this nine concluding chapters of the book is a vision of the millennial temple.  Now because we haven’t time, I just read the introduction, the first two verses of chapter 40.  He pinpoints it to the exact day.

In the five and twentieth year of our captivity—

been over in Babylon as a slave, as a captive for twenty-five years—

in the beginning of that year, in the tenth day of that month, in the fourteenth year after the city was smitten—

after Jerusalem was totally destroyed by the king of Babylon, by Nebuchadnezzar [Jeremiah 52:4-27]

in the selfsame day the hand of the Lord was upon me, and brought me, thither.

Then he tells where the Lord brought him.

In the visions of God, He brought me into the land of Israel.

[Ezekiel 40:1-2]

Now he is over there a slave in Babylon, but in the vision God took him to the land of his birth where he was a priest.  He was thirty years old when he was carried a captive into Israel.  “He took me into the land of my birth, my homeland, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as a frame of a city on the south” [Ezekiel 40:2].  He is there in a high mountain, and as we will see, as we shall see, a place, he calls it oblation, sanctified and hallowed for the worship of God, on which high mountain the millennial temple is built; and the city of Jerusalem is to the south.  Then follows after, in minutest, precisest detail, the description of that temple, the millennial temple [Ezekiel 40-48].

Now as I read, and as I study, and as I pore over those books, everybody, seems to me, spiritualizes the vision; they all do.  They say there is never to be any such temple built.  It is an ideal.  It is a spiritual allegory, and it stands for certain things, and it means certain things, but there is no temple as Ezekiel describes that has ever been built, or will ever be built.  So they spiritualize, they allegorize, they ideal the passage.

Now it would be a strange thing for you, I would think, to come here to this sanctuary and hear me preach for forty-one years, as I preach, literally, the Bible—I am a biblical literalist.  I believe what the Bible says.  I believe God meant what He wrote here in Holy Scripture.  So when I preach, for forty-one years you’ve been listening to me, I preach the Bible as being literally true.  Now, if we come to these climactic chapters in Ezekiel, and all of the sudden I become an allegorizer, I become a spiritualizer, I don’t believe the Word of God as it says, I think it means something else, and then I sit down and try to think through what I think it might mean—if I did that, you would have every right to say, “Preacher, I just don’t quite understand you.  Forty-one years, you in that pulpit preaching the Bible is literally true, and now when we come to this great vision of the prophet Ezekiel, you spiritualize it.”  Well, my brother, we’re just not going to do that.  We are not about to do that.  We are not even thinking about doing that.  We are going to look upon this beautiful, incomparably meaningful millennial temple as one that one of these days in the millennium is going to be built.

Now that is the background of what we are going to preach about this morning, the millennial temple; a reality that God will bring to pass when Jesus comes to make everything right in this world, when He establishes His millennial kingdom [Matthew 13:41].  Now, so precisely and minutely does Ezekiel describe this temple that you can see pictures of it in books.  They draw pictures of it.  They draw sketches of it.  There is no minutest detail in that temple that is not measured and presented and described.

Now the background of all of this is that God has chosen to meet with His people in a sanctuary.  Now I didn’t invent that; that’s God.  The heart of the Old Testament of Judaism, of the Old Testament faith and religion, the heart of it lies in the assembling of God’s people in a sanctuary.  It is no different with us in the New Testament.  The same God there is our God today.  Jesus is called Jehovah in the Old Testament, Jehovah Jesus.  Now God ordained that we worship Him in a sanctuary.  We come together [Hebrews 10:25].  We have a name for us.  In the Greek in the New Testament, God calls us an ekklēsia, we are an assembly.  In the English language they finally changed it to church.  But that is the program and will and purpose of God for our people, that we meet together.  When a man says to you, “I can worship God just as well under a green tree or on the side of a flowing creek as I can in church,” he is lying.  He is prevaricating.  God never said anything that even approached that.  From the beginning, God has purposed that His people come together.  It has a social side to it that is undeniable and eternal.  We come together to worship the Lord.  We sing His praises.  We read His Word.  We bow in prayer.  That’s God.

Now, the Lord said—and I will name these passages but you don’t have to turn to them—the Lord said in Exodus chapter 25, beginning at verse 8:

Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.  According to all that I show thee, Moses, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

[Exodus 25:8-9]

Now I’m going to read the conclusion of that twenty-fifth chapter.  “And Moses, Moses, you look, you see to it that you make everything after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount” [Exodus 25:40].

And Hebrews 8:5 quotes that.  God said to Moses, “I will meet you and your people in a sanctuary, and this is the way that I want you to make it.”  And the pattern of that sanctuary is from heaven.  And God said to Moses, “You make this sanctuary according to the pattern that I give you” [Exodus 25:40].  And the Lord gave him the pattern of the tabernacle on the mount where he listened to the voice of God forty days and forty nights [Exodus 34:28].

The same kind of a thing, the exact pattern of the thing, happened when David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the temple.  In 1 Chronicles 28:9:

And thou, Solomon my son…

the Lord hath chosen thee to build a house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.

Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of all that he had received from God by the Spirit.

All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.

And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of a good courage, and do it . . .

[1 Chronicles 28:9-12, 19-20] 

So when the temple was built, it was built according to the pattern that God moved David in writing to draw and to give to his son Solomon.  Now there is to be a temple.  Now that temple of Solomon was recreated by Zerubbabel and recreated again by Herod.  Now there is to be a temple on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem in the tribulation.  In the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation: “There was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel said, Rise, and measure the temple of God” [Revelation 11:1].  And when I turn to the fifteenth chapter, “After that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony… was opened” [Revelation 15:5].  There is a temple of the Lord God in the tribulation.

Now had I not seen it here and read it here in the Revelation, Jesus spoke of that temple in His apocalyptic discourse in Matthew 24 [Matthew 24:2, 15].  And He quoted Daniel chapter 9, Daniel chapter 11, and Daniel chapter 12, referring to that temple in the tribulation [Daniel 9:17, 26; 11:31; 12:11].  And in the second epistle to the Thessalonians, in chapter 2, verse 4, the apostle Paul says that the man of sin, the ultimate Antichrist, is going to sit in the last three and half years of that tribulation, he is going to sit in that temple presenting himself, declaring himself as God [2 Thessalonians 2:3-4].

Now what do you think about that?  What do you see on that Mount of Moriah in Jerusalem today?  You won’t see any temple there.  There is a mosque there.  It is called the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock, or the Mosque of Omar.  And right to the south of it, right below it there is the Mosque Al Aqsa.  Of all of the places that are holy to the Muslim, first is Mecca, second is Medina, and third is Dome of the Rock.  They say that from that place Mohammed ascended into heaven, and they show you his footprint on the rock.  And they say that Gabriel—and they will show you his handprint on the rock—that the angel Gabriel held this rock earthbound because the rock wanted to follow Mohammed into heaven.  And they look upon that place as being the hallowed and holy ground of the Islamic world.  Yet God says in the days of the tribulation there’s going to be a temple to Jehovah on that rock [Revelation 11:1, 15:5].  Now we have a confrontation awaiting us in this weary world.

What about the Jews, and that rock, and that temple site?  Before the Six Day War was fought in June of 1967, in May, before that war was fought in June of 1967, the Washington Post ran this quarter page advertisement in their newspaper.  I quote from it:

To persons of the Jewish faith all over the world: a project to rebuild the temple of God in Israel is now being started.  With divine guidance and help, the temple will be completed.  It will signal a new era in Judaism.  Jews will be inspired to conduct themselves in such a way that our Maker will see fit to pay us a visit here on earth.  Executive talent, administrators, and workers on all levels are needed.  God will know those desiring to participate.

Always in the thought of a Jew is the temple in Jerusalem.  After the Six Day War in 1967 speculation immediately arose, after the Israelis seized Jerusalem, put the city together in their hands, they immediately speculated, the whole world did, over the possibility of rebuilding the temple, and Time magazine devoted a page to that possibility.

Now in the National Geographic of last month, July 1985, there is a long leading article in the National Geographic about the Jews and the rebuilding of that temple.  And I read from the last paragraph, “But a new unapologetic age stirs as Israelis return to the strength of their Jewish past.  In the rough settlements of Judea and Samaria, they dream of their ancient kingdom.  In Jerusalem, some of the priestly clan,” the kohanim, in Hebrew the name for priest is kohen; when you see a Jew named Cohen his name is Mr. Priest, Mr. Cohen.  “In Jerusalem, some of the priestly clan, the kohanim”—in Hebrew, the plural is “im, im,” like cherub, cherubim plural, seraph, seraphim plural, kohanim  meaning many priests—“In Jerusalem some of the priestly clan, the kohanim, study the archaic laws of animal sacrifice in preparation for the rebuilding of the temple,” this minute, right now.  And these are some of the things that in my study I quote.  Rabbi Shalom Kahem Abener, quote, “We should never forget that the supreme purpose of the ingathering of the exiles and the establishment of our state is the building of the temple.  That is why God is gathering us home,” the rabbi says.

In Israel today, Jews are learning the temple rituals and studying the manufacture of priestly garments.  In Jerusalem, Yeshiva Hakohanim trains young Jews for the priesthood in a fifteen year course that includes animal sacrifices.  Because the only place to sacrifice is the temple, and because the only place the temple can be erected is on Mt. Moriah where the Dome of the Rock mosque is, all time and history are preparing for that final confrontation that leads to the Third World War and the final tribulation.

In March 1983, dozens of Jews were arrested for trying to blow up the Dome of the Rock.  In January of last year, Israeli security threatened an assault on the mount including a plot to blow up the mosque.  One of those arrested was a man who sought to steal an F-16 war plane to blast the mosque off the rock.  The Muslim supreme council warned, “If the attempted explosions had succeeded, all Arab countries—and Israel is surrounded by fifty million Arabs—“all Arab countries would have immediately launched a jihad, a holy war, against Israel,” end quote, which is what some of the Jews want.  If they obliterate the mosque, the Muslims would wage war in such a vicious jihad that “the messiah,” quote from them, “the messiah would come and save his people from destruction.”

We are facing those last critical days.  I have been to Jerusalem seven times, and I never look at that mosque on the Dome of the Rock but I have the inward intuitive conviction that the day is soon approaching when either God by His hand in an earthquake, or the confrontation between Israel and their Arab neighbors, are going to blow it up.  That thing is there for the moment, but when that day comes, you are going to see the denouement of all history.  It will be the end of the world, and we will enter the ultimate and final tribulation.

Now, in that tribulation you have, as I just read out of the Bible, you have a temple [Revelation 11:1, 15:5].  The Jews will rebuild that temple.  And in the days of the tribulation, the seven years of the tribulation, it is there [Daniel 9:26].  Now beyond the days of the tribulation, when Jesus comes again [Matthew 25:31], I don’t know what will happen to that temple in the tribulation.  I am just supposing that the Armageddon—Armageddon is a war, it climaxes in a great battle at which time Jesus comes [Revelation 16:15-16]—but I am just supposing that in that war of Armageddon that lasts seven years, precipitated by the invasion of Israel on the part of Russia [Ezekiel 38-39], I am just supposing in that awful war, atomic war, the whole world gathered there to battle, two hundred million soldiers from China alone [Revelation 9:16], I am just supposing that in that awful war, when for a thousand six hundred furlongs, when from Megiddo down to Bosrah, blood is up to the bridles of the horses [Revelation 14:20], I am just supposing that in that awesome conflict that the temple of the tribulation is destroyed.

Now, when we come to the millennium, in that battle of Armageddon, the Lord comes [Revelation 19:11-16].  And the first thing that happens is, according to Ezekiel, there is going to be built by the hand of God, a marvelous, glorious millennial temple on a high mountain with Jerusalem to the south [Ezekiel 40:2, 5].

In these chapters from 40 to 48, Ezekiel says that the twelve tribes of regathered Israel will be allotted their ancestral land, and it goes in a band from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River [Ezekiel 47:13-48:35].  It goes across this way.  And it starts at the top, twelve great sections going down to the bottom.  And in the middle of those allotments there is a large, what Ezekiel calls an oblation, a dedication to God, a sanctuary that belongs to God [Ezekiel 48:10-12].  In the middle of those allotments, is this large oblation, a vast land dedicated to the Lord God, and it is divided into three parts [Ezekiel 48:13-15].  The upper part of that oblation; one third of it is given to the Levites; that’s where Levites, the people that serve in the temple, that’s where they live.  In the center of that oblation, there is a section given to the priests.  And in that oblation the millennial temple is erected on a high mountain.  And then the third part of that oblation is given to the prince, the ruler of Israel [Ezekiel 48:21].  Now in the center of that oblation is this glorious temple that arises to God, and it is meticulously described [Ezekiel 40-42].  Every little part of it is carefully measured.  And it is there to the glory of the worship of Jehovah Jesus in the millennium.

“Now, pastor, being a literalist, just exactly what are you going to do about two things when you say that temple will be literally built?  There will be a temple there in the millennium [Revelation 11:1, 15:5].  Now what are you going to do about two things?  First what are you going to do about animal sacrifices?”  In Ezekiel, there is meticulous detail concerning the ritual of animal sacrifices, and the Lord Jesus is there.  He is the King of all the earth in the millennium [Revelation 20:4-6], and they are going to have animal sacrifices in that temple [Ezekiel 45:15-25].  And the whole Book of Hebrews in the New Testament says that animal sacrifices are forever done away [Hebrews 9:12; 10:18].  He is our atonement [Romans 5:11].  His blood was shed for the remission of our sins [Matthew 26:28], and no longer do we sacrifice animals.  “Now, pastor, you are a biblical literalist.  Just exactly what are you going to do about those animal sacrifices in the millennial temple?” [Ezekiel 40:41-43]

Well, I am just like you.  I was dumbfounded.  And O Lord, what am I going to do?  Here I’ve been preaching forty-one years to these dear patient people, and now what am I going to do about a literal interpretation of this millennial temple and its sacrificial ritual?  Well, I have prayed and searched the mind of God, and I’m not saying I am omniscient, but I have an answer from heaven to my heart.  A sacrifice is a shared meal [Leviticus 3:1-17, 17:3-4].  Outside of just one, outside of the whole burnt offering [Leviticus 1:3-17, 6:8-13], and that was just one little tiny infinitesimal part of the sacrificial system, outside of that burnt offering all of the sacrificial system, all of it was a shared meal.  The man brought his family to the house of God.  He offered a sacrifice, and he and his family, and if he invited friends or shared it with a priest [Leviticus 7:14, 31-32], they ate it together.  It was a shared meal [Leviticus 3:1-17, 17:3-4].

And when that millennial temple is built, it is going to be very expansive [Ezekiel 40:5].  The oblation is very large; it is miles and miles.  When that millennial temple is built, Israel is going up to the house of the Lord with an offering, with a sacrifice, and it is going to be sacrificed by the priest [Ezekiel 43:27].  And the Israeli, and his family, and his friends, and if he invites the priest, they are going to eat it there.  And they are going to eat it in thanksgiving for their God, and King, and Lord, and Messiah, Jehovah Jesus.  And they are going to break the bread and drink the cup in love and gratitude to the Lord God who has saved them and delivered them.

And lest I think, “Now that is an unusual thing to do, we do that here in this church once a month,” we call it a eucharisteō, a thanksgiving service; a eucharisteō, a eucharist [Matthew 26:26-28; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30]Eucharisteō is the Greek word for to give thanks.  Eucharist is thanksgiving.  We gather here once a month, and we break bread, and we eucharisteō, we thank God for what Jesus has done for us Gentiles.  And we eucharisteō; we thank God over the cup for the blood that washes away our sins [Revelation 1:5].  We do it here in this assembly of the Lord once a month.  They are going to do it in the millennial temple.  They are going up to the house of the Lord.  They are going to sacrifice.  They are going to kill an animal, and they are going to eat it just as we eat meat.  They are going to eat with the family.  And they are going to eat it in thanksgiving and praise to the Lord Jesus.  And they are going to share the meal in love and gratitude for what the Lord God has done for them.

Do you see anything wrong with that?  I don’t, Avon.  I don’t.  I don’t see a thing in the world wrong with our meeting and eucharisteō, thanking God for what Jesus has done for us.  And I don’t see anything wrong in the Israeli according to his ritual, going up to the house of the Lord, to His temple, and eating a meal and saying, “We thank God that He has done so much for us.”

Well, that’s what God put on my heart as I studied and prayed over it.  “Now pastor, you’ve got one other thing.  You have one other thing.  You not only have a sacrificial ritual there of animals in that millennial temple [Ezekiel 43:18-27; 45:13-25; 46:1-24], but you have one other thing.  It is not built down there in Jerusalem anymore.  It is on a high mountain.  And out of that temple from the threshold on the east, there flows an enlarging river of water [Ezekiel 47:1]—that will be the sermon next Sunday—an enlarging river of water, and it flows down to the east.  And when it flows in the east to the Dead Sea and touches the Dead Sea, the Dead Sea comes to life, and it is filled with fishers.  It is filled with fish, and fishermen surround the whole boundary of the Dead Sea” [Ezekiel 47:1-10].

“Now pastor, what are you going to do about that?  Because up there where that temple is to be located, the watershed is to the west; it goes to the Mediterranean.  It doesn’t flow to the east.  It flows to the west, and it is on a high mountain up there, and there’s no high mountain up there on which to build such a temple.  Now what are you going to do about that?”  Well, it all depends upon what you think about the Lord God.  I think God is going to reshape this whole creation.  And I think a part of that creation is going to be a marvelous rearrangement of that Holy Land.

“Now what makes you think that, pastor?”  I will give you a good instance of that, and this is just an illustration.  In the fourteenth chapter of the prophet Zechariah, he says what is going to happen when Jesus comes down from heaven.  He says, verse 4:

And His feet—

Zechariah 14:4—

and His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mountain of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it shall move toward the south.

And the Lord shall be King over the all the earth.

[Zechariah 14:4, 9] 

Now I just read one other out of a multitude, things are going to happen when Jesus comes again.  In the Book of the Revelation in the sixth chapter, twelfth verse: “I beheld when He opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake” [Revelation 6:12], and then it describes all the things in heaven and earth [Revelation 6:12-13].  And then it says in verse 14, “And every mountain and island were moved out of their places” [Revelation 6:14].  My brother, if I can believe the Word of God, when Jesus comes there are going to be tremendous, cataclysmic, catastrophic things that happen to this planet Earth!  One of them was what Zechariah said: the Mount of Olives, where His feet touch down on this earth, is going to split wide open, and part of it move to the north, and part of it to the south, and a great valley for God’s people in between [Zechariah 14:4]. 

And according to the Revelation, there are going to be catastrophic, cataclysmic earthquakes, and every mountain and island moved out of their place [Revelation 6:14].  There is going to be a tremendous, tremendous touching of God when He comes down and His feet are planted on this earth [Zechariah 14:4].  Therefore, when I read in Ezekiel of these marvelous things that are going to happen to the Holy Land in rearranging its topography, I say in my heart, well, that’s just one of those things God is going to do when He comes down and His feet touch this earth.

Now I just have one thing to solve in my heart about that, and that is, do you think God could do that?  Do you think God could do all of those things to this earth?  Do you?  Well, just look at you for a minute.  My brother, we don’t ever stumble before the omnipotent power of Almighty God, we just don’t do it.  He is a God of miracle.  I look around the world.  I live in a world of miracle.  Where did it come from?  You can study science, which is nothing but the observation of phenomena, you can study science forever, and you will never find out where this world comes from.  God made it [Genesis 1:1].  And you can have a big bang theory or you can have any other kind of atomic theory, but God created this world, and it is a miracle.

These planets swinging around the sun, and these universes above us and beyond us, it is miracle what God has done.  And He is going to redo this earth [Revelation 21:1-2].  It is going to be remade.  It is going to be just beautiful.  Not only that, but everything in it God is going to remake [Revelation 21:5].  In the eleventh chapter in the Book of Isaiah, he says the wolf is going to dwell with the lamb, and the leopard is going to lie down with the kid: and the lion is going to eat straw like an ox.  And the child will play in an adder’s nest [Isaiah 11:6-8], and the child will put his hand upon the deadly most venomous, poisonous reptiles, and they will just be toys for the child to play with.  Think of that.  I think of that poem by the mystic poet:

TYGER, tyger, burning bright,

In the forests of the night;

What immortal hand or eye,

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

[from “The Tyger,” William Blake] 

Just think of that.  Children going to play with deadly adders and cobras, and the ox and the lion are going to eat out of the same bin.  It is another world.  It is another world.  That’s God.  That’s the ableness of God.

And I look at our own homes and families.  When I give this invitation, you are going to see some families come down here with babies.  Can you believe that?  A baby: what omnipotent hand or eye could create such a miracle of life and living?  A soul in the image of father and mother and God: what a miracle, God’s hand!

I don’t stumble at it.  And when I read in the Bible of the marvelous things God is going to do when He comes again in the millennium, I just say, “Praise the Lord!  Isn’t that wonderful?  Isn’t that wonderful?”  I live literally in a world of miracle.  Not only looking all around me, not only seeing our people bring their babies that God gave them, I live in a world of miracle in the rebirth, the recreation, the regeneration of our people born again [John 3:3, 7], born anew, made on the inside of us like our blessed God [2 Corinthians 3:18].  I say it is a miracle.

Sometime ago, several years ago when Ira McCollister was the leader of our mission work, they had a Christmas dinner down here at the church.  And they invited people that had been introduced to Jesus from all of those missions over there in West Dallas.  Sweet people, I sat there listening and I cried.  I wept for three solid hours.  What happened was the program: those men and women had been lifted out of the gutter and had been made to rejoice in the favor, and love, and grace, and forgiveness of Jesus, and they were testifying.  A man would stand up and say, “I was in the gutter.  I was a helpless, alcoholic drunkard.  And this pastor here came to see me, prayed for me, won me to Jesus.  And now I have a good job.  We live in a nice little home.  And the favored light of the sunshine from heaven falls upon us.”  And another man would stand up, and he would say, “I was violent and vicious, and I beat my children, and I beat my wife, and they dreaded to see me come home.”  “Now,” he says, “I’ve been saved.  I’ve been rejuvenated.  I’m a new man.  And now when I come home, my children open their arms to greet me and meet me and love me, and my wife is happy that I share our home with them.”

I live in that kind of a world, changed people, blessed people, God’s intervening hand in the life of His people.  So when I read about these marvelous miracles that will attend the coming of our Savior and the building of that millennial house of worship, the sanctuary of God, all I do when I read it, I just say, “Lord, that is just like You.”  That is just like God.  That is the hand omnipotent of heaven itself.  And I just thank the Lord and wait for the day of His coming.

Isn’t that going to be a marvelous time when nobody will be sick, and nobody will be crippled, and nobody will be blind, and nobody will be hurt, and everything will be perfect, and every wrong will be righted? [Revelation 21:4].  And Jesus will be our King and our Lord, and we will see those Israelis go up to their sanctuary, making offerings to God and sharing their meals with love and thanksgiving.

And we will sit down at the marriage supper of the Lamb with our Savior and break bread with Him, and drink the cup anew with Him in the kingdom of our Lord [Matthew 26:29; Revelation 19:6-9].  There’s a great day coming, my brother.  Don’t ever give up.  Don’t ever lose heart.  Don’t ever be depressed.  Don’t ever lose hope.  There is a better day coming, and Jesus is bringing it with Him.  And that’s why we make appeal to your heart to open your soul heavenward and God-ward, and let the sunshine of God’s presence flood in.

Lord, Lord, what a privilege, what a happiness, what a gladness to walk in thy fellowship, to love Thee and serve Thee, and what an infinite goodness God hath wrought for us when He brought us together in the ekklēsia, the fellowship of His church.

“Pastor, this is God’s day for me.  I want publically to accept the Lord Jesus as my Savior and my Lord.  And I want to belong to this household of God’s people, God’s family, and I am coming.”  The Holy Spirit may lay upon your heart some other appeal, answer with your life.  You will be glad that you did.  In this moment when we sing our song of appeal, if you are in the balcony, there is time and to spare, down a stairway, on the lower floor, down one of these aisles, “This is a great day for me, pastor.  I am on the way.”  Angels attend you, God will bless you as you come, and welcome, welcome, while we stand and while we sing.