You and I live in an amazing yet frightening world. These times are unlike any since man was put on this earth. These days in which we live, man is in great need of God, but mankind as a whole is cut off from God. Man is cut off from the only source that can tell him of things to come. Without the correct knowledge of Bible prophecies, only uncertainty and doubt faces mankind.
So what does mankind do in the Western world to avoid the unpleasantness of terror attacks and world annihilation, we resort to pleasure and material goods to gratify the desires of the flesh. The fact is; man wants to hide from the realities that lie ahead of him.
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Dan. 12:4).
So as we look around us today, we certainly can see that knowledge has done just that, but part of that knowledge which God has increased concerns the many prophecies of the Bible.
In Revelation 3:12 God has promised that the body of Christ, those members of his church who overcome, will become “pillars in the temple of God.” Now this is speaking symbolically of a position of authority in the headquarters of the world which will be at a new Temple to be built in Jerusalem.
But where are the pillars located in God’s Temple? Most people know that there are two large pillars that stand in front of the temple, but are they the physical types of the offices to which Jesus Christ refers?
The saints, the body of Christ who overcome and endure to the end, will be right at this temple of God. They will be there for a 1,000 year period, and even through the following 100 year period.
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and joy in My people. The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabits; they shall not plant and another eat. For as the days of a tree so shall be the days of My people and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they shall be the descendents of the blessed of the Lord and their offspring with them. It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the dust for the serpent’s food they shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, says the Lord (Isa. 65:17-25).
If we are one of the saints in this time period, we will be assigned at the temple for this whole period. Here is an opportunity for us to have described right now from the pages of your own Bible the description of what that wonderful place, God’s Temple in prophecy.
The book of Hebrews reveals that the tabernacle in the wilderness was built after the pattern of things in the heavens.
“Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. A minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected and not man. For ever high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law. Who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, see that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain” (Heb. 8:1-5). Read also Heb. 9:23-24.
Now the former temple and the one to come are constructed by men as a special dwelling place for God on this earth. These buildings made with hands are “figures” (or copies) of the true which is in heaven. When we study or come to understand the physical temple, we can also better understand the temple and dwelling place of God in heaven.
So, in a sense, we are privileged not only to understand physical things, but we are also able in the mind’s eyes to see dimly into the very throne and temple of God in heaven. Christ spoke through His disciples on several occasions about this temple.
“In My Father’s house are many mansions (or dwellings) John 14:2. Here we see the word for house means temple or residence, but also that this temple has many rooms. But in this particular place He was referring more specifically to the spiritual offices that He will give to the saints at His coming.
Because of Christ’s allusion to the Temple of God during the millennium, it should be of interest to us to know how many rooms there will be in that temple, what will be their size and location? What is their purpose? Now Jesus Christ did say many rooms not just a few.
The prophet Ezekiel was projected forwarded in time to the soon coming New World to come. In chapters 40-48 he saw God’s temple from which Jesus Christ will rule the whole earth. He saw the coming of the King of kings and Lord of lords in His new kingdom, the Kingdom of God.
He saw the glory of Jesus Christ which will fill the whole earth. And we can read all about this through the pages that Ezekiel wrote down for us today so that we might understand the details of the temple of God in prophecy.
Zechariah tells us that all nations will come to Jerusalem: “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King the Lord of hosts and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zech. 14:16).
They will come to Jerusalem to see the glory of Jesus Christ and the beauty of His Temple. God Almighty has preserved a description of His temple for us to understand. It has not been placed in the Bible for nothing or in vain. It is there for you and I, God’s people to view and understand.
Now in order to understand the details of this particular temple, it will be necessary to come to understand little known details of Solomon’s temple, since both are designed after the same pattern. We will also have a better idea of what the tabernacle in the wilderness was like. It was also patterned after the same manner, except for smaller dimensions.
Question: Is the Temple a part of the gospel? We know that God has commissioned His Church to go into the entire world and preach the gospel, and that is what we are trying to do. But do details of God’s Temple have any connection with the gospel?
To better answer that question, we first must understand what the gospel is. In very simple language, it is good news, the good news of the coming Kingdom of God. It is the advance news concerning the soon-coming government of God on this earth.
Jesus Christ is coming again, but this time He will rule the world. He will rule from Mt. Zion, from His Holy Temple. Since Jesus Christ will rule from His Temple in the soon coming Kingdom of God, then any information about this temple is part of the good news.
This part of the good news concerning the coming Kingdom of God is the least understood. But why? One reason is that the sections in the Bible concerning the temple are the parts that are so often skipped. It isn’t easy to understand and since it concerns primarily physical things, it is of little interest to many people.
One man has aptly described it this way: “Most people skip over the part concerning the temple since it is hard to understand, just like they skip portions concerning the genealogies of who begat who.”
There are no drawings or photographs of what God’s temples have been like. The only reliable source is recorded in the pages of the Bible. Seven chapters in the Book of Exodus are devoted to the description of the tabernacle.
When Solomon built a house for God to dwell in, several chapters were necessary to give adequate description.
Joshua and Zerubbabel built another temple. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah give information about this temple, the wall, and the city of Jerusalem. In fact, much of the book of Ezra rehearses the details of the rebuilding of the temple.
The books of Haggai and Zechariah give further mention of the temple, the whole book of Haggai concerns this subject. For the millennium to come God has inspired several chapters in the book of Ezekiel to the description of His Holy Temple.
There are more than seven chapters in the Bible which deal solely with the description of God’s Temple. In all, there are more than 30 or 40 chapters in the Bible which concern the description of the temple, its history and prophecy.
Now, since God has left so much information in His Word about this subject, then it is a subject that we should understand. God has given the descendents of Jacob the choicest of the lands of this earth; He has blessed them with every conceivable blessing, both individually and nationally. He has given us such beauties in nature as the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, the Rocky Mountains, the Alps, the most beautiful coastlines in the world.
Even though these places are so often beautiful beyond description they do not compare at all to the love that God has for even the gates to His Temple.
“The Lord loves the gates of Zion (at the Temple) more than all the dwelling of Jacob” (Ps. 87:2). Now if God loves these gates to His Temple, we also ought to know more about it, and to begin to love that what God has planned and designed to be His capital in the New World to come. God calls this temple His Holy Temple, now if it is a holy place then we must learn to reverence and respect it, just as we should reverence and respect all those things that are holy to God.
Notice how King David looked forward to the coming New World: “How lovely is Your tabernacle O Lord of hosts. My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord, My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” Verse 10 “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Ps. 84:2, 10).
Just what are the courts of God like, how many are there and what is their shape and dimension? Are there buildings in the courts, or is it just open ground? Is there a wall around the exterior? How high is the wall? How many gates are there and where are they located?
What are the gates like? These are just physical aspects of the temple which may help us to picture what beauty God has designed for His people.
“Afterward he brought me to the gate that looks toward the east; and, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east; and His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth did shine with his glory. And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. And a spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house. And I heard one speaking unto me out of the house; and a man stood by me. And he said unto me: Son of man, this is the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever” (Ezek. 43:1-7).
Where is the east gate? What is it like? What is the inner court and where is it located? Do you know what the pillars named Jachin and Boaz are like? Where will this millennial temple be located? Will it be where the former temples were located?
The answer is almost stranger than fiction, yet the Bible gives the answer plainly and clearly, when you come to see it in the Bible. Do you know the differences between the various temples that have been built and the one to come?
Was Zerubbabel’s temple the same as Solomon’s temple? But before we can understand what the temple is really going to be like, and why there is so much confusion in the many works on this subject that have already been written.
The next article will show the error of these other works and establish the basis for the present work.