The New Temple during the Millennium
Many people do not know this, but do you know the Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt during the Millennium, when Christ comes and establishes His kingdom on this earth after the Tribulation? Yes, and even animal sacrifices will be reinstituted. I found an interesting commentary on this that i would like to share with you…explaining what the purpose of the Temple will be and why animal sacrifice will be reinstituted.
“Ezekiel 33-39 dealt with the new life Israel will experience when she is gathered back into her lan and restored to fellowship with God [this is speaking about after the Tribulation….Christ will gather His people from their hiding places back to Jerusalem]. The last nine chapters of the book explain how Israel’s new order will be established. A new temple will be built as a sign of God’s presence among His people (Ezekiel 40-43), and a new service of worship will be established so the people will have access to their God (Ezekiel 44-46). Then a new division of the land will be made for the people (Ezekiel 47-48).
God has promised to rebuild His sanctuary among His people (Ezekiel 37:26-28); Ezekiel 44-46 give the plans for the temple to be rebuilt. Three interpretations of Ezekiel 40-43 are held by bible students: 1) Ezekiel predicted a rebuilding of Solomon’s temple after the Babylonian Captivity. 2) Ezekiel was prophesying about the church in a figurative sense; he did not have a literal temple in mind. 3) A still-future literal temple will be built during the millenial kingdom. The first view must be eliminated because it suggests that Ezekiel was mistaken when he wrote. No prophet speaking under God’s authority ever uttered a false prediction (cf. Deuteronomy 18:21-22; Matthew 5:17-18). Also the remnant that returned to Israel after the Exile did not follow Ezekiel’s specifications. The second view must also be eliminated because it violates the normal meaning of Ezekiel’s words. Those who hold this view are inconsistent for the interpret Ezekiel’s earlier, now-fulfilled prophecies literally, yet interpret his yet-unfulfilled prophecies symbolically. Why did Ezekiel take so much space to describe the millennial temple? Here are two reasons: 1) the sanctuary was the symbol of God’s presence among His people. The prelude to Israel’s judgment began when God’s glory departed from Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 8-11). The climax to her restoration as a nation will come when God’s glory reenters the new temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel43:1-5). 2) The new temple will become the visible reminder of Israel’s relationship to God through His New Covenant. Since God gave detailed instructions for building the tabernacle to accompany His inauguration of the Mosaic Covenant (cf. Exodus 25-40), it is not unusual that He would also supply detailed plans for His new center of worship, to accompany the implementation of the New Covenant. This temple will be the focal point for the visible manifestatioin of Israel’s new relationship with her God.
Ezekiel 4:38-43 At the sides of the inner gates tables were set up for slaughtering the sacrifices. Four tables were on one side of the gate and four on the other–eight tables in all. The sacrifices prepared on these tables would then be offered on the altar in the inner court. Many have objected to the thought of animal sacrifices being reinstituted during the Millennium. Since these sacrifices, it is argued, revert back to the Levitical sacrificial system, they would be out of place in the Millennium. This has caused some to take the passage symbolically rather than literally. However, no difficulty exists if one understands the proper function of these sacrifices. First, animal sacrifices never took away human sin (it only covered over it temporarily); only the sacrifice of Christ can take away sin (cf. Hebrews 10:1-4, 10). In Old Testament times Israelites were saved by grace through faith, and teh sacrifices helped restore a believer’s fellowship with God. Second, even after the church began, Jewish believers did not hesitate to take part in the temple worship (cf. Acts 2:46;Acts 3:1; Acts 5:42) and even to offer sacrifices (Acts 21:26). They could do this because they viewed the sacrifices as memorials of Christ’s death.
Levitical sacrifices were connected with Israel’s worship of God. When the church supplanted Isreal in God’s program (cf. Romans 11:11-24) a new economy or dispensation began. The Levitical sacrificial system, which looked forward to Christ, was replaced by the Lord’s Supper (or communion), which looked back to His death and forward to His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:24, 26). At Christ’s second coming Israel will again assume her place of prominence in God’s kingdom program (cf. Romans 11:25-27). The Lord’s supper will be eliminated, because Christ will have returned. It will be replaced by animal sacrifices, which will be memorials or object lessons of the supreme sacrifice made by the Lamb of God. The slaughtering of these animals will be vivid reminders of the Messiah’s suffering and death.
The millennial sacrifices will differ from the Levitical sacrifices though there are some similarities. Other passages also refer to a sacrificial system during the Millennium (Isaiah 56:7; Isaiah 66:20-23; Jeremiah 33:18; Zechariah 14:15-21; Malachi 3:3-4).
The priests to preside over the sacrifices will be descended from Zadok (cf. Ezekiel 43:19; Ezekiel 44:15; Ezekiel 48:11), the high priest in Solomon’s day (1 Kings 1:26-27).”
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