Seeing Afar

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), September 4

imagesThings will not always be as they are today. Fourteen years after the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple Ezekiel has the privilege of seeing in detail what no other man has seen–the Millennial Temple (Ez. 40:1). This temple or sanctuary symbolizes God’s presence among His New Covenant people during the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth. No detail is hidden from Ezekiel:

  • God gives meticulous measurements of the temple (Ez. 41-42)—and it is ginormous (according to modern measurements, the Millennial Temple covers the city limits of Memphis, TN)!
  • The glory of God that had left the temple in 586 BC will return to its rightful place, “This is the place of My throne and the place for the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the Israelites forever” (Ez. 43:7).
  • The priests will return to their rightful role, “They shall enter My sanctuary, and they shall come near My table to minister to Me, and they shall keep My charge” (Ez. 44:16).
  • The sacrificial system will be restored, not for redemption, but as a reminder, a picture, a memorial of Israel’s former sinful state and the great cost to God in her restoration, “And the Levites who went far from Me, when Israel went astray, who strayed away from Me after their idols, they shall bear their iniquity. Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, as gatekeepers of the house and ministers of the house; they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them” (44:10-11).
  • The priests will be satisfied with their inheritance–the LORD God as their possession (44:28).

From her inception as a nation in Egypt, her delivery from Egypt, and her entry into the land promised to Abraham and his descendants, Israel has proven to be unfaithful to her Creator and God. Ezekiel, however, sees another day, far off in the future, when Israel will be faithful to her God for 1,000 years. How that scene must encourage his heart as he lives among those in exile, without a temple and without God’s manifest presence. Things will not always be as they are today!

Question from today’s chronological Bible reading (Ez. 40:38-43:27): What does the vision regarding Israel’s future millennial temple reveal about her priests and the practice of sacrifice?