In chapter 37 the prophet Ezekiel predicts Israel’s restoration and conversion when their Messiah - David shall be King over the united nation, who shall walk in God's ordinances, keep His statutes and do them.  He holds out to them the gracious promise “Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will place them and multiply them and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for ever. Yea, My covenant shall be with them and I will be their God, and they shall be My people, and the nations shall know that I, Jehovah, sanctify Israel when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for ever


That the building of the Temple is meant to be plain literal statement is evident from the words of the angelic messenger who imparted the instruction to the prophet-


“Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears and set thy heart upon all that I shall show thee, for in order that it might be shown thee art thou brought hither.  Declare thus to the house of Israel all that thou seest” (40: 4).


The shape and size and all the particulars of the building and its furniture were shown him and he was commanded to give all the details of them to his people, that realizing God's gracious purpose with them they may be ashamed of their iniquities.  He was to “show them the form of the house and its fashion, and its goings out and its comings in, and all the ordinances, and all its forms, and all its laws, and write it all before them that they may keep the whole form thereof and all the statutes thereof and do them” (43: 10, 11).


The Man Who disappeared together with the cherubim from the temple that was about to be destroyed now reappears with the Glory of the Lord in the rebuilt temple nevermore to depart from His people.


That the Temple of Ezekiel does not refer to that of Zerubbabel, nor of Herod, is clear from the fact that it differed from them in its structure and observances:-


(a) The one described by Ezekiel is larger than the earlier ones, but its altar is smaller, for while the earlier ones were the centre of worship for Israel only, Ezekiel's, is to be for worshippers of all nations.  As we have already noticed Isaiah predicted that all nations shall flow (incessantly as the waters of a river) unto it (Isa. 2: 2, 3), Zechariah predicts that “All that are left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles It will then be “a house of prayer for all nations


(b) The altar is smaller than that of Solomon's as the great antitypical sacrifice was already offered and those in the future Temple will only be commemorative.


(c) For the same reason the Day of Atonement is not mentioned by Ezekiel as full atonement has already been made by Christ for all who believe in Him.  This is in accordance with Heb. 10: 14, 18.


(d) It is remarkable that Ezekiel does not mention the paschal lamb; he speaks of the Passover as the feast of seven days, and says that the Prince shall prepare for himself and for all the people a bullock for a sin offering. Christ completely fulfilled, first, the command regarding it by taking part of the meal on the Passover night with His disciples; and secondly, its type, when He died on the cross on the very day that the paschal lamb was offered according to the Jewish way of reckoning, that is, the day being from sunset to sunset.  The command is “From even to even shall ye celebrate your sabbaths


The Feast of Passover is to be observed as it sets forth not only Israel's redemption from Egypt, but also their greater redemption, national and spiritual, on Christ's return, and the redemption of men and women of all nationalities, not only from temporal bondage, but from spiritual thraldom which will have full effect during the Millennium.


According to Zech. 14: 16, the Feast of Tabernacles will also be kept.  It was the feast of ingathering and represents the completion of the ingathering of the nations.


(e) The Feast of Weeks, of Pentecost, is not mentioned as that is connected with this age of the Spirit (1 John 14: 11, 17; 15: 26; Acts 2: 23), Who is with us in a special sense during the bodily absence of the Lord Jesus.


(f) There will also be a change in the offering of the sacrifices suitable to the times.  The burnt offering, for instance, will only be offered in the mornings (46: 13-15), and not in the evenings also.


(g) In harmony with Jer. 3: 16, there will be no Ark in the future Temple.  “And it shall be when ye are multiplied and become fruitful in the land in those days, saith Jehovah, they shall say no more The Ark of the covenant of Jehovah; neither shall it come into the mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they make it


And as we have see, the Divine Man will be in the Holy of Holies where the Ark used to be.


The Jewish Rabbis say that the Ark and its mercy seat, the heavenly Fire, the Shechinah and the Urim and Thummim that were in Solomon's Temple were all lacking in the second Temple.


(h) Ezekiel does not say anything about the Veil, or Shewbread, or Candelabra.  There is good reason for the omission.  The Veil that was rent asunder by invisible hands at the death of our Saviour will probably never be restored, because it has opened for the saved ones the way to the presence of God where Christ as our High Priest Himself has entered and the way will ever remain open to us.  The Presence of our Lord will far outshine any light that all the candelabra could give us (as will be the case in the heavenly City, Rev. 21: 23).  The house of Jacob will then walk in the light of Jehovah (Isa. 2: 5), and in their turn will shine for Him, according to the declaration of the prophet.


“Arise, shine, for thy light is come and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee.  For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people, but Jehovah will arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee” (ibid. 60: 1, 2).


The Shewbread, or more literally, the Bread of the Presence, being placed before Jehovah, set forth Christ in His human perfection together with His redeemed people, the twelve loaves also representing the twelve tribes of Israel, but the Lord Jesus in His human form being Himself present in the midst of the entire nation of Israel, it will, perhaps, be one amongst other symbols no more necessary in the Millennium.


(i) The arrangement of the Israel tribes in the land will also be different from what it was formerly.  The Levitical tribe is placed round the Sanctuary and is no longer dispersed among the other tribes.  Israel's intimate relationship with Jehovah is beautifully expressed in two brief sentences, “I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever” (43: 7), and “I will accept you, saith the Lord Jehovah” (43: 27).


There is a remarkable verse in Isaiah 53 which reads:


“All we, like sheep, have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, but Jehovah hath caused to meet on Him the iniquity of us all


Hiphgia “Caused to meet,” that is the literal translation.  The picture is graphic.  Christ in the centre of God's purpose of salvation; the sins travelling from all points of the compass, North and South, East and West, and from all points of time, before Christ and after Christ, meeting upon Him as their focal point.  In harmony with this would be the system of sacrifices, those offered by the ancients looking forward and those offered in the Millennium looking back upon Christ as the centre.


This is further indicated by the fact that the centre of the Temple area, indeed the centre of the entire sanctified oblation as described by Ezekiel, is not the Holy of Holies, but the Altar representing the cross.


The Temple service in the Millennium will not be for the Church.  It will be for the Jewish people who have not yet realized the full purport of the divinely instituted Temple service, and have not fulfilled the grand purpose for which it was established.  In the Millennium the Jews will enter into the full meaning of the Levitical economy and will instruct by it the unconverted nations in the wonderful plan of salvation through Christ.


When God first chose Israel it was with the intention of making them a “Kingdom of priests, an holy nation” (Exod. 19: 6).  Alas! Israel failed in their high calling, but God's purpose will not be frustrated, and, in spite of themselves, the Jewish people will yet be made the instrument of blessing to mankind.  Looking on to that blessed time the prophet predicts, “Ye shall be named the priests of Jehovah, men shall call you the ministers of our God” (Isa. 61: 6).


“The Israelites will probably set forth in all harmonious parts the outward beauty and inward sanctity of the Temple service which in their earliest days of old they had never exhibited in its full perfection.  Thus Christ's word shall be fulfilled, that ‘till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law till all be fulfilled.’ The full excellence and antitypical perfection of all the parts of the ancient Temple service, which, from ignorance of its hidden meaning, seemed cumbersome and unintelligible to the worshippers, shall then be fully understood and become a delightful service of love.


“To set forth this and not to invalidate the principles of the Epistle to the Hebrews, that after Christ's perfect sacrifice no further propitiation is needed, is probably one object of the future Temple liturgy.  Israel's province will be to exhibit in the minutest details of sacrifice the essential unity of the Law and the Gospel which now seem opposed" (A. R. Fausset).


When the Tabernacle was erected we are told that “A cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle” (Exod. 40: 34).


Likewise at the completion of the Temple we read, “The glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah” (1 Kings 8: 11).


Alas! that glory, the visible emblem of the invisible presence of God, was seen by Ezekiel to disappear slowly and reluctantly, from the gate that looketh toward the east.  And first from the Cherub unto the threshold of the house (Ezek. 9: 3), then from the threshold of the house unto the door of the gate (10: 11, 19).  Finally, the prophet saw it disappearing from the midst of Jerusalem to the mountain east of that city (11: 23).  In the vision of the Millennial Temple the prophet sees it returning from the same direction that he saw it disappearing.


“And he brought me unto the gate, 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 shined with His glory ... And the glory of Jehovah came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east, And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and behold the glory of Jehovah filled the house” (Ezek. 43: 1-5).


This will surpass anything that took place in the Tabernacle or former temples because the Glory will not be merely symbolic as was formerly the case, but will be the accompaniment of the personal presence of Jehovah, for the prophet continues


“And I hear one speaking with me out of the house; and a man was standing 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” (Ibid. 43: 6, 7).


The Millennial age will likewise foreshadow and prepare the way for the perfect state.  In the former God's presence will be in the midst of Israel (43: 7), in the new earth God will tabernacle with men generally (Rev. 22: 3).  In Ezekiel's vision the life-giving waters flow from under the threshold of the Temple.  In John's vision the life-giving waters flow from under the throne of God and of the Lamb.


Both in the heavenly and earthly Jerusalem the trees of life are introduced, in the former there will be miry places and marsh land, in the latter these disappear, for “there shall be no more curse


In the earthly city the names of the twelve tribes are on the twelve gates; in the heavenly city there are also twelve gates with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, but in addition are the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.


In Ezekiel the configuration of the earth is to be changed, in the Apocalyptic vision there is a new earth.


In Ezekiel’s vision the chief part is the Temple, in the new state there will be no temple because it will be all temple, the glory of God will fill the whole earth; there will be no sacrifice as there will be no sin.


In Ezekiel's Temple there is no candelabrum.  In the eternal state there will not even be needed the light of the sun, as the glory of God and of the Lamb will enlighten it.