The Millennium Altar
Text: Ezekiel 43:3 – Daniel 9:27
Daniel 9:24 – Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
WHAT IS THIS ANOINTING OF THE MOST HOLY SPOKEN BY THE ANGEL WHICH COMPLETES THE SEVENTY PROPHETIC WEEKS OF DANIEL? READ HOW THE ENDING OF 490 YEARS OF TROUBLESOME TIMES SHALL ONLY BE THE BEGINNING OF A GLORIOUS AGE FOR A PERSECUTED PEOPLE. WILL THE ANTI-CHRIST BE SEATED IN THE SAME TEMPLE AS THAT OF THE SON OF DAVID (ONLY EARLIER)? LEARN THE HISTORY CONCERNING A MYSTERIOUS ROCK USED IN RELIGIOUS WORSHIP BY TWO RACES OF PEOPLE. WILL GOD RECEIVE WORSHIP FROM THE JEW FROM ANY PLACE TODAY? WITH THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM AND THE FIRST TEMPLE, WHAT THREE VISIBLE THINGS WERE LOST YET REAPPEARED UNNOTICED SHORTLY BEFORE THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SECOND TEMPLE, AND SHALL BE PRESENT AT THE ANOINTING OF THE MOST HOLY (THIRD TEMPLE)? READ HOW THE ETERNAL GOD VISIBLY ANOINTED BOTH THE OLD AND NEW COVENANT TEMPLE WITH HIS GLORIOUS PRESENCE. WHAT STRANGE ROLE DOES THE MOUNT OF OLIVES PLAY IN THE SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL? WHY SHOULD ANIMAL SACRIFICES BE CONTINUALLY OFFERED FOR 1000 YEARS WHEN THE BLOOD OF CHRIST ATONES FOR SIN? YOU WILL LONG REMEMBER THIS AMAZING MESSAGE DEALING WITH FOUR TEMPLES. JUST ANOTHER MESSAGE FROM THE BRIDEGROOM TO THOSE WHO EAGERLY AWAIT HIS RETURN.
As I begin this message allow me to remind you as I have before, this religious world will never receive the beautiful truth of God’s Word pertaining to those things concerning the bride of Christ. However, they will as always, retain their religious conception as to how they feel. God will do certain things, nevertheless, once God does it they shall never recognize nor understand it.
MILLENNIUM ALTAR – IS IT USED FOR SALVATION?
Our subheading THE MILLENNIUM ALTAR, which deals with the sacrificial altar of the temple of Jerusalem during the one thousand year reign, will be discussed near the closing of this message. Strange but true, this altar is not an altar pertaining to salvation. NO! NOT IN THE LEAST! Then why brother to have one? Before dealing with the most important question, allow me to establish certain thoughts within your understanding leading up to this millennium period when the altar once again will be in use and showing scripturally what this altar represents! YES! Definitely there will be an altar during the thousand year reign according to the Word of God.
THINGS NEEDED TO BE UNDERSTOOD CONCERNING EZEKIEL
Begin reading with me in Ezekiel 8:3-4. Ezekiel was one of the contemporary prophets living during Daniel’s period, captured during the Babylon captivity along with Daniel, The Three Hebrew Children and many others, however he was not deported to Babylon until much later. Throughout his writings he is referred to as “son of man” signifying his prophet office. Furthermore, Ezekiel is the only Old Testament prophet who records the events of God’s dealings with Israel in their perfect chronological order from the Babylonian captivity until she is reclaimed and placed back within the land and brought out into the millennium into her glorification. It is the only book recording every major event following in a chronological order, however many other prophets writings did present Israel’s past, present and future conditions all mingled and jumbled up together. By this I mean reaching backwards and forwards into Israel’s past history as well as showing her future events. Only from Ezekiel’s writings do you find that perfect harmony and order of events from her beginning throughout her disobedience, all the way into her millennium restoration position – not one major event getting ahead of the other. For instance, we refer you to Ezekiel 36 and 37 leading up the valley of dry bones (Israel’s resurrection). Then observe the following chapters, Ezekiel 38 & 39, discussing some great event taking place in respect to Israel and Russia including her satellite bloc of nations. Are you aware we are living in a crucial period of time when anything could explode within the Middle East causing Ezekiel 38 and 39 to be thrown into motion? AS FAR AS ANY OTHER MAJOR EVENTS NEEDING TO TRANSPIRE IN THE MIDDLE EAST OR WITHIN ANY OTHER PART OF THE WORLD TO THROW EZEKIEL 38 AND 39 INTO MOTION, THERE IS NONE!
EZEKIEL 38 AND 39 COMPARED TO ARAB-ISRAELI WAR
While visiting Israel in the fall of 1968, we questioned a rabbi concerning events which they themselves felt would be of importance leading up to the coming of their Messiah. “Gentlemen”, said the rabbi, “have you read Ezekiel 38 and 39?” “Yes, sir”, we answered. With a forceful voice he replied, “Russia is our enemy, one day she will fight us and when she does your country will have to fight with us.” To this we could say nothing but AMEN for it is God’s Word. When that dreaded hour arrives the U.S., along with the other world powers who now are trying desperately not to get involved in the Middle East, problem might just as well remove their guns from the closets because they are going to become involved whether they want to or not – God’s Word has said so! It is now in the making! Israel’s six day war could have easily lit the fuse. Truly, the Middle East is nothing but a dangerous powder keg with a very short fuse. The hot line between Washington and Moscow buzzed constantly during the crucial period in 1967. WHY? The big powers were desperately trying to avoid a clash. Had the six day war gone into Ezekiel 38 and 39, according to the Word of God it would have been fulfilled in only a matter of hours, not years, not months or days BUT IN HOURS. Always remember that battle recorded in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is not going to last for years, No sir, it won’t even run into months.
EZEKIEL 38 & 39, NOT ARMAGEDDON
Although this battle is often confused with the battle of Armageddon, they are not the same. Armageddon will be the last land war ever fought. At the Battle of Armageddon the dead will not be buried, however in Ezekiel 38 & 39 it shall take seven months to bury the dead. Ezekiel 39:12, We live in days when Jehovah God holds the rein of everything in his hands although scientific, intellectual minds would debate that because they feel either God does not exist or that He is dead. SOMEDAY GOD IS GOING TO PROVE TO THIS WORLD JUST HOW ALIVE HE ACTUALLY IS! However, once this happens and the world discovers how alive the Almighty truly is, this new found knowledge is not going to cause them to fall down and accept Him. Oh no! We don’t mean to leave you with that impression at all.
BY THE SPIRIT, EZEKIEL SEES MANY THINGS
Ezekiel, along with his brethren, are all taken into captivity. From his captive land in Babylon, Ezekiel’s mind is fully conscious that his beloved city lies in ruin. Deeply concerned over Jerusalem, he begins desperately seeking the face of God until he received this experience recorded in Chapter 8 of his book. Ezekiel is silent to the length of time he had given to meditation and intercessory prayer in behalf of his people before God enlightened him concerning their future. With this background in mind, let’s approach the vision given to Ezekiel, (Ezekiel 8:2-4) Ezekiel enters into a most peculiar experience with God, for here his spirit is separated from his body and carried back to Jerusalem. (2) “Then I beheld, and lo to a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness as the colour of amber.” (3) And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head:” Here was Ezekiel’s description of the Spirit God who reached forth picking him up, what a way to handle a man! What an experience! Notice Ezekiel even saw his own spirit being lifted out of his body and transferred somewhere! Recall, he is no less than 600 miles from Jerusalem in slavery when in the spirit the form of a hand appeared, taking him by a lock of his hair and lifted him up. “and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem,” (Note how and where he was taken), “to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north” (where, Ezekiel said), “was the seat of the image of jealousy which provoketh Gods jealousy. (4) And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.”
EZEKIEL SHOWN WHY JERUSALEM LAY IN RUINS
While his body remained in Babylon his spirit has been transferred back to Jerusalem. Jerusalem for sometime had lain in ruins, however this experience Ezekiel received has transferred him back there where the Lord begins unfolding what actually happened in the beginning causing all of Jerusalem to be lying in ruins. Jehovah unfolded events of iniquity to Ezekiel which led to this desolation. What corrupt things had set in motion to bring about such destruction? After Ezekiel was shown why the curse was on Jerusalem, he then began to see God’s marvelous plan unfolding for the ages, a plan which perhaps Ezekiel himself probably never fully grasped, the deep significance of the entire thing.
In the visions, Ezekiel is witnessing horrible events committed by the people of God sometime before the destruction of Jerusalem. A destruction fully known before the foundation of the world. Into a secret chamber Ezekiel is taken, and shown certain evil pagan statutes. Ezekiel saw a most heart breaking picture, here Jerusalem elders were present. Bear in mind this is only in visions of the spirit Ezekiel sees these things, because at the hour the visions appeared, no elders were present in Jerusalem, years ago they had all been slaughtered. However, in visions he is taken into a past tense experience of the city and showing what transpired in that day before the destruction of Jerusalem. He sees what initiated that destruction for 70 years. Here Ezekiel begins to receive the inner revelation of what God is preparing to unfold for future times in respect to His people. Once Ezekiel had been taken into this secret room within the foundation of the world he saw this great evil image of jealousy, (image of lust), and all the secret plots that had gone on among the elders of Jerusalem, (heads of Israel’s leadership). Here he witnessed all the lewdness, the crookedness, the debauchery, the evil that had spiritually and morally undermined the structure of everything, and Ezekiel is seeing it in visions. Though in realty nothing is left standing, no elder is now left in Jerusalem, all are either dead or captured and carried to Babylon, Ezekiel even began to witness the beginning of the siege, how God began to shape things up for the siege, its destruction, captivity and so forth.
GLORY LEAVES BEFORE SIEGE
Turning now into Ezekiel 11 for the continuation of this vision, we travel along in the spirit with Ezekiel and watch God rehearsing the entire program to Ezekiel’s spirit. Ezekiel now has a clearer understanding from the visions why the destruction of Jerusalem has taken place. But what about her future, what about the outcome for God’s nation of people?
Watch what Ezekiel learned recorded in Ezekiel 11:22. (Jehovah has previously shown all the evils within Jerusalem prior to the siege and its final destruction including what brought about the final deportation of the captives from Jerusalem after the city lay in waste. It is at this point of Ezekiel’s vision a most unusual thing occurs. Something that during the actual period of time prior to the siege Ezekiel had been totally unaware, through this rehearsal in visions Ezekiel saw Jerusalem under attack from that great Babylonian army as God has designated a time in which Jerusalem must become desolate, Ezekiel 11:22-23.
WHAT EZEKIEL SAW LEAVE THE CITY
What was in this vision Ezekiel saw leave the city shortly before the siege took place? Was it the true believers of that hour? NO! Ezekiel saw that ever present Shekinah glory of God depart from Jerusalem and it never returned throughout Israel’s history. The Old Testament states how God’s divine presences literally stayed with Israel during her wilderness journey even before He gave them the law. Recall how even before this, God had placed His visible presence with Israel in the form of a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day, (Exodus 13:22). Every Israelite witnessed it simply by looking up and clearly sighting the pillar of fire or smoke hanging over the camp. Whether it was night or day determined which sign hung there. IT WAS ISRAEL’S VISIBLE SIGN THAT HER GOD WAS PRESENT!
Later within the journey after the law had been given, a box was built according to a given specification serving a two-fold purpose for Israel, (Exodus 37). This box measured 47″ in length, 27″ wide, 27″ deep and was completely overlaid with pure gold. Four golden rings placed at each corner permitted the box to be carried by ordained priest. Two gold-plated poles were inserted into the rings, when hoisted upon shoulders of priests were used in carrying the box during Israel’s travels. This box was called The Ark of the Covenant. Once it was placed inside the wilderness tabernacle made of badger skins, placed inside the Holy of Holies, it’s top or lid served as the mercy seat. It would be from here that the Shekinah presence of God would be seen. However, when Israel had broken camp and was on the move, the Ark of the Covenant went before the people and the visible presence of God was always above the mercy seat, but while in camp the Ark of the Covenant remained inside the tabernacle. That visible Shekinah glory always came down and dwelt over the Ark of the Covenant, Israel’s mercy seat.
Finally arriving in the land of Canaan, the Ark of the first Covenant rested within the tabernacle at Shiloh. Years later King David established it at Jerusalem where Solomon, David’s son, later erected the beautiful stone temple. It was here while in process of bringing in the Ark of the Covenant that visible sign of fire or smoke appeared inside the holy place over the Ark. All Israel, regardless to where they were, were required to pray facing Jerusalem and beloved, up until the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians, wherever the Ark of the Covenant was this visible sign of the Shekinah glory could be seen, the sign would be either fire or smoke. It was this sign Ezekiel saw leave the city shortly before the capture of Jerusalem
Recall Solomon’s dedication of the temple? The scripture says concerning that event that the visible sign of the Shekinah glory so filled the temple causing such a glory and praise to come from the people the priests found it almost impossible to minister. When the Israelites went into battle, the Ark of the Covenant always led the way with that ever present sign of God’s Shekinah glory assuring Israel of His presence. There came a time when Israel turned her back upon the dear Lord of Glory forsaking His ways just as so-called christianity has forsook their new covenant of grace. God sent them prophet after prophet warning of judgement that was sure to come if they persisted in following their evil course, but for some uncanny reason they continued putting off true repentance not realizing the significance within God’s warning.
WHERE SHEKINAH GLORY WENT
Finally Israel received its last warning and the destruction of Jerusalem was inevitable. It was shortly before this destruction that God allowed Ezekiel, in the spirit, to see this Shekinah glory which had remained constantly with Israel depart never to return. Momentarily, lets step back into this 6th century B.C. setting for a pitiful scene that could only be witnessed in the spirit. Ezekiel had been previously taken back in visions to receive a preview of that dark hour settling over Jerusalem.
Note, Ezekiel is permitted to witness the final departure of that visible Shekinah glory from the Holy City. This glory of the Lord departing out of the midst of the city traveled a sabbath days journey and hovered over a mountain facing the east side of the city. (This mountain is none other than the Mount of Olives.) A mountain that you must keep in mind through out the remainder of this message. Don’t miss the main significance this one mountain plays continually through out God’s program until the second advent of Christ.
According to Ezekiel’s vision this visible glory which departed from the Holy of Holies within the temple did not travel in a northward or southward direction out of the city but in an eastern direction over the city out to the Mount of Olives where it was last seen.
ARK OF COVENANT ALSO LOST
To our knowledge from Scripture only once was the Ark of the Covenant away from Israel during all the history until the siege of Jerusalem where for some unknown reason it also was forever lost. Recall, David returned the Ark to the temple in Jerusalem following its short stay among the Philistines, after the Israel maintained access of the Ark until the Shekinah glory departed shortly before the siege by Nebuchadnezzar.
WHAT THIS ARK REPRESENTED AND WHY IT WAS NO LONGER NEEDED
Briefly let’s discuss the Ark of the Covenant and its importance. (1) This wooden box overlaid with Gold which blue print came to Moses represented the flesh of Christ who was the ark of the second covenant and furthermore was the ark for the second temple period, only when the second ark appeared in flesh they wanted to throw him out. (2) Being overlaid with gold spoke of the deity of Christ that two-fold nature endowed with the image of God in man, God manifested in a physical fleshly form. (3) Inside the box of the 1st covenant ark was contained the original two tables of stone, the ten commandments, which was God’s word for Israel during that first covenant period. While Christ himself was the word of God in the flesh (box), (I John 1:1-2). Christ was the word covenant for the grace age. Concerning the first covenant period in which the box overlaid with gold served as the ARK of the Covenant, God said as long as Israel walked obedient to the word (in the box) and keeps my statutes and observes my judgements I will take great pleasure in blessing them, the day however they forsake my way, my law which is my commandments, no longer keeping my statutes and my ordinances, as I took great pleasure in blessing you, I’ll take great pleasure in cursing you. The Almighty promised to send pestilence, famines, insects, and even droughts upon the land. The final thing promised Israel if they failed to heed him was an invading army, Jehovah would call for a sword out of a nation somewhere and smite their city when carrying away the captivity where they would be forced to serve other Gods. As the siege of Jerusalem approached by Nebuchadnezzar, the Ark of the first covenant dropped completely out of Israel’s history.
Remember the Ark of the first Covenant could not disappear as long as that visible sign of Jehovah’s presence remained in the Holy of Holies. The first thing to leave the city before its capture was the Shekinah Glory of God’s presence. God removed His visible presence from Jerusalem exactly as has been shown to Ezekiel in this vision. The people could do nothing. No amount of weeping before the Lord could save their city or change their bitter situation. It was going to be exactly as had been prophesied by His prophets, absolutely nothing could alter their course once that visible sign of God’s Shekinah Glory departed the Holy of Holies and hovered over the Mount of Olives. All that was left for Nebuchadnezzar’s invading army was simply take Jerusalem and fulfill all the prophets had prophesied would happen to the city if Israel persisted in following their evil course of living. The siege took place, the city was destroyed and the temple ransacked then demolished. Here for some unknown reason that Ark of the covenant also disappears, Why? Had it served its purpose? Always remember, it served only as the Ark for the first covenant. While the city lay in ruins, its people were driven into captivity and as has been stated no one knows what happened to the ark. However, scripture shows Nebuchadnezzar took many things from the temple before demolishing it, yet no record is shown what happened to the ark of the first covenant. Could it be rather than allow the heathens to capture it, a priest destroyed it? We don’t know! It was the future concern of this captivity Ezekiel showed great concern over when these visions appeared before him. God, in visions, was giving to him many revelations as to what his divine purpose was for the entire episode. Turning to Chapter 21, again we are shown of another rehearsal during this same period leading up to the captivity and siege of Jerusalem.
ISRAEL’S LAST KING BEFORE CHRIST
Over a period of time the kings ruling from Jerusalem have forsaken God’s ways choosing rather to walk in the evils of their fathers before them. Seemingly, nothing could alter their course. Nothing could be done to restore the Jews of Jerusalem and Judah back into a spiritual relationship with God. Judah’s last rightful king to sit on the throne in Jerusalem before the siege was Zedekiah. Note: Never would there be another lawful heir to the throne until He whose right it is would come to rule and reign, who would be none other than Christ Himself.
Hosea prophesied Israel would abide many days without a king, without a prince, without an ephod, without a terrapin, without anything to identify them in their national identity. (Hosea 3:4-5)
ISRAEL FULFILLS ISAIAH 66:8
Today after 2500 years, Israel is back in her homeland (at least part of them), according to Isaiah 66:8, it is the only nation in history to be born in a day. When the United States won their independence from England those men hassled around some 20 years before finally drawing up an accepted constitution of the kind of government we should have. NOT SO WITH ISRAEL! Once she received her independence on May 14th, 1948, once those English troops departed, overnight a nation was born! Already they had drawn up their constitution and declaration of Independence (form of government). Perfectly as stated in Isaiah 66:8, “Who has heard such a thing, said the Spirit, shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day?” ISRAEL DID! That new nation was born in one day, flying her own flag. Since 1948, she has established her identity among the nations. It is true she does not have her king as yet because the only rightful heir to the throne of Israel is the Messiah who they openly rejected at His first coming. Recall, all the rightful seed to the throne were slaughtered in the siege of Jerusalem (Zedekiah’s line). Through revelation Ezekiel peers into still another event surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem, (Ezekiel 21:25). This time he sees the last king of Jerusalem and his seed all destroyed. His visions brings out the details, placing them in their true prospective order, while showing at the same time why Jehovah permitted such a horrible thing to happen. From Ezekiel 21:25 we hear God speaking concerning Zedekiah, although he never mentions him by name, he was Israel’s last king before the siege. II Kings 25:6-7, furnishes an account of him as being a total traitor to the Word of God.
During the closing hours of his ill-fated reign Zedekiah, along with the royal family, attempted to escape under the cover of night, however, the Babylonian army quickly overtook them. Before his very eyes, Zedekiah witnessed the horrible death of his own sons (thus destroying the possibility of any rightful heir to the throne of Judah.) Next Zedekiah’s own eyes were painfully gouged from their sockets, then he too was slaughtered.
Concerning this wicked king, Jehovah spoke in Ezekiel 21:25 saying, “You sat in my city ruling from the throne of David, you have polluted the ways of God, you have profaned His holy place, you have done everything that is strictly contrary to the ways of the Lord and yet warning after warning you ignored.” God says I will cut it off. WATCH! God is going to bring the kingship to an end until Christ comes, whose rightful position it should be.
WHAT ISRAEL LOST WITH THE FALL OF JERUSALEM
How many understand what a diadem is? It represents a kingship. Remove the diadem and take off the crown (God’s reference to the king). This shall not be the same. Exalt him that is low and abuse him that is high. Here is the way God looks at this thing. The low means the humble and the simple, although not simple minded. That would be illiteracy.
JERUSALEM TO BE TURNED OVER AND OVER
Notice, what does the Lord mean in this verse when He speaks, I will overturn? Here He reaches out through the hand of Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion, stripping the king of his crown and glory, destroying all his sons who would be rightful heirs to the throne. Angrily God says, I will overturn meaning, I will overturn this city. I will overturn, I will overturn, overturn it and friend, this began the long period of the overturning of Jerusalem in the days of Nebuchadnezzar. Until this hour God has certainly kept His Word. If you are familiar with your history as well as your Bible you are well aware Jerusalem has been the cross-roads of the world, especially for all Eastern empires. Oh, how Jerusalem has been turned upside down, upside down and it was to remain so until when? Our next verse holds the key. It shall be no more until He comes whose right it is and I will give it unto Him (Jesus Christ King of Israel).
Truly, Nebuchadnezzar brought Jerusalem to the ground, destroying the kingship position until Christ would come and take the throne. Here we see with the fall of Jerusalem three major things were lost: No. 1 Kingship, No. 2. Are of the Covenant, and No. 3. The visible sign of the Shekinah glory.
PREPARATION FOR THE NEW KING
Seventy years later the Jews returned from exile to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. A temple which should reach into another dispensation of time for as you recall, the second temple was still in use. Millions had been spent in beautifying it to win favor of the Jews. Nevertheless, this was the temple standing when Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. According to history, it was some 480 years the Jews spent in rebuilding Jerusalem, the walls and the temple, preparing everything for the coming of their Messiah and King. (Daniel 9:25) Yes, unbeknown to them they were in preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ in 33 A.D., they hung on a Roman cross totally rejecting Him on the basis of His kingship.
TURNOVER OF JERUSALEM CONTINUES THROUGH GRACE AGE
In 70 A.D., God sent another army under the direction of Titus and began the overturning of Jerusalem. History shows how Titus again turns Jerusalem upside down, laying her to the ground. In the following century an earthquake came and leveled her again, yet through all of this the Western wall of the old temple court has managed to stand through the centuries (Jewish wailing wall). History records the Persians coming in the 8th and 9th century again ripping Jerusalem to pieces, when next came the Crusaders gallantly fighting to defend the city and more blood was spilled upon the holy grounds. Later they restored the city. Then came the Moslems. See, all this is to fulfill what God had said concerning Jerusalem, how He would destroy the king and the city would be overturned, OVERTURNED, OVERTURNED, and note, not one prince or king of Israel would sit on the throne during this overturning period until He whose right it was would come.
JESUS CHRIST, ISRAEL’S NEXT KING
During the first advent of Christ, God was offering to Israel the kingship, however, because this humble kingship was concealed in humility, they failed to recognize it. Had he come forth wearing a crown and a bright shining coat of armor, riding astride some beautiful horse, no doubt they would have said, HAIL, KING OF THE JEWS! HOW LONG WE HAVE AWAITED YOUR COMING! On the contrary, He dressed and walked as a prophet, riding a donkey into Jerusalem, just as a prophet would. AWAY WITH THIS CHARACTER THEY SHOUTED. We are fully aware of what kind of child He was! That boy had an illegitimate birth. Sure, Joseph was His daddy before he married that woman called Mary! Actually they believed him to be of illegitimate birth.
TURNOVER WILL BE ELIMINATED AT CHRIST’S COMING
God saying to Ezekiel, I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, signifying the general condition in which Jerusalem would be in down through the centuries until the time when the Gentiles would be fulfilled, and not until Christ would return to reign would this overturning ever be eliminated. However note, the three things that was lost with the first overturning of Jerusalem would be given back to Israel when she accepts Christ as her King for recall, it was the departed glory, the Ark of the Covenant, and the kingship that was lost. Watch this, as those overturning periods for Jerusalem began, the visible glory of the Lord departed from the temple and hovered over the Mount of Olives. During that period the Ark of the Covenant was missing and the kingship vanished. Seventy years later the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity with no knowledge of what had happened to the Ark of the Covenant. Scripture shows how the Jews returned bearing some of the temple utensils, but the Ark was not among them. At last the second temple was finished and dedicated unto the Lord during the days of Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai the prophet, Zerrubabel the governor and Joshua and high priest, yet with all that there was no visible Shekinah glory in either form the pillar of fire or smoke which was overwhelmingly present during the dedication of Solomon’s temple when the priest were entering with the Ark of the Covenant. For this temple, there was no Ark of the Covenant to be carried unto the Holy of Holies, neither was there any visible presence of the Shekinah glory at the rededication of the second temple.
Careful now, we do not mean to imply that there was never any presence of God to ever enter the second temple, on the contrary, we simply mean He took away His visible presence which had always assured Israel of HIS DIVINE PRESENCE. This visible presence of the Shekinah glory was what was never seen again. Surely His presence was there as He continued meeting with the High Priest in the Holy of Holies on behalf of the people, only the visibility of His presence was never there which was lost with the siege of Jerusalem.
RE-ESTABLISHING THE ALTAR
Positively there had to be an important reason why the visibility of this glory and the Ark of the Covenant were taken away from Israel. Had God so desired He could have protected it. We note as soon as the Jews returned from Babylon, Joshua was brought in as the high priest and the sacrificial altar was re-established. Animal sacrifices once again started from the altar which was located approximately 75-100 yards from the actual temple building itself. Upon the temple grounds stood a huge flat-shaped rock protruding roughly five feet or more from the earth and upon this rock was erected the altar for the sacrifices which should be offered unto the Lord.
SACRIFICIAL ROCK CONTAINS A GREAT HISTORY
Jews firmly believed it was upon this very rock on Mt. Zion that Abraham brought Isaac to offer him as a sacrifice unto the Lord. So, always from the top of this particular large rock after Jerusalem entered into Israel’s history and the first temple was constructed, this great rock has always served for the altar of sacrifice. The altar’s dimension upon this rock is recorded in Ezekiel 43:13-18. Always remember the rock itself was never the altar, but the altar was built upon the rock which protrudes high enough out of the ground that it required steps to be built in order for the high priest to be brought upon the level of the rock where animal sacrifices were performed. It was during this overturning period in the latter part of the sixth century that the Mosque of Omar (often referred to as the Dome of the Rock) was built on the old traditional temple grounds. This rock is also a worship stop for Moslem believer who accept the teaching that Mohammed rode a white horse to heaven from this spot. Therefore all the Moslem world, as well as Israel, consider this a most holy rock.
Although the animal sacrifice was restored, the temple rebuilt and the high priest office restored, God never again allowed the visible sign of the Shekinah glory or the Ark to ever be seen after their return from Babylon. Without these three things which were lost, is it any wonder there was no voice in Israel for 400 years before the coming of Christ?
CHRIST HIMSELF IS THE ARK, SHEKINAH GLORY AND KING
Dispensationally there had to be a scriptural reason why this must be. History wise the Jews were approaching the period of time when what the first Ark of the Covenant had represented through types and shadows was ready to fade away giving room for Christ, the true Ark of the New Covenant to come. This box overlaid with gold was never the true mercy seat of the Lord, but served only as a type until the true Ark would appear, and again this Shekinah glory would reappear with the true Ark (Christ Himself). So definitely there had to be a reason why once the Shekinah glory had departed the temple, hovering over the Mount of Olives, that Israel should never again see the visible sign as before the captivity.
SILENTLY THE GLORY DEPARTS
Again notice from Ezekiel’s visions how when the glory of the Lord departed Jerusalem and hovered over the mountain no voice spake from it although he saw the cherubim in it. How it departed, yet there was no voice of the Lord. It is plain to see that during the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, three things disappeared which would reappear in the second temple years later. However because of the blindness of Israel they were unable to recognize their identity for never once were they able to recognize the TRUE ARK, THE SHEKINAH GLORY OF KINGSHIP when it reappeared in the temple in Jesus Christ the Lord.
With the rededication of the second temple it is recorded that the people wept for in their hearts, though there was no visible sign, by faith they accepted the fact that God would meet with them and lead them on. This glory would only reappear when God would arrive in Christ the TRUE ARK. They no longer had the Ark of the Covenant, but would still enter the holy of holies and God would meet them there and lead them anyway.
Up until the first advent of Christ, which covered a period of some 400 silent years, where there was no voice of God, the Jews continued offering their sacrifices upon the altar. Of what did the altar of sacrifice speak: Recall, From Abel’s sacrifice who, by revelation, (or faith) knew it was to be the blood of a lamb offered unto God for sin (Hebrews 11). Until the day Christ hung on the cross God had required animal sacrifice for atonement for man’s sin. From Genesis we learn Cain, because of no revelation, attempted to offer another type sacrifice, works of his hands, as an atonement for sin. We are fully aware that God refused such a sacrifice for nothing but the blood can atone for man’s sins. Innocent animals had to serve as a substitute from the day of Abel till the final day when Christ the Lamb of God was offered from the cross of Calvary. It has always taken the blood of the innocent bull, goats, sheep, lambs, doves and pigeons to serve as substitutes. Man offered these substitutes for an atonement for sin until the Innocent One came.
NOW ONLY ONE ALTAR
For several thousand years man offered his sacrifice upon his own particular altar anywhere he chose, however, once the Law Age came this privilege ceased. From Abel to Abraham man made his altar anywhere. Though once the Law came this privilege came to an end and the altar was established in one place. That law of God has never changed. Sacrifices unto God may be offered only in one place, the temple grounds in Jerusalem. This was in effect until the day Christ died. Every animal sacrifice had caused the worshiper to look ahead unto that day when One would take their place. According to Hebrews the blood of bulls and goats never really took away sin, only pushed it ahead until the time when the Perfect One, the Innocent One would come placing upon His shoulders the sins of the whole world. Death of these innocent animals only continued renewing the debt man owed to God until the Innocent one would come and pay the principal of the entire thing. All animal sacrifices did was to pay the interest, Christ paid the debt in full when He came.
BLOOD ON THE ALTAR
For 4,000 years man, by faith, had looked ahead to the coming of the Just One who would take his place. Sacrificing the animals only served to remind the worshiper they served as a substitute. Each time man offered an animal, in his heart he was saying, “Little fellow, you are a poor little innocent thing, it’s a shame you must suffer just for me.” As man watched that life slowly fade away, as it lay there quivering and dying the worshiper was made to realize, One day He will come and take my place. This is what is constantly required to remind the worshiper that one day the Just One would come to take their place. (Hebrews 10:3-4) This continued 4,000 years, showing why there must be blood on the altar. For without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. (Hebrews 9:22)
Seventy years captivity passes and the fallen altar is re-built along with the temple being reconstructed. Although there was no voice heard in Israel for that 400 years, they continued in their restored worship. God blessed and moved in their behalf. However, the time came when God was ready to change the order of events causing animal sacrifice to cease when Christ was sacrificed on the Cross. The New Testament pictured Christ to be the Lamb of God who was born to take away the sins of the whole world. According to John 1:1-12, the Word who was God was made flesh. Christ Himself was now what these two tables of stone represented in that wooden box which was overlaid with gold. Christ was that in human form. He was the Word of God, the Son of Man and in essence of flesh, the Son of God. Everything that box stood for, Christ was, therefore it was of necessity as long as the box, which was the Ark of the Covenant, was present, Christ could not be on the scene and don’t forget as long as the box was here there was that visible sign of God’s glory that was ever present with it.
SHEKINAH GLORY WITH THE TRUE ARK
This true Ark or Lamb came unto John at the river of Jordan for baptism, all sacrifices must be washed before being offered. Every sacrifice being offered must have water applied to it. Even today on those old temple grounds there still remain those cisterns which were built and placed in the ground during King Solomon’s reign for the sole purpose of sanctifying each sacrifice that went upon the altar.From the river scene of Jordan the heavens opened and the spirit (Shekinah Glory) descended in the form of a dove, abiding upon the Christ, the true Ark of the Covenant. Here we have a beautiful picture of that glory resting upon the True Ark which is none other than the true God of heaven and earth condescending into this human form to express the deity and the power of the Omnipotent One. Beloved, everything that box represented, everything that Shekinah Glory represented was all now in Christ! Christ, for 3½ years, walked the face of this earth while the Jews continued offering their animal sacrifice. However, just as Ezekiel had been brought to the city in visions and seated by the way of the North Gate approaching the temple grounds, Christ was placed on trial and condemned to die and led out through the Damascus Gate, which is none other than the North Gate and taken approximately 300 yards up on Calvary’s Hill and crucified over-looking the city. The very temple he referred to when he testified ‘tear down this temple and in 3 days I’ll raise it up again (John 2:19), was truly accomplished in 3 days. This He spoke of the temple of His body, for truly this was the temple or tabernacle for the Eternal God to place his visible sign, the Shekinah Glory in. Yes, that Ark of the Covenant (his body) concealed His word for that period of time. The Jews had now taken all that He was which had been represented in types and shadows throughout the law age, and led it out to Mt. Calvary where they ridiculed, criticized, and humiliated it, then allowing it to die the shameful death of a common criminal, crucifixion on the cross.
TRAIL FOLLOWED 600 YEAR AGE IS REENACTED
Watch closely this trail of events which was to follow! See how perfectly they correspond with something that had happened before. On the 3rd day following the crucifixion, Christ arose from the dead triumphant over death, hell and the grave, where He was seen of about 500 brethren over the space of 40 days (I Corinthians 15:6). Please observe, as Christ left Jerusalem after the 40 days, He who was the fulfillment of the Ark of the Covenant, He who was all that the law represented and all that the Shekinah Glory was, notice the particular trail he followed in leaving Jerusalem for glory. Recall the direction of the Shekinah Glory traveled once it left Jerusalem? In the presence of some 500 brethren Christ went to the Mount of Olives. He didn’t go to any other hill or mountain, but to the very identical mountain where that Shekinah Glory had gone once leaving the city 600 years prior, when the Ark of the Covenant disappeared, Christ who is the true Ark, who is the word, he who is the Eternal One, the Lord of the Shekinah Glory met some 500 people, out upon the Mount of Olives. However notice this time there’s a voice in this (the Glory)! Remember no voice was heard in the Shekinah Glory – 600 B.C.!
VOICE SPOKEN OF THE MOUNT OF OLIVES
However 600 years later a voice was heard speaking in the Shekinah Glory when it departed. What did the voice say? “Tarry ye in Jerusalem till you receive the promise of the Father,” and while He yet spake these words, clouds were seen beginning to form, not rain clouds, clouds of Shekinah Glory began to form as he began to ascend, where to? Into heaven! Here Christ entered into the Holy of Holies to become the high priest replacing the high priest on earth in that natural temple (of the old covenant) who walk back and forth before that Ark of the Covenant or the Mercy Seat in the presence of that Glory which once was visible within that first temple. This Eternal Glorified Christ ascended up from the very mountain upon which the Shekinah Glory ascended 600 years prior, up, up went this glorified body as those Galilean disciples stood weeping, wondering if they would ever see Him again. He’s gone from our midst! Only a few hours prior to His crucifixion He had stated, “It is necessary that I go away, for if I go not away the Shekinah Glory (the comforter) will not come unto you.” Oh what a comfort this Glory had been to Israel in days past. Yes, that Comforter He spoke of was none other than the same Shekinah Glory which abode in that natural temple. The glory was unable to rest upon the individual Israelites, this was as near as the Shekinah Glory could come to the people under the old covenant. True, the glory of God moved on the prophets. This glory would even move on the priest, and upon the kings in their office work for those were the three offices Jehovah had ordained to express His power through. The Shekinah Glory refused to rest or come inside the believer or worshiper. Now that Christ has come who was the fulfillment of all those types and shadows of the old covenant. He made the way for us through the veil of His own flesh and through the shedding of His own blood (God’s blood (Acts 20:28). Now that Shekinah Glory was ready to abide in the new temple, (I Corinthians 3:16). That is what the Bible story had been about for 4,000 years concerning blood of animals on a sacrifice altar. The believer may now possess boldness to come and press into this Glory. No, we don’t see the glory with our naked eyes because it came to live within us, (his new temple) neither do we carry around with us a little box containing the two tables of stone, because under his new covenant of grace these laws are written upon the tables of our heart, and once He sees the tablets written upon our heart, the Holy Ghost will move right into his New Testament Temple (our bodies). Only remember this, if He doesn’t see you believing that same true word and allowing it to be written upon your heart, there isn’t going to be any Holy Ghost coming in, for the spirit and the word agree, they certainly are not alien one to the other! Isn’t it marvelous, Christ went up from the Mount of Olives where 600 years prior something else went up, (the glory). Although then there wasn’t a voice in it, yet 600 years later something else comes, a baby is born, who grows up into manhood walking among men, of whom John says we touched and handled Him, the Word of Life! (I John 1:1-2) It’s very simple for people to carry something around with them in a box isn’t it? They still lean upon that today. Give them a little polished up candle and they would walk all over creation with that or give them a little ritual or something else to go by and they are happy. That’s the way man is, he actually doesn’t want God in his life, he is completely satisfied with something like this.
SPIRIT FILLS NEW TEMPLE
Notice the disciples returned back into Jerusalem as instructed, back up into the same upper room where this last supper had been held shortly before his crucifixion. It was here in a room in the back corner they were determined to wait for the promise. 10 days later that Shekinah Glory, which had filled the first temple under Solomon’s reign, came to the New temple, all that glory which was in this Christ had now come into the upper room filling the new temple (Acts 2:1-4). For recall the other temple was only a type and shadow of this one (our bodies, that which had been in the old covenant was now in the new covenant! Once it came inside that Upper Room, Luke described it’s coming as the sound of a rushing wind, when they began to hear that whir, whir, every door was shut although they continued to hear the wind blowing. How many ever heard that wind blow? Brother, I have, once it even knocked me flat upon my back. The Spirit of God is like a wind, if it so chooses to manifest itself in a wind it can pick you up, turn you upside down and carry you half way across the room and sit you down depends on what he has purposed to do.
SHEKINAH GLORY WAS SEEN ENTERING N.T. TEMPLE
On the day of Pentecost that Shekinah Glory came in and was seen resting upon 120, they saw the cloven tongues of fire, (Acts 2:3), in other words, it was that small visible presence of God on these little individual temples. Recall, in the upper room they received it in measure. Friends for 2,000 years the second covenant has been in force, Christ has been an intercessor, a high priest, on earth he was a prophet, he was a God prophet, now he is God’s high priest. Just remember he’s not always going to be that, some day this second covenant is going to have fulfilled its purpose in taking out of the gentiles a people for His name to be wedded to Him (Acts 15:14). When He does, He’s to come again, coming for His bride. The earth shall never see this appearing because His feet will never touch the earth. He only appears in clouds of glory. Christ was received up into clouds of glory and FROM THE SAME CLOUDS OF GLORY HE SHALL RECEIVE HIS LITTLE SWEETHEART. We must understand this, in spirit form Christ today is seeking to make love to His bride to be. Practically through 2,000 years of church history Christ has been seeking to court her, once in a while she’d been known to get her eyes off of Him and run after everything else. However, His love for her is so strong He continues saying to her, come on follow me. In this closing gentile age He’s beckoning her stronger than ever, “Honey come on just a little closer, I’ve something I want to confide only in you!” That’s why I said at the beginning of the message the carnal gentile church world will never know those things, that’s for the bride of Christ, yet they will sit behind their councils and say, that poor fanatical group of believers call themselves the Bride of Christ and don’t even have a name! They believe all kinds of fanatical crazy teachings! Yes, they said the same things concerning the early church. Don’t ever expect the Bride of Christ to fit into organized religion, they don’t, they won’t. That poor carnal church was never ordained to know the truth. John 3:16, is about all the truth they’ll ever know, and already they’ve thrown that in the ditch!The very basis of salvation they took and crucified on conference tables, throwing the revelation of the word in the ditch, accepting only their theological ideas. The deep things of God, the mystery of God, the secret things of God which He has shut up within His word, He has no intention confiding in any one other than His beloved bride. This carnal church world will never know, it isn’t for them. When a man falls in love with a beautiful girl, what business has he of telling all the other girls he’s known their intentions concerning their marriage, it’s none of their business! When I married I never told the neighborhood where the wife and I intended to live, it was none of their business! If we wanted a three-room or a six-room house that’s our business! It just isn’t any of their business out there what Christ has for His bride, because they aren’t going to be there anyway! Only His bride will be there, call me fanatical if want to, but I encourage you to take your Bible and see whose fanatical!Almost 2,000 years Christ has made love to a people who could look beyond and above all the ritualism about them, and see the living Christ beckoning unto them, to follow Him, He’s not here in a corporal glorified body, however, He’s revealing Himself in spirit form through the office work of the Holy Ghost. Through the revelation of His word, He is courting His little bride to be, it’s His way of making love to her! In this manner He is able to be with all true christians everywhere. Christians in Japan, China, India, Germany, England, Canada, no matter where, they can make love to Him and He to them privately, because the Holy Ghost is the spirit of God, Omnipresent, and he takes the things of Jesus Christ and reveals them unto you; therefore He can be anywhere in South America doing identically the same thing. Why? All because He is on earth in spirit form making love every day, saying, Honey, the supper table will soon be ready, won’t be long now, don’t stop now. Remember this, once He comes to receive His gentile Bride unto Himself, He’s not going to ask any governmental official on the earth if it will be alright, if He took His bride, no sir. He’s not going to ask any president, king, premier or dictator, “Will you please let your saints go?” They’re going whether anyone likes it or not, it’s none of their business. In fact, the world will never miss them, Glory! They didn’t want us here in the first place, probably they will be happy to be rid of us! Just remember when Christ appears for His gentile Bride, He’ll not come portrayed as a priest, in that hour, Oh I like that! You saw how he will look? Before on earth He was a prophet wearing a seamless garment. On the Isle of Patmos He portrayed Himself to John dressed as a high priest, clothed in white down to his feet with hair as white as wool. In this vision He was in no prophet office. He had been wigged as the ancient of days, given the authority of judgeship. Whatsoever you bind on earth I’ll bind in heaven, Christ said to his disciples. Only a judge can bind things, right? Whatsoever you loose on earth I’ll loose in heaven. (Genesis 20:23) However when He comes as bridegroom, He won’t be dressed in that manner, but thanks be to God, we’ll see Him. He’ll be appearing for His bride only! No, He’ll not resemble a priest nor a prophet at this point, He’ll not even resemble a king. However, He shall appear as the bridegroom, it shall fit the occasion. It will be appropriate, Oh little Bride, as we are escorted to that wedding supper in glory (Revelation 19) it shall be so beautiful orderly and proper, not people shoving and pushing for fear they won’t find a seat, oh no! If there’s no room for you, if there’s not place or position for you, face it, you won’t be there, when all the places are taken, there won’t be one vacant place left. Remember you were invited!On earth, when Kings or presidents give a state dinner no one rushes in for fear perhaps there will be no place for them, remember they would not be present had they not been invited. We being in the presence of royalty, you’ll be met by no doubt a servant of the angelic element who shall politely escort you to your position, you’ll not have to go around looking for your position, trying to find the place with your name on it! They know exactly where you’re supposed to sit and you’ll be seated at the table at the very spot where you are represented in the body of Christ, in His mystical body as it is on this earth and when everybody gets seated and the groom takes His place at the head of the table, there won’t be one vacant place left, can’t you see predestination? Not one person left standing saying, Hey you forgot to fix a place for me. It just fits in perfect, can’t you see predestination here? Predestination, according by the foreknowledge of God, determines how many plates will be set, already He knows how many will be present, how many would hear the call and how many would not obey and call, it’s all in the word of God. (Ephesians 1:4, Revelation 21:27)
BRIDE IN GLORY – TRIBULATION ON EARTH
While supper continues in glory, the earth faces it’s darkest hour, the great tribulation period. As the Bride enjoys blessings in Glory, the tribulation has been going on in the earth. The world was undergoing it’s darkest hours in history, while in glory Christ and His Bride enjoyed beauty and glory. The wedding over and supper being ended, Christ is no longer a groom but a husband, the garb of the groom is laid aside and scripture declares Him as one now clothed in vesture dipped in blood, on His thighs is written the word of God, while out of His mouth goes a sharp two-edged sword used to smite the nations (Revelations 19). His clothing reveals him as preparing to come forth to rule. The 19th chapter of Revelation pictures Him coming to earth and notice who comes with Him – the wife is by His side. Some have thought Israel was His wife, beloved, the fact the wedding supper took place in glory while Israel was engaged in a blood bath on earth should prove the bride was not natural Israel! If you are in that selected remnant of the gentiles (Acts 15), it’s you, beloved, who returns with him riding a white horse, the armies of heaven followed on white horses also (Horse speaks of power of the word). According to Revelation 19, He comes riding a white horse this time, He’s not appearing to His bride, but to someone else! Zechariah prophesied, “In that day He shall stand upon the Mount of Olives” exactly from the spot where He was taken up before almost 2000 years ago when only the church saw Him go up. Exactly from the spot where the Shekinah Glory disappeared some 600 years before, seen only by Ezekiel in the Spirit, now to the Jews He appears unto them from the very mountain where already He ascended up from. Only this time He comes in answer to their plea for help. (Zachariah 13:9)
SHEKINAH GLORY RETURNS TO JEWS
In that day He shall stand upon the Mount of Olives, or at least this is the vision Zechariah saw Him portrayed as (Zachariah 14:19). The Eternal Lord of Glory comes in wrath to rule and reign as he is pictured standing upon the Mount of Olives. Scripture declares from Zechariah 14:5, there will be a great earthquake the moment His feet touch the mountain. According to Zechariah’s vision there is going to be a great valley open up as the mountain splits, this no doubt is all symbolical language used by Zachariah showing forth what happened in behalf of the Jewish nation (only). For it is to the Jews only does He appear on the Mount of Olives, however in Revelation 19 the bride, who is married to Him, is seen returning in this vision, riding white horses the same as the king. Riding white horses signifies or symbolizes that power by which He returns to wage and make war against the enemy of the Jews (the Antichrist) and his armies. Remember the Mt. Of Olives speaks of his dealings strictly with the Jew all through the Bible!
CHRIST RETURNS TO TAKE UP KINGSHIP REJECTED BY JEWS 2000 YEARS AGO
The nation must accept him in His kingship office and when they do, watch the next vision portraying what will happen. Turn to Ezekiel 43:1-5 for scripture which coincides exactly with Zechariah’s vision, 14:4, Zechariah saw the Lord’s feet standing that day on the Mount of Olives. We must remember this is a vision, it is not to be understood with a carnal understanding. It is doubtful Zechariah saw a normal size 6 foot man standing on a gigantic mountain facing Jerusalem and who he could hardly recognize as the Christ their Messiah and king. Don’t be shocked when I say this, considering the other visions of Revelation 19, which portrayed all of these white horses. It is actually doubtful that Christ in reality would ever stand upon this mountain. Then what is the meaning of such a vision? It is only to show forth the importance of the geographic spot in connection with the Jews where the Shekinah Glory of God always chose to show forth its appearance, it’s none other than that Shekinah Glory returning to this earth unto the Jewish race through his anointed one. The vision reveals the major importance the mountain plays in connection with Jerusalem the center of Jewish activity.
VISION NOW SHOWS THE ANOINTING OF THE MOST HOLY TEMPLE IN MILLENNIUM GLORY
Ezekiel 43, records the very beginning of the millennium where the temple has already previously been restored. Notice at this point during the beginning of the millennium reign the temple has already been restored and is ready for the Shekinah Glory of God to move into (fulfilling Daniel 9:24). It did not have to be rebuilt after the millennium began, for the millennium opens picturing the filling of the temple by God (or anointing the most Holy Temple thus completing the seventy weeks that were determined on the Jews and upon the Holy City.)
TEMPLE AND ALTAR BOTH RESTOREDBEFORE MILLENNIUM STARTS
Often I’m asked the question, will the Jewish temple of Jerusalem be restored and active before the millennium? Yes, it certainly will according to Revelation 11:1-2 and Daniel 9:27. According to Daniel 9:27, the Antichrist stops the sacrifice and causes the evening oblation to cease, however to say the temple would be restored in all of it’s millennial beauty as it is portrayed in Ezekiel 43, that I could never say. According to Revelation 11, we understand the temple is to be rebuilt during the period of time these two anointed prophets make their appearance in Jerusalem, prophesying their message of warning for 1203 score days clothes in sackcloth and ashes. Furthermore, the scriptures declare in 11:2, the outer court of the temple, which is without, should not be measured but should be left for the trodding down of the gentiles for a period of 42 months. No where in Revelation 11, does it portray the picture that the temple was ever completed before the millennium began, though it was in use but the outer court was turned over to the gentiles (the nations) to tread under foot for 3½ years, during the Antichrist’s reign shortly before Christ Himself would appear destroying him with the brightness of His coming (spirit). Once you begin reading Ezekiel’s vision recorded in the 43rd chapter, you have already crossed that 3½ years of bitter existence for the Jew, the foolish virgin and all who dare to oppose the Antichrist reign.
EASTERN GATE OPENED
Ezekiel 43, (1) “Afterward He brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the East.” Today this gate is sealed tight, closed in 16th century, furthermore, this gate is referred to under several other names: Gate Beautiful, Golden Gate and Kings’ Gate being the most common names. The East gate shall never be opened again until the Messiah enters it (Gate that faces the road leading to the Mount of Olives) where the Shekinah Glory reappears. In the days of Christ it was the only gate on the eastern side of the city. This gate the kings always used going in and out of the city. Christ Himself also used this gate going in and out of Jerusalem. Furthermore scripture declares this eastern gate to be the gate through which Peter and John entered on their way to the temple for prayer when the lame man stopped them and asked for alms, (Acts 3:1-10). In this particular vision of Ezekiel 43, Ezekiel is peering into the beginning of the millennium when he says the spirit brought me to the gate even to the gate that looketh toward the east, and behold the Glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the East exactly according to Zechariah’s vision, from the Mount of Olives.
THE VOICE IN THE GLORY
Here we want to examine something most revealing. Recall, as the Glory departed Jerusalem 600 B.C., Ezekiel was careful to note that no voice spoke out of the glory which left the mountain, however from this vision we do hear a voice speak to Ezekiel from the Glory, (2) “And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel (in this vision) came from the way of the east: and his voice was like the sound of many waters: and earth shined with His glory.” Revelation 1:15, portrays Jesus in the high priest office standing before John on the Isle of Patmos, as John turned he heard a voice behind him. Note the voice that John heard is the same voice Ezekiel heard, for John says His voice was as the sound of many rushing waters. Recall, in John’s vision he was the high priest who later should become the King of Israel, then who is this God of Israel speaking in Ezekiel 43:2, where Ezekiel recorded his voice also as the sound of the rushing of many waters? He is none other than the revelated Christ of Revelation 1:1-15. Beloved, it is Christ in that visible sign of the presence of the Shekinah Glory of God. This is the millennial glory in which Christ, upon his earthly journey, chose to reveal Himself as when the Son of Man would come in the power and glory of his kingdom.
JESUS ON EARTH REVEALS MILLENNIAL GLORY
Yes, three of His chosen disciples Peter, James and John saw a preview of Christ in His millennial glory, which was none other than the Shekinah Glory of God, that visible sign. Matthew 7:1-13, declares Jesus stating unto His disciples that some of them should not taste death until they had seen the Son of man coming in power and glory in His kingdom. Six days later, Jesus took the 3 disciples upon the Mountain of Transfiguration (Mountain today called Mt. Tabor) where they would witness His raiment and countenance transformed before their very eyes. Scripture says His countenance and raiment shown as the noon day sun (the noon day sun in that area is extremely bright). Recall, also it was the Shekinah Glory that Paul faced on the Damascus Road and was blinded for 3 days from the brightness. Peter, James, and John saw Christ clothed in that Glory which left Israel 600 B.C. They were witnessing that visible sign of the Glory of God returning for the millennial reign. Remember that Shekinah Glory was hid behind the curtain in the first covenant of the temple and now it was hid in another veil, this time of flesh, which was the temple of God while Jesus was on earth. These 3 men saw Christ as He would be clothed at the beginning of the millennium, exactly as Ezekiel saw Him in visions 600 years before the birth of Christ. (Ezekiel 43:1-2) Remember, as the glory left in 600 B.C., there was no voice in it, however as it returns for the millennium we hear a powerful voice speak from it. The spoken voice from the glory of God proves it was that Glorified Christ returning to Israel’s restored temple grounds. Continuing with the vision of Ezekiel 43:3, it says, (3) “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:” (meaning when Ezekiel witnessed the siege of Jerusalem in visions and was shown how the Lord had set this thing in motion.) “and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. (4) And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.” (That gate which is now closed) in other words he came through that eastern gate (facing the Mount of Olives) and the glory of the Lord came into the house (it’s that new built temple of Revelations 11), by the gate whose prospect (prospect means the entrance is toward the eats). (5) “So, the Spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; (of the temple) and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.” (Fulfilling Daniel (9:24) (This shall be his new home during the millennium.) That great voice now begins speaking to Ezekiel. (6) “And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house: (600 years before Christ was born) and the man stood by me. (7) And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne,” Did you hear that? The King’s throne for the millennium will not be in a kings palace, rather it shall be in the temple according to the vision, not in the King’s palace where thrones are usually placed. “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 FOREVER, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcasses of their kings in their high places.” (Ezekiel 43:7) It’s the voice of that glorious Christ robed in the Shekinah glory of God speaking. This shows how the glorified Christ appears to the Jews as He comes to them to take up His kingship.
ANTICHRIST TO SIT ON THRONE IN THE TEMPLE BEFORE CHRIST
(II THESSALONIANS 2:4)
The antichrist, who is spoken of under many titles, will sit in the temple at Jerusalem before the millennium begins. Daniel referred to him as the little horn (Daniel 7:8) and the prince that shall come (Daniel 9:27); Paul referred to him as the man of sin, the son of perdition and that wicked one, (II Thessalonians 2:3-8); and apostle John referred to him as the antichrist and wild beast (Revelation 17:13). Paul referring to him as “the man of sin who opposed and exalted himself above all that is called God and that is worshiped so that he as God (goes in and) sitteth in the temple showing (claiming or proclaiming) himself that he is God.” All the early church fathers such as Ireneas, who was the disciple of Polycarp, who in turn was the disciple of John the Revelator, said, “He will reign for 3 years and 6 months and will sit in the temple at Jerusalem and then shall the Lord come from heaven in the clouds of glory from the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the Lake of Fire, but will bring for the righteous a time of the kingdom that is a rest, the hollowed 7th day and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance in which kingdom the Lord declared that many coming from the East and from the west shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (End of Ireneas’ quote) Yes, it was firmly believed by the early church Fathers, the antichrist would at some time take a throne in the temple of Jerusalem, and why would not the devil do so? His spirit always runs ahead to confuse the working of the true spirit of God. No doubt the antichrist will sit in this very temple issuing forth a false peace program which shall end in the greatest darkest tribulation hours ever. For the scripture teaches in the vision of Ezekiel that the Lord Himself shall have a throne in the temple at Jerusalem. If the Lord will have a throne in the temple, why would we think it strange if the devil tried to set up one shortly before him?
THE BRIDE, WHERE IS SHE?
We last saw the bride coming from glory in Revelation 19, riding white horses. Since white horses represent the power of the word, we do know and understand that the bride comes forth girded with the power of the word, yes, even carried in the power of the word. The very heavens at the appearing of Christ shall be charged with the power of the word of God. No wonder things are destroyed with the brightness of his coming! Although the king shall remain in the throne position in the temple at Jerusalem, (Ezekiel 43), the bride will by no means remain in Jerusalem with her husband. After the judgment of the nations and the choosing of those who shall enter into the millennium reign of the mortal realm (Matthew 25:33-46). The bride’s throne will be out among the gentile nations over the people’s from which she herself was taken. According to scripture, that was her purpose in ever being called from among the gentile nations. Here her throne will be; she will judge and rule the mortal subjects; she will teach righteousness and judgment unto the mortal subjects who were found worthy to pass through the ending of that period of time into the millennial period. These men and women will be of mortal flesh and shall be taught the beautiful ways of God, they fulfill such scriptures as Matthew 25:31-46 and Zechariah 14:16-20. For a more thorough study on the subject and purpose of the millennium, consult your article entitled, “The Age of Regeneration.” If you do not have Vol. 1 No. 4, please ask for your free copy. Under this new rule of Christ’s reign there will be a remnant of all nations according to Zechariah, who remained in their mortal flesh bodies and are used to repopulate the earth. They are responsible for the number produced at the end of the millennium referred to as the sands of the sea, who satan ascends from the bottomless pit to deceive when the testing time comes for those millennial subjects. (Revelation 20:7-8, Zechariah 14:16-20, Matthew 25:31-46, and Isaiah 65:20).
LEVITES AND PRIESTS CALLED BACK INTO OFFICE
Ezekiel 43:13-18, gives the actual size of the reconstructed altar used during the millennium. Note carefully, as the millennium is set in motion there will be Levites and priests called back into service according to Ezekiel 43:19, and there placed back into their office work, but notice this, nowhere can you find the mentioning of a high priest who was set back in the temple; nowhere can you find the Ark of the Covenant mentioned during the millennium! Why? Because the King Himself, the Shekinah Glory who stays in the temple shall certainly be all this. Recall in the temples of the past only the high priests was ever allowed to go into the Holy of Holies. But in this temple there will be no need for a man to intercede in the Holy of Holies for the people with a pan of blood, for people from all nations will be required to come up to Jerusalem yearly to worship the king, the Lord of Hosts and keep the Feast of the Tabernacles. To those who will not come up there shall come a plague wherewith the Lord will smite the Heathen that will not come up and keep the Feast of the Tabernacles. Zechariah says it shall be the punishment of Egypt and all nations that come not up to keep the Feast of the Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:9-19, especially 16-19)
THRONE IN TEMPLE, NOT IN PALACE
Recall, from the Old Testament David and all the kings of Israel and Judah had a palace of their own just outside the temple, located on the temple grounds. However the Son of Man, the Son of David after the flesh will not dwell in the palace. His throne for the millennium shall be in the temple at Jerusalem for the God who was robed in human flesh, who was prophet and priest, is now the king and His throne is now in a temple, not in a palace. It is here the Glory of God fills the temple. According to Ezekiel 43:7, there is no Ark of the Covenant, nor any high priest for the glorified Christ is in the temple.
CONTRAST BETWEEN FIRST TEMPLE AND MILLENNIAL TEMPLE (3rd Temple)
In the first temple there was the following: high priest, Ark of the Covenant and the Shekinah Glory. As the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity and rebuilt the second temple, there was the high priest but no Ark of the Covenant and no Shekinah Glory, although the sacrifice of the altar was re-established. Hundreds of years later while this temple had undergone a beautification by Herod, a baby is born in Bethlehem of Judah, He is Christ the Lord who grew up into manhood, became rejected and was crucified, 3 days later he rose from the dead; 40 days later he went out to the Mount of Olives, the same mountain the Glory disappeared from, only this time as the Glory went up it carried a glorified body with it. (I Timothy 3:16) When He returned for the millennial reign robed in that Glory according to Zechariah and Ezekiel’s visions to set up His kingship and His throne within the temple, He returned back to the Mount of Olives, destroyed His enemy, the antichrist, (who had taken over his temple) and set up his new reign of government.
THE MILLENNIUM – A PROGRAM OF WORSHIP
According to Ezekiel 43, the overall picture of the millennium is one strictly of worship and punishment and judgement upon those who will not worship the King of Glory, who in that day will be one Lord and his name one (Zechariah 14:9). Ezekiel 43:(19) “And thou shalt give to the priests and the levites that are of the seed of Zadok, which approaches unto me to minister unto me saith the Lord God a young bullock for a sin offering. (20) And thou shalt take of the blood thereof and put it on the four horns of it (sacrificial altar) and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border round about it thus shall thou cleanse and purge it. (21) 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. (22) 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. (23) 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. (24) 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.”
MILLENNIUM ALTAR – WILL IT BE RESTORED?
Will animal sacrifices be offered from this altar during the millennium? If it is to be restored, what purpose does it serve? From Ezekiel 43:13-18, we are shown the dimensions and the construction of the temple altar to be used during the millennium. Yes, the altar shall be restored for sacrificial purposes. As we come to the close of our article, we are now ready to discuss the millennium altar and its purpose for the age. Recall, the altar spoken of here is built upon the great rock that is covered over by the Moslem’s Dome of the Rock or Mosque of Omar. The question may well be asked, will the Jews receive this rock back? Yes, as previously stated, Israel knows there is only one place (that rock) from which Jehovah will accept their sacrifices. Ezekiel 43:25, holds the key scripture showing that animal sacrifice will again be offered. This altar will be reconstructed just as it was in the days of Solomon’s first temple and Nehemiah’s (second temple) which altar will still in affect at Christ’s death. Seventy years later an angry God smote the entire city through Titus and the Roman army. It was to remain desolate until the time for its reconstruction by the Jews shortly before the millennium. God permitted the Moslems to cover over the sacrificial rock with the Mosque of Omar until time should come for it to be used again.From the vision recorded in Ezekiel 43, the millennium age officially opens with the anointing of the Most Holy (temple) with His Shekinah Glory, an anointing that far surpassed the anointing that came upon the temple at Solomon’s dedication. The opening of the millennium officially ends Daniel’s 70 weeks, which was determined upon the city and the people (Daniel 9:24). This magnificent reign of 1000 years is referred in Matthew 19:28, by the Lord Himself as the Age of the Regeneration. Webster described regeneration under two words; Re – being a prefix showing you are redoing something over again that has already been done once; as retrace a picture or re-baptize converts as Paul did, Acts 19:5, rebuilt etc. While generation deals with production of off-springs, a generation today is roughly 33 years, but in that glorious hour a generation could live a 1000 years. This period of regeneration of a 1000 years shows God not only is in the process of renewing the earth to its Adamic stage, but at the same time renewing a new social order and thirdly, establishing a divine kingdom ruled by a divine God through divine laws of knowledge which are taught to his subject people, laws which teach them the ways of God. Multitudes of people will be born upon the face of the earth during this period who never knew sin as you and I have known it in this sin cursed age. No places of sin will operate, nothing to entice or feed evil will exist. Since Satan is bound in the bottomless pit for the duration of the millennium, righteousness and peace will flourish over the nations. The knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the water covers the sea. (Isaiah 11:9) Small children will lead animals who in our day would have ripped humans to shreds; unweaned children without fear, shall play over the holes of what was deadly snakes in our age. Isaiah 11:6-9) I am sure our finite minds could not conceive of such a place. No, it is not the Eternal Age and it is not the paradise of God, which Paul was caught up into. This time we speak of will transpire shortly right here upon this earth under the new administration of the King and His Queen. (See Vol. 1, No. 4, THE CONTENDER)Longevity of life will be extended to man and death will be used only as a means of punishment against the few who would be disobedient unto the King’s words and commands until the closing of the millennium when Satan shall be loosed for a little season and shall deceive the multitude who has never known what it was to be tempted until Satan was released from the pit. (Revelation 20:7-8, Isaiah 65:20)
DANIEL’S 135 DAYS – WHAT DO THEY MEAN?
Truly Daniel had this marvelous age in mind in the closing of his letter (Daniel 12:11) when he stated, “From the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, (Daniel 9:27) and the abomination that makes desolate set up, (II Thessalonians 2:4-12) there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”Daniel 12:11, deals with a period of time allotted to the antichrist when his 3½ years of 1260 days reign of terror shall begin, breathing out threatenings against the Jew, the foolish virgins and all who oppose his reign. The setting of the stage begins the great tribulation against Israel when the antichrist takes away the daily sacrifice that has already been established. This verse carries us through the antichrist’s terror, and also covers the transition period of the wrath of God being poured out on the antichrist to the coming of Christ to set up His own reign, for this verse speaks of thirty days more than is allotted the antichrist. Notice carefully verse 12 where he says, blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the 1335 days. Figuring from the Jewish calendar this allows 75 days past the antichrist reign which should place the believer of that hour into the beginning of the millennium. (Age of Regeneration) Certainly Daniel proves there shall be individuals who survive the bloody reign of the antichrist and was privileged to move into the new age. This blessed age was also the period of time the Apostle James spoke of in Acts 15:16-17, when he quoted Amos 9:11-12 saying, “God at first did visit the Gentiles to take out a people for his name (His Bride) but after this I will return, and build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.”
TABERNACLE OF DAVID RESTORED
After God has called out His Bride, He will then proceed to fulfill His pledge to Israel, which will correspond with the days of Daniel when he stated, Blessed is he that waiteth for the 1335 days, taking you 75 days past the antichrist reign. The Tabernacle of David is a poetic figure for the throne of David, (II Samuel 7:12-17) (now is the fallen tent) according to the original Jewish language this verse denotes a desolate picture of the fallen, torn down tent of David, while the Expositors Greek Testament shows it’s the house of David in its ruins, but it will be re-erected and from the restoration of its prosperity the Messianic blessings will flow. All gentiles in whom my name is called will share or benefit in the events of that time, (Acts 15:17). Zechariah 14:17, states gentile nations must come up each year to Jerusalem, the center of His government, Joel 3:17, Micah 4:7, where they shall attend the Feats of the Tabernacles. God Himself will dwell in Zion within the temple where He has placed the Son of David upon the throne, Ezekiel 34:23-24, Matthew 1:1. Read carefully Micah 4:7, for a clearer understanding how the nations will come up to Jerusalem in that hour to learn of Him. Remember the majority of these people coming up are millennium subjects born during the thousand years knowing nothing but praise and admiration of His Holy name.
THREE OUTSTANDING REASONS WHY BLOOD IS KEPT ON ALTAR
Ezekiel 43:25 shows us that it will require consistent sacrifices upon the altar for seven consecutive days for one purpose only, that is to purify the altar itself while the priest consecrate themselves unto the Lord. Seven days, each day shalt thou prepare 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, the priest, shall consecrate themselves.According to the vision, the priests must consecrate themselves for seven days as well as cleanse and purify the altar for the same allotted time. When on the eighth day the Lord says, I will accept it. Why does it require seven days to cleanse and purify the altar? What does these seven days represent? Why could not the purifying have taken only three or four days or even six? Why seven consecutive days? Because, beloved, it would have broken the shadow it was representing. Cleansing the altar seven days represents the seven dispensational days of one thousand years each during which Jehovah God demanded sacrificial blood offerings to be upon this earth because of sin and disobedience. Seven thousand years God constantly looked down through the blood of man. Seven thousand years, shall we say, of the earth and its human inhabitants being represented by the blood sacrifices before the earth could possibly be cleansed and redeemed, removing all traces of sin from the Garden before it would be holy enough for God on the eight day to receive this world back unto Himself. You see, the program of man is seven thousand years, including the millennium, and God has never been able to look upon a fallen creature unless He could peer through the Blood. Remember, the Spirit told Ezekiel in verse 27, after the 7 days of constant cleansing of the altar would He on the 8th day (representing the Eternal Age) be ready to receive their peace offerings. For the first 4 days or 4000 years God looked through the blood of animals, though this only appeased Him, their blood never took away sin. For the next 2 days, or 2000 years, came the marvelous teaching of the gospel of grace through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, which prevailed for the sins of the whole world, past, present, and future. Remember, worshipers of the first 4,000 years looked forward or ahead to this age of grace while, by faith, the believers of this 2,000 years looked back to Calvary. The Spirit of God, by witnessing in us, makes the blood alive and effective for the cleansing of sin unto a finished work, but what about the worshipers during the millennium? What do they of the 7th day look to as a reminder or a memorial to Christ’s shed blood? (1) This is why there is sacrifice on the altar in the millennium, it serves as a constant reminder of Christ’s suffering for believers of all ages; it serves to the millennium ages as a constant reminder of Him who they are about to worship in the temple as they have come up to Jerusalem, that He, Christ was not always a mighty king, loved and adored and worshiped by the nations. As they see the sacrifice on the alter, it points them back to Calvary where He who is their King now, was their sacrifice in days gone by. As they look upon the dying, bleeding animals they are made to realize that He whom they shall see shortly was once a meek, submissive little sacrificial lamb for the slaughter of the world. It serves as a memorial to them as Christ gave to the grace age the Lord’s Supper to remember his death by. As the Lord’s Supper serves a reminder to the grace age of what He did for them so does the animal sacrifice in the millennium remind the worshiper of the price He paid for them. (2) The blood on the altar serves as a redemptive sacrifice (not for man), but the earth, for God is requiring blood through 7,000 consecutive years to cleanse this earth from every trace of sin. Mainly through the millennium is the earth redeemed, thus bringing Paul’s revelation of I Corinthians 15:24-28, into view when Christ the Word shall hand back this earth, redeemed in every manner unto the Eternal Father Spirit to begin the 8th day, or the Eternal Age of Isaiah 65:18. Recall, Matthew 19:28 states this 7th day was the age of regeneration.As it is through the seventh day that the curse is lifted from the earth through the laws of God. (3) Blood is on the altar to serve as strictly ceremonial act of the millennium worship, for during the Eternal Age, the 8th day, there will never be another sacrifice offered for man or the earth because both are fully redeemed with all traces of sin removed from the earth. Now let me repeat again, the blood on the altar has nothing to do with human salvation of the millennium subjects, for the blood of bulls and goats has never had any redemptive power, salvation comes through the shed blood of Jesus Christ only.What does the millennium believer look to to remind him of Calvary? The sacrificial blood on the altar serves as the reminder. Yes, it is difficult for the millennium believer being born in such a different hour and under such different circumstances to ever be able to visualize the king in all of His majesty and glory as anything but what he is there. It is hard for them to visualize Him as the one who suffered, bled and died, shedding His precious blood for those on earth of all ages. As the subjects pass through that courtyard going to the throne room within the temple to worship the king, those sacrifices on the altar serve as a constant reminder, though I go to worship Him as a King He has not always been a King, once He was a sacrifice, Bless His Holy Name! So for the final seventh day of the period allotted to human man whose beginning was in our Garden, the Eternal Spirit must again look upon this age through the blood, represented here by these innocent animals, thus completing man’s 7000 year cycle. Notice, Beloved, as long as there was a man who was born upon the earth, God had to look at him through the blood!The purpose of the millennium is entirely different from any age we have ever had, seeing it deals primarily with the redemption of the earth, restoring it back into a perfect divine relationship with almighty God. As Ezekiel 43:27 states, On the eighth day what they were offering would be accepted. This eighth day represents the Eternal Age which the Eternal Spirit will receive all of His creation of earth back unto Himself after it has had seven dispensational days of cleansing. Think of it beloved, on the eighth day for the first time since man sinned in the garden, will God be able to look upon this world without seeing it through a blood sacrifice.
Oh! Can we fathom the holiness of our God! Man sinned in the garden and before the Eternal Spirit could receive this earth, which He Himself created, back unto Himself it required blood being shed to cover that 7000 years and cleanse it enough to scrub and wash away every trace of sin that began with His first couple coming into the Garden. Now at the beginning of the eighth day God can look upon His creation without seeing it through the BLOOD!