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TXT: A future temple in Jersualem?

Question: Why will there be a temple during the millennium? Will there be sacrifices and if so, why?

Answer:

Good question! On the surface, it seems a bit strange that a “physical temple” would exist in the millenium since God, the Son, will be “physically present” with us.  And, given that Christ personally fullfilled the Old Testament law and made  an eternally sufficient atonement for sin on our behalf, why continue the sacrificial system in the age to come?

Biblical theologians have grappled with this  interesting question over the centuries.  But all are left with the same dilemma… Scripture seems to indicate that, in fact, there will be a renewed physical temple and a system for worship practiced in the millennial kingdom!

Scripture indicates that the millennium will be a time of special ministry by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 32:15)  to not only the  church-age saints, but also Israel.  In fact, Scripture indicates worship will be at the center of millennial life! (Joel 2)  A large portion of the activities during the millennium are direct fulfillments of God’s promises to Israel, and those promises often center upon the complete and unfettered worship of  the  God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

So it stands to reason that God’s covenant relationship with Israel would include specific promises being fulfilled during this time. For example, Ezekiel 40-48  declares that a magnificent temple will be constructed and a system of  priestly and memorial sacrifices will be set up during this time.   It seems clear that the sacrifices are not for the removal of sin, as they were in the OT system, but rather now serve as a unique means of  memorial worship to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords for His “once for all” atoning sacrifice for His people!

While a complete answer to the question of the temple and sacrificial system remains somewhat confusing, the main point is clear:

In keeping with God’s promises to Israel, there will be an ordered system of worship once again in a renewed temple in Jerusalem.

In the  final verse of the 48th chapter of Ezekiel, a glorious purpose for the  renewing of Jerusalem and  construction of the magnificent millennial temple is given;

‘The city shall be 18,000 cubits round about; and the name of the city form that day shall be,  ‘The Lord is there’ “(Ezek 48:35)

For a fuller discussion on this and other related topics regarding the millennium, I recommend the following article:

‘The Glorious Restoration of Israel in the Millennium”  by Dr.John Walvoord
this article can be accessed at bible.org

Author: Peter Spiers

Peter is an executive with CFA, a national healthcare consulting firm, and invests all his off-work time into his church and his family. He is faithful to invest his life into men and loves to see people transformed by God’s Word.

4 Comments

  1. Thanks so much, Peter. I appreciate your time and recommendation. Blessings to you.

  2. Peter,
    off topic of the temple but I am getting ready to start a reading of Job again, since it has been a while and I was wondering.

    When Job was requesting for a mediator, did God ever allude to a coming Savior or Messiah?

    Thanks,
    Dave

  3. Dave,

    Not directly in that context..however Job does affirm his conviction in 19:23-29 that “his redeemer lives” and that “He will stand on the earth” and that after he died physically “he would see God”

    This is a clear reference to the “Messiah” or “Redeemer”…in one of the oldest books of the bible(some say the oldest)…so this is an early reference to the gospel and Jesus Christ as the Savior of those who place faith in God as their redeemer…

    good question bro!

    Peter

  4. A few problems with this interpretation:

    – several times in Ezekiel 40-48 sin offerings are mentioned
    – some of the imagery also seems to directly correlate with Revelation 21-22.
    – Also, the only mention of a temple in the NT is the church
    – If the reconstituted temple in the millenium is such a centerpiece, why not mention it in the NT?