Millennial Kingdom – Israel
As revealed in MILLENNIAL KINGDOM – PURPOSE. One of the main reasons for the Millennium age is for the fulfillment of the covenants and promises God made to Israel.
The psalmist summarized and emphasized the eternality of God’s covenant promise to Israel regarding the land.
“He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, “To you, I will give the land of Canaan as your portion for an inheritance.” Psalm 105:7-11
The Hebrews had to obey God’s voice and meet their obligations in order to obtain the blessings of the Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 19:5). This is not the case with the Promised Land Covenant. It is unconditional.
The Bible reveals God will regather the Jews from all the Nations and on Jesus’ return, with Him ruling and reigning, Israel will realise her destiny as head of the Nations. The regathering began in 1948 when Israel was miraculously re-established as a nation. This was the first major prophesied “end-times” sign.
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on this earth, He recited Isaiah 61:1-2 in the synagogue:
“He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Isaiah 61:1-2
But note what He did then. “And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. “And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:20-21
Jesus did not read the rest of Isaiah’s prophecy because it refers to His second coming. Look at the incredible amount of detail it provides about what will happen at Jesus second coming to earth and during His Millennial reign.
“And the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; but you shall be called the priests of the Lord; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory, you shall boast. Instead of your shame, there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonour, they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore, in their land, they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy. For I the Lord love justice, hate, robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their offspring shall be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are an offspring the Lord has blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:2-11
To fulfill this prophecy by Isaiah, and Ezekiel’s prophecy below, as well as the many other O.T. and N.T prophecies on Jesus’ second coming, the Millennium Kingdom is a necessary transition before the new heaven and new earth. God tells us He will make Israel one nation and He will make a new covenant with them. He will ensure they never backslide again. The saved and the unsaved alike will behold Jesus’ rightful place as the divine sovereign of the universe.
“Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned and will cleanse them, and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 37:21-23
The only prayer Jesus taught us to pray includes “Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is done in heaven” this prayer needs an answer, and it will be answered by Jesus’ Millennial reign on this earth.
The Branch (Israel) of the Lord Glorified
“In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honour of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.” Isaiah 4:2-4
New Covenant of Peace
“I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” Ezekiel 37:26-28
“This is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.” Isaiah 59:20-21
Israelites have Transformed Hearts and Minds but still Mortal
“And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.” Deuteronomy 30:6
“I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Jeremiah 31:33
“And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.“ Hosea 2:18-20
“Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. Thus, says the Lord of hosts: If it is marvellous in the sight of the remnant of these people in those days, should it also be marvellous in my sight, declares the Lord of hosts?” Zechariah 8:4-6
The young and the old spoken of here are the mortals that live around the base of the New Jerusalem in its greater metropolitan area, the Holy Allotment.
God Will Favour His Nation Israel
“Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord; I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it. “Thus, says the Lord God: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock. Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 36:36-38
This can only be the Millennial Kingdom, those that inhabit the New Heaven and New Earth do not marry or have children.
“You shall be called the priests of the Lord; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory, you shall boast. Instead of your shame, there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonour, they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore, in their land, they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.” Isaiah 61:6-7
The Israelites will be able to enjoy the fruits of their own labour and live life the way God intended. God will answer prayers before they’re even finished! Miracles will abound. Edenic conditions are evident in Israel. Animals shall not hurt or destroy in my holy mountain.
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.” Isaiah 35:5-6
“I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity, for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord, and their descendants with them. Before they call, I will answer; while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,” says the Lord.“ Isaiah 65:18-25
“And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground.” Hosea 2:18
The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing... For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water;” Isaiah 35:1-2, 6-7
Israel in the Millennium: The Centre of the World
The geomorphology of Israel and the entire earth will be changed during the time God pours out His wrath upon the earth particularly during the Bowl judgements, as these two Scriptures outline:
“Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations… and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.” Zechariah 14:4
“The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nation’s fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found.“ Revelation 16:19-20
The millennial Jerusalem sits on the highest plateau and has two rivers flowing out of its east and west sides. The mountain’s great height emphasizes Jerusalem as the centre of world authority, for all the nations will flow to it. A totally new construct. The millennial Jerusalem is nine times larger than the current city. All the land of Israel round about Jerusalem, which was encompassed with mountains, but now these mountains shall become a plain.
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people.” Psalms 125:2
“The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain aloft on its site from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses.” Zechariah 14:10
“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills, and all the nations shall flow to it.” Isaiah 2:2 & Micah 4:1
“Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.” Isaiah 4:3-6
“And in that day, it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; in both summer and winter, it shall occur. And the Lord shall be King over all the earth.” Zechariah 14:8-9
“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.” Psalms 22:27
“Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.” Zechariah 8:21-22
Israel is like the Garden of Eden: The land across the planet will produce food in a way that that none on earth have experienced since Adam and Eve’s exit from paradise but Israel will enjoy the greatest level of production. It will be restored to be like the Garden of Eden.
The highest mountain on earth, Mt. Zion will not be covered with snow. Rather, it will be a place where the most opulent of plant life will flourish.
The Majestic Tree – “On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the LORD.”. Ezekiel 17:22–23
“So, they will say, ‘This land (Israel) that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate.” Ezekiel 36:35-36
“I will make the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season… Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord,.. I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore. Thus, they shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people, says the Lord God.” Ezekiel 34:26-30
“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing.” Isaiah 25:1-2
The crocus is among the first types of flowers to bloom in the spring, at times even arising out of the snow.
An abundance of wine in the Millennium is to be expected, for Jesus told his disciples that he would drink from the fruit of the vine with them in the coming kingdom (Matthew 26:29).
HIGHWAY OF HOLINESS
The highway connects Israel with Egypt and Assyria. Isaiah 19:23–24. This astounding highway is part of God’s plan in making Egypt his people and Assyria the work of his hands. Isaiah 19:25
“A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness… but the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing,” Isaiah 35:8,10
EVIDENCE OF MAN’S PAST REBELLION
“But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt.” Ezekiel 47:11
The remaining salted areas are emblematic of the transitional nature of the Millennium. The saltiness of the Dead Sea can rightly be understood to symbolize death. Even with Jesus reigning from David’s throne there will still be death, though it be diminished.
Edom in Southern Jordan: The most comprehensive description of Edom’s future is found in Isaiah 34:8-10.
“For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the cause of Zion. And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch, and her soil into sulfur; her land shall become burning pitch. Night and day it shall not be quenched; its smoke shall go up forever. From generation to generation, it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it forever and ever.” Isaiah 34:8-10
In Jeremiah it is compared to Sodom and Gomorrah. Its devastation is the result of God avenging Israel. “Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever.” Obadiah 1:10
The tribe of Levi is given a parcel of land. Any previous division of the land did not allocate land to the tribe of the priests. They took their residence in the land of the other 12 tribes. In the Millennium, 13 tribes will inherit a parcel of land. The portion given to the tribe of Levi is called a holy section. It will be a parcel 50 miles by 50 miles and will be situated between the land inheritance given to Judah and Benjamin. Both the city of Jerusalem and the Temple will be in this section of land, called the “sacred district” As described in Ezekiel 45, the land around the Temple is divided into three large parcels of land – The Sanctuary, open space around it and homes for the Levite priests.
King David shall own the land on both sides of the holy district and the property of the city.
Jerusalem will be the Capital of the World on the Highest Summit
JERUSALEM – A NEW CITY, A NEW NAME – THE LORD IS THERE
“The city will be surrounded by open country and for the housing of all the tribes of Israel… and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.” Ezekiel 48:15–19,35
She is to have twelve gates, three on each side, each named after a tribe of Israel (Ezekiel 48:30–34). “Your gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day or night, that men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles, and their kings in procession.” Isaiah 60:11
The temple is located outside the city, in the northern section of the sacred land given to the priests and it alone is bigger than the current city of Jerusalem. The millennial Jerusalem sits on the highest plateau and has two rivers flowing out of its east and west sides.
This picture does not show the river flowing from the Temple east into the Jordan and west into the Mediterranean Sea.
Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy.” Isaiah 4:5
Jesus maintains a memorial to the Battle of Armageddon which was the climax at the end of the previous age and His return to earth with the glorified Saints.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when the city shall be rebuilt for the Lord from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the Lord. It shall not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever.” Jeremiah 31:38-40
A Magnificent New Temple
We find incredible detail (8 chapters) of the new temple in Ezekiel 40-48. The numerous details provided on Ezekiel’s temple require that they be taken seriously. The exact measurements and detail by detail instruction are nothing like portions of Scripture that are to be understood symbolically. The narrative is reminiscent of that provided for the Tabernacle (Exodus 25–30), and Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 6–8), actual physical structures. No respecter of Scripture would deny that the Shekinah departed an actual temple (Ezekiel 10:18–19; 11:22–23). We should pay the same amount of respect and believe that its return is also to a physical temple (Ezekiel.43:1–5). Ezekiel was told by the angel: “look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel.” Ezekiel 40:4
The whole area around Zion will reflect the glory of the LORD, and nations will stream to Jerusalem to worship Jesus in this magnificent temple.
The temple is located outside the city, in the northern section of the sacred land given to the priests and it alone is bigger than the current city of Jerusalem. The dimensions are given in “reeds” (Ezekiel 42). Five hundred reeds are equal to 5250 feet, about one mile. So, the temple proper will be about one mile square. The outer wall’s purpose is to divide the holy within from the common without. The temple multiplex is breath-taking in her artistry and symmetry.
“The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place, I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’” Haggai 2:9
The Gentiles will bring the wealth of their nations, filling the temple (Haggai. 2:7). They will be brought to the holy mountain to enjoy equal access to the sanctuary and find joy within. At that time, the temple will be called a house of prayer for all peoples (Isaiah 56:7).
As further evidence for these Scriptures referring to a future Temple, foreigners will be serving in this temple, even offering sacrifices.
“And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to Him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant – these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.” Isaiah 56:6-8
WATER FLOWING FROM THE TEMPLE
“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side... Again, he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. And he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?… when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh. And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish... And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fails, but they will bear fresh fruit every month because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” Ezekiel 7:1-2, 5-6, 8-9, 12
“Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea.” Ezekiel 47:10. At the present time, the Dead Sea is dead and as you can see from these pictures there is no water at Eneglaim
This river is a precursor to the River of Life on the New Earth after the White Throne Judgement. Note the differences between Jerusalem in the Millennium and Jerusalem in the New Earth, God the Father and Jesus the Son are there, there is no temple, no sun or moon, no night and day.
“And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there… Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 21:22-27, 22:1-5
This is the sixth “Dwelling Place” of God (Fourth Temple). The Seventh and final dwelling place is the ultimate purpose of God in creating mankind, and that is for us to be His temple. This temple is the spiritually mature Bride of Christ or the New Jerusalem, where God’s Spirit can fully dwell in man as He dwelt in our protégé, Jesus.
Millennial Temple Sacrifices
The idea of the Davidic Covenant being broken is presented as an absurdity. And the sacrifices are a direct result of the Davidic Covenant being fulfilled.
“Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah: in those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David, a Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth… “For thus says the Lord: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; nor shall the priests, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me, to kindle grain offerings, and to sacrifice continually.” Jeremiah 33:14-18
In the Millennium sinners still need to be given a daily reminder that
- The wages of SIN is DEATH.
- Jesus’ sacrificial death on The Cross provides the only solution to the DEATH problem.
God set up the sacrificial system for that purpose and it will continue in the Millennium but with significant differences.
Jesus sits on His throne in the Temple replacing the Ark of the Covenant. He alone is the answer to the SIN problem. He alone is Saviour but also must be Lord of all.
The Feast Days were pointers to our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross so will be maintained but two eliminated and some are modified.
For the saints who lived before Messiah, it was their faith that saved them, the animal sacrifices were a “shadow of good things to come” pointing forward to the blood of Messiah (Jesus) that would be shed on their behalf.
During an age of peace, the sacrifices in the Millennial Temple will be a needed reminder for mortals of the high price that was paid for their redemption. The animal sacrifices will point backward to the blood Jesus shed on The Cross for the sins of mankind. It has always been about Jesus, and not animal sacrifices.
THE FIRST PURPOSE: A Memorial of Jesus sacrifice on The Cross
The sacrifices are performed as a memorial of Jesus’ death on the cross just as we celebrate communion as a memorial of Jesus’ sacrifice.
American theologian John Whitcomb explains it well: even in the age of grace, God deems it necessary for Christians to be reminded of the awful price that Jesus paid, through the symbolism of the bread and the cup. Drinking of this “cup of blessing” (1 Cor. 10:16) does not involve a re-offering of the blood of Christ but serves as a powerful “remembrance” of Christ and a powerful proclaiming of “the Lord’s death till he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:25–26).
Horatius Bonar, the 19th-century Scottish minister, and hymn writer: The temple, the worship, the rites, the sacrifices, have all their centre in the Lamb that was slain. To Him, they point, and to Him, they speak. Why should they not be allowed to do so in the millennial age, if such be the purpose of the Father? They are commemorative, not typical. They are retrospective then, not prospective, as of old. And how needful will retrospection be then, especially to Israel? How needful, when dwelling in the blaze of a triumphant Messiah’s glory, to have ever before them some memorial of the cross, some palpable record of the humbled Jesus, some visible exposition of his sin-bearing work, in virtue of which they have been forgiven, and saved, and loved, to which they owe all their blessedness and honour, and by means of which, God is teaching them the way in which the exceeding riches of His grace can flow down to them in righteousness. And if God should have yet a wider circle of truth to open up to us out of His word concerning His Son, why should he not construct a new apparatus for the illustration of that truth?
THE SECOND PURPOSE: A Hedge against Defilement
They will appease God’s wrath for a time and keep his home pure in the midst of a still sinful world. The most operative passage on this topic is Ezekiel 45:18–20. Jesus will not allow sin to go unchecked in the same realm where his holiness will reside. Put simply, the King will not tolerate sin in the kingdom. And yet, there will be sinners living throughout the Millennium.
On the first day of the year, the blood of a perfect bull must be used to cleanse the temple (vv. 18–19). This suggests that over the previous year, the sin from outside will begin to dirty the temple. The same ritual is repeated six days later to atone for those sins committed out of ignorance or by accident (v. 20). Just as the offering of animals will continue to point to the Messiah, so too will they continue to provide atonement in the form of ritual cleansing.
Blood from a young bull is to be put on the altar’s horns, on its corners, and on the border around it (Vv. 19-20). By putting the blood on the altar in this way it is to make atonement for it (v. 20). It just means that the LORD can accept it. As long as the sacrifices are maintained the LORD God will accept the people (v. 27). This is useful in understanding the millennial sacrifices because they result in the LORD simply accepting certain people in a limited manner and for a limited time. It does not in any way teach that they have now gained the same sort of propitiation as one would through the blood of the Messiah.
ALTAR BEFORE INNER SANCTUARY
The altar sits in the inner court before the temple proper (Ezek 40:47). The base is one and one-half feet high. It is surrounded by a one and one-half foot wide trench or gutter, with a nine-inch-high top edge, undoubtedly for draining blood and water (v. 13; cf. 1 Kgs 18:32, 34–35). The base supports three tiers, one on top of another. The first is three feet high and twenty-four feet square (v. 14). The second is six feet high and twenty-one feet square (vv. 14, 17). This tier also has a gutter with a nine-inch top edge (vv. 14, 17). The top tier is the hearthstone, measuring six feet high and eighteen feet square. Four horns will extend from the top of its corners (vv. 15–16). Eastward facing steps ascend the altar (v. 17). This creates the first of many contrasts with the Mosaic sacrificial system.
In the Mosaic system, no goats were offered, while in the Millennial system a goat is offered on each of the seven days (Ezekiel 43:25).
The Mosaic called for applying blood on the horns of the altar (Exodus 29:12), while Ezekiel’s instruction goes further with the blood also being applied to the corners and on the border around it (Ezekiel 43:20). In the Mosaic, only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies (Hebrews 9:7). In Ezekiel’s system, all priests are permitted to enter in. In the Mosaic, only a Levite could be a priest, while Isaiah prophecies a time when Gentiles will occupy the office (Isaiah 66:18–21).
THE THRONE OF THE LORD REPLACES THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
The Ark of the Covenant played a critical role in the Mosaic System, while it will not be missed or even remembered in the Millennium.
“They will say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore. “At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem.” Jeremiah 3:16-17
The Millennial sacrifices will look back to the death of the Messiah, just as the Mosaic sacrifices looked forward. The feasts and Sabbaths will be observed in the Millennium (e.g., Ezek. 44:24; Zech. 14:16), serving as reflections of the Messiah’s great works.
The five different offerings, four of them with blood-shedding, will serve as a constant reminder to millennial Jews (who will not yet be glorified) that death is God’s judgement of sin but also of the extent of God’s love to offer Jesus (Immanuel) as a complete sacrifice to make their salvation possible.
The book of Zechariah examines several facets of the millennial sacrifices.
“In that day “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 14:20–21
God eliminates Pentecost and 10th Tishri (Jewish Day of Atonement).
God deprives Passover of lamb and household meal. In the Mosaic Passover, ordinances were performed by the male head of house (Exodus 12:3), while Ezekiel mandates that the prince (David) oversees the feast for the nation. These differences highlight the fact that Ezekiel understood it was a new system and not a return to the Mosaic. Passover’s observance during the Millennium is quite significant and helpful in understanding these future animal sacrifices. Passover was a shadow of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and the propitiation effected by His blood. Jesus was the true Passover lamb (1 Cor 5:7; cf. John 1:29; 1 Pet 1:19).
“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall celebrate the Feast of the Passover, and for seven days unleavened bread shall be eaten. On that day the prince shall provide for himself and all the people of the land a young bull for a sin offering. Ezekiel 45:21-22
God retains the feast of 15th Tishri (Feast of Tabernacles) (Ezekiel 45:18-25). This joyous harvest festival has obvious symbolism for the ingathering of the nations (John 4:35-38, Revelation 7:9-10). Note there are dire consequences for nations that do not come up to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
The Lord Jesus will dwell or tabernacle among his people (e.g., Isaiah 24:21–23; Zechariah 14:9; Revelation 20:4–6), something that the feast has always been a shadow of.
“Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (Feast of Booths). And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them… they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” Zechariah 14;16-17
Christians from many nations have already been going up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles knowing it will be a requirement after Jesus returns to rule and reign.
Feast of Tabernacles 2018
Government of Israel
GOD’S LAW ENFORCED IN ALL NATIONS
“For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plough shares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against other nation,” Isaiah 2:3-4
“For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste.” Isaiah 60:12
Jesus (The Branch) will build the temple of the LORD and rule from His throne in the inner court of the Temple. Jesus will enjoy both the offices of king and priest, further cementing that the Messiah will fulfill the prophet’s words.
“And being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 5:10
Scripture infers Jesus appoints the resurrected King David as His prince over Israel. One responsibility is to oversee the observance of the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles.
“It shall be the prince’s duty to furnish the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the new moons, and the Sabbaths, all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel: he shall provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings, to make atonement on behalf of the house of Israel.” Ezekiel 45:17
“I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. Behold, I made him a witness to the people, a leader, and commander for the people.” Isaiah 55:3
“I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them — My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.” Ezekiel 34:23-24
“This gate (the outer gate of the sanctuary), which faces east shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore, it shall remain shut. Only the prince may sit in it to eat bread before the Lord. He shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate and shall go out by the same way.” Ezekiel 44:1-2
“The prince shall own the land on both sides of the holy district and the property of the city… on the west and on the east, corresponding in length to one of the tribal portions, and extending from the western to the eastern boundary of the land. It is to be his property in Israel.” Ezekiel 45:7
JESUS TWELVE DISCIPLES
Each of the twelve disciples will judge one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
“Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28
“You are those who have stayed with Me in My trials, and I assign to you, as My Father assigned to Me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Luke 22:28-30
ZADOKITES AND LEVITES
“The chamber that faces north is for the priests who have charge of the altar. These are the sons of Zadok, who alone among the sons of Levi may come near to the Lord to minister to Him.” Ezekiel 40:46
“The Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the people of Israel went astray from me, shall come near to me to minister to me. And they shall stand before me to offer me the fat and the blood, declares the Lord God. They shall enter my sanctuary, and they shall approach my table, to minister to me, and they shall keep my charge.” Ezekiel 44:15-16
“In a dispute, they shall act as judges, and they shall judge it according to my judgments. They shall keep my laws and my statutes in all my appointed feasts, and they shall keep my Sabbaths holy.” Ezekiel 44:24
LEVITES are demoted from being priests and become the temple’s caretakers (Ezekiel 44:11, 14). The consequence of seeking idols instead of God (v. 10). The Levites bear the consequences of their sin in the Millennium. How one lives his or her life now results in very real repercussions in the coming kingdom
“They shall not come near Me to minister to Me as a priest, nor come near any of My holy things, nor into the Most Holy Place.” Ezekiel 12–13
“I am about to shake the heavens and the earth and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, On that day, declares the LORD of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the LORD, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the LORD of hosts.” Haggai 2:22-23
Zerubbabel being made a signet ring means that he will represent a dignitary in much the same way that a flag or standard-bearer does. Zerubbabel led the first group of Israelites back from the Babylonian captivity (Ezra 2:1–2), constructed the second temple (Ezra 5:2), and is in the direct line of ancestry to Jesus, possibly serving as a common link to both Joseph (Matt 1:12) and Mary (Luke 3:27). As a reward for his service, the LORD will bestow a special honour upon Zerubbabel.
RESTORED JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES
The offices of judge and counsellor will be reinstituted.
“I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counsellors as at the beginning. Afterward, you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” Isaiah 1:26
“In a dispute, they (Zadok priests) shall act as judges, and they shall judge it according to my judgments. They shall keep my laws and my statutes in all my appointed feasts, and they shall keep my Sabbaths holy.” Ezekiel 44:24
“I will also make your officers peace and your magistrates’ righteousness.” Isaiah 60:17
The Saints will be out and about, ruling and reigning the nations with Christ, in a world that still has mortals. What roles they will have in Israel is not given.
The office/position each Saint will be allocated in the Millennium will be based on the reward one receives from our Lord for service rendered whilst on earth. Perhaps you will get to minister in the same nation in which you ministered and served before the Rapture.
“And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great,” Revelation 11:18
Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High, their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.” Daniel 7:27
Jesus and the Saints rule the nations with a rod of iron.
“The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” Revelation 2:27
“Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel. Now, therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.” Psalm 2:8-11
“For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish, and those nations shall be utterly ruined.” Isaiah 60:12
Angels are now subject to the Saints so in the Millennium Jesus will give some Saints the role of directing the Angels activities on the earth.
” Even Jesus was made lower than the angels when He came to earth to become a man. Hebrews 2:6-9. Note the change for believers when we get our resurrected bodies and are like the risen Christ.
“Do you not know that we (resurrected saints) shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?” 1 Corinthians 6:3
Speech of the Israelis
“For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord and serve Him with one accord… “On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against Me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in My holy mountain. Zephaniah3:9-11
The pure speech referred to in Zephaniah does not mean language but to the use of the language, there will be no blasphemy or swearing. From the following Scripture, it is evident that nations shall still speak the language God gave them at Babel or a derivative of it. Though I would think Hebrew will be the second language taught in the schools of all nations.
“Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favour of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’” Zechariah 8:22-23