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Ezekiel's Temple and the True Temple

Oct 05, 2009

Beginning with Ezekiel 40, the prophet speaks of a "rebuilt" Temple. He describes it in Old Testament terms, which should be interpreted in a New Testament manner, as John did in Revelation 21. Strangely enough, after John has gone through a lengthy description of the New Jerusalem, he concludes in Rev. 21:22,

"And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple."

In other words, the so-called "rebuilt" temple in the book of Ezekiel is not to be interpreted literally in physical terms. If it had been built prior to the cross, then it would indeed have been built to those physical specifications. But this was not to be. In fact, when the people of Judah returned from Babylon, they did build the Second Temple at the urging of the prophets, but it was nowhere near the dimensions of the temple that Ezekiel saw.

Timing of Ezekiel's Revelation

Ezekiel received this Temple revelation on the 17th Jubilee from Israel's Jordan crossing. Ezekiel 40:1 gives us the date:

"In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was smitten, on that same day the hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me there."

From the start of his book, Ezekiel dates his prophecies from the captivity of Jehoiachin. The second verse of the book is dated "in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity," and this is equated to "the thirtieth year" (vs. 1). It is, in fact, the 30th year of that current Jubilee cycle, dating from their Jordan crossing.

Israel had crossed the Jordan into Canaan under Joshua 2448 years after Adam's creation, and when they entered the land, their Jubilee calendar began, dividing up time by seven days, seven years, and seven sevens of years (Jubilee cycles). Eighteen Jubilees later brings us to the year 3272-3273, which translates to 623-622 B.C. on our current calendar.

So the 30th year of the 19th Jubilee cycle brings us to 593-592 B.C., and this is said to be the 5th year of Jehoiachin's captivity. Jehoiachin was brought to Babylon in 598-597 B.C., along with the vessels of the temple (2 Kings 24:13-15). Putting it all together, this means that the 19th Jubilee year was 574-573 B.C., and it was the 25th year of the captivity (of Jehoiachin). It was also the 14th year from 588, when the Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem.

Hence, we see that Ezekiel's revelation of the "rebuilt" Temple came on the 19th Jubilee of their calendar. In fact, it was not only the Jubilee year, it was the precise day when the trumpet should have been blown to announce the Jubilee year. It was the 10th day of "the beginning of the year" (in September).

The date of a revelation always has something to do with its fulfillment. Ezekiel's revelation, then, has to do with the Jubilee. But the actual Jubilee was never celebrated officially in those days. The people began to observe their sabbath years after the Babylonian captivity, but the Jubilee was left undone throughout the Passover Age from Moses to Christ. In the Pentecostal Age, the Church did not celebrate the Jubilee either--except in 1294, but it was later repealed. It was left to us in the Tabernacles Age to declare the Jubilee, first in 1996 and secondarily on Sept. 28, 2009.

We declared the Jubilee as a group, representing the Overcomers of all ages. In 1996 we did this during the time of partial authority when we were still in the transition from "Saul" to "David." The more recent Jubilee declaration was done after the transition had ended (Nov. 30, 2000).

The Temple that we have helped to build is not a physical temple. It is a Temple greater than that which Solomon built (Hag. 2:9). Solomon only had wood and stone to work with, but this greater Temple is made of "living stones" (1 Pet. 2:5), and it is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets (Eph. 2:20-22).

Because Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone as well (Eph. 2:20), this is why John could say in Rev. 21:22 that there was no other Temple in the New Jerusalem other than "the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb." In this Temple, Jesus Christ and His Body are the building material.

If the Israelis were to build a temple on the old site in Jerusalem (as they are planning), it will not endure. In fact, the moment they performed their first animal sacrifice would mark a new "abomination of desolation," for this would re-establish and confirm their rejection of the blood of the Lamb of God. I often wonder if this might actually happen just before Jerusalem is destroyed according to Isaiah 29:1-6 and Jer. 19:10, 11. Will this be the final provocation that brings down the final judgment upon that city? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, God has built the True Temple and is soon to glorify it with the anointing of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Temple was completed on March 15, 2006, which was the 2,520th anniversary of the Second Temple in the days of Haggai. The vessels (callings) of the Temple had also been constructed in the Spirit in the 3-1/2 years to Sept. 15, 2009. These vessels were cleansed from July 15 to Sept. 18, bringing us to the New Year, Rosh Hoshana.

Joseph was then raised from the dead, as it were, followed by the Jubilee Declaration on Sept. 28. We now enter the season of the Feast of Tabernacles, where I expect to see more signs. The signs indicate activity that is occurring in the Spirit (second heavens). We do not know yet the time cycle by which it will emerge as actual earthly events. But once the event has occurred in the second heavens, it is a "done deal," and it will certainly come to pass shortly.

Measuring the Temple

Ezekiel's temple was measured in reeds and cubits. Ez. 41:8 says that a reed is "six great cubits." There were two types of cubit. The smaller, normal cubit was 6 handbreadths, while the "great cubit" used for the Temple is 7 handbreadths in length. Ezekiel 43:13 says of this "great cubit," that "the cubit is a [regular] cubit plus a hand breadth."

Thus, the reed is 42 handbreadths. It takes 7 regular cubits to make a reed, but only 6 "great cubits" to make a reed.

The biblical reed and cubit is a way of measuring things according to the standard of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, all things are measured by Him and His righteous standard.

In Rev. 11:1-3 we find that the reed is the prophetic equivalent of 42 MONTHS. In other words, 42 handbreadths of linear measurement equal 42 months of time measurement. Hence, a handbreadth equals one month, and a great cubit is seven months--the time it takes to progress through the feast days given by Moses.

Each feast of Tabernacles, then, is the end of the biblical cubit of time. Reeds and cubits are a revelation of Jesus Christ and the divine plan taking us through Justification (Passover), Sanctification (Pentecost), and Glorification (Tabernacles). In essence, when we come to the maturity of the stature of Christ (Eph. 4:13), we will all be one cubit tall--spiritually speaking, of course.

The rest of mankind will be shorter, for they are measured by the smaller cubit that is a handbreadth smaller than the great cubit of the Sanctuary. Six handbreadths are the measure of a man, but seven is the measure of divine perfection, for it takes seven months to come to the feast of Tabernacles.

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Category: Teachings

Dr. Stephen Jones

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