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Feb 10, 2011

Ezekiel dates all of his prophecies according to the year of Johoiachin's captivity. The prophecies are not necessarily in chronological order. For example,

Ez. 20:1 is dated the 7th year.
Ez. 24:1 is dated the 9th year.
Ez. 26:1 is dated the 11th year.
Ez. 29:1 is dated the 10th year. (out of order)
Ez. 32:1 is dated the 12th year.

The prophecies are in logical order, but not necessarily chronological.

We know from history that Jehoiachin's first year of captivity was what we call 597 B.C. The Babylonian government replaced him with Zedekiah, the last king in Jerusalem before the city was destroyed 11 years later in 586 B.C.

Jehoiachin's captivity in 597 B.C. was precisely 414 years after Saul consulted the witch of Endor, for we know that Saul died the next day fighting the Philistines.

In Ezekiel 1:1 and 2 we see that the 5th year of Jehoiachin's captivity was also the 30th year of their Jubilee cycle. And so twenty years later would have been a Year of Jubilee, if they had actually been keeping Jubilee years. In Ezekiel 40:1 we read the beginning of the great prophecy of the Rebuilt Temple. It is dated "the 25th year of our captivity," which was the Jubilee Year.

In other words, if the 5th year of captivity was the 30th of the Jubilee cycle, then the 25th year of captivity would be the 50th year of the Jubilee cycle.

This is even more significant when we see that this revelation in Ezekiel 40:1 occurred on the 10th day of "the beginning of the year" (i.e., the 7th month). In other words, it occurred on day that the priest was supposed to blow the trumpet for the Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-10). Because a trumpet often signifies a message of revelation, to blow the trumpet of the Jubilee was a very specific message of proclaiming liberty to the slaves who had been put into bondage as the result of sin.

In Ezekiel's day, the revelation of Ezekiel 40-48 was a message of Jubilee. The Jubilee trumpet signalled that everyone in bondage or captivity to sin was to return to his God-given inheritance. For this reason, the prophecy of Ezekiel's Restored Temple is not simply describing a physical temple that was to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Rather, it was a picture of the Jubilee, restoration from sin, and the rebuilding of the True Temple that is made of living stones.

Much Bible teaching today assumes that Ezekiel's Temple prophesies of a physical structure that will be built in Jerusalem in the end times. However, such a fulfillment runs aground on the prophecies of both Ezekiel and Jeremiah. Jeremiah 7:11-14 says that the first temple had become "a den of robbers" and that God intended to forsake the place as Shiloh.

When God moves on, He does not turn back, but does something new. That is what He did with Shiloh, the first place where He put His name. When the glory departed from Shiloh, it never returned to that location. So also with Jerusalem. In Jer. 19:10, 11, God tells us that the fate of Jerusalem was utter destruction and that it would never be repaired or rebuilt again. In Jer. 23:39 and 40, God tells us,

(39) Therefore, behold, I shall surely forget you and cast you away from My presence, along with the city which I gave you and your fathers. (40) And I will put an everlasting reproach on you and an everlasting humiliation which will not be forgotten.

Jer. 26:6 confirms this, saying,

(6) Then I will make this house like Shiloh, and this city I will make a curse to all the nations of the earth.

This is the opposite of the Abrahamic calling, which was to be a BLESSING to all the nations. This prophecy offended the Jews of his day, and so they wanted to execute him for treason and blasphemy.

(11) Then the priests and the prophets spoke to the officials and to all the people, saying, "A death sentence for this man! For he has prophesied against this city as you have heard in your hearing."

It is interesting that even the prophets of the day disagreed with Jeremiah. Scripture does not call them FALSE prophets, but only "prophets" who were obviously incorrect in their understanding of God's will and plan in regard to the fate of Jerusalem. (We have the same problem today.)

The curse of God upon Jerusalem brought the Cursed Time factor (414) into the situation. That is a number which I explained more fully in Secrets of Time. Hence, counting 6 x 414 years from the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., we come to the year 1897 (reckoned inclusively). This was the year of the First Zionist Congress held in Basel, Switzerland. It launched modern Zionism as a carnal, political movement.

This movement began the lengthy process of reviving the cursed "fig tree" of Matt. 21:19, as Jesus prophesied in Matt. 24:32. This cursed "fig tree" (nation) was to come back to life in the future so that it could bear more LEAVES (but no fruit). The prophecy came to pass in 1948, and the leaves are abundant. But its rejection of Jesus Christ has merely perpetuated the same problem from Jesus' day. The problem is that fig leaves have been the problem since Adam, for they are a false covering for sin, or self-justification. That is all that the Israeli state is capable of producing.

Likewise, Jesus Christ will never live in a physical temple in Jerusalem, whether or not one is built there. That location itself has been cursed, and God forsook it as Shiloh. Ezekiel 11:23 says that the glory of God departed and moved to the Mount of Olives, where it finally ascended to heaven in the Person of Jesus Christ in Acts 1:9-12.

The glory of God descended again ten days later on the day of Pentecost, where Christ began to inhabit new temples made of those living stones. We are now the temple where God has chosen to put His name (Rev. 22:4). We are the New Jerusalem, not the old. Remember that "Jerusalem" is always written in the plural, Yerushalayim. The Old Jerusalem is Hagar; the New Jerusalem is Sarah. We are the children of promise, if the New Jerusalem is our "mother."

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Dr. Stephen Jones

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