Monday, October 7, 2013

P1 Ezekiel's vision of the Millennial Kingdom

Ezekiel 40:1-2 "In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was taken, on that same day the hand of the Lord was upon me and He brought me there. In the visions of God He brought me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, and on it to the south there was a structure like a city." 

Defining the millennium 
As we enter into the final section of Ezekiel's prophecy, we begin to see one of the most detailed and unusual prophecies in all of scripture - the prophecy of what will be the millennial temple. What is the millennium and to what temple are we referring? The millennium refers to the 1,000 year period following Christ's return wherein He will rule and reign for 1,000 years.1  The temple in Ezekiel's vision will be a literal temple in this future time period that will be used by Christ as the site of His throne and the center of worship of Him and the Father and Spirit with Whom He shares in the same Divine glory.

Revelation 20:4 gives us this clear definition - "Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years." 2 

The significance of the future millennial temple in Ezekiel's vision
In Ezekiel 40-48 we see a highly detailed prophecy about a temple that will be built in Jerusalem from whence Christ will reign. Prophecy Scholar Dr. Tim Lahaye explains further: "The Millennial Temple, discussed in detail in Ezekiel 40:5-43:27, is destined to be perhaps the most beautiful and magnificent temple in human history. This will be Israel's final Temple, the focal point of the 1,000 year reign of the Messiah. Since the Millennium will be a time in which Israel will be exalted and Christ will rule the world through a theocracy from Jerusalem, it makes sense that worship of Messiah will revolve around a temple." 

Application to you and me
Now as fascinating as all that may be, what's the point? The point being that God's promises to His people are not only literal and certain, but detailed and centered around Jesus Christ. God's promises to Israel are linked to demonstrating His faithfulness to us as Christians in this present age. When you read 1 Peter 5, the overall thrust of the chapter, and really of the book of 1 Peter is found in 1 Peter 5:12 - Stand firm in God's grace. Here is a question: can you rely on God and His grace? 

Closing Thoughts
Undoubtedly God's promises are sure. Just as sure as Ezekiel's prophecies are to Israel, so are the promises Christ has made to His church. As this current age closes out, we need to be faithful to the end. Thankfully we have the grace of God in which and through which we will be able to do all that God has called us to do.

1. The reason this period of time is called "millennium" is because of its duration, 1,000 years, and the Latin word "millennium" has been used since the early days of the church and is translated "milli" (thousand) and "annum" (years). 

2. Other scriptures, such as 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Isaiah 11 and Zechariah 12-14 gives us clues as to the physical aspects of Christ's coming Kingdom that will begin after the end of this current age in which we live. 

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