Ezekiel was used by God to write nine chapters about a temple—Ezekiel 40-48. This awesome structure is to be the headquarters of God’s Work in the Millennium. However, there is probably no vision in the Bible more misunderstood.
This temple is obviously God’s, but we will call it the Ezekiel temple to simplify this subject.
We must remember, Ezekiel was a prophet for the end time. A prophet prophesies. That is his primary job. And so Ezekiel did prophesy—mainly for the end time. God wants us to understand about this physical temple now, or it would not be in the prophetic book of Ezekiel. In fact, as we will see, He gives His very elect the job of proclaiming about this temple.
The Ezekiel temple gives us great insight into God’s heavenly temple, because it is patterned after that temple. Ezekiel’s temple gives us a vivid insight into the heart of new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-2). This vision even reaches into the whole universe beyond new Jerusalem!
The world pictures Ezekiel as a prophet of doom. If people just understood this one vision about Ezekiel’s temple, such shallow thoughts would be dispelled.
For the remaining chapters in this booklet, I would like to study Ezekiel’s temple.
God grabbed Ezekiel’s attention. He also wants to get ours. “In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the Lord was upon me, and brought me thither” (Ezekiel 40:1). If we have faith that there is a God and the Bible is His Word, this verse should sober us. On a particular day, God’s hand was on Ezekiel and he knew it. That hand brought Ezekiel these end-time prophecies. It appears to have been God Himself. This is the origin of the temple subject.
“In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south” (verse 2). Here God begins to unfold this glorious vision of His millennial headquarters.
God always has a work that emanates from His headquarters. God gave beautiful headquarters buildings for the Work under Mr. Armstrong. Mr. Armstrong built a house for God—Ambassador Auditorium. None of the other buildings at Pasadena headquarters remotely compared to that house.
However, God’s Work in the World Tomorrow will be titanic compared to what we do today. The King of kings and Lord of lords and His kings and priests will not rule from a shack!
When God has a powerful work it is always accompanied by impressive buildings at headquarters. Generally a physical house or temple dominates the landscape. Solomon’s temple clearly demonstrates God’s thinking in His building program. Ezekiel’s building in the Millennium will be the first building to eclipse its majestic beauty!
Even though this is a physical temple, it is to be built by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, as Solomon’s was (1 Chronicles 28:11-12). These two temples—Solomon’s and Ezekiel’s—have very similar designs. God always makes certain His temple is built His way.
It is time for us to begin thinking about our future majestic world headquarters building. And since God is the real architect, you can be sure it will be an inspiring sight like this world has never seen before!
Can you imagine how the Ezekiel temple will alter the course of this world? How it will capture the imagination of all earthly inhabitants? The whole world will have this temple as its major focus in the world to come! Such a magnificent structure will help everybody look to where Christ is! People of the world will focus on the Ezekiel temple and their thinking and way of life will be revolutionized! All people will be stirred and inspired to obey God.
The Ezekiel temple will give the whole world a vision of God’s plan on this Earth and for eternity. God will finally become real to all humanity.
No matter what men say, this is the great and only hope of mankind!
“Let Them Measure the Pattern”
God wants us to teach people about His temple—both the physical and the spiritual. “Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them” (Ezekiel 43:10-11). Here Ezekiel discusses people being ashamed. In the Millennium, we know that all people, in general, will be ashamed. But that is not the case before Christ returns.
This is a prophecy stating that we are to learn the truth about the Ezekiel temple and the spiritual sacrifices in this end time. God has now revealed more truth about this temple. His own Church must understand today, in order to teach this glorious vision in tomorrow’s world. This message is in this prophetic book because God wants us to understand it now!
This is written to an end-time Ezekiel work. God says we are to show the physical temple to the nations of Israel. Of course it is also to be proclaimed to God’s Church, or spiritual Israel. God hopes that they “may be ashamed.” This is before the Great Tribulation. We know that Israel will be ashamed during the Great Tribulation. Many prophecies tell us that.
In this verse, God says we are to “let them measure.” If people are willing, they can measure and prove everything about God’s temple—both physically and spiritually. God is not yet ruling with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27). They are to be shown about the temple in detail. But only if they are ashamed. Repentant people will be shown the form and fashion, the goings in and comings out, the laws and ordinances of this temple. God wants them to get the specifics of this inspiring vision of hope.
God will “write it in their hearts” if they repent. It will definitely be written in the hearts of all Israel after the Tribulation, when all of them have repented (Jeremiah 31:33).
Those who respond today will have an office in that temple.
We must write the laws of this physical temple “in their sight.” We must proclaim the “form of the house” to them. Again, this is both physical and spiritual.
Even in the Kingdom of God, we will be proclaiming God’s temple to the world. Though we will be spirit beings, we will manifest ourselves in the flesh because our students will still be human beings (Isaiah 30:20).
This is a prophecy that we will proclaim Ezekiel’s temple to all the world. Of course, it all revolves around the spiritual. Even the physical temple is only a type of God’s temple in heaven.
The true Church today must learn about the law to be applied in God’s house. “This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house” (Ezekiel 43:12). In all of these end-time prophecies,law-breaking is the main problem! It transcends all other problems. Even God’s own people today are stumbling all over His law upon which God’s government is based (Malachi 2:8). Unless they repent, God can’t use them to teach His law to the whole world from the Ezekiel temple! What a tragic loss that will be.
God’s true Church always teaches the truth about God’s government and laws.
A Pattern of the Heavenly Temple
The physical temple is patterned after the heavenly temple. “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount” (Hebrews 8:5). The tabernacle in the wilderness had the same general pattern as Solomon’s temple. Whether tabernacle or temple, if it is God’s, it is patterned after the heavenly temple. “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:23-24).
The heavenly temple is God’s dwelling place. His temple is mentioned several times in the book of Revelation. New Jerusalem, or God’s temple, was Abraham’s ultimate goal. “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). That temple is coming to Earth when God creates the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1-2). All of God’s tabernacles and temples should point us to that godly, royal destiny.
That was the goal Christ discussed with His disciples. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-2). The expression “many mansions” should read “many offices.” God has many offices to fill in His Ezekiel temple. These same king-priests will later have offices in new Jerusalem!
I hope this destiny stirs us far more than anything else in our lives! The reward given to these pillar-priests, the highest-level offices in God’s Kingdom, is magnificent beyond words!
Right now, we are working to fill these very real offices. Unless we clearly grasp this breathtaking vision, we can’t possibly qualify! That is why the Laodiceans—even those who repent in the Great Tribulation—fail to qualify to share Christ’s throne. We must overcome and conquer now (Revelation 3:19-21). We must not take this calling lightly! It is worth any sacrifice—any trial God gives us to endure.
If we have a sharp vision of the Ezekiel temple, we can gain insight into God’s heavenly temple and into our future beyond even the Millennium and Last Great Day! It’s about our future eternity with God. Only this vision will inspire us to qualify for the highest offices God has to give! If we understand Ezekiel’s temple, we can get a much better understanding of these offices.
It is easy to get bogged down in the present-day drudgery of this world. God has an unbelievably exalted goal for all of us. He wants to lift our thoughts out of this world into an illustrious future world that He will rule. Many people think it is just another fantasy. But they are wrong. Soon Christ will be here to bring peace, joy and abundance to this wretched world.
The Holy of Holies
We need to understand the importance of the most holy place in the temple: the holy of holies. It was located in the inner court of the temple. “And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place” (1 Kings 6:16).
The ark of the covenant was kept in the holy of holies. The ark, covered with gold, was a type of God’s throne—a symbol of His presence. It was covered by two olive wood cherubim with outstretched wings. If the Israelites lost the ark, they knew that the glory of Israel had departed from them.
Inside the ark were the two tablets of stone, upon which the Ten Commandments were written. It also contained a pot of manna and Aaron’s rod (Hebrews 9:4-5).
Of course, there is great symbolism in all of this. God’s people must eat manna, or spiritual food, today. They must be ruled by the Ten Commandments, or the law. That means there has to be government based on the law—symbolized by Aaron’s rod. That government must always emanate from God’s throne. The ark of the covenant is all about God ruling man.
God’s Church is His temple today (1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 2:21). God is building His spiritual temple now—this very moment!
Jachin and Boaz
God had two pillars built at the entrance of the temple. The pillars were named Jachin and Boaz (1 Kings 7:21).
These two pillars will also be in Ezekiel’s temple. “The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits; and he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side” (Ezekiel 40:49). In Solomon’s temple these two pillars contained at least 130 tons of brass. That helps us understand why Nebuchadnezzar broke up those pillars to carry them to Babylon (Jeremiah 52:17). The two pillars weighed 266 tons and stood 36 feet high. There was a huge bowl on each pillar which was 10 feet high and as large as a room.
What do these two pillars with the bowls on top symbolize? Christ is referred to as a man with the appearance of brass (Ezekiel 40:3). Christ is pictured as one of these pillars in the Bible. “And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick [lampstand] all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof” (Zechariah 4:1-2). The word candlestick should be translated lampstand. There is a pillar, or lampstand, with a bowl on top. The bowl contained the oil which fueled the lamp. “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (verse 6). We do God’s Work through His Holy Spirit—typed by the bowl of oil—not by human ability.
There are seven lamps, or Church eras. The pillar, or lampstand, here is obviously a type of Jesus Christ. “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle” (Revelation 1:13). Here Christ is pictured as being in the middle of the seven Church eras. He is the pillar and bowl that fuels the seven lamps. “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass [the two pillars in Solomon’s temple contained 130 tons of brass], as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. … The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks [or lamps] which thou sawest are the seven churches” (verses 14-20).
How many people truly see the great power behind God’s true Church? This is where we get the spiritual fuel that makes our lamp burn. This is the pillar that supports God’s Work! This is the government that rules God’s Church! We can’t survive unless we realize where the source of our power really is. This is the earthshaking might behind God’s little remnant today. Revelation 2-3 prophesy about God’s seven Church eras, or lamps. The first three chapters of Revelation portray the same picture we just read about in Zechariah 4.
In Ezekiel’s temple, Christ is clearly one pillar and God the Father is the other. When mankind approaches this temple in the World Tomorrow, they will enter through these two pillars. They will be taught that God the Father and Christ are the pillars and source of power behind the creation of the God Family! The world will know who rules and who does not!
The Source of Our Power
We are to be God as God is God. However, we are created Gods, not Gods without beginning. We are men made of clay—red mud. God created us from dust. That makes the miracle of our spiritual birth even more majestic. We go from dust to being members in God’s own Family! The Father and Christ are the source of that creation.
God’s people must never forget the source of our power. What is a lamp without oil? Worthless. We must learn that lesson now or we can’t rule in God’s Kingdom. That is what God’s own Laodicean people have forgotten. They don’t see the true source of all power. Their supply of oil is very low. Read the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. Fifty percent of them will lose their eternal lives. God’s own Church has received wonderful, but very dangerous, knowledge!
God and Christ are the only light in this world. There is no other source. Zerubbabel learned this in the end time (Zechariah 4:6; Revelation 3:7-8). But the Laodiceans have rejected the office of this end-time servant of God.
We Philadelphians must learn to submit to God’s government—His Holy Spirit—the way this end-time Zerubbabel did. Mr. Armstrong was a type of Zerubbabel. All of the Laodicean groups teach a government of man—not God’s government, which Mr. Armstrong taught. The great work done through Mr. Armstrong did not happen by accident! It was done through the power of God’s Holy Spirit!
God help those Laodiceans who fail to see that all-powerful miracle! The man is nothing. But what God did through that man is truly incredible!
How brightly God’s lamp burned in His Work. But the “blind” Laodiceans can’t see God’s lamp. That is why they are lukewarm.
Zerubbabel built God’s temple. He knew how to build for God. He is ready to teach the whole world. The Laodiceans are not.
The Philadelphians are going to be pillars. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Revelation 3:12). That means they have learned to look to the God Family and become like them. That means we shall be headquarters pillars forever—we will “go no more out”! Tiny pillars compared to God, but pillars nevertheless. We get to be called pillars forever like God! What a reward for being loyal!
The Anchor Bible refers to the two witnesses as sons of oil (Zechariah 4:3; Revelation 11:3). That is what they are. They have learned to submit to God’s government through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. After the message to each Church era of Revelation 2-3, God says, “let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.” That is the oil that makes the lamp burn brightly. God help the person who follows a man (Jeremiah 17:5) rather than the Holy Spirit.
The interior of God’s temple was and will be overlaid with pure gold. “So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold” (1 Kings 6:21). The altar in God’s temple will also be covered with gold. This altar is located in the inner court. Everything in the temple revolves around God’s altar, just as the Church today revolves around God’s ministry—symbolized by the altar.
God’s very elect today are being trained for a spectacular job in the Ezekiel temple. These saints are compared to pure gold in God’s present and future service. They will be on the highest king-priest level in the Millennium and throughout eternity. God wants us to deeply understand how highly He values our unswerving loyalty!
Let’s look at another prophecy about God’s Church splitting in the end time. “How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street” (Lamentations 4:1). Lamentations was written by the Prophet Jeremiah. The focus of the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations is on the end time—today. Notice the gold has “become” dim. The fine gold is changed. And God is discussing His sanctuary—His own Church and, specifically, the ministers who serve Him! They had God’s precious truth and now are losing it! They have changed from fine gold to dim gold. Thankfully, at this point, they are still gold. There is still hope!
This is temple language that obviously applies to God’s own Church. Satan has deceived the ministers and then led most of God’s people astray. “The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!” (verse 2). God likens the “precious sons of Zion” to fine gold. He is discussing His own ministers first of all. Of course, it applies to all of His people too. This same truth is covered in Malachi’s Message.
God wants us to see the value He places on His own people! Do you see how precious you are to God if you remain His very golden elect? We dwell in the inner court, where God’s holy of holies is. God is in our presence if we are doing His Work! We will belong to that group of priests, the only ones, who come near to God. Our offices will be near God’s office in Ezekiel’s temple. What a gloriously golden future God’s very elect have! But, beware of Satan.
I believe that we are now qualifying to be in the inner court of the Ezekiel temple. God’s people are either in the inner or outer court of God’s spiritual temple today (Revelation 11:1‑2). The inner court is where God dwells. It appears we will work in the inner court of the physical temple during the Millennium if we are in the inner court spirituallytoday. Regardless, those saints in the inner court today will have a much greater responsibility in God’s Kingdom.
The Focus of the World
Psalm 68 includes prophecy of God’s future world (verses 16, 18, 22). “Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee” (verse 29). This verse refers specifically to God’s physical temple in the Millennium. Kings of the Earth will bring gifts to Christ. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. And we have the opportunity to work where kings come to us! God is giving us a real, majestic calling that is almost too wonderful to even comprehend (Revelation 2:26; 5:10).
God uses His temple to get the minds of men focused on Him! If He can fill men’s minds with this vision, nothing will stop them from being a part of it!
The temple project will begin even as Christ descends on the Mount of Olives. “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:4). That dramatic event will alter the landscape where Ezekiel’s temple is to be built. This mountain is going to split in half. One half will move to the north and one half to the south. That will create a deep valley running east and west. The Mount of Olives will probably be a good deal higher than it is now. That miracle will immediately bury much of the filth in Jerusalem and will make our landscaping and building programs much easier.
We need to plan our future in Ezekiel’s temple with that kind of vision.
Jesus Christ planned this temple from the beginning of man’s history. He knew this temple would be the center and focus of the whole world! “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Micah 4:1-2). Christ will receive “many nations” at this great temple. God’s law will be taught to the world from this headquarters building—“the house of the Lord.” It will be ruled by the same law and government that God taught through Herbert Armstrong!