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Ezekiel's temple not millennial

Ezekiel's Temple: not Millennial temple

"For many years there have been well-intentioned efforts by Christadelphians to interpret the last nine chapters of Ezekiel's prophecy as a picture of a new temple to be built in the Land of Promise, a center of worship for all nations during the Millennial Reign of Christ. Such efforts have been confined to a comparatively small handful of students, the rest being somewhat daunted by the difficulties involved.

Because of this there has been a tendency to accept somewhat uncritically the results achieved by others -- a startling exception to the normal Christadelphian way of things, that a Biblical exposition shall only be accepted when the detailed evidence has been examined bit by bit and thereafter approved or rejected.

Thus it has come about that the monumental work of Henry Sulley of Nottingham, published in 1892, has been allowed to set the pattern of Christadelphian thinking with regard to this temple. His scheme has been accepted in a remarkably uncritical spirit, largely -- one imagines -- because he was a well-qualified and successful architect who was deemed to be equipped well beyond the rank-and-file reader for the task of producing a definitive interpretation of the temple chapters.

The present writer is persuaded, however, that the work of that well-intentioned author was completely vitiated from the start by certain seriously mistaken presuppositions which dominated and distorted his synthesis in nearly all its main essentials.

Nor is it possible, because of technical difficulties over the production of a big set of diagrams, to go into the question as to what Ezekiel's temple really was intended to look like. For the present it must suffice to say that the remarkable number of correspondences with Solomon's temple in measurements and in the phrasing of the descriptions leads one to believe that essentially this temple was to be a second edition of the first temple, with certain modifications appropriate to the changed circumstances of its use.

But certainly the idea of a massive square of buildings with an inner ring (the "Holy Place")         equally magnifical, surrounding the base of an unscalable conical mountain which itself is crowned with a gigantic altar for countless animal sacrifices -- this idea, it is emphasized, must be abandoned as being far away from a correct interpretation of Ezekiel's specification. Ezekiel's temple certainly has an enclosure about a mile square, but there is nothing to suggest that the buildings are that size. Actually the sanctuary itself is of much more modest proportions" (FLET).

When the investigation is pushed further, there soon piles up a veritable mountain of evidence all of which insists that a temple like Ezekiel's, with ritual such as is described there, was never intended for the abiding Kingdom of God with its divine King-Priest and immortal hierarchy.

The most casual reading reveals an intention to reinstitute sacrifice, ceremonial cleansing, the observance of Sabbaths and much else that was already made familiar through the Law of Moses.

But the New Testament is almost over-emphatic in its insistence that all these things, fulfilled (filled full)         in Christ, have been taken away once and for all, and that the purpose of God has no further room for anything of the kind:

No more sacrifices: Heb 9:9,12,28; 10:4,11,12,14,18; Col 2:14; Rom 10:4.
Are the millennial sacrifices only commemorative?

Not necessary, because Christ is there, bearing marks of crucifixion.

Bread and wine are a sufficient memorial: Luk 22:16,18.

Ezekiel says these sacrifices are in fact "for sin" (Eze 43:19-26; 45:17,22), ie, not just "looking back" to Christ.

If "commemorative" (ie, "look-back")         sacrifices will be permissible in the Kingdom, then why were they not permissible in 30-70 AD?

Gal 3:19: "Law was added (only)         until Seed comes."

Heb 7:12: Law will be changed. Cp Heb 7:18,19.
Heb 10:9: First law is "set aside".
Heb 8:8,9: A new covenant with Israel, not according to the previous covenant.
Gal 4:9,10: Do you wish to be enslaved again to those "weak and miserable principles"?
Act 7:48: Most High dwells not in temples made with man's hands" (summarized from FLET).

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