Saturday, 30 July 2016

Is Ezekiel's Temple Still Future?

Ezekiel was describing a vision - he wasn't writing in prose. So his descriptions didn't all need to be taken literally.
Ezekiel wrote for Jews of the captivity, expecting them to act on the inspiration provided by his prophecies. They couldn't act on it, if it was all for a still-future time.
And they did act on it. A temple was rebuilt. A Levitical priesthood was resumed. The Bible provides the history (in Ezra, Nehemiah, and in the New Testament histories).
If it's all still future, it would mean the prophets had nothing to say to Jews of the captivity at a time when they needed it most.
It would also have been deceptive, because the prophecies, written to them, read like it was intended for them.
If it's all future, it would also imply a return to the shadow in future - to Old Covenant worship. (Because it mentioned blood sacrifices - not for memorial, but for atonement.) But the Apostles' teaching rules out any validity for that.
If it's all still future, it would imply Jesus was too early in history to be Messiah - because according to prophecy, Messiah was to come in the historical context of an already regathered Israel, an already-rebuilt temple and an already re-instituted Levitical priesthood.
No. The witness of the New Testament is that God had indeed fulfilled His promises to Israel - by regathering them, by reinstating them under the Old Covenant, then by sending Messiah to redeem them - and His Name is JESUS.
But only believing Jews received Him. Gentiles also heard, and believed. They were saved by faith, without the rituals of the Law.
Now we all - in one new body, one new identity, the Church - only await His second coming and Kingdom.
Even so, come Lord Jesus!

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