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The Third Temple - on earth or in heaven?
And what about animal sacrices during the Millennium?

You can find a lot of discussion on the Internet espousing various theories about the need for a future Temple. Some say it is a literal Temple on earth while others teach it will be in heaven, and others insist that, once Yeshua died, our bodies became the Temple and there is no longer a need for a physical temple. This article demonstrates that the Third Temple will be on earth and briefly discusses the animal sacrifices which will continue through the Millennium!

It is true that Yeshua was our Final Sin Sacrifice/Offering; however, He did not remove the need for some of the other Temple sacrifices (offers of thanksgiving, burnt and guilt offerings, etc.). These sacrifices were stopped after the Second Temple was destroyed, only because YHWH requires a proper Temple for anything sacrificed to Him (Exodus 20:19-26; I Kings 6). That will change with the erection of the Third Temple in Jerusalem!

Revelation 11: 1. And a reed was given to me, like a rod; and the Messenger stood, saying, Arise and measure the temple of Elohim, and the altar, and them that worship inside it. 2. But the court which is without the temple, leave out, and measure it not, because it is given to the Gentiles; and they will tread down the Set Apart city forty and two months.

Let's ask ourselves this: Since all believers are ONE in Messiah (Ephesians 3:5-6), why would there be Gentiles in heaven who have to remain outside the Temple proper?

Scripture tells us that there will be a literal Third Temple ON EARTH because sacrifices will be taking place prior to the second coming and even during the thousand year reign. For this to occur, there must be an altar and some sort of structure - be it a stone temple or a tent similar to Moses' or David's tabernacle. In the Scriptures below, we see that Ezekiel clearly describes a future physical temple (given to him in a vision from YHWH (Ezekiel 40:1-4) because, how else could we explain the fact that Levites and descendants of Aaron will be ministering there?

Ezekiel 40: 45 He said to me, "This room facing south is for the cohanim (priests) in charge of the house; 46 while the room facing north is for the cohanim in charge of the altar; these are the descendants of Tzadok, who are the descendants of Levi designated to approach ADONAI and serve him."

Ezekiel 43: 18 He said to me, "Human being, Adonai ELOHIM says, 'These are the regulations for the altar when the time comes to construct it, offer burnt offerings on it and splash the blood against it: 19 you are to give to the cohanim, who are L'vi'im descended from Tzadok and who approach to serve me,' says Adonai ELOHIM, 'a young bull as a sin offering. 20 You are to take its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge and on the molding all the way around; this is how you will purify it and make atonement for it. 21 You are also to take the bull which is the sin offering and have it burned up at the designated place [on the grounds] of the house, outside the sanctuary. 22 On the second day you are to offer a male goat without defect as a sin offering, and they are to purify the altar as they purified it with the bull.

If the above describes a temple in heaven where there is no sun and moon, how could you calculate a "day"? How and why would the altar need purifying? Purifying from what? In heaven everything is pure!

In light of Yeshua being the Sin sacrifice and the Great High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm110:4, Hebrews 7:17), why bother reverting back to a priesthood based on the descendents of Aaron? Because, as you will see below, it's the only way to interpret the verses that describe the Levitical priesthood ministering in the temple described by Ezekiel and Zechariah!

Now, check out the following:

Ezekiel 43: 23 When you have finished purifying it, you are to offer a young bull without defect and a ram from the flock without defect. 24 You are to present them before ADONAI, and the cohanim will throw salt on them and offer them as a burnt offering to ADONAI. 25 Every day, for seven days, you are to prepare a goat as a sin offering; they are also to prepare a young bull and a ram from the flock without defect. 26 For seven days, they are to make atonement for the altar and cleanse it; in this way they are to consecrate it. 27 When these days are over, then, on the eighth day and afterwards, the cohanim will present your burnt offerings on the altar and your peace offerings; and I will accept you,' says Adonai ELOHIM."

Again, there are no days and nights in heaven, so this could NOT refer to a heavenly temple. Furthermore, why would YHWH require offerings in heaven, when the purpose of the offerings was to atone for man's guilt, shame, sins, etc.? There will be NO SIN, no guilt and no shame in heaven!

Ezekiel 44: 9 Here is what Adonai ELOHIM says: 'No foreigner, uncircumcised in both heart and flesh, is to enter my sanctuary - no foreigner living among the people of Isra'el. 10 "'Rather, the L'vi'im, who went far away from me when Isra'el went astray, going astray after their idols - they will bear the consequences of their guilt, 11 but they are to serve in my sanctuary. They will have charge of the gates of the house and of serving in the house; they will slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people; and they will attend and serve them.

There is no such thing as a "foreigner" in heaven. ALL who believe are grafted in to the Olive Tree, and YHWH treats His adopted children exactly the same as His natural ones - no matter what some of the "intellects" insist; the ones who adhere to the misunderstood writings of Paul, over and above what Yeshua taught!

We also need to ask ourselves: If this is a temple in heaven, how could the Levites "bear the consequences of their guilt" there? Whose guilt are they bearing since everyone in heaven after Judgment Day is there because they are sin and guilt-free!

Ezekiel 44: 12 Because they served them in the presence of their idols and became an occasion of sin for the house of Isra'el, I am raising my hand against them,' says Adonai ELOHIM, 'and they will bear the consequences of their guilt. 13 They will not approach me to serve me in the office of cohen or approach any of the holy things or the especially holy things; but they will bear their shame for the disgusting practices they committed. 14 Yet I will put them in charge of the house and all its maintenance and everything to be done in it.

15 "'However, the cohanim, who are L'vi'im and descendants of Tzadok, who took care of my sanctuary when the people of Isra'el went astray from me - they are the ones who will approach me and serve me; it is they who will attend me and offer me the fat and the blood,' says Adonai ELOHIM. 16 'They will enter my sanctuary, approach my table to minister to me and perform my service. 17 "'Once they enter the gates of the inner courtyard, they are to wear linen clothing; they are not to wear any wool while serving at the gates of the inner courtyard or inside it. 18 They are to wear linen turbans on their heads and linen underclothes on their bodies, and they are not to wear anything that makes them sweat.

19 Before going out to the people in the outer courtyard, they are to remove the clothes in which they minister, lay them in the holy rooms, and put on other clothes; so that they won't transmit holiness to the people by means of their clothing. 20 They are not to shave their heads or let their hair grow long, but must keep their hair carefully trimmed. 21 No cohen is to drink wine when he enters the inner courtyard. 22 They may not marry a widow or a divorcee but must marry virgins descended from the house of Isra'el or a widow whose deceased husband was a cohen.

Isn't everyone who is in heaven HOLY? And marrying in heaven? Not according to Yeshua who said "For in the Resurrection, neither men nor women will marry; rather, they will be like angels in heaven" (Matthew 22:30).

Ezekiel 44: 23 "'They are to teach my people the difference between holy and common and enable them to distinguish between clean and unclean.

If this is in heaven, wouldn't we already know the difference between holy and common?

Ezekiel 44: 24 They are to be judges in controversies, and they are to render decisions in keeping with my rulings. At all my designated festivals they are to keep my laws and regulations, and they are to keep my shabbats holy.

Controversies? In heaven?

Ezekiel 44: 25 They are not to come to any dead person, because this would make them unclean; however, for father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister who has had no husband they may make themselves unclean.

A dead person or a corpse in heaven?

Malachi 3: 1 "Look! I am sending my messenger to clear the way before me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple. Yes, the messenger of the covenant, in whom you take such delight - look! Here he comes," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot. 2 But who can endure the day when he comes? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire, like the soapmaker's lye. 3 He will sit, testing and purifying the silver; he will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold and silver, so that they can bring offerings to ADONAI uprightly.

4 Then the offering of Y'hudah and Yerushalayim will be pleasing to ADONAI, as it was in the days of old, as in years gone by. 5 "Then I will approach you for judgment; and I will be quick to witness against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers; against those who take advantage of wage-earners, widows and orphans; against those who rob the foreigner of his rights and don't fear me," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot. 6 "But because I, ADONAI, do not change, you sons of Ya'akov will not be destroyed.

Will there be widows and orphans in heaven, or those who take advantage of them and the wage-earners, or those who rob the foreigner of their rights?

There are plenty of other references that could be discussed, but you get the picture....

The Bible tells us there will come a time when sacrifices will be offered again. It says so in Ezekiel, and it is also mentioned by Daniel 8:9-11, when referring to the evil ruler - "the little horn" - who does away with the daily sacrifices and cast YHWH's sanctuary down. In order for the sacrifices to be abolished and YHWH's sanctuary to be cast down, there needs to be a physical Temple where sacrifices are being offered....

YHWH came in His shekinah glory to Solomon's temple after it was built(1 Kings); and through Yeshua He came to the Second Temple built by Zerubbabel (Ezra 5:2). Therefore, it stands to reason that Yeshua will enter the Third Temple, as well!

Ezekiel 43: 1 After this, he brought me to the gate facing east. 2 There I saw the glory of the God of Isra'el approaching from the east. His voice was like the sound of rushing water, and the earth shone with his glory. 3 The vision seemed like the vision I had seen when I came to destroy the city; also the visions were like the vision I had seen by the K'var River; and I fell on my face. 4 ADONAI's glory entered the house through the gate facing east. 5 Next, a spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and I saw ADONAI's glory fill the house.

6 I heard someone speaking to me from the house, and a man was standing by me. 7 He said, "Human being, this is the place for my throne, the place for the soles of my feet, where I will live among the people of Isra'el forever. The house of Isra'el, both they and their kings, will never again defile my holy name by their prostitution, by [burying] the corpses of their kings [on] their high places, 8 or by placing their threshold next to my threshold and their door-frames next to my door-frames, with only a common wall between me and them. Yes, they defiled my holy name by the disgusting practices they committed; which is why I destroyed them in my anger.

9 So now, they should put their prostitution at a distance and the corpses of their kings far away from me; then I will live among them forever. 10 "You, human being, describe this house to the house of Isra'el, so that they will be ashamed of their crimes. And let them measure accurately. 11 If they become ashamed of all they have done, show them the elevation and plan of the house, its exits and entrances, all its details and decorations, and all its specifications, its design and its Torah. Sketch it for them to see, so that they can observe the entire design with its specifications, and carry them out. 12 This is Torah for the house: the whole surrounding area on the mountaintop will be especially holy. This is Torah for the house."

There will come a time when we will need no temple at all because YHWH Himself is our Temple in heaven:

Revelation 21: 21 And the twelve gates (were) twelve pearls; each (pearl) one gate, and each (gate) one pearl: and the broad street of the city was pure gold, like brilliant glass. 22. And I saw no temple in it; for Master YHWH Almighty is its temple, and the Lamb. 23. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to enlighten it; for the glory of Elohim enlightens it, and the Lamb is the lamps of it. 24. And the nations that were saved will walk by means of its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory and the wealth of the nations into it. 25. And its gates will not be shut by day; for there is no night there. 26. And they will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. 27. And there will not enter it anything polluted, or that practices impurity and falsehood; but they who are registered in the Lamb's book of life.

Reader question:

Since Y'shua is our final sin sacrifice, then why would we begin sin sacrifices again, as you suggested? I can see guilt or other sacrifices, but to perform sin sacrifices after His FINAL sacrifice would be kind of a slap in the face wouldn't it?

Our response:

Great question! The thing is, it seems the Feasts/Appointed Times (Mo'edim) and sacrifices will be more of a memorial, a reminder for those who made it through "the Tribulation" of the history of how YHWH's Word unfolded - while at the same time, teaching that same history to those born during the Millennium. In other words, the Feasts will be a reminder of what all has taken place since the beginning of time.

You see, there will be many unbelievers born during the Millennium, and they will be sinners who will need to understand the FINAL sacrifice of Messiah who only died ONCE to remove our past sins! His sacrifice cannot be repeated, and so the Feasts he fulfilled will serve to illustrate his accomplishments.

The new moon festivals, the feast of tabernacles, and the Sabbaths, were YHWH's set times for His people (who include ALL who accepted Him as their God); and in the Millennium these will be used as the reminders for all nations, who will send representatives to journey to Jerusalem for the mo'edim.

We are told that, in Ezekiel's temple there will be a Levitical priesthood making both the chatat (sin) and asham (guilt) offerings. This will be as a memorial of what was accomplished. In the same fashion as we take communion now - as a memorial of what was accomplished by Yeshua's sacrifice.

As an aside, the Mosaic Law forbade Gentiles to enter in the Temple (Deut.231-8), but it will be permitted in the Millennium (Ezek.46:1-5) because - as you all know by now - once we are "one in Messiah" (Gal. 3:28; Rom. 12:5 and 1 Cor. 12:12) there is no division. Once a Gentile has accepted YHWH as his/her God and Yeshua as his/her divine Messiah, they are no longer Gentiles; rather they are Hebrews (which, in Hebrew means "to cross over").

Supporting scriptures include Zechariah 14; Isaiah 56:7; Isaiah 66:23; Ezekiel 40:38-39 and 45:13-46:15.