7 Even them will I bring to My holy mountain [Har Kodesh], and make them joyful [have simcha] in My house of prayer [Bais Tefillah]: their burnt offerings [olot] and their sacrifices [zevakhim] shall be accepted upon Mine altar [Mizbe'ach]; for Mine house [Bais] shall be called an house of prayer for all people [Bais Tefillah l'khol HaAmim].
SHILOH TO BUILD A TEMPLE.
In the everlasting covenant made with David, it is declared of his immortal son by the Lord, saying, "He shall build a house for my name." David wished to execute this great national work, but was forbidden. It was afterwards accomplished by Solomon, and in this he eminently typified the "greater than Solomon," who is to construct a similar edifice, only on a vastly more magnificent scale. This will appear from the following testimony. After Solomon's temple was laid in ruins, and while the Jews after their return from Babylon were erecting a new one upon the site of the old, the word of the Lord came to the prophet, saying,
"Behold the man whose name is THE BRANCH: and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord; even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and shall be a priest upon his throne. And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord" (Zech. 6:12,13,15).
Let the reader turn to the texts below, and he will have no doubt as to the person styled the Branch (Zech. 3:8; Isaiah 11:1; Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Rev.22:16). The Melchizedec Son of David, then, is to build the third temple in Jerusalem to the name of Yahweh; and as the Tyrian Gentiles aided Solomon to rear his edifice, so those who are far off from Jerusalem, where the prophecy was delivered, are to co-operate in the erection of Shiloh's, which is to be "a house of prayer for all people" (Isaiah 56:7), when the Lord shall "plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people" (Isaiah 51:16).
If the reader wish to know more about the temple to be built by Shiloh in Jerusalem, he can consult Ezekiel (Ezek. 40, 41,42). The description comes in between the battle of Armageddon in which Nebuchadnezzar's image is broken to pieces on the mountains of Israel, and the earth shining with the glory of the Lord. The first nine verses of the forty-third chapter show that the era of the Temple described is when Shiloh "dwells in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and His holy name they shall defile no more." This is conclusive; for ever since their exode from Egypt until the present time, they have incessantly defiled the Lord's name; but the prophecy contemplates a period when they shall do it "no more."
When the Lord Jesus shall sit upon the throne of his father David, as high priest of the nation, and has dedicated the temple to the Most High, what then?
"Many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house (or temple) of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths" (Isaiah 2:3)."
The sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of My covenant: even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar."
And "there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts " (Zech. 14:16-21; Isaiah 66:20,21,23).
Elpis Israel 2.5.
The last two quotes show who will/not be welcome to attend the temple from among the nations. It will be those who are faithful to Yahweh's covenant - not representative heads of nations. There will be no human governments in the age to come. Sovereignty belongs to the Lord Yahoshua Anointed and his immortal associates redeemed out of every nation by his shed blood.
However, a rabble of usurpers will be permitted to organize under the headship of an antitypical Gog and amass at the close of the millenium in rebellion against Zion's King.
When these words were written, the temple of Solomon was still standing as the house of prayer for Israel. But the prophet speaks here of a future temple, which should be a house of prayer, not for Israel only, but for all peoples. That house has not yet been erected, but will certainly be, for Zechariah testifies that the man whose name is The Branch shall build the temple of Yahweh"-a temple very minutely described by Ezekiel.
Upon the altar of this temple, then, the burnt-offerings and sacrifices of the sons of the stranger will be accepted: offerings which shall be selected from the flocks of Kedar, and the rams of Nebaioth. For, says Isaiah, the Gentiles shall come to the Light of Jerusalem, and kings to the brightness of her rising, when she shall arise and shine, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon her; and "they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar, shall be gathered together unto her, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto her; they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar and I will glorify the house of my glory.
Again, Isaiah tells us that in a time, which has hitherto never obtained, when "the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians, and Israel shall be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of Palestine-then shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, a pillar at the border thereof to Yahweh. And it shall be for a sign, and for a witness unto Yahweh of armies in the land of Egypt, for they shall cry unto the Lord because of oppressors and he shall send them a Saviour, and a Great One, and he shall deliver them. And Yahweh shall be known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians shall know Yahweh in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto Yahweh, and perform it."
...Now the feast of Tabernacles cannot be kept without sacrifice as will appear by consulting the law by which the festival was decreed, which reads thus;
"The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of Tabernacles, seven days unto Yahweh. On the first day shall be a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work therein. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh, on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation; ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh; it is a solemn assembly, and ye shall do no servile work therein."
For the Gentiles to keep this feast, they must observe it as the Israelites did before them, according to the law; and not as they "keep the Sabbath" now, observing the first or eighth instead of the seventh day, after a fashion of their own, and omitting those requirements which are inconvenient.
...The Feast of Passover is also to be observed in the Age to Come; which, however, cannot be kept without sacrifice. Jesus said to his disciples, "I will not any more eat of the Passover, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." This was equivalent to saying, "When the Passover is fulfilled in the kingdom of God I will eat of it." Hence we find its restoration testified by Ezekiel in these words:
"On the fourteenth day of the first month ye shall have the Passover a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. And upon that day shall the Prince prepare (by the priests who offer his burnt-offerings and his peace-offerings, 100: 46:2) for himself and all the people of the land, a bullock for a sin-offering. And seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt-offering to Yahweh, seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish, daily the seven days; and a kid of the goats daily, for a sin-offering. And he shall prepare a meat-offering of an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and a hin of oil for an ephah. And in the next verse the feast of tabernacles is thus referred to: "In the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the month, shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin-offering, according to the burnt-offering, and according to the meat-offering, and according to the oil."
The reader will observe, however, that the Passover is a feast for Israel's observance, not for that of the nations.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Nov 1854
This is the millennial future state. Abraham and Jesus are, then, the greatest personages upon the earth; the former being the spiritual father of Jesus and the saints, and the political father of a multitude of nations, over whom Christ and His brethren rule until "the end" (1 Cor. 15:24).
Such is "the world" of which Abraham and his Seed are the heirs.
Speaking of the latter in this relation, the apostle says, "whom God hath appointed Heir of all things, and on account of whom He constitutes the Ages" (Heb.1:2) - the Age of Jubilees, and the Jubilee Age. And to the joint-heirs of Abraham and Christ He says,
"Let no man glory in men: for all things are yours; the world, life, death, things present and things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's" (1 Cor. 3:21-23).
Elpis Israel 2.2.
THE TEMPLE OF EZEKIEL'S PROPHECY;
WHICH IS SHORTLY TO BE ERECTED IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL, AS
"A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL PEOPLE,"
THE last nine chapters of the prophecy of Ezekiel contain a description of a building never yet erected. On this there is a general agreement among critics, notwithstanding that considerable difference of opinion has existed, and does exist, among them, as to the nature, construction, and purpose of the building seen in vision by the prophet.
There is, in fact, a babel of voices upon the subject, which has never hitherto been fully understood. It may safely be asserted that for centuries these chapters have been a mystery, alike to both Jew and Gentile. Neither ancient nor modern writers appear to have comprehended the wonderful things contained in them. Many books have been written, and elaborate drawings made to explain the vision.
The writer of this treatise has inspected many plans, and has read many expositions of the prophecy that have been put forth by the learned ; but he has found nothing satisfactory among them. The problems, architectural and otherwise, that are involved in the vision, are not solved by their suggestions or theories. The writer ended his investigation in that direction some years ago, with the conviction that the true interpretation had not been grasped by any of the manifold students of the subject in past times.
Failure is frankly confessed in some cases, and nearly all would, probably, join in the wish expressed by one writer, that " a book may be produced which will put the question at rest.
The causes of failure to understand the vision are not enigmatical to those who know the truth. Some have ignored the prophetic character of the vision, and have worked on the supposition that it is merely a record of the chief features of Solomon's Temple, so far as remembered by Ezekiel and his fellow exiles, in order to enable the children of Israel to rebuild the Temple when the time of their promised restoration took place ; and that to those features the prophet added fanciful features of his own, or embodied in his description improvements which were considered desirable to introduce whenever the building should be re-erected.
It is needless to say, that such an idea not only renders the prophecy unintelligible, but ignores the character of Ezekiel as a prophet; or, at all events, tarnishes his name in making him publish as a vision that which he himself has merely concocted as an aid to memory. Such a theory casts a doubt upon his inspiration, and dishonours him as a prophet of God ; but the vision can be shewn to be prophetic, and this removes one great obstacle raised by such writers in the way of a solution.
Others have been wrecked on the notion that the vision is purely allegorical or symbolical. They have interpreted it according to the dictates of their fancy. Some have seen in it " The triumph of the Church' " The perpetual worship of the God of heaven in the kingdom of Christ' &c. These suppositions are too absurd for refutation. The literal is so self-evidently the basis of the prophecy as to exclude all suggestion of an allegorical meaning.
The failures that have taken place in the attempts to understand the prophecy have led some to conclude that it cannot be understood till Messiah comes....
the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him" (Ps. xxv. 14)
The failure of past expositions is no argument against ultimate success. There are many reasons for concluding that the vision was meant to be understood at the right time. The minute constructional details, such as steps, thresholds, doorways, columns, arches, chambers, courts, chimneys, cooking ranges, tables, hooks, &c, all tend to show that their co-relation and use are intended to be comprehended before the prophecy is fulfilled. If not, why should these things be mentioned at all ?
If the Messiah, or some angel, must come to make the vision plain, what object could be served by giving it in the first instance? If it was not intended to impart knowledge beforehand, there could be no reason in communicating it. For the mere purpose of building, it would have been sufficient to give instructions when the time for the erection of the structure should arrive, as in the case of Solomon's temple, and the tabernacle in the wilderness before it.
The very fact of this preliminary picture of the building having been given in writing so long beforehand, involves the conclusion that God intended a preliminary understanding of it; and that
understanding would appear to be a very complete one in view of verses 10 and 11 of chap, xliii.
The probability is, that the general appearance of the building described by Ezekiel is intended to be a matter of familiar comprehension before the time of its erection arrives; for the vision is one of the " things written" aforetime for our learning " (Rom. xv. 4).
Investigation, then, is wise, and hope of success reasonable, if the conditions of success exist.
It is no presumption to think they do exist. The first condition is the doctrinal (Ps. xxv. 14 ; Prov. xxv. 2) ; and secondly, the chronological. It is at " the time of the end " when the vision speaks. It must be evident to those who have at all studied the subject of the return of Christ and the
restoration of the Jews, that the time of these events draws nigh.
...The period of the world's history, then, is favourable to the supposition that Ezekiel's vision will be understood. Then, as to doctrinal conditions, there exists in the earth a community whose very foundation is laid upon the written word, interpreted by right reason. They stand in the prospective relation of those referred to in Psalm xxv. 14, Proverbs xxv. 2, Revelation v. 9-10; and therefore supply another condition of success.
9 All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest.
The civilisation of the great nations by which Israel was surrounded was such as was created and controlled by a mere military despotism; often combined with most debasing idolatry and superstition; and all its adjuncts of ignorance, and moral horrors. This was only redeemed now and then (when the purpose of God required it) by the advent of a Joseph in Egypt, or a Daniel in Babylon, or a Cyrus, Artaxerxes, Esther, Mordecai, or Nehemiah in Persia.
Apart from such events as these, and the part they severally performed in the fulfillment of prophecy, there is scarcely anything to contemplate in their character or history that you do not find illustrated in the habits of the wild beasts, that prey upon one another with such relentless fury in the forests and waste places of the earth.
That they studied astronomy; or cultivated the fine arts after a sort; or gave poetry to the world; or followed the pursuits of husbandry or agriculture; or built cities, and contrived various modes of life and avocation; are only things more or less common to universal man, wherever he has either emerged from, or come short of descending to the depths of cannibal-barbarism.
In the great nations of antiquity, as they are called, we have something higher than the purely savage state—a state, however, that might be described as civilised barbarism, many of them dating their existence as nations back to the earliest post-diluvian or patriarchal period, possessed, in all probability at the start, the advantage of some acquaintance with the divine account of the world's beginning, and much that happened afterwards in the way of revelation and providentially developed events.
This much is suggested, by sundry connections which the later patriarchs had, and which the earlier patriarchs must have had with these nations; and still more so if possible, by the fact that they had all been so lately derived from the one common post-diluvian stock, in whose family the knowledge of the divine must have been preserved from the obliteration which must otherwise have overtaken it at the deluge.
What these nations knew of right and wrong from this source, in conjunction with the witness of fruitful seasons (Acts 14:17), and subsequent events of a divine character, to which they stood related; or persons and institutions of divine appointment towards which they occupied an hostile attitude, must have constituted the measure of their responsibility, and the ground of their being sometimes visited or addressed by the prophets; and the explanation of the judgments denounced against them, and finally fulfilled in their abasement, or their entire overthrow.
The Christadelphian, Sept 1888
10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
What is the point in all this? Where is it all leading?
Just this. The Word of God sounds a clarion call to stop and think, to consider, to meditate, to analyse, to reason, to reflect. What are we? Where are we going? What does life mean?
Is eating and drinking and merriment the highest limit of our faculties and possibilities-or is there a richer, higher, more abundant way to live? Is the greatest good and happiness to be found in a lifelong effort to satisfy the insatiable lust and pride and ambition and covetousness that we are all born with, or is there far greater possibility of enjoyment and freedom to be found in a divinely-guided control and subjection of these things?
Are we satisfied with life as the vast majority of people live it? Is there enough to it? Are we prepared to say that though there may be something transcendently better, this is good enough for us? Are we prepared to set a height of joy and happiness and satisfaction beyond which we do not care to rise?
These are not unnecessary questions. Many people, sadly enough, could honestly answer them in the affirmative. They feel no more desire for something better than the present than the animals do. The Word of God speaks of this class as
"natural brute beasts, fit only to be taken and destroyed" (2 Pet. 2:12) "dumb dogs, sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber" (Isa. 56:10)-"whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, who mind earthly things" (Phil. 3:19).
These evaluations are by God Himself-have we any desire to be distinguished in His sight from these? Is our manner of life such as to warrant such a distinction?
Do not these questions lead logically to a serious analysis of our position? -to a sober, thoughtful, reflection that perhaps after all, we are missing the greatest part of the beauty and purpose of life?
We cast about for an answer-for a clear conception of life's meaning and possibilities. We search for instruction, for guidance, for light-and, regardless of what our opinions concerning it may be, the Bible looms irresistibly into the picture as an inescapable fact with a very pertinent bearing on the question.
Bro Growcott - The One True Faith