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Chapter 47 and 48 

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Chapter 47


In chapter 47, verses 1 to 12 we see a stream of water trickling out from under the temple.  The stream of water flows to the east.  The farther the stream goes, the deeper it becomes.  In fact it becomes a river that flows into the sea.  The sea mentioned in verse 8 is the Dead Sea.  The Dead Sea is dead because it is full of salt, but this river brings life to the Dead Sea by introducing fresh water into the sea.  God says that the sea that once had no fish now has as many fish as the Great Sea.  The Great Sea is the Mediterranean Sea.


Zechariah 14:4 and 8 has something to say about this event.  Verse 4 states that the Messiah will come and stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem.  This will cause a great earthquake that will split the mountain into two parts.  Part will move to the north and part to the south, causing a valley in between the two parts.  Verse 8 of Zechariah 14 states that "living water will flow from Jerusalem".  It also states that this water will flow to the east as it says here in Ezekiel.  The Zechariah text also states that the water will not only flow to the east but to the west, right to the "western sea", which is the Mediterranean Sea.  This is interesting because up until this point in history the city of Jerusalem was land-locked, but after the earthquake, Jerusalem will be assessable from both the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. 


The water in the river that flows from the temple is called "living water" in Zechariah 14:8.  It is probably called living water because it will bring much life to central Israel, both to humans and to the land.  You might be able to spiritualize this living water, but I do believe that you cannot neglect the importance of literal water here.


The same river of water is spoken about in Joel 3:18 where we see it is a literal river.  It will indeed bring much needed water to the land of Israel.  


Chapter 48


The first few verses in chapter 45 speak to the issue of dividing the land of Israel into parts for the twelve tribes.  This subject is picked up again in chapter 47, verse 13 and following, and goes through to the end of chapter 48.


A reading of the above passages will show that Israel will be divided into 13 strips of land, running west to east.  The will be one strip of land for each of the twelve tribes of Israel and one strip for the prince, who I spoke about earlier.  The strip of land for the prince is centralized, with seven strips to the north and five strips to the south.  In the middle of the strip of land that is for the prince is a square.  In the middle of the bottom part of the square is the city, and north of the square is the temple we saw earlier. 


It appears to me that the river I spoke of earlier that comes from the temple and flows to the east and the west cuts this strip in half. 


We need to note that this city is not the New Jerusalem spoken of in the Book of Revelation because it is much smaller.  This is the Millennial city of Jerusalem. As the tabernacle of Moses was a small replica of Solomon's temple, so this city is a small replica of the New Jerusalem.  


The very last verse of the book of Ezekiel tells us the new name for the old city of Jerusalem.  In English, it is called "The Lord Is There".  As stated earlier, this new city is slightly north of present day Jerusalem, and may actually include part of the present city. 


So here we have a bit of a glimpse into the Millennial rule of Christ.  We will now look into a few other Scriptures that will give us a few more glimpses into what those thousand years will look like.


To start, I turn our attention to Revelation 20 where we actually see that there is indeed a thousand year period where Christ will rule.  This is the only place in the Bible where we actually see the time duration of this age.  The first thing we learn about in this thousand years is that the devil will be locked away during this time and will not be able to deceive the nations of the world any longer.  At the end of this thousand years, he will be loosed for a short period of time before he is actually thrown into the Lake of Fire for eternity.


In verses 4 through 6 of Revelation we see those who were killed during the great tribulation for their association with Jesus.  They were brought back to life and will be scattered across the world and rule with Jesus for this thousand years.  These saints will be national leaders during this period of time.


We also learn that the rest of the dead will not be brought back to life at this time.  They will be brought back to life at the end of the thousand years. 


Note in Revelation 20:9 that Jerusalem clearly exists in these thousand years.  Although it is not so name in this verse, the city that God loves is Jerusalem. 


Joel 3:17-21 gives us a picture of Israel during these thousand years.  This passage pictures Israelis being agriculturally prosperous, mainly due to the river that flows from beneath the temple of God.  The opposite is true of Edom what is to the south and Egypt to the south west.  They are desolate because of their treatment of Israel in the past.


Zechariah 14:8 to 21 paints a bit more of a picture of these thousand years.  As stated above, there will be a river flowing from under the temple that will flow west to the Mediterranean Sea and east to the Dead Sea.  The landscape of Israel will certainly look different.


Zechariah 14:16 tells us that there will be survivors from all nations after the last great battle.  These Gentile survivors will come to Jerusalem every year to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and worship the Lord.  This will be one mass migration of peoples from all over the world.  Obviously there won't be as many people in the world since the majority of them would have been killed during the seven last years of this present age.     


In the Old Testament, the Feast of Tabernacles took place on Tishri 15, five days after the Day of Atonement.  Tishri was the seventh month for Israel.  It would correspond to our September.  The feast lasted seven days and was to be a time of celebrating the harvest.  If this feast is celebrated in the thousand year rule of Christ as it was in the Old Testament, then you might call this an old fashion Evangelical camp-meeting. 


Zechariah 14:17 to 19 tells us that if any nation, and Egypt is centered out as being one of these nations, does not come up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, then that nation will receive no rain as punishment.  This tells us something about the Millennium.  It tells us that there is still the possibility of disobedience on behalf of people and the nations. We need to remember, that this thousand years is not the new earth as seen in the last  two chapters of Revelation.  This period is history as we've know it now.  The big difference is that Jesus will be the supreme leader.  This thousand years will look more like this present age than the age of the new heaven and new earth.  


Zechariah 14:20 and 21 confirms the presence of the  temple in Jerusalem.


Concerning Jesus being the supreme ruler, we all know Isaiah 9:6 where the prophet speaks of a child being born and a son given.  It also says that the government will be upon His shoulders.  All conservative Bible teachers say this person is Jesus.  The question is, "when will He rule" as stated here in Isaiah?  Verse 8 says the He, meaning Jesus, will rule from David's throne.  Where was David's throne?  It was in Jerusalem.  There hasn't been a throne in Jerusalem for centuries, but there will be in the Millennium. 


You might remember in Luke 1:32 that the angel told Mary that her baby son would some day sit on the throne of David.  We need to understand that his throne is not the throne on which Jesus presently sits in heaven.  That throne has never been called the throne of David.  The throne of David is an earthly throne in Jerusalem.


Some people feel that Isaiah 65:20 speaks of the Millennial rule of Jesus.  It says that if a man dies at the age of 100 he dies as a young man. This suggests that some people will still die in these thousand years. There  is a difficulty with this verse.  Verse 17 speaks of the new heaven and the new earth so you might wonder where verse 20 fits in.  People don't die in the age of the new heaven and new earth.  The only age left for verse 20 is the Millennium. 


Note also that in this passage we see the possibility of people sinning.  We see this in Zechariah 14:17 as well. 


Verse 25 speaks of the wolf and the lamb living and eating together.  Again, we have a similar problem as we did in verse 20.  Is this the new earth or is this the Millennium?  Isaiah 11:6 to 9 says the same with but with one addition.  This passage speaks of children playing along side cobras.  As Romans 8:19 and 20 tells us, all creation can't wait until this day comes.  There will be peace among the animals of the earth.


Some people feel that Isaiah 35:1 and 2 also speaks of the Millennium.  It states, as we've seen in other passages, the land of Israel will blossom as it never has before.  Yes, it's blossoming now, but it will blossom even more than ever.


Psalm 2 concerns the end of this present age.  It gives a hint of the Millennium when it speaks of '"anointed one", who is Jesus, as ruling with a "iron scepter".  It also speaks of Jesus inheriting the nations of the earth and decreeing His law to them.  Jesus will rule at this time, but, as Zechariah 14:17 states, nations will have a measure of free will.  If a nation chooses not to go to Jerusalem and worship Jesus, that nation will not have rain fall on it.


Joel 3:18 is one of a few passages where we see a fountain blowing out of the house of the Lord.  Other passages state this fountain is a stream that actually flows from beneath the temple.  It flows into the newly created valley because of the earthquake caused by Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives.  This stream turns into a river and flows west to the Mediterranean Sea and east to the Dead Sea, causing the Dead Sea to come alive.  You can read this in Zechariah 14.


Isaiah 9:11 states that Jesus will rule on David's throne.  This is a literal throne and it is in Jerusalem.


In Isaiah 30:26 we note that the sun will shine seven times brighter than normal, while the moon will shine as bright as the sun.    


All of Isaiah 11 speaks of the thousand year rule of Christ.  As we've seen elsewhere, we see animals at peace with one another, along with children being at peace with the animals, and that includes snakes.  Beyond that, we see the seven fold Spirit of God upon Jesus for the purpose of ruling righteously.  Jesus will take care of the poor.  He will rule, and all of his rulings and decisions will be based on justice and His standards of righteousness. 


Note Isaiah 11:11.  The text specifically states that Jesus will return to and for Israel for a "second time".  Of course we do know that Jesus came to earth a couple thousand years ago, but once He gets Israel into their own land, He will return for them a second time.   


I will end here.  There are a number of Old Testament  passages that give us some clues to what the thousand year rule of Christ will be like.  These are just a few.


Thus ends the book of Ezekiel, written about 2600 years ago, but extremely relevant for today.    


Summery to Ezekiel 40 Through 48


In this most controversial section of the Bible, there is an extremely detailed blueprint of a temple.  The basic question is, "should this temple being taken symbolically or literally"?  I take it as literal since the blueprint is so specific, especially in its dimensions, that I don't know any other way to take it. 


The next question to ask is, "if this is a literal temple, then what temple is it"?  It can't be the tabernacle of Moses, or, the temple of David, or Nehemiah's temple, or the temple as seen in the New Jerusalem at the end of the book of Revelation because this temple does not fit the blueprints to those temples.  The only other place to put this in human history is the thousand year rule of Christ on earth, as many scholars suggest.


This presents a problem because along with this temple is Old Testament style worship which includes the killing of animals for sacrifice.  Why would this be since the cross of Christ was to have done away with these sacrifices?   The only answer I have to this is two fold.


One answer is that these sacrifices don't take away sin, but they are like Christian communion that reminds us of the cross of Christ.  If you note during these chapters that in this thousand year rule of Christ, Jesus seems to remind Israel of their past sins over and over again.  I think that the killing of these innocent animals in a sacrificial way reminds Israel of their past sins, which brings them to shame, which leads them to thank Jesus for the cross that removed these sins. Chapter 43:10 and 11 seems to suggest that to me.


There is one called the "prince" in this section of Scripture.  He can't be Jesus for a number of reasons that I've mentioned.  He appears to be the highest level of human leader for Israel, right under Jesus Himself.


This is just one of a number of Biblical passages that gives us a brief look into the thousand years that Jesus is on earth ruling as king.  The thousand years will end.  Satan will be let free for a while before he is thrown into the Lake of Fire.  After that this earth will be recreated.  Those who have given their lives to Jesus will live on a new earth.         


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