We have been talking about what will go on on earth in the millennial kingdom of God. Things will be very different then than they are now. God’s people the Jews will be totally in charge and, strangely, you will see worship somewhat like it was back in Old Testament times. And the Jews (and some Gentiles) in Jerusalem will worship in the millennial temple. There are several items that have always been in the former temples and that were part of the Mosaic system of worship that will no longer be used in the millennial temple and system of worship. And this is understandable, for some of the former things such as the ark and the veil were designed to shut out people and protect them from the wrath of God against sins; but now (and forever), since we are under the new covenant, we may approach the throne of God boldly (Heb. 4:16)—and so, many of those former things are made obsolete. But there are some things, some rituals, sacrifices, and observances from the Mosaic system that will continue to be used in the millennial temple—but with a new and different emphasis. Here are five things mentioned in Ezekiel.
- The Levitical order will be re-instituted. The priests will come from the seed of Zadok (Ezek. 43:9).
- There will be regulations for the priest (Ezek. 44:15-31). Just as in the Old Testament, the priests in the millennium will have certain rules to govern their life and dress.
- There will be cleansing rituals: for cleansing the altar (Ezek. 43:20-27), for cleansing the Levite workers (44:25-27), and for clean-sing the sanctuary (45:18).
- Burnt offerings, sin offerings, trespass offerings, and meal offerings will be offered up to God (Ezek. 42:13; 43:13-18).
- Most of the feasts and observances will continue as before (Ezek. 45:2-25; 46:1, 13, 17). Morning sacrifices will be offered daily; the new moon and Sabbath days will be observed; the year of jubilee will be observed; and the Passover feast as well as the feast of Tabernacles will be observed. However, there is no mention of the feast of Pentecost or of the observance of the Day of Atonement.
So, after the temple is built, there will be much work to do to set up this system of worship. As we said, it will be similar to the old system of worship, but again it will be much different. The outer and inner court, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, will still be as before, but, except for the large altar in the inner court, all of the articles, including the veil, will be gone! There will be so much more room in the temple. The way I imagine it is that people will be free to walk around anywhere and enjoy the beauty of the temple and to enjoy each other’s company. But besides having this type of freedom to fellowship, I think there will also be structured times of worship. And the worship will not only encompass the bringing of sacrifices; it will include singing and listening to the teaching of the eternal Word of God. I think it will be much like our worship services today, but of course much better, because the main teacher will be Jesus Christ. I get this from Isaiah 2:2-3 (and Micah 4:1-2).
Isaiah 2:2-3 Now it will come about that In the last days, The mountain of the house of the Lord Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. 3 And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways, And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Zechariah 8:20-22 gives us a similar picture.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘It will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. 21 ‘And the inhabitants of one will go to another saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I will also go.” 22 ‘So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord.’
Copyright © 2014 by Stephen Nielsen