By Norman S. Edwards
From SVM – Winter 2016 – 3
January 11, 2015
Dear Norm and others,
Greetings from our little band of Christians, here in Canada: Brigitte, Guy and Marilyn!
It was very interesting viewing all the latest on your grown-up family, and your operation for needy people in your area. It’s quite an operation of Faith. All the material you sent really brought us up to date on your lives. We are all retired, as I guess you knew, and hanging in OK.
Brigitte and Guy have a topic of interest that they wanted to share with you. This being if there will be a Temple in the Millennial Period, as found in Ezekiel chapters 40-47. They lean to believe there will be.
Guy and Brigitte said, “hope you are all fine and in good health.” I too send prayers your way.
All the best,
Guy, Brigitte and Marilyn, Canada
Dear Marilyn, Brigitte, and Guy
About the Temple described in Ezekiel 40-48:
Zechariah 14 indicates that when Messiah returns there will be a temple on earth. It shows that the other nations will send people to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem and that they will be punished with “no rain” if they do not come. Verses 20-21 speak of pots and bowls before the altar in the “house of the Lord” and people eating from their sacrifices. This seems to be a part of the Feasting to God—there is no mention of forgiveness for sin associated with these sacrifices, because indeed Christ has done that. I think it is much more a theme-park reminder lesson. Certainly the world will not be involved with all of the Levitical sacrifices. But the Scripture appears to say that there will be a temple.
I have heard temple experts in Israel say that there is not enough information in Ezekiel to completely build that temple. If a temple is built by the Jews in our day, it will be from the Biblical information on Solomon’s temple, the Talmud and other historical information. They may use a few ideas or minor features from the Ezekiel Temple, but they will certainly not be building it. They agree that a returning Messiah will have to build it. I agree.
I am utterly convinced that Ezekiel 40-48 applies to the return of Christ because they contain an important economic provision that will be utterly essential to start a just Kingdom of God. The land—probably the land of the world—will be divided again by lot. This is very important; it is mentioned three times, in Ezekiel 45:1; 47:22 and 48:29. These verses go as far as explaining that even the prince of the land will not be allowed to give gifts of land and spoil the return of inheritance in the Jubilee year (Ezekiel 46:16-18).
I believe the refusal of this Jubilee teaching is the single biggest reason why we continue to have poverty and wars waged by the wealthy and powerful for their own benefit. These verses say that land should be given back to the family who originally inherited it in the 50th year. When the 7-year release of debts and slaves is included (Deuteronomy 15), it allows people to learn from their own mistakes if they mismanage their assets, but it prevents families from becoming so powerful that they control peoples and nations via their wealth. It also prevents the large inequalities that we have today: the vast majority of people are born into situations where it is very unlikely that they will ever own land or any other means of producing wealth. Most are dependent upon working for a wage or on government programs when there are no jobs. Statistics on nearly every civilization show that they start with a good distribution of wealth and opportunity for all, but grow to a place where there are a few very rich and masses of very poor.
Nevertheless, the wealthy and powerful do not want to give up their land easily—no nation that I know of has a law anything like the Jubilee year law. Communists have claimed that the workers own everything in their societies, but the reality is that it is all controlled by a wealthy few. Democracies have convinced their citizens that there is no need for a Jubilee year because anyone can grow up to be president or wealthy—so why would we want to take land away from people who have earned it? But the reality is that the very wealthy obtain a lot of their money by corrupt and monopolistic practices—and nearly all of our powerful leaders come from those ranks.
We will need an all-powerful returning Messiah to straighten out land ownership so that it will be fair and just for everyone. I think He will do this—and have the Ezekiel temple built as well.