When trying to understand Ezekiel’s vision of a temple, we have to remember that neither Ezekiel nor anyone from Israel was commanded to build it. He was just instructed to relay what he had seen to the house of Israel. For this reason, it could be that his vision of a temple was not meant to be a building in this natural world or in this age of the earth’s history.
We have raised the possibility that perhaps it is for the Millennial Kingdom. We don’t know for sure about that, either. Here are some other scenarios:
Just as Moses’ tabernacle prophesied of Messiah and taught spiritual truths, in its design, structure, and service, so this temple could also be teaching spiritual truths in its design, structure, and service. Some teachers teach based on this vision, that we will return to animal sacrifices in the Millennial Kingdom. I can’t buy that:
And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same [animal] sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. Heb 10:11-18
The Scriptures teach that where there has been a remission of sins, such as we have had by the blood, death, and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua, there is no longer offerings for sin — His sacrifice was once for all. So this is a strong argument, for me, that Ezekiel’s temple is not meant to exist as a physical building after either the first or second coming of Messiah Yeshua.
It is widely taught and believed, among the Church, and among Messianics and Jews, that there will be a third actual temple building, based on this vision of Ezekiel’s. Could it be that this belief is erroneous for the reasons we have discussed before, but because believers have been deceived about it, the antichrist can take advantage of them for his own ends? Of him, it has been testified, that he will deceive even the elect if possible. We must read the Scripture carefully for ourselves, and be Bereans, examining what we have been told by men to see if it is in fact so.
And, as chaistic structures are one sign of the thumbprint of the Holy Spirit on the Scriptures, the Hebrew Scriptures could form a single great chiastic structure, with the instructions given to Moses for the tabernacle on the front end and this vision of Ezekiel’s temple on the back end. As far as I know, no one has investigated the possibility. But it seems to me that prior to Moses and the original tabernacle blueprints, was Joseph before Pharaoh, placed in his position in order to save his people; and after Ezekiel and the vision of the temple, was Esther before the king of Persia, placed in her position in order to save her people. The history of Israel, forming a chiastic structure.
So all that is to say, Messiah when He comes will definitely and concretely explain these Scriptures to us — but let us not build up a system of beliefs, especially of future events, based on unsure speculations, and so be deceived.