And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley;
half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south (Zech. 14:4).
One reason He returns to the Mount of Olives is that it is just opposite of the eastern gate of the temple, where He goes next. The glory returns to the temple in the exact reverse order in which it left the temple. Ezekiel saw the glory leave the old temple in stages. The last stage was that it went to the Mount of Olives and then back up to heaven. The following scriptures depict the glory leaving the old temple:
Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the temple when the man went in, and the cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and paused over the threshold of the temple; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord's glory (Ezek. 10:3-4).
Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim (Ezek. 10:18).
And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city (Ezek. 11:23).
Ezekiel also saw the glory return to the new temple in stages beginning from the east (Mount of Olives).
Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory (Ezek. 43:1-2).
And the glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east
The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple (Ezek. 43:5).
Then I heard Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me. And He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel FOREVER” (Ezek. 43:6-7a).
Notice in the above verse that the Lord tells Ezekiel that this is where He will dwell with His people “forever.” We know that no earthly temple can last forever, so this is one good reason that I have interpreted Ezekiel’s temple as the New Testament temple in both books I have written on it. As you can see from the cover of my book The Church Pattern: Ezekiel’s Temple on this web site, the gospel story is built right into the dimensions that Ezekiel received. The floor plan shows a picture of the cross, tomb, and resurrection. This is another good reason that Ezekiel’s temple represents the New Testament church. A third reason is that this temple was never built during the Old Testament. A fourth reason is that the church is called a temple at least a dozen times in the New Testament. God gave Moses plans for the tabernacle in the wilderness. He gave David plans for the Old Testament temple. We would expect some plans for the New Testament temple.
These nine chapters that contain the plans for the New Testament temple are usually totally ignored by church builders, leaders and pastors. They are all building according to their own ideas and plans while ignoring God’s will and plans. You would be hard pressed to find even one church that is implementing the instructions for the church in the New Testament let alone trying to fit them into the context of Ezekiel’s temple like I did in my book.
I said that the New Testament itself calls the church a temple at least a dozen times. Actually, if we count the times in the book of Revelation it is more like two dozen times. The book of Revelation itself interprets it as a spiritual temple,
But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light (Rev. 21:22-23).
To call the church a temple a couple dozen times is very significant. It is at least worth a cursory glance through the Bible to see if we can find plans for some mysterious temple that was never built during Old Testament times. Sure enough, there they are at the end of the book of Ezekiel. The reason it was never built in the Old Testament is that no one of that time could figure it out. The laws in it did not line up with the Old Testament laws. So they left if for us New Testament folks. But we were not interested in building God’s temple either. I have never been able to find even one church leader or pastor who was the least bit interested in even the New Testament instructions! The question that rings in my mind and heart is WHY? Why are so few interested in God’s will, desire, and pattern? One reason is, like the Pharisees, most of them would have too much to lose to accept God’s will and plans. God have mercy on them.
The New Testament contains a temple without the plans. The book of Ezekiel contains the plans without the temple ever having been built. Can we connect the dots? We know for sure that the second coming of the Lord will be to Ezekiel’s temple as I have shown above. The Scriptures cannot be broken; the church will be built according to the pattern of Ezekiel’s temple. We also know the church has not yet even begun to be built according to that pattern. THE LORD WILL NOT RETURN UNTIL IT IS! And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple (Mal. 3:1b).
Following are some Scriptures that call the church a “temple:”
Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body (John 2:20-21).
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are (1 Cor. 3:16-17).
And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.
(2 Cor. 6:16).
And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple (1 Peter 2:5).
The next time someone tells you that the Lord is going to return soon, tell them not until the church is built according to the pattern of Ezekile’s temple.