TODAYíS READING: EZEKIEL 41-44

 

OVERVIEW:

Measurements of Millennial Temple (chapter forty-one); measurements of the temple chambers (chapter forty-two); Godís glory returns to the temple (chapter forty-three); the priests (chapter forty-four).

 

HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:

Chapters 41 and 42 describe the specific measurements of the temple.

 

It is Christ alone, not Ezekiel, who enters the most holy place of the temple (41:3-4).  This serves as a reminder that it was Christ alone who entered the most holy place to make atonement for our sin (Heb. 9:8, 12, 10:19). 

 

The side chambers of the temple (41:5-11) will be the priestís quarters.  What a reminder that as the priesthood of believers (I Peter 2:5), our lives should be given wholly to offering up spiritual sacrifices, our own lives (Rom.12:1-2). 

 

The galleries mentioned in Ezekiel 41:15-20 were buildings having decorations described as palm trees and cherubim.  Between the palm trees was a cherub with two faces, the face of a man and the face of a lion.  These faces might possibly represent the humanity and kingship of the Messiah. 

 

The altar of incense is described in Ezekiel 41:21-26 (Ex. 30:1-3).  The incense represents the prayers of Godís people (Psa. 141:2). 

 

Note that there is no reference to the Ark of the Covenant in the furnishings of the millennial temple.  This is a direct fulfillment of Jeremiah 3:16-17.    There is no longer a need for the Ark as a type of Christ, as it is Christ who sits physically on the throne during the millennium. 

 

Chapter 42 contains specific measurements of the court temple chambers (42:1-12), the use of the chambers by the priests (42:13-14), and the measurement of the outer wall and entire complex (42:15-20).  The walls will be approximately one mile on each side, which means that this temple will not fit on the current Mount Moriah (where Solomonís temple stood).  This will require a ďmodificationĒ of the land.  The prophet Zechariah spoke about this change in Zechariah 14:9-11. 

 

Chapter 43 must be understood in the context of Ezekielís previous prophecy.  Earlier in the book, we saw that Godís glory had departed from the temple (10:19, 11:23).  This chapter speaks of Godís glory returning to a future physical temple (43:1-5).  As Christians, we should be encouraged by Godís desire to once again fill a Jewish temple with His glory.  However, for us the prophecy only pictures what has already happened in our life.  God has always desired a place for His glory to dwell.  When THE TEMPLE (Christís body) was destroyed (John 2:19), it made it possible for our bodies to become Godís temple (I Cor. 6:19)!  God allowed Satan to destroy one temple, and God in turn filled this world with His temples.  We are the place where Godís glory now resides. 

 

This should also serve as a warning to us.  The enemy hated Solomonís temple (burned by Babylon), hated Zerubbabelís /Herodís temple (burned by Rome), hated Christ (crucified by Rome), and now hates us.  This is a war for glory!  We are now the target on planet earth.  Satan wants to destroy our lives.  There may even be times when he is successful.  However, just as Godís glory returned to a physical temple, God can take lives that the enemy has destroyed and restore them for His glory.  Unlike the physical temples of the Old Testament, however, God never leaves us! 

 

Chapter 44 deals with regulations for the priests who will serve in the millennial temple.  Once again, as the priesthood of believers, we will find numerous pictures of how we should minister in our priesthood. 

 

It should be noted that ďthe princeĒ described in Ezekiel 44:3 is allowed to enter through the vestibule/porch of the eastern gate (the same gate through which the Messiah has entered).  This prince cannot be the Messiah as he offers a sacrifice for his own sin (45:22).  This prince is referred to at least fourteen times in chapters 44-47.  We cannot be sure as to the identity of this prince.  Most likely, he is a descendant of David.  Some students of the scripture believe he may even be David himself. 

 

Is there sin in the millennium?  Sometimes this can be a confusing concept.  We must remember that at the end of the millennium there will be another rebellion against God (Rev. 20:7-9).  There will be those who came through the tribulation and those who are born during the millennium who will still reject Christ.  Why?  For the same reason people reject Christ today.  They will not submit to His Lordship.  As believers, we will have received our glorified bodies and will no longer struggle with sinó Hallelujah!

 

CHRIST IS REVEALED:

As the One who enters the ďmost Holy placeĒ Ė Ezekiel 41:3-4 (Hebrews 9:8, 12)