Ezekiel

Ezekiel - Lesson 43

Chapter 43; 44:1-3

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  • We’re going back into a study of the fascinating and somewhat mysterious details of the Millennial temple and the sacrificial system of the Kingdom

    • Last week we took a visual tour of the temple grounds

      • We learned that the Kingdom temple is far different and far more impressive than any that preceded it in Israel’s history

      • The mountain, the courts and the buildings are huge

      • In fact, the outer barrier of the temple compound is over a mile square 

>> Image 1

  • In the next section of Ezekiel, the Lord shows the prophet how this building is to be used, at least in part

    • Chapters 43-46 detail the sacrificial system of that coming time

    • For anyone not intimately familiar with the Mosaic sacrificial system, the Kingdom system will appear to be the same

  • But the two systems vary considerably, which means this is a new system and not a continuation of the Mosaic Law

    • That’s important because it reaffirms New Testament teaching that the Mosaic Law came to an end in Christ

    • Nothing we find in Ezekiel contradicts that truth, yet that doesn’t mean the Kingdom time is without a law

    • There is a law – let’s call it the Kingdom Law – and it’s in effect for the sinners of that age

  • Before we look at that system, we first need to revisit our chart explaining the purpose in these chapters overall

>> Image 2

  • Chapters 40-48 explain how God’s glory dwells with His people Israel

    • It’s the second half of a section that started in Chapter 39

    • The highest goal of the Kingdom is that God dwell with His people, and He fulfills that purpose differently for Jew vs. Gentile

  • For the Gentiles, His demonstration of dwelling among Israel is to protect His people against a Gentile invasion at the end of the time

    • We studied that in Chapter 39 with the conclusion of the Ezekiel War

    • But when it comes to showing Himself to Israel, the Lord accomplishes that through His magnificent temple structure

    • That’s what we’re studying now

  • So obviously, if God is to dwell with His people Israel, than He must take up residence in this elaborate home He builds for Himself

    • In the tabernacle and the first temple, the glory of the Lord entered and remained in the Holy of Holies

    • There He remained for centuries, even as Israel committed many abominations against Him

    • Then at the end of Chapter 11, the glory of the Lord left the temple and city shortly before Babylon destroyed the temple

    • That happened around 600BC, and subsequent temples in Israel remained absent the glory of the Lord ever afterward

  • But now we’re in the Kingdom period, all is well between Israel and the Lord, so it’s time for Him to take up residence again in His temple

    • So the first half of Chapter 43 explains the glorious return of God’s glory into His house to dwell among Israel

      • And His return will remind us of the way He departed

Ezek. 43:1 Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing toward the east;
Ezek. 43:2 and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.
Ezek. 43:3 And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, like the vision which I saw when He came to destroy the city. And the visions were like the vision which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face.
  • Ezekiel is taken by his angelic escort to the east gate of the outer wall of the temple compound

    • And looking through the open gate, Ezekiel sees the glory of the Lord approaching from the east

>> Image 3

  • We remember that the last place we saw the glory was on the top of the mountain to the east of the city – the Mt of Olives

Ezek. 11:22 Then the cherubim lifted up their wings with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them.
Ezek. 11:23 The glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood over the mountain which is east of the city.
Ezek. 11:24 And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God to the exiles in Chaldea. So the vision that I had seen left me.
  • Now the Lord’s glory returns, beginning at the same point at which it was last seen in Israel

    • Notice this time the cherubim are not present at the return as they were at the departure

    • We know cherubim are protectors of God’s glory

    • So their absence indicates that the Lord’s glory is not under threat of diminishment 

    • Obviously, the circumstances have changed dramatically from the day He left

  • Also, notice how Ezekiel begins to describe the appearance of God’s glory – beginning with the sound of His voice

    • It sounded like the sound of standing over Niagara Falls as the water roars below

      • Or the sound of flood waters charging through a canyon

      • That loud rushing sound that communicates immense power

    • And in then v.3 Ezekiel says the Lord’s appearance was the same as Ezekiel saw by the river Chebar

      • He’s referring to the first vision in which he saw the Lord 

Ezek. 1:26  Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.
Ezek. 1:27 Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him.
Ezek. 1:28 As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.
  • The first appearance of the Lord was a radiant, fire-filled, powerful moment that put Ezekiel on his face in fear

    • And Ezekiel says the appearance of the Lord in the Kingdom will be the same

    • And the effect is to cause Ezekiel to fall on his face again, just as he did in Chapter 1

  • Obviously, this isn’t a description of the Jesus we know from the Gospels, the Jesus Who existed in the Galilee in the first century

    • So perhaps we might assume that this appearance of God’s glory in the temple is a different member of the Godhead…the Father perhaps?

    • Scripture tells us otherwise

  • First, Scripture tells us that the one who rules and reigns over the Kingdom is the Second Person of the Godhead, not the Father

Psa. 110:1  The LORD says to my Lord: 
“Sit at My right hand 
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
Psa. 110:2  The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, 
“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”
Psa. 110:3  Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; 
In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, 
Your youth are to You as the dew.
Psa. 110:4  The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, 
“You are a priest forever 
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
  • This passage describes our Lord ruling over His enemies in the Kingdom of power

    • The Father places Our Lord in this position 

    • And that Lord will also be our Priest according to the Order of Melchizedek, David says

    • That is an unmistakable reference to Jesus, according to the New  Testament writer of Hebrews

Heb. 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.
Heb. 7:15 And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek,
Heb. 7:16 who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life.
Heb. 7:17  For it is attested of Him, 
“YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER 
ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.”
  • So the member of the Godhead who rules the Kingdom is Jesus

    • And according to Psalms (and many other places), Jesus will rule from Zion – from the temple in Jerusalem 

    • So we must conclude that the Glory of God that Ezekiel sees entering the temple here is a reference to Jesus glorified

  • And this conclusion is further confirmed by the two descriptions of Jesus in glory that we have in the Bible

Rev. 1:9  I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
Rev. 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,
Rev. 1:11 saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
Rev. 1:12  Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;
Rev. 1:13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.
Rev. 1:14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.
Rev. 1:15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.
Rev. 1:16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
Rev. 1:17  When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,
Rev. 1:18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
  • Here again, we know John is describing Jesus, because the Lord says He was dead and is now alive, which is a clear reference to the resurrection  

    • And again His voice sounds like many waters

    • And He has glowing features like fire

    • And it’s so stunning that it puts John on his face dead like Ezekiel 

  • And finally when Jesus was transfigured we read this description 

Matt. 17:1  Six days later Jesus  took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and  led them up on a high mountain by themselves.
Matt. 17:2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.
  • Once again, the pattern is the same

  • Jesus in His glorified form will not wear a soft robe, eat fish around a table with His disciples or ride a donkey in sandals 

  • He will shine forth, sound like a tumult and illuminate the temple by His presence, prompting reverence and fear

  • So now the glory of God is returning to reside in His temple for the duration of the Kingdom

Ezek. 43:4 And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate facing toward the east.
Ezek. 43:5 And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.

>> Image 4

  • The glory of the Lord enters from the East gate

    • This is the east gate that we saw described earlier in Chapter 40

    • The glory of God exited from that direction back in Chapter 11 and now He returns from the same direction

    • Though He left a very different temple and gate at the time

  • Other Scriptures confirm that the Lord returns again by the east

Acts 1:9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Acts 1:10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them.
Acts 1:11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
Acts 1:12  Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.
  • Jesus departed from the Mt. of Olives east of the city and temple

>> Image 5

  • And the angel says He will return this way again

  • Zechariah describes that return 

Zech. 14:1 Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you.
Zech. 14:2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.
Zech. 14:3 Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.
Zech. 14:4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
Zech. 14:5 You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!
  • From the context, it’s clear that Zechariah is describing a battle scene involving the nations of the earth and Israel

  • That places us at the end of Tribulation, as the Lord returns to rescue Israel against the Antichrist’s attack

  • So this is the Lord’s Second Coming at the end of this age, not the beginning of the Kingdom age

    • And therefore the city and temple here are of the Tribulation, not the Kingdom

    • Nevertheless, the Lord’s entrance is from the east

    • This confirms what the angel told the apostles as Jesus departed the earth 

  • As the Lord enters the temple in v.4, He would then enter into the outer court

>> Images 6-14

  • That would lead Him directly toward the east gate of the inner court

    • And then through the inner court gate and directly toward the altar

    • And then past the altar and up to the threshold of the temple itself

    • Finally, through the Holy Place and into the Most Holy Place where the glory of the Lord filled the house

  • This is similar to the way the glory entered the first temple

2Chr. 5:1  Thus all the work that Solomon performed for the house of the LORD was finished. And Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, even the silver and the gold and all the utensils, and put them in the treasuries of the house of God.
2Chr. 5:7 Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the house, to the holy of holies, under the wings of the cherubim.
2Chr. 5:11  When the priests came forth from the holy place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without regard to divisions),
2Chr. 5:13 in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the LORD saying, “He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,” then the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud,
2Chr. 5:14 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.
  • Notice this Holy of Holies is empty, which is different than it was in the first temple

    • The first temple contained the ark of the covenant

    • But this temple has no need of an Ark

Jer. 3:15  “Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.
Jer. 3:16 “It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the LORD, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again.
Jer. 3:17 “At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of the LORD,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the LORD; nor will they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart.
  • Jeremiah says that the ark will not be present, not be remembered, not be missed or needed again

    • It was an artifact of the Mosaic Covenant, and a reminder of Sinai and the Law established there

    • Those things have passed away and a covenant and law is in effect, so that ark will not be remembered or needed

  • Once God’s glory fills His house, the entire mountain will also be protected by smoke and flame as it was in the Exodus journey 

Is. 4:2 In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.
Is. 4:3 It will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy — everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem.
Is. 4:4 When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning,
Is. 4:5 then the LORD will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy.
Is. 4:6 There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.
  • The airspace over the mountain will be protected from sun by perpetual shade and will be lit by fire at night, as it was for Moses

>> Image 15

  • In the Exodus, these provisions allowed the people to journey for seven days straight, day and night, without stopping

  • But in the Kingdom, it will protect the mountain from weather of all kinds

  • Presumably it also marks the mountain of the Lord as unique from all else, marking God’s presence in His Temple

  • From this moment, we have Jesus in the Holy of Holies filling the temple with His glory

    • Under the Mosaic Law, only one man could enter this room on one day a year

    • But under the Kingdom law, any priest may enter and it seems they will enter regularly 

  • Still, that limits exposure to Jesus to those who are priests only, and though there will be Gentile priests, it’s unclear who will be appointed

    • So we must assume that Jesus is seen only by a few and even then, His appearance is like John or Ezekiel saw…awesome

    • And will Jesus come out from this place from time to time?

    • The answer comes in the next passage

Ezek. 43:6 Then I heard one speaking to me from the house, while a man was standing beside me.
Ezek. 43:7 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 among the sons of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will not again defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their harlotry and by the corpses of their kings when they die,
Ezek. 43:8 by setting their threshold by My threshold and their door post beside My door post, with only the wall between Me and them. And they have defiled My holy name by their abominations which they have committed. So I have consumed them in My anger.
Ezek. 43:9 “Now let them put away their harlotry and the corpses of their kings far from Me; and I will dwell among them forever.
  • Ezekiel hears a voice again, and it was the voice of the Lord coming from the “house” which is a term for the temple

    • The Lord speaks personally to Ezekiel saying that this will be the place of His throne

      • And here Christ’s feet will dwell among the sons of Israel forever

      • Notice the Lord is very specific…”this place” will be the place He dwells forever

      • In other words, the Lord doesn’t get wanderlust, He doesn’t need to take a walk or vacations

    • The Lord remains in this location for the duration of the Kingdom age, which is called “forever” in this text

      • Contextually, forever means until the end of the age, or we could say until the end of time in the Kingdom

      • We know that this is not the eternal situation for Christ, because Paul says that after the Kingdom ends, the order of things changes

1Cor. 15:25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
1Cor. 15:26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
1Cor. 15:27 For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him.
1Cor. 15:28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
  • Then in the second half of v.7 the Lord says that this dwelling with Israel  will be different than the past

    • The house of Israel will not defile the house of the Lord with their abominations

    • Of course, the first half of this book was a recounting of those abominations

    • It was the cause for the exiles’ banishment from the land

  • But now those exiles were hearing that there would be a day for the people of Israel when they could dwell with the Lord without defiling His temple

    • Specifically, the king wouldn’t allow harlotry in the temple in the Kingdom 

    • The corpses of kings buried by the threshold of the temple is a euphemistic reference to the idols and their altars set up in temple

  • These altars were set up threshold to threshold, door to door, with only a wall between the Lord’s glory and a demon’s altar

    • Imagine how proud Satan must have been to achieve such a thing

    • And it’s the reason the Lord consumed them with His anger He says

    • But not in the Kingdom…things like this won’t happen at all

  • Now our attention turns to the sacrificial system itself, the rules for using the temple

    • This study will go in parts, and our approach will be to simply note important highlights and distinctions to the Mosaic Law

      • But we’ve already addressed the key purposes of the system in general 

      • So we won’t revisit why sacrifice is happening…please refer to earlier lessons for that detail

    • The detail starts with the center of worship…the altar

Ezek. 43:10  “As for you, son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the plan.
Ezek. 43:11 “If they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the house, its structure, its exits, its entrances, all its designs, all its statutes, and all its laws. And write it in their sight, so that they may observe its whole design and all its statutes and do them.
  • First, notice the main purpose in giving Israel so much description of their future temple

    • The grandeur and magnificence of what God will do for Israel in the future brings shame to the people for how they have treated the Lord

      • God’s goodness puts Israel’s faithlessness into stark contrast

      • And that contrast is useful to God in convicting the hearts of the people

    • I believe that’s a pattern you will see repeatedly with the Lord as He disciplines His children

      • He can do His best work of conviction by blessing us beyond measure even in the face of our sin

      • So that we see Him come to our side when we anticipated judgment or retribution 

      • In that moment we’re shocked by the goodness of God 

      • And the awesomeness of the goodness of God can be such a humbling moment that it propels us into greater obedience

    • That’s the point here, to shame Israel for their past by giving them a preview of the glory that God has prepared for them

      • And to do that, the preview needs to be specific so that it can be appreciated fully

      • Which explains all the detailed measurements

      • But for the same reason, it seems that we’re given a preview, not a full accounting

      • If the Mosaic system is rough comparison, then we seem to get details about some aspects of the system while others aren’t mentioned

Ezek. 43:12 “This is the law of the house: its entire area on the top of the mountain all around shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house.
Ezek. 43:13  “And these are the measurements of the altar by cubits (the cubit being a cubit and a handbreadth): the base shall be a cubit and the width a cubit, and its border on its edge round about one span; and this shall be the height of the base of the altar.
Ezek. 43:14 “From the base on the ground to the lower ledge shall be two cubits and the width one cubit; and from the smaller ledge to the larger ledge shall be four cubits and the width one cubit.
Ezek. 43:15 “The altar hearth shall be four cubits; and from the altar hearth shall extend upwards four horns.
Ezek. 43:16 “Now the altar hearth shall be twelve cubits long by twelve wide, square in its four sides.
Ezek. 43:17 “The ledge shall be fourteen cubits long by fourteen wide in its four sides, the border around it shall be half a cubit and its base shall be a cubit round about; and its steps shall face the east.”
  • The sacrificial system is called the law of the house, the “house” being the temple

    • The entire mountain on which the house sits will be called holy

      • And at the center of the mountain and the sacrificial system of Israel sits the altar

      • Altars are not “tables” where we place candles in a church or other such ritual

      • Altars are always places of sacrifice…a place where an innocent’s blood is spilled 

    • Therefore, in the church today we don’t have altars…at most we have tables that we mistakenly call altars

      • But in the Kingdom, sacrifice returns for the reasons we discussed earlier

      • Therefore, an altar will return too

>> Image 16

  • This altar has a terraced design and stands about 16 feet (8 cubits) off the ground

    • The altar itself stands another 8 feet (4 cubits) high 

    • The stairs leading up probably go to the top of the altar, so you stand on top of it

  • After the altar is built, it will be prepared for use

Ezek. 43:18  And He said to me, “Son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘These are the statutes for the altar on the day it is built, to offer burnt offerings on it and to sprinkle blood on it.
Ezek. 43:19 ‘You shall give to the Levitical priests who are from the offspring of Zadok, who draw near to Me to minister to Me,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘a young bull for a sin offering.
Ezek. 43:20 ‘You shall take some of its blood and put it on its four horns and on the four corners of the ledge and on the border round about; thus you shall cleanse it and make atonement for it.
Ezek. 43:21 ‘You shall also take the bull for the sin offering, and it shall be burned in the appointed place of the house, outside the sanctuary.
Ezek. 43:22  ‘On the second day you shall offer a male goat without blemish for a sin offering, and they shall cleanse the altar as they cleansed it with the bull.
Ezek. 43:23 ‘When you have finished cleansing it, you shall present a young bull without blemish and a ram without blemish from the flock.
Ezek. 43:24 ‘You shall present them before the LORD, and the priests shall throw salt on them, and they shall offer them up as a burnt offering to the LORD.
Ezek. 43:25 ‘For seven days you shall prepare daily a goat for a sin offering; also a young bull and a ram from the flock, without blemish, shall be prepared.
Ezek. 43:26 ‘For seven days they shall make atonement for the altar and purify it; so shall they consecrate it.
Ezek. 43:27 ‘When they have completed the days, it shall be that on the eighth day and onward, the priests shall offer your burnt offerings on the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you,’ declares the Lord GOD.”
  • The initial sin offering will be a bull

    • In all cases, the sin in view is that of those who live in the Kingdom in natural sinful bodies

      • It’s providing the temporary physical atonement for those of sin we rule over with Christ

      • And it’s also for that audience to understand Christ’s atonement for sin

    • The ritual you see described here differs from that used in the Mosaic Law

      • The meaning of those differences are not clear, though at the very least they reinforce that the Law has changed

      • Mosaic vs. Kingdom Law

Mosaic Sin Offering Kingdom Sin Offering

Anoints the altar

No anointing of the altar

Demands a sin offering in the form of a bullock for all seven days

Demands a bullock only on the first day

No goat offered

Goats have to be offered for the last six days

Blood applied on the horns of the altar

Blood applied on the horns, the corners, and the lower molding round about

  • Next the angel takes Ezekiel back to the east gate along the outer court of the temple, where the glory of God first entered

Ezek. 44:1 Then He brought me back by the way of the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces the east; and it was shut.
Ezek. 44:2 The LORD said to me, “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the LORD God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut.
Ezek. 44:3 “As for the prince, he shall sit in it as prince to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by way of the porch of the gate and shall go out by the same way.”
  • The east gate is now shut and can’t be used again since it was used by the Lord

    • No one will take the same journey that the Lord took, which clearly symbolize the Lord’s work of atonement

      • That work of Jesus dying on the cross can’t be repeated by anyone

      • So too His journey into the temple won’t be repeated by anyone else

      • So all others will enter through some other route

    • Don’t confuse this sealing with the present-day sealing of the east gate of the Old City of Jerusalem

>> Image 18

  • Today, you see a walled up gate on the east side of the present walls facing the Kidron valley 

  • Those walls were built by Suleiman the Magnificent in the early 16th century

  • For the most part they are built on top of the remains of previous walls built by the crusaders around the 11th century 

  • It was the crusaders who first walled up the east gate thinking Jesus entered through this gate

    • So they believed it should be sealed until Jesus returned

    • But they barred the wrong gate…the gate Jesus entered is buried underground today

  • And of course, the entire modern structure of the temple and walls will be gone when we get to the Kingdom

    • The walls we’re talking about here don’t even exist yet

    • So Jesus will enter the current walls in the Tribulation under a time of distress and destruction

    • No brick is going to stop Him then

    • And then in the Kingdom He enters an all-new temple in full glory

  • Going back to Ezekiel, we see one man will occupy the gate inside the wall, the prince

>> Image 19

  • You may remember from past study that the gates inside city walls served as places of official business

    • And magistrates and other officials would sit in the gate to conduct business

    • So it will be in that day as well

  • The prince of Israel will sit in the gate, though the outer door to the gate will not be opened for anyone

    • So visitors must enter the temple outer court through either the North or South gates 

    • Then they will walk to the East gate and enter through the porch as you see this figure doing in Image 18

  • So who is the prince who will officiate in the temple?

    • We learned back in Ezekiel 34

Ezek. 34:22 therefore, I will deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another.
Ezek. 34:23  “Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.
Ezek. 34:24 “And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them; I the LORD have spoken.
  • Ezekiel named the resurrected King David as the prince, so here he doesn’t bother naming him again

    • David will again rule over Israel, though he is a prince this time because Jesus is the King

    • Since Jesus is on the throne, David doesn’t sit on a throne

  • We also know from elsewhere in Scripture that the government that serves Jesus will include several levels

    • Under David will be the 12 apostles ruling the twelve tribes

Matt. 19:27  Then Peter said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?”
Matt. 19:28 And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
  • The twelve apostles (including Matthias) will rule over the tribes of Israel assembled in their land in the Kingdom

    • This reference is one of those passages that suggests Israel may yet have natural citizens in the Kingdom (despite other passages that seem to say otherwise)

    • Or perhaps there will be natural Gentiles living in the tribes’ territory that require ruling

  • And Gentile believers (Church saints) will also be in the government 

    • Several passages tell us that

1Cor. 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?
1Cor. 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?
  • Paul says the Church will be involved in judging the world and even the angels under Christ’s authority

Rev. 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
  • Again, all who participate in the first resurrection (the believers’ resurrection) will reign with Christ

    • To participate with the resurrection means to be glorified, of course

    • So the glorified will judge the world under Christ’s authority

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  • What place will you have in Christ’s government? Does everyone get the same role? Does it matter?

    • Many passages give us those answers but we get a concise summary in two parables of minas and talents

      • You can read the answer on the VBVMI website here.

      • Next time we pick up with the priesthood and the land divisions for Israel’s tribes