Let’s turn in our Bibles now to Ezekiel chapter forty. I trust that you have your diagram that was made up for you, giving you sort of a one view.
Now let me say that with all of these things there are various interpretations. This particular diagram has the gates rather broad, and narrow going in. It should be noted that there are some who believe that the gates will actually be rather deep. In other words, that they will, rather than broad, they will be deeper. So you’ll actually pass through the gate which would be quite a room. But as far as, I think to just sort of get the feeling, is that we ought to sort of come into the rebuilt temple, the new temple that will be in Jerusalem.
Now in the book of Revelation, John in chapter eleven, sees a temple and he is commanded to measure the temple even as Ezekiel measured this temple. The difference being, John was told not to measure the outer court, because it had been given to the Gentiles. So that leads to certain speculation. Is this temple in Ezekiel, the same temple that John saw in the book of Revelation, the temple that will exist, and will be built by the Jews, and will be existing during the great tribulation period.
It is quite possible that they are different, that the temple that Ezekiel sees is the future temple during the millennial kingdom age, whereas John sees the temple that was built by the Jews at the present time, or very shortly, who that will be standing in the time of the great tribulation. The temple that will be profaned by the Antichrist, who will stand in the temple of God proclaiming himself to be God, and demanding to be worshiped as God. It could be that, that temple that John sees is destroyed, that this is a completely new temple in the kingdom age.
So we’ll look at this temple and the grounds, and let’s enter in through the north gate. You’re not really aloud to enter in through the east gate, that’s for the prince. He will enter in by the porch of that gate, and sit in that gate. But we will have to enter by either the north, or the south gate. But let’s enter by the north gate, which is on the right hand side of your page.
As you enter in, you have to ascend seven steps. The idea being is that, in coming to worship God, you are always ascending. The worship of God is always elevating. You’re always coming up. It’s interesting concerning the city of Jerusalem, that they always say, “Let’s go up to Jerusalem”. Now you might be on the top of mount Everest, but you’d say, “Well let’s go up to Jerusalem”. You never go down to Jerusalem. You go down to San Diego. But, you never go down to Jerusalem, it’s always, always ascending up to it, because it is the city of God. The elevating as you are coming up to worship God. The interesting thing about the worship of God, it is always elevating for man. It is always lifting you up. The worship of God is always that of lifting you up.
The worship of false gods is bringing you down. David speaks about, “The gods of the heathen are vain, they carve them out of wood, they make them out of silver, they have eyes but they can’t see, they have feet, but they can’t walk, ears but they can’t hear. They that have made them have become like unto them.”
He observes that when a man makes a god, he makes the god like himself. Eyes, because I have eyes, ears, because I have ears, he makes the god like himself. But he makes the god really less than himself. Because, though I carve eyes on the little god, the eyes can’t see, though I carve ears, it can’t hear. Though I carve a mouth, it can’t speak. Thus when I make a god, I make a god actually less than myself.
But then the observation, “they that have made them have become like the gods they have made”. The truth of the matter is that you are becoming like your god. If you’re serving a false god, a god that you’ve made, a god that is insensate, you’re becoming insensate. Thus worshiping of false gods, is always bringing a man down to a lower level.
Where worshiping the true God, is always bringing you to a higher level. Thus the idea of coming up the steps. So we come up the seven steps into the north gate. We observe these little chambers in this north gate. These chambers are for the priests who have the duty of keeping order and all and observing the order, keeping, sort of policing the whole area that is there.
As we pass into the courtyard, we find that from the gate to the inner courtyard, is a space of about one hundred yards, about the length of a football field, this outer court. This whole outer wall is about five hundred cubits, or seven hundred and fifty feet square. So the inner court is a hundred cubits, or a hundred and fifty feet. The outer courts are three hundred feet, and so it gives you the seven hundred and fifty feet total from the north gate, to the south gate.
Now incidentally, if you enter through the north gate, you have to exit through the south gate. You can’t come back out the north gate. If you enter through the south gate, you have to exit through the north gate, you cannot come back through the south gate. Why? I don’t know. There’s probably, Chuck Missler could probably find some symbolism in that. But you do not exit through the gate that you entered. It’s sort of ensures your passing through, I suppose, the whole court.
So you enter into this outer court, and you come across this courtyard, you’ll observe of course, on the right, the northwest chamber on your left, the northeast chamber. But up in the corner on right, and left, you will notice these smaller little chambers, and these smaller little chambers are where they roast, or where they cook the sacrifices, they boil the sacrifices, and they roast the sacrifices in these small little chambers at the corner. Then, these larger chambers that, as you’re looking ahead to the right and to the left, on the right side, the northwest chamber is where the priests eat the sacrifices, and where they change their garments, and it’s, it’s a place for the priests.
As we cross the courtyard, we come on into the inner court, and again we see the gate, we come up now eight steps, elevating up to the, bringing us up to the level of the inner courtyard, and the altar. Again we notice the cubicles, and then as we get inside there are the places for the priests, the little, and the places for the choir. In the center of this court, you’ll see at about seven feet high, and about uh, let’s see, twelve cubits, eighteen feet square, this altar with horns on each corner of the altar. This is the altar of sacrifice.
Then over on the right, you will see the sanctuary itself, the, the steps leading up to the sanctuary. Then there of course, are the various little chambers there. Because we are redeemed and we are priests unto God, we can enter into this and not worry about coming into the Holy of Holies, seeing that we have Jesus Christ as our great High Priest, we can enter boldly into the presence of God through Him. We are accepted in the Beloved. So why don’t we just go ahead and go on into the Holy of Holies, and enjoy just the presence of God in the Holy of Holies?
We come first into the holy place. We are in a room that is about thirty by sixty in size. As we pass through that room of course we would see the altar of incense, and the other, the menorah and so forth that was in the tabernacle, the shew bread. But then passing on into the holy place, you’re in a room that is cubed a thirty feet. This is the Holy of Holies, the place of God’s dwelling. As we exit out, in coming back into the inner courtyard, we then would have to, as I say, go to the southern gate to exit.
So we go out the southern gate of the inner courtyard, into the outer courtyard, cross the three hundred feet and into the southern gate, through the southern gate, and on out into the outer area. So basically, an area that is seven hundred and fifty square feet, or seven hundred fifty feet in each direction. It’d be more than seven hundred fifty feet, seven fifty, times seven fifty, give you the square footage of it. But and, pretty much symmetrical in design with the exception of the Holy of Holies, and the holy place, which is there on the west side. As I said, we can’t go out the eastern gate, it is closed, it’s specifically for the Prince. But that gives you sort of an overall view.
As I say, this particular diagram here, it doesn’t give you the correct dimensions of the outer courts. These walls should be extended out, because from the distance here it would look like the inner courtyard is the same distance as the outer courtyard, when in actuality the outer courtyards are about twice the size of the inner courtyard on either side. So that basically gives you the idea of what the new temple is going to look like.
So as we turn to chapter forty, this prophecy or this vision, came to Ezekiel…
In the twenty fifth year of their captivity (40:1),
So you’re talking at about 575 B.C., figuring that Ezekiel was taken captive around 600 B.C., the twenty fifth year would be 575. The interesting thing is this is about twelve years after the last prophecy. So that there was a period of, of approximately twelve years, in which there is no recorded prophecy of Ezekiel. You know, as we read this, we think sort of concurrent in time and that, here’s a guy and it’s just always there, but there are spaces of time between these.
I think that a lot of times in reading the Bible we get wrong impressions, because you have a lot of experiences over several years, sort of capsulated together. As we read it, we’re sort of thinking of it as happening concurrently, and we don’t think of the time gaps between.
In the Book of Acts, you read of all of the miracles that happened in the book of Acts, and it seemed like they were you know, experiencing a miracle a day kind of a thing! In other words, just miracles all the time, and everywhere! But if you will look carefully, the book of Acts actually covers a period of about thirty years or so. Maybe there’s fifteen miracles, that gives you one for every two years. Rather than as we’re prone to think of just you know, always, always, always, there were those lag times.
With Ezekiel now, we have a lag time of about twelve years before he gets this vision of the rebuilt temple. It was…
the hand of the Lord [He says] was upon me, and he brought me thither. In the visions of God he brought me into the land of Israel, he set me on a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south (40:1-2).
So he was on the north of the city, on a high mountain. Perhaps Mount Scopus, where the city was sort of framed toward the south. You go up to Mount Scopus and you get a very fascinating view of Jerusalem. It’s sort of framed there on the south from Mount Scopus. You get an excellent view of the temple mount area. From there he would have an excellent view of, of this new temple that is to be built. This is in the spirit. He was, he was having a vision of this.
In the book of Revelation, as John describes how the revelation came to him, he said, “I, John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day”. That, “upon the Lord’s day”, could be translated, “unto the day of the Lord”. I think that, that probably is the preferred translation. Actually, the Lord took John, by the Spirit, to a future time, to, to the time of the great tribulation. He recorded the events, “And I saw, and I saw…”, and he is watching these things, and describing these things as he saw them. Going into the dimension of the spirit, you leave the time continuum, and you are in that eternal dimension.
Ezekiel was taken through the Spirit, through time. Not just to Jerusalem, but also through time to a day that is yet future, where he saw this temple, that will no doubt, be the temple that does exist, during the kingdom age, and the reign of Jesus Christ.
So when you enter the realm of the spirit, you leave the realm of time, and you are able to see things that are spirit in nature. It’s, it’s the capacity of observing the spirit world. It’s entering into the realm of the spirit world.
Thus, John was taken by the Spirit to Jerusalem. The city is there framed in front of him, and…
The Lord told him to behold with his eyes, hear with his ears, [And set his heart upon the things that the Lord was gonna show him.] listen, watch, and set your heart now on these things (40:4),
For the purpose that he might relay them to the other captives in Babylon. The hope of the future. Things are dark, things are dismal, “You’re gonna die here in Babylon. You’re not gonna see Jerusalem again. You’re not gonna return to Jerusalem.” But yet, there is a day that is coming, in which the glory of the Lord shall return. There will be again a glorious temple, and the worship of God, there in Jerusalem. So he was to encourage the people by sharing with them this vision that he had.
So he begins to describe the future temple in verse five. We’ve already gone through this temple. He gives you the measurement of the various courts and so forth. The interesting thing is that in verse thirty nine…
In the porch of the gate there were two tables on either side, to slay the burnt offerings and the sin offerings and the trespass offering. And at the side without, as one goeth up to the entry of the north gate, there were two tables; and on the other side, which was the porch of the gate, there were two tables (40:39-40).
So four tables, and all. There is where they killed the sacrifices. We will be reading as we go along, about the burnt offerings, about the sin offerings, the trespass offerings. It causes us to wonder why there would be sin offerings and trespass offerings in the future.
As we read in the book of Hebrews, concerning the sacrifices in the Old Testament, the sin offerings, and the trespass offerings, we read that, “they could not put away sin. It is impossible that the blood of bulls or goats could put away sin.” But, actually they were looking towards the future, to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, as the Lamb of God, by which sins would be put away. God has provided a better sacrifice for us. The blood of bulls and goats could only cover their sins.
Through the blood of Jesus Christ, our sin is put away, it is washed, cleansed. Thus the question then arises, when Jesus has offered Himself as a sin offering, once and for all, having once offered Himself, has sat down at the right hand of the Father, until His enemies are made His footstool, one sacrifice forever. Finished, complete! The Rock has been smitten, never needs to be smitten again. Then, why will there be sin offerings, trespass offerings, in the kingdom age?
The offerings of the Old Testament, did not actually put away sin. They only were foreshadowing, and looking forward to the perfect sacrifice that would be offered by Jesus Christ. So that the offerings during the millennial kingdom age will be memorial. They will put us in remembrance of that sacrifice that Jesus made for us. They will not be putting away the sin, but they will be reminders to us of that perfect sacrifice that God has offered for our sins, in giving His Only Begotten Son as the Lamb of God, who was slain without spot or blemish. So it will be in a memorial. We’ll be reminded, and surely we will rejoice in what Jesus Christ has done for us, as we see the sacrifices and we’ll realize more fully the price that He paid, in order to deliver us from the penalty of our sins.
Verse forty four speaks of these inner chambers where they have the singers in the inner court. I don’t know if they’ll have drums and electric guitars, but it’s gonna be glorious, just the singing, the music that attends the worship of God.
The chamber that is toward the south is for the priests, those who are the keepers of the charge of the house of God. Those towards the north for the priests who are in charge of the altar: and the sons of Zadok and Levi, which come near to the Lord to minister unto him (40:45-46).
In chapter forty one he continues in the description of the temple, and the measurement of it. He gives us there in verse four…
The measurement of the most holy place [As we told you was] thirty by thirty (41:4),
As far as the feet are concerned, and gives you further descriptions of the buildings and all, which we’ve already passed through and looked at.
In chapter forty two, he continues in the descriptions of the walls, the thicknesses of the walls, the chambers, and so forth. As you read it again with the diagram, perhaps you can get a little better feel of it.
Then he said unto me, The north chambers, and the south chambers. [Take a look at that, you have those chambers there.] which were before the separate place, shall be holy chambers where the priests that approach unto the Lord shall eat the most holy things: and there shall they lay the most holy things, the meal offerings, the sin offerings, the trespass offerings for the place is holy (42:13).
The outer walls four sides: a wall round about, five hundred [And notice the word] reeds (42:20),
There, is in italics, which means that, that was inserted by the translators, but they probably were wrong, it should read “cubits”. A reed was about ten feet long, and that would make the place a mile square. But the rest of the measurements of the temple are in the cubits, and so it probably should read “cubits”.
and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place (42:20).
Or the common place outside of the sanctuary. This is a holy place unto the Lord. Separate unto God, and there is to be a wall to separate the holy places from the profane.
Now in the temple that John saw in the book of Revelation, the temple that existed during the tribulation period, in that temple, as John measured it, as we mentioned, he was ordered not to measure the outer court, because it had been given to the Gentiles, or to the heathen. Thus, the suggestion that the temple that will be built by the Jews, for the reestablishing of their worship, which they are very intent on doing right now. You can go to Jerusalem and there in the, the temple foundation, you can see the implements, you read here of the hooks and all, you can, you can see the hooks that they are making. You can see the silver pitcher in which they will catch the blood, and carry the blood to pour it upon the altar. You can see these things that they are already making in Jerusalem, for use when the temple is rebuilt.
Now it’s interesting in Israel today, there is sort of among some of the people, and there’s sort of a rumor, and there’s a feeling among some of the people, that they are not going to actually have to build the temple. They believe that it’s going to miraculously appear. That one day when they wake up, and look at the temple mount, the Mosque will be gone, the Dome of the Rock will be gone, and Mosque, and the Aqsa Mosque, and that the temple will be there, and uh, so that they will not actually have to build it. That, that is the feeling, and it is a growing feeling among many of the Jews. I just pass that on for sake of interest. But the last time I was there, and talking to them, they were sharing with me this, this new kind of feeling that they have, that they won’t have to rebuild the temple, that it’ll just miraculously appear there on the temple mount.
But the temple that is built during the tribulation period, the first seven, first half of the seven years, will probably co-exist with the Dome of the Rock Mosque. It will be, that would be a portion of the outer court, which John did not measure, inasmuch as it was given to the Gentiles. This new one, it’ll occupy the whole territory, and in fact, it’s even a little larger than what the temple mount is. They’ll have to expand that a bit, but it’ll occupy the whole territory there. So he describes this wall that separates the sanctuary from the profane, or common place.
Now after this [The description of the temple and all.] he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looks toward the east (43:1).
Now this is the gate that was shut, and we will get that next week as he talks about this gate that is shut. It is shut because the Lord has entered in by that gate, and it is for the prince. He shall use that gate. Six days it will be shut, on the Sabbath day, he will, the prince will come in by that gate.
We’ll talk about the prince next week, as we get into that portion, and why it is quite possible the prince in Ezekiel here is not the Messiah. There are indications, aspects about him that would sort of, for instance, he has sons. He can give his land to his sons, and it remains theirs. He can give a portion of his land to servants, but that reverts back to him in the year of liberty. So, we’ll look at that next week. It’s an interesting facet. But, “the gate that is looking toward the east”…
And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like the noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory (43:2).
Back in chapters nine, and chapters ten, he talks about seeing the glory of the Lord upon the threshold of the, of the temple. In chapter eleven, the glory of the Lord leaves the temple, and is on the mount of Olives, and the glory of God departs from Jerusalem. This is more, or less the beginning of what the scriptures call, “the times of the Gentiles”. Up to this point, the glory of God was among the people, there in the, there was always that glory of God that, that existed among the people. But now, the glory of God departs. The Jews are scattered among the Gentiles. So we have entered into the time of the Gentiles, from the time that Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem.
Now Jesus, in referring to this, “times of the Gentiles”, said that, “Jerusalem would be trodden under foot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Jerusalem was trodden under the foot of the Gentiles until 1967, at which time Jerusalem again came under the control of the Israeli government, after the six day war. So that if Jesus is referring to that particular time, we are just really in a time gap here, just in a transition between the times of the Gentiles having been fulfilled, and God again putting His Spirit upon Israel, and dealing with them for that last seven year covenant that God has with the nation of Israel. So we’re, we’re right in that little time gap between the two, as we are transitioning from one era, into another era. The times of the Gentiles having been fulfilled, with Jerusalem back under the control, and thus, coming back into the times of Israel once more, when God will deal with them as a nation.
Now the glory of the God of Israel came by way of the east (43:4).
When Jesus comes again, He talked to the disciples about the signs of His coming. He said, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, shall they see the sign of the Son of man, coming with clouds, and great glory”. The glory of God, His coming again. Zacharias tells us, “He shall set His foot on that day, on the mount of Olives, and it will split in the middle, a great valley will be formed. There will flow this river through the valley, that will flow on down to the area of the Jordan valley, into the Dead sea, and as the waters come into the Dead sea, the waters will be healed”.
Ezekiel will tell us a little bit about that river, as he measures the river there, right by the gate. Then, as he goes downstream a ways, and walks through again, and it’s gonna go downstream a little further. It gets so deep, he has to swim across. The increased flows of water out of this new valley that will be formed as the mount of Olives splits in the middle, dividing to the north and to the south, forming the new valley. The great valley from which no doubt, it will open up a spring of water that is under Jerusalem, and this river will begin to flow out of Jerusalem, down to the Dead sea. A great river at that, as we’ll get Ezekiel’s description of it a little further on.
So when Christ comes, He comes to the Mount of Olives, and then enters into Jerusalem from the east. So, “the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east”. His voice was like the sound of many waters. In Revelation chapter one, in the description of Jesus Christ, you have that, that very same description of Him, “and His voice being as the sound of many waters”, Revelation one, fifteen.
Then, you have also, “His feet like unto fine brass”, and here it was also a description of the brass, which we passed over. You that read carefully, got it. I didn’t cover it tonight. But verse three, of chapter forty, “There was a man whose appearance was like unto the appearance of brass, and he had a line of flax”, that is, a, a string to measure with.
You can’t really measure with a, with a straight reed. A reed was sort of like a bamboo pole, and it was ten feet long, the measuring reed. In, in those days they had the measurement of a cubit, which generally was from the elbow to the tip of the finger. Then they had what they called the enlarged cubit, which was from the elbow to the tip of the finger, plus the width of your hand. So eighteen inches plus about four inches, gives you about a twenty two inch cubit. Or, they had the eighteen inch cubit. They had the span which was about nine inches. They had the breadth of the hand which was about four inches. Then they would make these reeds out of bamboo, as a general rule. They would cut them at the various lengths, and the reed was in this case, about ten feet long, the measuring reed that he used. So those were the, the measurements.
Now in this description of Jesus in Revelation, he also describes Him that, “His countenance was as the sun shineth in His strength”. His face looked like the sun shining in it’s strength. So here, in the description, “and the earth shined with His glory”. “They shall see the sign of the Son of man coming with clouds and great glory.” Zacharias tells us that at that time, “they will look on Him who they have pierced”. Interesting. “They will say unto Him, What are the meaning of these wounds in your hands?” They will of course recognize that Jesus was indeed, God’s promised Messiah.
So it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, the vision that I saw when I came to observe the destruction of the city: the earlier vision when he was there by Chebar (43:3);
When he was brought back from Jerusalem and saw the glory of God departing, it’s that same glory, only it’s returning, coming again upon Jerusalem from the east, having departed to the east, returning from the east. So he said…
I fell upon my face (43:3).
This was a common kind of response and reaction to these glorious revelations of God. Daniel was falling on his face when he would see these revelations from God, these visions. John you remember two or three times talks about falling on his face. It must be an awesome thing to have that kind of dynamic experience with God, where you are actually brought by the Spirit into this dimension and realm.
The glory of the Lord came into the house by way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and he brought me into the inner court; [So you can see the inner courtyard there on your diagram.] and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house (43:4-5).
The sanctuary and the holy place, and the Holy of Holies. God’s glory filled it, even as the glory of God came down upon the tabernacle, even as the glory of God came upon the temple built by Solomon, II Chronicles, chapter seven, verse one. Now the glory of God comes and fills this house, this temple that is built there in Jerusalem.
And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me (43:6).
Now too, as with John, there was a revelator, an angel, and then also the Lord Himself that was speaking to John through the book of Revelation. In some places it was the angel that was speaking to him, telling him these things, and instructing him. When John was confused, the angel would sort of explain to John some of the things. It would seem that there is a revelator here, as well as the Lord speaking to Ezekiel, much as with the case of John.
So he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, [You see, God is speaking to him here.] and the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever (43:7),
God’s covenant. He’s gonna dwell in the midst, “this is the place of my throne, the place of the soles of my feet, I’ll dwell forever”.
and my holy name, [Yahweh] shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredoms, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations which they have committed: wherefore I consumed them in my anger (43:7-8).
So God speaks of this new covenant, this new relationship. The kings of Israel had polluted the sanctuary of God, they had not made a distinction between the holy and the profane. They even had built an altar unto Baal in the temple area under the reign of Manasseh. Horrible, horrible abominations against the Lord. But this is all over. This is a new age, this is a new era.
Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever. And thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, [That is, this temple and all] that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. [“Let them understand the measurements and all.”] And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion of it, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in, and all of the ordinances, and the forms of it, and all the laws: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them (43:9- 11).
“Show them, explain them, tell them, that they might keep them, and that they might do them.” It’s not sufficient just to know, the importance is, “be ye doers of the word”. Paul spoke of the, of the mistake that the Jews had made in, in their bragging of the law. They were always saying, “We have the law of God! God committed to us His laws!” But Paul said, “They that have the law are not justified, but they that keep the law”. They were making that mistake of just boasting in having the law of God. That doesn’t mean anything! In fact, it means greater condemnation, because you know better! But it’s in the doing, the keeping. As James says, “Be ye doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves”. A lot of people are being deceived because they hear the word of God. They know the word of God, they can give you chapter and verse. But if they’re not doing it, if they’re not keeping it, then they’re only deceiving themselves. “So that they might keep and that they might do.”
For this is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house (43:12).
This is the place where the Lord will meet with His people! So we then have the description of the altar. We’ve already gone over that with you, the altar that is in the center of the inner court yard, with the horns and all. It is described for you there. The place where they will offer the burnt offerings, and to sprinkle the blood upon this altar.
The burnt offerings were the offerings of consecration. The idea was that of consecrating yourself unto God. It’s more or less saying, “Lord my old life of the flesh, burned, consumed. Not to be living after the flesh, not to be mastered by my flesh anymore. But Lord, to live for you. To live a life that is consecrated unto you.” A beautiful offering.
And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the descendants of Zadok, which approach me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord God, a young bullock for a sin offering. Then you are to take the blood of it, and put it on the horns of the altar, and the four corners of the [of the] settle, [Which is the upper part of the altar.] and the border round about: and thou shalt cleanse it and purge it. Then take the blood, offer the bullock for the sin offering (43:19-21),
It tells how the whole thing is to be cleansed through these offerings for seven days. After the sin offerings for seven days, then they are to offer then the burnt offerings unto the Lord. But seven days in purging the altar, purifying it, and the priests consecrating themselves.
And when these days are over it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and from then on, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord (43:27).
Beautiful! God’s promise is, “I will accept you.” Paul the apostle tells us in Ephesians, that, “God has blessed us with all kinds of spiritual blessings in Christ, in heavenly places”. Having sort of introduced that section of the book of Ephesians by giving thanks to God for all of these spiritual blessings in Christ, he begins to list some of the spiritual blessings that God has bestowed upon us in Christ Jesus. The, the key phrases are, “in Christ”, or, “by Him”, or, “through Him”. What I have, the inheritance that I have in Christ. The relationship that I have with God through Jesus Christ. These marvelous blessings that are mine in Christ, and through Christ. One of them that Paul lists towards the top of the list is, “We have been accepted in the Beloved”. God accepts me in Christ Jesus.
Now I could not hope to have any acceptance by God, in myself. I would dare not even approach God, or think about approaching God, in my own merits! I surely would not be accepted! But in Christ Jesus, He accepts me. What a glorious blessing! God is saying here, that at that time, once the place has all been purified and set up after these sacrifices, then they can offer the burnt offerings and the peace offerings.
Peace offerings were, were communion. They were where you just fellowship with God. It’s just coming to just spend time with Him. Fellowshipping with Him. God will accept it. As we will be offering the peace offerings, and the burnt offerings in that day, consecration unto the Lord, and just the fellowship with Him, there in the temple of the future.
So interesting things to look forward to! Just what the place of the church will be, I’m not certain. This seems to be set up for Israel. The land will be a portioned to Israel again, in different sections than they had before. As we will get into our next lesson, they, they are sort of horizontally across the country from the north all the way up to Damascus, clear on down to Egypt, the places for the different tribes. But they’re set horizontally across the country. The, Dan gets the most northern portion. Then it lists the tribes, and the portions they get coming on south from the area of Damascus.
But fascinating things that I, I think that a lot of these mysteries will be solved in just a very short time. I think that we are really in time, right to this place of, of just watching things come together. The climax of the times of the Gentiles, and, and God’s covenant with Israel, and the establishing of God’s Spirit and work upon the nation of Israel, once again. So it won’t be a mystery for us very long! By the next time we go through the Bible, I’m sure that we’ll have a much better explanation! We will then understand far more clearly. As uh, well, maybe I’ll take you on a walking tour through the place, and I won’t have to use a little diagram, and we can look the whole thing over! That’ll be exciting, won’t it?
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7334