Let’s turn to Ezekiel chapter forty four, as we are coming to the close of the prophecy. Ezekiel had prophesied the fall of Jerusalem, and after Jerusalem fell, and word came, then the prophesies of Ezekiel went out towards the future. So the early part of the book of Ezekiel is filled with a lot of warnings, dire warnings of the dark times, of the difficult times. But then the prophesies after those difficult times came, and Jerusalem fell. Then the prophesies turned towards the future.
God never ends the story on a dark note. Sometimes we think that the story is going to end on a dark note. We get all fearful, and filled with anxiety, and we think, “Oh my what are we going to do?” But, it’s glorious to me to realize God never ends the story on a dark note. He always points out to the bright, and glorious future.
Now as the Bible prophesied of the days in which we live, it was again, like Ezekiel’s prophesies concerning the fall of Jerusalem, they’re very dark, they’re very dismal. As you read the book of Revelation, and you read of the things that are gonna take place on the earth, during the great tribulation, they are very dark, dismal days indeed! But the book of Revelation doesn’t end with the dark, dismal days of the tribulation. But again, the book of Revelation ends in the glory of heaven.
So Ezekiel takes you through the dark days that were going to come. Once those days had been fulfilled, then Ezekiel’s prophesies turn toward the glorious future that God has for Israel. Even as the book of Revelation takes us to the glorious future that God has for the church. So the end of the story is always glorious! Sometimes you get some pretty dark chapters, and life will lead you through some pretty dark experiences. But, know this, God never ends the story in darkness, but always in glorious victory, the ultimate victory of our Lord Jesus Christ! That’s what I love about the Bible, is that it is a book that always leads us towards the light of the future, the glorious future of God’s people!
So as we are in these final chapters of Ezekiel, he is actually prophesying of the period in which Jesus Christ will be ruling and reigning over the earth for a thousand years. We are beyond the tribulation days, we’ve come into the time of, of the reign of Jesus Christ for a thousand years over the earth. Again, Israel is to be restored as God’s people. The worship will be restored in the temple. The priesthood will be restored.
Now it is important to realize that the place of the church in this kingdom age, is different from the place of Israel. You see, as we are dealing with Israel in the kingdom age, you have to realize that these Israelites are not in their glorified bodies. We will be in our glorified bodies. “This corruption will have put on incorruption, this mortal will have put on immortality. We will be in that, in that higher degree of in our new bodies. As Paul the apostle was talking to the Corinthians, he said, “We know that when this earthly body is dissolved, when it goes back to the dust, we have a building of God that’s not made with hands, eternal in the heavens”. It’s a new body, glorious new body.
We will be in our glorified body, but Israel will have survived the great tribulation period. God will have sealed a hundred and forty four thousand of them, and others will flee and be protected from the Antichrist and his fury. When the Lord comes again, there will be many of Israel who have lived through, and survived the great tribulation. But they are still in their mortal bodies. Thus, still being in their mortal bodies, their bodies will be subject unto death. So there will be those who will die during the kingdom age, because they have not yet received their glorified bodies, because they have lived through, and survived the great tribulation, and lived on into the kingdom age.
So it’s important as we read these things, we’ll be reading of, of death. You’ll say, “Well how is it that there will be no death, if Satan is bound and is in the abusso for this thousand year period of time, how is it there’ll be death?” Well, there will still be people who have lived through the tribulation into the kingdom age, who are still living in their normal physical bodies. They have not yet gone through that metamorphosis and received their new bodies. “The building of God not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
So with that kind of a background, we’ve already looked at the, at the temple that is to be built where the worship will again be inaugurated. In chapter forty four, we are introduced to a leader who is known as the prince, who is a vice regent here upon the earth. He leads in the worship of God. He has, he’s sort of God’s man upon the earth, probably a descendant of David. But he is not the promised Messiah. Jesus, the promised Messiah, will of course be in the new Jerusalem that comes down from God out of heaven, and reigning over all. But this one is there in Israel, and he has a portion of the land given to him, very prominent place. He has a very prominent place in the leading of the people, especially in their worship.
Now as we looked at the temple diagram last week, we saw that there were gates on the north, and the south, and upon the east. The gate on the east is the one that we’ll be looking at for a little bit tonight.
He brought me back by the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looks toward the east; and it was shut. Then the Lord said unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. For it is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the Lord; he shall enter by way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same (44:1-3).
So it’s for the exclusive use of the prince. He enters in and goes out by the way of this gate that is toward the east. The rest of the people come in the gates from the north or from the south. As we will see tonight, if you enter into the place of worship from the north gate, you have to exit by the south. If you enter in by the south gate, you have to exit by the north.
The gate that is toward the east, toward the mount of Olives, as we mentioned last week, when Ezekiel saw the Spirit of God leaving, the Spirit of God rested over the threshold of the gate towards the east, and then on the mount of Olives, and then away. You remember that when Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem? He made it from the mount of Olives. He descended from the mount of Olives and came on into the city of Jerusalem. It is quite possible that He came in through the east gate. Because that would be the direct route into the city from the mount of Olives in those days.
So when He comes again, He will set His foot on the mount of Olives Zachariah tells us, and it will split, create a new valley. As He comes in again, no doubt the Spirit of God returning, coming from the way of the east, as Ezekiel saw Him, entering through the east gate. Again, God’s Spirit resting there in the place of His sanctuary in the midst of the people. So because the Lord enters in by this gate, it is shut. It isn’t a common gate used for everyone, but only for this prince. He enters in by the porch of the gate, and he eats there in the porch. The gate has a porch and all. It’s not just a door, but it is a room, and little sub-rooms and so forth. It’s quite an elaborate thing.
If you go to Jerusalem today, you can see the gate of Damascus. The Damascus gate there, and you’ll see that it’s, it’s, you come into the entrance, and then you make a right turn, and then you make another right turn as you, you come on into the city. In this area within the gate they have little shops. But off to the side of the gate, especially the old gate of Damascus, on down below, there’s even a large quarters for the guards down there. There was a spiral staircase that went up to the top of the wall. So the gates were, were more than just a gate itself. But there are porches and all within the gate. This is where this prince will eat, and all.
Now an interesting thing, when the present wall was built around Jerusalem, part of it was built over the top of the wall that was there at the time of Herod. As you’re in Jerusalem, you can see portions of the wall of Nehemiah’s time. It’s interesting the excavations that have been made, and the history that you can see often confirming what the Bible says of these various broad walls, and where it talks about them taking down the houses to fortify the broad wall, you can actually see the houses that have been taken down! The footings of the houses are still there. But they were used to strengthen the broad wall. They’ve uncovered all of that, and it’s quite fascinating.
But when the present wall was built by Solomon in about 465, in that area, 14 rather, 65, in that area of time, and some Moslem evidently, because it was under their control from the time that Solomon had built this, read this prophecy in Ezekiel. Not quite understanding, what Ezekiel was talking about, saw that the Lord was gonna enter by the east gate, and so they sealed up the east gate of the Solomon wall. You go there today, and you find the east gate is all sealed up. They figured that they would stop the Messiah from coming into Jerusalem by sealing up that east gate. So you go there today, and you see that east gate sealed. But that is not the gate that Ezekiel is talking about. But it does make it interesting to go to Jerusalem and see the east gate all blocked up. You can’t of course get through it because of these huge stones, by which they have blocked the east gate.
But he brought me by the way of the north gate [Now evidently they went from this east gate, they went around now to the north gate.] before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord: and I fell upon my face (44:4).
Oh how wonderful! The glory of God returns, and is now again in the house of the Lord. It’s such an awesome thing for Ezekiel to behold this in this vision, that he falls on his face in worship of God.
And the Lord said unto me, Son of man, mark well, [Now he’s supposed to be very careful now, “mark this well”.] behold with your eyes, and hear with your ears [“Now pay close attention”, the Lord’s really putting an emphasis upon this!] of all that I say unto you concerning all of the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all the laws; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary. [“Make careful note of these things.”] For you shall say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations. [“Let it be finished, you’ve done enough in the abominable things, now let it be sufficient.”] In that you have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when you offer my bread and the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all of your abominations. And you have not kept the charge of mine holy things: but you have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves (44:5-8).
Now when the temple was built, they had the court of the Gentiles, where the Gentiles could come. But then there was a wall, and there were signs warning the Gentiles not to come in beyond that wall, or they would be killed. It was just for the Jews. Then of course they had the inner court which was for the priests, and then the Holy of Holies, which was just for the high priest. So the closer you got to God, the more exclusive it became. Gentiles were on the outside of the first wall, the court of the Gentiles, and then the court of the women, where the Jewish women could come in. Then the men, inner yet. Then, further on in, the priests, and then right into the Holy of Holies, where he went into the presence of God to intercede for the people, for the nation.
So when the church is taken out of the earth at the Rapture, and the Lord then begins to deal directly with Israel, the nation of Israel again, Israel will first of all be deceived by the Antichrist, who will make a covenant with them. No doubt in that covenant, make provision for them to build some sort of a temple, or a place to re-institute their worship. They will begin again daily prayers, and sacrifices. For we are told that in the midst of this seven year period, or after three and a half years, the Antichrist will come into the Holy of Holies of the rebuilt temple, and profane it. He will cause the daily sacrifices to cease, and he will set up an abomination which will bring the desolation, or the great tribulation upon the earth. The final straw of man’s insults to God, as the Antichrist comes to the temple of God, shows that he is God, and demands to be worshiped as God, and leaves the image of himself in the Holy of Holies of that temple that they will build.
Now this is probably what Ezekiel is here referring to, in that the, the “uncircumcised of heart and flesh have been allowed to come into that, into that holy place, into the sanctuary of God”. So the Lord is, is saying to Ezekiel, “Now make sure you listen to this, and warn the people, and tell the people this. The abominations are, you know, you’ve gone far enough! You’ve brought into my sanctuary, strangers, the uncircumcised in heart, and in flesh, to be in my sanctuary to pollute it, even my house, when you’ve offered my bread, and the fat and the blood…”, and so forth, “because of all your abominations. You have not kept the charge of my holy things, but you have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves. You haven’t been diligent in watching over this house. You’ve allowed the abominations.”
It could be that some of those who will be instituted as priests in this period of time will, will sort of be in collusion with the Antichrist, allowing this to happen. Because you see, they will, many of them, be deceived, and worship him as the Messiah. He is the false Messiah, but he will be accepted by them as their Messiah.
It is interesting that the Jews today are looking for the Messiah to come. All over Israel they have banners on the buildings and all that just say, “The Messiah is Coming!” There is an anticipation among many of the Jews, and they believe that the Messiah will lead them into the rebuilding of the temple. That is how they tell you they will identify the Messiah! “How will you know that’s your Messiah?” “He’ll lead us in rebuilding the temple.”
So with this covenant made by the Antichrist with the Jews, Daniel chapter nine, they rebuild the temple, and many of them will be acclaiming him as their Messiah. So when he comes, then it’s nothing for them to allow him into the temple, and to be acclaimed there as the Messiah, polluting, polluting the holy things. So the Lord…
Thus saith the Lord God; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel. [Again the exclusion of those who are not God’s people.] And the Levites that are gone away from me, [Those that allowed these abominations.] that went astray from me with their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity (44:9-10).
Yet they will have a, they can be the, those who just take care of the charge of things. They oversee, they carry out the ashes, and they do the menial tasks. But they’re not allowed to offer the sacrifices.
They have charge of the gates of the house, and ministering of the house: and they do the work [of] of offering they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, they shall stand before them to minister to them. Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and they caused the house of Israel to fall in their iniquity; therefore I’ve lifted my hand against them, saith the Lord God, they will bear their iniquity. They shall not come near unto me, to do the office of the priest, [They do more the menial labors, but not exercising the office of the priest.] nor come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: [Or the Holy of Holies] but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed. But I will make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all of the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein. But the priests of the Levites, who are the descendants of Zadok, who kept the charge of the sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray, they will be the ones that will come in and do the priestly tasks, they will be the ones who stand before God to offer the sacrifices the fat and the blood, saith the Lord: They shall enter into my sanctuary, and come near my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge. And it shall come to pass, that when they enter into the gates of the inner court, [That is, the priests, the descendants of Zadok.] they shall be clothed with linen garments; no wool while they minister within the inner court. They will have linen bonnets and linen breeches upon their loins; they are not to wear any thing that causes sweat (44:11-18).
The Lord doesn’t want that ministry to Him to be a laborious, fleshly thing, something that causes sweat. I wonder about some of these preachers that I’ve seen.
And when they go forth into the outer court, the court of the people, they put off the holy garments that they’ve worn before the Lord (44:19);
They had this room, the chamber for the priest, and they go into the chamber and they put on the clothes that they then go into the inner chamber to minister to the Lord. But then when they come out of the inner chamber, they enter into the priests chamber, change their garments again, to their street clothes before they come out and meet the people. Now…
They’re not to shave their heads nor to allow their hair to grow long; [In other words, to just have reasonable haircuts.] but they shall poll. [Which means, they shall cut their hair, but they’re not to let it grow real long, nor are they to shave it.] Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court (44:20-21).
Now in the book of Proverbs we are told that wine is not for kings. The priests weren’t to drink wine when they were ministering unto the Lord. The Lord didn’t want any ministry that came from a false stimulant. He didn’t want anybody to worship Him with a fuzzy mind. It is interesting, in the New Testament, that as Paul lays out for Timothy the requirements for the bishops in the church, the overseers of the church, they were not to be given to wine. So if you are ministering unto the Lord, and unto the people, you’re not to be given to wine. If you have a place, and a position within the church of eldership, or bishopric, overseeing, you’re not to be given to wine. So…
Neither shall they take for their wives a widow, nor her that has been divorced: [They couldn’t marry a widow, or a divorced woman with the exception that,] if the widow as been the wife of a priest, then he could marry her, [But he was to actually take a,] one of the young maidens, a virgin from the seed of the house of Israel (44:22).
He wasn’t to marry a non-Israelite. Then the duties of the priests were first of all, verse twenty three…
To teach the people [Instructing the people] in the difference between that which was profane, and that which is holy, so that the people can discern between what is clean and unclean. [Secondly] In controversies they were to stand in judgment; they were to be judges: [They were to give the decisions concerning controversies that would arise among the people.] they will judge according to my judgments; [Again, going back to the judgments that God has established in the Mosaic law, then, thirdly,] they were to keep my laws and my statutes [They were to keep them in the sense that of, making certain that they were kept, they were more or less, in charge of seeing that the statutes and the commandments of the law were kept] in all of the assemblies [When the people would come in, to make sure that they were abiding by the rules and all, that God had established, and finally,] they were to hallow the sabbaths (44:23-24).
They were to be there to minister unto the people on these holy days.
Now here again we find out that people will be dying in this period of time, during this thousand year reign.
They shall come at no dead person (44:25),
Because under the law, to touch a dead person, you were unclean, you had to go through a certain ceremonial kind of a ritual for cleansing before you could come back into the temple, or into the tabernacle to worship God. So they were to not come to any dead person…
to defile themselves: but for their father, or for their mother, or son, or daughter, or brother, for a sister that had no husband, they may then touch those bodies. After they are cleansed, they shall then count seven days. And in that day that he goes into the sanctuary, to the inner court, to minister in the sanctuary, he shall first of all offer a sin offering, saith the Lord God. And it shall be unto them for an inheritance: [For the Lord said] I am their inheritance: and you shall give them no possession in Israel: I am their possession (44:25-28).
Now they were given places to live. There was a, there’s a certain part of the land that was allotted to the priests, and then another parts that was allotted to the Levites, just north, the area north of the sanctuary. We will see that in a little while this evening. There are twenty cities for the priests. But yet the Lord is their inheritance, and He is their possession.
They shall eat the meal offering, the sin offering, the trespass offering: and every dedicated thing in Israel shall be theirs (44:29).
Now when the people would bring their sacrifices to the Lord, the sin offerings, or the meal offerings which were grain, sort of a bread that they would make with the oil and the flour, the priest would get a portion of that lamb, or ox, or whatever. It was for the priest. The rest would be sacrificed to the Lord.
Note, the only offering of which they do not eat is the burnt offering. Because in the burnt offering, it was totally consumed. The animal was totally consumed except for the hide on the altar. The burnt offering being the consecration. When you consecrate your life to the Lord, it should be total, it should be complete. The whole thing, you know, not, “Oh Lord I give you this day, or I’ll give you so many hours”, or, you know, and we are prone to sort of apportion out to God. “You can have this corner over here, and you can have this part over here.” But yet the real consecration is complete. It’s total.
So the burnt offering which was the offering of consecration, was to be totally consumed. Thus, the priest did not get any part of the burnt offering. But all of their meat and flour and so forth, was supplied through these offerings that the people brought. Because a certain portion then would go to the priest. That way they didn’t have to have their own fields of grain, or they didn’t have to raise their own cattle or sheep, or whatever because their, the Lord was their inheritance, and their possession. That which was brought to the Lord, they got their portion of those things as, as the payment so to speak, for their ministry unto the people, and their ministry to the Lord. The final commandment of this chapter is that…
They are not to eat anything that dies of itself (44:31),
If you find something that’s dead, they weren’t to eat of it, I don’t think I would want to either!
When you will divide the land by lot (45:1),
Or by allotment, it should be, because they’re not gonna be casting lots, they did do that in Joshua’s time. But now Ezekiel prophesies that the portions of the land that are given to each tribe, and there’s no casting of lots. But, the allotment, and so it should better read, “by allotment”…
the land for the inheritance, you shall offer an oblation unto the Lord, a holy portion of the land: [So a part of the land just belongs to God.] and it shall be the length of twenty five thousand [and notice the word] reeds (45:1),
In your King James’ is in italics, which means that, that has been inserted by the translators. In the Hebrew text it doesn’t give you any measurement, reeds, cubits, or whatever. Thus, that’s all commentators need to be completely divided is for the Lord not to spell out specifically! So you have a group of commentators who say it’s cubits, and a group of commentators that say it is reeds. A reed is about ten feet. If indeed the translators are correct in inserting reeds, it would mean that this portion of the land for the Lord, in which the holy sanctuary would be in, in the central portion of the land, this portion for the Lord would be about forty seven and a half miles long, and it would be ten thousand, and again they’ve, they’ve, they have it inserted, but just…
ten thousand wide (45:1).
Again, if it’s reeds, it means it would be about eighteen miles wide, and about forty seven miles long.
Then the sanctuary within itself [the place for the sanctuary] would be five hundred (45:2),
Again, if it’s reeds, you’re talking about almost a mile square in the middle of this land. This is that land that is dedicated to the Lord, it is the place of His sanctuary.
Now just north of it would be the place for the priest, immediately north, and it would be not quite as wide, but the same width.
five thousand would be the breadth, and [again] twenty five thousand the width. [Then, north of that] The place for the Levites [Which again would be the same as this] ten thousand by twenty five thousand, [Or, again, if it’s reeds, forty seven and a half miles, by eighteen miles.] so the holy portion of the land shall be for the priests, the ministers (45:4-5).
Next week I’ll bring you a diagram of the, and we’ll pass it out like we did last week. When we get to the apportioning of the land, the tribe of Dan, Asher, Naphtali, and so forth, we will bring you a diagram, so then you can see how the whole land is to be apportioned.
Now no doubt there’s going to be tremendous geographical changes of the land before this happens. Because when you get into the tribulation period, the earth is going to be in upheaval. Islands are gonna flee, there will be whole new mountain ranges formed. Mountains will disappear, and there’s gonna be a whole cataclysmic kind of changes that will be taking place on the earth during the great tribulation period.
There was an interesting article a couple of weeks ago in Newsweek magazine. I don’t know if you saw that, it’s sort of a doomsday kind of an article in Newsweek, where it talked about all of these asteroids, and comets, and all that are out here in space. How that the earth has had a near miss with many of these asteroids. In fact, just a couple of years ago, one came within about ten million miles of the earth. The article talks about the fear that the scientists have of one day, one of these asteroids impacting the earth, say one that was the size of this building, or one that would be a mile in, in, or there are some that are up to ten miles, the one that just missed us awhile back was about five miles across. But, if one, and the thing is we didn’t even know it was coming!
We try to keep track of all of them. We know there are a lot of them out there. We’ve tracked their orbits, we know when they’ll be back towards the earth again. You know, it’s sort of like Haley’s comet, we, we know when the thing is gonna return. There are other comets that they’ve tracked their orbit, and we know when they’ll be coming back towards the earth. But, with these asteroids, we can’t always pick them up! This one that came by, the fly by, just a couple years ago, we didn’t really see it until after it was gone!
The, the scientists have actually made contingency plans if we see one, that is, it’s orbit is apt to bring it into a collision with the earth, they, they plan to send out a rocket with a atomic weapon to blow the thing up, before it can reach us here. It is a concern among the scientists that the earth could very well be destroyed by an impact. They point back to 1906, when whatever it was, asteroid, or whatever, hit up near Siberia, and created that tremendous devastation of the forest, flattening trees for hundreds of miles. The sound of the thing was heard as far away as Moscow! They, they talk about these kind of things. Of course out near Winslow, Arizona, you have that meteorite crater out there. They say that meteorite was only about the size of a car, but it created a crater that is about a mile across, and several hundred feet deep, or a couple thousand feet deep I guess. So these things are quite interesting!
In the book of Revelation, as John describes some of the things that are happening, these fireballs from heaven and so forth, it sounds like perhaps there will even be what was described in Newsweek magazine. You might get that issue. I think Newsweek has gone up too high. It’s $2.95, but it was a worthwhile article in it, if you’d like to get scared.
But, we do know that there will be during the tribulation period, tremendous cataclysmic upheavals of the whole geography of the earth, so that, just what the geography will be like in the kingdom age, we are not certain. But we do have how the land will be apportioned. We will look at the apportionment of the land next week, for all of the tribes. But this is the Lord’s portion. It has to do right there with Jerusalem. Just south of the area that’s for the Lord here, described here for the Lord, is the city of Jerusalem, and the place around the city of Jerusalem. Then, outside of this perimeter on either end, east, and west, is the place for the prince, and quite a large portion of land is allotted for this prince, who is mentioned here. So in fact we get to that in verse seven.
The portion for the prince on the side, and on the other side of the oblation of the holy portions, [So this portion we described by forty seven and a half miles, by eighteen miles or so, just on the outside perimeters east and west, the portion for the prince] Then the land shall be his in Israel: my princes shall no more oppress my people; and the rest of the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes. [We get that in the last chapter of Ezekiel.] Thus saith the Lord God; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: [Here’s what God’s asking them to do.] remove violence and spoil, execute judgment and justice, take away your taxations [Whew alright!] saith the Lord God (45:7-9).
I want a fair judicial system, fair court system! Get rid of the gangs and the violence! Stop the taxation, I’ll vote for that!
And you shall have just balances (45:10),
It used to be that the United States had a bureau known as the Standard Weights and Measures, to make sure that a pound, was a pound. When I was working in the market, we used to have these fellas come from the National Standard of Weights and Measures, and they would have these little weights, pounds, and five pounds, and they’d put them on the scales in the market you know. Where you check out, when they put the vegetables out there, and you’re paying $1.49 a pound for a tomato, isn’t that horrible? They’d put this little pound weight on, to make sure that the scale says one pound. They’d go around to the service stations, and they’d put a gallon of gas into the container, to make sure that what says a gallon on the, on the meter, is a true gallon of gas. The importance of maintaining a standard of weights and measures!
In England there is a case recorded where a baker took a farmer to court, and he charged the farmer with cheating him. He said that, when he first began, they, they would trade the bread, for the butter. The baker would bring him out bread, and he would trade for butter. He said when he first started this exchange, he was getting a full pound of butter. But gradually, the farmer was cutting the butter down, until now, he was only getting three quarters of a pound of butter for instead of the full pound. He was accusing the farmer of cheating him! So when the farmer got up to defend himself, he said, “Well judge”, he said, “my problem is that the only scales I have are balanced scales.” So he said, “All I did was take his pound of bread, and put it on the scale, and measured out his pound of butter with the balanced scales!” He won his case, but that’s why it is important that you have a standard for weights and measures.
That’s what God is asking here. Be exact, let you know, and it gives a list of measures. It doesn’t mean anything to you, and ephah or a bath, or a hen, or a homer or whatever. Homer means something to you, but not what it means here. So have your, make sure that they’re exact, that you have exact balances. That you are, that you’re measuring is all standardized.
Then in the offering, of the offerings, they are then to use these measurements. It goes on to give in the offering of the various offerings, that the measurements that are then used as they were standardized in verses nine and ten. Then…
For the prince, the people were to give to him one lamb out of every flock, out of every two hundred, [So out of every two hundred lambs that they have in their flock, the prince gets one.] then for the meal offering, and for the burnt offering, and for the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord God. All of the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel. And it shall be the prince’s part to give them the burnt offerings, and the meal offerings, and the drink offerings, in the feasts, the new moons, the sabbaths, in all the solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meal offering, the burnt offering, the peace offerings to make reconciliation for the house of Israel (45:15-17).
So you’ll find the prince here is involved in offering the sacrifices for the whole house of Israel. Now there’s nothing said concerning a high priest in this rejuvenating of the temple. It would seem that the prince more or less, has that position that the high priest once had. But Jesus is our great High Priest. There is now only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. So even in the reestablishing of the temple worship, no high priest is mentioned but this prince who does the offering of these various offerings for the people.
Then in the first day, or the first month, the first day of the month he is to offer this bullock without blemish, to cleanse the sanctuary: he is to repeat that on the seventh day to take the blood, put it on the corners, and on the horns of the altars that settle, on the horns and on the posts of the gate of the inner court. And do that on the seventh day, they do it for all those that err, and those that are simple: and so shall you reconcile the house. In the first month, in the fourteenth day, [Which would be the time of] the feast of passover, they are to celebrate the feast of passover (45:18-19),
Now there will be two feasts, the Feast of Passover, and the Feast of Tabernacles will be celebrated, but the feast of Pentecost will not be celebrated, which is interesting and I suppose people can find some spiritual significance for that. It could be that the Passover instituted the initiation of the church. The church now has a whole new position. It foreshadowed the church. The church was born on the, on the day of the feast of Pentecost. That gave birth to the church, and the church of course has a whole new position. So that feast is not celebrated, but the tabernacles, and Passover are celebrated. So it goes on to tell of the sacrifice of the bullock and so forth for the feast of the Passover.
Maybe we should take forty six next week and perhaps we can finish Ezekiel next week, and include forty six in the study next week. Because we’re running out of time. I will have the charts for you next week. So if you’ve read chapter forty six already for tonight, it’s not gonna hurt you to read it again next week. Maybe you’ll even understand it a little better after having this kind of a background this evening! So we’ll, we’ll go ahead with that portion next week.
Father, thank You again for the hope that you give us for the future. Though we might be going through dark days, the story never ends in darkness, but in that glorious work of the restoration of Your glory, and Your presence. Lord we thank You that the ultimate victory belongs to You, that You Lord, shall indeed triumph over all of those forces of darkness that are dragging our world down into the pit. Lord how we long and pray for Your kingdom to come, that Your will might be done on this earth, even as it is in heaven. Lord we see the results of, of man trying to wrest the control, and the rule from You. Lord we see the calamities that have come upon our nation, and are coming upon our nation, because we, as Israel, have turned our backs upon You. Lord as we enter into this dark period of our history, sustain us by the power of Your Holy Spirit, and that hope of the future glory of the kingdom of God, and the reign of righteousness of our glorious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So Lord may we be strengthened and directed by Your Spirit, as we walk with You in fellowship this week, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7335