Saturday, September 08, 2012

September 8, 2012 … The Vision of a Restored Temple

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 252

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Ezekiel 40-42 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Ezekiel 40: 1-4; : [NLT] … 1 On April 28,£ during the twenty-fifth year of our captivity—fourteen years after the fall of Jerusalem—the LORD took hold of me. 2 In a vision of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me down on a very high mountain. From there I could see what appeared to be a city across from me toward the south. 3 As he brought me nearer, I saw a man whose face shone like bronze standing beside a gateway entrance. He was holding in his hand a measuring tape and a measuring rod. 4 He said to me, “Son of man, watch and listen. Pay close attention to everything I show you. You have been brought here so I can show you many things. Then you will return to the people of Israel and tell them everything you have seen.” …
Highlight Passage: Ezekiel 41: 1-4 : [NLT] … 1 After that, the man brought me into the Holy Place, the large main room of the Temple, and he measured the columns that framed its doorway. They were 10 1/2 feet£ square. 2 The entrance was 17 1/2 feet wide, and the walls on each side were 8 3/4 feet wide. The Holy Place itself was 70 feet long and 35 feet wide. … 3 Then he went into the inner room at the end of the Holy Place. He measured the columns at the entrance and found them to be 3 1/2 feet thick. The entrance was 10 1/2 feet wide, and the walls on each side of the entrance extended 12 1/4 feet to the corners of the inner room. 4 The inner room was 35 feet square. “This,” he told me, “is the Most Holy Place.”  
Highlight Passage: Ezekiel 42: 13-20 : [NLT] … 13 Then the man told me, “These rooms that overlook the Temple from the north and south are holy. It is there that the priests who offer sacrifices to the LORD will eat the most holy offerings. And they will use these rooms to store the grain offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings because these rooms are holy. 14 When the priests leave the Holy Place, they must not go directly to the outer courtyard. They must first take off the clothes they wore while ministering because these clothes are holy. They must put on other clothes before entering the parts of the building complex open to the public.” 15 When the man had finished taking these measurements, he led me out through the east gateway to measure the entire Temple area. 16 He measured the east side; it was 875 feet long. 17He also measured the north side and got the same measurement. 18 The south side was the same length, 19 and so was the west side. 20So the area was 875 feet on each side with a wall all around it to separate the holy places from the common. 

My Journal for Today: Three more chapters in Ezekiel’s journal of his vision of God’s restoration of His someday kingdom, which we New Testament Christians now know will be the return of Christ to reclaim His faithful remnant of believers (i.e., the church) and to establish His eternal kingdom in the New Jerusalem. And in these three chapters, Chapters 40-42, Ezekiel gives the people his visionary picture of the restored Temple of God in likely the only way this remnant in Babylon could see it, and that is a re-picturing of a temple much like that one Solomon built to the specifications of David, his father.

But in reality, and in all likelihood, Ezekiel was actually depicting a perfectly established structure [i.e., the New Jerusalem] where “the man.” Ezekiel made reference to in his vision, the One Who was giving him the vision, would be worshipped in final and eternal glory. My Parson’s commentary puts it this way … Whether the Temple is literal or symbolic, it seems clear that this is a vision of God’s final perfect Kingdom. This gave hope to the people of Ezekiel’s time who had just seen their nation and its Temple destroyed with no hope of rebuilding it in the near future. The details given in this vision gave the people even more hope that what Ezekiel saw had come from God and would surely happen in the future.

You know, I’ve often wondered why those followers of Joseph Smith were willing to follow him all the way out to Utah where the Mormons built a temple to the specifications of his vision; but I think I can now see how those 19th century “latter day saints” would hear Smith’s story of vision and want to believe his version of God’s glory, which was sadly a total con-job on what has become millions of lost followers of Mormonism.

 But Ezekiel’s vision and his prophesies to God’s remnant of repentant believers in Babylon was God’s way of saying to them, “Have hope; … I will return for you!” And those of us who’ve come to see and believe in Jesus as The Messiah, know that He will do just what was pictured by Ezekiel, though the Temple and kingdom which our LORD will establish will be even greater than that which the mind of Ezekiel was able to picture for the believers in Babylon in those days.

Interestingly enough there’s a group of orthodox Jews in Jerusalem today who’re preparing for their Messiah to come and rebuild the temple; and these Jews, who’re looking for their Messiah’s first coming are preparing all the elements of their someday temple to the specifications David described and Ezekiel re-established in these chapters. I’ve seen the display of these faithful, but lost, Jews in Jerusalem, showing off their rebuilt temple artifacts; and it’s quite impressive. However, they’ve missed the point of Ezekiel’s prophesy and the reality of Jesus Christ coming, dying, and being resurrected to signal His future coming again to establish His forever reign as Messiah coming to be with His Bride forever.

 And we, The Lord’s Bride, wait for our Lord to come … prayerfully soon.

My Prayer Today: … Come, Lord Jesus, … come soon for Your Bride. Amen

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