Tag Archives: Heaven

New Jerusalem and the Millennial Temple of the Messiah (Ezekiel 43-45)

Scripture reading – Ezekiel 43-45

Ezekiel is ministering to a people in captivity whose homeland has been left desolate. The Temple was in ruins and Jerusalem was destroyed. For many, the hope of returning to their land had died with the nation. It was in the hour when all seemed lost, that the ministry of Ezekiel became one of encouraging the people that there was hope. The LORD had not forsaken His people, nor had He forgotten His promise to restore them to their land.

The LORD, in a vision, sent a messenger to Ezekiel (40:1-4), “a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass” (40:3), who commanded the prophet to open his eyes and ears, and see and declare to “the house of Israel” all that he would be shown (40:4).

Ezekiel 40-44 – The LORD revealed to Ezekiel the Temple of the Millennial Kingdom when Christ would reign upon the earth.

Ezekiel recorded the dimensions of the New Temple: The outer court, its gates, and rooms (40:5-26); the inner courtyard of the Temple grounds (40:27-47). The dimensions of the Temple porch (40:48-59), its outer sanctuary (41:1-2), and inner sanctuary (41:3-5) were recorded. There were also buildings outside the Temple that were for the priests who were ministering in the Temple (42:1-20).

Ezekiel 43 – The Glory of the LORD Filled the Millennial Temple

The Temple of the Messiah in the Millennium Kingdom continues to be the focus of Ezekiel 43 and Ezekiel 44. The messenger then brought Ezekiel in the vision to look on the New Temple and he watched as “the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory” (43:2).

What an incredible sight and sound that must have been! What wonderful news for a people who had lost everything! The news of a new Jerusalem and a new Temple must have moved the people to rejoicing!

Ezekiel’s response to seeing the glory of God filling the Temple moved him to fall upon his face before the LORD (43:3). Ezekiel writes,

Ezekiel 43:4-64  And the glory of the LORD came into the house [Temple] by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. 5  So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. 6  And I heard him [the LORD] speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.

According to Zechariah 6:12-13, the Temple of the Millennial Kingdom will be built by the LORD and He will sit upon His throne in the Temple.

The LORD spoke to Ezekiel and revealed that His throne would “dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever” (43:7). The presence of the LORD would move the hearts of the people to repent, and be “ashamed of their iniquities” (43:10).

We read that there was “the law of the house [Temple]” (43:12). What was the law of the Temple?

The law of the Temple was this: “Upon the top of the mountain [upon which the Temple was built and where the LORD ruled from His throne] the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy” (43:12).

Unlike the Temples that had gone before and been polluted by the sins of the people, this Temple would be perpetually holy because the LORD Himself was seated on the throne not only as the KING, but also as PRIEST. The author of Hebrews writes,

Hebrews 4:14-1514 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

The apostle John shared a similar experience with Ezekiel when the LORD revealed to Him “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1).

Revelation 21:3-53  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

What a glorious day that will be when the LORD Jesus Christ reigns and there will be no more tears, death, sorrow, crying, or pain.

Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith

Ezekiel’s Call and Commission as God’s Prophet (Ezekiel 1-4)

Scripture reading – Ezekiel 1-4

Our chronological reading schedule of the Bible brings us today to the Book of Ezekiel and a focus on the ministry of the man whose name it bears. Today’s devotional commentary will serve as an introduction of Ezekiel and will focus on chapter 1.

Ezekiel 1:1-3 – The Prophet Ezekiel

Ezekiel was a contemporary of Jeremiah in the latter years of that prophet’s ministry in Jerusalem. Unlike Jeremiah, who had been left to minister to the remnant of Jerusalem after that city’s destruction, Ezekiel had been carried to Babylon as one of the captives of Nebuchadnezzar. Ezekiel was also a contemporary of the prophet Daniel; however, there is no indication in the Scriptures that the two men would have known one another.

A few other details are given concerning Ezekiel and his calling to be a prophet. The opening verse of the Book of Ezekiel introduce him as a thirty-year-old man. Assuming he was taken captive when Jehoiachin, king of Judah, was taken prisoner five years earlier (1:2), we can deduce Ezekiel was about twenty-five years old when he arrived in Babylon.

Another important detail of Ezekiel was that he was of a priestly lineage (1:3). Because priest were trained and began serving in their office when they were thirty years old, we know he was prepared to serve the LORD and His people, having knowledge of the Law and Commandments, the Temple and its rituals (of course, the Temple was destroyed), and the function of the priesthood.

Ezekiel would spend his life in Babylon encouraging God’s people to remember the prophecies that when seventy years were accomplished, the LORD had promised He would remember His people and restore them to their land where they would rebuild the Temple, their homes, Jerusalem and the nation.

Ezekiel 1 – The Calling and Commission of Ezekiel

While Ezekiel had been preparing his whole life to serve the LORD as His priest, that calling suddenly changed when we read, “The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest…and the hand of the LORD was there upon him” (1:3).

Ezekiel found himself moved from the esteemed ministry of a priest, to the prophet of God charged with confronting the sins of His people and calling them to repentance. With a wonderful, poetic flare, Ezekiel looked toward heaven as the clouds were rolled back and heaven appeared as a fire of molten bronze (1:4). Four heavenly beings with the “likeness of a man” appeared (1:5). They were Cherubim whose descriptions are given in Ezekiel 1:5-14 as having four faces, four wings, and whose likeness was as bright and fiery as “burning coals of fire” (1:13). These angels served the bidding of God’s spirit (1:12) and “ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning” (1:14). The Cherubim’s readiness to serve the LORD is portrayed as each had a wheel with a rim or inner circle “full of eyes” (1:18) and they went where the Spirit of God sent them (1:20).

Ezekiel also describes a vision of heaven with an expanse describes as “crystal” (1:22). The Cherubim, with fluttering wings so loud the noise was described “like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host [a great army]: when they stood, they let down their wings” (1:24). When God’s voice was suddenly heard, the wings of the Cherubim were stilled and heaven was silent (1:25).

Ezekiel is given a vision of God, portrayed in the likeness of man and sitting on His throne of “sapphire stone” (1:26). From his waist up, the appearance of God was a fiery molten metal (1:27a), and from his waist down He had the “appearance of fire” (1:27b). God’s glory is described as the brightness of a brilliant rainbow in the sky (1:28a).

When Ezekiel gazed upon God in all His glory and heard Him speak, Ezekiel writes, “I fell upon my face” (1:28).

Imagine how much you and I would be changed if we, by faith, gazed upon God in all His heavenly glory!

2 Corinthians 3:18 – “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith