September 13

Read Ezekiel 43 -- 45

In Today's Reading:

Vision of God's glory filling the Temple; ordinances for the priests and for their support.

Verses for Today:

Behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the . . . east: and His voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with His glory. . . . The glory of the Lord came into the House (Temple) by the way of the gate facing . . . the east. So the Spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the House (43:2,4-5).

In a vision, Ezekiel had witnessed the departure of the glory of the Lord from the magnificent, but now destroyed, Temple built by Solomon (Ezekiel 10:18). Israel had chosen to ignore God's Word and had actually worshiped idols, the sun, and all sorts of creatures in the very Temple dedicated to God (8:5-17).

The Israelites had only memories of their once great and glorious kingdom and were now slaves in a heathen land. Ezekiel received a vision of a future Temple far greater than Solomon's, and, best of all, the glory of the Lord would return to dwell in it. Ezekiel was brought . . . to the gate . . . that [faces] toward the east (43:1).

In this vision, the Lord of Glory entered His new Temple by the very way through which He had departed from the old Temple (compare 10:19 and 11:22-23). The Eastern Gate led straight to the Temple entrance of the Eternal King, Who said: I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and My Holy Name, shall the House of Israel no more defile (43:7). The emphasis of this vision is the importance of holiness in the lives of the people of God.

Obviously, our chief concern should not be with when or how Ezekiel's Temple will be built, or when or how all the supernatural prophecies will be fulfilled. Our foremost concern should be that our body, mind, and spirit be holy, for we are the Temple of God, and . . . the Spirit of God [dwells] in you. If any man defile the Temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the Temple of God is holy, which Temple [you] are (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

When Jesus Christ returns to reign on earth as King of kings, the glory of the Lord will once again fill the Temple (Ezekiel 43:2). Many years after Ezekiel's vision, the Apostle John went still further into the future, to when our present Heaven and earth shall pass away (Matthew 24:35). All will then be replaced by a new Heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). The New Jerusalem (21:2) will have no Temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it (21:22). The Temple was an illustration of Christ. There will be no need for types or symbols in the eternal, spiritual world because God the Father and Jesus Christ, Whom they had represented, will be present. The importance of holiness is once again emphasized, for there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's Book of Life (Revelation 21:27).

Christ Revealed:

As the Glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 43:4). Jesus is the brightness of His (God's) glory, and the express image of His Person (Hebrews 1:3).

Word Studies:

43:4 whose prospect is = which faces; 43:12 limit = territory; 43:13 higher place = height; 43:14 settle = ledge; 43:17 squares = sides; 44:18 bonnets = turbans; 44:22 put away = divorced; 45:24 meat = grain/cereal.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Gov. William Janklow (SD) · Pray for one more person to read the Bible · Country: Tibet (population unknown) (province of China) in eastern Asia· Major language: Tibetan · The Chinese government is still committed to promoting atheism, while at the same time, officially permitting Lamaism (a form of Buddhism) · No religious statistics are available, but at one time all were Lamaists · Lamaism was all but exterminated by Chinese invaders in the 1950's, but it is now permitted under strict control · Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for those in authority over you (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

Optional Reading: Revelation 18

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 10:9