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Bible Pathways 09/12/2002

September 12

Read Ezekiel 40 -- 42

In Today's Reading:

Vision of future Temple.

Verses for Today:

In the five and twentieth year of our captivity . . . in the fourteenth year after . . . the city (Jerusalem) was smitten (destroyed), in the selfsame day the hand of the Lord was upon me. . . . In the visions of God brought He me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain. . . . and, behold, there was a man. . . . And the man said unto me,Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I will show you. . . . Behold a wall on the outside of the House (Temple area) (40:1-5).

A few years after the vision of dry bones, Ezekiel received another vision. This new vision looked far into the future, where Ezekiel beheld a glorious Temple, far more magnificent than the Temple built by Solomon.

The measurements of the grounds and the many details concerning the building and its unusual architectural design are recorded; but no instruction was given to Ezekiel regarding who would build it or when it would be built. In striking contrast, God gave Moses detailed instructions for building the Tabernacle and even the names of the craftsmen who were to build it in the wilderness (Exodus 25:9; 31:1-11). David also gave detailed instructions concerning the Temple that Solomon later built.

No direction was given to build this Temple either to Zerubbabel or through the messages of the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, Ezra, Nehemiah, or anyone since that time.

No Jewish Temple has existed in Jerusalem since AD 70, when the Romans destroyed Herod's Temple. Almost 2000 years have passed, with no recovery of the Brazen Altar, Laver, Golden Candlestick, Table for Showbread, or Golden Altar. The Ark of the Covenant, representing the presence of God, have disappeared. The last visual appearance of the Ark was when it was put in Solomon's Temple. It disappeared when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple. Other items returned (Ezra 1:6-11) but since AD 70 there is no record of them. Jeremiah made the last reference to the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 3:16).

The ceremonial worship with the altar and the priests offering sacrifices for the sins of the people all foreshadowed Jesus Christ, His atonement for our sins, and our relationship with Him through His sacrifice on the cross. Through Nebuchadnezzar, and later through the Romans, God removed the opportunity for the Jews to offer any of the sacrifices which were essential for all worshippers until the death and resurrection of Christ. Thus, God has made clear that He has provided the all-sufficient sacrifice for the sins of both Jews and Gentiles. The laws of Moses were imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an High Priest . . . by a greater and more perfect Tabernacle, not made with hands . . . but by His own blood He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:10-12; compare John 4:21-24; Galatians 3:23-25; Colossians 2:16-17).

Christ Revealed:

Through the accuracy of the instructions for the Temple (Ezekiel 40). Just as our Lord took great care in giving details for the Temple, He has given directions for us -- His people -- who are temples of God and the indwelling Presence of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:16-17).

Word Studies:

40:17 were upon = faced; 40:23 over against = opposite; 41:24 turning leaves = hinged panels; 42:20 profane = common.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Sen. Sam Brown-back (KS) and Rep. Henry Waxman (CA) · Pray for the President · Country: Thailand (60 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Thai and English · Limited freedom of Christian ministry; Buddhism is the state religion · 92% Buddhist; 4% Muslim; 2% Chinese folk-religionist; 1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks always for fellow Christians (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).

Optional Reading: Revelation 17

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 10:9

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