In Today's Scripture Reading:
Vision of the future Temple
A few years after the vision of dry bones, Ezekiel received another vision. In the five and twentieth year of our captivity . . . in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, 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 (Ezekiel 40:1-2). 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). But Zechariah foretold: Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts . . . Behold the man whose Name is The BRANCH (Jesus Christ) . . . He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the Temple of the Lord: Even He shall build the Temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both (Zechariah 6:12-13).
Almost 2000 years have passed since the Romans destroyed the Temple, with no recovery of the Brazen Altar, Laver of Brass, Pure Gold Candlestick and Mercy Seat, Table of Showbread, or Altar of Incense. The Ark of the Covenant, representing the presence of God, dis-appeared in 586 BC, when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem.
The altar and the priests offering sacrifices for the sins of the people had all foreshadowed Jesus Christ, His atonement for our sins, and our relationship with Him through His sacrifice on the cross. Through the Romans, God removed the opportunity for the Jews to offer further sacrifices. These laws were imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an High Priest . . . by a greater and more perfect Tabernacle . . . 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 2:17).
Through the Temple (Ezekiel ch. 40). Christ indwells His people who have become temples of God (I Corinthians 6:19-20; II Corinthians 6:16-17).
40:17 were upon =b> faced; 40:23 over against =b> opposite; 41:24 turning leaves =b> hinged panels; 42:20 profane =b> unholy, common.
Pray for Executive Director of the IBRA: Reverend Michael Hall • Government Officials: Sen. Sam Brownback (KS), Rep. Ben Chandler (KY), and Rep. Henry Waxman (CA) • Country: Honduras (6 million) in Central America • Major languages: Spanish and Indian dialects • Religious freedom • 86% Roman Catholic; 10% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord for help when you have a need (II Chronicles 14:11).
Optional Reading: Revelation 17
Memory Verse for the Week: Hosea 4:6