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Bible Pathways - Sept. 12, 2008


September 12

Ezekiel 40

Highlights In Today's Reading:

The awesome vision of a future spectacular Temple with its sacred Holy Place is detailed. We too need to behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee (40:4)!

Just think! Fourteen years had passed after the destruction of Jerusalem when Ezekiel, as a captive in Babylon, received a vision. In it he was given specifications for a great and beautiful Temple (40:1-2). It was designed in every detail by the mind of God as His dwelling place (43:7). Later, the Prophet Zechariah would foretell: 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 (Zechariah 6:12).

In the Tabernacle, as well as in Solomon's Temple, the Most Holy Place (Ezekiel 41:3-4) was the innermost room where the visible manifestation of Jehovah's presence dwelt. The Most Holy Place was also called the Oracle (I Kings 6:16), because from this place the Lord declared His will as well as the books of the Law of God given to Moses.

The Christian also is the Temple of the Lord — His dwelling place. Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the Temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the Temple of God is holy, which Temple ye are (I Corinthians 3:16-17).

Since we were born again, not of the will of the flesh . . . but of God (John 1:13), we are free from Satan's control and have become the Lord's holy dwelling place. So it is vital that we refuse Satan's tempting efforts to defile the Lord's Temple with thoughts of the flesh: The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (I John 2:16).

The consecration of our mind, body, and soul is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1) in return for the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God and the priceless gift of eternal life. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5).

Freed from sin, the servant of God is able to enjoy the peace of God. Jesus said: My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). Let us praise the Lord for His indwelling Holy Spirit (John 16:7-14) and enjoy the sacred privilege committed to our trust.

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 9:11-12; compare Colossians 2:17).

Thought for Today:

When facing an uncertain future, put your trust in God who said: Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My Words shall not pass away (Mark 13:31).

Christ Revealed:

Through the sacrifice (Ezekiel 40:42). Jesus made the final once for all. . . . sacrifice for sins for ever (Hebrews 10:10-12). Thus He became our only Mediator with God by dying for our sins. The patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. . . . And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Hebrews 9:23-28).

Word Studies:

40:17 thirty chambers were upon =b> 30 rooms faced this terrace; 40:23 over against =b> opposite; 41:24 turning leaves =b> hinged panels; 42:20 profane =b> unholy, common.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Arabic, English, & Spanish International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Sallie Martin • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by James & Evelyn Adams • Assistant to the Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Terry Hall • Government Officials: Sen. Sam Brownback (KS), Rep. Ben Chandler (KY), and Rep. Henry Waxman (CA) • Country: Eritrea (4 million) in eastern Africa • Major languages: English and Tigrinya • Religious freedom • 51% Muslim; 40% Eritrean Orthodox; 4% Catholic; 1.5% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Let your prayers express gratitude to God for His wonderful works (Psa. 9:1).

Optional Reading: Revelation 17

Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 1:24

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