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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, a Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
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GOD’S DIVINE GLORY RETURNS
November 2, 2014
SCRIPTURE: Ezekiel 43:1-12
KEY VERSES: 4 And the glory of the Lord came into the house 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. (Ezekiel 43:4-5
BACKGROUND: It was on the first day of Passover (April 28, 573 b.c.) that the Lord gave Ezekiel the vision recorded in Ezekiel 40-48. The Jews had been captives in Babylon for twenty-five years, and Passover would only remind them of their deliverance from Egypt. Passover was also the beginning of the religious year for Israel (see, Exodus 12:2), and the Lord chose that significant day to tell His servant Ezekiel about the glory that Israel would share when the Messiah established His kingdom.
In a vision, Ezekiel visited the land of Israel, but unlike his previous “visits,” he didn’t see a devastated land, sinful people, or a defiled temple. This time Ezekiel saw a new land and a glorious new temple. Just as Moses received the tabernacle plans while on a mountain, so Ezekiel received the plans for the temple while on a mountain. Moses wasn’t allowed to enter the Promised Land, but he saw it from a mountain (see, Deuteronomy 34:1-4) and from a high mountain Ezekiel saw the land and its new tribal divisions.
Ezekiel chapters 43-46 describe the worship of the millennial temple. As we consider the millennial temple, we need to remember that in the last days of the temple of Solomon, the Shekinah glory, the presence of God, was absent. However, here in chapter 43 the glory returns to the temple, and, as we see the worship in the millennial temple, the One Israel worships is now in the temple. He is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
INTRODUCTION: Ezekiel chapters 40-42 contain a description of the millennial temple. Now, since this is the millennial temple, I expect to see it and maybe go into it, but I don’t intend to worship there. The temple will be here on this earth, but I am going to be in the place which is described in Revelation 21 -- the New Jerusalem. That will be the address of the Christian believer for eternity. If you want to give someone your address as a believer for eternity, I don’t know what street you will be on, but I do know the city -- it will be the New Jerusalem.
One thing that the Apostle John tells us about the New Jerusalem is, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it” (Revelation 21:22). Therefore the church is going to be in a place where there won’t be a temple. Christian believers won’t need a temple, but the earth will have one for the duration of the Millennium at least. I rather like the fact that we won’t have a temple because, very candidly, I have never gone in much for ritual. I’m going to be delighted to be up there with the Lord God and the Lamb as the temple of the New Jerusalem. We will be with them, and I cannot even conceive how wonderful that is going to be.
We see a certain progress and development in the Book of Ezekiel: after the enemy is put down, Israel will enter the Millennium, and there will be a temple here on this earth. We are talking about the earth, and that means we are talking about Israel and the gentile nations which will be saved during the Tribulation. Christ’s church will be up yonder with Him in the New Jerusalem at this time.
I. GOD’S SHEKINAH GLORY RETURNS. (Ezekiel 43:1-5)
QUESTION: What is the Shekinah glory? Answer: The words “shekinah glory” are the English transliteration of a Biblical Hebrew word meaning “dwelling” or “settling,” and denote the dwelling or settling of the Divine Presence of Jehovah God, especially in the temple in Jerusalem.
A. The presence of the Lord. (Ezekiel 43:1-3)
(Ezekiel 43:1-3) 1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: 2 And, behold, 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. 3 And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face.
1. “The glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east.”
This was the chariot of cherubim, wheels, etc., which Ezekiel saw at the river Chebar (see, Ezekiel 1:1-28). And this glory, coming from the east, is going to enter into the eastern gate of the temple, and thence to shine out upon the whole earth.
2. The glory of God that comes from the east will fill the temple.
This is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth, and He brings the Shekinah glory with Him. When Jesus Christ came to Bethlehem more than nineteen hundred years ago, the glory was not with Him; when He returns the second time, it will be with Him!
B. The glory of the Lord. (Ezekiel 43:4-5)
(Ezekiel 43:4-5) 4 And the glory of the Lord came into the house 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.
1. The millennial temple.
We see this again in Ezekiel 44. The city of Jerusalem and the temple had been destroyed, the land had been taken over by the Babylonians, and the people had been scattered or exiled. It was not a time of good news. But Ezekiel did what God’s people always must do in times of trial: he looked ahead to the glorious future God had planned. One day the scattered people would be regathered and the defiled people cleansed. The land would be restored to beauty and fruitfulness, and there would be a new city, a new temple, and a new priesthood serving the Lord in holiness.
2. The sacrifice and singing.
The temple will be a place of sacrifice and singing and a place where God’s glory will dwell (Ezekiel 43:1–5). Ezekiel had described how the glory left the old temple (Ezekiel 11:22–23), and now he describes how the glory returns and fills the house (Ezekiel 43:1–5; 44:4). The beauty and grandeur of the temple mean nothing if God is not present.
3. “The spirit took me up.”
And, to follow this thought for a moment, how many men has this heavenly Spirit taken up; filled them with His own influence, and sent them to every country, and nation, and tongue, and people, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God, and to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ! What spiritual temples have been raised, beautified, and filled with the glory of God! And this light is shining and burning more and more unto the perfect day, when the whole earth shall be filled with the glory of God!
II. GOD’S PRESENCE REMAINS. (Ezekiel 43:6-9)
A. The Lord is there. (Ezekiel 43:6-7)
(Ezekiel 43:6-7) 6 And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. 7 And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where 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, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.
1. “Son of man, the place of my throne.”
The throne refers to the Lord’s majesty. The soles of His feet, refers to His respect in dwelling among men.
2. “Where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel.”
The tabernacle and temple were types of the incarnation of Jesus Christ: "Destroy THIS TEMPLE, and after three days I will raise it up -- but this he spake of the temple of his body" (see, John 2:19, 21). And in THAT TEMPLE "dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Into this immaculate humanity did the glory of the Supreme God enter; and thus, "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself."
This Jesus is Immanuel, GOD with US. In Him we find united the overwhelming majesty of God. Jesus humbled himself in human nature, not only to bear the form of a servant, but to suffer death upon the cross as a malefactor slave! By these means Jesus Christ has purchased eternal redemption for us.
Spiritual Israel, those who find redemption in his blood, shall be raised up wherever his holy name shall be proclaimed. Spiritual Israel will not, like the old apostate Israel, defile that great name by idolatry or a life of wickedness, but they shall show forth the qualities of Him who has called them from darkness into His marvelous light.
B. Jehovah is His name. (Ezekiel 43:8)
(Ezekiel 43:8) 8 In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.
“In their setting of their threshold” – wicked people had even gone so far as to set up their idol altars by those of Jehovah God. So that their abominable idols were found in the very house of God! Therefore, He “consumed them in his anger."
C. Israel is told to repent. (Ezekiel 43:9)
(Ezekiel 43:9) 9 Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.
1. “Now let them put away their whoredom.”
That is, they must put away their idolatry.
2. “And the carcasses of their kings.”
It appears that the Lord was displeased with their bringing their kings so near Jehovah’s temple. David was buried in the city of David, which was on Mount Zion, near to the temple; and so were almost all the kings of Judah. But God requires that the place of his temple and its vicinity shall be kept unpolluted. When they put away all kinds of defilement, then will He dwell among them.
III. A CHOICE MUST BE MADE. (Ezekiel 43:10-12)
Note: This vision of a glorious land and temple was to be declared to the people (Ezekiel 40:4) so that they would repent of their sins (Ezekiel 43:10). We today do not understand the significance of all these details; however, Israel will understand them in that day, and their understanding will bring about a change in their lives.
A. Israel must walk in a way that pleases God. (Ezekiel 43:10)
(Ezekiel 43:10) 10 Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.
“Show the house to the house of Israel” -- show them this holy house where the holy God dwells, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities. Their name, their profession, their temple, their religious services, all bound them to a holy life. All within them, all without them, should have been holiness unto the Lord God.
God says that Israel has been bound by no ties, and they have sinned against all their obligations. Nevertheless, let them measure the pattern, let them see the rule by which they should have walked, and let them measure themselves by God’s standard, and walk accordingly.
B. Israel must have a right relationship with a holy God. (Ezekiel 43:11)
(Ezekiel 43:11) 11 And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.
“And if they be ashamed.” If, in a spirit of true repentance, Israel acknowledges their past transgressions and purpose, with God’s help, never again to offend their God, He will teach them everything that concerns His worship and their profiting by it.
C. Israel must acknowledge the holiness of Almighty God. (Ezekiel 43:12)
(Ezekiel 43:12) 12 This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house.
“This is the law of the house.” From the top of the mountain on which it stands, to the bottom, all round about, all shall be holy. No buildings shall be erected in any part, nor place nor spot be appropriated for a common use. Everything shall be considered as being most holy. Jehovah’s millennial temple will sit on holy ground!
CONCLUSION: The assurance of a glorious future helps to sustain God’s people during the trials of life. It should also be a stimulus to holy living. (The word holy is used thirty-five times in Ezekiel chapters. 41–48.) For Christian believers, heaven is not simply a destination; it is a motivation. It should make a difference in your life today because you know you are going to heaven. Does it?
Today, the bodies of God’s people are His temple, and so is His church. Just as God has a beautiful plan for His future millennial temple in Jerusalem, so God has a plan for His people individually and His church collectively. We are to be a holy temple, dedicated to Him alone; we are to radiate the glory of God.
The Best Is Yet To Be
By Dennis J. De Haan
Before Jesus left this earth, He promised to prepare a special place for those who love Him (John 14:2-3). Years later He spoke to His disciple John in a vision, giving him as much detail as man’s finite mind could grasp. Since then, God’s people have pondered with eager anticipation “a new heaven and a new earth,” where there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain (Revelation 21:1, 4).
When we are released from sin’s curse, we will serve God without weariness (Revelation 22:3-4). We will see Jesus and be like Him (1 John 3:2).
Thinking about these joys moved the renowned English physician Thomas Browne (1605-1682) to write, “When we begin to talk about life after death, we’re like two infants in a womb discussing the nature of their future life. The difference between our present knowledge and understanding of what it will be to share God’s glory is no less great than what exists between unborn babes and a man in the strength of his days. . . . As Christians, we know it is indescribable and thus we can rejoice, but it will be even greater than our wildest imagination.”
In life’s darkest or most joyous moments, let’s never forget that the best is yet to be. -- Dennis J. De Haan, Our Daily Bread, June 17, 1994
THOUGHT TO REMBER: “Heaven: no pain, no night, no death, no tears.”
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REFERENCES: References used in the Bible study are the King James Bible (KJV), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.
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