5. The Vision of the Holy Building of God in Its Outstanding Features
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Scripture Reading: Ezek. 40:1—42:14
Ezek 40:1      In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was struck down, on that same day the hand of Jehovah was upon me, and He brought me there.
Ezek 40:2      In the visions of God He brought me into the land of Israel and set me down upon a very high mountain, and on it to the south there was a structure like a city.
Ezek 40:3      And He brought me there, and there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, with a line of flax and a measuring reed in His hand, standing in the gate.
Ezek 40:4      And the man said to me, Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart on all that I show you, because for this purpose you have been brought here, that it may be shown to you. Tell all that you see to the house of Israel.
Ezek 40:5      Now there was a wall all around the outside of the house, and in the man's hand a measuring reed six cubits long, each cubit beeing a cubit and a handbreadth. So He measured the thickness of the structure, one reed; and the height, one reed.
Ezek 40:6      Then He came to the gate which faces toward the east and went up its steps, and He measured the threshold of the gate, one reed deep; and each thresh-old was one reed deep.
Ezek 40:7      And every guardroom was one reed long and one reed wide, and the space between the guardrooms was five cubits, and the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate toward the house was one reed.
Ezek 40:8      He measured also the porch of the gate toward the house, one reed.
Ezek 40:9      Then He measured the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and its posts, two cubits; and the porch of the gate was toward the house.
Ezek 40:10    And there were three guardrooms on one side and three on the other side of the gate, which was facing east; and the three of them had the same measurement, and the posts had the same measurement on both sides.
Ezek 40:11    And He measured the width of the entrance of the gate, ten cubits; and the total length of the gate was thirteen cubits.
Ezek 40:12    And there was a border before the guardrooms were one cubit on this side and a border, one cubit on that side; and the guardrooms, six cubits on this side, and six cubits on that side.
Ezek 40:13    And He measured the total gate width from the roof edge of one guardroom to the roof edge of the other, twenty-five cubits. The entrances of the guardrooms were opposite each other.
Ezek 40:14    He also made a measurement of the posts, sixty cubits in all; and the gate surrounded a court which reached to the posts.
Ezek 40:15    And the distance from the front of the gate at the entrance to the front of the inner porch of the gate was fifty cubits.
Ezek 40:16    And the guardrooms and their posts had latticed windows within and all around the gate. The porches also had windows within and all around, and palm trees were on each post.
Ezek 40:17    Then He brought me into the outer court, and there were chambers and a pavement made for the court all around; thirty chambers were upon the pavement.
Ezek 40:18    And the pavement flanked the gates, its width equal to the length of the gates; that is, the lower pavement.
Ezek 40:19    Then He measured the distance from the front of the lower gate to the front of the outside of the inner court gate, a hundred cubits, both on the east and on the north.
Ezek 40:20    Then He measured the gate of the outer court which faced toward the north, its length and its width.
Ezek 40:21    And it had three guardrooms on this side and three on that side. And its posts and its porch were of the same measurement as the first gate; its length was fifty cubits, and the width twenty-five cubits.
Ezek 40:22    And its windows and its porch and its palm trees were of the same measurement as the gate which faced toward the east, and seven steps led up to it, and its porch was in front of them.
Ezek 40:23    And there was a gate to the inner court opposite the outer gate, both on the north and on the east. And He measured the distance from gate to gate, a hundred cubits.
Ezek 40:24    And He led me toward the south, and there was a gate toward the south, and He measured its posts and its porch according to those same measurements.
Ezek 40:25    And the gate and its porch had windows all around just like those other windows; the length was fifty cubits, and the width twenty-five cubits.
Ezek 40:26    And there were seven steps going up to it, and its porch was in front of them; and it had palm trees upon its posts, one on each side.
Ezek 40:27    And there was a gate to the inner court toward the south, and He measured the distance from gate to gate toward the south, a hundred cubits.
Ezek 40:28    Then He brought me into the inner court through the south gate, and He measured the south gate according to those same measurements,
Ezek 40:29    And its guardrooms and its posts and its porches according to those same measurements; and it had windows in and around it and its porches; the length was fifty cubits, and the width twenty-five cubits.
Ezek 40:30    And there were porches all around, twenty-five cubits long and five cubits wide.
Ezek 40:31    And its porches were toward the outer court, and palm trees were upon its posts, and its steps had eight steps.
Ezek 40:32    And He brought me into the inner court toward the east, and He measured the gate according to those same measurements,
Ezek 40:33    And its guardrooms and its posts and its porches according to those same measurements; and it had windows in and around it and its porches; the length was fifty cubits, and the width twenty-five cubits.
Ezek 40:34    And its porches were toward the outer court, and palm trees were upon its posts on each side, and its steps had eight steps.
Ezek 40:35    And He brought me to the north gate, and He measured it according to those same measurements,
Ezek 40:36    Its guardrooms, its posts, and its porches; and it had windows in and around it; the length was fifty cubits, and the width twenty-five cubits.
Ezek 40:37    And its porches were toward the outer court, and palm trees were upon its posts, on each side, and its steps had eight steps.
Ezek 40:38    And a chamber with its entrance was by the posts at the gates; there they washed the burnt offering.
Ezek 40:39    And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side and two tables on that side on which to slay the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering.
Ezek 40:40    And on one side outside, as one goes up to the entrance of the gate toward the north, were two tables; and on the other side, which belonged to the porch of the gate, were two tables.
Ezek 40:41    Four tables were on this side and four tables on that side beside the gate; eight tables on which they slaughtered the sacrifices.
Ezek 40:42    And there were four tables for the burnt offering, made of hewn stone, a cubit and a half long and a cubit and a half wide and one cubit high, on which they laid the instruments with which they slaughtered the burnt offering and the sacrifice;
Ezek 40:43    And double hooks, a handbreadth long, were fastened on the inside all around. And upon the tables was the flesh of the offering.
Ezek 40:44    And outside the inner gate in the inner court were two chambers, one at the side of the north gate facing toward the south; one at the side of the south gate facing toward the north.
Ezek 40:45    And He said to me, This chamber that faces toward the south is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house;
Ezek 40:46    And the chamber that faces toward the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar. These are the sons of Zadok, who come near to Jehovah to minister to Him from among the sons of Levi.
Ezek 40:47    And He measured the court, a square, one hundred cubits long and one hundred cubits wide; and the altar was in front of the house.
Ezek 40:48    Then He brought me to the porch of the house and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side and five cubits on that side; and the width of the gate was fourteen cubits, plus the side indents in the gate, three cubits on this side and three cubits on that side.
Ezek 40:49    The length of the porch was twenty cubits and the width twelve cubits, and ten steps led up to it; and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side and another on that side.
Ezek 41:1      And He brought me to the temple and measured the posts; six cubits wide on one side and six cubits wide on the other side was the width of the post.
Ezek 41:2      And the width of the entrance was ten cubits, and the sides of the entrance were five cubits on one side and five cubits on the other side. And He measured the length of the outer temple, forty cubits, and the width, twenty cubits.
Ezek 41:3      Then He went into the inner temple and measured each post of the entrance, two cubits; and the entrance, six cubits; and the width on either side of the entrance, seven cubits.
Ezek 41:4      And He measured the length of the inner temple, twenty cubits, and the width, twenty cubits, before the outer temple; and He said to me, This is the Holy of Holies.
Ezek 41:5      Then He measured the wall of the house, six cubits thick; and the width of every side chamber, four cubits, all around the house on every side.
Ezek 41:6      And the side chambers were in three stories, one over another, with thirty units in each story; and they extended to the wall, which the house had for the side chambers all around to be supports, so that there would not be supports inserted into the wall of the house.
Ezek 41:7      And the side chambers that went around the house became wider as they went up by stories. Because the surrounding of the house increased upward around the house, therefore the house had width upward; and so one went up from the lowest story to the highest through the middle story.
Ezek 41:8      I also saw that the house had a raised platform all around; the foundations of the side chambers were a full reed of six long cubits.
Ezek 41:9      The thickness of the outer wall of the side chambers was five cubits; and space that was left alongside the side chambers belonged to the house.
Ezek 41:10    And between the chambers and the house was a width of twenty cubits all around the house on every side.
Ezek 41:11    And the entrances of the side chambers were toward the space that was left, one entrance toward the north and another entrance toward the south; and the width of the place that was left was five cubits all around.
Ezek 41:12    And the building that was in front of the separate place at the side toward the west was seventy cubits wide; and the wall of the building was five cubits thick all around, and its length ninety cubits.
Ezek 41:13    So He measured the house, a hundred cubits long; and the separate place at the back and the building with its walls, a hundred cubits long;
Ezek 41:14    And the width of the front of the house and of the separate place toward the east, a hundred cubits.
Ezek 41:15    And He measured the length of the building before the separate place, which was behind it, and its galleries on one side and on the other side, a hundred cubits. And the outer temple, the inner temple, the porches of the court,
Ezek 41:16    The thresholds, the latticed windows, and the galleries of the surrounding side chambers with their three stories, opposite the threshold, were paneled with wood all around, even from the ground to the windows (now the windows were latticed)
Ezek 41:17    To the top of the entrance, both in the inner house and outside. And on all the walls all around inside and outside, by measurement,
Ezek 41:18    Were both carved cherubim and palm trees. And a palm tree was between two cherubim, and every cherub had two faces.
Ezek 41:19    So there was the face of a man toward the palm tree on one side and the face of a lion toward the palm tree on the other side. So it was carved in and around the whole house.
Ezek 41:20    From the ground to the top of the entrance cherubim and palm trees were carved, even on the wall of the temple.
Ezek 41:21    The temple doorposts were squared. And at the front of the sanctuary was something in appearance like the appearance of
Ezek 41:22    A wooden altar, three cubits high, and its length two cubits; and its corners, its length, and its walls were made of wood. And He said to me, This is the table that is before Jehovah.
Ezek 41:23    Now the temple and the sanctuary had double doors.
Ezek 41:24    And the double doors had two swinging leaves, two leaves for one door and two leaves for the other.
Ezek 41:25    And carved on these, on the doors of the temple, were cherubim and palm trees, just like those carved on the walls. And there was a threshold of wood upon the front of the porch outside.
Ezek 41:26    And there were latticed windows and palm trees on either side, on the sides of the porch, the side chambers of the house, and the thresholds.
Ezek 42:1      Then He brought me out into the outer court, the way toward the north, and He brought me into the chamber that was adjacent to the separate place and which was adjacent to the building toward the north.
Ezek 42:2      The length of the side of the northern entrance was a hundred cubits, and the width was fifty cubits.
Ezek 42:3      Adjacent to the twenty-cubit space of the inner court and adjacent to the pavement of the outer court was gallery facing gallery on the third story.
Ezek 42:4      And before the chambers on the inside was a walkway of ten cubits' width, a way of one hundred cubits; and their entrances were toward the north.
Ezek 42:5      Now the upper chambers were narrower, for the galleries took more space away from these than from the lower and the middle stories in the building.
Ezek 42:6      For they were arranged in three stories, and they did not have pillars like the pillars of the courts; therefore the upper story was set back from the ground more than the lower and middle stories .
Ezek 42:7      There was also an outside wall beside the chambers, toward the outer court in front of the chambers; its length was fifty cubits.
Ezek 42:8      For the length of the chambers that were in the outer court was fifty cubits, while those facing the temple were a hundred cubits.
Ezek 42:9      And at the foot of these chambers was an entrance on the east side to enter them from the outer court;
Ezek 42:10    By the breadth of the wall of the court to the south, beside the separate place and beside the building, there were chambers,
Ezek 42:11    With a way before them. Their appear ance was like the appearance of the chambers which were toward the north; just as their length, so also was their width; and all their exits were according to both their arrangements and their entrances.
Ezek 42:12    So the entrances of the chambers that were toward the south were entered through an entrance toward the east at the head of the corresponding way, directly beside the wall.
Ezek 42:13    Then He said to me, The north chambers and the south chambers which are beside the separate place are holy chambers, where the priests who are near to Jehovah shall eat the most holy things. There they shall lay the most holy things, the meal offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering, for the place is holy.
Ezek 42:14    When the priests enter, they shall not go out of the holy place into the outer court, but there they shall lay their garments in which they have ministered, because they are holy. And they shall put on other garments and approach the area designated for the people.
 
 
I.     God’s eternal purpose is to have a building as a mingling of Himself with His chosen people (Ezek. 40:1—48:35; Matt. 16:18; 1 Pet. 2:5); whatever God does among His people and among the nations on earth is for His building; this is confirmed by the book of Revelation, which is parallel to the book of Ezekiel and concludes with God’s ultimate building, the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2—22:5):
Ezek. 40:1—48:35   (to be omitted)
Matt 16:18    And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
1 Pet 2:5        You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Rev 21:2       And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3       And I heard a loud voice out of the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
Rev 21:4       And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death will be no more, nor will there be sorrow or crying or pain anymore; for the former things have passed away.
Rev 21:5       And He who sits on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said, Write, for these words are faithful and true.
Rev 21:6       And He said to me, They have come to pass. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give to him who thirsts from the spring of the water of life freely.
Rev 21:7       He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be God to him, and he will be a son to Me.
Rev 21:8       But the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and fornicators and sorcerers and idolaters and all the false, their part will be in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
Rev 21:9       And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, Come here; I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.
Rev 21:10     And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
Rev 21:11     Having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.
Rev 21:12     It had a great and high wall and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel:
Rev 21:13     On the east three gates, and on the north three gates, and on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.
Rev 21:14     And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Rev 21:15     And he who spoke with me had a golden reed as a measure that he might measure the city and its gates and its wall.
Rev 21:16     And the city lies square, and its length is as great as the breadth. And he measured the city with the reed to a length of twelve thousand stadia; the length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
Rev 21:17     And he measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.
Rev 21:18     And the building work of its wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
Rev 21:19     The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every precious stone: the first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;
Rev 21:20     The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.
Rev 21:21     And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was, respectively, of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
Rev 21:22     And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
Rev 21:23     And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
Rev 21:24     And the nations will walk by its light; and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it.
Rev 21:25     And its gates shall by no means be shut by day, for there will be no night there.
Rev 21:26     And they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
Rev 21:27     And anything common and he who makes an abomination and a lie shall by no means enter into it, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Rev 22:1       And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.
Rev 22:2       And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
Rev 22:3       And there will no longer be a curse. And the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His slaves will serve Him;
Rev 22:4       And they will see His face, and His name will be on their forehead.
Rev 22:5       And night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them; and they will reign forever and ever.
A.     After the destruction of the temple built by Solomon (2 Kings 25:8-9), the temple was rebuilt by the captives who returned from Babylon (Ezra 3:6b-13; 6:13-15).
2 Kings 25:8  In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month (this was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon), Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyguard, the servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.
2 Kings 25:9  And he burned the house of Jehovah and the king's house and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every large house he burned with fire.
Ezra 3:6b      however the foundation of the temple of Jehovah had not yet been laid.
Ezra 3:7        They also gave money to the stone hewers and to the carpenters, and food and drink and oil to the Sidonians and to the Tyrians, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea at Joppa according to the authorization granted them by Cyrus the king of Persia.
Ezra 3:8        Now in the second year after they came to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak and the rest of their brothers, the priests and the Levites, and all those who came out of captivity to Jerusalem began by appointing the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to have oversight over the work of the house of Jehovah.
Ezra 3:9        Then Jeshua stood with his sons and his brothers, as one man, with Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, and with the sons of Henadad and their sons and their brothers the Levites, to have oversight over the workmen in the house of God.
Ezra 3:10      And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of Jehovah, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise Jehovah according to the directions of David the king of Israel.
Ezra 3:11      And they sang to one another in praising and giving thanks to Jehovah, saying, For He is good, for His lovingkindness is forever upon Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised Jehovah, because the foundation of the house of Jehovah was laid.
Ezra 3:12      But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, the old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes; and many shouted aloud for joy,
Ezra 3:13      So that the people could not discern the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people; for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away.
Ezra 6:13      Then Tattenai the governor beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their companions, carried out everything with all diligence according to what Darius the king had sent order to do.
Ezra 6:14      And the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they finished building according to the command of the God of Israel and according to the decree of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes the king of Persia.
Ezra 6:15      And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.
B.     Later, this temple was replaced by Herod’s temple, which was built in forty-six years (John 2:20); Herod’s temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Roman army under Titus (Dan. 9:26; Matt. 23:38; 24:2).
John 2:20      Then the Jews said, This temple was built in forty-six years, and You will raise it up in three days?
Dan 9:26       And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah will be cut off and will have nothing; and the people of the prince who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end of it will be with a flood, and even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
Matt 23:38    Behold, your house is left to you desolate.
Matt 24:2      But He answered and said to them, Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, There shall by no means be left here a stone upon a stone, which shall not be thrown down.
C.     Neither the temple in Ezra’s day nor the temple of Herod’s time was the full recovery of the temple built by Solomon; however, the temple of Ezekiel’s vision was a more than full recovery of Solomon’s temple; although the temple itself was the same size as the one built by Solomon (Ezek. 41:2, 4; cf. 1 Kings 6:2), a number of details related to the gates, the courts, and the buildings around the temple in Ezekiel’s vision indicate an enlargement over Solomon’s temple.
Ezek 41:2      And the width of the entrance was ten cubits, and the sides of the entrance were five cubits on one side and five cubits on the other side. And He measured the length of the outer temple, forty cubits, and the width, twenty cubits.
Ezek 41:4      And He measured the length of the inner temple, twenty cubits, and the width, twenty cubits, before the outer temple; and He said to me, This is the Holy of Holies.
1 Kings 6:2    And the house which King Solomon built to Jehovah was sixty cubits long and twenty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.
D.     Thus, beginning with Abraham’s tent, progressing to the tabernacle and then to Solomon’s temple, and concluding with the temple in Ezekiel’s vision, there is a continual progression in the enlargement of God’s building in the Old Testament; this enlargement signifies a continual increase in the experience of Christ by God’s people—cf. 1 Kings 6:2, footnote 1.
1 Kings 6:2    And the house which King Solomon built to Jehovah was 1sixty cubits long and twenty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.
Footnote 1     The dimensions of the temple and the Holy of Holies in the temple were twice those of the tabernacle (vv. 2, 20; cf. notes 31, 181, and 331 in Exo. 26). Furthermore, with the exception of the Ark (v. 19), the size and number of the furnishings and the utensils were greatly enlarged (2 Chron. 4:1-8). This indicates that although Christ Himself (signified by the Ark) cannot be enlarged, our experience of Christ in all His riches, as signified by the temple and its furnishings and utensils, should be greatly increased and enlarged (Eph. 3:8, 14-19; Phil. 3:7-14) to match His enlarged expression. See note 11, par. 2, in Ezek. 40.
E.      God’s spiritual building in the New Testament, which begins with Jesus Christ, the incarnated God, as God’s tabernacle (John 1:14) and God’s temple (2:19-21), advances to the church, the Body of Christ, as the enlargement of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; 2:20-22), and consummates with the New Jerusalem as the ultimate manifestation and enlargement of God’s building in eternity (Rev. 21:2-3, 15-17).
John 1:14      And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and reality.
John 2:19      Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
John 2:20      Then the Jews said, This temple was built in forty-six years, and You will raise it up in three days?
John 2:21      But He spoke of the temple of His body.
Eph 1:22       And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23       Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 2:20       Being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone;
Eph 2:21       In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
Eph 2:22       In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.
Rev 21:2       And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3       And I heard a loud voice out of the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
Rev 21:15     And he who spoke with me had a golden reed as a measure that he might measure the city and its gates and its wall.
Rev 21:16     And the city lies square, and its length is as great as the breadth. And he measured the city with the reed to a length of twelve thousand stadia; the length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
Rev 21:17     And he measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.
F.      Literally, the visions concerning God’s holy building in Ezekiel 40—48 will be fulfilled in the restoration, when the restored Israel will rebuild the temple and the city of Jerusalem for their dwelling with God in the millennium.
Ezekiel 40—48      (to be omitted)
G.     The spiritual significances of all the details should be applied to the New Testament believers as components of God’s spiritual building, the church.
 
II.   Ezekiel saw the first vision, the vision of the appearance of the glory of the Lord, when he was thirty years of age, the age at which a priest begins to function (1:1); he saw the last vision, the vision of the holy building of God, twenty years later (40:1; cf. 1:2), at the age of fifty, the age of retirement for a priest (Num. 4:3); this indicates that to see the building of God, Ezekiel needed more maturity in life (cf. Ezek. 1:1, footnote 1):
Ezek 1:1        Now in the 1thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth of the month, while I was among the captives by the river Chebar, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
Footnote 1     Referring to Ezekiel’s age. At the age of thirty a priest, a Levite, was qualified to begin his service to the Lord (Num. 4:2-3; 1 Chron. 23:3; cf. Luke 3:23). This age signifies maturity, indicating that in spiritual things, especially in seeing the visions recorded in this book, there is the need of maturity in the divine life (cf. 1 Cor. 2:14-15; 3:1-2).
Ezek 40:1      In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was struck down, on that same day the hand of Jehovah was upon me, and He brought me there.
Ezek 1:2        On the fifth of the month (it was the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity)
Num  4:3      From thirty years old and upward even to fifty years old, all who enter into the service to perform the skilled work in the Tent of Meeting.
A.     The beginning of the year (40:1) indicates that the vision of God’s building brings us to a new beginning.
Ezek 40:1      In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was struck down, on that same day the hand of Jehovah was upon me, and He brought me there.
B.     The tenth day of the first month was the day on which the people of Israel prepared the lamb for the passover (Exo. 12:3); this indicates that every new beginning in our Christian life is based on Christ, the Passover lamb (John 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:7), and His redemption.
Exo 12:3       Speak to all the assembly of Israel, saying, On the tenth of this month each man shall take a lamb according to his fathers' house, a lamb for a household.
John 1:29      The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
1 Cor 5:7       Purge out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened; for our Passover, Christ, also has been sacrificed.
 
III.  To see the vision of God’s holy building, Ezekiel was brought from the land of captivity to a high mountain, signifying the resurrection and ascension of Christ, in the land of Israel (Ezek. 40:2), a type of the all-inclusive Christ as the portion allotted by God to His people (Deut. 8:7; Col. 1:12), and in the city of Jerusalem; this was the right position, standing, and angle for Ezekiel to see such a vision.
Deut 8:7        For Jehovah your God is bringing you to a good land, a land of waterbrooks, of springs and of fountains, flowing forth in valleys and in mountains;
Col 1:12        Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you for a share of the allotted portion of the saints in the light;
Ezek 40:2      In the visions of God He brought me into the land of Israel and set me down upon a very high mountain, and on it to the south there was a structure like a city.
 
IV.  The man of bronze at the gate of the building is Christ (Ezek. 40:3); bronze signifies being tested by God’s judgment (Num. 16:37-39; 21:8-9); having passed through God’s judgment, Christ is fully qualified to measure (take possession of by judging) what belongs to God’s building (Zech. 2:1 and footnotes).
Ezek 40:3      And He brought me there, and there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, with a line of flax and a measuring reed in His hand, standing in the gate.
Num  16:37  Tell Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest to take the censers up out of the burning and scatter the fire about; for they are holy.
Num  16:38  The censers of those who have sinned against their own lives, let them be made into beaten plates for a covering of the altar, for they presented them before Jehovah and they became holy. So they shall be a sign to the children of Israel.
Num  16:39  And Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers which those who were burned had offered; and they beat them out as a covering of the altar,
Num  21:8    Then Jehovah said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.
Num  21:9    And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the pole; and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
Zech 2:1        Then I lifted up my eyes and I looked, and there was a 1man, and in His hand was a 2measuring line.
Footnote 1     This man is Christ in His humanity as the Angel of Jehovah, the One speaking with Zechariah (vv. 1a, 2; cf. Ezek. 40:3).
Footnote 2     See note 161 in ch. 1. The man with the measuring line intended to measure Jerusalem so that Jehovah might repossess it after the seventy years of Israel’s captivity (vv. 2, 4b). This measuring was not only to know the size but also to know the condition and the situation. The measuring was done by a man, not by an angel. An angel is unqualified to measure anything human, because he does not have the human nature. Only Jesus, who has both the divine nature and the human nature, is qualified to measure Jerusalem.
 
V.   “The man said to me, Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart on all that I show you, because for this purpose you have been brought here, that it may be shown to you. Tell all that you see to the house of Israel”—Ezek. 40:4:
Ezek 40:4      And the man said to me, Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart on all that I show you, because for this purpose you have been brought here, that it may be shown to you. Tell all that you see to the house of Israel.
A.     While God was showing the vision of His building to Ezekiel, the prophet needed to have keen sight and to listen intently.
B.     Also, in order to absorb the things that would be shown to him, he had to set his heart on them; then he would be able to declare to God’s people all that he had seen and heard—cf. 1 John 1:3.
1 John 1:3     That which we have seen and heard we report also to you that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
VI.  The wall around the house is for separating what belongs to God from what cannot belong to Him—Ezek. 40:5:
Ezek 40:5      Now there was a wall all around the outside of the house, and in the man's hand a measuring reed six cubits long, each cubit beeing a cubit and a handbreadth. So He measured the thickness of the structure, one reed; and the height, one reed.
A.     The thickness and height of the wall are both six cubits; thus, a cross section of the wall is a square six cubits by six cubits.
B.     The number six signifies man, who was created on the sixth day; hence, the wall with a square cross section of six cubits signifies Christ Himself as an upright, perfect, and complete man.
C.     Such a Christ is a separating line of God’s building; only what is included in Christ belongs to God’s interests and God’s building—Eph. 2:21; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 4:1.
Eph 2:21       In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
1 Cor 1:30     But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom to us from God: both righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
Eph 4:1         I beseech you therefore, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called,
 
VII. The gate is divided into four sections: an outer threshold (Ezek. 40:6), a passage (a court, v. 14), an inner threshold (v. 7), and a porch (vv. 8-9):
Ezek 40:6      Then He came to the gate which faces toward the east and went up its steps, and He measured the threshold of the gate, one reed deep; and each thresh-old was one reed deep.
Ezek 40:14    He also made a measurement of the posts, sixty cubits in all; and the gate surrounded a court which reached to the posts.
Ezek 40:7      And every guardroom was one reed long and one reed wide, and the space between the guardrooms was five cubits, and the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate toward the house was one reed.
Ezek 40:8      He measured also the porch of the gate toward the house, one reed.
Ezek 40:9      Then He measured the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and its posts, two cubits; and the porch of the gate was toward the house.
A.     As the entrance to God’s building, the gate signifies Christ as the gateway for us to enter into God and into God’s interests, God’s building, and God’s kingdom (John 14:6, 20; Rev. 21:21a); whereas the wall separates sinners from God, the gate brings people into God and into God’s building.
John 14:6      Jesus said to him, I am the way and the reality and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.
John 14:20    In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
Rev 21:21a    And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was, respectively, …
B.     The three guardrooms on each side of the gate (Ezek. 40:7, 10) signify that the guardrooms are a person, Christ Himself, who as the Triune God (three) became a man (six) and was “split” on the cross:
Ezek 40:7      And every guardroom was one reed long and one reed wide, and the space between the guardrooms was five cubits, and the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate toward the house was one reed.
Ezek 40:10    And there were three guardrooms on one side and three on the other side of the gate, which was facing east; and the three of them had the same measurement, and the posts had the same measurement on both sides.
1. Each of the six guardrooms is six cubits square and is thus the same in size as a cross section of the wall; this indicates that the Lord Jesus in His person and work is the guard of God’s glory and holiness.
2. By passing through Christ as the gate, we are qualified to enter into God’s building, which is full of God’s glory and holiness.
C.     The width of the porch is six cubits, the number six signifying man, who was created on the sixth day; the length of the porch is eight cubits (vv. 8-9), the number eight signifying Christ’s resurrection, which took place on the first day of a new week as a new beginning (John 20:1):
Ezek 40:8      He measured also the porch of the gate toward the house, one reed.
Ezek 40:9      Then He measured the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and its posts, two cubits; and the porch of the gate was toward the house.
John 20:1      Now on the first day of the week, Mary the Magdalene came early to the tomb while it was yet dark and saw the stone taken away from the tomb.
1. These dimensions signify that the Lord Jesus as a man, who is the gate of God’s building, is fully in resurrection.
2. They also signify that when we arrive at the porch, we are in resurrection, in a new beginning.
D.     The width of the entrance of the gate was ten cubits (Ezek. 40:11), the number ten here implying the Ten Commandments; this indicates that whatever the Ten Commandments require, the entry of the gate fulfills; the Lord Jesus as the “square,” upright, and perfect man fulfilled all the requirements of the Ten Commandments, and He has become the gate for us to enter into God’s building—cf. Rom. 8:4.
Ezek 40:11    And He measured the width of the entrance of the gate, ten cubits; and the total length of the gate was thirteen cubits.
Rom 8:4        That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.
E.      The palm trees on the posts of the gates signify that Christ, the guard of God’s holiness and glory, is the everlasting, victorious One, standing, bearing, sustaining, and prevailing; palm trees grow in the wilderness, are evergreen, and signify victory and everlasting power (Exo. 15:27; Rev. 7:9); Christ is the post that supports and bears God’s building with a victorious, everlasting life—Ezek. 40:16.
Exo 15:27     And they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees; and they encamped there by the waters.
Rev 7:9         After these things I saw, and behold, there was a great multitude which no one could number, out of every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes and palm branches in their hands.
Ezek 40:16    And the guardrooms and their posts had latticed windows within and all around the gate. The porches also had windows within and all around, and palm trees were on each post.
F.      There were six different sections, or areas, of pavement around the inside of the wall on the east, the south, and the north sides of the outer court, and on each section there were five chambers, giving a total of thirty chambers (v. 17); in addition to the thirty chambers on the pavement, there were four small courts, one at each corner of the outer court (46:21-24, v. 21 and footnote 1); these were places for the people to boil the sacrifices:
Ezek 40:17    Then He brought me into the outer court, and there were chambers and a pavement made for the court all around; thirty chambers were upon the pavement.
Ezek 46:21    Then He brought me out into the outer court and led me past the four corners of the court; and there in each corner of the court was a 1court.
Footnote 1     The four enclosed courts at the four corners of the outer court are the boiling houses for the sacrifices of the people (vv. 21-24). This indicates that, by God’s grace, the preparation of Christ for others’ enjoyment is spreading to every corner, making Christ available everywhere. The measurement of the corner chambers is forty by thirty (v. 22). The number forty signifies trials and testing (Matt. 4:1-2; Heb. 3:9) and indicates here that apart from the Lord’s suffering, testing, and trials, He could not have been “cooked,” prepared for our enjoyment.
Ezek 46:22    In the four corners of the court there were enclosed courts, forty cubits long and thirty cubits wide. These four enclosed courts in the corners were of one measurement.
Ezek 46:23    And there was a wall all around them, around all four, and boiling places were made at the base of the walls all around.
Ezek 46:24    Then He said to me, These are the boiling houses, where those who minister in the house shall boil the sacrifices of the people.
1. The pavement, probably made of stone, signifies the standing of regeneration, which makes us stones (John 1:42; Matt. 16:18), as a separation from the dirt of the world (cf. Luke 15:22, footnote 7).
John 1:42      He led him to Jesus. Looking at him, Jesus said, You are Simon, the son of John; you shall be called Cephas (which is interpreted, Peter).
Matt 16:18    And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Luke 15:22    But the father said to his slaves, Bring out quickly the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and 7sandals on his feet.
Footnote 7     Signifying the power of God’s salvation to separate the believers from the dirty earth. Both the ring and the sandals were signs of a free man. The adornment, consisting of the robe on the body, the ring on the hand, and the sandals on the feet, allowed the poor prodigal to match his rich father and qualified him to enter the father’s house and feast with the father. God’s salvation adorns us with Christ and the Spirit that we may enjoy the riches in His house.
2. The chambers were dining places where the people ate the sacrifices, indicating that they were places for people to enjoy Christ as the sacrifices and offerings; (whereas the priests ate in the inner court [Ezek. 42:1-14], the people ate in the outer court).
Ezek 42:1      Then He brought me out into the outer court, the way toward the north, and He brought me into the chamber that was adjacent to the separate place and which was adjacent to the building toward the north.
Ezek 42:2      The length of the side of the northern entrance was a hundred cubits, and the width was fifty cubits.
Ezek 42:3      Adjacent to the twenty-cubit space of the inner court and adjacent to the pavement of the outer court was gallery facing gallery on the third story.
Ezek 42:4      And before the chambers on the inside was a walkway of ten cubits' width, a way of one hundred cubits; and their entrances were toward the north.
Ezek 42:5      Now the upper chambers were narrower, for the galleries took more space away from these than from the lower and the middle stories in the building.
Ezek 42:6      For they were arranged in three stories, and they did not have pillars like the pillars of the courts; therefore the upper story was set back from the ground more than the lower and middle stories .
Ezek 42:7      There was also an outside wall beside the chambers, toward the outer court in front of the chambers; its length was fifty cubits.
Ezek 42:8      For the length of the chambers that were in the outer court was fifty cubits, while those facing the temple were a hundred cubits.
Ezek 42:9      And at the foot of these chambers was an entrance on the east side to enter them from the outer court;
Ezek 42:10    By the breadth of the wall of the court to the south, beside the separate place and beside the building, there were chambers,
Ezek 42:11    With a way before them. Their appear ance was like the appearance of the chambers which were toward the north; just as their length, so also was their width; and all their exits were according to both their arrangements and their entrances.
Ezek 42:12    So the entrances of the chambers that were toward the south were entered through an entrance toward the east at the head of the corresponding way, directly beside the wall.
Ezek 42:13    Then He said to me, The north chambers and the south chambers which are beside the separate place are holy chambers, where the priests who are near to Jehovah shall eat the most holy things. There they shall lay the most holy things, the meal offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering, for the place is holy.
Ezek 42:14    When the priests enter, they shall not go out of the holy place into the outer court, but there they shall lay their garments in which they have ministered, because they are holy. And they shall put on other garments and approach the area designated for the people.
3. After passing through the gate of God’s dwelling place, we come to the outer court and enter into the chambers, where, standing on the “stones” of our regeneration, we eat and enjoy Christ, who is the reality of all the offerings—Heb. 10:5-10.
Heb 10:5       Therefore, coming into the world, He says, "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.
Heb 10:6       In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You did not delight.
Heb 10:7       Then I said, Behold, I have come (in the roll of the book it is written concerning Me) to do Your will, O God."
Heb 10:8       Saying above, "Sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You did not desire nor delight in" (which are offered according to the law),
Heb 10:9       He then has said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will." He takes away the first that He may establish the second,
Heb 10:10     By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
 
VIII.     The details of the gates to the inner court (Ezek. 40:28-37) were the same as those of the gates to the outer court, indicating that as we enter into the inner court, we repeat our experience of Christ; we experience the same Christ, but we experience more of Him (Phil. 3:8-10):
Ezek 40:28    Then He brought me into the inner court through the south gate, and He measured the south gate according to those same measurements,
Ezek 40:29    And its guardrooms and its posts and its porches according to those same measurements; and it had windows in and around it and its porches; the length was fifty cubits, and the width twenty-five cubits.
Ezek 40:30    And there were porches all around, twenty-five cubits long and five cubits wide.
Ezek 40:31    And its porches were toward the outer court, and palm trees were upon its posts, and its steps had eight steps.
Ezek 40:32    And He brought me into the inner court toward the east, and He measured the gate according to those same measurements,
Ezek 40:33    And its guardrooms and its posts and its porches according to those same measurements; and it had windows in and around it and its porches; the length was fifty cubits, and the width twenty-five cubits.
Ezek 40:34    And its porches were toward the outer court, and palm trees were upon its posts on each side, and its steps had eight steps.
Ezek 40:35    And He brought me to the north gate, and He measured it according to those same measurements,
Ezek 40:36    Its guardrooms, its posts, and its porches; and it had windows in and around it; the length was fifty cubits, and the width twenty-five cubits.
Ezek 40:37    And its porches were toward the outer court, and palm trees were upon its posts, on each side, and its steps had eight steps.
Phil 3:8         But moreover I also count all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as refuse that I may gain Christ
Phil 3:9         And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness which is out of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is out of God and based on faith,
Phil 3:10       To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
A.     At the entrance to the inner court there is another set of stairs (cf. Ezek. 40:22, 26), consisting of eight steps; this indicates that the more inward we progress in our experience of God’s building, the higher we become.
Ezek 40:22    And its windows and its porch and its palm trees were of the same measurement as the gate which faced toward the east, and seven steps led up to it, and its porch was in front of them.
Ezek 40:26    And there were seven steps going up to it, and its porch was in front of them; and it had palm trees upon its posts, one on each side.
B.     The number eight signifies resurrection; this indicates that if we would come into the inner court, we need to be in resurrection; all the natural life and the natural man must be repudiated and crossed out.
C.     A chamber, probably within the north gate of the inner court, was for the priests to wash the burnt offerings (v. 38); this indicates that at this point in our experience, we are ready to be a burnt offering for God:
Ezek 40:38    And a chamber with its entrance was by the posts at the gates; there they washed the burnt offering.
1. When we pass through the gate to the inner court, we are in resurrection and on a higher level.
2. Here, we are not merely the common people in the outer court; we have become the priests who are ready to minister to the Lord by offering the burnt offering, meaning that we are ready to be absolute for the Lord—Lev. 1:3, footnote 1.
Lev 1:3         If his offering is a 1burnt offering from the herd, he shall present it, a male without blemish; he shall present it at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, that he may be accepted before Jehovah.
Footnote 1     The Hebrew word literally means that which goes up and denotes something that ascends to God. The burnt offering typifies Christ not mainly in His redeeming man from sin but in His living a life that is perfect and absolutely for God and for God’s satisfaction (v. 9; John 5:19, 30; 6:38; 7:18; 8:29; 14:24) and in His being the life that enables God’s people to have such a living (2 Cor. 5:15; Gal. 2:19-20). It is God’s food that God may enjoy it and be satisfied (Num. 28:2). This offering was to be offered daily, in the morning and in the evening (Exo. 29:38-42; Lev. 6:8-13; Num. 28:3-4).
D.     The altar, which signifies the cross of Christ, is not only the center but also the circumference of God’s holy building—Ezek. 40:47:
Ezek 40:47    And He measured the court, a square, one hundred cubits long and one hundred cubits wide; and the altar was in front of the house.
1. The cross is implied in the gate, in the eating of the sacrifices, in the boiling houses, and in the tables on which the sacrifices are slain (v. 39); thus, the cross spreads in every direction and to every corner of God’s building; if we wish to contact God and enjoy His riches in His house, we must pass through the cross.
Ezek 40:39    And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side and two tables on that side on which to slay the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering.
2. The death on the cross was the release of God (Luke 12:49-50; John 12:24) and the termination of man and all negative things (Rom. 6:6; Heb. 2:14; 9:26-28; Gal. 6:14; Eph. 2:14-15); in Christ’s death God passed through death in man to be released, and man died in God to be terminated.
Luke 12:49    I have come to cast fire on the earth, and how I wish that it were already kindled!
Luke 12:50    But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I am pressed until it is accomplished!
John 12:24    Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Rom 6:6        Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin as slaves;
Heb 2:14       Since therefore the children have shared in blood and flesh, He also Himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death He might destroy him who has the might of death, that is, the devil,
Heb 9:26       Since then He would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world. But now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested for the putting away of sin through the sacrifice of Himself.
Heb 9:27       And inasmuch as it is reserved for men to die once, and after this comes judgment,
Heb 9:28       So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time to those who eagerly await Him, apart from sin, unto salvation.
Gal 6:14        But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.
Eph 2:14       For He Himself is our peace, He who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of partition, the enmity,
Eph 2:15       Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,
 
IX.  Whereas the altar signifies the cross, the temple signifies both Christ (John 2:19-21) and the church, the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:21):
John 2:19      Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
John 2:20      Then the Jews said, This temple was built in forty-six years, and You will raise it up in three days?
John 2:21      But He spoke of the temple of His body.
1 Cor 3:16     Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Eph 2:21       In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
A.     The cross, Christ, and the church are the central subject not only of the New Testament but also of the entire Bible; that the altar stands in front of the temple indicates that we cannot have the church apart from the cross; we can have the reality of the church only after we have passed through the cross.
B.     All that we do and say in our life and work should be through the cross and by the Spirit to dispense Christ into others for the building up of the Body of Christ.
C.     The elevation of the temple was ten steps higher than that of the inner court and twenty-five steps higher than the elevation outside the temple (Ezek. 40:49, 22, 31); this indicates that the further inward we proceed in our experience of God’s building, the higher we rise.
Ezek 40:49    The length of the porch was twenty cubits and the width twelve cubits, and ten steps led up to it; and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side and another on that side.
Ezek 40:22    And its windows and its porch and its palm trees were of the same measurement as the gate which faced toward the east, and seven steps led up to it, and its porch was in front of them.
Ezek 40:31    And its porches were toward the outer court, and palm trees were upon its posts, and its steps had eight steps.
D.     The fact that Ezekiel does not give us the measurement of the pillars indicates that they signify a supporting strength that is unlimited and immeasurable; thus, the two pillars by each post signify Christ as God’s witness (two) bearing the house of God with a strength that is unlimited and immeasurable—cf. John 3:34; Phil. 4:13.
John 3:34      For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for He gives the Spirit not by measure.
Phil 4:13       I am able to do all things in Him who empowers me.
E.      The entrance of the porch measured fourteen cubits (Ezek. 40:48), the entrance to the outer temple (the Holy Place), ten cubits, and the entrance into the inner temple (the Holy of Holies), six cubits (41:3); this indicates that the further inward we progress in our experience of God’s building, the narrower the way becomes; the closer we are to the Lord, the more we will be restricted by Him (cf. Matt. 7:13-14).
Ezek 40:48    Then He brought me to the porch of the house and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side and five cubits on that side; and the width of the gate was fourteen cubits, plus the side indents in the gate, three cubits on this side and three cubits on that side.
Ezek 41:3      Then He went into the inner temple and measured each post of the entrance, two cubits; and the entrance, six cubits; and the width on either side of the entrance, seven cubits.
Matt 7:13      Enter in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it.
Matt 7:14      Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it.
F.      The number six in relation to the thickness of the wall (Ezek. 41:5) signifies the humanity of the Lord Jesus as the standing strength of God’s dwelling place; in the tabernacle the boards of acacia wood standing upright also signify the humanity of the Lord Jesus (Exo. 26:15); as a proper human being, the Lord Jesus is the standing and supporting wall of God’s building.
Ezek 41:5      Then He measured the wall of the house, six cubits thick; and the width of every side chamber, four cubits, all around the house on every side.
Exo 26:15     And you shall make the boards for the tabernacle of acacia wood, standing up.
G.     The thirty side chambers for expression (Ezek. 41:6) are based on the thirty chambers for enjoyment (40:17); we can express Christ only to the extent that we have enjoyed Him; our enjoyment of Christ eventually becomes the fullness, the expression, of Christ (Eph. 3:16-19).
Ezek 41:6      And the side chambers were in three stories, one over another, with thirty units in each story; and they extended to the wall, which the house had for the side chambers all around to be supports, so that there would not be supports inserted into the wall of the house.
Ezek 40:17    Then He brought me into the outer court, and there were chambers and a pavement made for the court all around; thirty chambers were upon the pavement.
Eph 3:16       That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man,
Eph 3:17       That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18       May be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are.
Eph 3:19       And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
H.     The side chambers becoming wider as they go up (Ezek. 41:7) indicates that as we go higher with the Lord, we become broader and richer in our experience (cf. Eph. 3:18); this indicates that the experience of God’s holy building is progressive.
Ezek 41:7      And the side chambers that went around the house became wider as they went up by stories. Because the surrounding of the house increased upward around the house, therefore the house had width upward; and so one went up from the lowest story to the highest through the middle story.
Eph 3:18       May be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are.
I.       All the parts of the building related to the temple were paneled with wood (Ezek. 41:16); wood signifies the uplifted humanity of Jesus; in God’s building in Ezekiel, the primary material is the crucified, resurrected, and ascended humanity of Jesus.
Ezek 41:16    The thresholds, the latticed windows, and the galleries of the surrounding side chambers with their three stories, opposite the threshold, were paneled with wood all around, even from the ground to the windows (now the windows were latticed)
J.       On all the wooden paneling, cherubim and palm trees were carved (vv. 18-20):
Ezek 41:18    Were both carved cherubim and palm trees. And a palm tree was between two cherubim, and every cherub had two faces.
Ezek 41:19    So there was the face of a man toward the palm tree on one side and the face of a lion toward the palm tree on the other side. So it was carved in and around the whole house.
Ezek 41:20    From the ground to the top of the entrance cherubim and palm trees were carved, even on the wall of the temple.
1. Cherubim signify the glory of the Lord manifested upon the creatures (10:18; Heb. 9:5), and palm trees, which grow in the wilderness and are evergreen, signify the victory of Christ and the everlasting and ever-existing power of Christ.
Ezek 10:18    And the glory of Jehovah went forth from over the threshold of the house and stood over the cherubim.
Heb 9:5         And above it cherubim of glory overshadowing the expiation cover, concerning which it is not now the time to speak in detail.
2. The carving of the palm trees and the cherubim on the walls indicates that the victory of Christ and the glory of the Lord have been “carved” into our being through sufferings—cf. Col. 1:24.
Col 1:24        I now rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His Body, which is the church;
3. In Ezekiel 1 the cherubim had four faces (vv. 6, 10), but in the carvings on the walls they had only two faces—the face of a man and the face of a lion, signifying and expressing victory in humanity—41:19.
Ezek 1:6        And every one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings.
Ezek 1:10      As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and the four of them had the face of a lion on the right side, and the four of them had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four of them had the face of an eagle.
Ezek 41:19    So there was the face of a man toward the palm tree on one side and the face of a lion toward the palm tree on the other side. So it was carved in and around the whole house.
4. The fact that between every two cherubim there was a palm tree (v. 18) signifies that as parts of God’s building, we manifest the victory of Christ in the manifestation of the glorious image of Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 2:14-16; 3:18).
Ezek 41:18    Were both carved cherubim and palm trees. And a palm tree was between two cherubim, and every cherub had two faces.
2 Cor 2:14     But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in the Christ and manifests the savor of the knowledge of Him through us in every place.
2 Cor 2:15     For we are a fragrance of Christ to God in those who are being saved and in those who are perishing:
2 Cor 2:16     To some a savor out of death unto death, and to the others a savor out of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
2 Cor 3:18     But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.
K.     The incense altar standing in the temple was made only of wood, signifying the humanity of Jesus—Ezek. 41:22:
Ezek 41:22    A wooden altar, three cubits high, and its length two cubits; and its corners, its length, and its walls were made of wood. And He said to me, This is the table that is before Jehovah.
1. In the tabernacle and in the temple there were the incense altar and the table of the bread of the Presence, but here in Ezekiel the altar is also the table, the altar being for us to offer Christ as incense to God for His satisfaction, and the table being for God to prepare Christ as food for our satisfaction—v. 22.
Ezek 41:22    A wooden altar, three cubits high, and its length two cubits; and its corners, its length, and its walls were made of wood. And He said to me, This is the table that is before Jehovah.
2. The altar of wood was put in a place of wood paneling carved with cherubim and palm trees, indicating that if we are those who manifest the glory and victory of Christ, we will have the altar-table for God and us to have fellowship together in Christ; here God is satisfied by the incense we offer in Christ, and we are satisfied by the food supplied by God in Christ.
L.      The function of the “doors” in the church (v. 23) are to let the positive persons and things in and to keep the negative persons (cf. Matt. 7:15; Acts 20:29) and things out; the fact that each door had two swinging leaves (Ezek. 41:24) indicates that the doors in the church should be flexible.
Ezek 41:23    Now the temple and the sanctuary had double doors.
Matt 7:15      Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
Acts 20:29    I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
Ezek 41:24    And the double doors had two swinging leaves, two leaves for one door and two leaves for the other.
M.     The fact that the palm trees were carved on the walls next to the windows indicates that victory and everlasting power and strength always go together with spiritual air and divine light; this means that our victory and power are related to the life-giving Spirit; if we enjoy the life-giving Spirit, we will also enjoy Christ’s victory, power, and strength.
 
X.   The holy chambers, located on both the north side and the south side, are buildings that connect the inner court with the outer court—42:1:
Ezek 42:1      Then He brought me out into the outer court, the way toward the north, and He brought me into the chamber that was adjacent to the separate place and which was adjacent to the building toward the north.
A.     The chambers on the pavement in the outer court are for the people to eat the offerings, whereas the holy chambers are for the priests to eat the offerings and also to place and store the offerings and to lay their priestly garments (vv. 13-14); whereas the offerings signify Christ as our enjoyment, the priestly garments signify Christ as our expression (Exo. 28:2).
Ezek 42:13    Then He said to me, The north chambers and the south chambers which are beside the separate place are holy chambers, where the priests who are near to Jehovah shall eat the most holy things. There they shall lay the most holy things, the meal offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering, for the place is holy.
Ezek 42:14    When the priests enter, they shall not go out of the holy place into the outer court, but there they shall lay their garments in which they have ministered, because they are holy. And they shall put on other garments and approach the area designated for the people.
Exo 28:2       And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.
B.     In the holy chambers we reach the highest peak of spiritual experience; to live in the holy chambers is to live in Christ (Phil. 4:13), to eat the offerings in the holy chambers is to eat Christ (John 6:57), and to wear the holy garments is to wear Christ for His expression (Rom. 13:14, 12).
Phil 4:13       I am able to do all things in Him who empowers me.
John 6:57      As the living Father has sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.
Rom 13:14    But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts.
Rom 13:12    The night is far advanced, and the day has drawn near. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the weapons of light.
C.     Like the side chambers, the holy chambers are of three stories (Ezek. 42:3), indicating that they correspond to the fullness, the expression, of Christ (41:6); the priests enjoy Christ to such an extent that the height of their chambers equals the height of the fullness of Christ (cf. Eph. 3:16-19).
Ezek 42:3      Adjacent to the twenty-cubit space of the inner court and adjacent to the pavement of the outer court was gallery facing gallery on the third story.
Ezek 41:6      And the side chambers were in three stories, one over another, with thirty units in each story; and they extended to the wall, which the house had for the side chambers all around to be supports, so that there would not be supports inserted into the wall of the house.
Eph 3:16       That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man,
Eph 3:17       That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18       May be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are.
Eph 3:19       And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
 
 
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2017-07-15 22:46:36
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Kuann Hung
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