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Chapters 43, 44, 45, and 46

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ch. 43    ch. 44    ch. 45    ch. 46    

Chapter 43


In chapter 43, verse 2 we see the glory of God coming from the east.  Concerning the glory of God, the glory of God came to both the tabernacle of Moses' day and the temple of Solomon's day.  It did not come to the rebuilt temple of Nehemiah's day.  Thus, Nehemiah's temple was not this temple. 


Note that the pronoun "His" in verse 2 refers to the "glory of God".  The "glory of God" is thus a "He", and in my thinking is Jesus.  One proof of that  is seen in verse 2 as well.  "His voice was like the roar of rushing waters".  The same words are used in Revelation 1:15, concerning the voice of Jesus.  To me, this is one convincing proof that this temple is the Millennial Temple.   


Note the pronoun "He" in verse 3. This "He" is the same "He" in verse 2.  In this verse, "He", or Jesus, was the one who destroyed the city.  I believe this is in reference to Jerusalem being sacked by the Babylonian army.  That makes it clear that it was definitely God behind the overthrow of Jerusalem, even though Babylon was the nation that did the overthrowing. 


Verse 4 confirms that the "glory of the Lord entered the temple" through the east gate.  This means that Jesus entered the temple through the east gate which confirms other passages suggesting the same thing. 


Note here that the "east gate" is the east gate to the temple.  We should not confuse this with the east gate to the city of Jerusalem that exists today.


Note from verses 6 to 9 of chapter 43 that the temple, and especially the most holy place, would be the dwelling place of God on earth forever, and, God would live among the Israelis forever.  Note the word "forever".  Israel is not only special in the eyes of God in this age and in the thousand year rule of Christ, but forever. 


Note also the references to Israeli kings in verse 7.  Israel will have kings forever.  This tells me that even on the new earth throughout eternity, Israel will still be a nation with kings forever, even though Jesus will be the King of Kings. This goes along with what the book of Revelation states in the last couple of chapters of Revelation.  There will be nations and kings on the new earth. 


Verse 7 speaks of the throne.  This is where I believe Jesus will rule from.  This I believe is the "throne of David", and it is in the temple.  The throne of David is not in some parliament building or in some government building as is the case in the kingdoms of men.   


We see in verses 10 and 11 the reason for God giving Ezekiel the vision of this temple.  It was so Israel would see the shame of their sin.  Their sin in comparison to the glory of God in the temple was from one extreme of the spectrum to another.  God's glory was to point out Israel's sin. 


Verses 10 and 11 may give us a clue to why we actually see a temple in the thousand year rule of Christ, which includes all that takes place in the temple.   We struggle over the idea of sacrifices being made after the cross.  In these thousand years, when Jesus rules from Jerusalem, this passage seems to suggest that Israel seeing their past sin is important to Jesus.  These sacrifices are a continual reminder to Israel of their past sin.  They will thus be ashamed, and then turn to Jesus in thanksgiving for what He did for them on the cross.   


Note also in verse 11 that Israel was to be faithful to "the design of the temple".  This tells me that this temple can't be taken symbolically.  This is a yet to be built literal temple that Israel was to be faithful to its design.  This is the blueprint to the temple.  It was given to Israel so she could build it.


Because of verse 11 this question could be asked.  If these instructions were to be written down so Israel could follow them exactly in the building of this temple, might this suggest that this temple is the temple  to be build at the end of this age, before the return of Jesus?  If so, then this would not be the millennial temple.  On the other hand could it be possible that the temple that the Jews will build at the end of this age might be the temple that would be in the millennium, but restored.  I can't say for sure at this moment, but if you think it is, you must realize that this temple is not built on the site of the old temple where the Islamic Dome of the Rock is now situated.     


Chapter 44


Chapter 44 introduces a very controversial person called the "prince".  He is mentioned in chapters 44:3, 45:7,16,17, 22, 46:2,4,8,10,12,16,17,18, and 48:21,22.  The hard to answer question is, "who is this prince"?  Some believe this prince is Jesus, but I don't see this being so.


In verse 2 of chapter 44 we note that "the Lord" took Ezekiel to the east gate of the temple.  The east gate was then shut because "the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it".  This was now a very special gate.  We've seen earlier that the glory of God came through this gate which we noted would have been Jesus Himself.  So it is actually Jesus who entered this gate.  The only one that could actually come close to the gate was a particular prince, who is introduced to us in verse 4.  We need to note though that the text does not say this prince could enter through the gate.  It says he could only eat at the gate. 


The question is, "who is this prince".  We will see that it is not Jesus.  It is a particular ruler of Israel.  We will talk more about this later.


In Ezekiel 44 and the temple being filled with the glory of  the Lord.  In verses 5 and 6 God tells Ezekiel to pay close attention to the temple and all that was to take place in the temple.  I believe that if this temple was a symbolic temple, the Lord would not have told Ezekiel to pay close attention. 


One thing that God was upset with Israel about is seen in verse 7.  They brought uncircumcised people into the temple, thus defiling the temple.  I think there is something for the New Testament church to learn here.  In some parts of modern Evangelicalism, a movement known as the Emergent Church , there is a push to involve other religions into Christian thinking and practice.  In fact, these so-called churches unite themselves in ceremonial worship with other religions.  This in my opinion is blasphemy.  This is what Israel did that God was so upset about.  God's people must never unite themselves with other religions.  We should never incorporate other religions into the church.  Yes, non-Christians can and may attend meetings, but you can't view these people as Christians and as part of the church.  This is exactly what the Lord says in verse 9.


We note in verse 24 that priests are to be judges if there are disputes among Israelis.  This brings up a question.  If this is indeed the Millennium spoken of here, why is there disputes.  This time is note as a time of peace.  I don't believe the Scripture says that the thousand year rule of Christ will be without any conflict.  It appears that there won't be any wars, any national conflict, but that doesn't mean there won't be any personal conflict.  As a matter of fact, if you read the last chapter of Zechariah, you will note that there is the possibility of people disobeying Jesus in the thousand years.


Chapter 45


In chapter 45, verse 7, 16, and 17 where we learn more about this prince. 


Note in Ezekiel 45:7 that this prince is given a portion of land when all the land of Israel is apportioned out to the twelve tribes.  It doesn't seem to me that land would be portioned out to Jesus.  Note in verse 8 the word "princes" which is in reference to Jewish leaders who have not obeyed the Lord in their leadership.  This prince would be in the same category as these princes.  Thus, to me, this one prince, is the top leader of Israel, who is subject to the chief prince, who would be Jesus.  We thus see a chain of command in Israel in the Millennium. 


In chapter 45, verses 13 and following we see the mention of certain offerings which are to be a gift for the prince.  The food mentioned here seems to suggest that the prince will eat it.  In verse 17 the prince with these offerings will make atonement for sins.  The big question is why does atonement need to be made for sins during this time in history.  The only thing that I can say is that this atonement looks back to the cross, instead of looking forward to the cross as was the case in Old Testament times.  That being said, the verb tense of this verse doesn't seem to suggest the offerings as being made to look backwards in time.  It seems to suggest a present day atoning of sin. 


In this part of the passage we see that the prince is actually in charge of the offerings even though the priests administer the offerings. 


In verse 22 this prince provides a sin offering for himself.  This should tell us that this prince is not Jesus.  Jesus does not need a sin offering being made for Himself.


In chapter 45, verse 13 and following we see instructions for offerings and holy days.  This is what confuses many.  Why are there offerings and holy days, especially when the apostle Paul and the book of Hebrews teaches that these have become obsolete.  I don't know if I have the answer, other than what I've said before, and that is, all these offerings and holy days are memorials of the cross of Christ.  There might be one more thing to note here.  Israel might now be doing what it refused to do in Old Testament times.  This might be God's will for Israel , that is, to live as the Law of Moses required for a thousand years, before the time of the new earth.  I admit that is speculative.



Chapter 46


We now note more about this prince.  This prince is also mentioned in Ezekiel 46:2.  He is to stand by the gate.  Also in verse 2 the text says that "he is to worship at the threshold…"   The pronoun "he" in context would refer to the prince.  I don't believe Jesus will be worshipping.  He will be worshipped. 


Verse 4 tells us that the prince brings burnt offerings to the Lord.  I don't see that this prince could be Jesus. 


In verse 16 we note that this prince has more than one son.  I suggest that this prince is not Jesus. He is a human prince, subject to Jesus Himself.     


In chapter 48:21 and 22 we see a certain portion of property given to the prince. 


I conclude that this prince is not Jesus.  Again, he is a civil leader under Jesus' authority.  


In chapter 46:1 we see the words "working days".  Some might not like this, but if the last eight chapters concerns the Millennium, it is clear that some kind of work will be done during the thousand year rule of Christ.


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