The Door of the Temple
Speaker: Reverend Philip Lee
Service: Moriah, 2nd Service
Date: July 12, 2020
The door of the house
Today’s topic is the “door of the temple,” and this is the 23rd place that God showed to the prophet Ezekiel. God showed the prophet Ezekiel how the water was flowing down from the door of the house (Ezek 47:1). Ezekiel said, “And behold water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the 'east'.” This was such an amazing scene.
The source of the “living water”
The living water flowed out from the house and more specifically from under the threshold of the house, from the sanctuary (Ezek 47:1, 12). This water that flows, flows from the throne of the Lamb and is the living water, the Word of Life, and the Word of Transfiguration that originates from Jesus by which we will never see death (Rev 22:1). Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, “Whoever drinks of the water I will give him shall never thirst" (John 4:13-14). Jesus is the one who gives this “living water,” and we can receive this “water of life” by believing in Him (John 7:38). Jesus spoke of the “Spirit,” to those who believe in Him were to receive. Thus, the Word is “Spirit and Life” (John 6:63). The word “believe” is in the present participle form, meaning "to believe continually." Therefore we must believe until the very end, and only then can we receive the “rivers of water” from our Lord Jesus Christ. This living water flows from the sanctuary meaning that God proclaims His Word through the church (Eph 3:10). Thus, we must always be a part of that church and never leave! So let us become those who believe until the end so that we can at last enter into the kingdom of God.
The special characteristics of the living water
First, this living water flows without ceasing (Ezek 47:1). The water was flowing from under the threshold of the house towards the east.
The word “flowing,” in Hebrew is יָצָא (yatsa), meaning to come out from under the threshold of the house and flowed toward the east. In the second half of Ezekiel 47:1, there is another word or phrase “flowing down.” In Hebrew, it is יָרַד (yarad) which means to “go down.” The common feature of both of these words is that both are in present participle form, which means to continually happen. This means the water did not start and then stop in the middle but it flows out continuously. Although the forces of darkness and evil and Satan are trying to hinder the spread of redemptive history, God’s Word will never stop from advancing and will continue to move forth because God Himself said so.
Secondly, the water can flow towards the south, north, or towards the west but the water only flowed toward the east. Why? The first reason is geographical. The east is where the Dead Sea or the Sea of Death is. This Dead Sea or the Sea of Death represents the “fallen world.” That means the Word of God must flow and reach the world of death. That is why the living water must flow towards the east. Before Jesus went up to heaven, He gave the great commission saying, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations” (Matt 28:10). Likewise, we must take this Word and go out to the world towards the east and as we reach out to the fallen world we can partake in this work of giving life to the world of death.
Redemptive-historically, the “east” is where the glory of God enters (Ezek 43:2, 4). Therefore, “east” is the direction where the glory of God will pass through and that is the very direction where the Word will go forth. This means that wherever the Word goes, it is to manifest the glory of God, for in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and was God (John 1:1).
Thirdly, the living water was flowing from the south of the altar. This means the water flowed round about the altar (Ezek 47:1). This “altar” is referring to the altar of burnt offering. The altar of burnt offering represents complete and perfect sacrifice. An animal sacrifice is cut into pieces and consumed entirely in fire which foreshadows our Lord’s complete and perfect sacrifice on the cross (1 Cor 5:7). Jesus Christ is our Passover sacrifice. This tells us that the Word of God must always have the “cross” because the water flows by the altar of burnt offering. Any message that does not have the cross is not the true gospel, for no “power” can come from it (1 Cor 1:18). The word “power” in Greek is δύναμις (dunamis) meaning “power” and just like the explosive dynamite, this amazing power is contained in the cross. Jesus spoke seven words on the cross and the number 7 is perfect, meaning the message that Jesus gave from the cross is a perfect message. Jesus “triumphed” through the cross! The cross is never a failure and is always a victory!
The true images of the saints who have the Word of the cross are those who bear and carry the cross and deny themselves (Matt 16:24). The word “deny” in Greek is ἀπαρνέομαι (aparneomai) and describes a situation when a person says “I don’t know” or deny or refute knowing something. Peter denied Jesus and said, “I don’t know Him” (Matt 26:34, 75). This is what denial is. So, for us when we take up our cross, we are saying, “I don’t know me, and I give all that I have as an offering to God.”
Secondly, we must boast of the cross (Gal 6:14). People of the world boast of their money, fame, jewelry, and power while the Apostle Paul said I will never boast in anything except in the cross of our Lord. Thus, the cross is all about sacrifice and we must truly boast of the sacrifice of our Lord and take up the remaining suffering of the Lord in our own flesh and fill up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions (Col 1:24). Filling up in Christ’s afflictions is rejoicing in the sufferings and afflictions in our bodies on behalf of the church and evangelism.
Thirdly, like the Apostle Paul, we must have this “stigma” of the cross and bear the “brand-marks” of the cross (Gal 6:17). The word “brand-mark” in Greek is “stigma.” A slave wore the brand-mark or stigma of his master that was seared into his body from a scorching piece of metal with the owner’s initials as a permanent possession. Therefore, having the brand-mark of the cross means "I belong to the cross and have the brand-mark of Jesus" meaning we now belong to Him and we are His possession. From this point on, we must understand that we don’t own our lives. May our Lord reign over our lives so that our lives will move according to the way that Jesus wants us to go.