The Place Where the Priests Boil the Offerings
Updated: Aug 2
Speaker: Reverend Philip Lee
Service: Moriah, 2nd Service
Date: June 28, 2020
The 21st location in Ezekiel’s temple: The boiling place
In the last hour, God showed Ezekiel the outer gate that’s facing the east and then God brought Ezekiel back into the temple in front of the sanctuary (Ezek 44:1-8). This was the 20th location that God showed to Ezekiel. Then in Ezekiel 44:9-31, God spoke many things regarding the dividing of the land between the tribe of Israel, statutes and ordinances of the priests, and inheritance. God spoke also on the allotment of the land, ruling of the leaders and the prince, and how to offer sacrifices and prepare feasts (Ezek 45:18-46:18). Today, God shows Ezekiel the boiling place where the priests will boil the offerings. This is the 21st location in Ezekiel’s temple (Ezek 46:19-20).
The exact location of the boiling place
First, you have to pass through the holy chambers for the priests and this place was at the extreme rear toward the west and this was the boiling place for the priests (Ezek 46:19). Thus, Ezekiel was led between the holy chambers for the priests and then he saw this place at the extreme rear toward the west. From the 20th place, the temple court, God then brings Ezekiel back through the inner gate facing north, to the outer court and between the holy chambers for the priests to the building to the extreme west which is the boiling place where the priests will boil the offerings. There are two boiling places, one on the north and the south side of the temple where priest boil the offerings. The boiling places for the priests are located behind the holy chambers for the priests at the extreme rear towards the west.
Usage of the boiling places
The boiling place is where the priest will boil, bake and cook their food (Ezek 46:20). When we look more carefully, there are certain types of offerings the priests can eat. First, there is the “guilt offering.” Secondly, there is the “sin offering.” And thirdly, there is the “grain offering.” The guilt offering is given when we sin against the holy objects of the Lord. A sin offering is giving when we sin against God to atone for that sin. The grain offering is made of very fine powder and this fine powder of the grains is given as a grain offering. After these three offerings are given to God, whatever remains become the priests’ portion. The priests would bring these leftover remains and either boil or bake them so that they can eat them.
Characteristics of the offerings
The Old Testament has five major sacrifices and they are the burnt offering, the grain offering, the peace offering, the guilt offering and the sin offering. Of these five major offering sacrifices, the grain offering can be eaten by the priests including the guilt and sin offerings. However, the burnt and peace offering are not eaten by the priests. The burnt offering was excluded because the entire carcass was burned in the fire to be given to God with nothing left over for eating. The peace offering was excluded for it was not only for our relationship with God but God commanded that it be shared also with our neighbors and the peoples for peace. Therefore, the burnt and peace offering were not included as the food to be eaten by the priests, but only the guilt, grain and the sin offering (Lev 5:6, 15). The peace offering has various types which is the thanksgiving offering, freewill or votive offering (Lev 7:15-17).
First, God provided food for the priests and what’s really important is that the portion that belongs to the priests belongs to God. It is the people who bring the offering and sacrifices to God, but at the moment it is offered to God, it then belongs to God and He gives to His priests. In reality, everything that we have already belongs to God. David confessed, “I give what is yours to you.” (1 Chron 29:14-16). Therefore, God provides what is His to His priests (Num 18:19).
Secondly, God thoroughly sets apart His holiness from the rest (Ezek 46:20). God gives to the priests so they can eat for it is God’s possession; however, the priests cannot bring this food out to the people, for this is a food that can only be eaten by the priests and it is the holiness of God. This demonstrates a different level of holiness. First, there is holiness at the level of the priests, and then there is holiness at the level of the Levites which are the people who serve in the temple. Therefore, holiness is set apart, differentiated and cannot be mixed together. This is a very mysterious message. Priests cannot share the sin, guilt, and grain offering with the people for it is a ritual that is to be held only in the “inner court,” and cannot be brought out into the “outer court.” God also differentiates between the inner court and inside the sanctuary. So, clearly there are different levels of holiness which demonstrates that our holiness must become more exalted to a higher level of holiness. The priests in Ezekiel’s temple are the Zadokite priests who kept the holiness to the very end when everybody else was committing adultery and idolatry (Ezek 44:15). Their holiness was at a different dimension and cannot be mixed with the holiness of the laypeople or the Levites. This demonstrates that we receive rewards according to our deeds. We all seek salvation the same way; however, our rewards can be different. Those who have received the Word of Redemptive History are called upon constantly to deliver the Word and cannot enjoy worldly pleasures for we are constantly in worship and there is no freedom. If we can envision these great rewards that are laid ahead of us in heaven, then we are willing to take on these losses in this world. Therefore, as priests of God we cannot share this food with people on the outside and we must make sure that this holiness is not transmitted to the people (Ezek 46:20). When Christ returns, He will reward those according to their deeds. Today, we have received this gift of holiness of a priest (1 Pet 2:5). Therefore, when we come to church to worship, let us give worship that is acceptable to God and not trample in the outer courts (Isa 1:12). The sacrifices that are spiritual and acceptable to God are what we must give as a holy priesthood and through these worship services, our priesthood and holiness will actually move from the level of the outer court into the inner court and reach up to the holy level of the holiness inside the sanctuary of God. May our holiness becomes better and higher.