The Three Keys to Understanding Ezekiel’s Temple
The Three Keys to Understanding Ezekiel’s Temple
Speaker: Pastor James Park
Service: Shiloh, 3rd Service
Date: October, 18, 2020
Background of Ezekiel
When we read the book of Ezekiel we have to understand it from the author’s point of view, the Bible and through today’s main scripture text, and through the perspective of Ezekiel the prophet. These are the keys which will help us understand Ezekiel’s Temple. The Book of Ezekiel is very unique because whenever God spoke to Ezekiel He would always give the exact date and time of a prophecy. God called Ezekiel at the age of thirty in the year 593 BC, in the 5th year of their deportation (Ezek 1:1-2). Ezekiel’s father was Buzi who was a priest therefore the prophet Ezekiel was born into a priestly home and was actually supposed to become a priest. If we go back thirty years from the year 593 BC we can calculate the year of Ezekiel’s birth which is 622 BC. The year 622 BC was an important year because it was the 18th year of King Josiah’s reign. At the young age of just twenty six years old, King Josiah started the last reformation and revival right before the total destruction of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Ezekiel was born and raised up in the midst of this spiritual revival and environment and received the transmission of faith as a priest and not as a prophet. Levites began their training at the age of twenty and at the age of thirty they come into the full office as a priest (1 Chron 23:25-29). However, in 597 BC Ezekiel’s dreams were shattered in becoming a priest because he was taken into captivity. While in captivity at the river Chebar the heavens were opened and the Word of God came expressively to Ezekiel and he was called not as a priest but called as a prophet to proclaim the Word of God (Ezek 1:1-3). This demonstrates that when God calls us He calls us to be stewards of the Word and He expects utmost faithfulness from us until we end our lives here on earth and be transfigured into heaven (1 Cor 4:1-2).
From Ezekiel’s calling to the vision of the temple
At this point in Ezekiel’s life 25 years had passed since Ezekiel’s deportation and he was shown the vision of the temple at the age of 50 in the year 586 BC. In the year 586 BC, the temple had been destroyed and he received this report from the refugees in the year 585 BC (Ezek 33:21). It was at this time Ezekiel was released from his muteness and was able to speak regularly. At the age of fifty, most retire from service of the temple (Num 4:3). However, God gave Ezekiel the vision of a new temple. How shocked and amazed must he have been to receive this great vision of the new and restored temple? (Ezek 40:1-5). Ezekiel had been in despair but through the vision of the new temple, God gave him a new hope, a word of comfort and that He was with the people. God’s heart is not for His people to suffer however, the people suffered for the sins they committed and God disciplined them (Jer 28:1-5). However, even in the midst of judgment and plagues, God says if you call out to me and seek me with all of your heart you will be found by Me and I will save you.
Structure and Design of the temple
God said to Ezekiel, “If they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design and structure of the temple” (Ezek 43:10-11). God says we have to be ashamed of our sins, and come humbly before Him and confess our sins. When we do this God will show us the mysteries of Ezekiel’s Temple. Secondly, when we look at the tabernacle of the Old Testament there were no stairs however in Ezekiel’s Temple, there are many stairs. In the tabernacle there were the holy utensils however in Ezekiel’s Temple most of the holy utensils were not there. Why are there differences between the Tabernacle of the Old Testament and Ezekiel’s Temple? Ezekiel’s Temple is the message of the end time therefore this is a timely Word for those living in the end. When we compare the Tabernacle to Ezekiel’s Temple, the Tabernacle was built starting from the most holy place. Thus, the tabernacle of the Old Testament was built and erected starting from the inside (Exod 40). The temple that God surely wants to build is our hearts and through the Tabernacle, God is showing us that the temple begins inside first, and being born again, thus a renewal of our hearts and minds. We must be born again of the Word and of the Holy Spirit in order to see the kingdom of God. (John 3:1-8). In terms of Ezekiel’s Temple, God showed prophet Ezekiel the temple starting from outside the wall and then to the inside. Ezekiel’s Temple was built by God and not by man and God is showing us that salvation is based upon the blood of Jesus Christ but we must mature in Christ Jesus and abide in Him. In other words, the deeper our relationship with God the more holiness and godliness God requires of us. We must not stay at the same level in our lives of faith but we must mature and grow in respect to our salvation and move into a deeper relationship with Him.
Conclusion: When it comes to the measurements of the temple the “hand of God” is the standard and in His hand was a measuring rod which equals six cubits (Ezek 1:1-3; 40:4-5). These are six long cubits for each has another hand breadth added to it. The standard cubit has a total of six hand-breadths however the long cubit has a total of seven hand-breadths. Therefore, when we multiply six times seven, it totals 42 hand-breadths altogether. The number 42 represents the completion of the Word, the 42 camp sites in the wilderness journey and the 42 generations in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Thus, the number 42 represents the fulfillment of the Word and it is based on God’s measurement and His standard. When we complete our temple, it will be exactly according to God’s measurement; and the consummated and perfected eternal Jerusalem will be according to God’s measurement. Therefore God’s measurements and human’s measurements will be the same because it is perfect and eternal. This is the hope that God has given to us for we have to examine ourselves and repent and measure ourselves according to God’s standard. And when we are perfected the human standard will match God’s standard and we’ll be perfected into the perfect temple together. So therefore, may we all become Ezekiel’s Temple at Shiloh as we are being built together as a temple in the Lord (Eph 2:20-22). Individually we are a temple but we are also collectively the temple and we have to become fitted together and built up in the Lord.