Ezekiel 40-42

 The True Temple

Back in the book of Exodus Moses met with God on Mt Sinai where he received the Law and the instructions for building the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was modeled after what Moses saw in heaven. It represented visually and practically how mankind is to relate to God and God with man. The children of God  must remain with God and travel where He leads.

When the people came into the Promised Land and later into the Kingdom age the tabernacle was replaced by the Temple built by Solomon. The Temple and the nation was to be a witness to the world of God but the people corrupted that witness with their sin and rebellion. As a result, God allowed the Temple to be destroyed and the people were scattered among the nations, which is where we are presently in our study.

In Ezekiel 40 God has taken Ezekiel up a high mountain and has given him a vision of a Temple yet to be built. This Temple will be built by the Lord when He returns at the end of the Great Tribulation and sets up His kingdom in Jerusalem where He will reign for a thousand years.

We will read of another Temple being built by Zerubbabel when  the exiles are allowed to return to the land. Years later Herod will do an extensive remodel on it in order to obtain favor from the Jews but this temple will be destroyed by Rome in 70 AD.

We are now in the Church Age where there is no Temple building but there is a Temple. Jesus in John 2:19 declared that He is the Temple. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:16 and 6:19 that we are the Temple of God because the Holy Spirit of God dwells in us. In fact, the Greek word Paul used for temple means the Most Holy place or the Holy of Holies. In the Temple the Holy of Holies was where the Ark of the Covenant was. The Ark represented God’s presence. So presently, the Church is the Temple of God as Paul makes clear in 2 Corinthians 6:16 and Ephesians 2:21. This makes understanding the purpose and function of the Temple very important, because this Temple is built not with stones and building materials but with a relationship with our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

Throughout history God has allowed the Tabernacle and every Temple that was built to be destroyed. He did this because inevitably the people put their trust in the structure rather than God who was represented by the structure. Could we be in danger of making the same mistake? History would say yes. So as we read these chapters of Ezekiel I recommend that we read through the book of Hebrews to reinforce our understanding of how to relate to the Lord.

Hebrews was written to Jews who had received Jesus as their Lord and Savior but were being pressured to return to the Temple Worship. In so doing they would be abandoning the true Temple and thus, abandoning their faith in Jesus. Hebrews shows how Jesus, the true Temple, fulfills what the Temple illustrates in how to relate to God.

When we go to church we go to worship the Lord and to encourage one another in our relationship with the Lord.  However, there is always the temptation to drift into worshiping a church, a denomination, a pastor, music, fellowship, etc. etc. We need to remember that five of the seven Churches in Revelation 2&3 were drifting away from their relationship with the Lord. There will always be temptation and the deception from the Devil to distract us from our relationship with the Lord drawing us away from God. The more we read the Word of God and understand it, the better we will be at avoiding Satan’s deceptive schemes.

The Church corporately is the Temple of the Lord. Is the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart?

Pastor Dave