The student of the Word must always contextualize a passage one reads. Certainly we can ascertain that Ezekiel 40 was written in the first year or two of the Captivity. What we know is that the people are displaced, there is no priesthood and no temple. So we must consider that their identity as they knew it for generations was destroyed.
Here we see Ezekiel taken in Spirit, therefore he is no longer coherent with this dimension but his focus was in the fact that by being in the Spirit he was now to see and hear what was pertinent in that dimension. OH, that God would take us into His dimension.
The first thing Ezekiel sees is an angel, with a measuring plumb line or stick. He has come to measure a new Temple. The new Temple is presented to Ezekiel and all the details are measured precisely.
We could stay in the details, but I think it would make this post not comprehendable, and would defeat the object for what God is sending to this post.
When I read this the other day, I was conscious of a vision, I saw a wall. In that wall it was bellying out, the bricks not forming a straight line, but were coming forward. They were ready to fall, as the wall would also generally collapse. I saw God take out the falling bricks, and then start afresh. Then the vision changed. I saw the angel with the plumbline. I then immediately thought of Zechariah 4 but was told that Ezekiel was where this vision was placed.
In going there I ascertained the date of when this took place, and saw it took place in a time of destruction and displacement.
The Lord literally took Ezekiel from among the captives and placed him back in Jerusalem, all this in the spiritual dimension.
Then he was shown precisely what this new House of God looked like. Not only was he shown its form but also shown its measurement.
The Lord is bringing His prophets in the Spirit to see a new house. The old temple is what caused the displacement. The priests became corrupt, the leaders stubborn. God sent prophets but they would not hear them, and had their own “hired prophets” to speak nonsense about the times they lived in.
The vision of the new house is shown to God’s prophets to demonstrate not only the form but the detail, and if we are shown the detail we must adhere and abide by it. It is no good forming something that resembles slightly what we are shown, then do our own thing. God will not accept that. For God to abide in what He desires constructed there are PRECISE measurements and PRECISE designs.
The problem as we go down the ages is that we are DOING church the way we think is best. But God says it is not. Hence there is a distinct lack of the presence of God and sickness and oppression abounds.
We are shown that as the Israelites watched their city and temple torn down God was already planning its replacement. Here He brings His Prophet to see. He takes him from the captivity back in spirit.
What the Lord wants to say is that the day has arrived that His prophets who are in their “captivity” are going to be taken in spirit to see what is coming. And believe me what prophets are shown will be detail, and leaders, new leaders must follow the design and measurement to the letter.
Many of us are anxious to see a return of God’s presence as in times past. When people prayed and glory appeared…when people prayed and whole communities were impacted and convicted of sin. Even the word “sin” has become a word which can no longer be mentioned, and some of its practices have become a legalised practice and respected. And if any speak out from the Bible about the fact God deals with sin radically we are told the Bible was written in different times to a different civilisation. Some of this thinking pervades the Church too.
The Lord is showing His prophets an UNSEEN INVISIBLE CHURCH. The Church we are now seeing is but a SHADOW OF WHAT IS TO COME.
In Ezekiel 43 we see what happens when the measurements are followed, THE GLORY RETURNS. The Temple is made for the GLORY not THE GLORY IS MADE FOR THE TEMPLE. A temple without glory is no temple. How many of our “temples” are without glory?
The prophet is brought into the Most Holy Place, in the chapter. I was alerted to this, because it is significant of the process taking place now, God is bringing His prophets into the Holy Place because His glory is coming to fill it.
And as he watched this take place (Ezekiel) a voice came out from the house, was that “this will be a place of my Throne and the soles of my feet, where I will dwell with my people….” God wants to DWELL with His people, hence the new temple. The old temple was devoid of glory and was used to worship idols. What idols are we worshipping today? What are the modern day idols?
Many places adopt strategies and frameworks that they believe God is present, they present worship forms, forms of programme. This kind of thing belies the fact that what is the main focus is the sunday meeting. What about prayer? Many old churches are now open for prayer, many prayer meetings during the day.
Jesus said “My house (Temple) shall be called a HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS!”
A place that does not pray is not a temple. What makes a house of prayer? A house of prayer is sanctified for that purpose and is open for personal and corporate regular prayers. Daniel prayed 3 times a day.
In Chapter 43 again God draws the sons of Zadok to minister. He remembers the covenant He made with Zadok, to draw the house of Zadok unto Himself. God is calling you as His house of Zadok, He wants to draw you near…to minister to Him. Not for Him.
What is our focus? Do we minister TO PEOPLE or to God? God draws His Zadok house UNTO HIM, to MINISTER TO HIM. That is their first calling. Do not get bogged down MINISTERING TO PEOPLE if you first HAVE NOT MINISTERED FIRST TO THE LORD.
Finally we come to chapter 44, where God deals with the priesthood. God deals radically, because He desires a priesthood that even in Captivity did not follow after idols, but faithfully stayed in their calling, even though there was NO TEMPLE TO MINISTER. Many are without a Church, many are without recognition today. But God wants you in the middle of your family, your home to faithfully to MINISTER UNTO THE LORD. Let us not confuse the issue, because I know that we men are at times very imperfect, but I believe the key to being a better husband and father is to MINISTER UNTO THE LORD in my family. That way I will be guided to be better. May we pray for husbands and fathers!
God in verse 12 says these tragic words: “I lifted up my hand against them my hand, and they shall bear their iniquity. They shall not come near to me…” God banishes these priests, they lose their closeness to God, they bear in their souls and bodies their sin. They are those who broke covenant with God having deviated from the detailed ordinances of priesthood.
In Revelation 1:6, 2 Peter 2:9 says we are HIS ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, so if God dealt with the sinning priests who deliberately go against the Word God will extend His hand and we shall not be able to get close.
King Josiah heard the Word, and tore his robes because he saw his own sin and the sin of his generation. He set about putting right the Temple and its priests.
In conclusion, God is showing His prophets a new Temple, filled with those who MINISTER UNTO THE LORD, pray for the nations, and follow His ordinances. A Temple where God dwells in His Glory. This new temple does not yet exist. It is there in spirit realm, but we must pray it down. We must ardently desire it, we must ache after the Courts of the Lord.
God wants to draw His prophets into the Holy Place, because there God’s glory is coming.
For this to happen we must follow His Design and Measurement.