November 20

Ezekiel 40:28–41:26

Ezekiel continues to describe the future Temple that will be standing during the Millennial Kingdom. If you haven’t read yesterday’s description, I encourage you to check it out when you have a few minutes, it contains foundational information on this fascinating topic. (link)

Source – Logos Bible Software

The land for the sanctuary was approximately 1 square mile.

We read what sounds like blueprints for the Gateways of the Inner Court, the Vestibule, and the Altar for sacrifices in remembrance of Christ’s redemption.

“As sinful men and women continue to be born into the world in the millennium, the temple is supposed to remind everyone of the substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross, as the “Lamb of God,” some two thousand years earlier.”

There are chambers for singers and priests who are the descendants of Zadok. The walls of the sanctuary were thick, but the sanctuary itself is not too large, only 70-feet long and 35-feet wide. Ezekiel closes this section with the building at the western end and the dimensions and design in the Temple area.

Ezekiel 41:15b–18 (NLT) “The sanctuary, the inner room, and the entry room of the Temple 16 were all paneled with wood, as were the frames of the recessed windows. The inner walls of the Temple were paneled with wood above and below the windows. 17 The space above the door leading into the inner room, and its walls inside and out, were also paneled. 18 All the walls were decorated with carvings of cherubim, each with two faces, and there was a carving of a palm tree between each of the cherubim.”

Palm trees were regarded as symbols of joy, triumph, and political independence. The cherubim remind us of heaven, holiness, and God’s work of salvation. 

We weren’t there to enjoy the Temple of Solomon, or the Temple rebuilt in the days of Zerubbabel and the return of the Jews (Ezra 1-6). Nor will we be here when Israel rebuilds her Temple which will be standing during the Tribulation Period. But we will enjoy this Temple in the Millennial Kingdom, and we will be in awe and wonder.

Below is some information I’ve found to be helpful as your “browse” through Ezekiel’s description:

ReferenceExplanation (ESV Study Bible Notes)

A Ezekiel 41:4 – The “Most Holy Place.”

B Ezekiel 41:3 – The inner room of the temple.

C Ezekiel 42:2 – The entrance to the temple.

D Ezekiel 43:13–17 – The imposing altar; although the number of stairs is not given, the entire altar structure is about 16 feet (4.9 m) tall, so many steps would have been required. This area of the inner court was accessible only by priests–not even the prince was permitted entry.

E  Ezekiel 40:46 – Chamber for Zadokite priests.

F Ezekiel 40:45 – Chamber for “priests who have charge of the temple.”

G Ezekiel 40:17–19 – The outer court, with its 30 chambers in the outer wall (40:17).

H Ezekiel 46:21–24 – The temple “kitchens,” one in each corner of the outer court.

I Ezekiel 40:17 – The 30 outer chambers.

J Ezekiel 46:2 – The “prince’s gate”: from its threshold he worships on each Sabbath while the priests bring the offerings into the inner court.

K Ezekiel 43:1 – The main east gate, through which “the glory of the God of Israel” returns to his temple (cf. 10:19; 11:22–23).

Ezekiel’s Temple Diagram – Source ESV Study Bible

Reference Explanation (ESV Study Bible Notes)

1 Ezekiel 40:6 – The eastern (main) gate begins the tour; the E–W axis of the temple should be noted; if a line is drawn from the east gate to the Most Holy Place, there are a sequence of three elevations, as the space in the inner temple becomes increasingly constricted.

2 Ezekiel 40:17 – From this vantage point in the outer court, Ezekiel is shown the main features of this “plaza” area.

3 Ezekiel 40:20 – The northern-facing gate.

4 Ezekiel 40:24 – En route to the southern-facing gate, no details are given of the outer facade of the inner court; the architectural details of this area must remain speculative.

5 Ezekiel 40:28 – Ezekiel’s entry to the inner court is by way of its south gate . . .

6 Ezekiel 40:32 – . . . then to the east gate (past the imposing altar, not yet described) . . .

7 Ezekiel 40:35 – . . . and on to the north gate, which includes areas for handling sacrificial animals.

8 Ezekiel 40:48; 41:1 – Ezekiel approaches the inner temple structure itself, first describing its entrance; he is then stationed outside the entrance while his guide first measures its interior, then the exterior.

9 42:1 – They exit the inner court through its north gate to explore the northwestern quadrant of the outer court.

10 Ezekiel 42:15 – Ezekiel and his guide leave the temple from the east gate by which they first entered. From this vantage point, Ezekiel was able to watch the return of “the glory of the God of Israel” moments later (43:1–5).

James 4:1-17

The wars around us take place because of the wars within us. Our flesh fights for our rights, we long for our lusts, we pout for our pleasures. This is how all wars begin, whether it be a battle at home or World War III, it always begins in the heart because of “world-war-me.”

How can we expect God to move if we don’t pray, or if we pray amiss, with marred motives? (James 4:2-3) Wiersbe said, “If we are not careful, even our prayers can become selfish!”

May God give us that heart for holiness, to be set apart for Him, but may He also give us that heart for the lost, to “go out” for Him. When James condemns friendship with the world, he’s not saying we can’t have any friends who are unsaved, he’s simply saying we should not love and live for the fallen world system (1 John 5:19). It’s okay for the boat to be in the water, but it’s not okay for too much water in the boat, otherwise it sinks. My friend, let’s beware of worldliness, the enemy is doing all that he can to conform us to this world (Romans 12:2) – even to make us an enemy of God!

James’ quote from Proverbs 3:34 is repeated in 1 Peter 5:5, emphasizing this point with a three-fold witness – how God resists (stiff-arms) the proud, but gives grace to the humble, therefore, we should humble ourselves. If we humble ourselves, God will lift us up (give us victory and use our lives). To humble ourselves means we say “yes” to God and “no” to the devil. Warren Wiersbe asked a probing question, “Are you resisting the devil or resisting the Lord?”

James 4:8 (NKJV) “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

What a promise, welded to a warning! If we draw near to God, He will draw near to us! Wow! Truth be told, some people are closer, (nearer) to God than others, because they’ve had that heart to draw near. But as we draw near to God, we cannot come with dirty hands, dirty hearts and double minds, we need to do our best to come clean, solely devoted to Him.

How sad it is when we speak evil of people who are loved by God. We can too flippantly shoot the lip, cast judgment on others and in doing so, we consider ourselves above God’s law which forbids such carnal conversation. What’s good for the Proverbs 31 woman is good for us all, wouldn’t you say? 

Proverbs 31:26 (NKJV) “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”

It’s okay to plan for tomorrow, but it’s not okay to plan on tomorrow, for none of us have tomorrow guaranteed. Jesus might come for His church globally and take us in the rapture, or Jesus might come for me, individually – today can be the day I die, I need to be ready. We read in:

Job 34:20 (NKJV) “In a moment they die, in the middle of the night; the people are shaken and pass away; the mighty are taken away without a hand.” 

Let’s cherish each day as a gift but not take tomorrow for granted – this should change our ways as well as our words, “See you later…LORD WILLING.” (James 4:13-16)

There are sins of commission (things I thought, said or did that I shouldn’t have) and there are sins of omission (things I should have done, but I didn’t)

“Oh God please help us to be on a mission, to DO what You bid, and NOT TO DO what You forbid…in Jesus’ name amen!”

Psalm 118:19-29

Psalm 118 is one of the greatest Messianic Psalms. It also happens to be a Psalm of God’s forever mercy. This grace and mercy is found first and foremost in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has opened the doors to righteousness, He IS the door of righteousness! (John 10:7, 9) Have you gone through that door? Have you placed your faith in Him?

I’m always fascinated by the fact that the Jews, the “builders” rejected Him (Psalm 118:22) that it was predicted there in the Scriptures and they never saw it coming.

Psalm 118:22 (NKJV) “The stone which the BUILDERS rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”

We read the same thing in Isaiah 53:3, it was prophesied…He would be rejected by them.

Initially the people praised Him. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, presenting Himself as the Messiah, the people quoted Psalm 118:25-26 (see Matthew 21:9) but eventually they rejected their Chief Cornerstone.

God help us to be pure in our praise, sincere in these songs that we sing to our Savior, for our faith and commitment WILL be tested – and it’s only in Christ that we’ll find this forever mercy (John 6:68-69).

Proverbs 28:3-5

Proverbs 28:3 (NKJV) “A poor man who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain which leaves no food.”

“When a man in need oppresses the poor (“feeble, helpless, weak”), he opposes people, who in some ways are like him, who could be his friends. Such cruelty and perversion of justice are like a hard rain which destroys rather than nourishes crops.” – Bible Knowledge Commentary

I thought of the parable Jesus told in:

Matthew 18:28 (NKJV) “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’”

Shouldn’t we take care of each other, love one another? Especially us “poor” sinners that we are! Let’s bless not oppress.

Proverbs 28:4 (NKJV) “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but such as keep the law contend with them.”

For many in the world, especially in the business world, character doesn’t count – just give me results, stats, money, no need for role models. They forsake the Word and esteem the wicked. But those of us who aspire to obey the Lord, contend with them, we fight the good fight to the very end.

“Oppressing the poor (Proverbs 28:3) is an example of forsaking the Mosaic Law (cf. “Law” in vv. 7, 9). And when people turn from obeying God’s commands, they usually begin to commend (praise) and side with wicked people. Law-keepers, however, resist wicked lawbreakers, seeking to uphold justice (Proverbs 18:5; 24:25).” – Bible Knowledge Commentary

“Without revelation, all is soon relative; and with moral relativity, nothing quite merits attack. So, e.g., the tyrant is accepted because he gets things done.” – Derek Kidner

Proverbs 28:5 (NKJV) “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all.”

Even those who SAY they long for justice cannot truly attain it if they resist the Just One (Acts 7:52; 22:14). Having the Spirit of God who uses the Word of God gives us insight that the unsaved will never understand or have access to.

“When people disobey the Law and the Lord, their sense of uprightness and morality is perverted. They find it difficult even to understand (“have insight into”) justice. On the other hand, the righteous, those who seek the Lord, have a keen sense of justice.” – Bible Knowledge Commentary

How can it be, that they do not see, or see so differently? “Because their minds are naturally blind, and are further blinded by their own prejudices and passions, and by the god of this world, who rules in and over them.” – Poole

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