The Glory of God Returns to the Temple
Verse 1 – Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east.
Verse 2 – And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.
In chapter 11 of Ezekiel, God’s glory stopped over the Mount of Olives, now He was returning from the same direction.
Verse 3 – It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw – like the vision which I saw when He came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.
Verse 4 – And the glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east.
Verse 5 – The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
Verse 6 – Then I heard Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me.
Verse 7 – And He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. No more shall the house of Israel defile My holy name, they nor their kings, by their harlotry or with the carcasses of their kings on their high places.
Verse 8 – “When they set their threshold by My threshold, and their doorpost by My doorpost, with a wall between them and Me, they defiled My holy name by the abominations which they committed; therefore I have consumed them in My anger.
Verse 9 – “Now let them put their harlotry and the carcasses of their kings far away from Me, and I will dwell in their midst forever.
It appears that they had buried their kings either close to the temple or in it. David was buried in the city of David, which was on Mount Zion, near the temple, so were almost all the kings of Judah; but God required that the place of His temple and its vicinity be kept unpolluted.
Verse 10 – “Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern.
Verse 11 – “And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple and its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, its entire design and all its ordinances, all its forms and all its laws. Write it down in their sight, so that they may keep its whole design and all its ordinances, and perform them.
Before God left the old temple, the one that had been destroyed by the Babylonians, the priests had turned it into a place for idol worship and abominations. So, in order for God to return to the one He was giving design for, Israel had to repent. They also had to follow all of Gods laws and statutes.
Verse 12 – “This is the law of the temple: The whole area surrounding the mountaintop shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the temple.
The basic law of the temple was holiness. Leviticus 19:1, says, …’You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.’ 1 Peter 1:15, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.
Verse 13 – “These are the measurements of the altar in cubits; the base one cubit high and one cubit wide, with a rim all around its edge of one span. This is the height of the altar:
Verse 14 – “from the base on the ground to the lower ledge, two cubits; the width of the ledge, one cubit; from the smaller ledge to the larger ledge, four cubits; and the width of the ledge, one cubit.
Verse 15 – “The altar hearth is four cubits high, with four horns extending upward from the hearth.
Verse 16 – “The altar hearth is twelve cubits long, twelve wide, square at its four corners;
Verse 17 – “the ledge, fourteen cubits long and fourteen wide on its four sides, with a rim of half a cubit around it; its base, one cubit all around; and its steps face toward the east.”
Verse 18 – And He said, “Son of man, thus says the Lord God: ‘These are the ordinances for the altar on the day when it is made, for sacrificing burnt offerings on it, and for sprinkling blood on it.
Verse 19 – ‘You shall give a young bull for a sin offering to the priests, the Levites, who are of the seed of Zadok, who approach Me to minister to Me,’ says the Lord God.
It was this Zadok that was put in place of Abiathar, by Solomon, in whose family the priesthood had continued ever since.
Verse 20 – ‘You shall take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge, and on the rim around it; thus you shall cleanse it and make atonement for it.
Verse 21 – ‘Then you shall take the bull of the sin offering, and burn it in the appointed place of the temple, outside the sanctuary.
Some sacrifices were taken outside the sanctuary. This action foreshadows one aspect of Christ’s sacrifice.
Verse 22 – ‘On the second day you shall offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they cleansed with the bull.
Verse 23 – ‘When you have finished cleansing it, you shall offer a young bull without blemish, and a ram from the flock without blemish.
The Lord wanted the people to understand that they were to give their best from the flocks, not what they had done in the past by giving the sick or diseased to be sacrificed.
Verse 24 – ‘When you offer them before the Lord, the priests shall throw salt on them, and they will offer them up as a burnt offering to the Lord.
Salt is added to the burnt offering for purification. Mark 9:49 – “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. (50) “Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”
Have you ever heard of “Salt covenant? This covenant is mentioned three times in the Old Testament. Leviticus 3:13 – ‘And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt… Second occurrence: Numbers 18:19, “All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the Lord I have given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an ordinance forever, it is a “Covenant of salt forever before the Lord with you and your descendants with you.”
The third occurrence: 2 Chronicles 13:5 – “Should you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a “covenant of salt?”
The covenant of salt is the everlasting relationship between the children of salt, God’s people, and their Elohim Yahweh. When we hear the term salt, the understanding is that the things Yahweh addresses are eternal, enduring, never-changing, and abiding forever.
Verse 25 – ‘Every day for seven days you shall prepare a goat for a sin offering; they shall also prepare a young bull and a ram from the flock, both without blemish.
Verse 26 – ‘Seven days they shall make atonement for the altar and purify it, and so consecrate it.
The consecration of the altar for seven days was performed at the Festival of Tabernacles.
Verse 27 – ‘When these days are over it shall be, on the eighth day and thereafter, that the priests shall offer your burnt offerings and your peace offerings on the altar; and I will accept you, says the Lord God.”
Are people today concerned about how they enter God’s house? How about the participation in worship to Him? What kind of attitude goes with us when we enter? Here is what I see in the house of God today: People coming in late, carrying coffee, and maybe a snack. People who come in late disrupt people that are already there worshiping. Then I see that they can’t get off their phones to even give any attention to praising the One who gave them the very breath they breath. And this last one really burns me up: When our pastor gives a prayer of invitation for those who don’t know the Lord, some have the nerve to get up and leave, causing disruptions again. This may sound mean, but my feelings are this, “Stay home if you are not interested in seeing others come to Christ and learning about a Mighty God that the rest of us adore and worship!”