EZEKIEL 46:1 – 48:35 and REVELATION 7:9–17
Ezekiel will now speak concerning some of the regulations that will accommodate the functioning of the millennial temple. We see the Lord once again being associated with the East Gate. This gate is consecrated to the Lord. The prince who is King David serves as the Lord’s representative unto the people at this gate on the Sabbath. This gate is kept open on the day of the Sabbath. There will be worship that will be presented to the Lord as well as an offering of 6 lambs. These 6 lambs are symbolic of the people who present their offering unto the Lord.
The meal offering speaks of ones relationship with man. In having a love for God, we must also have a love for one another. The new moon signifies a new beginning which is now taking place at the millennial temple. We must bear in mind that there will be those who qualify for the first resurrection who rule and reign with Christ in the millennium. We must also remember that there will be those who will be born and live in the manner that we live today. A physical body made up of soul and spirit. Satan will be released from his prison at the end of the years to test those who have been born during this period. He will have no power over those who are partakers of the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Christ will reign in the millennium in Jerusalem; His ways and how we are to live will be clearly conveyed through the Millennial Temple that Ezekiel has had visions of. The Old Testament verse concerning God’s sanctuary will also be true for the millennium.
Psa 77:13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?
In verses 16-18 there is the promise of a gift of an inheritance being given to the sons of the Prince. Since David is the prince it could be that some of his sons would have qualified for the first resurrection. Some of the notable kings that would come to mind could be Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and Josiah.
There are other appointed places designated for the boiling of sacrifices. The dimensions of God were particular and they had to be followed to the pattern given (vs 21-24). The significance of this event is reflected in the numbers given that represent the places for sacrifice. The number 40 speaks of suffering with the number 30 speaking of service. The number 4 speaks of universal. The places that were designated for the boiling of sacrifices were consecrated in a godly order with a specific purpose. This was clearly seen in the Levitical Priesthood at the time of Moses Tabernacle. God has a way of approach in how one is able to enter into His presence. It is seen here and it will carry on throughout the millennium and throughout eternity. One of the biggest problems in Christianity today is this level of presumption seen in believers. The more we study the truths surrounding the millennial temple that Ezekiel saw the more it resembles that of Moses. The biggest difference however is that the Lord is in their midst. Secondly, there is a group of overcoming kings and priests that appropriated the truths from the Old Testament instruction enabling them to function as the model priests God had originally called Israel to be (Exo 19:6, Rev 5:10).
There is a temple river that will now be shown unto Ezekiel. This is a picture of some of the millennial blessings that will be realized during the Lord’s 1000 year reign. The water begins to flow from His very presence. This is also seen in Rev 22:1 where it speaks of the water of life that is clear as crystal that proceeds from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It is a river that flows downward into the courts and then eventually extending out beyond the temple. Ezekiel was led out of the temple to behold the flowing of this river. He saw the waters flowing out of the east outer gate.
As Ezekiel continued to observe he saw the river extended outward and actually grew deeper as it went forward. There is the continual use of the number thousand(s) which denote the millennial blessings that will come forth. It is interesting to note the progression of the depth of the living waters. The water to the ankles speaks of babes in Christ. This can also be synonymous to the Outer Court. The second mention of water is now to the knees which speak of the Holy Place. The next extension is to the loins which speaks of strength and those who overcome. The last extension becomes a river that cannot be crossed over. This speaks of a group that is consumed by the Spirit. It also symbolises a people who are at Rest. These are the true fathers and mothers n Christ (1 John 2:12-14).
Ezekiel is now shown a beautiful picture of the river flowing forth bringing blessing wherever it goes. The trees that are mentioned are a symbol of life. The people of this period can be likened to trees. We are called to be trees of righteousness and the planting of the Lord so that he might be glorified (Isa 61:3). In the natural it is commonly agreed that this river of living water will empty itself into the Dead Sea. This phenomenon will resurrect this dead body of water to life. What a fitting picture of what this river represents. There will be healing wherever this river goes. This will be a true healing stream that will go forth. It is also figurative of an abundance of souls that will come into the church in the last days. We need to begin to prepare now for that which we are believing will soon take place. There is a further description that is given of this river in Rev 22:1-2. It is a river that can be associated with purity and fruitfulness. It is clearly not limited to Jerusalem or Israel but meant for the nations.
In verses 13-23 we have listed the inheritance of the children of Israel by tribes. It is interesting to see that right from the beginning the tribe of Joseph is accorded the double portion. There is a repeating of the promise that God had made to Abraham and Isaac where He mentioned the giving of Israel to him and his heirs. The Lord then also speaks through Ezekiel His affection for the stranger. The Lord knows how to comfort in a time of adversity and upset. He is the God of consolations and we need to avail ourselves more of His Goodness. I do not mean this in a presumptuous way but merely learning to take advantage of the provision that he has made available.
The closing chapter of the Book of Ezekiel deals with Jerusalem during the time of the millennium. In verse one we see that the tribe of Dan is allocated a portion of an inheritance during the millennium. They are not mentioned in the listed tribes of Revelation 7. Here they are given a northern most inheritance (vs 1).
The inheritances of the tribes stretch from the eastern boundary to the seacoast. The particulars are given in verses 2-20. The tribe of Judah is the 7th listed and its proximity is closest to Jerusalem. As mentioned earlier there is a portion of territory that has been set aside for the Lord which represents the temple area. The overall dimensions of this temple land are approximately 50 miles long by 20 miles wide. This area of designated space is slightly bigger than Singapore which measures 31 miles in length by 16 miles of width. This dwelling ground will be allocated to the faithful priests known as the sons of Zadok. It helps us to better understand the inheritance that was cited concerning them.
Eze 44:28 And it shall be unto them for an inheritance: I am their inheritance: and ye shall give them no possession in Israel: I am their possession.
There is an interesting truth from Lev 25:34 which states that this consecrated ground was never to be sold. It was to be a perpetual possession. I bring this up because I remember a time when our fellowship was approached by outside businessmen to enquire as to whether we would sell a portion of our property for a housing development. The president made the comment that the Lord had made available the property for the Lord’s use and it was dedicated for that purpose. It could have been a financial blessing to help fund the various ministries of the fellowship but the Levitical law was upheld. The church is coming under increased scrutiny and pressure in these challenging days and the temptation may be there to secularize some of its investment. The mind of the Lord must be clearly sought and upheld. When something is devoted to the Lord, it becomes His for His pleasure and for His purpose.
Lev 27:28 Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD.
The actual size of Jerusalem in the millennium will be about 9 miles square. The portion that will be allotted to the prince will be in close proximity to this holy temple though the actual dimensions are not given (vs 21-22). The remaining tribes are apportioned their territory from east to west. Simeon will now have his own portion unlike times in the past (vs 23-29). The measurements of the actual city are given in verses 30-35. There will be similarities to the New Jerusalem that will come into place about 1000 years later. There will be 12 gates each bearing the name of each of the tribes of Israel. There is big difference however from the listed tribes given in Revelation 7. The tribe of Dan is omitted in Revelation 7 but is included in the millennial reign of Christ. A key takeaway from the measurements that are given regarding the Jerusalem is the circumference of the city itself. It is 18,000 cubits and it gives to us a key in what Jerusalem in the millennium represents. The number 18 speaks of strength. It is not surprising that David would reign as the Prince seeing that he often cited the God of strength. The prophet Isaiah spoke of the future strength of Jerusalem in the millennium.
Isa 26:1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
Jerusalem will be known for strength and stability during the period of the millennium. It is God’s desire that we come to know His strength in our day. It is through our God where we can do valiantly (Psa 108:13). The church of the last days must manifest the strength of God and every opportunity is given to us to become like the early church. For too long the church has been the tail and not the head where it has not taken the lead (Deu 28:13). The Lord is calling the church to begin to exhibit the qualities that will be at work in the millennium. If we can avail ourselves of available grace for the strengthening of the church today it will help set us up to be a participant in His millennial reign. The kings and priests that will reign with Christ are “made” before the millennium, not during it. Our window of opportunity to do so is now. There is so much to digest from the writings of Ezekiel however it is clear that he is a prophet raised up with a message for our generation. As the spirit prompted John in his letters written to the 7 churches may it be also be said of Ezekiel’s words; he who has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit is saying unto the church.” God is speaking and it is up to us to hear and respond.
REVELATION 7 – Read day 338 commentary