The prophecies of the prophets of Israel can be divided into three sections. They are;
- Israel – you are being naughty. Mend your ways
- Israel – I know you will not mend your ways so disgrace, dispersion and discipline will be your portion
- Israel – God loves you and will restore you for both His love’s sake and because of His Promises to the Fathers
But Ezekiel goes further than this. Ezekiel touches that part of God’s heart that is very important. That is, His House and the Testimony it brought Him among the nations. Israel had been exceedingly evil and had behaved worse than the heathen nations around them. Even the heathen never swapped their gods, but Israel has swapped the Living and True God for demon-idols. Israel, as per the threats of the Contract of Sinai, was about to be invaded by Nebuchadnezzar, have their City and Temple destroyed, be slaughtered and be carried off to Babylon to serve foreign kings. One thing remained to be done before Nebuchadnezzar entered Jerusalem and defiled and destroyed it. That was, God was to withdraw from the Temple in which He dwelt. This was for two reasons. God’s holiness could not tolerate the heathen entering into the same place as He, and if they did, Nebuchadnezzar would have been slain like Uzzah in 2nd Samuel 6. God needed Nebuchadnezzar for further things concerning His glory, so before the Babylonian army could enter Jerusalem, God withdrew His glory from the Temple – His House. This utterly sad event takes up the first few Chapters.
This is a low point for such a great God. From this moment on, with His House and Testimony gone from earth, God is called, throughout the Book of Daniel, which encompasses the time in Babylon, the “God of heaven”, but never the “God of earth”. His House and Presence WERE GONE. This solemn matter is dealt with by Ezekiel. Ezekiel is divided roughly into FOUR sections;
- The withdrawal of God and His glory from Solomon’s Temple – His House
- The accusations against Israel that brought about this tragic move
- The Promises of Israel’s future restoration
- The Promise of a return to a greater glory for the House of God predicted in the latter Chapters
Chapters 37 to 39 give detailed prophecies of Israel’s restoration and end with Armageddon at the end of Chapter 39. Then the visions make an abrupt change. They now concern them selves with God’s New House. Immediately the Christian will OBJECT. Is not the Church the House of God? And does God live in a House made with hands? The answer is that God’s original intention was that man would eat of the Tree of Life and become the HOUSE of God. And since God is a Spirit, He would dwell in the sanctity of the spirit of man. This He finally achieves in the Church. But … in the process of recovering man, God did TWO things;
- He dwelt WITH them to have His presence on earth, and for this a House of a special construction was needed
- He caused the Second Person of the God-head to become a Man, and this Man, Jesus, was physical and needed a physical Dwelling
During His first sojourn on earth, this God-Man Jesus had nowhere to dwell (Matt.8:20; Lk.9:28). His rightful place as God would have been the Temple in Jerusalem, but He is driven from there under threat of death by the rulers of Israel. But at the end of the age, this God-Man will become the ordained, accepted and anointed King of the whole earth by military defeat of His enemies. The question is then, “WHERE WILL HE LIVE PHYSICALLY, AND OF WHAT TYPE WILL HIS HOUSE BE?
Ezekiel answers this. The House in which Emmanuel (God with us) will live must fulfill a number of qualifications.
- It must be in Jerusalem
- It must be a Palace fit for the greatest King ever to live
- It must be a House that reflects the accomplishments of this great King
- It must be a House that allows the correct service to such an Holy One
- It must be a House that everyone of every nation can come up to to pray, worship and have audience with Emmanuel
Now, Jesus, having set aside His high position in heaven, and having come to earth to serve His Father and serve men, took a very low and humble position. He was devoid of money and dwelling. He was ministered to by women. He was threatened, rejected, reviled, beaten, spat upon, insulted and finally murdered among criminals, naked. This was all done to achieve what His Father needed done to satisfy His righteousness and extend mercy to depraved mankind. So when God sends His Son the second time as military Commander to retake Government of this earth, in His righteousness and justice HE MUST VINDICATE HIS SON IN PROPORTION TO WHAT HE LOST THE FIRST TIME. And part of this vindication is;
- His personal glory. It is so strong that it can dethrone and cast away the Beast who was the most powerful man on earth (2nd Thess.2:8)
- His House. The House that the Man Jesus will live in must reflect Who He is and what He has done
- That men must bow to Him in worship IN HIS PRESENCE AND OUT OF IT (Phil.2:10)
And this last point necessitates that men who enter His physical presence, like Aaron and all following High Priests did all those years, (i) have their sins put away, and (ii) be cleansed from the defiled flesh. Aaron and his line of High Priests had the Altar and the Laver in the OUTER COURT on and in the which they had to fulfill sacrifice and washing. One for sins and one for uncleanness. The Christian is no different EXCEPT that BECAUSE HE BELIEVES IN THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST, he has BOTH done for Him by Jesus. But the nation of Israel and the nations REFUSED CHRIST. Fortunately, their sin and sins are put away by Christ BUT THEY WERE NEVER WASHED BY CHRIST. Our example of Judas is unequivocal. Judas lived side by side with Jesus for 3½ years and yet did not believe in Him. So when our Lord Jesus washed the disciples in John 13, Judas remained UNCLEAN. That is, UNBELIEVERS ARE UNCLEAN, even if their sins are put away. And if UNCLEAN, THEN THEY NEED TO BE CLEANSED BEFORE AUDIENCE WITH THE GREAT AND HOLY GOD-MAN JESUS IN JERUSALEM EVERY YEAR.
Now, in the Law of Moses, the requirements for CLEANSING Aaron for audience with God are laid down. They worked! Aaron was not ever slain despite the utter danger of entering the Holy of Holies. And God has decided that this procedure which He ordained for the cleansing of the FLESH is valid UNTIL HEAVEN AND EARTH PASS. After the heaven and earth have passed at the end of the Millennium, all men will have resurrected bodies. 1st Corinthians 15:42 tells us of the corrupted body; “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It (the body) is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption“ That is, after the introduction of the Renewed Earth THE CLEANSING OF THE BODY IS NO LONGER NEED. ALL BODIES OF ALL MEN ARE IN INCORRUPTION. SO THE LAW WITH ITS ANIMAL SACRIFICES WILL PASS THEN. Then a different order will reign. The men who have been consigned to the Lake of Fire are regarded as UNCLEAN, and they will not be allowed audience with Jesus. Even a cursory look at Revelation 21:24-27 shows the change of regime.
24 “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it (New Jerusalem): and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.“
The process on the Renewed Earth is the SAME as the Millennium EXCEPT that all bodies are incorruptible. But those not written in the Book of Life, and who went to the Lake of Fire, are regarded as UNCLEAN and may not have audience with Christ and God. That is why they are called “CARCASSES” in Isaiah 66:24 – to depict their eternal unworthiness to have audience with God.
Ref: Walls, Bible Forum 1