Ezekiel's Temple
by Joseph W. Gaut

 A beautiful temple is described in the book of Ezekiel, starting with chapter 40.  This temple, often referred to as Ezekiel's temple, is not one that is built by human hands.  Nor is it even a physical structure in any sense commonly understood.  Once this is grasped, it follows that the sacrifices mentioned have very real but symbolic meaning. Consider certain passages of scripture, beginning with  Ezekiel 43:04-07, by which we know that God Himself will dwell there forever ...and forever ...and forever:
 

A stream flows from this temple and becomes a great river too great to pass over.  This river has healing power.  It is "living water".  A River of Life is described.  [Ezekiel 47:01-12].  This scarcely suggests temple architecture that is visible to the naked eye.
  The fish that swim in this River of Life are healed.  Jesus told his followers to be "fishers of men." Men are compared to fish on several occasions in the New Testament.  I think it no accident that several of the apostles were fishermen.  Ezekiel speaks of such fish (vs.47:9):
   Stephen (Acts 7:47-50) reminded those who were fixing to stone him to death that God didn't live in a house built of human hands when he referenced a passage in Isaiah 66 by saying:
  We read in Ezekiel 43:07: We should understand that this temple is where God dwells in the midst of His people forever.  Where is the place of His throne? In our hearts.  This is what the Lord God wants to take up residence forever.  He's not about to limit his eternal residency to some manmade project made of sticks and stones.

Paul shared the same understanding and on several occasions clearly identified the temple of God as being those who believe in Christ Jesus.  He let us know that such are the temple of God. Peter shared this same insight and called believers the "living stones" of this temple and noted that Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone that the builders rejected, thereby referencing the prophecy of rejection of the Messiah found in Psalm 118:22.   From 1 Peter 2:4-6 we read:
 

Jesus is the architect and builder of this temple.  It is no coincidence that he was a carpenter by natural trade.  He is still in the construction business.  He identified this temple not built by hands when He identified himself as the corner stone -- the first Living Stone -- of this majestic building when he said [Luke 20:17-18 (refer to Psalms 118:22)]:
   So what temple did Ezekiel see? He saw a temple not built by human hands.  He saw a temple that has been under construction for the last two thousand years as God has been fashioning living stones into the building blocks of this majestic structure.  This temple is nearing completion.  Jesus said that the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world and that then the end will come.  Soon the last stone will be fitted into place.  Soon the Glory of the Lord will fill the temple.


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