Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Daily Bible Reading: Ezekiel 43 and Revelation 11

Ezekiel 43 – At the eastern gate of the city, Ezekiel is given a vision of the “glory of the God of Israel approaching from the east” (43:2). It comes in towards the prophet sounding like the ocean and shining like the sun. It is exactly like the vision he had had at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction. The glory of God fills the Temple and a “man” stands beside him. He hears a voice assuring him that this presence will abide among the “sons of Israel forever” (43:7). They will become a faithful people.

The plan described in these chapters is meant to “shame” the Israelites and inspire them to reform. It is something they can “carry out” (43:11) He then goes on to describe the altar in detail. He describes the holocausts that will be offered here: “a young bull as a sacrifice for sin” (43:19), “an unblemished he-goat as the sacrifice for sin” (43:22), and an “unblemished ram” (43:23). After a week in which these are offered, on the 8th day and thereafter, the priests will off holocausts and communion sacrifices.

Looked in†o some questions I had about this Temple design we are going through here and why it was never used as the design for the Second Temple, and it was interesting. 

This Jewish site was good: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1594241/jewish/Did-the-Jews-Disregard-Ezekiels-Prophecy-of-the-Temple.htm 

It says that the Temple was not built according to Ezekiel’s vision because as it promises here, it was supposed to be an “everlasting edifice,” but the repentance they had at their restoration by the Persians did not suffice to assure that God would not punish them in the future.

The prophets Chaggai (Haggai),  Zechariah and Malachi said NOT to build the new Temple (the 2nd) according to Ezekiel’s vision because there was only a “partial redemption” during this time of Jewish history. They lacked the Holy Ark, for one thing. Some parts of the description were incorporated into Herod’s Temple, but the edifice remains to be built in the future.

It is sometimes called the “Third Temple,” and is seen by some as what will be built to welcome the Messianic Age. Apparently it plays an important part in some Christian groups’ eschatology. And, of course, talk of it stirs concerns over how Muslims might respond to any real attempt to construct it. The deadline for it to be constructed is the year 6000 of the Jewish calendar or 2240 AD.

Revelation 11 – The prophet is given a cane to use as a measuring rod. He is to measure God’s sanctuary, altar and the congregation gathered.

The pagans in the outer court will trample the holy city for 3 ½ years – the number is taken from Daniel and symbolized any period of persecution.

Two prophets, Joshua and Zerubbabel, the prophets led the restored community in the Old Testament restoration, are seen as olive trees. They have great powers, but the Beast [Angel – ironic] from the Abyss will make war on them and kill them. Their corpses will lie on the main street of the “Great City” where the Lord was crucified. Men from everywhere will see them and celebrate. But after 3½ days, the Lord will raise them up and bring them up to heaven. There will be an earthquake and 7,000 will be killed. This all is the second Trouble.

Then the 7th angel blows his trumpet and voices in heaven call out, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever” (11:15). The sanctuary of God in heaven is opened and the Ark of the Covenant can be seen in it amidst lightning, thunder, hail and an earthquake.

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