God's Dwelling Place
Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen".
The Bible is a Book of prophecy describing how God will transform this "substance" from faith, or things "hoped for," into material reality through the spoken Word and faith proven by trials.
Ezekiel 40-48 parallels the Book of Revelation. Using traditional symbols, Ezekiel shows Israel the way into the Presence of God. It is His temple where He dwelt in the midst of His people. Ezekiel describes Israel's national and spiritual restoration after 2,500 years in the wilderness. First, they are restored to the Palestine in unbelief as one nation, no longer divided into twelve Tribes or two kingdoms.
Once physically gathered into the Land of their Covenant, God has a captive audience to whom his two prophets will be able to preach a Message that will blossom in the desert of their soul.
Here's God's program: "I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments, and do them" (Ezekiel 36:24-27).
In order for Israel to be Spiritually born-again in one day, they recognize the Light God is fulfilling now, and manifest that part of Bible prophecy. A breach of 2,000 years of misunderstood prophecy and rejected history separates Israel from his new birth. Before the 144,000 can be reborn, they must first be restored to their roots.
Isaiah 8:20, "To the law and to the testimony [of God's vindicated prophets]: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no Light in them".
The only place anyone will ever find God is the place where they left Him. For Israel that place was the Law and the prophets whose inspiration was symbolized in the Temple with its feasts.
The visions God reveals to Ezekiel illustrate Israel's restoration to their Old Covenant which revolved around the harvest feasts and the Temple. When these symbols are expanded and identified in the history of the past 2,000 years, their elect will recognize their part in God's Word. That will be their new birth.
I understand Job types the 144,000. Whilst the Seven Trumpets are manifesting, Israel suffered persecution like Job. And like Job, when they catch the revelation that it is not God Who is troubling them, but Satan, they are recompensed many fold.
The way Brother Branham expressed it, Ezekiel does not rebuild the Temple or establish any structure. He "reinstructs" the temple or place of God's Presence. The Temple, like the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, was a symbol or "pattern" explaining heavenly things. It illustrates the way into His Presence. Or Light. Old Jerusalem likewise was a symbol of the New City whose citizens are under the Blood of Christ. Ezekiel's visions illustrate the entrance to a City whose builder and maker is God, not a physical metropolis of stone that will exist during the Millennium.
When Moses descended the Mountain with the Word and found Israel worshiping the golden calf, he moved his tent of meeting with God outside the camp. And Ezekiel's ground plan locates the Temple or Place of God's Presence outside the city. This is because Christ was typed by the red heifer which was slain without the camp, and whose ashes were used to make a waters of separation from sin. Therefore He was crucified without the city which rejected Him and like we Gentiles who must go without denominational walled cities to find Him, Israel must go without their camp to find Him.
The Orthodox Israelites are now preparing to re-establish their Temple worship and sacrifice. Although nobody knows to which Tribe he really belongs, many zealous men are in training for the Israelitish priesthood in expectation of the restoration of the Temple ritual. They had what they thought to be a red heifer but a rabbi discovered some white hairs in its tail so it has had to be rejected.
When Jesus was baptized by John in the river Jordan, God moved the place of His Presence from the Temple in Jerusalem to the Temple of manifested spoken Word of his virgin-born body, as signified by the Shekinah in the form of a dove.
The way to Ezekiel's Temple is through the city past the blessings of the Holy Spirit which flow from under the throne in the Temple. The way passes between a mighty crowd of witnesses on either side of the River. Called trees of Life, they are the offspring of the risen Christ manifest as the Old and New Testament saints.
When Christ is recognized as the Presence and as God's Temple, all things can be transformed—Israel's unbelief, the Arabian Desert, the Dead Sea, and the frailness of human bodies. But Israel must trace the way of the Cross, as it were, to reach that place before he can be restored.
In the last verse of Ezekiel, the City is finally called "Jehovah Shammah"—"The Lord is There." That's God manifest in the saints of all Ages—Emmanuel.
The Presence, once seen only by the high priest within the Holy of Holies on the day of Atonement now shines continually over the whole city which is the glory of God in His saints.
Revelation or faith starts where the Law of Moses ended. And the nation went into apostasy following carnal self-works programs, not realizing that the Place of the Presence had transferred to a Body made not with hands. The many-membered Body or Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Book of Revelation shows how by faith in the spoken Word, the Corn of wheat which died and rose again has drawn this mystic Body of His elect out from all seven Church Ages, into the unity of one Body symbolized in Revelation 1:13. "And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle".
What Ezekiel saw as the Pillar of Fire in the Temple outside the city and became the anointed city itself, John saw as a Pillar of Fire unfolding Its Light through the Son of Man into the Bride of Christ reflecting His glorious attributes but drawn from the mixed multitude of all seven Church Ages.
In the last two chapters of his Book, John sees the saints of all Ages symbolized as a City vastly larger than the one in Ezekiel's vision, being 1500 as against six miles square. This New Jerusalem has no temple for it is God manifest in the glorified flesh of His family: the Bride, the 144,000 Israelites, and the Old Testament saints. This is "Jehovah Shammah," the Place of God's Presence.
The last of the six purposes of Gabriel's vision to Daniel which expound the way Israel must follow in his restoration to God was "to anoint the Most Holy." In the Tabernacle and Temple of Solomon, that was the Ark of the Covenant above its golden Mercy Seat and between the two cherubim God manifested His Presence to the high priest on the Day of Atonement. There will, however be no Ark in the future as it represented or typed Jesus Christ who veiled the Fullness of the Word as that wooden box concealed the Law. The shittim wood united with gold represented the union of humanity and Divinity in the temple of Jesus Christ. The Most Holy Place Israel will anoint in their hearts will be the glorified Jesus and His Bride.
So Ezekiel 40-48 parallels the Book of Revelation, describing how the remnant of Israel come into the common faith of Christ's Bride and although this revelation is their new birth, they can never be a part of the Bride as the Marriage of the Lamb comes to pass with the close of the Gentile dispensation. The Bride of all Ages goes to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb in the Sky where they are adored by the friends of the Groom or Old Testament saints.
The 144,000 elect Israelites miss the Wedding Supper but they will have their part in the Millennium as they enter into the City, New Jerusalem, the dwelling Place of God. Their charge is to serve the Bride of Christ throughout eternity. bb980121.htm
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