The Third Vision: An Expanded Temple
There is Hope for all Creation: Ezekiel 40 – 48
Once evil is effectively destroyed, there is hope for all creation. In Ezekiel 40 – 46, Ezekiel is given a vision of a New Temple in a new city such as the world has never seen. Guided by a Heavenly Figure, Ezekiel is shown the majestic glory of the New Temple.
The New Temple is much larger and more impressive than Solomon’s Temple. There is an altar, a priesthood, and a system of worship familiar to the Hebrew people since the Exodus Generation.
Best of all, Ezekiel saw God’s beautiful Throne Chariot coming to Jerusalem. The Lord will return to His sanctuary. The Lord will not return to the defiled pre-exilic sanctuary bearing the marks of apostasy and judgment, but the New Sanctuary of purity.
There are some Bible scholars that insist Ezekiel’s Temple Vision is a literal blueprint of a building and city yet to be erected when the Messiah comes to rule on Earth and establish His kingdom.
Other Bible scholars believe the imagery of the New Temple is full of symbols setting forth rich spiritual truths such as the constant presence of God with Him people be they in bondage or free. Again, the New Temple teaches the importance of having hope. No matter how dark and difficult the present moment may be, there is a better tomorrow coming.
Whichever view is pursued, notice that Ezekiel never calls the new city, Jerusalem. Therefore, care must be taken not to read more in a Biblical narrative than is warranted.
* * * * *
The Fourth Vision
As Ezekiel mediates on all that he is a witness to, he notices a stream pouring out of the New Temple, which turns into a raging river, flowing into the arid dessert until it reaches the Dead Sea Valley. There, a miracle takes place. Suddenly, the Dead Sea becoming an Inviting Sea to wade in.
The Inviting Sea then becomes a Living Sea in Ezekiel’s Vision leaving behind beautiful trees and exotic flowers. The waters team with fish and other creatures as the Garden of Eden is restored to its pristine glory.
The vision of Ezekiel is cosmic in nature. It is vision of hope with confidence in God that He will restore a humanity and His creation to a place where it can be said, “It is very good” (Gen. 1:31).
The prophecy of Ezekiel ends with the name of this Garden City. It is called, “THE LORD IS THERE”.
The question arises, “Will you be there to enjoy the New Eden? Will your eternal place of residence be called, “THE LORD IS THERE”? If the desire of your heart is to be with Jesus and His people in the new heavens and new earth wherein dwells righteousness (Rev. 21:1), then you must do the following.
First, realize that you are a sinner, and that you need a Savior. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Understand that you deserve to die, not just physically, but an eternal death in a place called hell for “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).
Second, confess with your mouth, and believe in your heart that God has raised Jesus Christ from the dead to be both Lord, and Savior (Rom. 19:9).
Third, call upon the name of the Lord and thou shalt be saved. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).
Fourth, repent of your sins and walk in the newness of life. To repent means to be sorry for the wrong you have done. To repent means to turn around. “God commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). If you realize that you cannot repent in and of yourself, ask God to grant you the gift of repentance and eternal life.
Fifth, arise and be baptized with faith in your heart that God loves you, Christ died for you, and the Holy Spirit has regenerated you by His divine power so that spiritually, your sins are washed away. This washing away of sin symbolizes the new birth, your personal identification with Christ, and your confidence in the bodily resurrection of the dead. ““For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Rom. 6:5).
May God draw you to Himself so that you do this right now.