Return of Jehovah, the entrance of the glory of the Lord into the new temple. Ezekiel 43:1-12.
Glory enters the temple. Ezekiel 43:1-5.
The holiness of the temple. Ezekiel 43:6-9.
Visions for the sinner’s shame. Ezekiel 43:10-11.
The surrounding area is holy. Ezekiel 43:12.
Description and consecration of the altar of burnt offering. Ezekiel 43:13-27.
The altar. Ezekiel 43:13-17.
Dedication of the altar. Ezekiel 43:18-27.
Here is a picture of the restoration of the Jewish religious system. It is imperative for the remnant to know this will happen to be assured that he can be ceremoniously clean. Haggai 2:10ff. Not only that but the Lord will come back and will once again place his throne there.
Here we find the condition of this restoration, holiness, Ezekiel 43:6-12.
We see how the people had defiled themselves:
2. Dead bodies of their kings.
4. Setting their doorposts by Jehovah’s doorposts.
So, they were not only wrongdoers, but wrong thinkers in relation to God. They had become too familiar with God. They did not recognise that there should have been a reverent separateness from Jehovah. Hence this temple is totally separated from the city. Ezekiel 40:5 / Ezekiel 42:20 / Ezekiel 43:12.
The plan will make them ashamed, Ezekiel 43:10, so that they realise they are to be holy, and recognise God as holy. Separateness is at the root of holiness; the people had mingled too much in the past. Familiarity breeds contempt.
For you and I. 1 Peter 1:15 / 1 Corinthians 15:33.
The glory of the Lord fills all the earth, Isaiah 6:3. God reveals His glory in order to manifest His approval and presence. The vision that Ezekiel saw on this occasion was similar to other times when he experienced the awesome presence of God, Ezekiel 1:26-28 / Ezekiel 8:1-2 / Ezekiel 9:1-3.
What was experienced on this occasion was the divine glory of God that was manifested in Ezekiel’s vision of the temple. His glory came into the reconstructed temple from the east, signifying that God was still present with His people in captivity in Babylonian territory east of Palestine. He would be with them when they returned from captivity to rebuild the temple.
When the people forsook idolatry, God came again into their presence while they were in captivity. God’s presence, therefore, was not confined to a physical temple. His presence with His people exists wherever they are in the world.
The awesomeness of God cannot be compared to or associated with man in his most pure state of being. In the past, the Israelites had built their houses joined to the temple. In the restored temple, they were not to defile the presence of God by doing such. Man cannot exalt himself to be compared with God as he had done with the idol gods that he had created after his own imagination.
The awesomeness of the presence of God should be so revered that we would fear His presence and stand in awe of His glory. If men seek to personalise God to the point that they lose their fear of His awesomeness, they may be creating a god after their own imagination. When God was incarnate in the flesh of man, He had to empty Himself of His divine form in order for man to be able to stand in His presence, Philippians 2:5-8.
God is personal to us through Jesus, but we should never forget that if we stood within the energy of His total glory we would be disintegrated into nothingness as in a nuclear blast. The One who created the millions of suns of the universe is millions of times greater in energy than all the universe combined, for He is greater than that which He created.
In the vision, Ezekiel sees the restoration of the temple ceremonies that were conducted by the priests, the descendants of Zadok, Ezekiel 43:19 / Ezekiel 44:15 / 1 Kings 1:7-8.
In connection with the offerings that were made, the priests were to sprinkle salt, signifying that the people would keep the covenant. The blood was sprinkled in order to sanctify and set apart, all that was reconstructed for the offering of the sacrifices.
Before the people could continue with the altar and temple they had to cleanse and dedicate it to the Lord. After the cleansing, the people could be accepted, and thus the sacrifices that they would make would be accepted.