This wonderful chapter looks on to the future Millennial Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. God gave Ezekiel a revelation of the return of Jesus Christ in power and glory to Jerusalem, where He will establish worship for Israel and the nations in the Millennial Temple. We will quote some of the verses with brief comments, giving more attention to verses 1-5 than the rest of the chapter.

In verses 1-5 Ezekiel saw the glory of God returning to Israel. In Chapter 11:23 he had witnessed the glory departing, “And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on THE EAST SIDE of the city” (NKJV). Let’s read verses 2 & 4:  “And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from THE WAY OF THE EAST….and the glory of the LORD came into the temple by the way of the gate which faces TOWARD THE EAST.” The glory had “departed on the east side of the city” and it will return “on the east side of the city.” Now let’s read Matthew 24:27 & 30, “For as the lightning comes FROM THE EAST and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be…Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” The prophet Zechariah was also made to the see the glory of God returning in the Person of Jesus Christ, “Behold, the day of the LORD is coming….I will gather all nations to battle against Jerusalem…Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations…and in the day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which FACES JERUSALEM ON THE EAST” (Zechariah 14:1-4). The Lord Jesus had departed from the Mount of Olives when He ascended to heaven and He will return to that very same spot (see Acts 1:9-12). What a glorious day that will be! After arriving on the Mount of Olives, God’s glory (in the Person of His Son) will fill the Millennial Temple as we see in verse 5 of our chapter, “The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple.”

In verses 6-9 we learn that the Lord Jesus will live among His earthly people Israel forever and they will never defile His name ever again. “And He said to me, ‘Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever, No more shall the house of Israel defile My holy name, they nor their kings, by their harlotry or with the carcasses of their kings on their high places” (verse 7). The glory had departed in Ezekiel’s day because of Israel’s idolatry but in “Day of the Lord” they will cease from idol worship and give the Name of the Lord the honor and glory He deserves (see Ezekiel 20:33-44; 39:7).

In verses 10-17 Ezekiel is told to “describe the temple to the house of Israel” (verse 10) which included “the measurements of the altar” (verse 13). Just as God had given precise instructions for the building of the temple in the wilderness and then in the Promised Land, the Millennial Temple would be according to God’s pattern, not leaving anything to man’s imagination.

In verses 18-27 Ezekiel is given “the ordinances for the altar” (verse 18); in other words the ritual service for CONSECRATING THE ALTAR. There would be SIN offerings, BURNT offerings and PEACE offerings, all offered up to God as an expression of worship and adoration. Many have wondered why there would be animal sacrifices in that day when the Lord Jesus Christ made the supreme sacrifice that brought perfect forgiveness to all who believe (see Hebrews 10:1-14). I believe the answer is simple. For just as we worship the Lord for the sacrifice He has made by using a loaf of bread (to illustrate His BODY) and a cup of wine (to illustrate His BLOOD) in the “Lord’s Supper,” so Israel will worship the Lord for the sacrifice He has made by using “the body and blood of animals.” It will be in REMEMBRANCE of what He has done, just as we “REMEMBER the Lord” in the breaking of bread (see Luke 22:19-20).  (391.3)  (DO)