THE ORDINANCES OF THE HOUSE
Ezekiel 44:4 Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell upon my face. 5 And the LORD said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the LORD, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary. 6 And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations, 7 In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations. 8 And ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves.
That word, “ordinances” is the exact same Hebrew word translated as, “my statutes” in verse twenty-four of this chapter. It is also translated as “the customs of” in Jeremiah 10:3. Therefore the Lord was setting forth instruction as how Israel was to walk and conduct itself properly before the Lord.
We find the same thing in the New Testament writing of the Apostle Paul. 1 Timothy 3:14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
The Lord God is a God of order. And those who intend to be involved in his kingdom and to interact with Him, must be aware of His requirements. 1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order. Hebrews 3:5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
The Lord had provided so much more to the nation of Israel than to any other nation at that time. Therefore much was required of them. Luke 12:48 For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: Consider these verses: Ezekiel 5:5 Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. 6 And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them. 7 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you; 8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. 9 And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations.
America should be seriously careful concerning the blessings of the Lord God over her history as a nation. For he has not changed! He is the same in his holiness and glory that he was back then. And that which happened to them will not change, as to that which happens to us, if we do not cease to follow in their paths. 1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
For it is not being religious, but being holy that shall keep an individual or nation in right relation to the Lord God. Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. Hebrews 3:17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
And, dear Reader, it is not the starting gate, but the finish line that determines one’s eternal status with God! …but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22) Galatians 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
Take heed America! You were given the gospel as you fled from foreign shores in order to worship God in safety and in truth. But now you have no love of the truth. It’s not that you don’t know it. It’s that you no longer love it! 2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
But it would be far worse for us than with ancient Israel if we turn from that which the Lord has provided us at Calvary! Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer (worse, sterner, heavier), punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
We must take serious notice of that which we read in verse seven of our above listed text. For there the Lord brings forth, not just the failure of the fulfillment of obeying the law of circumcision “in flesh,” but also of failure to see the spiritual meaning of that law! For they are accused of not being rightly related to God “in heart” as well! Let’s look at the Apostle Paul’s writing on this subject for a clearer look.
Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. He warns us to Beware of dogs. That is, those wolves in sheep’s clothing. Those who have the actions of church members, but have not the nature of the sheep. Then he warns of “the concision.” That word means, “mutilation.” For they have been physically circumcised in their flesh, but not spiritually in their hearts. And therefore that physical cutting of the flesh, when not accompanied by the Holy Spirit’s regenerating work in the heart is seen to be but a mutilation. Romans 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
Then he clearly describes those who have had the Holy Spirit remove from them the fleshly man, causing old things to pass away. For he clearly defines New Testament, spiritual circumcision as those, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Colossians 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
We also notice that in Ezekiel 43:18 that there is “the ordinances of the altar.” For as we have seen in verse seven of our text, the Levites had allowed the uncircumcised in heart and in the flesh to come and minister over the sacrifices of the Lord. Therefore the Lord had demoted the Levites, making them only “keepers of the charge of the house,” (meaningless jobs in the temple), and replaced them with the sons of Zadok, a former High Priest. And he states his reason in Ezekiel 44:15. They were faithful when other priests “went astray.” But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:
And he stated that these replacing priests would be those who sanctified and cleansed his altar. Ezekiel 43:19 And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord GOD, a young bullock for a sin offering. 20 And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put it on the four horns of it, and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border round about: thus shalt thou cleanse and purge it.
And the Hebrew writes states that the spiritual church of our day “has an altar.” Hebrews 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. 10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. He states that heart establishment is accomplished by the grace of God, and not by the meat offerings on Israel’s altar. For it is the gospel of Christ which nourishes and satisfies the believer’s hearts. 1 Corinthians 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
Then he states that those priests of the literal temple of Israel have “no right” to partake of the altar in Christ’s spiritual kingdom. Only those born of the Holy Spirit have both the ability and opportunity to feast there. Hebrews 13:9 Be not carried about with divers (diverse) and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. 10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
And as stated in the preceding article, when the disciples asked concerning the identifying and discovering of where he and the New Testament church would be found. His answer was that it could be located wherever those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness were satisfied. Luke 17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
Then the Book of Ezekiel ends with this glorious thought: It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there. Ezekiel 48:35 The City of God – new Jerusalem, which is the church, has a new name. The name reveals its description. It is the place wherein the Lord God has finally accomplished that which he started out to accomplish from the beginning of time. – He shall dwell both in and among his people! Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And this number was even in Ezekiel’s day seen to include the believing Gentiles! Ezekiel 47:22 And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23 And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD.
Consider this New Testament supporting truth. Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
There is a difference between the physical Jerusalem and the true spiritual church. Galatians 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Pastor Gene Breed
May 15, 2019