THE RETURN OF THE GLORY
Ezekiel 43:1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: 2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. 3 And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. 4 And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. 5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. 6 And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.
Israel’s sin, like all of mankind’s, is seen in the matter of coming short of God’s glory. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; And we have a record of the progressive loss of God’s glory as it left their temple and city. Ezekiel 9:3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side;
Ezekiel 10:4 Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’S glory.
Ezekiel 10:18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. 19 And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD’S house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. 20 This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.
Ezekiel 11:22 Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. 23 And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.
However in the midst of the glory being departed from Jerusalem and the temple, we see that it never left the cherubim. And since we have learned that the cherubim are those “living creatures,” we have found them to be a representative to Ezekiel of those to be made alive in Christ Jesus by regenerating grace. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
This gives all individual believers hope as we see our own nation sadly departed from the true spirit of righteousness. For the Lord will not withdraw his spirit from these truly born again individual believers. John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation (that is, your ‘manner of life’), be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
We are warned of this by our Lord. Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
And the Apostle Paul writes to the Roman believers that it is those who “seek for the glory” who are granted eternal life. Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, (God renders) eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
And we must take notice of the first word in out text. For Ezekiel 43:1 begins with the word, “Afterward.” But the glory returns after what? When we consider the following verses we understand that it refers to the glory returning “after” the recovery of the burnt and sin offerings. Ezekiel 40:38 And the chambers and the entries thereof were by the posts of the gates, where they washed the burnt offering. 43:18 And he said unto me, Son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; These are the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall make it, to offer burnt offerings thereon, and to sprinkle blood thereon. 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. 27 And when these days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord GOD.
Dear Reader, we surely understand that the glory of God shall never fall upon any human being without their first being an acceptable sacrifice to Almighty God! And the only acceptable sacrifice to satisfy God is made by the Eternal Son, the Lamb of God! Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
The filling of the temple with the glory of God is associated with the opportunity of proper communion with God, based on the accomplished redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ! 2 Chronicles 7:1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. 2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’S house. 3 And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. 4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD.
And as believers in the age of this accomplished redemption we are afforded, not a physical temple made with hands of brick and mortar. But we are the temple of the Lord! And we are living sacrifices! 1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Therefore our very lives, in Christ, are seen as “living sacrifices” to the Father. Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
And as we have already read, those who seek glory are those who have been granted eternal life! Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
It was of ancient prophesy that the Eternal Son of God should suddenly come into the temple of his human body, and that it would be filled with glory. Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke 2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
And once Ezekiel saw the glory being fully manifest, the gate through which it came is shut! We see in the first verses of our above listed text that the glory of God came by way of the gate of the east. Now we read that once that glory is set, the gate is shut. Ezekiel 44:1 Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. 2 Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. 3 It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.
For once the Lord Christ’s accomplished redemption is fully applied to the Father’s elect by the Holy Spirit there will be no more opportunity for salvation! Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. That is not referring to Christ himself be “without sin,” for he already is “holy, harmless, undefiled.” (Hebrews 7:26) Therefore it means that Christ shall appear the second time without any more provision for one single sin! Redemption has then been fully accomplished and fully applied.
Sad for those who refused to trust in Christ! Luke 13:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
But glorious for those who have received full atonement for their sin! 1 Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
And when the knowledge of God’s glory fills the created order, all shall be in a holy hush from the eternal rest as God now fills the holy temple of both the Son’s and the church’s humanity! Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.
Christ is presently reigning on his throne of mediation, interceding for poor sinners. Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. But after that last enemy is destroyed by the resurrection, he shall enter into a union with the Father and his Bride, as God, all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
And eternal peace shall reign as the Last Adam and his spiritual race shall have the return and full recovery of God’s glory. Ephesians 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Pastor Gene Breed
May 10, 2019