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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 40

Verses 1-49

  1. Intro:
    1. Next Wed: Worship/Communion night!
    2. What do you do when life is completely bleak?
      1. The city of Jerusalem & the temple had been destroyed, the land had been taken over by the Babylonians, & the people had been scattered or exiled. (Warren Wiersbe; With The Word; pg.555)
    3. But Ezekiel did what God’s people always must do in times of trial: he looked ahead to the glorious future God had planned: One Day…
      1. The scattered people would be regathered & the defiled people cleansed;
      2. The land would be restored to beauty & fruitfulness;
      3. There would be a new city, a new temple, & a new priesthood serving the Lord in holiness.
    4. Title: Defeat, Dismay…but One Day!
    5. i.e. You can hold onto the promise in Jn.17:24 Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me;
      1. This should also stimulate holy living. (Holy is used 35 x’s in ch.41-48)
      2. “For Christians heaven is not simply a destination; it is a motivation!” Wiersbe
      3. It should make a difference in your life today because you know that you are going to heaven. Does it?
      4. Behind our personal pain, there is a providential God who wants to be known, by us & by the people who observe us.
  2. DEFEAT, DISMAY,…BUT ONE DAY! (Ch.40-43)
    1. NEW CITY, NEW TEMPLE! (Ch.40)
    2. Ezekiel is led by a man/angel(3) on a “tour” of the future temple which he recorded in remarkable detail. (ch.40-43)
      1. Chapters 40-48 may make dull reading, but they are in a very real sense, the climax to the whole book!
      2. An eternity of His glorious presence awaits those He has chosen for himself!
      3. Look at the last thing said! 48:35
    3. We do not today know the significance of all these details; however, Israel will understand them in that day.
      1. What Day? Millennium. It’s not Solomons temple(1st temple, built during the unified kingdom); nor Zerubbabel’s(after exile); nor Herod’s(Time of Christ); but a later temple during the 1000 year reign of Christ here on earth.
    4. {Walk through the chapters of what’s being measured}
    5. NEW SANCTUARY! (Ch.41)
    6. (4) Remember this Most holy place.
    7. NEW PRIESTS! (Ch.42)
    8. We’ll wait to talk about the priests in ch.44 in 2 weeks.
    9. NEW DWELLING PLACE! (Ch.43)
    10. Read vs.1-7
    11. The temple will be a place of sacrifice & singing & a place where God’s glory will dwell. [Ezekiel described His glory departing in ch.11; now he describes how the glory returns & fills the house]
      1. The glory of God will return to fill the temple as a sign of fellowship with His regenerated people.
    12. The beauty & grandeur of the temple mean nothing if God is not present!
    13. The beauty & grandeur of a church building means nothing if Gods not present!
    14. The beauty & grandeur of an individual means nothing if God is not present!
    15. Today, the bodies of God’s people are His Temple!
    16. 1 Cor. 3:16,17 You Are The Temple of God!
    17. Just as the Lord manifested His presence in Solomon’s majestic temple, setting it apart from all other buildings for special attention & use, so the Spirit reveals his presence through us, ordaining & enabling us to bear His godly fruit, in a wicked world.
    18. (16a) You are the temple of God – There are 2 words for temple (Greek) [hieron & naos]
      1. ​​​​​​​One means the temple itself (hieron, entire building; never used figuratively); the other means the sanctuary(naos, the inner sanctuary), the Holy of Holies where the glory of God dwells (that is the word here!).
      2. Check this out: Jesus, while on earth, never went into the naos. He was of the tribe of______?(Judah) only the _____ (Levites) were aloud in.
      3. How offensive then is 2 Thes.2:4 “…unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple(naos) of God, showing himself that he is God.
      4. We are God’s sanctuary, the place of His holy awesome presence!
      5. You are not simply the structure in which He lives, you are the dwelling place of the Shekinah glory!
      6. Shekinah glory = Transliteration of Hebrew word, not found in the bible, but used in many Jewish writings to speak of God’s presence.
        1. The term means “that which dwells”. It is implied throughout the bible whenever it refers to God’s nearness either in a person, object, or His glory.
    19. (16b) The Spirit of God dwells in you – Not an “influence” of the Spirit, but “the 3rd person of the Trinity”!
      1. Christian, no matter how weak, feeble, poor, helpless, or frustrated you feel; or how inadequate, incapable, incompetent, or ineffective you feel,…“The Spirit of God dwells in you”!
    20. Q: Why does He dwell in us? That we might develop character, the fruit of the Spirit, character-fruit, the reproduction of the character of J.C.
      1. ​​​​​​​So it begs the question, “Why is it that so little of His life is produced in us,
        1. so much of ourselves still remains?”
    21. The O.T. tabernacle had an outer court (where the public walked); the inner court (which was the place of service); & the Holy of Holies (the sanctuary of the presence of God).
      1. We are not to live in the outer court (the world);
      2. We are not to live “only” in the inner court (of the busy rush of Christian service);
      3. But in the Holiest of all (walking as holy men & women w/dignity, reverence, & worship!)
    22. 1 Cor.6:12-20 Sex and Sandwiches!
    23. (12) Check out a couple of their slogans! (12a,13a)
    24. It’s not a matter of what is lawful,…but what is helpful!
      1. Ask, will this help my walk? – Am I being pulled in by its power?
      2. All things are lawful for me – had apparently became a slogan to cloak the immorality of some in Corinth.
      3. They were definitely “free in Christ” to enjoy life, yet they were taking advantage of their freedom.
    25. Q: Don’t Christians have liberties?
      1. Yes we are free from rules & regulations…but not free to sin!
      2. Christian liberty is not license!
      3. “Christian liberty doesn’t mean I’m free to do what I please…but I’ve been freed to do what pleases Christ!”
    26. “Liberty to sin” is the worst kind of slavery! “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (Rom.6:16-18)
    27. (13,14) Sex and Sandwiches!
    28. They reasoned that food was both pleasurable and necessary, When their stomachs signaled hunger, food was taken to satisfy them. So too, they argued, sex was pleasurable and necessary,When their bodies signaled sexual desire, they needed to be satisfied.
    29. We need to understand the Californians, I mean the Corinthians view of the body:
      1. They believed like other Greeks & Romans, that the body itself had no moral value, but because of its sensual appetites, it seduced the soul to sin & dragged it down into the gutters of vice. (Chuck Swindoll; 1 Cor.6:12-20; pg.1)
    30. Two schools of thought emerged from this philosophy:
      1. Ascetics – believed in harsh self-discipline & even self-mutilation, to try to curb the body’s desires.
      2. Hedonists – believed since only the soul would survive death, it didn’t matter what was done through the body. So they gave the body every opportunity to quench its lustful thirst.
      3. So Paul gives the biblical view.
    31. (15) Can’t I use my body as I please? – Of course not!
      1. [1] Your body is no longer yours…it’s Christ’s!(19b)
      2. [2] You’ve been purchased(20a).
    32. Sexual sins are against?
      1. [1] Christ (who purchased our bodies);
      2. [2] H.S. (who indwells our bodies);
      3. [3] Ourselves (18b against our own body).
    33. ​​​​​​​Youth/singles – the best gift you can give someone is yourself…your whole self (virginity)! – Make it a chosen fast before the Lord!
      1. Once you pick a flower you can’t put it back! (2nd virginity, He is the God of new beg’s)
    34. Ann Landers asked her readers the question: Has your sex life gone downhill since marriage? One reader, a man age 52, from Newark, New Jersey put it best: "Your question, has sex gone downhill since marriage? is an insult to those of us who waited until marriage to have sex. You ought to tell your readers that if they don't eat the icing off the cake before dinner they are likely to enjoy the dessert more."
    35. (19) “you are not your own” – Spurgeon, It is a great pleasure not to be one’s own. Does any man think it would be a pleasure to be his own? Let me assure him that there is no ruler so tyrannical as self. He that is his own master has a fool & a tyrant to be his lord.
      1. Remember whatever controls you, whatever drives you to keep living each day, masters you!
      2. It is not too late to change Masters!
      3. Under New Management” – sign we see all the time over businesses that have been taken over by another company, or a new owner.
      4. This is an appropriate Tee-shirt we should be able to wear!
    36. (20) How do I “glorify God in my body”?
    37. By the way you dress your body, things you feed your body, places you take your body, the deeds you do in your body.
    38. It is dangerous to use your bodies for sin…ask Samson!
      1. The 1st words we have him speaking scripture, after hearing of his godly parents, Nazorite Vow, etc. is "I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife." Judges14:2
      2. 2nd words “And Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she pleases me well."
      3. Like the prodigal Samson prayed “give me”, instead of “make me”!
      4. God did forgive him & gave him back his strength…but not his sight or ministry.
      5. He died in Victory, but lived in moral & spiritual defeat.
      6. He destroyed Gods enemies, but he didn’t live like God’s friend.
    39. It is dangerous to use your bodies for sin…ask Samson!
    40. End: Read 1 Pet.1:1-9
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Ezekiel 40". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/ezekiel-40.html. 2017.