Life-Study of Ezekielby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we will consider the building at the back of the temple, the incense altar within the temple, the holy chambers on the sides of the temple, the two boiling places where the priests prepared the offerings, and the walls.
In the past I spent many hours considering the building at the back of the temple (41:12-14) and looking to the Lord to find out the meaning and purpose of this building. Sometimes what the Bible does not say is more meaningful than what it does say. We can know the meaning and purpose of most of the buildings in Ezekiel, but we cannot find a hint concerning the use of the building at the back. This building is larger than the temple. The temple measures one hundred cubits by sixty cubits, but the building at the back measures one hundred cubits by eighty cubits. Although this building is larger than the temple, the record does not tell the purpose of this building.
As I was studying this building, the Lord showed me that it signifies the riches of Christ. The side chambers signify the fullness of Christ, but the building at the back signifies the riches of Christ. We need to distinguish between the riches of Christ and the fullness of Christ. The riches of Christ are what Christ is. For example, Christ is life, light, reality, and the way. The fullness of Christ is the church as the expression of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23). The fullness of Christ is based on the riches of Christ. When we experience and enjoy the riches of Christ, we become the church as the fullness of Christ, His expression. Whereas the side chambers indicate the fullness of Christ, the building at the back indicates the riches of Christ.
Let me give you a simple illustration of how the building at the back signifies the riches of Christ. Suppose you are a guest in a brother’s home, but instead of giving you a room to stay in, the brother asks you to sleep on the sofa in the living room. This would indicate that the brother is not rich but rather poor. However, if the brother would provide you a vacant, spacious room prepared especially for you, this would indicate that he is rich. The point here is that our Christ is very rich. Christ is so rich that He is able to fulfill all the requirements and meet all the needs of both God and man and still have a large “building” left. This building indicates that Christ is rich, with an abundance left over.
We should not think that as the building of God Christ is only as much as we need. In principle, Christ as the building always has something left over, and what is left over exceeds what is used. We need to remember that five loaves fed five thousand people with twelve baskets left over (John 6:12-13). The amount left over was greater than the amount at hand at the beginning. This indicates that Christ is unlimited. Behind the portion of Christ that we need is an even greater portion that is “vacant.” Unlike an apartment building displaying a sign that says “No Vacancy,” with Christ the “sign” always says “Vacant.” Because Christ is unsearchably rich, He is a “building” that is always “vacant.”
The size of this building—one hundred cubits by eighty cubits—is significant. Eighty is ten times eight. The number eight signifies resurrection, and the number ten signifies fullness. The number eighty, therefore, indicates resurrection in fullness. Furthermore, the area of this building is eight thousand cubits square, that is, one hundred times eighty. In other words, it is one thousand times of resurrection.
The dimensions of the building at the back include the wall, which is five cubits thick on all four sides. The actual capacity of the building is seventy cubits by ninety cubits (Ezek. 41:12). These numbers also are significant. Seventy is ten times seven, ninety is ten times nine, and nine is three times three. These numbers indicate completion (seven), fullness (ten), resurrection (eight), and the Triune God (three). All this shows us how rich Christ is.
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