Life-Study of Ezekiel

Life-Study of Ezekielby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0489-4
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

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LIFE-STUDY OF EZEKIEL

MESSAGE TWENTY

THE OUTER AND INNER COURTS

Scripture Reading: Ezek. 40:17-47; 46:21-22

In the foregoing message, we covered many of the details related to the gates. They are divided into four sections: the first threshold, a passage, a further threshold, and the porch. Each gate is six cubits high and ten cubits wide. Six is the number of the Lord’s humanity, by which He fulfilled all the requirements of the Ten Commandments. This indicates that the number six fulfills the number ten; that is, the man Jesus fulfills the Ten Commandments. As we have pointed out, the dimensions of the guardrooms match the dimensions of the cross section of the wall—six cubits by six cubits. This indicates that to us the guardrooms are Christ Himself as God mingled with man. The passage, having the number eight, indicates a new beginning in resurrection. The porch, the final section of the gate, has the numbers two, six, and eight, indicating that the Lord as a man is fully in resurrection

All the numbers used in Ezekiel with respect to the building of God are very meaningful. The numbers three, five, and multiples of five are used frequently. For instance, extensive use is made of the number thirty, which signifies the Triune God in resurrection bearing the full responsibility. When Ezekiel saw the visions in chapter one, he was thirty years of age. There are thirty supporting posts, thirty chambers in the outer court, and thirty side chambers surrounding the temple. In Ezekiel the number thirty indicates both maturity which is able to bear something and also the enjoyment and expression of Christ.

The palm trees on the posts signify victory and everlasting power. Because the columns must bear the weight of the roof and support the entire building, they need to be in victory and to be everlasting. Christ is the column which supports and bears God’s building with a victorious, everlasting life.

We have also seen that the gate has thirty windows to let in light and air. These windows are covered with a lattice, or screen, to keep the negative things out. All this is precisely the work of the life-giving Spirit: He brings in the light and the air, but He continually screens out the negative things.

In this message we will go on to see that with the temple in Ezekiel there are two courts: the outer court and the inner court. Let us first consider what is in the outer court and then the inner court.

THE OUTER COURT

If we would enter into the temple which Ezekiel saw in his vision, we must first climb up the seven steps and then pass through the spacious gate. This would bring us into the outer court of the temple.

The Pavement

The first thing we need to pay attention to in the outer court is the pavement. There is pavement around the wall on the three sides of the outer court, on the east, the south, and the north.

The Chambers

There are six different sections, or areas, of pavement, and on each section there are five chambers. This means that there are thirty chambers. Here the number thirty is composed of five times six.

In addition to the thirty chambers on the pavement, there are four small courts, one at each corner of the outer court. These four courts at the four corners are places for boiling the sacrifices. In modern terms, these are kitchens, places for cooking food. These cooking places are used not by the priests but by the people. Whereas the priests eat in the inner court, the people eat in the outer court.

Outside of these kitchens, these cooking places, are some chambers. These chambers are for eating, just as in our homes the room connected to the kitchen is the dining room, a place for eating the food prepared in the kitchen. In Ezekiel, the chambers connected to the kitchens are dining places for the people to enjoy the sacrifices. This indicates that these chambers are places to enjoy Christ. From this we can see that the main thing in the outer court is the enjoyment of Christ as the offerings and sacrifices. After we pass through the gate, we come to the outer court and enter into the chambers to eat, to enjoy, Christ, who is the reality of all the offerings.

Ezekiel tells us that these chambers for eating are built upon the pavement (40:17). In ancient times the pavement of a court was made with stones. This indicates that whenever we are about to enjoy Christ, we need to be on a pavement made of stones. The stone pavement separates us from the dirt of the earth. Otherwise, our feet would be on the dirt. As believers in Christ, we have the pavement of the stones to separate us from the dirt. Although we are still on the earth and in the world, we are separated from any kind of dirt.

Originally, as the old creation, we were clay, being the same in nature as the earth. We came out of the earth, and we were one with the earth. But when we were saved, converted, and regenerated, we became stones, which are for the pavement. Now if we intend to enjoy Christ, we need to stand upon the stones of our regeneration.

However, in their daily situation, many genuine Christians do not stand upon these stones. After work, they may engage in certain worldly activities and entertainments. They are genuine Christians, but they are standing on dirt; they do not have a pavement of stones under their feet.

As those in the church life in the Lord’s recovery, our situation should be very different. When we come home after a day at work or at school, we may take a rest or have dinner. Then, exercising our spirit to call on the Lord, we gather together in a meeting to enjoy the Lord. This indicates that we are standing on a pavement of stones. Furthermore, in our experience the pavement on which we are standing becomes a place, a “chamber,” for us to enjoy Christ. Many of us can testify that day by day we are in the chambers enjoying Christ. This is especially true of the Lord’s Day. By contacting the Lord early in the morning, we put our feet on the stones and prepare ourselves to come into the chambers. Then in the meetings of the church we enjoy Christ by eating Him.


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