Life-Study of Ezekiel

Life-Study of Ezekielby Witness Lee

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

Currently in: Chapter 25 of 27 Section 1 of 4

LIFE-STUDY OF EZEKIEL

MESSAGE TWENTY-FIVE

THE PRIESTS AND THE OFFERINGS

Scripture Reading: Ezek. 44:9-30; 45:13-25; 46:1-7, 13-15

In the last message we saw that God cares for His house and that His desire is toward His house. Therefore, our work, behavior, and person must be according to the form, the pattern, the statutes, and the laws of the house (43:10-12). This means that everything we do needs to be according to the church, which is God’s house. The standard of measurement is neither good behavior nor personal spirituality; the standard of measurement is the church. All that we are and do must be measured, tested, by God’s house, the church.

In this message we will cover two major points: first, the kind of person who is qualified to serve in the house of the Lord and how such a person can serve the Lord; second, the offerings made to the Lord. First, however, we need to say a word about a particular gate which was to be shut.

THE OUTER GATE OF THE SANCTUARY WHICH LOOKED TOWARD THE EAST BEING SHUT

Ezekiel 44:1-3 says, “Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. 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. 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.” The east gate was special because God had entered into the temple through this gate (43:1, 4). This gate was to be shut, and only “the prince” could enter in by it and sit in it to eat bread before the Lord. The prince here is the king in the coming millennial kingdom, and surely this prince is Christ. This word about the east gate indicates that Christ and God have an equal position, for after God had entered in by this gate, the only other person who can do so is Christ. Only Christ can enter in and go out by the gate through which God has passed. This reveals that God and Christ have a special, holy portion among God’s people.

THE PRIESTS

Being Circumcised

If we would serve the Lord in His house, the church, we need to be circumcised (44:9). Uncircumcised persons are not qualified to serve in God’s house. Circumcision typifies dealing with the flesh, the natural man, and the old man by the cross. To us as believers in Christ, circumcision today is not something outward but an inward dealing by the cross with the flesh, the natural man, and the old man. If our flesh, natural man, and old man have not been dealt with by the cross, we are not qualified to serve in the church life. Rather, we are considered by the Lord to be a stranger. A stranger is an uncircumcised person, someone whose flesh, natural man, and old man have not been dealt with by the cross. We may be real believers, but if we have not dealt with our flesh, natural man, and old man by the cross, the Lord regards us as strangers, those who are not qualified to serve in the church life. We need to bring this matter to the Lord and ask Him about our flesh, natural man, and old man. These things must be dealt with through the working of the cross. Only then will we be circumcised and qualified to serve the Lord in the church life.

Being like the Sons of Zadok

When the majority of the people went astray, some of the circumcised ones also went astray (44:10). Although these ones were circumcised, they went astray from God to idols by following those who went astray. Because these circumcised ones went astray, we may say that they were only half qualified to serve the Lord. On the one hand, they were qualified because they were circumcised; on the other hand, they were not qualified because they had gone astray from God to idols. Their circumcision qualified them, but their going astray disqualified them.

What should the Lord do with them, and what was His attitude toward them? The Lord said that such persons could serve in the house, but they could not come near to the Lord or to the holy things (vv. 11-14). They could minister in the temple by helping the people to present their offerings, but they could not come near to the Lord and serve Him. Some of the saints in the church life today are also half qualified. In a sense they are circumcised, but in another sense they have gone astray with the majority of the people. To follow the majority is awful. Consider today’s situation: Most Christians have gone astray from the Lord to idols, and some of the saints in the church have followed the majority in going astray from the Lord. Because the majority of Christians have gone astray, they have lost their qualification and position to serve the Lord in a direct way. They may still have a part of the church service, but it is an indirect service to the Lord.

We all need to be like the sons of Zadok, who were circumcised and absolutely faithful to the Lord. They never went astray, following the majority of the people. They were circumcised and they were always honest and faithful to the Lord (vv. 15-16). Therefore, they could serve the Lord in a direct way. The Lord said that they could come near to Him and serve Him directly. They were not limited merely to serve the people; they could serve the Lord Himself.

I hope that none of us is only half qualified. I hope that all of us will be fully qualified: circumcised, honest, never going astray, and never following the majority.


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