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 come to the end of Ezekiel, and we will consider two matters—the holy land and the holy city.
We need to see something further concerning the holy land. Apart from the land, there can be no temple. We may appreciate the temple very much, but we need to realize that the temple is in the land and that without the land there cannot be a temple. The temple, which typifies the church, is the issue of the land, which typifies Christ. Thus, the temple depends on the land. If we do not have the experience of Christ, it is impossible for us to have the church. The church is the issue of the enjoyment of the riches of Christ.
The land is first mentioned in Genesis 1:9. On the third day of the Lord’s recovery of His creation, the land was recovered, for on this day the land emerged from the waters of death. Prior to that time, the land had been under the death waters. But on the third day the Lord caused the land to rise up out of the waters of death. The land here in Genesis 1 typifies Christ, who was resurrected from the dead on the third day as the all-inclusive land. Every kind of life—plant life, animal life, and human life—came out of this land. All manner of living beings issued out of the land. Since the land signifies Christ, this means that all these living things came out of Christ.
Christ is the good land which God prepared for man. However, man fell and became degraded, and this caused God to judge the earth again. During the time of Noah, the land was flooded and again was covered by the waters of death (7:19). As a result, the human race lost the land. But the Lord again brought the land out of the death waters, and the family of Noah was given the right to enjoy the land.
Human history is a record of man’s fall. In the course of this history, the descendants of Noah fell and eventually gathered at Babel to build a tower of rebellion against God (11:1-9). Then “the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth” (v. 8a). Later God called Abraham out from the land of Babel and brought him into Canaan, the good land (12:1-8). Eventually, however, the descendants of Abraham fell from the good land into Egypt. The whole house of Israel went down into Egypt, and thus they lost the good land.
Four hundred years later, by God’s deliverance, the people of Israel experienced the passover, left Egypt, and passed through the Red Sea (Exo. 12—14). After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, they crossed the Jordan into the good land. Fighting against the inhabitants of the land, they recovered their lost land. Upon the recovered land they built the temple, and God’s glory filled it (2 Chron. 5:14). Later, due to their falling away from the Lord and their degradation, they were carried away from the land and lost it once again.
In the midst of the captivity, Ezekiel was brought back to the land by the Spirit and saw the land. In our reading of Ezekiel, we need to pay attention to the fact that many times the Lord promised to bring His people back to the land (chs. 11, 33, 34, 36, 37). He even promised to bring them back to the top of the mountain of Israel (34:14). This indicates a recovery of the land.
It is crucial for us to realize that before we can have the recovery of the building, we need to have the recovery of the land. The recovery of the land signifies the recovery of the enjoyment of Christ. Christ Himself cannot be lost, but in our experience Christ can be lost. When we were saved, we received Christ. However, not long afterward we fell away and lost Christ in our experience. The recovery of the land is the recovery of the experiences of the riches of Christ. Once the land has been recovered, the house can be built on the land.
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