This week we are going into a more in-depth study – a prayerful study – of the vision of the building of God in its outstanding features as seen in Ezek. 40-48, and today we want to see more concerning the guardrooms, the porch, the entrance, the palm trees, and the chambers.
I have to admit that I have read this portion of the word once or twice and I didn’t understand much; I did understand there are some specific details and some measurements, but I could never relate them to my experience or to our experience in the church.
Praise the Lord for the ministry of the age in the Lord’s recovery which opens up the Bible for us to not only understand but also enjoy, experience, and even become, so that God may gain a dwelling place on earth according to the vision He gave Ezekiel.
The Bible as a whole is God’s speaking, His breathing, and in it we see His purpose and plan, together with His heart’s desire. What God desires is to gain a corporate man, a Body for Christ, which in this age is the church, in the next age it is the overcomers, and for eternity will be the New Jerusalem.
From Genesis to Revelation we see that God desires only one thing: a building, a corporate expression in man.
And this building is according to His specific instructions, according to a blueprint; He gave this blueprint to Moses – and he built the tabernacle, then David and Solomon had the pattern – and Solomon built the temple.
In Ezekiel 40-48 God brought the prophet in a vision out of the land of captivity and into Israel, even into Jerusalem, on a high mountain, to see a vision of the city of God and the temple of God.
The first thing Ezekiel saw concerning the temple was the wall: six cubits high and six cubits wide, going all around the temple. The wall is for separation; the wall is the separating line between what is outside (which doesn’t belong to or relate to God) and what is inside (which relates to God and is in God).
Christ is the One who is perfect, complete, and upright, “square” in every way; He is the separating line of God’s building. What is in Christ is God’s building, and what is not in Christ is not His building.
In the wall there is a gate divided into four sections: an outer threshold (Ezek. 40:6), a passage (a court, v. 14), an inner threshold (v. 7), and a porch (vv. 8-9).
On the one hand Christ excludes all those who are not in Him and according to His standard, and on the other, He Himself is the gate for us to enter into God’s building. Let us see more specifications of God’s building, His temple, and how they apply to our Christian experience.
The Six Guardrooms at the Gate signify Christ as the Triune God who became a Man
There were three guardrooms on each side of the gate (Ezek. 40:7, 10), in total being six; this signifies that the guardrooms are a person – Christ Himself – who as the Triune God (three) became a man (six) and was “split” on the cross.
On each side of the gate there were three chambers, also called guardrooms, for the guards were located here to protect the temple. Each of these guardrooms is six cubits square, being the same in size as a cross-section of the wall.
The spiritual application of these guardrooms is that the Lord Jesus in His person and work is the real guard of God’s glory and holiness.
First of all, the wall protects God’s glory and holiness inside the temple, keeping the sinners outside; then the gate, Christ Himself, brings people into the riches of the Triune God.
Christ fulfilled all the requirements of God’s glory, holiness, and righteousness, He fulfilled all the Ten Commandments, and He is square, upright, and proper.
As such a One, Christ is the entrance to God’s building – we enter into God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the unique way for us into God, and He is also the guardrooms of God’s glory and righteousness.
When we pass through Christ as the gate, we are qualified to enter into God’s building, which is full of God’s glory and holiness.
How can we enter into God’s building? God’s building is holy and full of God’s glory, and there’s a wall long and wide and tall that protects it.
The way into God and His holy building is through Christ, who is the gateway and the guard at the gateway. He became a man (the Triune God – 3 – became a man – 6), and was “split” on the cross (there were three guardrooms on each side of the gate) for us to have an entrance into God. Hallelujah!
Thank You Lord Jesus for becoming a man: the Triune God became a man and was “split” on the cross so that we, sinners, might believe into Him and enter through Him into the holy building of God! Lord Jesus, You are the One who is qualified to be in God’s building, You protect God’s glory and holiness, and You are the One who is the gateway for us to enter into God and His holy building! Lord, we believe into You, we are joined to You, and in You we are qualified to enter into God’s building and be part of His building!
The Dimensions of the Porch: Christ as a Man and We also are in Resurrection
The width of the porch is six cubits, and the length is eight cubits (Ezek. 40:8-9). Six signifies man – who was created on the sixth day, and eight signifies resurrection – which took place on the first day of a new week as a new beginning (John 20:1).
These dimensions signify that the Lord Jesus as a man, who is the gate of God’s building, is fully in resurrection. Christ is a man (six) in resurrection (eight) – He is the entrance to God’s building.
These dimensions also signify that when we arrive at the porch, we are in resurrection, in a new beginning. When we enter into God’s holy building, from the very entrance at the porch, we are brought in resurrection to have a new beginning.
The Width of the Entrance – Christ fulfilled the Requirements of the Law and has become the Gate into God’s Building
The width of the entrance of the gate was ten cubits (Ezek. 40:11); the number ten here implies the Ten Commandments. This indicates that, whatever the Ten Commandments require, the entry of the gate fulfills.
The Lord Jesus as the “square”, upright, and perfect man fulfilled all the requirements of the Ten Commandments, and He has become the gate for us to enter into God’s building (see Rom. 8:4).
When we read the Ten Commandments, we are exposed and excluded by them; but the Lord Jesus was able to fulfill every commandment, and He has become the gate for us to enter into God’s building. Whatever the law requires, Christ fulfilled.
He has come in the likeness of the flesh of sin and concerning sin, He has condemned sin in the flesh, and now all those who walk according to the spirit have the righteous requirement of the law fulfilled in them spontaneously and automatically.
When we exercise our spirit and walk according to the spirit, the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us, and we are qualified to enter into God’s building, for we become one with Christ who is the gate of God’s building.
Hallelujah, Christ has fulfilled all that the law is requiring, and now we who walk according to the spirit also fulfill all the requirements of the law! Thank You Lord for being the One who fulfilled all the Ten Commandments, and as such a One You became the gate for us to enter into God’s building. Keep us in spirit, walking according to the spirit, and living in the mingled spirit today!
The Spiritual Application of the Palm Trees on the Posts and the Thirty Chambers
On the posts of the gates there were palm trees; the palm trees signify that Christ is the everlasting, victorious One, standing, bearing, sustaining, and prevailing. Palm trees grow in the wilderness and are evergreen; they signify victory and everlasting power (see Exo. 15:27; Rev. 7:9).
The reality of the palm trees is Christ Himself – He is the everlasting and victorious One, and He is standing, bearing, sustaining, and prevailing. Christ is the reality of the posts by the gates: He supports and bears God’s building with a victorious, everlasting life.
There were six different sections, or areas, of pavement around the inside of the wall on the east, the south, and the north sides of the outer court, and on each section there were five chambers – giving a total of thirty chambers (Ezek. 40:17).
In addition to the thirty chambers on the pavement, there were four small courts, one at each corner of the outer court (46:21-24); these were places for people to boil the sacrifices. With the help of the ministry we can understand a little more – see Ezek. 46:21, note 1 on “court”,
The four enclosed courts at the four corners of the outer court are the boiling houses for the sacrifices of the people (vv. 21-24). This indicates that, by God’s grace, the preparation of Christ for others’ enjoyment is spreading to every corner, making Christ available everywhere. The measurement of the corner chambers is forty by thirty (v. 22). The number forty signifies trials and testing (Matt. 4:1-2; Heb. 3:9) and indicates here that apart from the Lord’s suffering, testing, and trials, He could not have been “cooked,” prepared for our enjoyment.
The pavement – probably made of stone – signifies the standing of regeneration, which makes us stones (John 1:42; Matt. 16:18), as a separation from the dirt of the world.
The chambers were dining places where the people ate the sacrifices, indicating that they were places for people to enjoy Christ as the sacrifices and offerings; (whereas the priests ate in the inner court [Ezek 42:1-14], the people ate in the outer court).
After passing through the gate of God’s dwelling place, we come to the outer court and enter into the chambers, where, standing on the “stones” of our regeneration, we eat and enjoy Christ, who is the reality of all the offerings – see Heb. 10:5-10.
God’s will is for Christ to come and replace all the Old Testament sacrifices and offerings and become their reality for our enjoyment. God’s great will is for us to enjoy the Lord. It is God’s will right now for us to enjoy the Lord as the reality of all the positive things in the Old Testament.
Eph. 1:5, 8, and 11 speak of the good pleasure of His will, the mystery of His will, and the counsel of His will, which are all to have the organic Body of Christ in reality. In Rom. 12:2 we see the good and well pleasing and perfect will of God, which is to have the Body life.
For us to be in God’s will, we need to enjoy Christ in the Body life for the building up of the Body of Christ in its reality to consummate the New Jerusalem.
Lord Jesus, thank You for coming to replace all the offerings with Yourself and become the reality of all the offerings for our enjoyment. We want to enjoy You as the reality of all the offerings so that we may do the will of God. We stand on the “stones” of our regeneration, being separated from the dirt of the world, and we want to enjoy Christ in the Body life for the building up of the Body in its reality to consummate the New Jerusalem!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Ed Marks for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Ezekiel, msgs. 19-20 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-study of Ezekiel (2), msg. 5 (week 17 in the HWMR), The Vision of the Holy Building of God in Its Outstanding Features.
- Hymns on this topic:
# In God’s house and in Thy Body / Builded up I long to be, / That within this corporate vessel / All shall then Thy glory see. (Hymns #840)
# Thou hast laid our sins on Jesus, / By Thy justice He was killed; / All Thy holy law’s requirements / For Thy justice He fulfilled. / Recompense from Him receiving, / Thou art fully satisfied. (Hymns #20)
# Lord, Thou art all the offerings / Prepared by God for us; / They are so rich in meaning, / So sweet and glorious. (Hymns #195)