JEHOVAH GOD is the everlasting King, and therefore the Ruler without end. "But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting King: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation." (Jer. 10:10) He is the Eternal God of order and therefore has had an organization for ever, and which, for want of a better term, we call his universal organization. From his Word he makes it clear that his purpose is to have an organization "cut out without hands", or taken from his organization universal, and then made the capital over his entire organization. That capital organization is otherwise designated in his Word the 'reigning' or 'royal' house.
Satan, the opposer of Jehovah, has builded his own house or organization and made himself the head thereof, and which organization is desperately wicked. It consists of both invisible and visible parts, hence called 'heaven and earth'. Satan and his wicked angels constitute the invisible part, while the nations of the earth ruled by wicked men constitute the visible part of his organization. Against Satan's entire organization Jehovah will express his wrath, and no part of that wicked organization shall be able to abide the Almighty's wrath, as above stated by the Prophet Jeremiah. Jehovah did not hinder Satan in the building of his wicked organization, but for many centuries
he has permitted Satan and his organization to remain in existence, and until God's due time to make manifest his own supreme power and to make for himself an everlasting name. — Ex. 9:16, Leeser.
In Jehovah's due time Satan's folly will be made to appear to all creation. Soon Jehovah will use his mighty 'Stone that he has cut out of his mountain (universal organization) without hands' to break in pieces Satan's organization and to drive it away as chaff is driven before the wind. (Dan. 2:45) That mighty Stone of Jehovah is the Chief Corner Stone of Zion. Jehovah having permitted Satan to persecute to the limit this mighty "Stone", then God exalted him and gave him a name above every name and has commanded that all creation shall bow before him. — Phil. 2: 9-11.
Jehovah builds his royal house for his own habitation, or meeting place between himself and his obedient creatures. The members of that royal house are limited in number, and every one must be an over-comer. Christ Jesus, the Head of that royal house, overcame the enemy, and every member thereof must do likewise. "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God; and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name." — Rev. 3:12.
The enemy and his organization will make a last and desperate stand against the organization of Je-
hovah, and will fail. "These shall war against the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they also shall overcome that are with him, called and chosen and faithful." (Rev. 17:14, R.V.) It is to be expected that this, the most important part of God's great organization, would be given much attention in his Word, and so it is. Long ago Jehovah caused many pictures and types concerning it to be made, and all these things were written down for the aid and comfort of the remnant now on the earth.
In making the pictures pointing to his royal house the nation of Israel was used by Jehovah, and he also used Nebuchadnezzar as an instrument to destroy that typical nation because of its falling away from the covenant with God and joining the forces of the enemy. It was in the year 617 B.C. that God permitted Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to carry away the Jews into captivity, and among them was his prophet Ezekiel. Five years thereafter, to wit, in 612 B.C., Jehovah gave Ezekiel a vision of his own great organization and caused him to begin a prophecy concerning the same. Six years later, or, to wit, 606 B.C., Jerusalem was broken up and the temple which Solomon had built was burned. Thereafter, to wit, in the year 592 B.C., Ezekiel was given a vision and caused to write down the prophecy concerning the true temple or royal house of Jehovah. The Prophet Ezekiel was then about fifty years of age and in captivity with other Jews in Babylon. It was about fifty-six years later, or, to wit, 536 B.C., that the work began on Zerubbabel's temple. That work was delayed for sixteen years, and finally was
completed about 515 B.C. Approximately seventy-seven years elapsed from the date of Ezekiel's vision and prophecy concerning the temple until the building of the temple at Jerusalem by Zerubbabel was completed, and which temple was later destroyed. The prophecy of Ezekiel concerning the temple therefore deals with that which is of far greater importance than any building ever erected by human power.
The fortieth chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy begins with these words: "In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the Lord was upon me, and brought me thither." (40:1) Only one prophecy was delivered by Ezekiel after the prophecy dealing with the royal house. That later prophecy is recorded in Ezekiel 29:17 and was in the twenty-seventh year of the captivity, and which later prophecy disclosed what Jehovah, by his great Executive Officer, will do to Egypt, which pictures Satan's organization.
Jehovah had caused his prophet Malachi to foretell a work to be done by his Messenger, Christ Jesus, and which is called 'preparing the way before the Lord', and that then straightway that Messenger, Christ Jesus, would come to his temple. (Mal. 3:1) Now it appears from the Scriptures, and supported by the facts as set forth in chapter eleven, that Christ Jesus, the Messenger of Jehovah, came to his temple in the year 1918 but that the true followers of Christ Jesus on earth did not discern that fact until the year 1922. It was then and thereafter that the true people of God learned that Christ Jesus had come to his tem-
ple for the purpose of judgment and to do a purifying work which would cleanse and purify Jehovah's sanctuary class. This cleansing work must be done, and the truth of and concerning the Lord's coming be made clear to them, before the true sons of Levi could offer an offering of righteousness before the Lord. (Mal. 3:2,3) It therefore appears that the cleansing work of the sanctuary class was not done until 1922. Hence that year 1922 was the earliest possible date that the class whom Ezekiel foreshadowed could begin to perceive the fulfilment of Ezekiel's vision. Although an effort had been made in 1917 to give an explanation of the temple that Ezekiel saw, it now appears that it was then impossible for any creature on earth to understand it.
The vision was given to Ezekiel in the beginning of the year, which was the month of Nisan, the beginning of the year according to God's commandment. (Ex. 12:2) Mark that it was on the tenth day of the month, the very day for the selecting of the paschal lamb. (Ex. 12: 3) This was the same day of the year on which Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was offered as King to the Jews and which was the laying of THE STONE in miniature, and which Stone, the King, was rejected by the Israelites. (Matt. 21:42) It was also the very day of the year when Jesus went into the temple at Jerusalem and cleared out the mercantile element and said to them that used the house of the Lord for personal gain: "Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise." (John 2:16) "And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house
of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." — Matt. 21:13.
Jerusalem foreshadowed "Christendom", which latter thing was smitten by the World War, which began in 1914. It was fourteen years after the beginning of that war, to wit, 1928, when Jehovah gave his covenant people on earth the first understanding of the meaning of his organization, as pictured in the first chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy, and which truth was first declared at the Detroit convention in 1928. (See The Watchtower, 1928, page 263.) The World War, by which "Christendom" was smitten, ended in 1918, and fourteen years thereafter, to wit, in 1932, God permits the publication of the meaning of Ezekiel's vision concerning the temple. The facts show that it was fourteen years after the destruction of Jerusalem before Ezekiel got his temple vision about which he prophesied. God's people, whom Ezekiel foreshadowed, therefore could not expect to get a full understanding until God's due time, and they could not expect to get an understanding of all of his truth at one time. When that understanding is given to them they know that it comes from the Lord, and not from man. Ezekiel did not choose his particular day to prophesy. He was in the hand of the Lord, who arranged the matter and who put his spirit upon Ezekiel. Likewise the remnant do not choose the time to understand God's Word and to proclaim it. "This is the day which the Lord hath made." (Ps. 118: 24) This is the day chosen by the Lord in which "young men . . . see visions" and discern the fulfilment of this grand vision which was given to Ezekiel. The power of the Lord is upon his "faithful servant"
class, the remnant, and for this reason they are permitted to understand.
"UPON A VERY HIGH MOUNTAIN"
Jehovah used Ezekiel to declare the prophecy which is now in course of fulfilment in the last days. What Ezekiel saw was only a vision, and hence was not a type, but a prophecy; therefore we need not look here for type and antitype, but look for a prophecy and the fulfilment thereof. "In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me [down] upon a very high mountain, by which was as [whereon was as it were, R.V.] the frame of a city on the south." (40:2) At that time Ezekiel was in captivity, and the land of Israel was desolate and so continued until the end of the seventy-year period. What Ezekiel saw was "the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people". (38: 8) The vision had by Ezekiel shows him 'set down in the land', and this was a prophecy that in God's due time his devoted people would be restored from Babylon (Satan's organization) and brought into Zion (God's organization) as a delivered people, and that they would thereafter worship and serve God as a separate and peculiar people.
Ezekiel states that he beheld himself set down upon a very high mountain. That was symbolic of Mount Zion, "the mountain of the Lord's house" (Isa. 2: 2, 3), that is to say, God's organization. It is the place where the hundred and forty-four thousand take up their position with Christ Jesus. (Rev. 14:1) It was like the vision had by John, who from the top of a "great and high mountain" witnessed the de-
scending of the great and holy Jerusalem. (Rev. 21:9,10) Upon the top of this mountain is God's temple or royal house built. "This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain, the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house." — 43:12.
In vision Ezekiel beheld the temple in "the holy portion of the land" on the north, and the city was "on the south". (45:1-6; 48:15-30) The name of the city is Jehovah-Shammah. Both the city and the temple are situated upon the mountain. The vision shows that it could not refer to a literal mountain in Palestine, and therefore that the prophecy would not be literally fulfilled in the land of Palestine. The Scriptures do not warrant the conclusion that the literal temple, of which Ezekiel had a vision, will ever be built in the land of Palestine. The vision, being a prophecy, foretells the greater temple and city built by divine power.
Ezekiel describes his position as 'on a very high mountain' where the hand of Jehovah had brought him. During the World War Jehovah preserved his faithful ones from the violence of Satan's organization, and afterwards these were brought into his organization and given much to do. That was a partial vindication of his name and was foreshadowed by the bringing of Ezekiel to the very high mountain in the vision which he had. God's promise is to bring the remnant through the battle of Armageddon and to preserve them, which will be a further vindication of his name.
From his vantage point on the mountain Ezekiel beholds a man. "And he brought me thither, and, be-
hold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate." (40: 3) The man had the appearance of copper (mistranslated in the text "brass"). Copper is one of the noble metals mentioned in the Scriptures. The appearance of this man as of copper would indicate that he was not a mere human creature, but was one of God's heavenly deputies sent to perform some important duty. If the creature that Ezekiel saw had been a mere human it would not have been necessary to say that he had the appearance of copper. The metallic appearance is designed to show superiority to human creatures. In the vision that John was given on the isle of Patmos he describes Jesus Christ as a man; "and his feet like unto fine brass [copper], as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters." — Rev. 1:15.
The man whom Ezekiel saw had a "line of flax" in his hand, and also "a measuring reed". Flax (that is, linen) denotes righteousness and symbolically says that the man was there to measure in righteousness. He was equipped to measure volume or depth, and perpendicularity and straightness, as well as height and length. The man was standing at the gate with the measuring equipment; which symbolically says that 'judgment is about to begin at the house of God'. John, whom the angel of the Lord caused to write down The Revelation, corresponds to Ezekiel, and he wrote: "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein." (Rev. 11:1) The Lord had
caused the apostle to write: "Judgment must begin at the house of God." (1 Pet. 4:17) It is also written: "Judgment also will I lay to the line." (Isa. 28:17) The flax line and the reed symbolize the revealed purposes of Jehovah, that is to say, the more accurate understanding of them whereby God's covenant people may measure themselves individually. They do not measure themselves by themselves, but the measuring must be done according to the standard of the Lord, and these measuring instruments are in the hand of the heaven-sent Messenger. "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." — 2 Cor. 10:12.
The man whom Ezekiel saw was standing at the entrance of Jehovah's building. His position there would be an invitation to Ezekiel to approach and to enter the temple, which, to be sure, must be done according to the divine rules. The class whom Ezekiel foreshadowed must be brought into the holy structure of God in his due time.
Some general observations at this point may be helpful to the earnest student in the examination of the Scriptures relating to the temple. Ezekiel foreshadowed God's covenant people, the remnant, now on the earth. Let this fact be kept in mind, that the vision of the temple was given to Ezekiel fourteen years after Jerusalem was smitten by Babylon. Since the desolation of Jerusalem must continue for seventy
years, such desolation must continue for fifty-six years after the date of the vision had by Ezekiel. (2 Chron. 36:19-21) The war in heaven and on earth began in 1914, in which Satan's organization was smitten both in heaven and on the earth. The war in "Christendom" ended in 1918; and the presumption is that the war in heaven ended about that time, because the Scriptures show that Christ Jesus came to the temple of Jehovah in 1918. The vision of Ezekiel does not fix the date of the erection of the temple structure. He saw it as though it were complete. The time of Ezekiel's vision would seem to more particularly correspond to the time when the faithful remnant of God's covenant people as a company would be given an understanding or vision of the meaning of Ezekiel's prophecy relating to the temple. The Lord came to his temple in 1918, as the proof shows, and fourteen years after that time would bring us to the date 1932.
The prophetic vision of Ezekiel gave assurance that at some time there would be a restoration or reestablishment of God's covenant people in their homeland. This does not mean the restoration of the natural descendants of Jacob, called Israelites or Jews. The Israelites were a typical people; hence the reestablishment must refer to the spiritual Israelites foreshadowed by Jacob, to wit, God's chosen and anointed ones for membership in the royal house. Isaiah prophesied: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty
God. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness." (Isa. 10:20-22) One of Isaiah's sons was named Shear-jashub, which means "the remnant shall return". Undoubtedly the prophecy of Isaiah refers to the remnant of God's covenant people, and not to the natural descendants of Abraham and Jacob. Ezekiel and Isaiah corroborate each other and show that these prophecies were written for the special encouragement and comfort of the remnant that escape from Satan's organization and return to their proper place in Jehovah's organization where they shall worship and serve Jehovah God in his temple. — Rev. 3:12.
The temple which Ezekiel saw in vision must be erected or reared up before Armageddon, the great battle of the day of God Almighty. Gog, the chief marshal of the Devil, leads the army in making assault upon God's remnant at his sanctuary, and God will protect his people. "And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore." (Ezek. 37:28) During the World War God's sanctuary was trodden down and afterwards the remnant were brought into it. The very purpose is that observers may know that Jehovah has a people on earth who are entirely devoted to him and who delight to be his witnesses. God will especially protect and shield his people during the battle of Armageddon. — 36: 23.
Solomon's temple was situated in the city of Jerusalem, but the temple or house that Ezekiel saw in vision, and here under consideration, is located separate and apart from the city and is on the north side thereof
in the "holy portion of the land". It is certain that the prophet of God refers to the temple that Ezekiel saw in vision when he wrote: "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts." (Hag. 2:9) This prophecy is considered in the foregoing chapter of this book.
Who is the builder of the temple Ezekiel saw? The vision written down by the prophet shows that the temple was not an architect's plan set out on blue prints, which building was afterwards to be erected according thereto, but that the house or temple was even then fully constructed. The heaven-sent messenger was there to measure it, and did measure it in detail, which shows that it was completely erected. It was immaculately clean and pure, undefiled and absolutely holy. Its condition is exactly opposite to that of the former or typical temple (as described by Ezekiel in chapter eight) which was destroyed because profaned and polluted. The building as seen by Ezekiel God will never permit to be defiled, because it is his dwelling place. — 43: 7.
Ezekiel docs not state who built the temple that he saw, but other scriptures show that Jehovah is the builder, by the hand of his beloved Son Christ Jesus. "And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH: and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne;
and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both." (Zech. 6:12,13) Ezekiel's vision therefore prophetically pictures the "building of God, an house not made with [human] hands, eternal in the heavens". (2 Cor. 5:1) "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." (1 Cor. 3:16,17) "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." — 2 Cor. 6:16.
The temple house built by Solomon, and the one built by Zerubbabel, have long ago been destroyed; and the vision of Ezekiel, showing that the new house was completely built and shall never be defiled, proves conclusively that old "Christendom", or "organized Christianity", which became a false growth upon God's temple class, and which began in the apostles' day, will be completely cut off and will never have any part in God's blessed organization. "In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem, and in Judah, shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts." (Zech. 14: 20, 21) It must be borne in mind that Ezekiel merely had a vision of a temple erected, and therefore it could not be properly
said that there is or ever will be such thing as "Ezekiel's temple". He had a vision of God's royal house.
The coming of the Lord to his temple is pictured by the prophecy appearing at Ezekiel 43:1, 2. No mercy seat nor ark of the covenant is shown in the Most Holy of this temple. An ark appeared in the prophetic temple to represent God's presence. But now the Lord himself is present; hence there is no necessity for any object to picture his presence. Concerning Jehovah God's foursquare and living organization it is written, in Revelation 4: 6-8: "And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts, full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle." (See Light, Book One, page 58.) The temple or royal house is Jehovah's dwelling place. This foursquare organization is pictured by Ezekiel's prophecy 41:17-21. The living creatures described are with the Lord at his coming and are also pictured on the walls of the temple Ezekiel saw.
Jehovah will for ever magnify the importance of the ransom work of Christ Jesus, and to him every knee shall bow for ever. Attention is called to this by the altar mentioned in chapter forty-three of Ezekiel's prophecy, verses thirteen to eighteen, and it is given its proper place in the temple. This does not mean that the old temple practices and rites and festivals performed in accordance with the law given to Moses will be literally restored, but it does mean that God's
law is unchangeable, is perpetual and for ever binding. He will adhere to and enforce his law forever, and this he will do by establishing the real things which the Mosaic law foreshadowed. Evidently the purpose of bringing this matter to view in this prophetic vision is to stress the fact that God's royal house will be used for active and continuous service to his glory. Its priesthood will not be merely an honorary company having a pension, without work, but will at all times be serving God to his glory and praise, and their service will result in blessing the obedient ones of mankind.
The kingdom of God is shown in the fact that the temple is built 'upon the top of the high mountain'. (43:12) This house or temple is called by the Lord "the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet". (43:7) This is the righteous kingdom. "The prince" is assigned to an outstanding position and given special privileges in the temple. He is the ruler under the King of Eternity in the royal house. (44:1-3; 46:1-12) The city is located on the south of the temple in "the holy oblation" which is devoted to Jehovah's purposes. (40: 2; 48: 35) As the city is a part of Jehovah's organization, over which the royal house is the head or capital, judgment is shown in the royal house or temple. (44:1-5) Rules and regulations, to be sure, would be enforced in the house of the Lord. Judicial decisions are rendered regarding the Levites and the priests and the "princes in all the earth". The fact that the heaven-sent messenger or guide of Ezekiel was equipped with a reed and a
measuring line, and measured the temple throughout, also shows a judgment work.
The raising up of the temple before Armageddon would indicate a witness work to be done in the name of Jehovah. This is shown by the fact that Ezekiel was given instructions to publish the minutest details of the temple. (Ezek. 40:4; 43:10,11; 44:5-7) In this same chapter it appears that strangers or heathens, others than God's anointed, would sojourn in the land; and this would indicate that a people of good will, and which we often mention as the "millions now living that will never die" class, were coming to the kingdom, 'the mountain of the house of the Lord,' seeking truth and the Giver of righteousness. This information God caused to be written aforetime for the encouragement and comfort of his faithful people now on the earth, to whom is given the privilege of bearing the fruits of the kingdom to the glory of God. With these general observations let the attention be given to what occurs between the heaven-sent messenger and Ezekiel.
The man having the appearance of copper stood in the gate when Ezekiel observed him. "And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee: for to the intent that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel." (40:4) Addressing Ezekiel as "Son of man" shows that Ezekiel's name was kept out of the picture and that the words of salutation are addressed to the remnant of God now on the earth as a company. It also suggests that the remnant company were seeing the beginning
of the fulfilment of the vision while still on the earth in the flesh, and it is even so.
The Ezekiel class, that is to say, the remnant of God, must be wide-awake and on the alert. This is proven by the fact that Ezekiel was told by the heavenly messenger that he must have his eyes and ears open and his affections set upon things of the kingdom, and not on things of the earth. One may be consecrated and begotten of the spirit of God and called to the kingdom, but if he is dull of hearing and his heart has grown fat and gross, and his eyes are not beholding the privileges the Lord is setting before him, he could not be pleasing to the Lord. The remnant will be watchful, having "the hearing of faith", and be wholly devoted to God and to his kingdom. If one is not this kind of servant of the Lord he could not be an accurate witness for the Lord in these days when the testimony must be given. He must appreciate the fact that his greatest privilege is to watch, be careful, and do the work of the Lord with greater consideration and care than he would do anything else. A dullard or one who goes along the line of least resistance could not be pleasing to God. As the Lord brought Ezekiel to the place in vision, even so now he has brought the remnant into the condition where they have the vision brought to them, there 'to show his servant things that must speedily come to pass'. — Rev. 1:1.
That the remnant must now bear testimony to the name of the Lord is shown by the further fact that the heaven-sent messenger told Ezekiel that he should declare all that he saw in the house of the Lord. Ezekiel was not to seal up that which was revealed to
him, nor to meditate upon it merely for his own selfish aggrandizement. He must tell it out and thereby be a faithful and true witness for the Lord and his kingdom. That the highest degree of watchfulness and energetic activity is now required by the remnant is shown by these texts that follow: "Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern." (43:10) "And the Lord said unto me, Son of man, mark [set thine heart, margin] well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary." (44: 5) "And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." — Rev. 22:10,11.
The description of the house and its surroundings shows that it could not have been put inside of the city of Jerusalem; and this is conclusive proof that no temple as described by Ezekiel will ever be built in the ancient city of Jerusalem. "And, behold, a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man's hand a measuring reed of six cubits long, by the cubit and an handbreadth; so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed, and the height, one reed." (40: 5) The wall was built on the square to make the sanctuary an exclusive place. "He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five
hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place." (42: 20) According to this latter text the wall was five hundred reeds on each of the four sides, a reed being "six cubits long, by the cubit and an hand-breadth". The wall on each side would be 5,250 feet in length, only thirty feet less than an English mile. The entire wall would enclose an area of land almost a square mile, or approximately 640 acres. Such an area is greater than the ancient city of Jerusalem; hence the temple that Ezekiel visualized could not be built within the city limits of the ancient city of Jerusalem.
The purpose of the wall is to show a clear line of demarkation between the holy and the profane, between things earthly and things heavenly. It is to keep out all them that offend or ensnare and them that do things unlawfully. This, of course, is symbolically shown. It is a protection against the invasion of the uncircumcised and the unclean. (Matt. 13:41; Isa. 52:1) Other scriptures show that Jehovah has provided holy angels to serve and protect those on the earth who are now devoted to him. The wall would symbolically represent such angelic protection in camping round about God's people. "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them." (Ps. 34: 7) "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways." (Ps. 91:11) Since it is the sanctuary class that is made exclusive, it would seem that the beginning of the fulfilment of the vision is while the remnant are yet on the earth and while engaged in delivering the testimony of Jesus Christ. At such a time
these witnesses need the divine protection against the assaults of Satan and his organization, and which Jehovah by the hand of Christ Jesus provides. —Rev. 12:17.
God's organization is holy, and Satan's organization is profane. The wall observed by Ezekiel is like that which John saw surrounding the holy city that he saw descending out of heaven. Gates would be required to pass beyond these walls, and John describes the wall with gates: "And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel." (Rev. 21:12) The man with the measuring equipment measured the wall, and it was one reed thick and one reed high. The reed was six cubits of twenty-one inches each in length, which shows that the reed was ten and one-half feet long. That shows that the wall was taller than the average man and hence made the enclosure an exclusive place. It was not a military wall, such as men build as a protection, but it was a wall of exclusion.
A gate is a means of entrance to the house. It suggests that one desiring to enter must first learn the rules of entry, because promiscuous entry would not be permitted. This is proven by the fact that the angels guard the entrance to the house. Ezekiel now saw the man come to the east gate. (Diagram I-A) "Then came he unto the gate which looketh toward the east, and went up the stairs [steps, R.V.] thereof, and measured the threshold (Diagram III-a) of the gate, which was one reed broad, and the other [rear
or inner] threshold (III-g) of the gate, which was one reed broad." (40: 6) The measuring of the threshold in the presence of Ezekiel would suggest to the Ezekiel class that they must be diligent to approach and to enter the gate and to do it according to the rules or measurements. "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." — Luke 13:24.
As shown by verses fourteen to sixteen, of the fortieth chapter of Ezekiel, the approach to the gate was beautiful. The doorposts (III-b) were approximately one hundred and five feet high, and were adorned with palm trees. This beautifully pictures the high and lofty praise of Jehovah which must be sung by those who would enter into and be made a part of the royal house. "Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee." (Ps. 84:4) "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." (Ps. 100:4) "Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord." (Ps. 118:19) Ezekiel was instructed to "mark well the entering in of the house". (44:5) The gates observed by Ezekiel would teach the same lesson as the twelve gates of pearl seen in the vision by John. (Rev. 21:12, 21) Everything earthly, then, must be left behind by those who enter in at these gates. — See Light, Book Two, page 248.
The palm is symbolic of righteousness, and the palm tree adornment says in symbol: Those who enter here must come under the robe of righteousness and be thus approved by the builder of the royal house. "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall
grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and nourishing; to shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him." (Ps. 92:12-15) Those who enter must be 'as upright as the palm tree'. (Jer. 10: 5) Reference in the following text is to those who are made members of the royal house: "This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes." (Cant. 7:7) The species called the royal palm grows to a very great height, from sixty to one hundred feet. The loftiness of the doorposts would well accommodate the figure of the palm tree of full size engraved upon it. Concerning Solomon's temple it is written, in 1 Kings 6:29: "And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without." Also in the temple of Ezekiel's vision the palm tree is associated with a heavenly cherub. (41:18) In measuring the threshold it was necessary for the man to go up seven steps. These seven steps raised the temple court platform (I-D) above the level of the profane things. The seven suggests completeness or the coming to the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus before entering. — Eph. 4:13.
Divine provision is made for the guarding of the gates. "And every lodge (III-d) was one reed long, and one reed broad; and the space (III-f) between the lodges was five cubits; and the threshold (III-g) of the gate by the porch (III-h) of the gate toward the house was one reed." (40: 7, R.V.) These lodges are
described in the marginal reading (R.V.) as "guard chambers". The description and measurements of these guard chambers indicate that the gates are guarded by at least three watchmen on each side, charged with the duty of making careful inspection of each and every one who presents himself for entrance into the courts of the Lord. "He measured also the porch of the gate within, one reed. Then measured he the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and the posts (III-j) thereof, two cubits; and the porch of the gate was inward. And the little chambers (III-d) of the gate eastward were three on this side, and three on that side; they three were of one measure: and the posts (III-f) had one measure on this side and on that side." — 40:8-10.
The minute description of the measurements seems to say that one who enters must undergo a very close examination before he can enter Jehovah's royal house. It is with those who present themselves for a place in the house of Jehovah that judgment begins. (1 Pet. 4:17) There would be no chance for "the uncircumcised and the unclean" to get into the courts of the Lord, because that place must never be denied. Circumcision is a symbol of that which is clean and pure, and represents the pure heart. "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." (Phil. 3:3) That would mean that all selfishness must be left behind by the one entering into the house of the Lord and he must be wholly devoted to God as a true follower of Christ Jesus. "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of
the flesh by the circumcision of Christ." (Col. 2:11) One of the greatest sins of the flesh is the sin of undue self-esteem and pride. One having and manifesting these things would, as it appears from the Scriptures, not be permitted to enter into the courts of the Lord. Much learning and fluency of speech, and pious appearing, would avail one nothing. The examiners stationed at the gates by the Lord are instructed to follow the divine rule of examining the heart or motive. (1 Sam. 16:7) "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully." — Ps. 24:3,4.
Jehovah would permit nothing to enter his house that is not wholly and entirely devoted to him: "And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my post, and the wall between me and them; they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger." (43: 7, 8) His faithful temple guardians in the little chambers or lodges constantly keep watch and see that nothing enters into the gates that would defile. These faithful guards of the entrances have honorable positions with the Lord and they perform their duties with the full appreciation of the responsibility
of the position held. "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper [I would choose rather to sit at the threshold, margin] in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." (Ps. 84:10) This scripture declares the proper rule of keen appreciation by all who receive favors from Jehovah God.
Ezekiel's heavenly guide proceeded to the detailed measurements about the gates and these guard chambers: "And he measured the breadth of the entry (III-b-b) of the gate, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits. The space (III-e) also before the little chambers was one cubit on this side, and the space was one cubit on that side; and the little chambers were six cubits on this side, and six cubits on that side. He measured then the gate from the roof of one little chamber to the roof of another: the breadth was five and twenty cubits, door against door (III-c-c). He made also posts (III-b, f) of threescore cubits, even unto the post of the court round about the gate. And from the face of the gate of the entrance, unto the face of the porch of the inner gate, were fifty cubits." (40:11-15) Ezekiel was on his way to the temple or house royal, and would therefore picture God's spirit-begotten ones called to the kingdom and who have responded to that call, who are on the way to the kingdom. The statement of Jesus is that some of these who are in line for and on the way to the kingdom will be gathered out by his angels because they do not come up to the requirements. The detailed measurements made about the way of entrance would at least indicate that which is required of all those who do enter into the house of the Lord and that those coming short of these
measurements would be gathered out. — Matt. 13:41.
Windows are places or openings for looking out. "For at the window of my house I looked through my casement." (Prov. 7:6) "My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice." (Cant. 2:9) "And there were narrow windows to the little chambers (III-d), and to their posts (III-f) within the gate round about, and likewise to the archers [galleries or porches]; and windows were round about inward: and upon each post were palm trees." (40:16) These lookouts suggest that the guards or angels are always on the watch, seeing that no improper one enters into the courts of the Lord. Satan and his angels being excluded from heaven, there would never be a chance for an unclean thing to get back into heaven, and certainly none to get into God's royal house.
Ezekiel was now following his guide and taking careful note of his measurements. This would indicate that the remnant whom Ezekiel foreshadowed, and which show humility, are being careful to follow their guide and are making note of the divine requirements and showing diligence in complying with such requirements. "Then brought he me into the outward court (I-D), and, lo, there were chambers (I-B), and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers (I-B1_30) were upon the pavement. And the pavement by the side of the gates, over against the length of the gates, was the lower pavement (I-C). Then he measured the breadth from the forefront of the low-
er gate unto the forefront of the inner court without, an hundred cubits eastward and northward. And the gate of the outward court, that looked toward the north (I-A1), he measured the length thereof, and the breadth thereof. And the little chambers thereof were three on this side, and three on that side; and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, were after the measure of the first gate: the length thereof was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits. And their windows, and their arches, and their palm trees, were after the measure of the gate that looketh toward the east; and they went up unto it by seven steps; and the arches thereof were before them. And the gate (I-E1) of the inner court (I-H) was over against the gate toward the north (I-A1), and toward the east (I-A); and he measured from gate to gate an hundred cubits." — 40:17-23.
The platform of the outer court was seven steps higher than the ground outside of the temple wall, and this would indicate that those who occupy this outward court would be completely removed from all things terrestrial. This court was the place where the non-Levitical tribes come to worship the Lord and where the non-priestly Levites carry on their activities. (See Ezekiel 44:10-14; 46: 9, 21, 24.) The priests were under orders not to appear in their priestly vestments in this outer court before the eyes of the people. "And when they go forth into the utter [outer, R.V.] court (I-D), even into the utter [outer] court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on other garments; and they shall not sanctify the people with their garments." — 44:19.
The chambers (I-B1-30) made in the court round about were for the Levites, or non-priests. This would indicate that God has a place for them in his organization in connection with the priesthood or royal house, but in the outer quarters, and not close to the Lord God, such as his royal priesthood enjoys. The pavement mentioned in verses seventeen and eighteen of the fortieth chapter was called "the lower pavement". It was seven steps above the outside, but was lower than the pavement of the inner court (I-H), which is utilized by the royal priesthood. This picture shows the position of the "great multitude". Ever and anon someone advances the conclusion that the "great multitude" will not be a spiritual class. The prophecy of Ezekiel shows that such conclusion is erroneous. The fact that their position is seven steps higher than the outside shows that they must be made spirit creatures. The statement in The Revelation that the "great multitude" 'wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb' shows that they are approved by Jehovah by manifesting their abiding faith in Christ Jesus' shed blood at the time the crucial test comes upon them. The "great multitude" will be in God's organization, but not high up 'in the mountain of the Lord's house'. They must be spirit creatures in order to be in the outer court of the divine structure, described by Ezekiel. Agreeable to this it is written, in Revelation 7:15: "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them."
The "great multitude", by reason of coercion exercised by unfaithful shepherds, and by reason of fear, is held for a long while in "prison cells" of Satan's
organization. In time of the great tribulation they will be released from these prison cells, and then, being changed from human to spirit creatures they will be brought into the "chambers" or places of refreshment and blessings of God's organization: "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." (Rev. 7:16,17) "They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them." (Isa. 49: 9,10) Those of the "great multitude" are likened unto sheep brought back into the Lord's fold. Ezekiel pictures the faithful anointed company that is shown these things now before they come to pass, and this is for the encouragement of the anointed to continue with zeal and faithfulness in doing their assigned work in connection with carrying food to the "prisoner" class in the present time.
Ezekiel's guide then takes him along the pavement of the outer court towards the south gate, that he may observe the measurements there. "After that he brought me toward the south, and, behold, a gate toward the south (I-A2): and he measured the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, according to these measures." (40: 24) Ezekiel stood on the pavement in the outer court and observed the gate and its measurements from the outside of the way leading into the inner court. But Ezekiel did not enter there. (40:
27-31) Then Ezekiel was led by way of the lower pavement to the east gate leading into the inner court. "And he brought me into the inner court (I-H) toward the east; and he measured the gate (I-E) according to these measures." — 40: 32.
The inner court was eight steps higher than the "lower pavement". (40:31,34) This was one step more than in the stairway used by the Levites in ascending from the outside to the lower pavement. This calls attention to the higher or loftier position of God's priesthood 'in the mountain of the house of the Lord' that is established "in the top of the mountains". (Isa. 2:2) This position of glory Jehovah gives to none outside of the royal priesthood, his 'elect servant'. (Isa. 42: 8) This inner court is the place of the closer position of its occupants to Jehovah God. This inner court, according to the measurements, is a foursquare court. "So he measured the court, an hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare, and the altar (I-I) that was before the house." (40: 47) It is for this court near to Jehovah that his faithful ones cry out, saying: "My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God." (Ps. 84:2) When they are brought into that happy condition they say: "Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee." — Ps. 84:4.
Jehovah's angel, sent to guide Ezekiel, brought the prophet into the outer court by way of the outer gate (I-A) which "looketh toward the east". (40:6)
After leading him along the pavement of the lower court the guide then brought Ezekiel into the inner court, that is to say, the court of the priests. Ezekiel was therefore accorded the special privilege of being brought through the eastern portal, which later he appreciated when he saw "the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east". (43:1-4) Ezekiel afterwards saw that this gate looking toward the east was shut. The favor bestowed upon Ezekiel in bringing him into the inner court by the east gate was doubtless a recognition of his faithfulness as a servant-priest of Jehovah God. (1:3) It is also prophetic of God's remnant, whom Ezekiel foreshadowed, and indicates special favor to such because of faithfulness to the Lord.
The heavenly messenger measured the eastern gate. The special privileges to those having access into the inner court are denoted by the outstanding features mentioned in the texts concerning the gate and the chambers in connection therewith: "And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, were according to these measures, and there were windows therein and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad." (40:33) These chambers or lodges were for the offices of the watchmen or guards who keep the gates leading into the Lord's house. The description and measurements of these chambers show that the watchmen would carefully scrutinize those journeying on their way to the house of the Lord where only the priests are admitted. They would carefully watch and keep out any fraudulent priests. Some men in the company of God's people on the
earth seem to think it is their duty to gather out and keep out the false priests; but the Scriptures show that this work the Lord delegates to his angels.
A blemished priest would not be admitted, according to God's law, and which law does not change. "Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy [Aaron's] seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread [food] of his God: for whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy or scabbed, or hath his stones broken: no man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire: he hath a blemish: he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy; only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the Lord do sanctify them." (Lev. 21:17-23) This fully corroborates the conclusion that those who respond to God's call to the kingdom must first prove faithful in safeguarding the kingdom interests that are committed to them before they are chosen (elected) and anointed and made members of the body of Christ. Those who, while on their way, in response to the call to the kingdom, are in line for the kingdom, but who join the "wicked servant" class, are rejected, and the watchmen see to it that they are ejected from the courts of the Lord and do not enter the temple.
There were posts at the gate or entrance into the inner court and "palm trees were upon the posts thereof". "And the arches thereof (II-h) were toward the outward court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps." (40: 34) The height of these posts at the entrance of the inner court is not stated, but the presumption is that they were threescore cubits, the same as the posts of the outer gates. The palm tree decoration on these posts suggests that they were high and lofty. These posts well picture the Jehovah-witness class who are described by the prophet of the Lord as "a pillar at the border thereof [of Egypt] to the Lord" (Isa. 19:19), further supporting the conclusion that the great pyramid of Egypt is not even contemplated by the prophecy of Isaiah. Jehovah's witnesses do his work, and this witness work must be performed before they become permanent factors in the temple. There was a gate in the inner court toward the south, and it was to this gate that the messenger brought Ezekiel. (40:27,28) But he did not enter the inner court from that gate.
There was a gate to the inner court over against the other gate, both on the north and on the east. (40:23) "And he brought me to the north [inner] gate (I-E1), and measured it according to these measures." (40:35) The description of the north gate is the same as that of the east gate. It has been said that it was only at the north gate that "they washed the burnt offering". This conclusion is not borne out by other statements of the Scriptures. In verse thirty-eight of this chapter the word "gates" is used, showing more than one: "And the chambers (I-G, G1),
and the entries thereof, were by the posts of the gates, where they washed the burnt offering." (40: 38) The law of God governing his typical people in their sacrifices states: "And he brought the ram for the burnt offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. And he killed it; and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about. And he cut the ram into pieces; and Moses burnt the head, and the pieces, and the fat. And he washed the inwards and the legs in water; and Moses burnt the whole ram upon the altar: it was a burnt sacrifice for a sweet savour, and an offering made by fire unto the Lord; as the Lord commanded Moses." — Lev. 8:18-21.
SACRIFICES OF PRAISE
The rule governing the proceedings at the temple Ezekiel saw is stated in Ezekiel 46:12: "Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the Lord, one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings as he did on the sabbath day." It is made the duty of the prince to prepare the offerings. (45:17) What did these burnt offerings symbolize in connection with the royal house? The burnt offering's being "an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord" seems to picture the course of Jehovah's anointed ones who make up the hundred and forty-four thousand and who share in the sufferings of Christ Jesus, the Head, which sufferings come upon them by reason of their faithfulness as Jehovah's witnesses in advertising the King and his kingdom.
By taking this course they are subjected to many fiery trials and reproaches, and their patient endurance and faithful devotion in obeying the commandments of the Lord God is "a sweet savour unto the Lord". Their standing is in Christ Jesus the Head, and their offerings are made by him in behalf of the members of his body.
Such a burnt offering unto the Lord must be clean, hence 'cleansed with the washing of the water of the Word'. Christ Jesus unselfishly looks after the interests of his faithful followers; "that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish," (Eph. 5: 26, 27) Being cleansed by the Word, these clearly see the distinction between "the unclean", which is Satan's organization, and "the clean", which is the Lord's organization. It is the "feet" members of Christ that constitute Jehovah's witnesses and who publish the message of peace and salvation. These together lift up their voice, that is to say, harmoniously deliver the message of praise to Jehovah. They must be washed and made clean. "Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord." (Isa. 52: 7-11) This washing is accomplished beside the gates of praise to the Lord.
Jehovah reveals to his obedient children the meaning of his Word, and by it they are cleansed and made entirely separate from Satan's organization. They have but one purpose, and that is to do the will of God. They refuse to make any sort of compromise
with any part of Satan's organization, either by treading softly lest some of Satan's organization be offended, or refraining from exposing Satan's organization. They 'do not shun to declare the whole counsel of the Lord', as he has commanded them to do, knowing that their commission of authority comes from God. They enter the house of Jehovah by way of the gates of praise to his holy name; therefore they say: "Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord; this gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter." (Ps. 118:19, 20) These see that the temple of God consists of his approved ones and that Christ Jesus is the Chief Stone thereof and which Stone has been rejected by those who first had an opportunity to obey God and to enter into his courts. The faithful delight to bear the reproaches that come upon all who expose the Devil and his organization, and they sing the praises of Jehovah God. The faithful see their privileges as they are brought into the house of the Lord, and they say: "I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." — Ps. 118:21-24.
The slaying of the offering takes place at the north gate (I-E1), but it appears that the washing is also at the other places of entrance. "And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side, and two tables on that side, to slay thereon the burnt offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering. And at the side without, as one goeth up [at the step, margin]
to the entry of the north gate, were two tables; and on the other side, which was at [belonged to] the porch of the gate, were two tables. Four tables were on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate; eight tables, whereupon they slew their sacrifices." (40:39-41) Jehovah's law is always consistent, therefore we must conclude that the tables for the slaying of the sacrifice were only at the north gate, because in the law it is written: "And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the Lord: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar: and he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar. But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord." — Lev. 1:11-13.
It appears that the following verses of the prophecy also relate to the north gate: "And the four tables were of hewn stone for the burnt offering, of a cubit and an half long, and a cubit and an half broad, and one cubit high: whereupon also they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the burnt offering and the sacrifice. And within were hooks [ledges], an hand broad, fastened round about: and upon the tables was the flesh of the offering." (40: 42,43) The sacrificial equipment here described is not located at the gate to the outer court of the Levites, but at the inner gate (I-E1) into the court of the royal priesthood. The prince offers the victim. A "gate" pictures an approach unto the Lord with praise, and, this sacrificial
equipment being located at the north gate, these two features together seem to picture a 'sacrificing of praise unto the Lord' and which sacrificing of praise is in conjunction with the covenant for the kingdom, which is the way into the royal house of Jehovah. Such sacrificing is a condition precedent to entering into the royal house. "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name." (Heb. 13:13-15) This is in exact accord with Psalm 118:19, 20.
With the coming of Christ Jesus to the temple of Jehovah the gathering of the faithful began from every quarter of the land. (Ps. 50:5) The Lord gathers unto himself the faithful. (2 Thess. 2:1) "Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain for ever. And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the Lord." (Jer. 17:25,26) The primary application of this prophecy of Jeremiah is to those who have been called to the kingdom of God and who must enter the house of the Lord by bringing their sacrifices of praise unto him.
For a long while, as man looks at time, God's covenant people have appeared to be forsaken, but the time must come when the Lord would gather unto himself those who continue faithful. "Thus saith the Lord, Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast, the voice of joy, and the voice of gladness; the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride; the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the Lord." (Jer. 33:10,11) Now God's people see this prophecy fulfilled, in this, that the faithful remnant have entered into the joy of the Lord, having been delivered from the captivity of Satan's organization and brought into Jehovah's organization. As the Lord arranged so fully the handling of the temple sacrifice, even so today in the fulfilment of the temple prophecy he has made thorough his arrangements for the offering of sacrifices of praise to his name. In connection with this he has caused the building of printing plants for the publication of his message, brought into action the radio, and other means to provide for the carrying of the message from door to door by his faithful witnesses, and thus caused his holy name to be sung with joy in the presence of others. — Isa. 12: 3,4.
The temple picture is given for the special comfort of the faithful remnant now on the earth. The de-
tailed description shows the complete and thorough arrangement Jehovah has provided for his people to be his witnesses that they may have some part in the vindication of his name. The minute description also indicates the requirements for his people which the Lord has made and the carefulness the remnant must exercise in carrying out his commandments. The positive and uncompromising course taken by Jehovah's witnesses also shows to others that Jehovah has a class of people on the earth at this time who are faithful and true to him and maintain their integrity toward him. Let it be kept in mind that the chief purpose of this testimony is, as God declares, "They shall know that I am the Lord."
Every one who enters and becomes a part of the royal house must come in the divinely appointed way, and in no other. Entering with sacrifices of praise to Jehovah they will continue, every one of them, to for ever sing the praises of the Most High. (Ps. 29:9) The Lord has provided for singers in the inner court. "And without the inner gate (I-E1) were the chambers (I-F, F) of [for, R.V.] the singers in the inner court, which was at the side of the north gate; and their prospect was toward the south: one (I-F1) at the side of the east gate (I-E), having the prospect toward the north." — 40: 44.
The chambers here mentioned are for the singers, and therefore are not the same as the ones which are provided for the gate guards. Being "for the singers in the inner court" they were within the inner court, and therefore for the exclusive use of the priests. This proves beyond all question that the singers in the inner court are those of the royal priesthood. One
series of chambers for the singers was at the side of the north gate, and those singers' chambers faced southward. The tables and implements for the slaying and dressing of the sacrificed victims being at the north gate showed that the singing is associated with the sacrifice, and is therefore proof that the sacrifice of the remnant now on the earth is a 'sacrifice of praise unto the Lord'.
The text says, concerning the singers' chambers, that there is "one (I-F1) at the side of the east gate, having the prospect toward the north". The east gate is associated with the glory of Jehovah and also with "the prince", and therefore it is very appropriate that at least one singers' chamber should be located at the east gate. The anointed and princely sons of Jehovah God are the ones upon whom the glory of the Lord has risen and whom the Lord bids to arise and shine. (Isa. 60:1, 2) It is therefore certain that the members of the royal family upon whom the glory of the Lord has risen do sing the praises of Jehovah. The interesting feature about the singers' chamber of the east gate is this: It might be expected that the chamber would face to the west; but not so, it faces toward the north. The other singers' chambers (I-F, F) being at the north gate, facing south, the two positions would face each other, and this indicates that the singers sing to each other, saying, "Thy God reigneth." When God's faithful people were delivered from Babylon they began to sing, and they continue to sing, the praises of Jehovah. (Isa. 48:20) They sing to each other songs of praise to Jehovah God. — Col. 3:16.
It is the priests whom the Lord makes keepers of the charge of the house: "And he said unto me, This chamber (I-F, F), whose prospect is toward the south, is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house." (40:45) This verse speaks of "this chamber" as one; but there must have been a series of chambers at the side of the north gate, because in verse forty-four the statement is: "The chambers for the singers . . . their [chambers'] prospect was toward the south." The priests are both housekeepers and singers. They are charged with keeping the Lord's house, clean and giving attention to its furnishings.
This was foreshadowed by the organization for the keeping and care of the typical house of the Lord. "And Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah was porter of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. All these, which were chosen to be porters in the gates, were two hundred and twelve. . . . For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God. And they lodged round about the house of God, because the charge was upon them, and the opening thereof every morning pertained to them. And certain of them had the charge of the ministering vessels, that they should bring them in and out by tale. Some of them also were appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices. And some of the sons of the priests made the ointment of the spices." (1 Chron. 9: 21, 22,26-30) In the vision of the temple had by Ezekiel it is seen that the non-priestly Levites are not permitted to have this service above described,
because they are excluded from the inner court. The service, therefore, is for the priests.
God sets the members of the royal house in their respective positions, and this is shown by the following: "And the chamber (I-F1) whose prospect is toward the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok, among the sons of Levi, which come near to the Lord to minister unto him." (40:46) This work is confined to the priests, because others are excluded from this service. "And they [the Levites] shall keep thy charge, and the charge of all the tabernacle: only they shall not come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary and the altar, that neither they nor ye also die. And they [the Levites] shall be joined unto thee [the priests], and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, for all the service of the tabernacle: and a stranger shall not come nigh unto you. And ye [the priests] shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar; that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel." (Num. 18: 3-5) This scripture (Ezek. 40:46) also shows that those who are engaged by the grace of the Lord sing forth the praises of Jehovah in telling of his wondrous works and are also servants at God's altar.
The Lord caused the name of Zadok to be mentioned in this connection with this service. The name "Zadok" means "just, righteous". He was a descendant of Aaron, and God's record shows that he was a faithful man. Ezekiel says that the priests that served at the altar are "sons of Zadok". They are not the sons of the unfaithful high priest Eli and of his successor Abiathar. (See 1 Kings 2:26,27; 1 Samuel
2:27-36.) The "great multitude" is pictured by the non-priestly Levites. The unfaithful anointed ones are pictured by the house of the unfaithful priest Eli. Both of these classes are excluded from this sacred privilege of service. Jehovah time and again informs his creatures that it is faithfulness and righteousness that is pleasing to him.
Ezekiel's guide then measured the inner court: "So he measured the court (I-H), an hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare, and the altar that was before the house." (40: 47) These measurements prove that the priestly class must at all times be foursquare, that is, faithful and true and wholly 'devoted to Jehovah God, always doing right according to his law. The number "ten" is a symbol of completeness, or that which is holy; and ten times ten cubits' being the measurement of the length and of the breadth of the inner court shows that the priests must be perfect in the house of the Lord and that every one who is presented for a place in this house must be perfect in Christ Jesus. (Col. 1: 28, 29) This perfection is not perfection in words, thoughts or acts, because with imperfect organisms the members of the remnant cannot be perfect in these. Those called to the kingdom are told, however, that they must cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh, perfecting holiness in the Lord. (2 Cor. 7:1) The Lord provides for his consecrated ones his Word for doctrine, for reproof and instruction in righteousness, for this very purpose of perfecting them. "That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished [perfected, margin] unto all good works." (2 Tim. 3:17) Their
perfection consists in an absolute devotion to Jehovah God.
The fiery trials and sufferings to which God's faithful people are subjected are for the purpose of testing their devotion to him, that they may be made perfect. "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." (1 Pet. 5:10) None but the holy would ever be admitted to the royal house. "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." (1 Pet. 1:14-16) In former times it was the desire of the consecrated to please men, that they might have a good reputation amongst those of the world. But no man can be made perfect by following such a course. This perfection is attained in Christ by the anointed's being wholly and completely and unselfishly devoted to God and to his righteous cause.
Having observed the measurements of the inner court Ezekiel was brought by his guide to the porch (I-J) of the house of the Lord: "And he brought me to the porch (IV-J) of the house, and measured each post (IV-m) of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side. The length of the porch was twenty cubits (IV-n-n), and the breadth eleven [twelve, Sept.] cubits (IV-m-p): and he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it; and there were pillars
(IV-l, l) by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side." —40:48, 49.
There were steps from the pavement of the inner court up to the porch of the house, but the scripture does not state how many steps. The fact of steps, however, shows that the floor of the house, or sanctuary of the Lord, was above the pavement of the inner court; which would indicate that after the work is done in the inner court the priestly class must ascend higher. The inner court, with its altar and slaughter tables, and washing places, necessarily pictures the condition of God's anointed people while on the earth; and after finishing their work there they ascend higher if faithful.
TO THE TEMPLE
Ezekiel had been led from the outside through the gate into the outer court and into the inner court, and now he stood on the porch at the door of the temple: "Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts (IV-p, p), six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the breadth of the tabernacle." (41:1) That building was the most important of all the structure upon which Ezekiel's eye had been feasting. His guide first measured the posts of the door, or entrance to the temple; but the height of these posts is not given in the measurements. These posts (IV-p, p) stood beside the temple door. Ezekiel's guide, before going inside of the temple, measured the door thereof on either side, and the length and the breadth of the temple. "And the breadth of the door (IV-o) was ten
cubits; and the sides of the door were five cubits on the one side, and five cubits on the other side; and he measured the length thereof (IV-K), forty cubits, and the breadth, twenty cubits." (41: 2) These measurements show what is required of the priests who enter the temple or royal house of Jehovah. "Organized Christianity," by its spellbinders, has for many years taught the people that one might accept Christ Jesus as his Savior while on his deathbed and die and immediately go to heaven. The careful measurements made by the guide of Ezekiel from the outer gate progressively to the temple show that such ecclesiastical claim is entirely erroneous. The one whom the Lord begets and then invites to his house must first prove his faithfulness at each step he takes before he takes the next progressive step.
The guide preceded Ezekiel into the temple: "Then went he inward, and measured the post (IV-t) of the [inner] door, two cubits; and the door, six cubits (IV-t-t); and the breadth of the door, seven cubits. So he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said unto me, This is the most holy place (IV-L)." (41: 3, 4) Ezekiel, following the guide, was taken into "the most holy", as shown by the latter part of verse four above. Ezekiel was there granted the privilege of a high priest. "The most holy" pictures heaven itself. "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." (Heb. 9: 24) Other scriptures show that the Lord Jesus came to Jehovah's temple in 1918 and then he began to gather unto himself into the temple the
faithful class, designated "the remnant", because those have proven faithful at each progressive step from the time of justification and spirit-begetting. The going of Ezekiel into the temple foreshadowed the assembly of the faithful ones and their gathering into the joy of Christ Jesus. This point of Ezekiel's progression corresponds to the time when Christ Jesus comes to the temple of Jehovah and finds a faithful class. "Blessed is that servant, whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods." (Matt. 24:46,47) Those composing this "faithful servant" class pictured by Ezekiel had met the requirements or measurements, not by reason of self-development, but by their faithful devotion to God and to his kingdom interests. Christ Jesus, the great Judge, there begins to take account with such, and the faithful ones he invites to enter into his joy. — Matt. 25:20, 21.
Jehovah's remnant class are shown how to measure the requirements or qualifications for getting an entrance into the temple. "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:6) The apostle's words further show that the reaching of this position of blessedness is not the result of one's own efforts to make himself "exceedingly good and pious", as these words are generally understood, but rather is the result of God's grace and the creature's faithfulness. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which
God hath" before ordained that we should walk in them. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the spirit. " — Eph. 2: 8-10, 19-22.
The progressive steps that the faithful sons of God must take before reaching the temple are briefly stated by the Apostle Peter, in 2 Peter 1:2-11. It is the power and grace of God that makes it possible for one to follow in the steps of Jesus Christ and ultimately be made a member of the royal house. "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Pet. 1:3,4) Ezekiel, standing on the outside of the outer court, and seeing the man with the measuring equipment, pictures that class begotten of the holy spirit and invited to the kingdom. The measurements' beginning at the gate, and the heavenly messenger's urging Ezekiel to keenly observe everything he saw, is exactly in accord with the admonition of the apostle: "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge." (2 Pet. 1:5) The word "virtue" in this text really means "manliness,
valor or fortitude". Seeing the prospect set before them, and that the chief thing is to be faithful to God, the Ezekiel class is admonished to be 'real men'. "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity [unselfishness]." —1 Cor. 16:13,14.
Rules and requirements, indicated by the careful measurements, must be observed and followed out as they have been made by the "higher powers", God and his organization. (Rom. 13:1-4) There must be no compromise or alliance with any part of the world, which is Satan's organization. The proper course will require diligence and hard work, and a joyful endurance of whatsoever comes. The faithful class will be compelled to suffer much reproach, but that is one of the requirements of true soldiers of Jesus Christ: "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully." (2 Tim. 2:3-5) 'Striving lawfully' means to follow carefully the prescribed rules, just as Ezekiel followed his guide in his progressive steps and marked the measurements he saw the guide take, among which was the place to be occupied by the "great multitude". This latter class have had the opportunity to go into the house of God, but they were not alert nor awake to their privileges and did not give diligence to God's commandments.
The following scripture is an admonition addressed to the class that is on the way to the kingdom, and states some of the rules (pictured by measurements
concerning the house of God) that must be carefully observed and obeyed, to wit: 'Add to knowledge self-control, patience, piety, brotherly kindness, and love,' which is the unselfish devotion to Jehovah and to his kingdom. (2 Pet. 1:5-7) The words of Ezekiel's guide showed that it was necessary for him to gain knowledge; otherwise he would not have been admonished to give such close attention to what he might see and hear. The Lord has increased his light upon his Word in these latter days for the manifest purpose of giving his called ones an opportunity of increasing their knowledge and of learning what they must do in order to enter the royal house. Those who fail or refuse to give heed to increase their knowledge and unselfish devotion to God and his kingdom are blind, according to the words of the apostle: "For he who is not possessed of these things is blind, closing his eyes, having become forgetful of the purification of his old sins." (2 Pet. 1: 9, Diag.) A blind man could not have followed the heaven-sent messenger as Ezekiel did, and could not have carefully observed all the measurements.
Those whom Ezekiel foreshadowed and who prove faithful and enter the royal house must walk in the ever-increasing light and be diligent to obey the commandments of the Lord which the light reveals. God gives them light upon his Word for their special benefit because they are called to the royal house. (Ps. 97:11) That light discloses to the remnant that there is much to be done and that this must be done with diligence. Those who have responded to the call to a place in the royal house must be stable and firm on the side of the Lord and never waver in their devotion to him. (Jas. 1: 6-8) They must be patient,
which means constancy in the performance of duty and with an inward joy because they know they are right and on the Lord's side. These must have godly piety, which means sincerity and honesty in devotion to God and an appreciation of the privileges these have of serving God's organization. Jehovah is always righteous, and to be godly means that his sons are sincerely and honestly representing the interests of his kingdom. The measurements require these to manifest brotherly kindness, which means unselfishly guarding the interests of the brethren who arc likewise in the fight for the cause of righteousness.
The inducing cause of action of the class pictured by Ezekiel must be love, and that means an unselfish devotion and a determination to obey God's commandments, and an unselfish action in obeying them. The light which God has given this class shows the members thereof that they must deliver the testimony of Jesus Christ, declaring the day of the vengeance of our God, and exalting his name. "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and practice his commandments." (1 John 5:2, Diag.) "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so arc we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth, is not made perfect in love." — 1 John 4:17,18.
Ezekiel began to prophesy when he was a young man, and throughout the years that followed he was faithful in his devotion to God. Now he stood at the temple, which shows that God had been pleased with his faithfulness in doing what he had been commanded
to do. In all the work that Jehovah gave him to do Ezekiel did not manifest fear, which is the very opposite of love. Reproach did not deter him from doing his duty. Those whom Ezekiel foreshadowed will fear no creature, but will fear God only, and will be diligent in the performance of duty. Ezekiel gave diligence in observing all the measurements that were made by Jehovah's messenger and in making a careful record of the same. Likewise God's remnant must give diligence in doing whatsoever their hands find to do in the Lord's cause. "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." — 2 Pet. 1:10,11.
Some have been favored by the light of the Lord God and yet have foolishly concluded that the remnant now on earth are entirely safe and cannot fall away. It will be observed that Ezekiel, when he had entered the temple, gave the same careful diligence there to what the messenger did and what he said. Likewise now, the remnant class has been brought into the temple, in this, that they have been enlightened, chosen, and approved by receiving the robe of righteousness and by receiving the garments of salvation, and identified as the sons of God and members of his organization, and abide in this blessed condition. Continuous faithfulness must be maintained until their actual change takes place and the faithful ones have received the body provided by the Lord. The Lord has received this class into the temple by gathering them unto himself, and now these must give
testimony to the name of Jehovah and do so until Satan's organization is completely destroyed. (Isa. 6:11) Those who abide in the royal house of Jehovah will maintain their integrity under all conditions now and will be faithful to him for ever.
The progressive measurements that Ezekiel noted from the outer gate to the house of the Lord, and which measurements were made by the heaven-sent messenger, prove beyond all doubt that we cannot measure ourselves by our own selves, and our self-development, but that we must be measured by the divine rules. In harmony with this the apostle wrote: "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves; but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth." (2 Cor. 10:12,17,18) An unwavering devotion to Jehovah and his kingdom even unto death will be required of those who are made for ever pillars in the temple of God. — Rev. 2: 10; 3:12.
The heaven-sent messenger then measured the dimensions of the inner chamber (I-L). (41:4) These dimensions were the same as those of the most holy of the temple built by Solomon, which proves that Solomon's temple was a picture of Jehovah's royal house.
cubits, round about the house on every side. And the side chambers were three, one over another, and thirty in order; and they entered into the wall which was of the house for the side chambers round about, that they might have hold, but they had not hold in the wall of the house." (41: 5, 6) This would suggest that in heaven itself everything will be done in the royal house exactly in accord with fixed rules. We know that God is the God of order and, since he has fixed rules in the kingdom, all those whom he has called to membership in the royal house would be required to meet these fixed rules for the government of that house.
There were side chambers of the temple or house, and in these no doubt were stored the treasures of the temple, that is to say, the riches dedicated to the service and glory of God. Paul had a vision of things which it was not lawful for him to make known in his day. Probably it was these very treasures he had in mind when he exclaimed: "0 the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen." (Rom. 11:33-36) The side chambers were in three stories, one above the other, and this intensifies the thought of the depth and the height of God's treasures revealed to those devoted to him.
In 1 Corinthians 2: 9,10 it is written: "But, as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which
God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his spirit: for the spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." The Lord began to graciously reveal some of these things to his people shortly after 1918. Since then God's people have been greatly strengthened by the food provided for their convenience by the hand of the Lord. Since then there has been an intense and ever increasing desire of the devoted ones that they "may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God". (Eph. 3:18,19) Jehovah God has builded his great treasure house for his own pleasure and glory. "It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth; the Lord is his name." (Amos 9:6) The desire of each one of the remnant is now expressed in the language of the psalmist: "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple." — Ps. 27:4.
The prophecy in Ezekiel 41:7-11 describes the measurements of these treasure chambers (IV-q). There was a building (I-N) to the rear of the sanctuary, which faced the place or space (I-M) that separated the temple platform (IV-k) from the buildings on the rear and on the side. "Now the building that was before the separate place (I-M), at the end toward the west, was seventy cubits broad; and the
wall of the building (I-N) was five cubits thick round about, and the length thereof ninety cubits." (41:12) The use to which this rear building was or is put docs not now appear. It is certain that God will leave some things pertaining to the royal house and ministry until the complete change of the remnant takes place. "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Cor. 13:12) The Lord now graciously gives his people a glimpse of the glorious things that he has in reservation for those who love him. With joyful anticipation these are waiting for the complete revelation.
The angel of the Lord then in the presence of Ezekiel measured the house from the east to the west, or from rear to front. "So he measured the house, an hundred cubits long; and [behind the house or temple] the separate place [twenty cubits], and the building [seventy cubits; see verse 12], with the walls [ten cubits] thereof, an hundred cubits long; also the breadth of the face of the house [from north to south], and of the separate place [which was twenty cubits on each side of the sixty-cubit temple platform] toward the east, an hundred cubits." (41:13,14) The west side was of the same width. The house or temple occupied a space of one hundred cubits square. Everything with Jehovah must be on the square. The square and the cube dominate God's arrangements. Pyramids do not appear anywhere, because they are not of his building.
Verses fifteen to seventeen give further measurements relating to the porch, doorposts, and windows and galleries and chambers of the temple.
Further describing the temple, Ezekiel records: "And it was made with cherubims and palm trees, so that a palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub; and every cherub had two faces: so that the face of a man was toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side: it was [thus was it, R.V.] made through all the house round about. From the ground unto above the door were cherubims and palm trees made, and on [thus was, R.V.] the wall of the temple." (41:18-20) It is written that Jehovah God dwells in his temple. (2 Cor. 6:16) The description in the foregoing reminds one of the words of his prophet, who wrote: "The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved." (Ps. 99:1) "0 Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth." —Isa. 37:16.
Figures of the cherubim suggest the spiritual and heavenly exalted condition of those who were made members of the royal house. The "two faces" of each cherub, one of a man and one of a lion, appears to be descriptive of the Head of the temple organization, Christ Jesus, who is "the man", and "the Lion of the tribe of Juda", Jehovah's King. Those with Jesus Christ in the temple are taken from the race of man and made into the likeness of their Lord, and are bold as a lion in following Christ Jesus whithersoever he leads them. The palm tree denotes uprightness or righteousness, and each member of the royal family must be and is "upright as the palm tree" and is fruitful and useful in the service of the Lord. "The
righteous shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him." — Ps. 92:12-15.
No mention is made of an ark of the covenant, nor of the golden censer, nor of the golden candlestick in the temple or the royal house. This seems to mean that at the time of the fulfilment of the temple vision which Ezekiel had Jehovah himself, in the person of his beloved Son, his Messenger, will be at the temple and will be the light of his royal house and all who are brought into his organization. "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." (Rev. 21:23) "And there shall be no night there: and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." — Rev. 22: 5.
Ezekiel mentions an altar of wood: "The altar of wood (IV-s) was three cubits high [five feet three inches high], and the length thereof two cubits; and the corners thereof, and the length thereof, and the walls thereof, were of wood: and he said unto me, This is the table that is before the Lord." (41:22) The fact that it is described as made of wood and is called "the table that is before the Lord" shows that it corresponds to the table of shew bread in the holy of the tabernacle in the wilderness. It pictures, there-
fore, the table of spiritual food provided by the Lord for his own after he comes to the temple. From this table the remnant now are fed and made glad. —44:16.
God's anointed ones on earth have come to see that the most important thing for them to do now is to declare the Word and name of Jehovah. This conclusion is supported by the fact that the description of the temple omits the ark of the covenant on which was sprinkled the atonement blood, and which fact signifies that the sufferings of Christ Jesus are past. While the sacrifice of our Lord was necessary for salvation and redemption of the human race, yet that is incidental to the far greater work of the vindication of Jehovah's holy name. The work of the kingdom or priestly class at this end of the age is not one of bloody sacrifice for the atonement of sin, but is a sacrificial work of praise to God and of the holding forth of the Word of God, which are his "fruits" of the kingdom. The ark symbolizes Jehovah's presence; and it would be inconsistent to show it in this temple, since the glory of Jehovah himself is there.
It seems certain that the words of the prophet following apply primarily to the remnant people of God now on the earth: "Turn, 0 backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you; and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: and I will give you pastors according to mine heart [to serve you food upon the table before the Lord], which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord; neither shall
it come to mind, neither shall they remember it, neither shall they visit it, neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord: and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart." — Jer. 3:14-17.
The "sanctuary" is the holy, and the "temple" the most holy. "And the temple (I-L; IV-L) and the sanctuary (I-K; IV-K) had two doors. And the doors had two leaves apiece, two turning leaves; two leaves for the one door (IV-t-t), and two leaves for the other door (IV-o). And there were made on them, on the doors of the temple, cherubims and palm trees, like as were made upon the walls, and there were thick planks upon the face of the porch without." (41: 23-25) There were no hangings or woven doors to the temple, nor was there any "vail" to the most holy (as there was in the prophetic house). This evidently teaches 'that the way into the holiest of all is now made manifest'. (Heb. 9:7,8) When Christ Jesus died upon the tree the "vail" of the prophetic temple was rent in twain. Christ dies no more. "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin unto salvation." (Heb. 9: 28) Christ Jesus is now at the temple and his reign is begun. The doors of the temple have swung open. — 43:1-4; Rev. 11:19.
The Priest Ezekiel was then taken from the inner court out into the outer court and then brought into
the chambers provided for the priests: "Then he brought me forth [out of the inner court] into the utter [outer] court, the way toward the north, and he brought me into the chamber (I-P, P1) [for the priests] that was over against the separate place [all about the temple platform], and which was before [over against, R.V.] the building toward the north. Before the length of an hundred cubits was the north door (I-R), and the breadth was fifty cubits. Over against the twenty cubits [I-M; Ezek. 41:10] which were for the inner court, and over against [but not on] the pavement (I-D) which was for the utter [outer] court, was [this priests' chamber built] gallery against gallery in three stories. And before the chambers (I-P1) was a walk (I-Q) of ten cubits breadth inward, a way of one cubit [one hundred cubits long, Sept.]: and their doors toward the north. Now, the upper chambers were shorter: for the galleries were higher than these, than the lower, and than the middlemost of the building. For they were in three stories, but had not pillars as the pillars of the courts: therefore the building was straitened more than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground. And the wall that was without over against the chambers toward the utter [outer] court, on the forepart of the chambers(I-P), the length thereof was fifty cubits. For the length of the chambers (I-P) that were in [abutted out on] the utter [outer] court was fifty cubits [from east to west, or parallel to the length of the temple]: and, lo, [the chambers (I-P1) ] before [on the side toward] the temple were an hundred cubits. And from under these chambers was the en-
try on the east side, as one goeth into them from the utter [outer] court." — 42:1-9.
On the other side, that is on the south side, were like chambers (I-P2, P3) or galleries, as stated by verses ten to twelve. These chambers were built on the platform (I-H) of the inner court. Ezekiel entered this section of the chambers by walking up the eight steps (I-R1) from the outer court to the platform, but there was probably an entrance at the rear end of the inner court by which he might have entered.
The purpose of these chambers is then made known, to wit: "Then said he unto me, The north chambers (I-P, P1) and the south chambers (I-P2, P3), which are before [outside of] the separate place (I-M) [round about the temple platform], they be holy chambers, where the priests that approach [are near, R.V.] unto the Lord shall eat the most holy things: there shall they lay the most holy things, and the meat [meal, R.V.] offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering; for the place is holy." — 42:13.
The priests ministered about holy things before the Lord. "Do ye not know, that they which minister about holy things live [feed, margin] of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?" (1 Cor. 9:13) The non-priestly Levites ate of the things that were holy unto the Lord, such as tithes of the people. (Num. 18:26-31) The things that the priests ate were most holy unto the Lord. (Num. 18: 9,10) The priests are most intensely devoted to Jehovah God, and hence Jehovah provides for them the things that are most sacred to him.
It is to this priestly company, of which Peter is one, that he writes: "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Pet. 1: 3,4) Such "all things" mentioned by the apostle includes the anointing of the priests as ambassadors of the King and the great privilege of representing Jehovah and the kingdom in service and of being his faithful representatives while on the earth. The "great multitude" class, represented by the non-priestly Levites, did not have and enjoy these precious privileges. The special chambers above described were for the priests; and into them the non-priestly Levites were not permitted to enter, because they serve "before the throne". — Rev. 7:15.
Christ Jesus on coming to the temple as the representative of Jehovah 'gathers together unto himself the faithful priestly class. (2 Thess. 2:1) It is such that constitute God's faithful remnant on earth and that are anointed to the priestly office. The words of Jesus, addressed to the faithful risen saints and the anointed remnant, here apply: "In my Father's house are many mansions [abiding places or chambers] . . . I go to prepare a place [special chambers in God's temple] for you. ... I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." (John 14:2-4) These chambers of the priests described by Ezekiel therefore represent the "heaven-
ly places in Christ Jesus" for those of the royal house yet on earth. (Eph. 2:1-7) It is into these chambers that the faithful remnant have now been brought, and it is these that Paul had in mind when he wrote: "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:6,7) It is into this condition of "joy of the Lord" that the remnant have now been gathered.
Ezekiel had been taken into the outer court and then into the priestly chambers. Now once in these chambers, the priests were not to go out of the holy place into the outer court while clothed in the priestly garments. "When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter [outer] court, but there they [in the priests' chambers] shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they are holy; and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for [or, pertain to] the people." (42:14) This is an important lesson to the remnant now. The priests are installed in their offices as servants to the Lord God, and not for the purpose of exhibiting themselves before men. Now under the robe of righteousness and clad in garments of salvation, which Jehovah has provided, they are accepted as under-priests through Christ Jesus. His angels are commissioned as deputies to appear as "ministering spirits" in behalf of the remnant. The garments of the priests identify them as servants of Jehovah God, but for the remnant to
use their priestly office to obtain the superstitious awe of the people would be entirely wrong.
Catholic priests and Protestant clergymen in the organization of "Christendom" clothe themselves in garments of splendor and in these appear publicly in parades and in other public places in order to receive the salutations and salaams of the people. These "gentlemen of the cloth" are so called because they wear a dress or frock coat peculiar to the clergy, with their collar buttoned in the back and their vest wrong side front, and by these say in substance: "Behold, we are the priests of our church." The Pharisees did the same thing, and for this reason they received the rebuke from the Lord. These modern-day clergymen love to be addressed as "Father", "Reverend," "Doctor," "Rabbi," and so forth, just as the Pharisees did; but for one of God's anointed to do likewise would be an abomination before the Lord. "But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ." — Matt. 23: 5-10.
Some of God's children for a time ignorantly thought that they must always wear a funeral frock coat and a cross-and-crown pin and such things, that, they might be known as the representatives of the
Lord. In this they were wrong, and since the coming of the Lord to the temple the faithful have been enlightened even in such matters and recognize that Jehovah made the beautiful colors and these are pleasing, and that they may wear such with propriety. The Lord's anointed are now to let the truth shine through them as witnesses for Jehovah by bearing his fruit of the kingdom to the people in order that the people may know that Jehovah is God and give the honor and praise to him to whom it justly belongs. Instead of posing before the people that they may attract attention to themselves, the faithful remnant are to be, as Paul conducted himself, "all things to all men," and to magnify the message of God's Word to the end that the people may know that their only hope is the kingdom of God. "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. . . . And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you." (1 Cor. 9:19-23) Men will judge the remnant just like other men, but God looks upon them as spirit creatures with the right to live as such. "For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." (1 Pet. 4:6) The faithful priestly class, therefore, are not to profane the things of God by using their office to call attention to their own importance or to gain personal advantage over the people. The things which they handle are holy, and hence are to be used to the glory of God. — 44:19.
Degrees of faithful devotion put men in different classes: "Now, when he had made an end of measur-
ing the inner house, he brought me forth [out of the inner court and down from its platform] toward [by the way of] the gate (I-A) whose prospect is toward the east, and measured it round about. . . . He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long [six great cubits to the reed], and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary [between that which was holy (R.V.) and exclusively for the priests] and the profane place [that which was common (R.V.) and therefore excluded to the outer court]." (42:15-20) This shows that the non-priestly class, the "great multitude", are classed with the common in the outer court of God's arrangement. Their less devotion to God, and their not separating themselves from the profane under Satan's organization, are the reason for such classification. This picture therefore shows that God classifies his people and makes distinctions and separation between these most completely attached to and devoted to him and those only partially so. "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." — Rev. 22:11.
Jehovah's glory is above all. "0 Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens." (Ps. 8:1) His prophet had been caused to write: "When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory." — Ps. 102:16.
The heaven-sent messenger now brings Ezekiel to the gate looking toward the east. "Afterward he brought me to the gate (I-A), even the gate that looketh toward the east." (43:1) This gate was directly in line with the porch and door to the temple. Jehovah's great Messenger approaches from that direction. (Mal. 8:1; 4:2) "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of [Jehovah's Messenger] the Son of man be." — Matt. 24: 27.
All the light that comes to this earth comes from the direction of the east. "And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east, and his voice was like a noise [like the sound, R.V.] of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory." (43: 2) This great event now taking place was foreshadowed on other occasions. When the tabernacle of the wilderness was reared up the glory of the Lord filled it. "Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle." (Ex. 40: 34, 35) At the dedication of Solomon's temple the glory of the Lord 'appeared'. "And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord." — 1 Ki. 8:10,11.
The vision that Ezekiel was given was far more wonderful and glorious than that which appeared at the tabernacle and the prophetic temple, and was far
more significant. The appearing of Jehovah at his temple means that the "last days" of Satan's organization have come and the time for the vindication of Jehovah's name is at hand. His glory came from the way of the east, the same direction as that from which the angel ascended having the seal of the living God with which to seal God's faithful servants. (Rev. 7:2) That the coming of Jehovah to his temple is of greatest importance is further signified by the fact that Ezekiel heard His voice "like the sound of many waters". Thus the Lord calls attention to his coming in the most impressive manner, causing his message to be given a far-sounding proclamation. The world sees not his coming; but his faithful sons see it, and are caused to give proper announcement thereof.
The "earth" that "shined with his glory" means the revealed part of Jehovah's organization, which is the remnant of spiritual Israel and yet on earth. Ezekiel in the spirit was in the land of Israel when he had this vision, showing that the vision comes to the covenant and devoted people of God, and not to the non-Judeans or "organized Christianity", so called. The coming of the Lord to his temple, therefore, was the time of the fulfilment of the prophecy directed to his faithful sons, to wit: "Arise, shine [be enlightened, margin]; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth [Satan's organization, and particularly "Christendom"], and gross darkness the people [those who use "organized Christianity" for their selfish purposes]: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee." (Isa. 60:1,2) This is the time for the testi-
mony to be delivered by God's people in the earth, and therefore the time for them to be enlightened. "Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord's glory." — Ezek. 10:4; see Vindication, Book One, page 118.
When Jehovah sent Ezekiel to prophesy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem Ezekiel saw a like glory of Jehovah. "And it [the glory of the God of Israel] was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city [symbolic of "Christendom"] [prophesy that the city should be destroyed (margin), as directed by the Lord]: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar: and I fell upon my face." (43:3) At the very beginning of his prophecy Ezekiel tells of his vision of four cherubs and a great chariot of four wheels and of the firmament above them, and above which Jehovah sat upon his throne. (Ezek. 1:10-28; see Vindication, Book One, page 22) Ezekiel was there given a vision of Jehovah's mighty organization and he fell upon his face. The vision pictured Jehovah's superiority over his organization. God's faithful remnant, whom Ezekiel foreshadowed, now must recognize Jehovah's great organization and show proper veneration for it. They must worship and be fully obedient to "the higher powers". — Rom. 13:1.
Jehovah's glory is not imaginary, but must be a manifestation of his power, and this is made known to the people of his organization. "And the glory of
the Lord came into the house [the sanctuary of the temple], by the way of the gate (I-A, E) whose prospect is toward the cast." (43:4) The coming of the Lord to his temple indicates that the time of hostilities for the destruction of Satan's organization has arrived, by reason of the fact that he is accompanied by his living creatures of his great organization and it moves in great chariot-like formation prepared for and advancing for war.
It seems quite certain that the "living creatures" and the "wheels" enter into the temple with Jehovah. Isaiah had a like vision in which he saw the seraphim with the Lord in the temple. "I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly." (Isa. 6:1,2) This supports the conclusion that his war-chariot and living creatures enter into the temple with the Lord. This would also indicate that the Lord, coming to his temple, would first awaken out of death the sleeping saints who had died faithful, and bring these into the temple, and that then he would gather unto himself all the remaining living creatures of his organization, including his remnant now on the earth. The presence of the holy angels with the Lord in his temple is shown. (Rev. 15: 6; Matt. 25: 31) "And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come [Christ Jesus coming into the temple as Jehovah's Messenger, but followed also by the members of his body]; and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts." — Hag. 2:7.
Because the glory of the Lord God appeared by way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east, that gate was sanctified. Thereafter it was closed. (44:1-3) The prophecy indicates that now Jehovah takes up his abiding place at the temple, as nowhere else in the prophecy is it shown that he leaves the temple.
"PLACE OF MY THRONE"
Men do not prophesy by their own power, nor do men interpret prophecy. "So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house." (43: 5) The remnant do not by man's wisdom discern the arrival of the Lord at his temple. It is the spirit of the Lord that enables the remnant to see that the Lord has come to his temple. Many who claim consecration to the Lord have not discerned this great truth, and thus is shown that the spirit of the Lord has not instructed them. Ezekiel was brought into the inner court by the spirit of the Lord. The non-priestly class is not granted the privilege of having this close-up view of the Lord's presence. It is the priestly class that are in the temple, and who behold the glory of the Lord. Under such circumstances every one in the temple must speak of the glory of Jehovah. (Ps. 29: 9) The Prophet Ezekiel, in another chapter, described a polluted and unclean temple made so by those who professed to be servants of God. There is a great contrast between that evil house and the clean and undefiled temple to which the Lord comes. Ezekiel was the only man in the temple at the time of the incoming of God's glory, and with him was God's angel, the
heaven-sent messenger, his guide. The vision is a very intimate one of the Lord to his servant, but the remnant whom Ezekiel pictured are commanded to tell others of God's people about it. In obedience to this commandment the faithful have been telling others about the temple of Jehovah.
It was in the spring of 1918 that the Lord Jesus, as the representative of Jehovah, appeared at the temple, and from that time forward the glory of Jehovah has been there. "And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me." (43: 6) When Ezekiel heard the Lord speaking to him the man stood by him. "The man" was the heavenly messenger, and this pictures the heavenly messengers or angels of the Lord now used by the Lord in behalf of the remnant. These angels are invisible to human eyes and are there to carry out the orders of the Lord. No doubt they first hear the instruction which the Lord issues to his remnant and then these invisible messengers pass such instruction on to the remnant. The facts show that the angels of the Lord with him at his temple have been thus rendering service unto the remnant since 1919. The Lord from his holy temple speaks: "Hear, all ye people; hearken, 0 earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord God be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple." (Mic. 1:2) The faithful remnant in 1922 began to hear and to respond: "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not." — Isa. 6: 8, 9.
That the temple company will have part in the vindication of Jehovah's name, and glorify his holy name, is shown by the words of the Lord spoken to Ezekiel: "And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places [in their death, A.R.V., margin]." (43: 7) The temple of which Ezekiel had a vision is a representation of God's royal house, his kingly organization. Here at the temple Jehovah makes the faithful anointed members of his organization to be kings and priests with Christ. (Rev. 1:6) Jehovah's organization is the place of his rest. (Ps. 132:13,14) It is therefore 'the place of the soles of his feet'. His entire organization is subject to him, as it is written: "The head of Christ is God." (1 Cor. 11:3) His organization is his dwelling place. This corresponds with Revelation 21:3.
The prophetic house of Israel defiled the name of Jehovah, but the real or royal house after the spirit will never defile his holy name. "Christendom" by her ruling factors has greatly defiled the name of Jehovah God. That wicked organization has tried to make Christ to have concord with Satan's organization and to make the temple of God have agreement with idols. (2 Cor. 6:15,16; Rev. 17:1, 2) The kings of the earth and their allies, the faithless "Christendom", have at all times of their existence been no better than dead carcasses, because they were dead in trespasses and in sins. The hypocritical claims of such
that they represented God have greatly reproached and defamed his holy name, but they will never be permitted to do so again.
The Lord then told Ezekiel how the hypocritical religionists had denied his name, and what should be their fate: "In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my post, and the wall between me and them; they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger." (43:8) The worldly rulers have made God's sacred temple to appear as a common thing. Politicians, Big Business, and the clergy have used the name of the Lord for their own wicked and selfish purposes. They have set up a state religion in the name of the Lord God, and have told the people that such state religion must be practiced by them. They have suppressed the truth and God's witnesses in the truth. The clergy and their allies have held forth politics and what is called "patriotism" as the obligation which God has laid upon his people. They have adopted their abominable thing, the League of Nations, as a substitute for God's kingdom, and have placed it in God's holy place. Such defiling will no longer be possible under God's arrangement. (45:1-6) Because of these abominable things committed by "Christendom" God consumes them in his anger. The words "I have consumed them in mine anger" are prophetic words of what Jehovah will do at Armageddon to these defilers, just as he did to the ancient kings of typical Israel.
The Lord now in his temple says to Ezekiel, and therefore to the class whom Ezekiel represents: "Now
let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever." (43:9) These words constitute a warning to God's remnant now, and to all who have made a covenant to do Jehovah's will. In the land of "Christendom", and within the church systems, there are those who have made a covenant with God and who think to make themselves acceptable by self-righteousness, and yet at the same time they affiliate with the ruling factors of Satan's organization, who are like dead carcasses. These must be put away. "Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern." (43:10) This is a commandment to the faithful remnant to make known to all "Christendom" God's purposes. The purposes of Jehovah are symbolized in this visionary temple. This message must go to the "prisoner" class, and to the self-righteous, that they may have an opportunity to discern the difference between the holy and the unclean, and between God's organization, and his works, and the works and organization of Satan the enemy.
A knowledge of their real condition should make the "great multitude" ashamed. "And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof; and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them." (43:11) This command applies to God's
remnant now. "This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain, the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house." (43:12) The profane and unclean must keep away from the temple ground. The house of the Lord is high up; "the mountain of the Lord's house." (Isa. 2: 2, 3) The temple proper is built upon the third or topmost platform above the ground that is outside of the wall. The entire enclosure is on the top of the great mountain. (40:2) This shows that Jehovah's royal house or temple class surmounts the mountain of God's organization and is the capitol of that organization.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the great sacrificing Priest, and his service is all-sufficient for the atonement of sin. The remnant are shown the measurements of the altar, that they may have an appreciation of what sacrifices they may offer. "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein." (Rev. 11:1) "And these are the measures of the altar (I-I) after the cubits: The cubit is a cubit and an handbreadth; even the bottom (Diagram V) shall be a cubit, and the breadth a cubit, and the border (V-v) thereof by the edge thereof round about shall be a span: and this shall be the higher place of the altar. And from the bottom upon the ground even to the lower settle shall be two cubits, and the breadth (V-w) one cubit; and from the lesser settle even to the greater settle shall be four cubits, and the breadth one cubit. So the altar
shall be four cubits; and from the altar (V-z) and upward shall be four horns (V-y). And the altar shall be twelve cubits long, twelve broad, square in the four squares thereof. And the settle shall be fourteen cubits long, and fourteen broad in the four squares thereof; and the border (V-x) about it shall be half a cubit; and the bottom thereof shall be a cubit about; and his stairs [the steps thereof, R.V.] shall look toward the east." (43:13-17) The hearth of the altar is foursquare. In offering the sacrifice the high priest ascends the steps with his face toward the door of the temple, moving in the same direction as the sun moves across the sky.
The altar here described (I-I) is different from the "altar of wood" (IV-s) situated in the holy of the temple. (41:22) Primarily the altar here represents the ransom sacrifice of Christ Jesus. The Lord Jesus stated that his blood is the blood of the New Covenant; therefore the altar must represent sacrificial privileges in connection with the New Covenant, which must be validated at Mount Zion with the blood of Christ Jesus. The faithful followers of Christ Jesus, and therefore members of the royal priesthood, officiate at this altar by reason of the fact that they are 'made able ministers of the new covenant'. (2 Cor. 3:6) Jehovah selects those of the royal priesthood, and with that man has no deciding power whatsoever. "And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the seed [house] of Zadok, which approach [are near, R.V.] unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord God, a young bullock for a sin offering." (43:19) The heavenly priesthood will not be of the ancient Aaronic priesthood. The clergy of "Christendom" will be no part thereof. Not even Christ Jesus
selects these places for himself. "So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." (Heb. 5:5,6) Jehovah decides the entire matter. All of the royal priesthood are selected by Jehovah, and these are with Christ Jesus, the High Priest, at the inauguration of the New Covenant.
As Christ Jesus approaches to the inauguration of the New Covenant he approaches Jehovah God with the merit of his own human sacrifice (this being pictured in this prophecy by "a young bullock for a sin offering"), which sacrifice was made in behalf of mankind. The under-priests accompany him at the presentation of his merit. The application of his merit in behalf of mankind is pictured in verses twenty and twenty-one. The true and meritorious 'blood sprinkling' takes place at the inauguration of the New Covenant. "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." — Heb. 12:24.
The offering of the kid is not made at the same time, but on the second day. "And on the second day thou shalt offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they did cleanse it with the bullock." (43:22) The "kid of the goats" represents the members of the body of Christ, the under-priesthood, and this illustration shows that the sacrifice of the body by the Lord is only secondary in significance in connection with the sin-offering and in the inauguration of and carrying into effect of the New Covenant. The body members
have part in it by reason of the fact that they are part of the priesthood, but the real value is in Christ Jesus himself.
The burnt offering determines the acceptableness of the sin-offering: "When thou hast made an end of cleansing it, thou shalt offer a young bullock without blemish, and a ram out of the flock without blemish. And thou shalt offer them before the Lord, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering unto the Lord. Seven days shalt thou prepare every day a goat for a sin offering: they shall also prepare a young bullock, and a ram out of the flock, without blemish." (43: 23-25) The offering of the bullock as a sin-offering is followed by the burnt offering which is evidence of God's acceptance of the sin-offering. During the entire Christian era God has been accepting those who will finally constitute members of the body of Christ, and who are pictured by the sin-offering of the "kid of the goats", which was offered on each day for seven days. "Seven days shall they purge [make atonement for] the altar, and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves." (43: 26) The closing hours of the 'seventh day' are now here and the purging or atoning work will soon end, and then the inauguration of the New Covenant shall take place and it shall be put in operation for all mankind.
The end of the period of sacrifice will mark the end of the "seven days". "And when these days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord God." (43:27) The
"eighth day" is the day or time following the period of sacrifice; hence it marks the beginning of the judgment day of the individuals of mankind under the terms of the New Covenant. Then the people will be calling on the name of the Lord "to serve him with one consent", and the royal priesthood will be serving as mediator for the people with God. The work of reconciliation will continue during the thousand-year reign, and at the conclusion thereof "I will accept you, saith the Lord God". That will mark the time when Christ Jesus turns over the kingdom to Jehovah. — 1 Cor. 15: 24.
EAST GATE SHUT
From the inner court Ezekiel was brought to the east gate. "Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary [the outer gate of the sanctuary, R.V.], which looketh toward the cast, and it was shut." (44:1) This gate (I-A) is the entrance-way from the outside into the outer court. The gate "which looketh toward the east" is the one that Jehovah's glory used in entering into the temple. This gate Ezekiel saw was shut. To say the closing of this gate would indicate that the claim made by some that the remnant class in the temple will never fall out is an erroneous claim. The remnant are now in the temple, but faithfulness unto death marking their complete change in the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ must be maintained, in order to abide there for ever.
To be sure, the 'narrow way to life' will be closed in God's due time, but the 'shut gate' seen by Ezekiel
does not seem to refer to the closing of the narrow way to life. Rather it seems to mean this, that since the coming of the Lord to the temple the privilege of entering into the royal house of Jehovah is seen to rest entirely with Jehovah, and with no creature. No man takes this honor to himself; but the man must first receive the call from Jehovah, accept and respond to that call, and then prove faithful according to the measurements or requirements of the Lord. Such a man is not anointed to the kingdom as soon as he is spirit-begotten. It is only after he has proved faithful up to a certain point that then he is anointed and is pictured as entering the temple. Jehovah has declared that he will give this honor to none besides his 'elect servant' class; hence it is closed to all others. (Isa. 42: 8) It was in the year 1930 that the Lord caused to be published in The Watchtower the clearer view of the way into "Jehovah's Royal House", and since then the remnant discerned clearly how "shut" a proposition God's royal house is. (The Watchtower, January 15 to March 15, 1930) Only those who comply with the rules or measurements can enter.
The reason for the shutting of this outer gate is then told to Ezekiel. "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." (44:2) This decree Jehovah declares to him "that hath the key of David, [him] that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth". (Rev. 3:7) Jehovah gives this honor to whomsoever he will. (Isa. 42:8; Heb. 5:4-6) It is certain that the Lord's angels look well to the safeguarding of the
entrance and carefully inspect every one who is presented at that gate. Elsewhere it is shown under what circumstances, and when, and to whom, the east inner gate (I-E) is opened. — 46:1-8,12.
The Scriptures give abundant proof that the faithful prophets of God will be given by the Lord the honorable place of "princes in all the earth". "As for the prince, he shall sit therein as prince to eat bread before the Lord; he shall enter by the way of the porch (III-h) of the gate (I-A), and shall go out by the way of the same." (44:3, R.V.) These faithful men of old will be perfect human creatures when resurrected and will be representatives of the Lord on earth, the great "Prince of life". These men have a "better resurrection" than other men, and thus enter into the glory of God. In support of this conclusion Jesus said: "Ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." (Luke 13: 28) "And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God." (Luke 14:15) The faithful men who are made "princes in all the earth", sitting in the outer gate, do not detract from the glory of God that first passed through it. "He shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate (I-A), and shall go out by the way of the same." But note that these princes do not enter the inner court (I-H) or step over the inner threshold of the east inner gate.
The "prince" does not enter the "inner court", which is a precinct of the priests. The close proximity, however, shows the close relationship that shall obtain between the royal priesthood and the
faithful prophets of God who will be made princes in all the earth. The word "prince" here includes all these princes. These are given an honor that the "great multitude" or non-priestly Levites will not enjoy. The princes enjoy this honor only because they are the earthly representatives of those to whom Jehovah gives his glory, to wit, the royal priesthood.
Ezekiel is then brought into the inner court (I-H) by way of the north gate (I-E1). "Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord; and I fell upon my face." (44: 4) The east gate (I-E) being shut by the Lord, Ezekiel is led from the east gate and goes north and around and enters the inner court through the north gate (I-E1) used by the priests. Ezekiel beholds the glory of the Lord filling the temple and he falls down to worship. After this he sees God's river of life, the waters of which flow forth from the temple. He hears further instructions of the Lord from this time onward, as the record shows down to chapter forty-six, eighteenth verse. Since the remnant have discerned the 'shut gate' proposition they have beheld Jehovah's glory in his temple in a far greater degree than ever before. "The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men." (Ps. 11:4) "But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him." — Hab. 2:20; see also Ezek. 10: 3,4; Isa. 6:1-5.
The instruction given to Ezekiel begins: "And the LORD said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of
the house of the Lord, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary." (44: 5) Judgment begins at the house of God. (1 Pet. 4:17) Ezekiel is told to mark well what he sees and hears. "The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them." (Prov. 20:12) God has graciously given both the hearing ear and the seeing eye to his faithful remnant now on earth. Ezekiel is thus made to occupy the position of a law-transmitter to God's people like unto Moses declaring unto Israel the tabernacle pattern shown to him in the mountain. (Heb. 8:5; Ex. 25:40) God's remnant is now being thus used. Jehovah's commandments must now be called to the attention of his covenant people, and these commandments must be observed and kept by them. The manner of the remnant in serving God in going in and out of his temple service is very important to observe. We must get acquainted with his gates of praise and must use them as he has commanded. His organization directions must be observed and obeyed.
Rebellious "Christendom" must be warned. "And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God, 0 ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations." (44:6) Therein is the "great multitude". "Christendom" must be told that "the end of all things is at hand" and that the time for the end of their abominations has come. Let this suffice them for all time. The message of warning that the remnant has delivered to "Christendom", and particularly that message first proclaimed July 26, 1931, was here clearly foretold. "Christendom" has committed many abominations in
the name of the Lord. "In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant, because of all your abominations." (44: 7) The clergy have brought into what they called 'the church of Christ and of God' those who made no pretense of consecration to do the will of God, who were not justified by the shed blood of Christ Jesus, and who then had no faith in the merit of his sacrifice. Many of these so-called "pillars in the church" of "Christendom" wholly repudiate the blood of Christ and the Word of God.
The clergy have had no real, honest concern about God's house and its reputation, but have been ready to let it be polluted by bringing in those men of uncleanness, just so they could get members into their congregations for support and from whom they received collections. They have opened their arms to the big and corrupt politicians, the capitalists and the crooks, and have invited them to come in and share their delicacies, and paid them for so doing by giving them their support and full cooperation in their oppressive schemes. In the face of such abominations the clergy have broken God's everlasting covenant by participating in the shedding of human blood, and also their covenant which they have claimed to have with God to do his will and his service. Assuming his name and the name of Christ they were in at least an implied covenant to do God's will, and such they have utterly failed to do. They must be warned, and the remnant is now engaging in that very work.
Jehovah has caused the greatest amount of testimony work to be done within the realms of "Christendom", manifestly because therein is practiced the greatest amount of hypocrisy and are found the greatest abominations. "And ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves." (44: 8) Jehovah's witnesses have carried the message of truth to the people throughout "Christendom", but instead of listening to this message many people have had itching ears to hear themselves approved by the conscienceless and paid clergymen. Hence they have preferred to select "learned clergymen" for themselves, to whom they have paid their dues; that they might listen to the wisdom of men, which does not require obedience to God and to his righteous laws. "A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?" — Jer. 5: 30, 31.
Today the clergymen do not tell the people of the Word of God, but preach about things that are entirely foreign to his Word. Jehovah God has his own organization by and through which he dispenses "meat in due season" for those who walk in the right way. It is not man's message, but God's Word of truth, that is dispensed. Those who have left the Society, or earthly part of God's organization, and who choose to follow human leaders, are guilty of the same offense, and hence are judged and gathered out of the family of God.
The angels have stood guard at the temple gate and carried out the instructions of the Lord. (Matt. 13:41) No unclean shall enter therein; and those who ensnare others, and work contrary to God's law, are unclean, and hence excluded. "Thus saith the Lord God, No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel." (44: 9) It is now well known that the judgment of the Lord began in 1918 and there followed a sweeping change from and after that time in the personnel of those who 'keep his commandments and do that which is pleasing in his sight', and who carry on his work as he has organized it. Christ Jesus has closed the door to "Christendom" and to the "evil servant" class; hence the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah 52:1: "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, 0 Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean."
THE GREAT MULTITUDE
Only those who respond to God's invitation to the kingdom are ever in line for the kingdom. Many who were begotten of the spirit of God gave no further heed to learning and obeying his commandments. "And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity." (44:10) The Levites did not come into line for the priesthood; and likewise the "great multitude" class (Rev. 7: 9-17) never did respond to the call for the kingdom and come into line for a place
in the royal house of Jehovah. They have been held back by selfishness or some other sort of idol. They have made idols of their congregational organizations, which they call by the name of "the church". Thus many have been held back from a full devotion to the Lord God and have gone along in the same crowd with the unconsecrated and unclean and have wandered far from the Lord. They have been held prisoners by their church affiliations and by their clergy. They must bear their iniquity, not in heaven, but in their last days on the earth. At the present time they are in the 'prison houses', but in due time they will come in for what Samson received just before the falling down of the house.
The fact that they are not awarded the "prize of the high calling" cannot be construed as 'iniquity bearing', because they never even responded to that call. Receiving life at all as spirit creatures is a gracious consideration and gift from Jehovah to them, and therefore could not be a punishment. They receive life because of their finally keeping their integrity under the great and final test. Their iniquity must and will be borne when the old structure falls and completely collapses. (Zech. 14:2) Suffering an ignominious death rather than to deny the Lord will cause the Lord to finally approve the "great multitude" class. Because washing their robes in the blood of the Lamb denotes their approval by Jehovah, it is written: "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them." (Rev. 7:15) In harmony with this Ezekiel records: "Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having
charge at the gates of the house, and ministering to the house: they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them." (44:11) Before leaving the earth they will praise God at his gates.
They are given a place in the organization of Jehovah and "shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people". Evidently they slay these burnt offerings at the north gate, where the tables are located for the dressing of the sacrifice. (40:39-43) They were not admitted into the inner court, but the farthest they would go would be the "porch" (II-h) at the north inner gate (I-E1), where are located four tables, two on each side of the passageway, or they may use the four tables situated outside of the entryway of the north gate. They minister unto the people, but that cannot be compared with the privilege of ministering to Jehovah, which the members of the royal priesthood enjoy. The office of the "great multitude" seems to mean that they have some intermediate work between the peoples of earth and The Christ, that of making the offerings of the people ready to be received by Christ, who in turn would offer them to Jehovah. This is indicated by the fact that the Levites, picturing the "great multitude", "slay the burnt offering" before turning the same over to the priest.
The "great multitude" was foreshadowed by the scapegoat. Aaron the priest imputed to the scapegoat all the iniquities of the children of Israel and all of their transgressions and sins. "And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins,
putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness. And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness." (Lev. 16:21,22) In harmony with that picture the Lord says of the "great multitude": "Because they ministered unto them before their idols [their church systems, the clergy and such like], and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity [became a stumblingblock of iniquity unto the house of Israel, R.V.]; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord God, and they shall bear their iniquity. And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place; but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed." — 44:12,13.
This shows that the "great multitude" cannot be recipients of the divine nature at the resurrection. The divine nature would be too intimate a privilege for them. Their course of action while on the earth is not wholly towards Jehovah, and they will not be given the "most holy" privileges in heaven. That which will doubtless cause members of the "great multitude" to weep tears of bitterness is the fact that they have brought reproach upon the name of Jehovah and have failed to have any part in the vindication of his name. They will be glad for any place where they may live forever in happiness, but when they fully realize how they have participated in defaming the name of the Most High they will be in great distress and bitterness. Thereafter God will extend his
mercy toward them and wipe away their tears. — Rev. 7:17.
When cleansed the "great multitude" will be graciously given a place of service before the royal house. "But [yet, R.V.] I will make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein." (44:14) God's law governing the Levites who foreshadowed the "great multitude" provides: "And thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee: but thou and thy sons with thee shall minister before the tabernacle of witness. And they shall keep thy charge, and the charge of all the tabernacle: only they shall not come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary and the altar, that neither they nor ye also die. And they shall be joined unto thee, and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, for all the service of the tabernacle: and a stranger shall not come nigh unto you." (Num. 18: 2-4) This proves that the "great multitude" will be subordinate to the royal family of God, serving before the throne. — Rev. 7:15.
THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
Jehovah declared his purpose to have a royal priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. Christ Jesus is the Head of this priesthood, and with him are associated one hundred and forty-four thousand under-priests. (Ps. 110:4; 1 Pet. 2:9,10) Ezekiel is given instructions concerning the service of the priesthood: "But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children
of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God." (44:15) The royal priests are divine sons of the RIGHTEOUS ONE JAH. The Aaronic priesthood was taken from the tribe of Levi. The high priesthood of Zadok dates from King David's day. (2 Sam. 8:17; 15:24-36; 19:11; 20:25) The Zadok family was fittingly chosen because of faithfulness to God and his kingdom interests as represented by King David. This is proof that it is faithfulness to God in the performance of duty that brings his approval.
The family of Zadok was descended from God's favored priest Phinehas, but not through the unfaithful house of the high priest Eli, but through Amariah and Ahitub. (1 Chron. 6:1-8, 50-53) "So Solomon thrust out Abiathar [descendant of Eli] from being priest unto the Lord; that he might fulfil the word of the Lord, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh." (1 Ki. 2:27) "And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart, and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house: and he shall walk before mine anointed [King] for ever. And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine [Eli's] house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a piece of bread." — 1 Sam. 2: 35, 36.
In Ezekiel's day these priests, "Levites, the sons of Zadok," were represented by the high priest Jehozadak, which means "Jehovah is just" (1 Chron. 6:14,15), and by his successor Joshua, meaning "Je-
hovah saves". (Hag. 1:12; Zech. 3:1, 8, 9; 6:11,12) This same Joshua was the high priest who, together with Zerubbabel, built the prophetic temple at Jerusalem after the return of the Israelites from Babylon. These priests remained faithful to God, which is shown by the prophecies of Haggai, Zechariah and Ezekiel. Jehovah speaks with commendation and approval of Phinehas, in Numbers 25:11-13, because of his faithfulness. Eli's priestly house pictures those who are unfaithful to their covenant with God and who join the Antichrist.
In 1917 to 1918 a crucial test came upon the people of God, and out of that test came the "faithful and wise servant" class pictured by "the sons of Zadok that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me". This strongly supports the conclusion that after God calls one to the kingdom and that call is accepted the called one must be put to a test in order to determine his faithfulness and must prove faithful under such test before being chosen and anointed to a place in the royal priesthood. The approved ones, says the Lord, "shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood." The fat and the blood were special parts of the sacrifice that belonged exclusively to Jehovah God, and which were offered to him by the priests. The life is in the blood, and Jehovah is the only source of life. "And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire, for a sweet savour. All the fat is the Lord's. It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations, throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood." (Lev. 3:16,17) "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have
given it to you upon the altar, to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." — Lev. 17:11.
The faithful priesthood of the sons of Zadok pictured or represented the faithful who were chosen to membership in the royal priesthood and made members of Jehovah's royal house. "They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table (IV-s), to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge." (44:16) There was no ark of the covenant or mercy seat for the priests to come near in this temple (I-L; IV-L) which Ezekiel saw, and this for the reason that Jehovah is now at his temple. "The altar of wood" was there, which is called "the table that is before the Lord". Jehovah's anointed ones yet on the earth do now come near to this table before the Lord in the secret place of the Most High, not because of their own perfections, but because of the righteousness and perfection of Christ Jesus, the Head of the royal priesthood. Jehovah's confidence in this priesthood is shown by the fact that they "minister unto me [Jehovah], and they shall keep my charge".
This is the class that has access to the inner court. Because the east gate is shut, they must enter at other gates: "And it shall come to pass, that, when they enter in at the gates (I-E1, E2) of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within." (44:17) Their garments identify them as members of the royal priesthood, "for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." (Rev. 19:8) The remnant now on earth must have
on fine linen garments, to wit, "the robe of righteousness," showing that they have Jehovah's approval and are his witnesses. The fact that they wore no wool would indicate that these faithful ones do not shear the flock of God to provide comfort for themselves in God's service.
The clothing required to be worn by the royal priesthood indicates that their service is one of joy: "They shall have linen bonnets [tires] upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins [lest their nakedness appear (Rev. 3:18; 16:15)]; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat." (44:18) The priest must have on nothing that "causeth sweat". Sweat suggests drudgery, toil, such as the case of Adam. (Gen. 3:17-19) Woolen garments cause sweat, and would therefore be improper. Adam's "sweat" was the result of the curse, and concerning God's organization, of which the remnant now form a part, it is written: "And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse." — Rev. 22: 2, 3.
The royal priesthood is instructed not to exhibit their royal garments to the people. "And when they go forth into the utter [outer] court (I-D), even into the utter [outer] court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers (I-P, P1, P2, P3), and they shall put on other garments; and they shall not sanctify the people with their garments." (44:19) This text cannot be construed to mean that the glorified saints in heaven will materialize in form or dress and exhibit themselves to the people. The text therefore must be limited in its application to Jehovah's rem-
nant still on the earth who are before the people as Jehovah's witnesses. These are not to exhibit themselves and parade themselves before the people by misusing things of their spiritual office for selfish and vain-glorious purposes. They are not to pose before the people in a sanctimonious manner as Jehovah's witnesses in order to impress others with their own importance or to cause the people to look upon them with awe. Such a course would be entirely displeasing to the Lord. Jehovah's witnesses are his servants; and when they go before the people with his message in book form, or by other means of testifying, they are to give Jehovah all the glory and honor, and none to man. (Hag. 2:11,12) Nor is it proper for God's chosen ones to sanctify those whom God does not elect. The royal priesthood is chosen by the Lord, and not by any creature.
Let Jehovah's chosen servants take notice of this instruction, to wit: "Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll [shear] their heads." (44:20) God gives the woman her hair for a head covering, and the woman is a picture of the church. (2 Cor. 11:2) Whether the woman's hair is rolled up in a knot on the top of her head or whether it is cropped is not material, but it is a shame to shave the head and then tie a white cloth over it and wear a black bonnet in order that others may see and say: "That is a real sanctimonious person." Nor are the men to wear long hair in order that they might appear as unusually pious souls and cause the people thus to say. Paul understood the Lord's instructions concerning the priesthood when he wrote that the women should not
shave their head, nor the men wear long locks. "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given her for a covering." — 1 Cor. 11:3-15.
"They shall only poll their heads," says the Lord in his instructions to Ezekiel. To poll means to shear. There has been a lot of foolish talk concerning the women's bobbing or cropping the hair, but there is no scripture against so doing. We should not be foolish in trying to make rules which the Scriptures do not warrant. The sum of Jehovah's instructions to Ezekiel concerning the headdress of the priesthood is that they are to do nothing that would make them especially conspicuous or would call attention to the creature, but to do everything to call attention to the Creator. They are not to make themselves particularly conspicuous by dress or appearance or ultrapious expressions. It is improper for them to go about in a mournful manner or to appear as martyrs that they may impress others. Jehovah's witnesses are happy, joyful and faithful servants of God, boldly giving the testimony of Jesus Christ and calling attention of the people to the Word and name of the Most High. Whether a certain class like them or do not like them, it is not material. God's approval is the all-important thing.
Any course of action that is extreme or excessive is displeasing to the Lord. "Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court." (44: 21) God's law directed that the Aaronic priesthood should not drink wine when they went into the tabernacle, but that does not mean that they may not
drink wine on other occasions and in moderation. The very language of the scripture implies that it is proper to drink wine at certain times, and then moderately. (Lev. 10: 9) "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the spirit." (Eph. 5:18) The spirit of a sound mind must be maintained while in God's direct service. One's best mental and physical abilities should be employed in the service of the Lord. Any attempt to serve the Lord in a loose, indifferent and shiftless manner is displeasing to him. Our very best should be given to the Lord. We should be diligent and strive to be very accurate in our work and give great care to see that it is done right and to the honor of the Lord.
We should not be man-pleasers, but should strive to please God. One with an unbalanced head, sleepy, slovenly, slothful and indifferent, whether that be caused by wine, excessive eating or anything else, is certainly displeasing to the Lord. Excessive indulgence in wine or wholesome food is very injurious, yet "a little wine for thy stomach's sake" is advisable, and a reasonable amount of wholesome food is also necessary. (1 Tim. 5:23) Jehovah's royal priesthood must be governed by his law, and not by the whims or ideas of prudes or extremists or by other unreasonable and hypocritical rules, such as are practiced outwardly amongst those of "organized Christianity". — Prov. 3: 5, 6.
Those of the royal priesthood are not under the terms of Israel's Law Covenant, nor are they under any law that is contrary to God's law. "Neither shall they take for their wives a widow, nor her that is put away; but they shall take maidens [virgins] of the
seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that had a priest before." (44:22) God's people put away the Law Covenant just as truly as Abraham sent Hagar away. (Gen. 21:14) Neither may God's faithful remnant now presume to do that which is called "the Elijah work", for that work is as a widow since 'Elijah is taken away'. Paul must have had this prophecy in mind when he wrote that the followers of Christ should marry "only in the Lord". (1 Cor. 7:39) Marrying in those days, however, was for the purpose of bringing forth children. To the remnant this instruction as given to Ezekiel would mean that they are not to unequally yoke themselves with unbelievers who have no belief in the present-day work of God's organization on earth, but that they espouse and join themselves only to that which God authorizes.
The priesthood are to be teachers. "And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean." (44:23) This the "evil servant" class has refused to do. (See Ezekiel 22:26; Vindication, Book One, page 299.) Christ Jesus is teaching the remnant the difference between the holy and the profane things, and it is the duty of the members of the remnant to so teach others who are consecrated to the Lord. Those of the remnant clearly see the distinction between Satan's organization and Jehovah's organization and devote themselves wholly to Jehovah God and his work. The "evil servant" class refuse to make distinction between the two organizations.
The purpose of the coming of Christ Jesus to the temple is for judgment. (Mal. 3:1-3) The under-priests have something to do in this connection be-
cause it is a time for judgment. (1 Cor. 4:5) "And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths." (44:24) The judgment work is now being executed by Christ Jesus, the great High Priest, concerning such matters as the "wicked servant" class, prohibition, the League of Nations, voting, militarism and like matters. The remnant judge the issue only according to the judgment of Jehovah God, which is already written. They call attention to such judgment. Also when God's people are assembled, such as at a convention, the remnant observe God's law and statutes and carry out his commandments by calling attention to Jehovah's commandments and his judgments and by giving warning to the rulers of the nations even as he has commanded. Jesus also used the sabbath day to proclaim the kingdom, and the remnant now use the day which is called 'the sabbath" to declare the message of God's kingdom. In fact, every day with the remnant is a sabbath day. The entire church is now assembled at Mount Zion and is keeping the sabbath feast together.
These instructions show that the remnant must do what the Lord commanded, and do it as a body of devoted creatures. "And they shall come at no dead person to defile themselves: but for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister that hath had no husband, they may defile themselves. And after he is cleansed they shall reckon unto him seven days." (44:25,26) At no time and under no conditions may the remnant properly join
forces with the sin-dead, Devil-ruled world in any of its movements of reform or any other claimed efforts to make the world a desirable place in which to live. Jehovah's witnesses must keep themselves separate from the world.
Even in the case of his closest relationship after the flesh the priests could not come in contact with dead bodies without thereafter having to be specially purified by the sprinkling of water mixed with the ashes of the red heifer and refraining from the temple service for seven days. (Num. 19:1-21) This shows clearly that in the modern fulfilment the remnant may not defile themselves with the dead world for anyone's sake, not even for their dearest or closest relatives after the flesh. That means that they must not participate in any of the worldly schemes even though it would be advantageous to some near relative. Jehovah's remnant must be wholly devoted to him and his service. During the millennial reign of Christ the priesthood will not be dealing with the dead world, for the reason that the people then redeemed will be on the way to life, and, trusting in the Lord and in his redemptive blood and his saving power, the people will be on the way to justification.
The law of Jehovah is unchangeable: "And in the day that he goeth into the sanctuary, unto the inner court, to minister in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering [to complete his cleansing from death's defilement], saith the Lord God." (44:27) God did not hold the priest for a clean priest if he put himself in contact with dead bodies, even of his most intimate relations on earth. Neither could the Lord hold guiltless, and for clean, any of the remnant in
this day of judgment who put themselves in contact with anything of the dead organization of the wicked world under Satan. The priests must "keep [themselves] unspotted from the world". — Jas. 1:27.
Those who are elevated to the royal priesthood do not serve God for any earthly reward. To lay up a treasure on the earth militates against one who is trying to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. All of one's substance should be used to the glory of God, and therefore in accordance with the instructions given in the Scriptures. "And it shall be unto them for an inheritance; I am their inheritance: and ye shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession." (44: 28) It is also true that one cannot serve Jehovah for the purpose of a heavenly reward except that he might inherit and possess Jehovah through Christ Jesus. This scripture shows that the faithful priesthood of the royal house will come into the inheritance and possession of the divine nature, which God gives only to his royal house. As to what God does allow these priests on the earth appears at chapters forty-five (verses one to four) and forty-eight (verses ten to twelve).
The priesthood is given the things necessary. "They shall eat the meat [meal] offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering [guilt offering]; and every dedicated [devoted] thing in Israel shall be theirs." (44:29) He who works must eat. "The workman is worthy of his meat," says Jesus. (Matt. 10:10) This proves the rule that the members of the remnant are justified in accepting a nominal sum of money for their service, which is God's provision for them to eat and be clothed with things necessary.
God's faithful witnesses are not a public charge, but they are entitled to eat. "And the first of all the firstfruits of all things, and every oblation [heave offering] of all, of every sort of your oblations, shall be the priest's: ye shall also give unto the priest the first of your dough, that he may cause the [a] blessing to rest in [on] thine house." (44:30) The people of good will now on earth must be taught to appreciate the fact that God's cause comes first and that Jehovah's witnesses or servants are serving that cause and, therefore, that the people do God's pleasure by giving a small sum of money toward publishing literature and books for their instruction. The people therefore have a part in providing the things needful for themselves. Their instruction is exceedingly needful. Doing so because it comes from the Lord will bring to the people some measure of blessing even now, and a greater blessing later. (Matt. 10:12,13; 25: 34-40) When glorified in heaven the priests could not live off the offerings of the people; hence the rule must be applied now.
"The priests shall not eat of any thing that is dead [that dieth] of itself, or torn, whether it be fowl or beast." (44: 31) They must subsist, not on distorted and unscriptural teachings, but upon truth that is found upon the Lord's table and which he has provided for them.
ALLOTMENT OF THE LAND
Ezekiel's vision discloses that God has made provision for the occupancy of the land by the priests, as well as by those who are not of the priesthood. We
must bear in mind that "the land" here is not the literal earth, but pictures the position and condition in which the members of God's organization are placed. Jesus said to his disciples: "In my Father's house arc many mansions [dwelling places] ... I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14: 2) The allotment of the land, as used in this prophecy, clearly refers to the same thing. (See Diagram VI, page 289.) "Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the Lord, an holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds [cubits], and the breadth shall be ten thousand. This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about." (45:1) This "holy portion of the land" occupied the central position (VI-c-d-f-e) in all the land of God's restored people, thereby picturing how the lives and interests of all the people will move about Jehovah's organization and particularly the capital of his organization, which is Zion his royal house. It is Jehovah God who does the selecting. "The place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name in." (Deut. 16: 6) Allotment of the land is also given consideration in Ezekiel, chapters forty-seven (verses thirteen to twenty-two) and forty-eight (verses eight to twenty).
The allotment in the holy place is described in this manner: "Of this there shall be for the sanctuary five hundred in length, and five hundred in breadth, square round about (VI-A); and fifty cubits round about for the suburbs thereof. And of this measure shalt thou measure the length of five and twenty thousand (Vl-c-d), and the breadth of ten thousand (VI-c-e): and in it shall be the sanctuary (VI-A) and
the most holy place." (45:2,3) This was the area of ground on which the temple of the Lord stood, and the ground for the temple occupied the center of the tract of land. Jehovah's priests occupied a position of responsibility toward him, and he makes first the best provision for them; hence the portion of the land above described is for the priests to occupy: "The holy portion of the land shall be for the priests the ministers of the sanctuary, which shall come near to minister unto the Lord; and it shall be a place for their houses, and an holy place for the sanctuary." — 45:4.
Jehovah locates the "great multitude" at a convenient point for service. "And the five and twenty thousand of length (VI-a-b), and the ten thousand of breadth (VI-a-c) [immediately north of the portion assigned for the priests], shall also the Levites, the ministers of the house, have for themselves, for a possession for twenty chambers." (45:5) The Lord God has provided an everlasting abode for the "great multitude" in his organization. He places that multitude in a position immediately next to and subject to the call of the royal priesthood. The manifold foresight and wisdom of Jehovah is thrilling. Even the most minute things he has provided. For instance, under the law arrangement the Levites (which picture the "great multitude") were located in forty-eight different cities, six of which were called cities of refuge. (Num. 35:1-8) Three of those cities were on one side of the River Jordan, and three on the other side of it. During the period of the Christian era those who will compose the "great multitude" have been scattered about in various denominational organiza-
tions of "Christendom", but now in the allotment of the land, showing the condition of their location, the "great multitude" by the grace of God will finally be gathered up and brought into his heavenly city or great organization.
In the outer court (I-D) of the temple the Levites are assigned thirty chambers (I-B,1-30). (See Ezekiel 40:17.) In the assignment of the territory God specifies twenty chambers, and that would seem to signify that God divides the Levites or "great multitude" up into twenty courses of service. There will be divisions or courses of service, but they will all be together, and no longer scattered about.
Allotment is made for the city (VI-B): "And ye shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad (VI-e-g), and five and twenty thousand long (VI-e-f) [from east to west], over against [side by side with, R.V.] the oblation of the holy portion (VI-c-d-f-e): it shall be for the whole house of Israel." (45: 6) The temple and city were separated from each other by about eight thousand cubits. Since the city Zion is not mentioned in the vision, it seems that the city here described is not Zion, the invisible kingdom, but that it pictures more the earthly representation of God's heavenly government. Consideration is given to this city also in chapter 48:15-17, 30-35. The entire "holy oblation" of land twenty-five thousand cubits square is a picture of God's universal organization called "Jerusalem", while Zion, Jehovah's royal family, is pictured in the land allotted to and occupied by the temple, and which is occupied by the priests. The city mentioned in the above text is said to be JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH.
The earthly representatives of Jehovah's kingdom are designated as "princes in all the earth", and their position is shown in God's organization. "And a portion shall be for the prince on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy portion, and of the possession of the city, before [in front of] the oblation of the holy portion, and before [in front of] the possession of the city, from the west side (VI-a-g) westward, and from the east side (VI-b-h) eastward; and the length shall be over against one of the portions, from the west border unto the east border. In the land shall be his possession in Israel: and my princes shall no more oppress my people; and the rest of the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes." (45: 7, 8) The word "prince" in this text manifestly applies to the entire company and refers to the resurrected, faithful prophets who were faithful witnesses before the day of Christ, and who as a company Christ will make rulers in all the earth. Christ is King of these earthly representatives, and Jehovah God is the great King over all. The fact that there shall be no more oppression, as these verses say, shows the kind of men the Lord will install in office as officials ruling the earth. They will be righteous and their rule will be righteous. Instruction is given concerning these earthly rulers. "Thus saith the Lord God, Let it suffice you, 0 princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord God." (45: 9) This prophecy indicates what the "princes in all the earth" will do. Righteousness will be maintained.
The commerce of Satan's organization is wicked and oppressive, but in God's kingdom everything must be done in righteousness. "Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath. The ephah and the bath shall be of one measure, that the bath may contain the tenth part of an homer, and the ephah the tenth part of an homer: the measure thereof shall be after the homer. And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs; twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels shall be your maneh." (45:10-32) There will be no juggling with the medium of exchange, nor changes of measures. Big Business, with its military organization for its protection and for the oppression of the people, will never again exist. The righteous representatives of the kingdom on earth will instruct the people in righteousness and will require all to deal righteously. The measures and weights will be in harmony with the divine rule which Jesus declared: "Good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over." — Luke 6: 38.
The Lord's righteous government will not tolerate insubordination on the part of anyone, but all must obey. "This is the oblation that ye [earthly rulers] shall offer, the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of wheat, and ye shall give the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of barley. Concerning the ordinance of oil, the bath of oil, ye shall offer the tenth part of a bath out of the cor, which is an homer of ten baths; for ten baths are an homer: and one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel, for a meat [meal] offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord God." (45:13-15) Verses
thirteen to fifteen describe the amount that shall be brought in for various offerings, all of which offerings are "to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord", that is, for the people. All the people will be required to recognize God's kingdom and accept these resurrected faithful prophets or servants of God as the representatives of the kingdom on earth, and that the earthly princes are the representatives to treat with the heavenly royal priesthood and in behalf of the people who seek reconciliation with God. The prophecy also shows that the people will be required to contribute something toward such reconciliation, and that such contributions will be their full obedience and cooperation. The people will receive their instructions from the visible princes, and these instructions they will be required to obey.
Ezekiel hears further instructions concerning these rulers: "And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat [meal] offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities [in all the appointed feasts, R.V.] of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat [meal] offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation [atonement, R.V.] for the house of Israel." (45:17) The fact that the Lord gives such specific instructions regarding the duties of the princes indicates that Jehovah, by and through Christ Jesus, gives special recognition to these faithful men who of old maintained their integrity, and who died faithful to God, and that he will resurrect them as perfect men and make them representatives of the kingdom on earth. These men will be the visible representatives
on earth of Zion, which is God's organization. The peoples of earth will be required to act through these earthly representatives of God's organization.
The vision of Ezekiel does not at all mean that an earthly temple will be built at or near Jerusalem for the use of the people. There will be no reason for the erection of such a building. What this vision really means is that it is a prophecy which will be fulfilled in the Lord's due time. It is a vision of God's organization in operation, showing the assigned positions of those who have to do with the organization. "Thus saith the Lord God, In the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock, without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary." (45:18) It was on the tenth day of the month when Ezekiel was given the vision; therefore the vision in substance says that this invisible temple will yet be constructed by the Lord to begin operations on the first day of the year after being brought together. The faithful disciples of Christ Jesus are made clean through the merit of Christ Jesus' shed blood and are made living stones for the temple. All who are brought into the temple and made a part of it, must be of this cleansed condition.
Jehovah's temple organization will be used in behalf of the people on earth during the period of reconciliation. "And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put it upon the [door] posts of the house (I-K), and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar (I-I), and upon the posts of the gate (I-E) of the inner court. And so thou shalt do [on] the seventh day of the month for every one that erreth, and for him that is simple: so shall ye rec-
oncile [make atonement for] the house." (45:19,20) This use of the sin-atoning blood pictures that the acceptance of the temple and the power of the temple toward the human race are by virtue of the shed blood of Christ Jesus, God's beloved Son. The holy angels do not need this temple, but the human creatures do need such blood-sprinkling in the temple to save them from death.
When Jehovah would deliver the Israelites from the oppressive hand of Egypt he pictured his victory over the enemy by the application of the blood of the paschal lamb on the door posts and over the door. This pictured the deliverance of the people from the oppressive hand of Satan and his organization, and it is reasonable to conclude that this great victory of Jehovah over the enemy at Armageddon will be celebrated. "In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself, and for all the people of the land, a bullock for a sin offering." (45:21,22) During the Millennial reign the peoples of earth will be under the leadership of the "princes in all the earth", and this scripture suggests that during that time the people will celebrate their deliverance from the oppressive hand of the enemy and will recognize that the 'Lamb of God has taken away their sin' and that the great and mighty Christ Jesus has trodden 'the wine press of God's wrath' to the destruction of the enemy and all of his organization. Then unto Christ every human knee shall bow, and all will acknowledge that he is
the great Lamb of God, to the glory of the Most High. — Phil. 2:9-11.
The peoples of earth will have a real reason to celebrate and to faithfully keep the festival, and such is shown by the following: "[The] seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the Lord, seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish, daily the seven days; and a kid of the goats daily for a sin offering. And he shall prepare a meat [meal] offering of an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and an hin of oil for an ephah." (45:23, 24) Throughout the Millennium the earthly princes and the people will hold such feasts to the Lamb of God, Christ Jesus, and to the honor of Jehovah's name.
Instead of "holiday hilarities" that are now held by the people under Satan's organization, during the thousand-year reign of Christ the people will celebrate feasts at stated times. "In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he [the prince] do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat [meal] offering, and according to the oil." (45: 25) During the thousand-year reign of Christ the people will be under Christ, the great Mediator and King, and on their way to justification. They must be finally and fully justified before being brought into Jehovah's permanent organization. During that thousand-year reign the people will be figuratively dwelling in tents or tabernacles. At the end of the Millennium, when Satan is loosed for a little season (Rev. 20:3) they, the justified ones, together with their earthly leaders the princes, will constitute the "camp of the saints", which Satan and his forces
will attempt to take. The people will then know that their dependence is upon God and upon Christ. During the Millennium the people will be celebrating a feast of tabernacles and be gathering and bringing in all fruits of praise and thanksgiving unto God. The "princes in all the earth" during the period will receive the fruits of the kingdom from the trees of life which grow on either side of the river of the water of life and will be holding forth these fruits of the kingdom for the benefit of the people. (Rev. 22:1,2) This figurative language means that the earthly princes will minister the life-giving truth to the people.
Jehovah's glory passed through the east gate and therefore "Thus saith the Lord God, The gate (I-E) of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened." (46:1) The princes, rulers in the earth, do not pass through this gate, but the fact that it is open at certain times is manifestly for the purpose of communication. According to verse twelve of this same chapter this east gate was opened on special occasions. The vision shows the temple class in the temple. If the official members of the earthly remnant are sealed before the return of these faithful men, who shall be made princes in all the earth, surely during this interim, no matter how brief, this symbolic eastern gate (I-E) of divine glory will be shut tight and none other will be permitted to enter thereafter. (Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 13:24-27) However, when
these faithful prophets or princes do return, then the eastern gate of praise and service to Jehovah's glory will be opened, and then the "prince" may proceed so far, but no further, and shall not pass over the inner threshold of the gate. It seems likely that for a little season these faithful men will be associated personally with the last members of the faithful remnant of the "servant" class on whom Jehovah has put his glory. Thus there will be a direct connection between the faithful remnant and the princes in the earth, even though for a short time.
That the "prince" could not go entirely through and beyond the eastern inner gate where the glory of Jehovah entered is shown by the following: "And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch (II-h) of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold (II-g) of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening." (46: 2; see also 44: 3) It appears from this text that the priests meet the prince, that is, members of the royal priesthood meet members of the "princes in all the earth", and the priests shall prepare their offering of acceptance. May this not mean also that the last members of the remnant will enjoy the privilege while in the flesh of a personal contact with some of the faithful men of old, resurrected and beginning the work of the kingdom on earth? This verse shows that the princes shall worship Jehovah in a special way at the gate of praise and service to him, at the threshold of the east inner gate, which seems to denote their special position in Jehovah's organization. Jesus speaks
of the same thing: "And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 8:11) This special gate of praise and service is open to the princes throughout the entire "Lord's day", that is, the one thousand years' reign of Christ.
The princes will lead the people in their worship of Jehovah and of Christ. "Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate (I-E) before the Lord, in the sabbaths, and in the new moons." (46:3) The peoples of earth will then be worshiping in the outer place (I-D), that is to say, on the east of the temple and before the doors of the temple. The worship will be orderly and with regularity; and this is indicated by the regular processions of the sabbaths and new moons. This will draw the people ever nearer to Jehovah and to Christ. Then they will stand together as one unit and united people, and the princes will be their leaders.
On the sabbath day and new moon day the prince 'shall offer the burnt offerings for the people to the Lord', these offerings being specified in verses four to seven. "And he shall prepare a meat [meal] offering, an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram; and for the lambs according as his hand shall attain unto, and an hin of oil to an ephah." (46:7) The prince must not enter into the inner court; hence it is written: "And when the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of that gate (I-E), and he shall go forth by the way thereof." (46:8) The inner court is exclusively for the priests' service.
The Lord has provided good traffic rules for the people when they are coming to the solemn feasts to worship. "But when the people of the land shall come before the Lord in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate (I-A1) to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate (I-A2); and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate; he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but, shall go forth over against it [straight before him, R.V.]." The line is kept moving in one direction, so there is no disorder; showing that everything with the Lord is orderly. Furthermore, the people in exercising their privileges in connection with God's temple, must go clear through, and not merely a part of the way, if they will be reconciled to God and be brought permanently into his organization. The leaders in "Christendom" have been foolish leaders and shepherds, but in the Lord's organization the "prince" will with authority always direct the people in the right way. "And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth. And in the feasts, and in the solemnities, the meat [meal] offering shall be an ephah to a bullock, and an ephah to a ram; and to the lambs as he is able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah." (46:10, 11) The princes are thus in a responsible position toward the Lord, and during the thousand-year reign will see that the people practice justice and righteousness.
The east inner gate will be open on state occasions: "Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the
Lord, one shall then open him the gate (I-E) that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings as he did on the sabbath day; then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate." (46:12) This is a further testimony of the loving-kindness of Jehovah, showing his consideration for the faithful prophets of old and that they will be favored with a "better resurrection". There will be nothing about their service that is compulsory, but they will serve joyfully, willingly and with a ready mind. They will be happy to worship and make offerings of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord privately and when not acting in an official capacity with the people. Note that when the princes conclude offering their voluntary (or free-will) offering 'he shall go forth; and after he goeth forth one shall shut the gate'. This shows that the doors of audience with Jehovah's heavenly priesthood will always be ready to open to these princes of the earth whenever their personal needs require them to seek communion with the Lord of heaven. "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer: and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." — Isa. 65:24.
Provision is made for daily sacrifices of praise. "Thou shalt daily prepare a burnt offering unto the Lord of a lamb of the first year without blemish; thou shalt prepare it every morning. And thou shalt prepare a meat [meal] offering for it every morning, the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of an hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour; a meat [meal] offering continually, by a perpetual ordinance, unto the Lord. Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and the
meat [meal] offering, and the oil, every morning, for a continual burnt offering." (46:13-15) The acknowledgement of praise and thanksgiving will be offered up to the Lord Jehovah through the royal priesthood, and it shall no more be that "the daily sacrifice [continual ascending-sacrifice, Roth.] shall be taken away". (Dan. 12:11) Then the "beast" and the "image of the beast" will have been disposed of, so that they cannot interfere.
The "princes in all the earth" are granted an everlasting favor from the Lord. "Thus saith the Lord God, If the prince give a gift unto any of his sons, the inheritance thereof shall [belong to his sons, R.V.]; it shall be their possession by inheritance." (46:16) In the day of ancient Israel sons were raised up to perpetuate the family name and possessions that these might remain for a lasting inheritance. All this was necessary because of the dying condition of the human race. The resurrected leaders and faithful prophets or princes will not die. "Neither can they die any more." (Luke 20:36) They will not need sons to maintain the family inheritance, forasmuch as these princes will be "sons" by reason of their inheritance from their princely Father, Christ Jesus. It is therefore plain to be seen that the terms "princes" and "his sons" here used jointly stand as a prophetic picture of all the "princes in all the earth" who are to be made the children of The Christ, the great Prince of Glory. Therefore this prophecy given to Ezekiel pictures that these princes shall never have their names die out and what God has 'given to them as an inheritance' shall be their possession by an inheritance for ever.
The "princes" appear to have granted to them certain discretions in matters of service unto the Lord. "But if he give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty; after it shall return to the prince; but his inheritance shall be his sons' for them." (46:17) There will be a world-wide service to be performed during the period of reconstruction and it seems that the Lord will leave it to the discretion of the "princes in all the earth" as to whom they shall grant the honor of special service in the Lord's organization. The opportunity will be afforded to those of the people who really love God to show their faithfulness and their devotion and readiness to serve, and they will qualify themselves for service. It is the privilege of the remnant who now have children to teach them to really devote themselves to the Lord God and to his service and to be in line for and ready for service under the direction of the "princes in all the earth". No doubt the princes or rulers will bestow such benefits upon those who possess the qualifications to serve and who are anxious to serve and to please.
The full office of service in the earth is the inheritance of "the princes", but this work will require service of many, and the "princes" will have the privilege of opening to others the opportunity of assisting in the work under the direction of the "princes in all the earth". The privilege thus bestowed as a "gift" or favor "shall be his [that is, the servant's] to the year of liberty", and then shall "return to the prince". That means that the servants may have this privilege of service under the princes or rulers and that the honor that the position carries with it will
endure to the end of the Millennium, and at the end thereof these servants shall be no different from others of mankind who maintain their integrity and who will then "be delivered . . . into the glorious liberty of the children of God". (Rom. 8: 21) It will be a wonderful privilege, however, to serve the people under the direction of the rulers of the earth, and the faithful on earth should now instruct their children to this effect. Whatever glory the servants do have and enjoy in doing service will belong to the princes, but they will enjoy it by favor.
This scripture shows that the Jews will have no favors different from those of other nationalities. During the Millennium the Jews could at the very most have service under the princes. There seems to be no good reason why the Jews will be favored any more than any other people. Faithfulness and devotion to the Lord and his kingdom will bring the blessings of the Lord. Although the Jews have been unfaithful to God, especially during the time of their covenant, yet Jehovah will extend his mercy to them, and because of the faithfulness of their fathers, which fathers are now during the Millennium made "princes in all the earth", God will give opportunity to the Jews to be fully reconciled to him. Therefore it is written: "They [the Jews] are beloved for [their] fathers' sakes." (Rom. 11: 28) There would be no reason why any Jew will be given any special service during the Millennial reign unless he is specially qualified and devoted to the Lord. The above-quoted words from Paul cannot be construed to mean that the Jews will be given a favor above other people. All people who come into God's organization must have faith like
unto Abraham, and in that way they will become Israelites indeed.
Jehovah makes it plainly to appear that no oppression shall be tolerated in the kingdom. "Moreover, the prince shall not take of the people's inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession: but he shall give his sons' inheritance out of his own possession; that my people be not scattered every man from his possession." (46:18) This shows that what God assigns to the prince shall not encroach upon the people's inheritance. All the earth becomes the inheritance of obedient mankind, and this they shall hold for ever. The people shall dwell permanently and in full security. The princes will acquire no glory or wealth at the expense of the people, nor will the people be scattered. The 'rulers in all the earth' will bring the people into close connection as one big human family of great peace, and all will give praise to the everlasting Creator.
WORK OF THE PRIESTS
Ezekiel is then shown that the priest during the Millennium will have a specific work. "After [Then] he brought me through the entry (I-R), which was at the side of the gate (I-E1), into the holy chambers of the priests, which looked toward the north (I-P, P1): and, behold, there was a place on the two sides [hinder part, R.V.] westward." (46:19) The priestly chambers here described flanked the length of the temple on the north and south, the description of which appears in chapter forty-two, verses one to thirteen. Two square courts appear, one (I-O) at the northwest corner, and the other (I-O1) at the
southwest corner, of the inner court (I-H) and on the pavement or platform of the inner court. The angel then instructed Ezekiel: "Then said he unto me, This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass [guilt] offering and the sin offering; where they shall bake the meat [meal] offering; that they bear them not out [forth, R.V.] into the utter [outer] court, to sanctify the people." — 46: 20.
The typical service of the Aaronic priesthood was prophetic and required that the priests must bake the shew bread, and prepare the meal offering. (Lev. 24:5-9; 2:1-11; 6:14-18) They must seethe or boil portions of some sacrifice. (Lev. 6:28,29; Num. 6:19,20) That prophetically pictures that there will be real work for the royal priesthood in the application of the benefits of the sin-offering during the Millennium. Even in this day the faithful remnant in the temple do preparatory work as 'able ministers of the new covenant' and are busily occupied in such work. Everything during the Millennium will not be merely ceremony, but will be genuine work. This part of the work is screened from the people, and is in harmony with the fact that the royal priesthood in glory will be invisible to humankind.
Ezekiel is then shown the boiling places, "Then he brought me forth into the utter [outer] court (I-D), and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court, and, behold, [a court in a corner of a court, and a court in a corner of a court, margin] in every corner of the court there was a court." (46: 21) These four courts (I-S, S1, S2, S3) were all of the same size. "In the four corners of the court (I-C) there were courts joined of forty cubits long, and thirty broad:
these four corners were of one measure. And there was a row of building round about in them, round about them four, and it [the building round about] was made with boiling places under the rows round about. Then said he unto me, These are the places of them that boil [the boiling houses, R.V.], where the ministers of the house [the Levites who were not priests] shall boil the sacrifice of the people." (46:22-24) In the typical prophetic service the Levites or non-priests also boiled flesh on some occasions. (2 Chron. 35:11-14) This no doubt was on the occasion of popular feasts when the Levites gave assistance under the direction of the priests. This would show that in heaven the "great multitude" serve before the Lord and will be employed in the service that will bring the people into reconciliation with God. The boiling of the sacrifices indicated that the sacrifice was to be eaten; hence a meal had with the Lord at his table is the picture. The royal priesthood will primarily have to do with the provisioning of the Lord's table for the peoples on earth during the Millennium, and the "great multitude" will have a part in serving in connection with the Lord's table.
Jehovah has provided an abundance of proof to fully establish the faith of all those who love him. To such he reveals his truth, which is like a fountain of waters the supply of which never lessens. It continues to refresh and upbuild those who drink deep at this fountain. He is now permitting his faithful remnant on earth to enjoy these waters of truth. (Isa.
12: 3) Jehovah caused this rule to be announced by Moses: "At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established." That this rule was written for the benefit of the followers of Christ Jesus is made certain by the fact that Jesus quoted it to his disciples. (Deut. 19:15; Matt. 18:16) Jehovah applies this rule concerning his purposes revealed to faithful men. He has caused one prophet to write, and another prophet to write corroborating that other. In The Revelation, written down by John at the dictation of Jesus Christ, is given the description of the river of the water of life. In the prophecy of Ezekiel, written at the dictation of the heaven-sent messenger of Jehovah, the Ezekiel class is told of the same river of life which Jehovah God in his loving-kindness has provided for the benefit of all of his creatures that obey him.
Ezekiel had been conducted by the heaven-sent messenger or guide through all the interior of the temple, in fact, everything within the walls surrounding the outer court. Now Ezekiel is shown that Jehovah God builds his holy temple for the vindication of his own holy name and that it results beneficially to all of his creatures that love him, and which shall include the people that shall inherit the earth. "Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house (I-K); and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under, from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar (I-I)."
One of these was the door into the holy and the other was the door into the most holy of the temple. They were swinging doors, or what in modern parlance we call 'double' doors. "And the doors had two leaves apiece, two turning [swinging] leaves; two leaves for the one door, and two leaves for the other door. And there were made on them, on the doors of the temple, cherubims and palm trees." (41:23-25) The word "door" here used is the same Hebrew word used to designate the door to the tabernacle in the wilderness. (Ex. 26:36) Standing at the door Ezekiel beheld that "waters issued out from under the threshold of the house". This house Jehovah calls "the place of my throne". "And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places." (43: 7) In proof that the two witnesses, Ezekiel and John, spoke as Jehovah's prophets concerning the same matter, and in corroboration of each other, it is written, in Revelation 22:1: "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb."
These are the life-giving waters that proceed from the throne of Jehovah God. It was in 1914 that Jehovah sent forth his beloved Son to rule, and hence it was then that he set up his throne over things pertaining to the earth. It was in 1918 that the Lord came to the house or temple of Jehovah. The waters find their source in the temple; therefore we must
conclude that it was from and after 1918 that the waters described by the prophet began to flow. The waters issued out from the house of the Lord into the inner court (I-H) and then on the south side of the altar (I-I). This inner court is the exclusive precinct of the priests, the sons of Zadok. This shows that the anointed royal priesthood would be the first to have access to the waters and to derive benefits therefrom. These anointed ones know the source of the waters and are made glad because they are of God's organization. "There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High." (Ps. 46:4) The anointed remnant on earth seeing the temple of God, and the waters of truth flowing out therefrom, raise a song of praise, written by David long ago, to wit:
"Praise waiteth for thee, 0 God, in Sion; and unto thee shall the vow be performed. 0 thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away. Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, 0 God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea: which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power: which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people. They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.
Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it; thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly; thou settlest the furrows thereof; thou makest it soft with showers; thou blessest the springing thereof. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness; and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn: they shout for joy, they also sing." — Ps. 65.
Those who remained faithful to the Lord through the great trials that came upon them in 1917 to 1919, and who were so found faithful by the Lord Jesus and made his "faithful and wise servant" class, these are brought into the temple and instructed and are the first ones to enjoy the waters that flow out from the house of God. That these would be the first ones to receive the benefits therefrom is supported by the words of the Prophet Zechariah, who wrote: "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David [the royal house, the anointed One in the covenant for the kingdom and who receives the sure mercies of David], and [then] to the inhabitants of Jerusalem [the spirit-begotten ones of Jehovah's organization], for sin and for uncleanness [such as Isaiah had because not singing forth Jehovah's praise]." (Zech. 13:1) Those who had been touching the unclean in Babylon, Satan's organization, must be made clean. Jehovah will give attention to those who are his, keep them, and supply them with all they need. "I the Lord do keep it: I will water it every moment:
lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day." (Isa. 27: 3) "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price." — Isa. 55:1.
In due time those of the "great multitude", pictured by the Levites that served in the outer court (I-D), must receive the benefits of these waters. "They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them." (Isa. 49:10) The people of the earth, being outside of the walls that surround the royal house, will be the last ones to be served and benefited by these life-giving waters. Those who with a selfish motive served the Lord for a time and then become indifferent do not see, appreciate, or benefit from, these waters.
The temple faced to the east; therefore "the door of the house" was in direct line of the path of the "sun of righteousness", who comes from the east. Thus it is written, in Ezekiel 43:2: "And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east, and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory." In Revelation 7:2 it is written concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, the Chief Executive of Jehovah, that "I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God". The waters from the temple first flowed in the pathway of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The vision of Ezekiel shows that the temple platform is built higher than the inner court, and the inner court is higher than the outer court, and the
outer court is seven steps higher than the ground outside the wall. (Diagram I, cross-section of Sanctuary) 'The waters descended from under the threshold of the house.' Therefore the waters would flow down in a series of cascades. The water issuing from this unusual source and flowing out into the land of the outside country would indicate a drought, and therefore much need of water in the parched and thirsty desert land. These are waters of life, and Jehovah is the source of life, and those who would live must come to know that he is the Life-giver and that his beloved Son Christ Jesus is his Chief Executive Officer, through whom he administers life. (John 17:3) Never has the parched world been in such dire need as just now; and Jehovah God has provided an abundant supply of life-giving truth, and in due time all shall come in contact with this life-giving stream. They must know Jehovah God. —l Tim. 2:3-6.
The leaders in "Christendom" have oppressed the people and have hidden from them the truth, and those people of good will are therefore "poor and needy". The mighty King of Eternity, the Giver of every good thing says: "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water." (Isa. 41:17,18) "Behold, I will do a new thing: now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: be-
cause I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen." (Isa. 43:19,20) Jehovah's chosen people are those of the royal house, to whom he will give his living waters, and then to all who love and serve him. "This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise." (Isa. 43:21) "Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, 0 Jacob my servant; and thou Jesurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring." (Isa. 44:2,3) These waters finally flow to the "dead sea" and give life to those who are of good will and who love and obey God.
Note that the source of the waters is from the "right side of the house", or, that is to say, the side of power, the side on which Jehovah stands with respect to the temple, of which Jesus Christ is the Head. (Ps. 110:5; Isa. 41:13) "Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut." (Isa. 45:1) The waters are from Jehovah God, but proceed through the temple class, The Christ; primarily, of course, Christ Jesus. This marks the fulfilment of the prophetic words of Jesus, who said: "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
(John 7:37,38) This prophecy of Jesus was not to be fulfilled until the outpouring of the holy spirit, as shown by his words: "But this spake he of the spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the holy [spirit] was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." This further corroborates the conclusion that the second outpouring of the holy spirit follows the coming of the Lord Jesus to the temple.
The altar in the temple which Ezekiel visualized stood in the inner court, at which the priests alone served. The waters flowed out by the south (hence the right side) of the altar. Since the altar points to the great ransom sacrifice of Jesus, this shows that the ransom is directly related to the life-giving waters of God's kingdom. Those who deny the value of the shed blood of Christ Jesus could never drink of these waters. The priests serving at the altar approach with the sacrifice from the north gate (I-E1) of the inner court; hence the waters flowing to the south side of the altar would not obstruct their clear way to the divinely provided altar (I-I). — 40: 35-43; 43:12-17.
Ezekiel was then led out of the north gate (I-A1) of the outer court and to the gate of the outer court looking to the east: "Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter [outer] gate (I-A) by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side." (47:2) This shows that Ezekiel did not pass over or wade through the waters in the inner court. This verse also shows that the
waters did not flow through the east gate, but on the south or right side of it. When Ezekiel reached this point he saw there the man begin to measure lengthwise of the waters. "And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ancles." (47: 3) This man with the measuring line followed the eastward flow of the waters, and Ezekiel walked along with him; and this reminds us of the words of the psalmist: "He leadeth me beside the still waters." (Ps. 23: 2) God's people walk this way. "They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble; for I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn." — Jer. 31:9.
It was at the east gate (I-A) that the man began to measure the waters. The unit of a thousand cubits used for that purpose does not suggest the thousand-year reign of Christ. A thousand is a broad measure regularly used by Jehovah to denote a great and practical unit of measure in dealing with and speaking to his chosen people. (Ex. 20:6; Ps. 50:10; 68:17; 84:10; 90:4; 91:7; Isa. 60:22; Mic. 5:2; 6:7) At the first measurement the waters were ankle-deep. This shows a comparatively small flow at first. Beginning in 1919 there was a comparatively small flow of revealed truth to the people of God on earth. The faithful rejoiced in it, however. "Who hath despised the day of small things?" (Zech. 4:10) After the organization of the work in 1919 to carry the message of truth to the people the output thereof was small
for some time, foreshadowed by the small flow just mentioned. The opposing forces were then so great that it looked almost as if they would be able to turn aside or dam up the flow of truth to the people. The faithful held firm, however, and the Lord blessed them.
Ezekiel followed the man who measured the waters and who moved east with the course of the waters. "Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins." (47: 4) When the measurements were taken Ezekiel again waded through the stream of water as he had done just previously, and which he then found to be knee-deep. This could not symbolize the measure of life, but rather it symbolizes the publication of the life-giving message of truth that flows out from the throne of God. Also it measures the general knowledge of the truth gained by the devoted people of God. It corresponds to the increasing flashes of light that have come to God's people. As the Prophet Daniel wrote: "Knowledge shall be increased"; and this has been realized and appreciated by God's chosen people, and especially since 1924. (Rev. 10:7) Now the mystery of God is finished and his people walk on beside the waters of blessings.
The next measurement taken, and Ezekiel walked through the waters, which were found to be up to his loins. The fearful, timid, dull and unappreciative ones would find it very difficult to go through now, and the opposers could not get through at all. The increase of the depth of the waters symbolizes the increase of the knowledge of the truth and the in-
crease of the opportunity to serve and spread abroad the truth to others. The Lord has marvelously fulfilled his prophecy upon his people, especially since 1924. At the close of the year 1931 the records show that since 1919 Jehovah's witnesses have manufactured and placed in the hands of the people more than one hundred and ten million volumes of books and booklets which contain the message of the Lord concerning his kingdom, and which is symbolized by the waters. Now, in 1932, as these lines are being set down more than three hundred radio stations are heralding the truth through the air each week to the glory of God. His people are in the joy of the Lord.
Ezekiel went on with the man with the measuring line who measured the river lengthwise: "Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over." (47:5) It is of great interest to note that Ezekiel himself was required to measure the increasing depth of the water. To be sure, he did not measure the length of the river with the measuring line, but at each regular interval of measurement of one thousand cubits he did measure the depth of the waters by crossing from one bank of the waters to the other, and in doing this he used himself as a measuring implement. This suggests that God's anointed people on earth would keep an account of and check of the ever increasing light and truth Jehovah is giving them through the Head of his temple and that they would show their appreciation thereof. Furthermore, it suggests that records of the progress of the distribution of the truth would be kept and at regular inter-
vals of time comparisons would be made with the work that had been previously done.
The fourth measurement was the last made and suggests the measurement to the full point of testing. It would indicate the measuring up to the limit 'unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ Jesus' and to the unity in Christ when all the anointed would see eye to eye and together would lift up the voice and sing, proclaiming the truth to the glory of God. — Eph. 4:13; Isa. 52: 8.
The anointed remnant know that the waters of truth proceed from God, and they look to no man for instruction. What Ezekiel saw was a miracle performed by the Lord, because the waters issued out from the house in a thin stream. No other fountain of waters emptied into the river as it passed along, to increase it, and yet the volume of the water continued to increase until it became a mighty river. It was Jehovah God alone who gave the increase and the waters 'increased with the increase of God'. (1 Cor. 3:6; Col. 2:19) Only four thousand great cubits, or about seven thousand feet, less than one and one-half miles, from its source, the stream of water that began ankle-deep when first measured becomes a great river, and this before it reaches the desert and the sea. Today, as Jehovah's truth is revealed to the faithful remnant its depth has so increased that the remnant exclaim: "0 the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" — Rom. 11:33.
Evidently the angel of the Lord who did the measuring had said little or nothing to Ezekiel as they pro-
grossed along the stream of water, but now, the miracle having been performed, he calls the attention of Ezekiel to it. "And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river." (47: 6) Since 1918 the angels of the Lord have had to do with showing to the Ezekiel class the truth, and in doing so they are acting under the direction of Christ Jesus, the Head of the temple. These great truths have been shown to the remnant this side the vail and on this side of Armageddon. The matter is now called sharply to the attention of the remnant by the words uttered to the prophet: 'Have you seen this' from Jehovah? Ezekiel was now about to be shown something on the banks of the river. He is now about to see that whereever this river flows fruitful forms of life spring up alongside it. "Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other." (47:7) Trees are "water drinkers". It is written: ". . . all those [trees] that are nourished by water ... I restrained its rivers, and the great waters were withheld; . . . and all the trees of the field were famished because of it." (Ezek. 31:14,15, Leeser) This proves that the trees drink water to live. Trees indicate where the water is to be had, and they stand as inviters or signs giving an invitation to the thirsty to come and drink. In order to drink, the people must go to where the trees are; therefore they must go where the Lord God has planted the trees. "That they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." (Isa. 61:3) "Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for
ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified." (Isa. 60:21) These trees therefore picture the resurrected saints as members of the body of Christ and the faithful remnant still on the earth. These are Jehovah's representatives and his witnesses, and they now invite the people who thirst 'to come and take of the water of life freely'. — Rev. 22:17.
The angel of the Lord then instructed Ezekiel concerning the purpose of these waters. "Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed." (47: 8; see Diagram VI, page 289) First for the benefit of those who are "in the way of the Lord" Jesus Christ, the Chief of Jehovah, approaches from the east and makes the east and west way his pathway. Those who are waiting and watching for the Lord are the first ones to benefit. But there are others who shall receive benefits of these waters. The waters come out toward the east country and then are made to "go down into the desert", that is to say, into the arabah, and transform the barren deadness of the parched ground into a fruitful garden unto the Lord. "The wilderness, and the solitary place, shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose." (Isa. 35:1) Jehovah knows where the living waters are needed, and he sends them there. Jehovah's temple class first receive the message of truth; then they must bear it to whatsoever peoples the Lord orders and directs. The
faithful are now bearing it to the people who are thirsting for truth.
East of Jerusalem is a desert land, and the Dead sea is also in that direction. These healing waters pass on to the "Dead sea". A curative water is much needed there. No fish now live in the Dead sea, but when these waters are "brought forth into the sea, the waters [thereof] shall be healed". Then fish can live in it, and the "sea", which has long been dead, will be made a swarm of living creatures. The Dead sea pictures the peoples of earth, dead in trespasses and in sins, and in which there is no real life. For centuries the waters of the Jordan river have flowed into the Dead sea and have not healed it; but the waters mentioned in this prophecy proceed from God and flow unto the peoples of the world that are dead in trespasses and in sins, and then such will be healed. "Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth." (Jer. 33:6; Isa. 33:24) Jehovah foreshadowed this healing by both Moses and Elisha. (Ex. 15:23-25; 2 Ki. 2:21,22) God's remnant people on earth are now doing the Elisha work of bearing the message of the truth to the people, thereby enabling them to see how they may be healed by the hand of the Lord God. Soon the Greater-than-Moses will cause them to see how they may be completely healed, and such will be healed for ever.
The people of the sin-cursed world have sought after life but have found it not, because they have followed the teachings of men. The river of life, flowing out from the throne of Jehovah God, gives life to all who will receive and obey the truth. "And it shall come
to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers [margin, two rivers; according to Leeser, double-stream] shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh." (47:9) The people will be given knowledge of the truth and be offered the opportunity to live. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17: 3) There is no other way given under heaven whereby men can live. This truth is fully corroborated by the sixty-fifth Psalm, heretofore quoted. The people must desire the truth and gladly receive it when they have an opportunity. These living waters of God flow to the sea of the depraved human race. Every one, therefore, shall have the opportunity to know the truth and to live. The Ezekiel class, the remnant, now know this to be truth, and it is their privilege to comfort those who sigh and cry desiring to know God's way of delivery.
FISHERS OF MEN
The business of fishing is a means of providing things for the sustenance of life. When Jesus saw some faithful Hebrews engaged in fishing he said to them: "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matt. 4:19) Doubtless Jesus had in mind the words which Jehovah had caused his prophet to write: "And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it [R.V., by it] from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim: they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds as the fish
of the great sea, exceeding many." (47:10) God's remnant now on the earth are fishers of men; and during and after Armageddon there will be much more fishing to be done. Jehovah's witnesses stand by the waters of the sea of the dead world to fish for men by calling their attention to the truth, the living waters of God, that flow into it. This they do, not for selfish gain, but to the honor of Jehovah's name and for the good of those who desire to live.
The text reads "from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim shall be a place for the spreading of nets". (R.V.) These were names of places on the banks of the Dead sea. (Josh. 15:61,62) Vineyards were grown at En-gedi. (Cant. 1:14) In both these names the syllable "En" means "spring, fountain, well". "En-gedi" means "well of the kid or troop". "En-eglaim" means "well of the two heifers". Kids and heifers were regularly used in the sacrifice of God's ancient or typical people. Jehovah God made these two fountains or wells of living waters, and his fishermen are stationed between them to call attention of the people to the healing qualities of the truth, and to fish there for men in the name of the Lord. They fish with nets, which seems to say that God gives the remnant the means of reaching them with the message of truth.
The truth is the message of judgment and separation: "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away." (Matt. 13:47,48) Jehovah's witnesses bring forth the message of truth and proclaim it, and the Lord by his angels does the separat-
ing work. "So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just." (Matt. 13: 49) The work determines the clean from the unclean as provided by the law of God. "And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: they shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you." (Lev. 11:10-12) Even now the remnant are having a part in the judgment work of declaring the truth.
At the present time the "poor fish" are the victims of the spoilers and oppressors, as it is written: "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and boldest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad. Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?" (Hab. 1:13-17) Jehovah's witnesses are calling the attention of the people to the truth, and some of them are now hearing. More will hear later, and the "sea" that is dead will be converted into a condition of sweet-
ness and life. The peoples of the nations will see the trees standing by the waters, inviting them, and will come unto them. "Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee." — Isa. 60:5.
The Scriptures show that there is a class of people that will not accept and obey God's Word of truth. These the Prophet Ezekiel calls "miry places" and "marishes"; hence they are unclean. "But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed [and that which shall not be healed, margin]; they shall be given to salt." (47:11) This is proof of the fact that there are those who will go into everlasting destruction. Nothing will grow in the salt water of the Dead sea or on salt land; and 'giving them over to salt' means they are given over to barrenness and death. The following scriptures prove this: "And Abimelech fought against the city all that day: and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt." (Judg. 9:45) "And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath." (Deut. 29: 23) "Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the rem-
nant of my people shall possess them." — Zeph. 2: 9.
This judgment corresponds with the statement: "He which is filthy, let him be filthy still." Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt. There are those who have been partially healed in the present time who then return to their filthy condition and take delight therein. "And the sow that was washed [has returned] to her wallowing in the mire." (2 Pet. 2: 22) This is the class that go into the second death, from which there is no more opportunity for life. "Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited." — Jer. 17: 5, 6; John 12: 39-41; Isa. 6:10.
Jehovah God has made provision for every need of the people, and these life-giving things will be held out to them. "And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed; it shall bring forth new fruit [principal fruit or firstfruits] according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary; and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine." (47:12) Jehovah provides by and through the kingdom for the shelter and protection of his people and for medicine to heal the sick, none of which shall be administered by quacks or professional frauds, but will be administered un-
der the ministration of the great Physician, Christ Jesus. Because this prophecy is now beginning to have its fulfilment the remnant may take this as assurance that if from henceforth they continue faithfully serving the Lord they will be no more prevented or stopped by Satan's organization from bearing the fruits of God's kingdom to the people. "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine east her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts." (Mal. 3:11) There shall be no more barren season for these "trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord": "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." — Ps. 1:3; Jer. 17:7,8.
These "trees of righteousness" drink of the life-sustaining waters that flow out from the throne of God; and 'the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaves for medicine'. They will have a never-failing supply of sweet water to drink, and they faithfully drink it. This is the secret of fruitfulness. Since their 'leaves shall not fade', this is an assurance of continuous and everlasting supply available for medicine "for the healing of the nations". (Rev. 22:2) No creature puts the medicine in the leaves. It is Jehovah's curative provision, and he puts it where it will be used to his glory. The sick and the afflicted will be required to apply the medicine to themselves by exercising faith and by rendering obedience unto the Lord. This is now good news of great joy which shall be unto all people. (Luke 2:10) The prophecy of
Ezekiel and that of John the Revelator fully corroborate each other; hence Jehovah by these two witnesses now establishes this great truth concerning the river of life. The two taken together constitute a glorious vision of Jehovah's gracious provision for his creatures, all of which is a vindication of his holy name.
ESTABLISHING THE PEOPLE
Jehovah's Word of promise will be faithfully and completely fulfilled. Since the day that God made promise to Abraham faithful men have looked forward to the time when the earth shall be inhabited by those who love God, and this they will realize, because the due time has come. "And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee." (Gen. 13:14-17) The words of the Prophet Ezekiel seem clearly to picture the fulfilment of the promise that God made to Abraham to bless all the families of the earth. "Thus saith the Lord God, This shall be the border whereby ye shall inherit the land, according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions." (47:13) The words of this promise cannot be applied exclusively to the natural descendants of Abraham, but application must be to all the human race that will in due time have
and exercise faith in God like unto that of Abraham. The twelve tribes would therefore represent all the peoples of earth that shall be obedient unto God. All must have an opportunity to come under the terms and the benefits of the New Covenant, which covenant Jehovah makes with his Christ for the benefit of the people. — Jer. 31:31-34.
Joseph, according to the prophecy, is assigned two portions, that is, one portion for the tribe of Ephraim and one for the tribe of Manasseh, who were sons of Joseph. The tribe of Levi is left out of this division because the Lord has made provision for their abiding place within the "oblation unto the Lord", the holy portion of the land. (45:1-5; 48:12-14) This is further proof in support of the conclusion, based upon Revelation 7: 9-17, that the "great multitude" class, the antitypical Levites, will be a spirit class having their portion in heaven. For this reason, in the prophetic picture Joseph's posterity had to be split into two tribes in order to provide a tribe to take the place of the tribe of Levi; thus the twelve tribes are completed and symbolically picture all the human family on earth.
The establishment of the people on earth will be entirely just and righteous. "And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another; concerning the which I [swore, margin] lifted up mine hand to give it unto your fathers; and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance." (47:14) No tribe is to be arbitrarily favored above another, nor will any be excluded. The "twelve" represents the completeness, and Jehovah deals righteously with all. "[God] hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the
earth; and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation." (Acts 17: 26) Christ Jesus, by the grace of God, died for the redemption of men. (1 Tim. 2: 3-6; Heb. 2:9) All must have an opportunity to receive the benefits thereof. The statement of Ezekiel's prophecy 'concerning the which I swore with uplifted hand to give it unto your fathers' refers to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob particularly as the fathers to whom the promise was made. The human family is made of flesh and blood, and concerning which it is written, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God"; because that kingdom is spiritual and in heaven. (1 Cor. 15:50) But the people of the earth are under the kingdom, and their inheritance will be the earth.
It is God who sets the borders of the human race. When God made promise to give the land to Abraham he set the boundary thereof. (Gen. 15:18) In harmony with this Ezekiel's prophecy records: "And this shall be the border of the land toward the north side, from the great sea, the way of Hethlon, as men go to Zedad; Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazar-hatticon, which is by the coast of Hauran. And the border from the sea shall be Hazarenan, the border of Damascus, and the north northward, and the border of Hamath. And this is the north side. And the east side ye shall measure from Hauran, and from Damascus, and from Gilead, and from the land of Israel by Jordan, from the border unto the east sea. And this is the east side. And the south side southward from Tamar even to the waters of strife in Kadesh, the river to the great sea. And
this is the south side southward. The west side also shall be the great sea from the border, till a man come over against Hamath. This is the west side." — 47:15-20; see Diagram VI, page 289.
These boundaries will take in the territory occupied by the Philistines and Samaritans, thus foreshadowing that the anti-typical Philistines and Samaritans, and all others, likewise oppressors of God's people and who carry on the Devil religion, will be cleared out and this will be given to the people that serve God in spirit and in truth. The boundaries really circumscribe the "holy land", and under the kingdom of God 'all the earth shall be holy unto the Lord God'; hence the description includes the entire earth. Jehovah God, through Christ, will make the earth a fit place to live in. He will make the place of his feet glorious, and those who faithfully serve him shall live upon it. (Isa. 66:1; 60:13) "So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel." (47:21) The Lord determines the general division of the land according to his own will. One nationality of people will not be permitted to determine just what land they will occupy to the exclusion of others.
When it comes to the family assignments inside of each nationality, pictured by the tribes, lots are to be cast, to show that there will be no partiality shown. "The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord." (Prov. 16:33) Thus it appears that the Lord will cause the superintending of the lot-easting, so that everything in connection therewith shall be fair and just toward all. "And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn
among you, which shall beget children among you; and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel: they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel." (47:22) Jehovah will take into consideration all Jews and Gentiles without partiality, for the reason that he so promised and Jesus died for the benefit of all.
Both Jews and Gentiles must clean up and exercise faith in God and in his kingdom and in Christ the great King. The stranger entering into God's organization must be first circumcised, both in heart and in flesh. (44: 9) He must have the indelible mark put on his person, 'the seal of righteousness of faith.' (Rom. 4:11) This is evidence that he is a child of Abraham according to the faith and therefore worthy to enter into relationship with God's true people by and through the temple arrangement. (Gen. 17: 9-14) This would indicate that all who are received by the Lord must exercise faith in God and in his arrangement for reconciliation.
According to the law God gave to the Israelites each one's inheritance in the land was a family heritage and patrimony and for that reason could not be taken away from him permanently. If a man temporarily lost his inheritance because of debts or for other reasons, then at the jubilee his inheritance must be restored to him. This rule, together with the statement of Ezekiel's prophecy concerning the division of the land, warrants the conclusion that under the kingdom of God ruled over by Christ human creatures who are granted life will not be permitted, either as tribes or as individuals, to settle just anywhere they want to and crowd someone else off his inheritance or
otherwise take it away from him. Each tribe and family will be established in the earth as it pleases the Lord and will be permitted and continue to remain there and hold on to his inheritance. It would hardly seem reasonable that there will be any buying or selling of land, or even exchange between families, because that would indicate at least a measure of dissatisfaction and restlessness, whereas all the people will dwell in peace and in righteousness under the great Prince of Peace. (Isa. 9:6,7) The real estate sharks will be unknown in the kingdom. They will have to work like others and be honest and faithful if they would live, and they must be glad to do so. One receiving an assignment of land will hold it in trust for the Lord. "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." (Ps. 24:1) The Lord will make it a fit place in which to live, and the people will delight themselves in the Lord and be thankful to reside in their earthly heritage.
All those who have died will come forth from the tomb as strangers to the new earth. The exception to this rule will be those who are brought forth and made "princes in all the earth". All strangers will inherit the same as the children. The dead will come forth, not all in one place, but in divers places throughout the earth. "And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord God." (47:23) The stranger thus coming into the land must be provided for, and this the Lord has done. The stranger cannot make his own choice as to the tribe to which he would
attach himself, but this assignment is made according to the rule of the kingdom, which is "by lot".
There is, however, nothing appearing in the Scriptures to indicate that the stranger or anyone else will be precluded from traveling about in the earth during or after the Millennium for the purpose of sight-seeing or visiting those whom he may be welcome to visit. Surely those thus traveling will not be required to be provided with passports and visas in order to go from one land to another, because that kind of rule is the rule of Satan's organization and is often very oppressive, harsh and unreasonable. It seems certain that there are millions now living that will never die. These will be scattered in various portions of the earth, when the great day of Armageddon is over. It seems reasonable that the Lord will have these men remain where they are if they comply with the rules of the kingdom. The natural descendants of Abraham will have no advantage over those who are of other nationalities. The mark of circumcision shows that each one that is pleasing to the Lord must be marked with the mark of faith and devotion to God and to his kingdom, in order to receive the Lord's everlasting blessing.
Jehovah's holy city, the new Jerusalem, will have charge and control over the affairs of the earth. The faithful prophets, made "princes in all the earth", will be under the supervision and control of the heavenly kingdom or ruling power. Concerning the holy city it is written that it has twelve foundations, bearing the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Of
natural Israel there were twelve tribes. There are twelve divisions or tribes of spiritual Israel which constitute the new Jerusalem, the holy city, the invisible organization. In harmony with the heavenly arrangement the prophecy of Ezekiel shows that the human race, reconciled to God, will be organized into twelve divisions or tribes. The promise of Jesus to his disciples suggests the significance of the prophetic picture here given by Ezekiel. "And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may cut and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Luke 22: 29, 30) "Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazarenan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath, for these are his sides east and west, a portion for Dan." — 48:1; see Diagram VI.
The list of names given indicates that in the organization of the new earth Jehovah and Christ will recognize no national distinctions outside of the twelve divisions represented by the twelve tribes of the Israelites. Those who live must be assigned to and become a part of one of these divisions or tribes. Jehovah will be the one to assign the names and make the distinctions as to the people, and he will recognize nothing that does not conform to his new covenant and its arrangement. Under Satan's organization there are various nations, such as the British, the American, the German, the Italian, and others, and all these distinctions must and will pass away. Every one that lives must become a child of the Lord by faith and obedience. The location of the tribes, as shown
in the prophecy of Ezekiel, is different from the original location of the tribes when they first came into the land of Palestine. This shows that there will be an entire reorganization of all the peoples of earth under the Messianic kingdom. The maps now used for the earth will be of no more use in the kingdom. The Lord will make the location and direct the relationship of the people to one another.
It has been thought that the people now called Jews will have some special advantage in the kingdom; but that conclusion is unsupported by any scripture. "Jews" or "Judeans" moan those who praise and serve Jehovah God, and, to be sure, those who take this course will have every advantage over those who take the opposite or a different course. Jehovah God is no respecter of persons, but bestows his favors upon those who come to him in his appointed way. "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." (Acts 10:34,35) Even the people of Sodom, Tyre and Zidon will find it easier to come to the Lord and to obey him than will many of the natural descendants of Abraham; and this is clearly supported by the words of Jesus. (Matt. 11:21-24) Those who have spurned God's favor so often, as many natural descendants of Abraham have done, could hardly be expected to receive something better than others of the human race. The mercy of God, however, will extend to all who obey him.
"And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher." (48: 2) Dan was one of the faithless tribes that broke away from
the house of David. However, the prophecy shows that the Lord will accomplish his purpose and will reinstate the tribe under that name and receive Dan himself if he complies with the law of God's kingdom. For the sake of the fathers of Israel, who were true and faithful to God, these are beloved. (Rom. 11: 28) "Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old." (Mic. 7: 20) That there was a faithless tribe such as Dan will be no reason why the Lord God should abandon or set aside the name Dan for one of the divisions. He will have a division of the people under that name, and those who are assigned to that division, like others, must obey if they will live. "He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Prov. 4:4) "Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye." (Prov. 7:2) God's law docs not change. "Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight. Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope." (Ps. 119: 77, 116) "But if they obey not, they shall perish." — Job 36:12.
Asher was another one of the ten tribes that revolted and went into idolatry. That, however, will not preclude the Lord God from having a new division under the name of Asher; and when Asher is awakened, if he will obey, he shall live also. "And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali." (48:3) This allotment of the land in portions setting aside the peoples in tribes or divisions is not limited to the Jews,
but is God's arrangement for all the people. Naphtali was also one of the tribes that seceded, and is one of the tribes mentioned in Isaiah 9:1, 2 which tribe was to receive greater light. "The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light: and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up." — Matt. 4:15,16.
Manasseh and Ephraim were the sons of Joseph. "And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Manasseh. And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Ephraim." (48:4,5) Both of these tribes seceded from Judah. Jeroboam, who led the revolt of the ten tribes against Judah, was of the tribe of Ephraim. It is of interest here to note that in the assigning of the gates of the city no gate was assigned to Manasseh and Ephraim but one assigned to their faithful father Joseph and the other to their uncle Levi. — 48: 31, 32.
Reuben was the firstborn of Israel (Jacob), but because of his wrongdoing his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph. (1 Chron. 5:1, 2) This, however, does not preclude the Lord from assigning the name of Reuben to one of the divisions of the human race. "And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Reuben." (48:6) Judah prevailed above his brethren and of him came the Chief Ruler. "And by the border of Reuben, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Judah. And by the border of Judah, from the east side unto the west side, shall be the
offering which ye shall offer of five and twenty thousand reeds [cubits] in breadth, and in length as one of the other parts, from the cast side unto the west side: and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it." — 48: 7, 8; See Diagram VI, inset.
The situation of each tribe or division in the land is good because the assignment is made by the Lord. The assignment to the tribe or division of Judah, however, has a special significance. This assignment is located contiguous with and immediately to the north of the land especially offered unto the Lord, being the preferential position with respect to the holy 'oblation unto the Lord'. The casting of the lot did not determine this assignment, but it was Jehovah who determined its location. "Judah" means praise. Those peoples of the earth who manifest zeal for and praise to the Lord God and his kingdom, and are faithful in their service, are particularly favored by the Lord. The faithful prophets of old were zealous and faithful to the Lord in giving witness to his name. They were martyrs to the cause of Jehovah and, because of their faithfulness, will receive the princely portion. (Heb. 12:1) Looking west, the assignment of Judah was to the right of God's "oblation of the holy portion". Such assignment is made by Jehovah, as Jesus stated: "To sit on my right hand, and on my left [hand], is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father." — Matt. 20:23.
The following was the middle one of the three divisions of this holy block of holy territory: "More-
over, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the Lord, an holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds [cubits], and the breadth shall be ten thousand. This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about." — 45:1.
"The sanctuary shall be in the midst of it." The temple wall is round about this plot of ground. "Of this there shall be for the sanctuary five hundred in length, and five hundred in breadth, square round about; and fifty cubits round about for the suburbs thereof." (45:2) This would make the total area six hundred cubits square. This center plot is located in the center of the middle strip of land. "And of this measure shalt thou measure the length of five and twenty thousand, and the breadth of ten thousand: and in it shall be the sanctuary and the most holy place." — 45:3.
The foregoing shows that the sanctuary (VI-A), that is, the temple or royal house, is not situated within the city (VI-B), as was the case of Solomon's temple at Jerusalem. This leads to the conclusion that the Melchizedek priesthood, of which Jesus is the Chief and Head, is primarily unto Jehovah and is complete within itself and that the rulership of the earth (which is pictured by the city to the south) is subordinate and incidental to the priesthood of Melchizedek. Furthermore it shows that Jehovah's "holy priesthood" is entirely independent of the tribes or divisions of mankind on earth. The royal priesthood is assigned a portion in the holy domain of heaven.
Under God's arrangement with the nations of Israel people were required to come to the city of
Jerusalem three times a year to celebrate the feasts. "Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty: every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee." (Deut. 16:16,17) But the vision given to Ezekiel shows a separation of the temple from the city, and this would of necessity require the people to come to the temple, and not to the city, to celebrate the feast of tabernacles. Under the reign of the Messiah the people will go up to worship the King Eternal, and this they will do through the temple, God's royal house. "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain." — Zech. 14:16,17.
The offering is unto the Lord God. "The oblation that ye shall offer unto the Lord shall be of five and twenty thousand in length, and of ten thousand in breadth." — 48:9.
The provision for the priests comes through Jehovah God, and not from man. "And for them, even for the priests, shall be this holy oblation (VI-c-d-f-e): toward the north five and twenty thousand in length, and toward the west ten thousand in breadth, and toward the east ten thousand in breadth, and toward the
south five and twenty thousand in length: and the sanctuary (VI-A) of the Lord shall be in the midst thereof." (48:10) Again the Lord emphasizes the fact that faithfulness to him is what calls forth his approval. "It shall be for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of Zadok, which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray." — 48:11.
The delinquent priestly house of Eli was put out during the reign of Solomon, and that of Zadok was installed instead. (2 Sam. 8:15,17; 1 Ki. 2:27,35) Abiathar was of the house of Eli. (1 Sam. 14:3; 22:20) David dictated and gave instructions to anoint Solomon as king. Adonijah declared himself king, and Abiathar the priest took the side of Adonijah, he being in the conspiracy. Zadok the priest was faithful and stood by the Lord's choice. (1 Ki. 1:5-8) Zadok was therefore typical of the faithful priest concerning whom it is written: "And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart, and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house: and he shall walk before mine Anointed for ever." — 1 Sam. 2:35.
In Ezekiel's day the priesthood of Zadok was represented in Jehozadak (meaning "Jehovah is just") and Joshua (meaning "Jehovah saves"). These priests remained faithful to God. Joshua the priest was of this line and returned with the remnant of God's covenant people and continued faithful unto the Lord, as shown by the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah. This proves that God rewards faithfulness. The Lord commits to his faithful remnant, which is the "faithful and wise servant" class, his kingdom interests on
earth. Only those who remain faithful are retained in his service. Any becoming unfaithful, like Abiathar, are forced out. God's rule is made clearly to appear that it is faithfulness and unqualified devotion to him that calls forth his approval and his reward.
It was the Levites that went astray, as stated in the eleventh verse above, and it shows that they pictured the "great multitude" class. For this reason they will have no part in the most holy things. Those of the royal priesthood are brought into intimate relationship with Jehovah in his temple, and theirs is a "most holy" portion. "And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads." (Rev. 22:4) "And this oblation of the land that is offered shall be unto them [the royal priesthood] a thing most holy, by the border of the Levites." (48:12) Concerning the Levites, the "great multitude" class, it is written, in Ezekiel 44:12,13: "Because they ministered unto them before their idols [worldly organizations called "churches"], and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord God, and they shall bear their iniquity. And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place; but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed."
The "great multitude" is assigned to the place over against the border of the priests, who are the anointed ones. "And over against the border of the priests the Levites shall have five and twenty thousand in length (VI-a-b), and ten thousand in breadth (VI-a-c); all the length shall be five and twenty thousand, and
the breadth ten thousand." (48:13) The "great multitude" class were never anointed, but are made servants of the priests. They are many times more in number than those of the priesthood, yet they are not given a larger strip of territory than the priests and they are not so near God's sanctuary. The temple is situated in the center of the portion of the land assigned to the priests.
Jehovah has fixed the condition of the "great multitude", and they cannot change it. "And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange, nor alienate the first-fruits of the land: for it is holy unto the Lord." (48:14) They must bear their iniquity and must not show any dissatisfaction with their station. They are assigned a portion in God's arrangement, not because of their iniquity, but because of their faithfulness manifested at the time they take their stand on the Lord's side and wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev. 7:14) Their estate in Jehovah's arrangement is a gift from him which they must occupy and hold as a sacred trust toward the Lord. They must show holiness unto the Lord throughout eternity.
The portion of the territory set aside for the city is described in verse fifteen: "And the five thousand [cubits of territory] that are left in the breadth (VI-e-g), over against the five and twenty thousand [of the priests] (VI-e-f), shall be a profane place for the city (VI-B), for dwelling, and for suburbs; and the city shall be in the midst thereof."
The word "profane" here used does not mean profane by reason of being unclean and defiled, but that, instead of being used distinctly and exclusively for
spiritual purposes toward Jehovah, it is used for the civic and earthward purposes in behalf of mankind who are temporarily unclean. It will be the holy city or organization. It represents the political or governmental side of the Millennial activities of the Christ for the good of mankind that God's will may be done on earth as it is done in heaven. The "suburbs" of the city seem to picture the condition of the people before coming into God's organization to dwell there. It therefore appears that the city will not be in the midst of the tribes as was the case of the earthly city of Jerusalem, but will be located in the southern portion or section of the 'holy oblation unto the Lord'. It is beyond the control of the earthly tribes or people. Its location shows that it is the city of which Ezekiel first had a vision, as stated in chapter forty, verse two. The "high mountain" is the portion where the temple is located. This city appears to be the earthly manifestation of the Christ, as represented on earth by those faithful men whom Christ makes "princes in all the earth". Since the temple is not located in this city, these "princes in all the earth" will not serve God in the sanctuary.
Measurements are given as follows: "And these shall be the measures thereof: the north side four thousand and five hundred, and the south side four thousand and five hundred, and on the east side four thousand and five hundred, and the west side four thousand and five hundred." (48:16) A territory having an area five thousand cubits square is provided for the suburbs. "And the suburbs of the city shall be toward the north two hundred and fifty, and toward the south two hundred and fifty, and toward
the east two hundred and fifty, and toward the west two hundred and fifty." (48:17) Thus Jehovah shows his regard for all things on the square. In the day of earthly Israel the fields of the suburbs were for common use. — Num. 35: 3.
The area of the city measures just five thousand cubits square. This would leave twenty thousand cubits of territory to be divided equally to the east and to the west. "And the residue in length, over against the oblation of the holy portion, shall be ten thousand eastward (VI-B-f), and ten thousand westward (VI-B-e); and it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion (VI-c-d-f-e); and the increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city (VI-B)." (48:18) This is the residue of the land lying outside of the city suburbs. "The increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city." It is 'God that giveth the increase'; and this is his provision, that the city may not be a burden to the people, which city shall be self-contained. There will be no grafting officers of the city to be kept in luxury by the burden of taxation. The Lord will provide that all must work and therefore all may eat.
The seventh chapter of Revelation shows that those whom the Lord uses to operate his heavenly government, which has jurisdiction and control over the earth, are all taken out of the twelve tribes of Israel, that is to say, they are designated as twelve thousand from each tribe, and these are made the spiritual rulers with Christ Jesus. "Israel" or "Jacob" is the name symbolically used to designate God's faithful class, and the twelve tribes show twelve divisions. The "princes", who were the faithful men
of old, will be the visible representatives of that government on earth. No doubt in the new earth anyone coming into relationship with the Lord under the terms of the New Covenant, as represented by the twelve tribes, may enlist in the service of the government on earth. No discrimination is shown against those who are willing and obedient to the Lord.
Again Jehovah emphasizes the square, and no mention is made of anything like unto a pyramid. "All the oblation (VI-a-b-h-g) shall be five and twenty thousand by five and twenty thousand: ye shall offer the holy oblation foursquare, with the possession of the city." (48: 20) The land of Israel is to be much wider than twenty-five thousand cubits; hence there remains a tract of ground both on the east and on the west of the holy oblation.
Provision is made for the prince, to wit: "And the residue shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other of the holy oblation, and of the possession of the city, over against the five and twenty thousand (VI-b-h) of the oblation toward the east border, and westward over against the five and twenty thousand (VI-a-g) toward the west border, over against the portions for the prince: and it shall be the holy oblation; and the sanctuary of the house [temple of God] shall be in the midst thereof." (48:21) The great Prince of Peace, the Prince of Life, Christ Jesus, will not need any portion for himself, being the great spiritual Ruler; but his representatives, or sons, the "princes in all the earth", may occupy and use this in his stead. This is a liberal portion for the small number of earthly representatives of the Lord, and it manifests the exceeding great favor that Jehovah
God bestows upon them through Christ Jesus for their faithfulness. They admirably maintained their integrity toward God during the time of their service when on earth, before the first coming of Christ Jesus, and now when his kingdom is in operation theirs will be a liberal reward. This also is a testimony to the fact that these faithful men have "a better resurrection", being awakened out of death as perfect men.
The entire "holy oblation" (VI-a-b-h-g) represents God's kingdom, the highest office in the great holy oblation being that of the great Prince of Life. The holy oblation includes the priests associated with Christ Jesus, the Head of the Melchizedek priesthood. The "great multitude" would seem more particularly to picture that part of the government organization called "Jerusalem", as distinguished from the divine organization called "Zion" and which is the capital or head over the entire organization. Included in the "holy oblation" is also the manifestation of God's earthly government, as represented by the "princes in all the earth". The temple's being in the midst thereof shows that God's great organization revolves around his temple of which Christ Jesus is the Head and Chief.
Again Jehovah manifests his pleasure in those who were faithful to him, as stated in verse twenty-two: "Moreover from the possession of the Levites, and from the possession of the city being in the midst of that which is the prince's, between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin, shall be for the prince." The ancient city of Jerusalem was between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin; and the "holy city", as seen by Ezekiel, is between the districts of
the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The preferential position of the two tribes is thus seen again, and is further evidence of God's favor bestowed upon the faithful ones. Judah and Benjamin remained faithful to David, who foreshadowed God's beloved Son the King. "And I the Lord will be their Cod, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it." (34:24) The earthly representatives of the kingdom, the "princes in all the earth", are charged with seeing that there is no injustice or unfairness practiced therein. It will be a just and righteous rule on earth for the benefit of the people. — 45: 8-12.
Assignment is made for the rest of the tribes. Another division of the human race, according to the divine rule, will be designated Benjamin: "As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion." (48:23) The name Benjamin means "son of happiness". This allotment is favorably situated in connection with the city. Some of the faithful men of old mentioned with approval in God's Word were Benjamites, among whom was Ehud, the left-handed judge in Israel who put Eglon the oppressor out of business. (Judg. 3:15) Also Mordecai was a Benjamite. (Esther 2:5) The Apostle Paul was also of that tribe. (Rom. 11:1) Concerning this division or tribe it is written: "In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the Lord." — Jer. 33:13.
The next division is for Simeon. "And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west Side, Simeon shall have a portion." (48:24) The name Simeon means "he that hears, obeys or is heard". Simeon and the Levites are brethren, but the Lord 'divided them in Jacob, and scattered them in Israel'. (Gen. 49: 5, 7) Next to Simeon is the place or division of Issachar. "And by the border of Simeon, from the cast side unto the west side, Issachar a portion." (48: 25) The name Issachar means "There is hire", that is, "service for hire." "Issachar is a strong ass, couching down between two burdens: and he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute." (Gen. 49:14,15) "And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents." — Deut. 33:18.
Next to the allotment of Isaachar is that of Zebulun. "And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a portion." (48:26) Isaiah had prophesied concerning the land of Zebulun. (Isa. 9:1,2) Immediately following his temptation Jesus went into the land of Zebulun, that the prophecy concerning those who sat in darkness might be fulfilled. — Matt. 4:13-17.
The last allotment mentioned is that given to the division called Gad. Upon his deathbed Jacob prophesied concerning his son of that name: "Gad, a troop shall overcome him; but he shall overcome at the last." (Gen. 49:19) The allotment of Gad is described thus: "And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion. And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward,
the border shall be even from Tamar unto the waters of strife in Kadesh, and to the river toward the great sea." (48: 27, 28) The lower border of this allotment is an irregular one, but it conforms to the border promised unto Abraham. (Gen. 15:18) Moses wrote concerning this tribe: "And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm, yea, the crown of the head. And he provided the first part for himself, for there was the lawgiver's portion reserved; and he came with the heads of the people; he executed the justice of the Lord, and his judgements with Israel." — Deut. 33:20,21, E.R.V.
The division or allotment of the land is by lot; which indicates that no partiality shall be shown. All the acts of Jehovah are just and right: "This is the land which ye shall divide by lot unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance, and these are their portions, saith the Lord God." (48:29) These divisions or allotments seem clearly to teach that all the people of the earth will dwell together as one family under the rulership of Christ the King, and under the immediate direction of the "princes in all the earth". There will be no distinction by nationalities, nor will they dwell in a community of interests, but they will be as brethren, each division giving due and proper consideration to others. That will be a beautiful and. happy relationship, and will be a vindication of God's name. It will prove that God can put men on the earth who will do right and joyfully serve and obey him.
The kingdom of God is pure and holy, and everything unclean will be excluded therefrom and for ever prevented from entering therein. "And these are the
goings out of the city (VI-B) on the north side, four thousand and five hundred measures." (48: 30) The goings out through the gates prove that the city is encircled with a wall. The purpose of a wall is for protection, that those inside may be and are kept well and all undesirable and disqualified ones are kept out. Thus Jehovah provides for the protection of his organization, which will forever be kept holy and pure. This also shows that the fire and brimstone of gehenna which was outside the walls of the prophetic city is for the destruction of the undesirable and unqualified things. "And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and [not only monthly, but also] from one sabbath to another [that is, every week], shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. " — Isa. 66:23,24.
The city which Ezekiel saw pictures God's organization for the benefit of the peoples of earth and is a reflection of the heavenly or new Jerusalem, which "had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel." (Rev. 21:12) These gates are gates of going forth, and their names correspond to the divisions of the human race. "And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi." (48:31) All the peoples of earth, regardless of present national
distinction, must become members of one of the tribes or divisions made by the Lord. In order to enter into God's city or organization and to receive the recognition of God's kingdom they must enter in by one or another of the gates as a member of a tribe or division as the name appears on the gate. No social or national name that now exists among the people will then be recognized. That does not mean that those whom we call Jews will be the chief ones on earth and that all the people must become like them. Rather it means that Jehovah God divides the entire human race into twelve divisions and gives to each division a name to correspond with the original twelve tribes of Israel. In order for anyone to become a member of any of these tribes or divisions he must acknowledge Jehovah as the great Eternal God, and Christ Jesus as the Redeemer, Mediator and King, and must render full and complete obedience unto the law of God's kingdom.
In the Revelation record of the holy city the location of the names over the gates does not appear; the gates are merely located, but the name is absent. "On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates." (Rev. 21:13) In the prophecy of Ezekiel, here having particular reference to the earthly divisions of the human race, there appear three gates on the north: one bearing the name of Reuben, the original birthright tribe; one bearing the name of Judah, the princely or ruling tribe; and one bearing the name of Levi, the temple servant; located side by side and "on the sides of the north". The fact that the Levi division has a gate for itself shows that the hundred and forty-four thousand of the priesthood after the
order of Melchizedek have to do with the affairs of this city or government, and therefore that this city is an earthly manifestation of the invisible government of THE CHRIST. The following prophecy of Isaiah now here properly applies: "Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders: but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise." — Isa. 60:11,18.
Joseph was one who proved faithful unto God and receives God's favor. One of the gates is named for him. "And at the east side four thousand and five hundred: and three gates; and one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan." (48:32) Benjamin was devoted to God, as one gate is named for him. Dan was not devoted to God, but has a very unsavory record. Why should one of the gates be named Dan? His name does not appear in the category of the hundred and forty-four thousand sealed ones. (Rev. 7:4-8) Probably Satan concluded, because he had turned Dan against Jehovah, that such would completely wipe out that name. Not so, however. Nothing that Satan can do could prevent Jehovah from carrying out his purpose. Jehovah named the tribes in the beginning. Jehovah will maintain these names in the division of the restored peoples of earth who do maintain their integrity toward him. Jehovah will completely and for ever vindicate his name and carry out his original purpose, as he says: "I have purposed it, I will also do it." (Isa. 46:11)
Thus the Lord God shows that the name is his and he applies it according to his will.
Of the five tribes or divisions located south of the city, three tribes have gates named for them on the south. "And at the south side four thousand and five hundred measures: and three gates; one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun." (48:33) On the west there are three gates, named accordingly: "At the west side four thousand and five hundred, with their three gates; one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali." (48:34) Mark this, that the twelve direct sons of Jacob or Israel are given recognition by naming gates for them, and none for the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim. This is proof that Jehovah carries out his original purpose, and this is a vindication of his word and his name.
The description of the heavenly city given in The Revelation is: "And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length, and the breadth, and the height of it are equal." (Rev. 21:16) The description given by Ezekiel is similar: "It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there." (48:35) The reason for this difference in size must be this: The vision of Ezekiel was given originally to the earthly-minded people of natural Israel, whereas Revelation is given to the spiritual-minded people Israel after the spirit. The city in the vision of Ezekiel is merely a representation of the heavenly government. There are not two portions of God's kingdom. The kingdom is one, and is heavenly, and the earthly rulers are merely
representatives of the heavenly and are under the complete supervision of the heavenly. The purpose of the picture of the city is to show God's organization for mankind.
In the margin of the divine record of this thirty-fifth verse it is seen that the name of the city is "JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH". This is understood to mean "The wonder, name, or renown of Jehovah". It implies that the name of Jehovah will have been completely vindicated and made most glorious throughout the earth, as well as in heaven. Jehovah will be there representatively by his earthly deputies who are "princes in all the earth". For many centuries the name of Jehovah has been reproached and few of the peoples of earth have given honor to his name. When the peoples of the earth come under the control of God's kingdom with Christ the King, there will be a complete change. Then it will be said by all: "Jehovah is there. There is no other God than Jehovah."
Rotherham renders this text: "And the name of the city from the day of Jehovah shall [continue to] be the name thereof." The name of Jerusalem is left out of the picture; and this is very appropriate, because in the kingdom the name of Jehovah will be known to all, and his name will be the wonder and of the greatest renown. "Jerusalem" and "Zion" are names applied to Jehovah's organization, but then Jehovah's name shall be known and magnified above all. "In those days, and at that time, will I cause to bud unto David a Bud of righteousness, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land: in those days Judah shall be saved, and Jerusalem abide se-
curely; and this is that which shall be proclaimed to her [as her name, margin], Jehovah our righteousness!" — Jer. 33:15,16, Roth.
The nations of earth under Satan's misrule do not know the name of Jehovah. Under the righteous rule of the great King Christ Jesus, the name of Jehovah shall be exalted above all and every one shall know his holy name. To the righteous government on earth the people shall ascribe the name "Jehovah our righteousness"; because then his name will be vindicated. Both his word and his name are then vindicated and this fact is commemorated in the new name applied to the world organization, that is, the name "Jehovah-shammah", "The name and renown of Jehovah."
With these words proclaiming the name and renown of Jehovah God the Prophet Ezekiel concludes his prophecy. It now more clearly appears why throughout this prophecy, time and again, Jehovah causes Ezekiel to write: "And they shall KNOW that I am the LORD." That which is of greatest importance is that all creation shall know that Jehovah is the Almighty God.
The great question at issue is now made clear, to wit: "Who is the Almighty God?" Furthermore, "Can Jehovah God put creatures in heaven and on earth who will for ever maintain their integrity toward him and do that which is right?" The prophecy of Ezekiel is a magnificent testimony in answer to these questions. The prophecy opens with a vision of Jehovah's universal organization, and the declaration is emphatically made time and again: "They shall
KNOW that I am the LORD." Jehovah declares his purpose to destroy all unrighteousness and to establish righteousness throughout the universe. The prophet then gives a picture of the complete destruction of Satan's organization, and the deliverance and exaltation of those who live and serve Jehovah God and who maintain their integrity toward him under the severe test.
The prophecy concludes with a vision of Jehovah's royal house, made up of those who have been subjected to the test put upon them by the enemy, and who throughout all these tests have stood firm and true to Jehovah God. Christ Jesus is the Head of the royal house, and he it was that willingly suffered death that he might redeem mankind and vindicate his Father's name. Jehovah makes his royal house the capital of his entire organization. The vision reveals Christ Jesus, the great and everlasting Priest, together with one hundred and forty-four thousand under-priests, in the temple of Jehovah. The altar is seen in the inner court, and symbolizes the value of Christ Jesus' sacrifice made for the benefit of the human race. In the outer court is seen the "great multitude", all spirit creatures, which have been taken from amongst men and made the servants of The Christ before the throne. At the east gate is seen that faithful company of prophets, who suffered all manner of persecution for righteousness' sake and who because of their faithfulness are made "princes in all the earth" and who direct the people in the way of righteousness.
Outside of the wall surrounding the temple are disclosed the people of earth, separated into twelve di-
visions, and brought into harmony with God through his royal Son, Christ Jesus. It is Jehovah's magnificent organization; and over and above all is Jehovah God himself. All members of his organization are faithful and true to him, and love and serve Jehovah. The vision discloses them dwelling together in peace, and, in the language of the psalmist, they say: 'Lo, how good and how delightful is the dwelling of brethren together.' (Ps. 133:1, Roth.) The questions at issue have been for ever settled, and settled in the right way. Jehovah is God. There is none other. Righteousness is exalted and established for ever. The name of Jehovah is known and is for ever vindicated. From that time and for ever the restored peoples of earth will look upon the city, that is, the organization of Jehovah, represented in his righteous government on the earth, and say: "The Lord Jehovah is there." The name of the city is THE RENOWN OF JEHOVAH.
It appears almost to a certainty, from the evidence, that the 135th Psalm was composed and sung at the cleansed temple. It is a public song, appropriate to be sung by all of Jehovah God's creation. Its words pour reproach upon the enemy and extol the name of Jehovah, the Almighty God. It is fitting that all creation should in time join in such song to the praise of the Most High. May it not be true that in the future, when the kingdom of God is in full and complete sway, and the peoples of the earth are wholly reconciled to him, that all creatures in heaven and in earth will together sing: "Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, 0 ye servants of the LORD. Ye that stand in the house of the LORD,
in the courts of the house of our God, praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings for the rain: he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries. Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast. Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, 0 Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants. Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings; Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan: and gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people. Thy name, 0 LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, 0 LORD, throughout all generations. For the LORD will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants. The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; they have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them. Bless the LORD, 0 house of Israel: bless the LORD, 0 house of Aaron: bless the LORD, 0 house of Levi: ye that fear the LORD, bless the LORD. Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye [JEHOVAH]." — Psalm 135.