The role of the NT church in Ezekiel’s temple
The Pristine Abrahamic Faith › Forums › Eschatology › The role of the NT church in Ezekiel’s temple
- This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 3 months ago by Pramod C.
February 26, 2022 at 11:13 am #2370Pramod CParticipant
I’m puzzled about the role of the NT church in the temple prophesied in Ezekiel 40-48. Verses like the following seems to argue against the church’s involvement.
“Thus says the Lord GOD: No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the people of Israel, shall enter my sanctuary.
(Also see 44:7)
This talks about uncircumcised not in heart alone, but in heart and flesh. Would this not exclude the church?
Different Israelite tribe’s duties are mentioned. For instance, it is the sons of Zadok who are to be priests (due to their faithfulness). Other Levites could minister but cannot be priests. cf. Ezekiel 44:10-16
Where is church in all this?
There is mention of foreigners joining Israel who gets inheritance in 47:22-23. Could this be the church? But they don’t seem to become priests in the temple. Your insights are much appreciated.
February 27, 2022 at 3:24 pm #2373TimothyKeymaster
The New Testament is clear that Christians (regardless of ethnicity) will act as “priests” in the Temple of God in the Kingdom.
Revelation 20:6 (NASB) Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
Revelation 3:12 (NASB) ‘He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
These things were said to the “seven churches” of Asia Minor, which were comprised mostly of Gentiles.
Regarding the Kingdom Temple in Ezekiel 40-48, it is important to understand who the intended audience was of Ezekiel’s prophecy. It was not written for us, or even with us in mind. It was written to the Jews who had just been carried into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar. This particular vision was given to Israel to encourage them in their present circumstances and give them great hope that the Kingdom will indeed come.
Consequently, it uses language that would be meaningful to them. An “uncircumcised” person to them was a derogatory term, a euphemism for a pagan, one who worshipped a god other than the God of Abraham. At the time, men who were worshippers of the one true God were required to be circumcised in their flesh. This even applied to proselytes (gentiles) who were joined to Israel. So to the original audience, this statement meant that no pagans would enter God’s Temple. Then the statement that neither will the “uncircumcised in heart” be allowed, this refers to Israelites whose religion was merely external.
Ephesians 2 makes it clear that Gentile Christians are “brought near” to Israel and the covenants. Colossians explains that baptized Gentile Christians are “circumcised.”
Col. 2:11-14 (NKJV) 11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
The baptism of our flesh is “the circumcision of Christ.” Note that it is our flesh that is baptized, so that this is indeed the “circumcision” in the flesh of the New Covenant. So while the original audience to which Ezekiel was written understood that prophecy to mean that no pagan (or any Jew whose religion was merely external) has no place in the Kingdom Temple, the New Testament applies such things in a new paradigm, and how it applies to Gentile believers. All Christians, male and female, are “circumcised” both in the flesh and in the heart at the same time because our conversion is both internal and external. This is why baptism is called being “born of water and of the Spirit/Breath” (John 3:3,5) because it is both external and internal simultaneously.
You should not think of “the church” and “Israel” as completely separate entities. That is leftover “dispensationalist” thinking, which is not what the Bible teaches. The covenants were made with Israel, including the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34). So redeemed “Israel” IS “the Church.” As Gentiles, we are joined with Israel and her covenants and promises, the Abrahamic Covenant, Davidic Covenant, and the New Covenant.
February 28, 2022 at 12:18 am #2374Pramod CParticipant
Thanks br. Tim. This hermeneutical approach makes sense in light of the NT revelation.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.