“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east…” (Ezekiel 47:1)
I am sitting once again with this vision out of Ezekiel 47:1-12. The opening image is that of the Temple, facing east; and, a river of water flowing from under the threshold. That’s where I want to focus here.
THE GLORY OF GOD
The Temple is a constant theme throughout scripture. My purpose is not to explore the details of the temple in the Old Testament; but, to consider what it represents. First, is that it is seen as the place, or ‘structure’, where God dwells, where His Glory is experienced as the people of God come together, or draw near to Him.
All through the wilderness wanderings of Israel there was no temple. God led His people 24/7 through the wilderness with the Cloud by day and Fire by night; but, there was no ‘dwelling place’ for God’s Glory. The time came; however, when under Solomon, a grand temple was built. 2 Chronicles 3-7:11 speaks of the building, and dedicating of the temple. And, twice in these passages we find the Glory of the Lord filling the temple as the people fell down before Him in worship (chapter 5:13,14 and 7:1-3). God, it seems, had found a dwelling place for His Glory.
And, that is exactly where so many people place the ‘temple’, or ‘church. Again and again, we find the tendency to focus on buildings or physical, man-made structures as the primary place where we gather to experience the Glory of God. It is true that there is tremendous power released in corporate gatherings. It is also true that it is vital that we gather together (see Hebrews 10:25).
But, the danger is that we, even as Believers, indwelt by Holy Spirit, forget that we are the temple. (for example, see 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19-20, and Ephesians 2:21-22). The apostle Paul, speaking to the philophers and religious leaders in Athens said, “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands…” (Acts 17:24), a point many church going believers in this nation need to be reminded of.
WE ARE THE TEMPLE. And, that is my point here. Which leads me to what I am hearing the Lord say in this hour:
“Look to the Temple! Now is the time of housecleaning, of reordering and re-aligning of your hearts and minds before Me. You have allowed your focus to be divided and blurred. You have forgotten who you are in Me and allowed the world around you to dictate how you will think, speak, behave.”
The Lord says, “You have replaced My Presence with the performance of religion by taking your eyes off Me and setting them on the things of man. You have been deceived into believing that it if the outward appearance is right before men I will be glorified. You have fallen into the same pit set before those of religious authority of whom I said, “You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.”
“Therefore, Beloved, LOOK TO THE TEMPLE. For, this is the hour for My people, who are called by My Name to step forward in humility and purity. SEEK ME FIRST IN THE SANCTUARY. And, you will find rising up within you a fire of desire unlike any you’ve experienced. I AM pouring forth MY FIRE to purge the land of all that is unclean. And, I AM doing this through those in whom I AM creating a pure heart.”
THE WORSHIP OF GOD
Whenever the temple is mentioned, it is in the context of ‘worship’. The temple faced EAST. In fact, the ‘eastern gate’, or door, is the one of worship. It is through that door that the Glory of God comes through. Ezekiel 43 speaks of this in another vision:
“Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory….And the glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east. The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple. Then I heard Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me. And He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet..” (verses 1-2 and4-7a)
Not only is the ‘temple’ facing east; but, water is flowing from under the threshold. A river is flowing from the very throne of God.
I am reminded of the words of Jesus here: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:38) There are ‘streams of living water’ flowing. And, this flow of Holy Spirit is the very flow of worship.
The physical temple was a structure for worship. We may take that for granted; but, in this country we have turned most of our church structures into learning/performance centers. When Jesus cleansed the temple in Jerusalem and said it was to be a ‘house of prayer for all nations’ it was, I believe, to clear out all that was desecrating or preventing the atmosphere of worship. In other words, the place of God’s Glory is always to be a place where worship flows. God is seeking those who will worship.
If there is anything that is rising up a vital priority in 2011, it is the fresh release of radical worship. The TEMPLE IS TO BE FILLED WITH WORSHIP. We are being called in this hour to swiftly move away from our religious agendas and programs and come together in worship. The gatherings of God’s people, no matter in what organized, denominational, or physical manner are to be gatherings for the purpose of WORSHIP.
God’s Glory ALWAYS rises up and fills the temple in the atmosphere of worship-ALWAYS. It is not that teaching and preaching are not good and needed; nor, is the adopting of different programs within the structure of individual churches for the purpose of community outreach, etc. But, I say that when it comes to ‘information’ and ‘program’-we already have enough of both. This is a year in which worship must rise up as never before. For it is the flow of worship, the pouring forth of PRAISE that literally shatters the darkness in the land, and releases the flow of ‘living water.’
The Lord says: “There will always be the need for teaching and preaching of My Absolute Perfect Word, and for the releasing of My Voice of Revelation throughout the land. My Word is Truth for I AM Truth; and, the Truth shall set you free.”
“But, hear Me clearly, Beloved. There is no greater need in this hour than for My People, who are called by My Name, to release the SOUND OF WORSHIP upon the land.”
“RELEASE THE SOUND! Like a trumpet blast, like a mighty roar, like the sound of many waters–release the SOUND OF HEAVEN in this hour.”
The Lord says, “You are My Song, Beloved. And, My Song of Salvation, of Healing and Deliverance MUST RE-SOUND throughout the land. For, men are weary of the rhetoric of the religious and the arguments of the arrogant. There has been too much talking, too much of the wagging of the malicious tongue and the pointing of the accusing finger. There is a shroud upon the land, a burial shroud of fear; and, only the SOUND OF WORSHIP will remove it. Only My Song in the land shall raise the dead and set the captive free.”
“Lift your voice with the sound of praise; raise your hands in adoration. Sing and dance, sing and dance upon the land in this hour. For you will literally be singing and dancing upon the heads of the defeated enemy. And, you will taste and see My Goodness and My Glory pouring forth as never before.
“I have built you, My Temple, and I have positioned you facing toward the place of praise. Do not hold back. RELEASE THE SOUND!” Says the Lord.
We are in the midst of the most powerful years of human history. I also believe we are experiencing the beginnings of the 3rd Great Awakening. And, it is vital that we embrace this hour with PRAISE.
Let’s pray right now:
I yield to You, I now look to Your Temple and embrace all You have created me to be as a house of praise.
Create in me a pure heart. Release now a spirit of humility and purity that I may walk upon the land a manifestation of Your glory.
Cause Your Song to rise in me like a mighty river, and cause the Sound of Heaven to pour forth from within this temple like a mighty flood.
I offer You, now, my body, mind, and soul as a living sacrifice of praise.
And, I will worship You and You alone, O Lord of Hosts, My God and My King.
Next, we will look at THE RIVER….bliss you big!