Return of the Lord’s Glory and Description of Sacrifices and Worship
43 And he brought me to the gate which was facing east. 2 And, look! The glory of the God of Israel, it came from the way of the east, and its sound was like the sound of many waters and the land radiated due to his glory! 3 And the appearance of the vision which I saw was as the vision which I saw at his coming to destroy the city, and these visions were also as the vision which I saw by the Kebar River, and I fell on my face.
4 And then the glory of Yahweh came to the temple by the way of the gate facing east. 5 And the Spirit lifted me and it brought me to the inner courtyard and, look! The glory of Yahweh filled the temple! 6 And I heard someone speaking to me from the house, and a man was standing beside me. 7 And he said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet where I will dwell in the midst of the Israelites to eternity, and they, the house of Israel, they and their kings, will not again defile my holy name with their fornication and with their offerings for the dead of their kings on their high places. 8 When they placed their threshold with my threshold, their doorframe beside my doorframe and the wall was between me and between them, then they defiled my holy name, with their detestable things that they did, and so I consumed them in my anger. 9 Now let them send their fornication far away and the offerings for the dead of their kings away from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them forever.
10 You, son of man, describe to the house of Israel the temple and let them be ashamed of their iniquities and let them measure the pattern. 11 And if they are ashamed of all that they did, then the plan of the temple and its arrangement and its exits and its entrances and all of its plans and all of its statutes. And all of its plans and all of its laws make known to them and write them before their eyes, so that they may remember all of its plans and all of its statutes, so that they do them! 12 This is the law of the temple: On the top of the mountain, all of its territory, all the way around it, will be most holy. Look, this is the law of the temple.
13 And these are the measurements of the altar in the cubits (a cubit is a cubit and a handbreadth): now its gutter is a cubit in depth by a cubit in width and its rim along its edge all around is one span, and this is also the height of the altar. 14 And from the gutter at the ground up to the lower ledge is two cubits, and its width is one cubit, and from the small ledge up to the large ledge is four cubits, and its width is one cubit. 15 And the altar hearth was four cubits, and from the altar hearth and upwards were the four horns of the altar. 16 And the altar hearth was twelve cubits in length and twelve cubits in width; it was squared on its four sides. 17 And the ledge was fourteen cubits in length with fourteen cubits its width to all four of its sides, and a rim was all around it of one-half cubit. And the gutter for it was a cubit all around, and its steps were facing east.”
18 And he said to me, “Son of man, thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘These are the statutes of the altar on the day when it is made, to sacrifice a burnt offering on it and to sprinkle blood on it. 19 And you must give to the Levitical priests who are from the offspring of Zadok, the ones coming near me,” declares the Lord Yahweh, “to serve me, a bull, a calf as a sin offering.
20 You must take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar, and the four corners of the ledge, and on the rim all around; thus you must purify it and make atonement for it. 21 And you must take the bull, the sin offering, and you must burn it in the designated place of the temple outside of the holy place. 22 And on the second day you must offer a he-goat without defect as a sin offering, and they must purify the altar like they purified with the bull. 23 When you are finished from purifying, you must offer a bull, a calf, without defect, and a ram from the flock without defect. 24 And you must bring them near before Yahweh, and the priests must throw salt on them, and they must offer them as a burnt offering to Yahweh. 25 For seven days you must provide a goat of sin offering for the day and a bull, a calf, and a ram from the flock without defect; you must provide them. 26 Seven days they must purify the altar and they must cleanse it and so they will consecrate it. 27 And they will finish the days, and then on the eighth day and beyond that the priests will offer on the altar your burnt offerings and your fellowship offerings, and then I will be pleased with you,” declares the Lord Yahweh.
The Prince, the Levites, and the Priests Described
44 And he brought me back by the way of the outer gate of the sanctuary that is facing east, and it was shut. 2 And Yahweh said to me, “This gate will be shut. It shall not be opened, and no one will go through it, for Yahweh, the God of Israel, has entered it, and it will be shut. 3 The prince, he may sit in it to eat food before Yahweh; he will come from the way of the portico of the gate and by means of its way he will also go out.”
4 Then he brought me by the way of the gate of the north to the front of the temple, and I looked, and look! The glory of Yahweh filled the temple of Yahweh, and I fell on my face. 5 And Yahweh said, “Son of man, set your heart and look with your eyes and with your ears hear everything I am saying to you concerning all the statutes of the temple of Yahweh and concerning all its laws, and you must listen with your heart concerning the entrance of the temple with all of the exits of the sanctuary. 6 And you must say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Enough for you, house of Israel, of all of your detestable things! 7 At your bringing foreigners who are uncircumcised of heart and uncircumcised of flesh to be in my sanctuary to profane it, my temple, as you offered my food, fat, and blood, so you broke my covenant by all of your detestable things. 8 And you did not observe the responsibility of my sanctuary, but you appointed them as the keepers of my responsibility in my sanctuary for you.”
9 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Every foreigner uncircumcised of heart and uncircumcised of flesh shall not come into my sanctuary—not any of the foreigners who are in the midst of the Israelites. 10 But the Levites who removed themselves from me at the going astray of Israel, who went astray from me and went after their idols, as a result they will bear their guilt. 11 Then they will be in my sanctuary, those serving in my sanctuary, as sentries at the gates of the temple and as those serving the temple; they will slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they will stand before them to serve them, 12 because they used to serve them before their idols and they were for the house of Israel like a stumbling block of iniquity. Therefore I swore concerning them,” declares the Lord Yahweh, “that they will bear their iniquity. 13 And they shall not approach me to serve as a priest for me and to come near to all of my holy objects, to the most holy objects, and they will bear their disgrace and the results of their detestable things they have done. 14 And I will appoint them as the keepers of the responsibility of the temple, for all of its work and everything which will be done in it.
15 But the Levitical priests, the descendants of Zadok, who cared for the responsibility of my sanctuary when the Israelites went astray from me, they will approach me to serve me, and they will stand before me to offer to me fat and blood,” declares the Lord Yahweh. 16 “They shall come to my sanctuary, and they shall approach my table to serve me, and they will observe my requirement. 17 And then when they come to the gates of the inner courtyards, they shall put on their inner linen garments and not wear wool garments when they serve in the gates of the inner courtyard and inside the temple. 18 Linen turbans shall be on their head and linen undergarments shall be on their waists; they shall not gird themselves with material causing perspiration. 19 When they go out to the outer courtyard to the people, they must take off their garment in which they were serving, and they must place them in the holy chambers, and they must put on other garments, so that they will not make the people holy with their garments. 20 And their head they shall not shave, or long hair they shall not let grow; short they shall clip their heads. 21 And no priest shall drink wine when they come into the inner courtyard. 22 And a widow or divorced woman they shall not take for themselves as wives, but only a virgin from the offspring of the house of Israel, or the widow who is a widow for a priest they may take.
23 And they will teach my people the difference between what is holy and what is unholy, and the difference between unclean and clean they must show them. 24 And at a legal dispute they themselves shall stand to judge; employing my judgments they shall judge it, and with respect to my laws and my statutes. All my festivals they shall keep and my Sabbaths they shall consecrate. 25 And near a dead person he shall not come to be defiled, but only for a father and for a mother and for a son and for a daughter, for a brother and for a sister who was not married may they defile themselves. 26 And, after his cleansing, they shall count for him seven days, 27 and then on the day of his coming into the sanctuary to the inner courtyard to serve in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering,” declares the Lord Yahweh.
28 And thus it will be to them as regards inheritance, that I am their inheritance, and so you shall not give to them property in Israel; I am their property. 29 The grain offering and the sin offering and the guilt offering, they themselves may eat them, and also all the consecrated possessions in Israel will be theirs. 30 And also what is first of all of the firstfruits of everything, and of all of the contribution of everything from all of your contributions, to the priest it belongs, and what is first of your dough you shall give to the priest, so that a blessing may rest on your house. 31 Any dead body or mangled carcass from the birds or from the animals, the priests shall not eat.”
A Description of the New Jerusalem
9 And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and lofty mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 that has the glory of God. Its radiance is like a precious stone, something like a jasper stone, shining like crystal. 12 It has a great and high wall that has twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written on the gates which are of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel—13 on the east, three gates, and on the north, three gates, and on the south, three gates, and on the west, three gates. 14 And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 And the one who spoke with me was holding a golden measuring rod in order that he could measure the city and its gates and its wall. 16 And the city is laid out as a square, and its length is the same as its width. And he measured the city with the measuring rod at twelve thousand stadia; the length and the width and the height of it are equal. 17 And he measured its wall, one hundred forty-four cubits according to human measure, which is the angel’s. 18 And the material of its wall is jasper, and the city is pure gold, similar in appearance to pure glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every kind of precious stone: the first foundation jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each one of the gates was from a single pearl. And the street of the city is pure gold, like transparent glass.
22 And I did not see a temple in it, for the Lord God All-Powerful is its temple, and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon, that they shine on it, for the glory of God illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 And the nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 And its gates will never be shut by day (for there will be no night there), 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 And every unclean thing and one who practices detestable things and falsehood will never enter into it, except those who are written in the book of life of the Lamb.
“Do you know the time when the goats of the rocks give birth?
Do you observe the doe deer’s giving birth?
2 Can you number the months they fulfill,
and do you know the time of its giving birth?
3 When they crouch, they bring forth their young ones;
they get rid of their labor pains.
4 Their young ones grow strong; they grow up in the open;
they go forth and do not return to them.
5 “Who has sent forth the wild ass free?
And who has released the wild donkey’s bonds,
6 to which I have given the wilderness as its house
and the salt flat as its dwelling place?
7 It scorns the city’s turmoil;
it does not hear the driver’s shouts.
8 It explores the mountains as its pasture
and searches after every kind of green plant.
9 “Is the wild ox willing to serve you,
or will he spend the night at your feeding trough?
10 Can you tie the wild ox with its rope to a furrow,
or will it harrow the valleys after you?
We are being made new. God is working in us now, and He will one day complete His work. Scripture speaks of the ultimate hope of this renewal: our reunion with God. For the first-century Jews, the new Jerusalem signified God once again dwelling with His people.
In his revelation, John describes the relationship between God and His people when He completes His work in us: “Behold, the dwelling of God is with humanity, and he will take up residence with them, and they will be his people and God himself will be with them. And he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any longer, and mourning or wailing or pain will not exist any longer. The former things have passed away” (Rev 21:3–4).
The Lamb of God has achieved this picture of new creation and dwelling in God’s presence. His light is present throughout the imagery: “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon, that they shine on it, for the glory of God illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev 21:23). Because of the Lamb’s sacrifice, the former things have passed away.
God will make you completely new—free from sin, suffering, and pain. You are in transformation right now; He is shining His light in your life, exposing the darkness and separating it from the light. And someday you will stand before Him without fear of sin or pain or death or sorrow—a work of new creation. How are you, like the recipients of John’s revelation, living in expectation of being made new?
How is God making you new today? What area of your life needs to reflect His work in you?
Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord
Publisher: Lexham Press
Publication Date: 2012
This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.