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Last eight chapters of Ezekiel.

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by Seedsower, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. Is the last eight chapters of Ezekiel to be interpreted literally or symbolicallyk? If literally then we have the reintroduction of animal sacrifices. If stated that these would serve as a reminder, we would have the literal presence of Jesus bearing five eternal wounds. So why would we need reminding? If symbolic, then what of? I invite your thoughts.

    Blessing: Pete
  2. Nice to speak with you Pete. I hope all is well with you today. As to your question, IMO the only view that harmonizes with the grammatical-historical principle of interpretation is that Ezekiel is describing a real future Temple in great detail which in many ways differs from Solomon's Temple.

    This then future Temple will be on earth and not in heaven since it is described in a geographical setting that we know to be literal in history.
    Complete likes this.
  3. Thanks for your thoughts bro. I can't say that I fully agree because of reasons stated in my original post. This has always been a sticky one for me and I tend to think it's symbolic but of what stumps me.

    Blessings Pete
  4. Dear Pete, just so I am clear, please understand that I don’t mean I read Ezekiel’s prophecy “literally” at the exclusion of recognizing any symbolic language that may be found in the text. When I say I take Ezekiel’s temple prophecy “literally,” I have in mind the idea that I take every word in its primary and ordinary meaning first, unless the exegesis of the text demands I understand those words differently. Hence, any symbolism will be identifiable by the Scriptures themselves within the context as one studies the text.

    I should also add that even though the prophet may at times paint symbolic word pictures with his use of language, those “pictures” still represents something that will really and tangibly come to pass. For instance, Ezekiel 37 describes a "valley of dry bones" supernaturally coming to life. While I recognize that such a vivid image is symbolic, the image pictures something that will certainly happen, that being, the supernatural restoration of Israel to the promised land.

    Wonderful to talk with you and may the Lord bless us all!
    Complete likes this.
  5. Thanks for making your position clear. I pray that our Lord may grant us many fruitful discussions.
  6. Agreed!
  7. I think it is literal,
    that Jesus will rebuild the temple from the foundations up
    and re-introduce animal sacrifice, though to our way of thinking that sounds bizarre.
    The age of grace, ie the age when you could have forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus and the work of the cross comes to an end
    when Jesus as Messiah rules the Earth, since you see him in the flesh how can you have faith in him for the forgiveness of sins?
    the only avenue left for forgiveness is sacrifice,
    I have to read up on Ezekiel cause I don't know whether that would be a changed sacrificial system,
    I think I read that every nation on earth will be required to go up once a year to Jerusalem, would that be delegates or the whole nation?
    Complete likes this.
  8. If literal then we are talking of the Millennium when Jesus will literally reign from Jerusalem. The age of grace will be over so no more forgiveness of sins will be possible. My main point in my original post was, why would animal sacrifices (as some say they would serve as reminders of Jesus's sacrifice) be necessary because The Lord Himself will be there as the last verse in the book says?

    In answer to your question, if this is indeed literal I think it would be delegates.
  9. Hello there,

    Are you looking at Ezekiel 40 onward?

    * It is good to remember to what people the visions were directed also, isn't it?

    'And He said unto me, Son of man,
    I send thee to the children of Israel,
    to a rebellious nation
    that hath rebelled against me:
    they and their fathers have transgressed against me,
    even unto this very day.
    For they are impudent children and stiff-hearted.
    I do send thee unto them;
    and thou shalt say unto them,

    "Thus saith the Lord GOD."
    And they,
    whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,)
    yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
    And thou, son of man,
    be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words,
    though briers and thorns be with thee,
    and thou dost dwell among scorpions:
    be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks,
    though they be a rebellious house.
    And thou shalt speak my words unto them,
    whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
    But thou, son of man,
    hear what I say unto thee;
    Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house:

    open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.'
    Eze 2:3-8

    In Christ Jesus
    popsthebuilder likes this.
  10. '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.
    In the visions of God brought He me into the land of Israel,
    and set me upon a very high mountain,
    by which was as the frame of a city on the south.
    And He brought me thither,
    and, behold, 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.
    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 ... "'

    (Eze 40:1-4)

    * What precision there is in this book of Ezekiel, what attention to detail. How important that we too, should treat this prophetic vision with great care.
    popsthebuilder likes this.
  11. Zechariah 14:16...........

    "Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths."

    Jeremiah 33:15–18 ........

    "In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
    David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to make sacrifices forever.”

    The primary objection made to the idea of animal sacrifices returning during the millennial kingdom is that Christ has come and offered a perfect sacrifice for sin, and there is therefore no need to sacrifice animals for sin. However, it must be remembered that animal sacrifice never removed the sin that spiritually separated a person from the Lord.

    It is incorrect to think that animal sacrifices took away sins in the Old Testament, and it is incorrect to think they will do so in the millennial kingdom. Animal sacrifices served as object lessons for the sinner, that sin was and is a horrible offense against God, and that the result of sin is death.

    Rom. 3:20.........
    “Because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”
    popsthebuilder, crownoflife and Complete says Amen and like this.
  12. I agree totally 1
  13. Animal sacrifices were an atonement for sin not a remedy as Hebrews tells us. So, if it is symbolic, then what of?
    Complete likes this.
  14. Thank you for the thought process.
  15. Hebrews 10:4 ..............
    "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."

    A few verses later, in verse 11...........
    "And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins."

    The animal sacrifices have a different purpose than the once-and-for all death of Christ. The significance of the death of Christ is not minimized by the animal sacrifices in the Millennial Temple, because such sacrifices are not intended to take away sin.

    The animal sacrifices were, and will be, tests of obedience as well as a way of maintaining fellowship with God for the Jew and gentile proselytes living in the Kingdom Age. The death of Christ does not do away with all ritual. The death of Christ has not done away with the Lord’s Supper. That’s a ritual. The death of Christ has not done away with going to church. We are to regularly gather with the people of God. These animal sacrifices are ritual—another kind of ritual—but ritual nevertheless. And there is still a place and function for ritual.

    Then IMO, it needs to be remembered that the Millennial Kingdom is about Israel. There is a promised land in which Israel dwells in peace and security. The Millennial Age is not the Church Age. We shouldn’t seek to understand its features in terms of the Church Age. During the Millennium, the Church Age is no more. Even though outward submission to these outward ceremonies and rituals will not be proof of a new heart, such ceremonies will exhibit a spirit of submission to the government of the Millennial King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Complete likes this.
  16. #16 Seedsower, Feb 11, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
    Thanks, I appreciate your input. I find it interesting but not entirely convincing. For me the Millennium is the literal reign of Christ not sacrifices. Tes
    Thanks for your input I appreciate your view and find it interesting but not entirely convincing. Christ knows the hearts of all, so no reason for tests of obedience. I am a pre-millenniumist but I do think that these chapters are symbolic but of what stumps me. The Bible is progressive revelation and therefore meant something to the Jews in captivity as well as eschatologically. IMO chapter one gives comfort and hope and I think that these chapters also bring hope for the future to the captives. How could they sing The Lord's song in a strange land? They were in great need of lifting up and encouragement and these chapters give just that. As for the symbolic interpretation in terms of eschatology, that's where I need input. However, thanks again for your reply.
  17. My honor to speak with you. May the Lord bless you and keep you safe and in the palm of His hand.
  18. #18 Complete, Feb 11, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
    Hello @Seedsower
    I thought it may be worth starting an investigation into this, by looking up the word translated, 'sacrifice', in Ezekiel. I found that there are several words in either Hebrew or Greek translated 'sacrifice': the one used in Ezekiel is:-

    'Zebach' (zeh'-bakh) - Strong's H2077 - from H2076;
    properly a slaughter, that is, the flesh of an animal;
    by implication a sacrifice (the victim or the act)
    Translated:- offer (-ing), sacrifice.

    * It is used approx. 155 times by the Holy Spirit as 'sacrifice' and 9 times 'offering', it's meaning is, 'to slay' (2 Kings 23:20), and every sacrifice which translates this Hebrew word, involves the death and the shedding of the blood of the victim.

    '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.'
    (Heb. 'zebach')

    '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,
    (Heb. 'zebach')
    and they shall stand before them to minister unto them.'

    'Then said he unto me,
    These are the places of them that boil,
    where the ministers of the house
    shall boil the sacrifice of the people.'
    (Heb. 'zebach')

    * This does not explain anything, but it may be the basis upon which to build.
    For it is not man's explanation that we want, but what is written, isn't it?

    In Christ Jesus
    Seedsower likes this.
  19. Hello @Major,

    I would be grateful if you could supply such Scriptures as would clarify the points you have raised, so that I can pin them down to Scriptural fact. (If you don't have the time I will understand)

    * Forgive me for highlighting your entry, and for defining and separating the points raised. I have not deleted or altered the text.

    Thank you
    In Christ Jesus
  20. Chris, I would be honored to give you my impressions and verses that I have derived my opinions from.

    Hebrews 10:4 says that the blood of animals only "covered" over the sins of men until The Lamb of God would give His blood as the complete atonement which cleanses us of sin. I am sure we all know and understand that fact. Neither keeping the Law or giving animal sacrifices saved anyone. It was all by faith. The animal blood was a type of what Jesus would ecentually do.

    John 1:29........
    "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

    Zech 14:16-18..........
    “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall 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 whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”

    Zech 14:v.21 ...........
    “Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the LORD of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.”

    Isa 66:23 .............
    "And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me," says the LORD.

    Isa. 66:23 teaches that we will keep the Sabbath, it also teaches we will keep the New Moon festival! This is on earth in the Millennium period- not in heaven."

    If the Sabbath and feast days and the sacrifices are done away with in Christ how do we reconcile these two seemingly contradictory positions? How can there be a return to the sacrificial system without taking away from the meritorious sacrifice of Christ?

    Millennial Israel will have at its center the Temple. Sacrifices according to Ezek. 40:38-39, will continually be done during the Kingdom Age as seen in Ezekiel 45:13 – 46:15. The key IMO is the fact that the millennial offerings are distinctly Jewish nature, of Jewish history and will be administered by Jews, their commemorative purpose will be embraced by Gentiles who will join in celebration of the millennial King who will be on earth.

    IMO this is what is taught to us in Zechariah 8 v.23..........
    'In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him who is a Jew, saying, We will go with you for we have heard that God is with you'.

    Now........ it should not be mistaken for a reinstitution of Mosaic law system, since Moses sacrificial system did not take away sin but Jesus' last sacrifice did.

    The problem is easily solved if we view them as being COMMEMORATIVE rather than EFFICACIOUS.

    The sacrifices will be a memorial, just as communion is practiced today looking back. They will not be propitiation, or efficacious (they will have no power to redeem) but are a reminder of what took place. The reason this will be instituted is because there will be many unbelievers born in the Millennial period, they will be sinners that will need to understand the sacrifice Christ did. Since his sacrifice is the final one, that cannot be repeated the types he fulfilled will be illustrative of his accomplishment. Just as the church is commanded to continue the Lord's Supper until he comes.

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