ˇ§I love the house where you live, O Lord, the place where your glory dwells.ˇ¨ (Psalm 26:8)
In Old Testament times, many persons expressed on numerous occasions how they longed to dwell with God in His glorious Holy Temple, in the Lordˇ¦s abode, worshipping and praising Him, and enjoying communion with Him. (Psalm 23:6, 90:1) The Psalm above is a clear testimony. These people aspire to the Lordˇ¦s house not because the Holy Temple is glittering and radiant with magnificent fixtures and decorations, but because the glorious Lord fills the Holy Temple. The Creator of all heaven and earth actually humbles and degrades Himself to come amongst humankind, and in a limited space known as the Holy Temple communicates and interacts with man. The manifestation of the glory of a holy and everlasting Lord in an earthly dwelling is a matter that is difficult to comprehend. Here below are some personal insights I have gleamed from the bible regarding Godˇ¦s ˇ§Glorious Templeˇ¨.
From the Bible and the history of the Jews, we see that aside from Godˇ¦s glory descending upon the Tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 40:34-35) and the first Holy Temple built by King Solomon (1 Kings 8:10-11, 2 Chronicles 5:13-14), there are no other accounts comparable to these two describing the manifestation of the Lordˇ¦s glory in the Holy Temple. In Ezekiel chapters 5 to 11 we read how the people sinned and betrayed their covenant, so that God had to send His prophets to warn them on many occasions to turn away from their transgressions and repent. But they were hard-hearted and rebellious, to the point that even the Holy Temple was filled with idols, and the spirit of the Lord had to leave His dwelling place. The prophet Ezekiel personally saw the glory of God rise up from above the Cherubim in the inner sanctuary to the threshold of the temple (Ezekiel 9:3), from the threshold to the east gate of the temple (Ezekiel 10:19), and from the east gate to the mountain east of the city (Ezekiel 11:23). This is the experience of ˇ§Ichabodˇ¨, which is, ˇ§The glory of God departedˇ¨. Since then, the glory of the Lord has never again been seen in the temple. Although Zerubbabel and Jeshua reconstructed a second temple 70 years after the exile, and King Herod, in order to appease the Jews, spent 40 years to build for the third time a temple universally considered by people to be magnificent (Mark 13:1), yet all three Holy Temples were destroyed in turn, and Godˇ¦s glory was not to be seen again.
We will probably have to wait until the Millennium Kingdom of the Messiah to see the glory of God manifest again within a physical Holy Temple on earth. As the prophet Haggai predicted, ˇ§The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house.ˇ¨ (Haggai 2:9) This means that the Holy Temple will be rebuilt in the future and the glory of God will once again fill it. ˇ§The mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.ˇ¨ (Isaiah 2:2) From the prophesy in the Bible, we know that at the end of days, Jesus Christ will come again, and will punish those on earth who sin and oppose God through the pouring out of bowl upon bowl of calamity, thus fulfilling the prophesy recorded in the Book of Revelations. After this retribution, Christ will reign as King on earth. Chapters 40 to 48 in the Book of Ezekiel record how the glory of God is restored when Christ comes again. The glory of the Lord follows the track it had taken when departing and once again enters the temple through the gate facing east (Ezekiel 43:1-4) until it fills the Holy Temple again. This is the prophesy from the prophet Ezekiel regarding the Messiahˇ¦s Millennium Kingdom. So the meaning of ˇ§chabodˇ¨ is ˇ§The glory of God restoredˇ¨.
Many people hope to see the return of the glory of God. Some believe that the gate facing east in the Holy Temple where the Messiah will enter when He returns is the Golden Gate of present day Jerusalem. They have even installed a web-cam to establish 24-hour computer surveillance. (If members are interested, you can go to the following web site: http//www.olivetree.org/ and click on MessiahCam.) As your pastor, I sincerely hope that our church will be a church that knows and affirms ˇ§The glory of Godˇ¨. That is the topic of consideration for our church in January. In next weekˇ¦s ˇ§Shepherdˇ¦s Voiceˇ¨ I will continue to share the message regarding this subject with everyone.
By: Daniel To