September 13, 2019

Christ The Prince To Come, Will Enter By The Eastern Gate

"[T]he Christian religion - its general principles - must ever be regarded among us as the foundation of civil society. Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens. [T]o the free and universal reading of the Bible... men [are] much indebted for right views of civil liberty. The Bible is a book... which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow man."
Daily Reading : EZEKIEL 43 - 45
TEXT : Eze 43:1  Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: Eze 43:2  And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. Eze 43:3  And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. Eze 43:4  And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. Eze 43:5  So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. Eze 43:6  And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. Eze 43:7  And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.
"The consecration of the new temple Eze_43:1-11. The glory of the God of Israel must take possession of the new sanctuary, as, in time past, of the tabernacle and of Solomon's Temple. But it is in a different form. The glory was of old veiled in a cloud resting on the mercy-Seat of the ark between cherubim of carved wood. Now the glory appears in the form with which Ezekiel is familiar, in all its symbolic significance (see Eze_1:1 note). A personal and living God enters the sanctuary Eze_43:2, condescending to occupy it, not merely as a fixed dwelling-place, but as a center from where His Power and mercy radiate freely to the utmost ends of the earth. Hence, amidst the detailed preparations of the house no mention is made of the ark or mercy-Seat, so important a part in the former sanctuary. The living cherubim, the firmament and the rainbow of mercy, replace the cherubic figures and the golden chest. The ark, having been in some way destroyed in Nebuchadnezzars siege, was never replaced. In its stead there was within the veil a flat stone on which the high priest poured the blood on the Day of Atonement." [Albert Barnes][1]
In Ezekiel chapter 44, we have a fascinating Scripture.
Eze 44:1  Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. Eze 44:2  Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. Eze 44:3  It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.
According to -   "This text refers to the ancient tradition of the gate in the second temple, dated to the 6th C BC exile in Babylon. According to Ezekiel, God's spirit left the city through the gate, but will return after the Messiah will return through it."[2]
This gate - shown to Ezekiel in his vision is the eastern gate of the Temple wall, and is likewise known as the "Golden Gate," in Christian literature. It has an intriguing history, as an article written in states.
"The Golden Gate, as it is called in Christian literature, is the oldest of the current gates in Jerusalem's Old City Walls. According to Jewish tradition, the Shekhinah (Divine Presence) used to appear through this gate, and will appear again when the Messiah comes (Ezekiel 44:1-3) and a new gate replaces the present one; that is why Jews used to pray for mercy at the former gate at this location.Hence the name Sha'ar Harachamim the Gate of Mercy.
In Christian apocryphal texts, the gate was the scene of a meeting between the parents of Mary, so that Joachim and Anne Meeting at the Golden Gate became a standard subject in cycles depicting the Life of the Virgin. It is also said that Jesus passed through this gate on Palm Sunday. In Arabic, it is known as the Gate of Eternal Life. In ancient times, the gate was known as the Beautiful Gate.
Remains of a much older gate dating to the times of the Second Jewish Temple were found. The present one was probably built in the 520s AD, as part of Justinian I's building program in Jerusalem, on top of the ruins of the earlier gate in the wall. An alternate theory holds that it was built in the later part of the 7th century by Byzantine artisans employed by the Umayyad khalifs.
The gate is located in the middle of the eastern side of the Temple Mount. The portal in this position was believed to have been used for ritual purposes in biblical times.
The Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent sealed off the Golden Gate in 1541. While this may have been purely for defensive reasons, in Jewish tradition, this is the gate through which the Messiah will enter Jerusalem and it is suggested that Suleiman the Magnificent sealed off the Golden Gate to prevent the Messiah's entrance.
The Muslims also built a cemetery in front of the gate, in the belief that the precursor to the Messiah, Elijah, would not be able to pass through the Golden Gate and thus the Messiah would not come. This belief was based upon two premises. First, according to Islamic teaching Elijah is a descendant of Aaron, making him a priest or kohen. Secondly, that Jewish priests are not permitted to enter a cemetery. This second premise is not wholly correct because a kohen is permitted to enter a cemetery in which primarily non-Jews are buried such as the one outside the Golden Gate."[3]
Therefore, we see an amazing fulfilment in the closing of the easer gate as prophesied by Ezekiel as testified by history. We also look forward to Christ - "The Prince of Peace," to enter a [rebuilt] Temple, to rule and reign - forever!

  • [1] Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible, Public Domain, [Albert Barnes 1798 - 1870]
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