Jehova Shammah (“The LORD is there”)
given to the saints of the end times
EZEKIEL 40:1-4; 43:10-11; 48:35
Ezekiel’s temple has never been built on earth. God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel and showed him the great vision of the temple, saying, “These are things that will come to pass.” The size of it was ten times larger than Seoul World Cup Stadium. Even with all the impressive, cutting-edge scientific advancements of today, can you imagine a building that is ten times larger than Seoul World Cup Stadium? This is so hard to fathom. In my forty-seven years of giving sermons, I am giving my first sermon on Ezekiel’s temple today. When I first started my ministry, I spent three and a half years praying atop Mt. Jiri. The message that I wish to share with you today is the last topic that I studied, that the Holy Spirit revealed to me, during my time of prayer on the mountain. Countless theologians have come and gone from this earth since Ezekiel, but none were able to explain this Word. You will be amazed once you understand the revelation of Ezekiel’s temple recorded in Ezekiel chapters 40 to 48.
God gives the blessing of Jehovah Shammah to the saints of the end times. The saints of the end times are those who endure until the end. The disciples asked Jesus, “What will be the sign of the end of the age?” Jesus replied, “The one who endures until the end will be saved.” Whether you are at home, hiking up a mountain, by a riverside, or wherever you are, I pray that you will not forget Jehovah Shammah, which means “the Lord is there.”
The Bible is a book that records all that God has done to create man and lead him to eternal heaven. In other words, the Bible is the history of redemption that will save mankind. It is for fallen man to be restored back to his original state. No more words are needed. Man lost the image of God because of sin. The Bible is the history of redemption that was written to recover the image of God. Because of Jesus, world history was divided into BC (before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini, meaning “in the year of the Lord,” or “the year Jesus was born”). Jesus is the turning point in world history, and at the same time, the watershed of redemptive history. Therefore, the Bible can only be solved from a redemptive historical perspective. The same applies to studying Ezekiel’s temple; it cannot be viewed with the perspective of human history. Is there a structure that is ten times larger than Seoul World Cup Stadium anywhere in the world? For this reason, as it says in Revelation chapter 5, the word in Ezekiel chapters 40 to 48 are the “hidden word.” A “seal” is something that is done after storing away and locking up precious treasure, so that no one can look into it. That book was sealed in this way.
Ezekiel’s temple, the place where the blessing of Jehovah Shammah is bestowed.
In order to gain the wisdom to understand the Old and New Testaments, one must first have an upright heart. It does not matter if we are uneducated or have not graduated from school; God will still help us to pray and repent. The spirit of God will be at work. Even if we are considered fools by the world, as long as we have upright spirits, the Bible says, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise” (1 Cor 1:27). If God picks up a dry stick and uses it, that dry stick will come back to life. Look at Aaron’s budded staff. Wisdom is nothing other than refraining from sinning. If we sin, then we will lose everything, including God’s lovingkindness, wisdom, understanding, discernment, and health (Jer 23:18; Ps 107:43; Hos 14:9).
The amount of sin we all have is uncountable, but if we believe in Jesus, then Jesus will take responsibility for those sins, dispose of them, and give His righteousness to us. People who do not know Jesus will say, “We know that person has done so many bad things, so why would God forgive that person?” However, God says if anyone believes in Jesus, then He will remember their sins no more. Then, He will help us to understand the Word. “Whoever is of God hears the words of God” (John 8:47). I pray that all of you will believe that if you truly belong to God, then there will be the blessings of hearing and understanding the Word of God. This is the truth of God’s redemption. The truth of God’s redemption is abundantly revealed in the plan of the temple, that is, through the blueprint and the history of the temple. The garden of Eden was the very first temple. This was the church where Adam, before he sinned, had offered up worship, praise, and thanksgiving to God (Gen 2:8). Following this were all temples that were built by the revelations given by God: the ark Noah built (Gen 6:14-16); the tabernacle erected during Moses’ time (Exod 25-31:11); Solomon’s temple (1 Kgs 6-7:51); and Zerubbabel’s temple. None of these were constructed according to man’s design. It was God’s instructions of specific heights, widths, and lengths that were used to build each temple. These were the places where worship continued.
What is the ultimate purpose of showing the vision of the temple?
God made known to the prophet Ezekiel the design and structure of the holy temple, the method of entering and exiting, and its laws and statutes. He said, “Ezekiel, the people of Israel are obstinate and unbelieving. I will make known to you all of the work that I will do at the end, so have the people repent. When the people have seen this, all they have to do is repent of the sins that they were unaware of in the past. Then the temple that was shown to you in this vision will come. The people of Israel will be blessed.” Ultimately, God was teaching them Jehovah Shammah, which means that wherever they are, they will receive the blessing of the Lord being there to fulfill all of their hopes (Ezek 43:10-11).
Ezekiel 43:10-11 “As for you, son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the plan. “And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the house, its structure, its exits, its entrances, all its designs, all its statutes, and all its laws. And write it in their sight, so that they may observe its whole design and all its statutes, and do them.”
When was the vision of the temple shown?
It was in the year 573 BC, thirty-three years (605 BC) since King Nebuchadnezzar had taken the Israelites into Babylonian captivity. The people were unable to keep the laws and the Word of God. They had no hope. They were beaten day and night and could not eat proper meals. Married couples could not sit next to each other and comfortably speak their minds. If they gave birth to a child, then they suffered from maltreatment and tyranny. Think about that situation for a moment. The Bible tells us that the loser is a slave to the victor (2 Pet 2:19). It was in these circumstances that the prophet Ezekiel was shown the revelation of the resurrected hope of the people. He was told that the day would come when they would return to their homeland. How wonderful is this? Among the hundreds of thousands of people who were in captivity that heard this good news, they must have felt like dancing, feeling full in their stomachs without eating any food. Please do not forget this Word in Ezekiel chapters 40 to 48.
The revelation of Ezekiel’s temple was given in the year 573 BC, on the tenth day of the first month. This was when Ezekiel had been in captivity for twenty-five years, fourteen years since the city of Jerusalem had completely fallen. The prophet Ezekiel was taken into captivity during the second deportation in 597 BC (2 Kgs 24:10-17; Ezek 1:1-2). But for those taken captive during the first deportation in 605 BC, it had been thirty-three years since they were exiled (2 Kgs 24:1; 2 Chr 36:6; Dan 1:3). This was a time when the lamp of hope and thoughts of returning to their homeland was going out.
Those who are qualified to enter Ezekiel’s temple are those who daily look towards the kingdom of God.
Where will the temple, that was shown to Ezekiel, be established?
First, it will be on the highest mountain. God brought the spirit of the prophet Ezekiel to the highest mountain in Israel. The highest mountain in Hebrew is har gavoach meot, which means “the most high place” (Ps 48:2; Isa 33:5; Jer 31:12; Matt 5:35; Ps 91:1, 9; 107:11). It is the most high mountain because the Almighty, most high God, dwells there (Ps 83:18; 1 Sam 15:29; Ps 7:7; Isa 57:15). That is the place where God desired to build the temple for Him to dwell. It is a temple built by faith. It is not built by stone or pieces of wood, but by faith. The Bible says Jerusalem is the “city of the great King.” The most high mountain is the New Jerusalem that will be established at the coming of Jesus. The prophet Isaiah prophesied 700 years earlier that, in the last days, the temple that God would dwell in would be established at the chief of the mountains.
Isaiah 2:2 “Now it will come about that in the last days, the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains.”
This word will be fulfilled. All the nations of the world will stream to it. They will die if they don’t gather there. Zion, the place where the new temple is established, is the glory of all lands (Ezek 20:6). It is the place where the light shines (Ps 80:1; 94:1; Deut 33:2). There are no worries or troubles there. The ones who look upon the kingdom of God daily are qualified to enter this temple. He told us to look above, where the living God is (Col 3:1; Heb 12). The ones who are qualified to enter the new temple yearns for the kingdom of God, not for the things on earth. They pray and give praise to God. No matter where they go, they live for the will of God in their hearts. To go to this temple, one must go to the peak of the highest mountain, and upon doing so, one must go up another seven steps (Ezek 40:22-26), then another eight steps of the inner court (Ezek 40:31, 34, 37). There is a deep meaning to this. We must keep going up. And again, another ten steps toward the temple (Ezek 40:49). Therefore, before one arrives at the temple, one must go up a total of twenty-five steps. This is tremendous.
Secondly, it is a most holy place. It is a place that is free from dust and dirt where no odors emanate and where sin cannot intrude. Ezekiel 43:12 records, “Its entire area on the top of the mountain all around shall be most holy.”
Thirdly, it is the center of the world. During the Roman empire, Rome was considered the center of the world. The new temple that Ezekiel saw was at the center of the world (Ezek 37:26; 45:3; 48:8; 48:21). The holy place of the temple was the center of the world.
The area all around Ezekiel’s temple is 500 long cubits, or 266 meters. It is ten times larger than Seoul World Cup Stadium. We are going to examine the most fundamental principle to help us understand Ezekiel’s temple. The easiest way to understand Ezekiel’s temple is to correctly recognize the walls, gates, and chambers. Ezekiel’s temple is filled with these walls, gates, and chambers. There are ten walls and gates in the temple. There are three gates in the outer court and three gates in the inner court. There are seven kinds of chambers. The gates of the temple of God have total control over the entering and exiting of the temple. The chambers are holy places to fulfill one’s given mission.
The walls completely divide between the holy and the profane (Ezek 42:20). The walls will know if I have sinned and will prevent entry. It will show on what day, month, and year I transgressed. You would have to leave without making a sound. Moses and the prophet Amos said, “The walls speak.” On the first day of passion week, Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem to the shouts of the children crying out, “Hosanna!” But when the religious leaders requested Jesus to silence their mouths, Jesus replied, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” (Luke 19:40). The walls, the gates, and the chambers are the core of the temple. The mission of the walls, gates, and temples are fixed on the holy place and most holy place. The temple will not fall even if seven typhoons struck it; even if a cannonball, a missile, or an atomic bomb were fired at it, it will not fall. This is because it is God’s workmanship.
Sabib-Sabib (“surrounding and round about”) is the main point of Ezekiel’s temple.
The Hebrew word sabib means, “surrounding encircling, round about and all sides.”
It means “besieging or encircling.” The angel of God will protect the saints that believe in God by surrounding them (sabib–sabib). Therefore, there is nothing to worry about. All we have to do is to believe. It is only a problem because we do not believe.
1) Sabib in the Garden of Eden
This word was used for the first time to describe the garden of Eden that God created (Gen 2:8). It was used twice to describe the river that watered the entire garden. There were four rivers that originated in the garden, and these four rivers divided from Eden and went out to become the four original sources.
The first river Pishon means “to create or be abundant” (Gen 2:11).
Gen 2:11 The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around (sabib) the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
The second river Gihon means “to overflow and burst forth” (Gen 2:13).
Gen 2:13 And the name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around (sabib) the whole land of Cush.
2) Sabib in the Wilderness Journey
In order to protect the people of Israel during their journey in the barren wilderness after the exodus, God completely encircled them. He kept guard all around them, like the Secret Service guarding on all sides of the president. However, the people did not realize this. Please do not despair and say how unworthy you are. If you have made your confession of faith and received the Word of God, then you are a child of God. No matter how destitute your home is, or if you are unable to eat or living under difficult circumstances, please believe that if you understand the meaning of God’s sabib–sabib for you, then God will be pleased and bless you with the power to gain wealth from that point forward.
Giving worship today is also made possible because of God’s sabib–sabib. We are here because God gave His protection to us, no matter what our mode of transportation was. Before you drive anywhere, first pray by saying, “God, thank you for Your blessing of sabib–sabib.” How big is the difference between those who believe in this way and those who do not? If you live without knowing such grace, then you will constantly be irritated and stressed, both day and night, always thinking that you need to earn more money or do more things.
During the forty-year wilderness journey, the ark went ahead of the people, finding places for them to set camp and rest. They camped forty-two times in the wilderness, but had they decided on their own on where to rest, then they would have fought with each other day and night. God is who decided where each tribe should set their camp, so there is no record of them fighting with each other. They liked it. They were satisfied. All they did was sleep well at night and then go out in the morning to gather manna. Manna contains all the necessary nutrients. Although they only ate manna, they lacked in nothing, even in childbirth. God gave this kind of blessing to the people of Israel, yet they did not understand His grace.
God encircled them continuously by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. As they walked through the wilderness, God covered them with a thick cloud so that they would never become hot or thirsty. But they only saw the water that they could drink, and did not realize that they were drinking water even when they could not see it. With a great pillar of fire, God gave them warmth and heat that surrounded the entire camp. During the day, the cloud followed the people of Israel, giving them shade and preventing them from sweating as they walked. Due to this, they did not need to wash their garments. They had no blisters form on their feet. The clothes and sandals they wore did not wear out or have any holes during these forty years. Moreover, there was no need for medicine because God protected them from contracting any illnesses.
Parents have already set their hearts to give a certain portion of their possessions to their children. But because the children are not able to see it in front of them, they complain about their parents not giving them anything. How many children truly understand the hearts of their parents? They cause so much grief to their parents that the parents end up saying things like, “Wait until you get married and have your own children. Then you will understand.”
Deuteronomy 32:10 “He found him in a desert land, And in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him (sabib), He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.
Deuteronomy 1:31-32 and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked, until you came to this place.’ “But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God.”
God carried the people there, but they said, “I walked here with my own feet, so when did God carry me?”
3) Sabib in the Tabernacle
The double expression of sabib–sabib was never used for the tabernacle. Only the singular sabib was written several times.
- When gold molding was made around the ark (Exod 25:11)
- When gold molding was made around the table of the bread of Presence (Exod 25:24; 37:11-12)
- When gold molding was made around the altar of incense (Exod 30:3)
- For all the pillars around the court (Exod 27:17)
- For the sockets and the pegs for the court all around (Exod 38:31)
- For all the hangings of fine twisted linen hung between the pillars of the court all around (Exod 38:16, 20; 40:8, 33)
- For the “binding” of woven work around the head opening on the robe of the ephod of the high priest (Exod 28:32; 39:23).
- For the pomegranates and bells of gold hung all around the hem of robe of the ephod of the high priest (Exod 28:33; 39:25)
- When the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled around on the altar (Exod 29:16, 20)
4) Sabib–sabib in Ezekiel’s temple
When the word sabib is repeated twice, it means “surrounding, encircling.” Hence, sabib–sabib is a powerful expression for absolute protection. Sabib–sabib is extensively used in Ezekiel’s temple. It is referenced a total of twenty-five times. This mysteriously coincides with the fact that the number twenty-five is the most frequently occurring number in Ezekiel’s temple. This expression occurs a total of twenty-five times: Ezekiel 42:15, 20; 45:2, 5, 6; 40:5, 14, 16 (twice), 17, 25, 29, 30, 33, 36, 43; 41:5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 19; 42:15, 20; 43:12; 46:23. This is rarely talked about. It is especially notable that the side chambers are all around the temple on every side (Ezek 41:5, 10), and there are windows and side pillars all around within the three gates of the outer court, the three gates of the inner court, and the six guardrooms and the porch of the gates.
Ezekiel 41:5 Then he measured the wall of the temple, six cubits; and the width of the side chambers, four cubits, all around (sabib–sabib) about the house on every side.
Ezekiel 41:10 and the outer chambers was twenty cubits in width all around (sabib–sabib) the temple on every side.
Ezekiel 40:16 And there were shuttered windows looking toward the guardrooms . . .
According to this verse, there were shuttered windows “toward their side pillars within the gate all around (sabib–sabib), and likewise for the porches. And there were windows all around (sabib–sabib) inside; and on each side pillar were palm tree ornaments.” There were no doors to the guardrooms; instead, there was a barrier wall. You smile now hearing this, but who possibly knew back then what a “barrier wall” looked like? There was no such word in dictionaries. I cried so much, and after praying for three days, I was finally able to understand it through the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
Ezekiel 40:12 And there was a barrier wall one cubit wide in front of the guardrooms on each side; and the guardrooms were six cubits square on each side.
The barrier wall of the guardroom is one long cubit (53.2 cm), and the size of one room is six long cubits (3.192 m). According to the New Living Translation (NLT), in front of each guardroom is a “21-inch curb,” and the rooms themselves are “10.5 feet on each side” There are windows and side pillars on the three sides of the gate all around (sabib–sabib), except for the side with the entrance (Ezek 40:25, 29, 33, 36). There are also side pillars that are sixty long cubits in height all around (sabib–sabib) the gateway of Ezekiel’s temple.
Ezekiel 40:14 (NRSV) He measured also the vestibule, twenty cubits; and the gate next to the pilaster on every side of the court.
Here, the NRSV Bible used the word “vestibule” in its translation, but it is clearly written as “pillar” in the original Hebrew. This mistranslation led to so much confusion, and I agonized over this for ten days because it just wouldn’t make sense. How can we grasp the actual meaning since the word “porch” is such a far-off translation of the original Hebrew text of “pillar”? Let’s say you built a home and someone asked you where your porch was. But if you pointed to a pillar instead, who would understand you? Theologians rarely address this matter. Dr. Kang Shin-tek, who spent twenty years studying in Israel, recorded this part precisely in his Old Testament translation of the original Hebrew Bible:
“And he did (=measured) the gate posts, sixty cubits. Namely, (he measured) to the gate post of the courtyard all around the gateway.”
“Twenty cubits” is another mistranslation. In the original Hebrew, it is sixty long cubits. The height of the pillar was sixty long cubits, which is an astounding thirty-two meters high. Do you know of a temple with a pillar that is thirty-two meters high? The height of an average building is five stories. So, this is in an ideal world. The prophet Ezekiel was shocked after he saw the heaven-towering pillar.
I will now conclude. We need to hear this message at least three or four times before we can begin to comprehend it. There are a total of ninety side chambers in the temple on the first, second, and third stories. There is a reason for making ninety chambers. Please take notes until you can completely understand it. We must understand the Word regarding Ezekiel’s temple so that we can go up to the highest mountain, where the temple is. It is not our flesh, but our spirits that will go. Please believe that God will bless us with understanding, by filling us with His wisdom, knowledge, and the power of the Holy Spirit. May you all receive the blessing of Jehovah Shammah (“the Lord is there”) wherever you go, and I pray and bless this upon you all in the name of the Lord.
Huisun Rev. Abraham Park
January 23, 2013 (Wednesday Service)
|During the early part of Rev. Abraham Park’s pastoral ministry, he spent three and a half years atop Mt. Jiri, reading the Bible by day and praying at night. What he understood through the illumination of the Holy Spirit was later published as the History of Redemption Series. Last December 17th, the first volume of the 11th book of the series was published, entitled, “Jehovah Shammah: Ezekiel’s Temple.” Rev. Park said that the word regarding Ezekiel’s temple was the last topic that he studied during his time on the mountain, and recalled it as “the most precious Word.”
In his book review, Dr. Choo Jae-ong (former President of Hanshin University) wrote, “Rev. Abraham Park joined as one with the prophet Ezekiel, thereby transforming the non-historical vision into the actual history of God’s redemptive administration. It is not an overstatement to say that the visions of the prophet Ezekiel have been biblically systematized and presented for the first time in this way. My eyes have been opened to the prophecies of Ezekiel through this book.”
*This post can also be read in 'Champyungan'. (http://champyungan.com/en/)