Today: [Ezekiel 46] Insights of the Inner Court. In this chapter, we see how one goes from being a mere outer court Christian to an inner court believer. There were very specific instructions how one passed from the outer to the inner court and it speaks to us of the basis of access to the deeper things of God. We also see statutes regarding the prince and the importance of submitting to the judgments of God and walking out those judgments in the context of privileged access given to those who yield fully to God.
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[Eze 46:1-24 KJV] 1 Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. 2 And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of [that] gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 3 Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons. 4 And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the LORD in the sabbath day [shall be] six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish. 5 And the meat offering [shall be] an ephah for a ram, and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah. 6 And in the day of the new moon [it shall be] a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram: they shall be without blemish. 7 And he shall prepare a meat offering, an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs according as his hand shall attain unto, and an hin of oil to an ephah. 8 And when the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of [that] gate, and he shall go forth by the way thereof. 9 But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it. 10 And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth. 11 And in the feasts and in the solemnities the meat offering shall be an ephah to a bullock, and an ephah to a ram, and to the lambs as he is able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah.
In verse 1 of chapter 46 of Ezekiel we have an insight regarding access to the inner court. For believers, the 3 courts of the temple represent three experiences in God that correspond to the 3 major feasts of Israel. In Passover Jesus is our salvation, in Pentecost He is our baptizer in the Holy Spirit and in Tabernacles we see the prefiguring of the baptism of Fire, the ultimate redemption of the body from death and the putting on immortality. Access to these courts however is very important to understand, because they speak to how the believer steps into these experiences and appropriates their merits from himself. In Passover and the outer court, we come through the door into the outer court and Jesus said in John 10:9 “I am the door”. In verse 1 we see that the door or gate to the inner court is shut six days in the week and then opened on the Sabbath. It would also be opened on feast days which makes for us the direct connection between these courts and the 3 major feasts of Israel as described.
Access to the inner court cannot come Monday through Saturday. Why? Because of the dictates of the law regarding the first 6 days of the week in relationship to the Sabbath:
[Exo 23:12 KJV] 12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest…
Receiving the inner court experience does not come through religious striving or a performance mentality. Moral purity, spiritual excellence, or mystical knowledge do not bring you from being an outer court Christian to being an inner court Christian. Works will never get you there – which is why renewalist pastors will always tell you that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a merit badge, or an indication of spiritual maturity. We only come by entering into the rest of God. When someone receives the Holy Spirit, the initial act is all about letting go, relinquishing oneself to the sweet influences of the Holy Spirit and then tongues come, not from a place of struggle, but of rest as this verse in Ez. 46 so sweetly prefigure.
In verse 2 we see that the prince when he would enter the outer court he would come by way of the north gate and could from that vantage point see what was taking place in the inner court but only from that vantage point. The north gate speaks to us of judgment. The prince is a master – as James said in his epistle:
[Jas 3:1 KJV] 1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
In other words, coming in by the north gate – representing walking in and submitting to the judgments of God – the prince (and all of us are kings and priests) will gain access and insight to the depths of Christ prefigured in the activity of the inner court that we won’t have a vantage point to see otherwise. This answers for us how many who claim leadership in the things of God yet show absolutely no revelatory insight and desires those who demonstrate it – because they do not see the need to come through the north gate – walking the judgments of God. Verse 8 then tells us when the prince leaves the temple he must exit through the same gate he came in. In other words if you enter in by submission to the judgments of God then see to it that when you leave you are walking out those judgments before those that are without!
12 Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the LORD, [one] shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, as he did on the sabbath day: then he shall go forth; and after his going forth [one] shall shut the gate. 13 Thou shalt daily prepare a burnt offering unto the LORD [of] a lamb of the first year without blemish: thou shalt prepare it every morning. 14 And thou shalt prepare a meat offering for it every morning, the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of an hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour; a meat offering continually by a perpetual ordinance unto the LORD. 15 Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and the meat offering, and the oil, every morning [for] a continual burnt offering. 16 Thus saith the Lord GOD; If the prince give a gift unto any of his sons, the inheritance thereof shall be his sons’; it [shall be] their possession by inheritance. 17 But if he give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty; after it shall return to the prince: but his inheritance shall be his sons’ for them. 18 Moreover the prince shall not take of the people’s inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession; [but] he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession: that my people be not scattered every man from his possession. 19 After he brought me through the entry, which [was] at the side of the gate, into the holy chambers of the priests, which looked toward the north: and, behold, there [was] a place on the two sides westward. 20 Then said he unto me, This [is] the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, where they shall bake the meat offering; that they bear [them] not out into the utter court, to sanctify the people. 21 Then he brought me forth into the utter court, and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and, behold, in every corner of the court [there was] a court. 22 In the four corners of the court [there were] courts joined of forty [cubits] long and thirty broad: these four corners [were] of one measure. 23 And [there was] a row [of building] round about in them, round about them four, and [it was] made with boiling places under the rows round about. 24 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.
Verse 12 instructs the priests concerning the conduct of a prince who gives a voluntary burnt offering. In other words when the prince goes beyond what was required of him after entering by the north gate then that prince will be allowed to exit by the east gate rather than the north gate and only with that exception occasioned by offering a voluntary consecration offering. Remember the east gate speaks of eternity. When we offer up beyond what God requires of all then we purchase to ourselves a goodly estate and a memorial unto eternity is established as is spoken of in the gospels of the woman with the alabaster box:
[Mar 14:9 KJV] 9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, [this] also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.
Jesus wasn’t just making a statement of arbitrary favor. He knew what Ezekiel 46 prescribed. This woman went above and beyond and was allowed to exit by the east gate of eternal memorial of the gift that she gave as is the case with each of us when we follow in her example. This is more than just metaphor. What this woman gate was substantive with a specific and quite large monetary value. People who are timid and feel ashamed of encouraging others to give to God will say “it doesn’t matter what you give, whether it is a dollar or a $100.00. This is a foolish statement. It does matter. Study the scripture. Look at the example of the woman with the alabaster box and see if it doesn’t matter what the quality of your gift is. Many people give and it is a mere spiritual gratuity that a waitress at a restaurant would be offended at. Always remember that your giving resounds into eternity and let your attitude toward giving reflect that truth.
In verse 16 and 17 we see laws concerning when a prince gives gifts. If a prince gives a gift to a son, the son shall have that gift in his possession in perpetuity. If a prince gives a gift to his servant, then the servant shall return it in the jubilee. What do we see in this? Elijah was a prince in the things of God. He had a servant Gehazi who was only connected to Elijah for recompense. He didn’t have the heart of a son. Elisha however when he saw Elijah go up spoke his heart “my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof!” Elisha served Elijah just like Gehazi did but with a different motivation and he received the mantle. A servant may enjoy the temporary benefits of a leader’s beneficence, but a person serving with the heart of a son will receive an inheritance a servant is not eligible for. Serve as a son and a daughter when you are connected to leaders, and not begrudgingly or marginally. Give it your whole heart.
In verse 19-20 we see the separate, shut away place where the priests would prepare that part of the offering that was for their own personal consumption. They were not to prepare it in the outer court, but in a set aside place, that they not sanctify the people, or to give the people access to this domestic activity that was considered private and exclusive only for the priests. This speaks to us of the privacy and the discretion to be exercised by leaders. Everything isn’t an open book. People today think they have a God-given right to every detail and activity of a leader’s life and everyone else’s for that matter. The type and shadow of the priests in the Restoration temple preparing their own meals doesn’t reflect that. God never intends his leaders to live in glass houses. No one can endure that level of scrutiny without garnering the scorn of those he leads. As a leader, learn to exercise some discretion. Don’t overshare. As one connected to leaders, use some wisdom. Honor your leader and give them space to live out their humanity in decency and privacy where appropriate. Regardless what the world says you don’t always have a right to know.
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