God’s Divine Glory Returns
Key Verse: “The glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.”
THE PROPHET EZEKIEL was taken captive into Babylon before the overthrow of Jerusalem. This began a long period of Jewish domination by Gentile nations, starting with Babylon during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar. Today’s lesson points prophetically to the Millennial reign of Christ Jesus as depicted in a vision which the prophet received. “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. 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.”—Ezek. 43:2,3
Our Key Verses describe that period when the divine presence and glory would once again be made manifest to the Jewish people, following the severe difficulties that have come upon them. These troubles came about because they had failed to observe God’s laws and rejected the opportunity of becoming a holy nation of kings and priests.
The provisions of Messiah’s kingdom will not only involve the Jews, but also the entire human family. Here are the prophetic words of Jesus in this regard: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.”—Matt. 25:31,32
The outcome of Christ’s reign of righteousness will be the eradication of the sinful practices, words, thoughts, and motives of all the willing and obedient members of the human family. This will take place during the “times of restitution” spoken of not only by Ezekiel but also by all “the mouth of all [God’s] holy prophets.”—Acts 3:20,21
The success of God’s plan will be facilitated by the fact that Satan is to be bound throughout Messiah’s kingdom. Thus, humanity will be able to contrast the existing righteous environment which then will flourish with the evil conditions that surrounded them previously. At the end of the kingdom, Satan will be allowed to test the people on earth as to whether they will be obedient throughout eternity. All failing this test—incorrigible evil doers, including Satan—then will be destroyed.—Rev. 20:1-3,7-9,14,15
Although Ezekiel’s vision is found in the Old Testament, and especially pertains to the Heavenly Father’s dealings with Israel, when divine glory returns to that nation, it will ultimately extend to all who will become Israelites indeed. (Zech. 8:23) “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21: 4) What a majestic time that will be!